Tuesday, 2/14/12 - A Happy Valentine's Day to all....I can't believe I haven't written in such a long time. Actually, the weather has been VERY COLD here and all we did is sit in the RV and try to keep warm, not much to tell. I mean, for Gods sake, this is Florida, you don't expect to wake up and have it in the LOW 30's. But finally, the nice weather is back so we ventured out on a great ride along the Gulf of Mexico.
We are about 10 miles east of the ocean so we took a "right hand turn" and headed West down Ulmerton Ave which dead ends right into the Gulf of Mexico. Highway 183, which is Gulf Blvd, runs along side the ocean and "back in the day" you could probably ride mile after mile seeing the ocean. Unfortunately today....what you see is lots of motels, hotels and condos which sit on the ocean front. But it was a beautiful day, high 70's and the wind was moderate. There are many public beach access spots you can stop at and walk down to the beach and that is what we did.
The first town we came to was Indian Rocks Beach and we parked and strolled down the beach. Much to my delight there were seashells (my new passion) all along the way....now NOTHING like fabulous Sandivol Island but enough for me to get my "shell bag" out and start picking up shells.
Our next stop was a public parking lot, with facilities and we paid the 1 hour parking fee and walked on the beach and then drug our chairs and TV tray down to the ocean to have lunch. Who knew that would be a BIG mistake, I mean it looked like the perfect setting. However we did NOT know about the "thieving seagulls." After we sat down and got our food out and were just admiring the whole scene we noticed a flock of seagulls (wasn't that an 80's music group?) flying over and all around us. Not only that, they started to "dive bomb" us for our food. So they settled down and just as I put my lettuce wrap "sandwich" to my mouth this seagull dive bombs me from behind and takes it out of my hand. It happened so fast I didn't know what actually happened. I jumped up, scared to death and tryed "shooing them away." Now mind you, we never threw food out to feed them.....they are just thieves. Then as Will was finishing his lunch he unwrapped his Snicker Bar & had it in his hand and from behind.....just like before....the bird flew in and took the candy bar...right out of his hand! Ok, that was enough for me, I put the food back in the ice chest and then they flew away. It really was a great beach (besides the birds) more shells, few people and beautiful scenery.
We then continued South down Gulf Blvd for the next beach, Madeira Beach where John's Pass Village & Boardwalk are located. John's Pass seems to be a tourist destination and recommended by one of our neighbors here. It turned out to be a very fun "touristy" place with lots of shops, restaurants, ice cream places with a boardwalk that you could walk along. We parked in the parking garage across from Hooters....a good place to remember where you are parked! We headed down the boardwalk and watched the Dolphin Sightseeing boat being loaded with tourist and what was really extraordinary, were the amount of pelicans that were there and then low and behold....we saw 3 dolphins playing right there at the wharf. It was so neat to be there at that exact moment as we were able to get pictures of them all. We continued walking along the boardwalk, spotted a great ice cream shop, decided to finish our lunch with an ice cream. Even the guy serving said, watch out for the seagulls, they will steal the ice cream cone out of your hand. We sat outside the shop, under an umbrella (hiding from the gulls??) and met some very nice people from Indiana and spent 30 minutes talking with them....us ice cream, them beer! Lots and lots of retired people down here and today they were all at John's Pass.
We continued walking around, me searching always for postcards and then found a great outdoor bar/restaurant that had live music.....a Canadian singer (really good) and his karaoke machine. We wandered in and found a couple of bar stools under a "thatched roof umbrella" and listened to the music. Because it was "happy hour" Will has his 7/7 and me my diet coke and sat there for over an hour just enjoying the music and the many, many old folks that were also enjoying themselves. I even found me a couple of other "old ladies" to get up and dance with. A great day and then we had to find the car and then have the girlfriend GPS, see if she could find her way back to the RV. Lucky for us.....she didn't do happy hour and before you know we were headed home. We got home about 4:30 pm - dead tired, faces sunburned but both agreed we had a great day. Much love to all our family and friends.