Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31st, 2013

 We went for a drive South of Tampa and looked over the area.  It is real close to the Gulf and seems more rural.  We followed the highway and ended up going over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.  I took a real time video with my camara setting on the dash of the pickup.  Those of you that want to can drive over the bridge with us.  By the way, it is a toll bridge. Sorry but can't get the video to load (it might be too long).  We will try again but there seems to be some technical difficulties.

December 28, 2013 

On Saturday we went to Ybor City which is a neighborhood in Tampa that is on the National Historic Register.  It was a thriving cigar factory area back in the day.  They had a Farmers Market where we bought some Florida grown vegetables.  We went to lunch at this Spanish restaurant  called the Columbia which was established in 1905.  It has been managed by the same family for 5 generations.  It had beautiful tiles on the outside and even tiles showing a family tree of the generations of owners.  The inside was gorgeous, too, with chandliers & beautiful art work.   The waiters were in tuxes and the food was superb.  We had the 1905 Salad (a house speciality) and Caldo Gallegos which was a navy bean & ham soup with potaotes, turnip greens, & sausage.  The food was excellent!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28th, 2013

We have been staying rather busy with functions in and around the park.  We did get to the beach and check it out.  I am posting some pictures and videos so you can partake of the fun.  Today we are going to an area well known for cigar making years ago.  They have fixed it up and now it is suppose to be quite interesting.  We will have to see.  They weather is perfect, 68 degrees and a little bit cloudy, just right for walking around.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 18, 2013

We finally made it to Florida and stayed in Chiefland for 4 days.  We had stayed there before and had met friends we have kept in touch with.  We visited, laughed, ate, drank, and generally had a great time reminiscing.  Rob and I took off Tuesday the 17th and drove to Largo Florida where we will be spending a month at the Yankee Traveler RV park.  It is a nice park with mostly Canadians living here.  We will be out numbered again. 

While in Chiefland we drove over to Cedar Key Fl. and had dinner at Tony's seafood restaurant.  His clam chowder has won first place in the world championship for three years in a row.  To say the least, it is great chowder.  Cedar Key is a small little town located right on the Gulf that depends on raising and selling clams and oysters for its existence.  They use to catch and harvest them wild but due to over production, they now raise them in beds located right in the bay.  I took a couple of videos and have attached them to this entry.  All for now, I will keep adding entries as we go along. 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 7th, 2013

We met Robyn's sister and brother-in-law at the DFW airport and then went back to the Windstar Casino for 4 days.  Nobody had any luck at the machines, but Robyn won $100 at bingo.  We then drove to Branson Missouri and stayed for 4 days.  We took in a couple of shows and a few buffet's.  Both were quite good.  Rob's sister and husband got on the plane in Branson on Wednesday and we drove back to the Windstar for the night.  We headed south on Thursday because the low for the night was going to be 12 above and stayed in North Houston in a nice park.  Thankfully we missed the snow & ice that hit Dallas & closed the DFW airport.

We took off Friday morning and ended up in New Iberia, La.  We plan on going to see the Tabasco factory and store today along with some other events in the area.  An interesting fact about Tabasco sauce: The Tabasco company has only 38 acres of farm ground.  They grow their special peppers and harvest the seed.  The seed is sent to Central and South America and grown to maturity.  The peppers are then harvested, mashed, and placed in white oak barrels and left to age.  After a period of time they are sent to the factory here, mixed with vinegar and left to age.  After aging for about a year, barrels are opened and the sauce is bottled.  When I first got here I expected to see fields and fields of peppers growing but the only thing they grow around here is sugar cane.  I am going to see if we can score some fresh seafood today.  We are headed out Sunday morning and stopping in Gulfport MS for the night.  Leaving Gulfport Monday morning and staying in Panama City, FL. for a couple of days.  We have been trying to stay ahead of the cold rain, sleet, and snow and so far we have done well.  It has rained on us but that's all. 
Winstar Casino is the 2nd largest casino in the world.  It has 8 different cities represented inside:
New York, London, Paris, Vienna, Rome, Madrid, Cairo, & Madrid.

Here is Shanna & Mike in Cairo.