Friday, April 5, 2019

April 5, 2019.

This morning it rained so we did not leave as planned. The roads were finally dry around 10 AM and we decided to go out on the bikes. First Dianne and Kathie cleaned up Kathie's rear derailleur--this is a rental bike and she was having trouble shifting it. There was a lot of crud on the cogs and gears... I waited while they cleaned.

We biked south on the Pinellas Trail, with Clearwater as our destination.

While on the trail we came across Dianne's friend Dusty. He turned around and rode with us to Clearwater. He is a national and international cycle racing champion, and he qualified for the 1984 US Olympic Cycling team (the year the US opted out of the Olympics). He went to lunch with us at Clearwater Beach and rode back with us as far as Dunedin. He told us a lot of interesting stories about his many years in the cycle racing circuit. He still races and also coaches bicycle racers; he is a Senior Games State Champion and Senior Games International Champion (twice over).

I saw the Pirate Ship that we cruised on with Zane last week. It was below us when we crossed the Clearwater Causeway on our way back.

After Dusty left us we stopped at Strachan's for ice cream and then made our way home. Dianne took Kathie back to Dunedin to return the rental bike while I showered and went out on the front porch to read my book. We were all pretty done for the day; it was hot out there!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

April 4, 2019.

We planned to meet the kids at the beach today, thinking we would go see them late morning and then ride to lunch. When they told us they would get there at noon we changed our plans... we rode out to the Pinellas Trail, stopping at Wall Springs Park. This was a destination for healing freshwater springs in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I was here ten years ago and climbed the old fire tower. A couple of years later vandals torched it and it burned to the ground. Here are Kathie and Dianne at the top of the new tower, and the view from the top.

After Wall Springs we rode to Tarpon Springs and had lunch at Mama Maria's, one of our favorite restaurants. Then we rode out to Howard Park to meet the kids.

They were almost done with the sun and the sand when we got there. We visited for a while, and then Kathie, Dianne and I got back on the bikes and Alison, Francis and the kids started packing up. We decided to meet them at the Sandbar Grill, since they had not had lunch yet. Very soon after that Kathie told me she was not riding to Dunedin. By the time we reached Tarpon Springs, Dianne also opted out. They headed for home and I fought the headwind all the way to Dunedin. I had dessert with the family and we were ready to leave when Dianne arrived in the car. She gave the kids the gifts she bought them last week, but ever the teacher, she made them each answer a question to get their gift.

April 2-3, 2019.

Kathie arrived from Rhode Island late Monday night. She's only going to be here a short while so she arranged to rent a bike. I swam in the pool this rainy Tuesday morning while Dianne drove Kathie to Dunedin to get the bike. I was alone in the pool, as usual.

After lunch it cleared up so Kathie and I went out for a bike ride. We rode exactly 25 miles.

Wednesday morning Dianne skipped her usual tennis date and the three of us rode to Whisky Joe's in Tampa.

It's always great fun to ride the Courtney Campbell Causeway bike bridge, and just about the only time I shift chain rings on my bike! We arrived at Whiskey Joe's right at noon and there were no servers.... we ordered our food at the bar and waited forever for it, not our usual experience here. But the fish tacos were excellent, as always.

We rode back across the causeway and detoured through Philippe Park. It's like a breath of fresh air riding through the silent park, enjoying the Spanish moss and the view of Tampa Bay. There was more traffic than usual today because the birders were out in force looking at the newly fledged great horned owls up in a tree. The road was blocked off from traffic for the safety of the birders and the birds!

Kathie and I walked up to the top of the Tocabaga Indian Temple Mound, built from layers of shells and sand long before the Spanish settlers arrived here in the 1500s and decimated the Indian population with their European diseases. This is the largest mound remaining in the Tampa area and is only about one quarter of its original size.

Monday, April 1, 2019

March 31, 2019.

This morning I retrieved my old bike from Dianne's guest room closet and we went for a 25-mile ride. It was a beautiful morning!  We rode the Pinellas Trail to Tarpon Springs, one of our usual routes.  We rode through Chestnut park on our way back to look for alligators. Saw one large gator taking a mud bath. Yikes!

This is the bike that I leave here--what a relief not having to disassemble, pack, ship, and reassemble to ride!

After our ride we played Scrabble all afternoon. Dianne is ahead on points this trip. I have another week to remedy that!

March 30, 2019.

This morning we went to feed the little alligators and play miniature golf. The rest of the Brooks family is on their way to Florida in their van.

We went to the splash park in Dunedin after that, and then went home for lunch.

We drove to Zane's uncle Robert's house to meet the rest of the family--Zane was very happy to see them! This is the longest he's ever been away from his parents!

Uncle Robert and Aunt Irene have a pool in their back yard! Here are Adam, Uncle Robert (with Delia on his back), Zane and Daddy.

March 29, 2019.

This morning Dianne went to play tennis and Zane and I had a quiet morning at home. After lunch we went to Scrabble club, and Zane was allowed to play games on his tablet while we played Scrabble with the group. This is something he looked forward to all week!

We went to Wall Springs park after that, and Zane got to play on the playground.

After going back to the clubhouse for fish fry (he didn't like it) we went to the pool. It was good to have a relatively quiet day!

March 28, 2019. Legoland.

When asked what he wanted to do in Florida the first thing on Zane's list was Legoland--he saw it in Adam's scrapbook. We were there when they opened.

He was very interested in the Star Wars exhibit. He told me who all the characters were and what they were doing in their battles.

He wanted to go on a roller coaster, so we did. He thought it was great!

We went to the Ninjago exhibit and did the ride there too. It was indoors and we wore 3-D glasses. It was quite an experience!

We walked to Lego Movie world and looked around, and then went  to Lego Kingdom, where we had lunch.

The last thing we did at Legoland was ride the carousel. Zane studied it before we boarded and chose a black horse on the top level.

He slept on the way back to Palm Harbor and (of course) we went to the pool when we got there!