This morning we had breakfast in the room: coffee and donuts for Kathy and coffee and banana nut muffin for Rich. It was cold but we bundled up and walked over to dock to take pics and video.
Originally, this was going to be Orlando day with dinner at Artist Point but we realized we needed a beach day before we took off for Orlando so we rescheduled it for the next day.
We then showered and dressed and drove to John’s Pass for lunch but changed our minds and continued on to Sea Critters. It was a beautiful day, but had a bit of a detour on the way due to some road construction.
We sat outside and took pics and video of the beautiful day in Tampa Bay and the people arriving/leaving Sea Critters by boat.
And then we ordered drinks and lunch – Mai Tai for Rich and Margarita for Kathy. Rich ordered the Blackened Grouper with rice and beans and Kathy ordered her traditional Florida Shrimp basket with fries. We shared a slice of Key Lime Pie with caramel sauce, which was delicious.
We then drove back to the resort for a nap with our daily stop at Walgreens for more snacks and mouth wash and Halls for Rich’s cold. When we woke up, we revived ourselves with a soda and chocolate squares. Then we drove to the beach to see the sunset and took some pics and video.
It was really freezing out and by now it was totally dark. My light Princess Cruises sweatshirt was not enough to keep me warm so we popped into a gift shop and I got a thicker sweatshirt with hood that said, “Clearwater Beach” on it. We also picked up a postcard for Rich’s parents. They used to come down to Clearwater Beach every winter when they were living in Massachusetts.
We stopped in at Ron Jon’s and Rich got a T-shirt. We passed a musician and he was playing his guitar and singing his heart out in the cold. I asked Rich to offer something for his tip jar and when he did, the guy’s face lit up in a huge way. He started talking to us about how tonight seemed even colder. I told him to “keep warm” and he thanked me for reminding him of that. It may seem like a simple encounter but there was something very spiritual about it that’s hard to explain. But now I think I know what Father Philip means when he says that you “see Christ in the poor.” Before I just thought it was those crazy Catholics (we’re now Byzantine Catholic – lol!). But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since then.
Then we stopped by this walk-up place that said “Beach Eats” and grabbed a menu for lunch the next day.
When we drove back to the resort. Once the weather warms a bit, we hope to walk to the beach because it really is only a couple of blocks away from our resort.
Rich had leftover pizza and Kathy had crackers and cheese with our wine.
We stopped to check in with each other’s reactions to being in Florida again. It was fun but freaky at the same time. Some parts felt like home and other parts didn’t feel like home at all. We knew this week would be a roller coaster ride and we probably wouldn’t really know how we felt until about a week after we were home. Still, it was fun to talk about.
We were looking forward to Orlando the next day. Maybe Orlando feels more like home because we’ve lived there twice and the most recent.