.While parts of New England had near record breaking snowfalls and below zero temperatures our part of Florida saw Freeze warnings! Temps in the 20's and low 30's and high winds sweeping across the water meant that despite the bright sunshine, anyone spending time outside over the weekend bundled up. And by anyone, I mean us because Saturday was Minock Day! The Best Day! Woohoo!
We made plans to meet at John's Pass which is roughly half way between us within the confines of the greater Tampa/St Pete's area. Tim and I had never been there before but, as it turns out, Paul and Marsha visited once about twenty years ago. It was a great choice.
John's Pass, at the turn of the 1900's, was a quaint fishing village. It wasn't a "pass" until 1848 when a particularly nasty hurricane created the opening. The first person, that we know of, who sailed through was one John Levique, a pirate no less, and the pass (or passageway) was named after him. To my knowledge there are no pirates in the area anymore but the village has been turned into over one hundred shops and restaurants fronted by an old fashioned boardwalk.
There also docks the local fishing fleet (guaranteeing very fresh seafood if you are that frame of mind come lunch time), and plenty of tour boats of all sorts. Dolphin tours, shell tours, sunset tours and more. Parasailing and jet ski's are another option. There was a reptile "house" offering passersby the unique opportunity to "kiss a gator". We passed, no thank you very much on that one. But we did wander through shops of all sorts. My favourite was the store that had all sorts of spinnies and whirlygigs and flags and other kinds of yard and garden art. They also had unique puzzles, awesome looking kites and well, I could have spent a few more hours just in that shop alone.
Come lunch time, we headed toward the docks and strolled up and down, shivering in the wind admiring the boats and trying to decide where to eat. I wish I could remember the name of our restaurant because it was absolutely the right choice. We had a great view of the water and the boats, good service, a varied menu and good food. We got to peel off a layer or two of outterwear and enjoy a nice meal, terrific company, great conversation and a whole lot of laughs!
Once we were finally ready to move on, we headed across the street to Madeira beach. It was, as beaches are, beautiful and on this day, nearly empty. We strolled up and down the waters edge admiring the view, enjoying the brisk wind and the very refreshing exercise before returning to the village area, cheeks pinked and hair styles thoroughly destroyed. It was Great!
Eventually, at Marsha's suggestion, we moved on to a place less than a mile down the road called, The Candy Kitchen. It was the only thing Marsha remembered from their previous visit two decades before so we knew this was worth a stop. The Candy Kitchen is adorable, very very small inside but jam packed with mostly vintage candies and sodas but also ice cream. And the best part is the bathroom. Yes that's right, you heard me, the bathroom. The Candy Kitchen wisely decided to embrace their vintage candy theme all the way into the restroom. The walls and ceiling are completely covered in vintage candy wrappers and the floor is "tiled" in vintage soda caps! It was awesome!
They had some picnic tables outside where we sat with our Candy Kitchen goodies and chatted and giggled even more until I began shivering inside all of my layers and the sun was starting to head down. Yes I was the pooper who broke up the party. But honestly, I think everybody was starting to feel the even colder temperatures because nobody complained when I said I was turning blue with the chill. Blue is a very good colour on me, but cold is not. Heh.
I only took a few photos and all of them with my phone so the quality is not the usual. But the quality of the time we spent together was, as it always is, top notch! I hope you also had a good weekend, that you stayed warm and safe and that you had even half as good a time as we did!
A few photos:
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.