We took a couple of days off in Clearwater after crossing the Gulf of Mexico all night, and hung around the town for some "R&R". I don't know what that means, but I hope it includes a bunch of walks and a decent dog park.
The wharf is the happening place to be in Clearwater around four o'clock each afternoon, because they have a daily craft fair, and lots of entertainers on the street and in the park next to it. We saw a couple of guys dancing and spinning on their heads on the ground, and another guy making balloon dogs. Can you believe that? ... dog balloons?
Wonder which one we'll hit next.
Jeff was interested in checking out the shrimp boat that was docked beside the crab pot buoys. It had its nets all ready for the next trip out to sea.
I'm not sure what this has to do with Greek food or sponges, but Jeff liked it.
What kind of dog park is that? Izzy tried to get me to run around with her, but it's just not the same. I think she felt sorry that they spent so much time looking at the shrimp boat while I stayed in the car. I got a bone later to make up for it.That night Jeff and Izzy met Looper friends Sharon and Fred Clarkson from "Perfect Remedy", who have finished the loop and are living in Clearwater. We first met them in Charleston last April at the Looper Rendezvous. Some other Looper friends were also visiting with them - Pookie and Evan from "Pookie II". They all went out for a fun dinner to tell boat stories. Jeff brought me a doggie bag!
The next day we continued to St.Petersburg so we could meet up with our CA friend, Randi. This is "The Pier" at the entrance to the harbor in St. Petersburg, and near the marina where we stayed.
In the morning, Randi arrived with her step-sister and husband, Cissy and Larry. Randi had been visiting with them in Orlando, and they brought her over to St. Pete so she could join us for a week of cruising. I was hoping she'd bring my friend Bella along, but instead she brought me some good treats. Bella would have been a better treat. She's so little that we could have made a life vest for her out of one of our beer
It was cold and rainy when they arrived. I guess Bella would have been cold too, and Izzy would have made her wear that sweater that makes her look fat. Maybe she's happier back in sunny CA. Randi was hoping for warm Florida weather for her vacation. Disappointed!
This is his little twenty-one foot Ranger that he lived in for a year as he completed the Loop.
Everyone must have had a good time at dinner because the next day, Maurice joined us on our boat for our trip south to Venice, Florida.
Good thing Maurice came along...he gave Jeff a few tips on using the auto pilot – to avoid the wacky and mysterious "Folgers steering" that we seem to have sometimes when Izzy turns on the coffee pot.
Jeff was glad to have the extra help of Randi at the helm too.
and it gave him someone else to blame (other than me) when he got us stuck in the sand beside the dredge that afternoon. I'm sure he blamed Randi or Maurice.
This is what we call "gardening" - oh well, there goes the new bottom paint already.
We arrived in Venice and tied up at the FREE city dock right across from the Venice Yacht Club, and more importantly, right beside a nice little park where I can walk.
New city rules the next week eliminated the free use. Timing is everything!
Izzy's high school friend Mary C., was spending a couple of months in Venice with her husband Dick, so they met us at the boat , then on for dinner at the Crow's Nest where Jeff miraculously got them a table inspite of the fact that they didn't have any reservations. Here are Mary C. and Izzy catching up on the past forty years of life. That's 280 dog years.....
Here's Maurice giving me last minute instructions on the auto pilot incase Jeff forgets what to do.
Randi took me for lots of walks. It was cold, so Izzy made her wear gloves and this hat. I'm glad she didn't make me wear my boots.
Jeff got a little tangled up in the roots of one.
There's a great lighthouse here
This osprey nest was on the top of a tall post, and I think the couple were arguing about the arrangement of the furniture
There was a great beach across the road from the harbor. That's why they call that place "Tween Waters" . There are lots of shells here, and the beach is wide and clean, but the water is still cold.
We walked down the road to a restaruant, and passed this funny chair in front of a shop. We couldn't resist a picture opportunity. I took this one of Randi, Izzy and Jeff.
We arrived at the Mucky Duck for a sunset dinner looking out on the beach.
The next morning Randi and Izzy collected shells on the beach.
Our next stop was Fort Myers where Jeff was going to pack up and go on his motorcycle trip to Mexico, and where Randi was going to catch her plane back to CA. The Legacy Marina is where our friends Eddie and Janice are staying for a couple of weeks, so we met up with them again. This is sunset in Fort Myers
Jeff left for the airport, so Izzy and Randy went to the art fair and bought jewelry, then walked downtown for dinner at Morgans.