Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Where did the week go?

Tues we headed to the Dali Museum with a stop for lunch at Fresco's on the St. Pete Waterfront...wonderful food and a lovely day for sitting outside. The Museum was all it is said to be and more. The docent who led our tour was well informed and animated which helps a lot. Picked up a few goodies for the Christmas box in the gift shop and headed home. We met our friend, Bob, for drinks at Dimitri's on the River down on the Sponge Docks and finished off the evening with our all time favorite restaurant, Mykanos.

I had forgotten my camera and for some reason, can not get the ones I took at the museum with DeeDee's camera to load correctly. Hopefully, I can work out the kinks before too much time passes. We all walked the labyrinth and it was fun.

Yesterday, the little guys came over with Little Mama and Big Daddy for dinner and swim time. Kristen had the boys dressed in the Cardinal outfits that Steve and DeeDee brought them from St. Louis.

After the kids all left and Steve and DeeDee had finished their packing we relaxed over a glass of wine and compared our favorites of the week...we agreed that Winter Park was the best. It was a little slice of cosmopolitan living smack dab outside of Disney.

We took Steve and DeeDee to the airport early this morning and E and I have been chilling ever since. We did take my car in to start the steps to getting it fixed. Thank heavens for good car insurance as the total to fix Hot Mama, my transformer car is over $3,000 and my baby will not be ready for almost two weeks. Sigh!
There was far more than just superficial damage but the car dealership promised me it will be better than ever!

Hope your week is going well.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sunday and the Jolly Trolley

Right before we left Winter Park, we made one last shopping run down Park Ave and I found this lovely necklace and earring set. It reminded me of the colors and vibrancy of the Tiffany glass exhibit so it is my remembrance of the museum.

Sunday, we biked for a few miles and then cleaned up, heading into town to catch the Jolly Trolley which runs from here in Tarpon Springs all the way to Clearwater Beach. E and I are excited about the Trolly because for 2.50 each (senior discount), we can ride down to the jazz and blues festivals held in Coachman Park in Clearwater and actually stay for the main performer. In the past, because we do not drive well or comfortably after dark, we've had to go home before the head liner act.

Our first stop Sunday was Palm Pavilion on the beach. We got sprinkled on and the winds picked up but we didn't let a little weather stop us. We went from there to Frenchy's so Steve and DeeDee could get the full flavor of Clearwater Beach.

After Clearwater, we stopped off in Dunedin where there was a craft fair in progress. We had some drinks along the way and ended up at Sea Sea Riders for lunch. One trolley passed us by entirely but we caught the next one. We decided to skip Old Palm Harbor and head home.

Yesterday, Monday, was our visit to the new Dali museum. I left my camera at home so will post pics when I get the ones I took with DeeDee's camera. More to follow!

Monday, June 27, 2011

More pretty scenes from Winter Park

There was a beautiful park just across the street caddy corner from our hotel. I took one of my morning walks through the park, through the college campus and back. Our last morning (Sat.) there were people practicing tai chi and a High Heel Walk for Autism going on.

Rollins College campus is so amazing. It goes from the lake to mid town and has other parts of the campus here and there. The landscaping is awesome and it reminded me of the Mercyhurst Campus in North East where Bob and Janet Miller live.

Our boat ride Friday took us through small canals that were dug by loggers to float logs from one lake to another to the saw mill. They were winding and cool and edged with all kinds of flowers, bamboo and other trees.

Sat. we had breakfast at the Farmer's Market about two blocks from our hotel. The croissants were so rich and flaky! We shopped a bit more and then headed back to the hotel to pack up and head home.

E and I are making plans to return for the Arts Festival sometime next year. We loved Winter Park.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

First night, Second Morning...Look out Winter Park

Upon Roz, recommendation, we ate at Hot Olive on our first night. We had shopped, wined and snacked through most of the afternoon but managed to find room for the wonderful food at this restaurant. Good call, Roz! We had brought a couple of bottles of vino from home and the hotel had provided us with a cooler for beer and wine so we relaxed on our balcony after dinner. Steve and DeeDee went to the little wine bar across the street for a last call glass. They are younger and stay up later than us ol'

The next morning, I took my walk through the campus of the oh so beautiful Rollins College, the oldest in the southeast. I'll try to get some of the photos I took up later today. We had a busy day ahead of us so we headed out early to catch our boat ride through the lakes and canals. Our guide was a wealth of info and he had a marvelous sense of humor as well. It was hot that day so we were really happiest when he would speed up the boat or we would go through one of the shaded canals.

Oh, and did I mention that we shopped our way to the boat tour and back? Here is E at his favorite store. Darn you Ms Pam for addicting E to this spice He did show great restraint and only got a few he "really needed".

Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Winter Park. Today we are off to ride the Jolly Trolley and to Mykanos on the Sponge Docks for dinner.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Winter Park...still day one

We roamed the streets, courtyards, and parks for most of our first day, stopping here and there to shop or have a libation and a snack. This is a friendly, lovely town and why we hadn't visited before, I'll never know. It is under two hours from where we live. There are live oaks everywhere draped with Spanish Moss and, even though the temps have been in the mid 90s, we've never lacked for a cool respite from the heat.

The rod iron balcony at our hotel, the Park Plaza, reminds all of us of placed we have stayed in New Orleans and the city has the friendly southern flavor of Savannah.

We had lunch in a courtyard restaurant down from the hotel and dinner at Hot Olive, a must do. The food our whole visit has been incredible. We've eaten at almost all the ones my friend, Roz, suggested and every one of them has been an A++. We valet parked the car upon our arrival and have not been back to it since. We've been averaging about ten miles a day in our roams and walks.

The adventure continues...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thurs in Winter Park

Some time early last Spring, E and I read an article in our paper here about Winter Park, Florida and everyone we talked to told us, "Go, you'll love it" Guess what? They were right. We are having a wonderful time. We called our St. Louis friends, Steve and Dee Dee, lined up a house sitter and here we are.

We made reservations at the historic Park Plaza Hotel and it is lovely. The train does go by and we do hear it, but it is not disturbing at all. I adore our balcony and, as you can see, our suites are to die for.

We hit Park Ave. on the, drinks, snacks and eventually dinner at Hot Olive.

Dear Roz, we love you. We have eaten at many of the places you suggested and we have not had anything but amazing food in the past two day.

More pics to follow ...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Goodbye Janet and Bob and hurry Oct.

Our last night with Janet and Bob was delightful but a bit sad as we won't see them again until Oct. when they make their move back down to Anna Maria Island. We had amazing food at their country club and then headed over to their son, Chris', house which is next door to their new home. The whole wonderful family was there and such fun.

Janet Miller...I miss you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer Solstice and Birthday to Pam Bennett

My friend, Pam Bennett,is having a birthday today. She is the youngest of the card carrying Luscious Lushes and my dear friend. I don't remember when Pam and I met but I do know it was on the old CK message board. She and I have been on three design teams together and she has been my partner in crime more times than I wish to count. She is funnier than hell and unbelievably loyal to those of us fortunate to call her "friend". Pam, hoping this year is one of happiness, joy and bountiful love for you. Happy Birthday!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pennsylvania Wineries

After our tour of the plant, Karen took us to two wineries near North East. One was located by a beautiful stream and had a deck overlooking the little river that Karen said she had played in as a child. We could not have asked for a better tour guide as Karen was born and raised in the area and both her dad and her husband are grape growers.

The second winery was very interesting. The tasting room and the storage area was underground and had a history dating all the way back to pre Prohibition. We picked up a bottle of wine to share with Janet and Bob before dinner.

We had a great Father's Day. Rob came over and helped us with some computer updates etc. E and I got my new arbor, gate and fence in place and all we have to do is secure it to the ground. The little guys got their first pair of shoes (sandals that close with velcro, their favorite thing right now). Landon loves his shoes but Colvin, not so much. Chris and Rob cooked corn and grilled chicken while Kristen made a great salad for our dinner. E got the glass sun tea container he had been wanting and it looks great on its stand. Hope your Father's Day was great!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Sunday

These are just a few of the photos I took of the beautiful campus at Mercyhurst College in North East. The photo of the stained glass hardly does justice as theses are so rich and amazing.

Janet and Bob are building a wonderful home with a view of Lake Erie that does not stop. One of their son's owns the property next to them and another, the grape acreage across the road. I had never thought of a lake having surf, living near the Gulf as I do, but there is the sound of pounding surf.

Hopefully I'll have time to post another set of pictures of the wineries that we toured. I did not take any of the food plant as they were in production for a new product to be released this summer. I do wish I had thought to take one of E in the white coat, hair net and beard net he wore during out tour.

Kids are all due over later today and, as is our family tradition, the kids will be cooking for E. He and I will entertain the little guys and vice versa while E's father's day meal is being prepared. I've missed seeing Colvin and Landon!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday in (northern) Paradise

With all the kids out of the house, Janet and Bob are downsizing, building a new home on some property right Lake Erie (photos tomorrow). They have donated their current home to the college, Mercyhurst, that Bob and Janet have helped endow. Bob will retain his corporate building on the grounds but all else will belong to the college. This is a beautiful location but then, so is their new place going to be.

After a wonderful breakfast at a darling nearby restaurant, we headed to the new house to check its progress. This is going to be a wonderful home for the two of them. And my room is not too shabby When we got back to the house, Janet took us on a tour of the college(pictures to follow tomorrow)and, much to E's delight, the chef who runs the culinary arts program was there and they could chat. The college is an old seminary and the chapel is beyond belief with the original stained glass windows. They just do not make them like that any more.

While the family had a meeting in the afternoon, Bob and Janet's daughter-in-law, Karen, volunteered to take E and I through one of the food plants and then to two
amazing coming soon.

More tomorrow. While our flight home was a delight (funny flight attendant and when we landed, the pilot said "Whoa...whoa" over the intercom), we are both tired and our kitties in need of TLC.