Thursday, August 18, 2011

Four Senior Citizens Get Crabs!

Wednesday night Mystery Dinner

Last night we went all the way across the bay to Clearwater. Target was Joe's Crab Shack. Lee and I had gone there quite some time back and loved it. Somehow just never seem to get back there. Their feature item is their "Crab Daddy Bucket." You get this huge water bucket sized but shorter and bigger around bucket full of a wonderful steamed variety of crabs. Lee and I got the Crab Daddy which had a half of a Dungeness Crab, half a Snow Crab and half a King Crab. You also get three small potatoes in their skins and a big ear of corn. There are several flavors to choose from. We go the Chesapeake Bay flavor which is the traditional crab boil seasoning. Alma got just the Dungeness Crab bucket and Jim not being very adventurous got a crab cake salad. It was all very good. Every now and then they would rev up the music really loud and all the servers would get up and do a different line dance. All very entertaining and fun.

On to the evenings finally, our bowling games. All I can say is the girls rocked once again. We took the guys on both the games. Both Alma and I were totally in our groove. Dummy me I didn't even take pictures but I can assure you they were both good games. We will see what next week brings. Oops! i forgot! We have other plans for next week. Will have to write that one up for you. Till then here's from the "Four Crabby Senior Citizens"

Friday, August 12, 2011

Broken Records

Wednesday Night Mystery Dinner & Broken Records

So we didn't have computer for most of two days. Our battery backup surge protector died so began the saga of deciding on whether to get a new battery or a new unit. First I called Best Buy and after being on hold for 15 minutes (which seemed like 1 hour) I got an associate who told me they didn't sell the batteries but I could get one from Batteries Plus. I asked him what a new unit would run. He said $59.95. OK Called Batteries plus. Yes they have the battery I need. It is $39.95. OK off we go to Batteries Plus. Yup they had it alright but they didn't mention I needed two of these batteries. Now we are up to $80 more with tax. So we go to Best Buy to get the $59.00 special. After talking to the salesman, Bryan, we found for hooking two computers to the system we needed a bigger more powerful unit than the $59.00 special. OK made sense to us so we bought the $129.00 unit and home we went. We tried to hook it up and the battery would beep constantly. By now it is time to get ready to go out for out Mystery Dinner. Its Alma's turn to pick. More of that later. Any way then next morning I got up and fiddled around with this new unit and no dice. When Lee installed the battery (following the pictorial instructions) I said I think you have to peel off that label that is on the battery. He showed me the picture and yup looked like it stayed on and you just shove the battery in. To shorten a long story bottom line we took the thing back to Best Buy and the "Geek" that was manning the "Geek Squad Desk" missed that one too. Finely a manager or someone else got involved and he pulled off the labels and bingo the thing worked. So we are up and running.

So Wednesday night Mystery Dinner took us over to South Tampa to a place called Datz Delicatessen. It was a little Delicatessen with a restaurant and a very lively and noisy bar. Looks like one of the watering holes for the after work crowd. Lots of young working people having their happy hour. Then to add to the din there was a family next table over who had a screamer child. The father wanted to take the kid out but the mother said "NO SHE IS NOT GOING TO WIN. SHE HAS TO LEARN THAT" So she held the kid on her lap pinning down her arms and let her scream till she got tired of it. We were glad when they left. Noise aside it was a very interesting place and the food was pretty good to boot. We were upstairs on a balcony type thing that over looked the main floor. Our view was the deli part. We sat the guy put a piece of cake on a plate for someone that could have satisfied 4 lumberjacks. Our portions were also humongous. We left fully fed and entertained and headed home for out final entertainment. Broken records! The girls managed to beat the Guys thanks to Alma's all time high score of 235. The next game the guys rallied with Lee's first 200 game actually it was a 201 to be exact. We all had fun even Jim and I seem to be struggling these days. Keep tuned for more Wednesday night fun.

By the way. How do you like Alma's and my bowling shoes. The first thing we do when we get to our bowling alley is change into our bowling shoes. My slippers and Alma's bare feet. LOL

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wednesday Mystery Dinner - Restaurant Review

So the trip to Alaska is now just a fond memory and 3059 pictures that I continually try to sort out to put the best of the best in some sort of order. Now as I wonder what I can write about on my blog the idea came to me last night after going out with our BFF's for out long standing date, our "Wednesday Night Mystery Dinner" As most of you may know we go out on Wednesday nights with our BFF's Jim and Alma. The plan is each week one of us gets to choose the restaurant we will go to and the big mystery is on the other couple until we pull up to the restaurant in question. We have had great fun with this for quite some time. The whole thing evolved some time back when we were going to one of these local organizations (no names mentioned here) where you get this "great" meal for $5.00 per person. Great bargain and food not too bad. That is until you have had the same thing for several weeks. After that it gets to be very boring and not that great. We had an executive meeting of the team and decided we should go out to a place of our choosing and have better fare for our night out. So thence our special night was begun. The plan has evolved from that first night. The first night we (by unanimous decision and not too much discussion we decided on Willies Fish Camp (f/k/a Fat Willies.) While we enjoyed Willies we decided we wanted to branch out and then we evolved into each person having a turn at picking a different restaurant and the other couple wouldn't know were were going until we got there. We have had a lot of fun with this and gone to such places as the very good but very pricey Melting Pot and such out of the way places as Cherry Pockets tucked away into the orange groves surrounding Lake Wales only to be found if you have a good GPS system. The search was all worthwhile as the food was good and plenty and very reasonable. The surroundings were rustic and tucked away on a beautiful little like. We have done Mexican, Italian, Japanese, Fish & Steak Houses. Very seldom are we disappointed with what ever choice is made. The next evolution of our Wednesday Night Mystery Dinner was to add our final entertainment of the evening. We all go back to our house (Lee & I) and bowl on the Wii. Now we have a the most fun with this. Of course the big competition is for the Girls to try to beat the Guys. Lee was a terrible bowler at first but is coming along fantastically (due to my tutelage) You know they always used to tell me "You don't have to be a good bowler to teach someone. All you have to know is the theory and technicalities behind it all" So as I teach him where to put his ball and how to throw it I keep getting more and more discombobulated. But we do have fun.

Now as to this weeks Restaurant! Lois, a friend of mine, who goes out more than I do or at least is more imaginative than I told me of a place called Shrimp Boat. So that was the place of the week. We went last night (Thursday) due to my daughters birthday on Wednesday. The ambiance was great. Many beautiful murals of marinas with sail boats etc. All very nautical. They even had all green lights on the right as you went in and red lights on the left side. The old navigational marking of "Red Right Return". Guess in case you have too much to drink with your dinner you can find your way out lol. The food was excellent. I had a trio of sauteed bay scallops, hand breaded shrimp and crab Au gratin with a potato pancake on the side. It was excellent. Everyone had something different and all looked very good. They had a wonderful garlic cheese bread basket and weren't too cheap to give us a second basket (more full than the first) without extra charge as another restaurant (who shall remain nameless) did.

Now we have a few more place we want to try out but a favor here if I may. If any of the readers know of a really good place to go send me a note on my email. Would appreciate it. Now I know I have some out of town and out of state readers so just keep it local please.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Final Chapter of Tales from the Trail

Well I guess I left everyone who has been keeping up with this blog hanging there at the end. Sort of quit blogging about the time we got to Kansas. What's to say about Kansas. "Oh Look! Another corn field" Well after all the mountains we crossed on this trip (and you all know how I hate mountain driving) Kansas with its flat boring landscape was a welcome relief. Caught up on my napping crossing Kansas. Hadn't really planned to cross Kansas. We were going to go across Nebraska but due to flooding on the Missouri River Hwy 29 was closed at Joplin so we had to reroute. Anyway we visited Lee's brother-in-law in Holt MO and his brother and wife came from IL to visit with us also again. From there we went down to contribute to Mississippi economy in Biloxi then over to Panama City to visit Niki and her family (my Granddaughter) Then on to home last Monday. We have been home one week now and just getting caught up on our rest. Never thought I would want to leave home again after that trip but guess what folks. I am already looking and planning for future trips. Oh well go figure. So ends another one of our road trips and a wonderful time we had and a lot we saw and fantastic people we met along the way. So until our next trip everyone just keep on keeping on at whatever you are doing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tales From the Trail - Day 57

Salt Lake City and all that it implies!

What an incredible day this has been! It started out bright and early this morning when we gussied up and got ready to go hear the choir. We had breakfast at this hotel where we are staying. (oh I will add a brief addendum to yesterdays tale at the end of this day about this hotel) We had a good hot breakfast. Well it was good but it wasn't really hot but it was free so what can I say? We then headed out for the convention where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast their program live every Sunday. And wasn't it great that we got here on a Sat so we could hear the choir on Sunday morning. Just worked out that way. The choir was magnificent!
The spokesman told everyone to hold our applause until the end and surprisingly enough everyone did just that. But you just wanted to break into a round of applause every time they finished a song. After the concert we walked around temple square took pictures and chatted with the missionaries that were just everywhere. We asked a lot of questions and they answered all of them. We were curious about them and how they lived in general. They all seemed to be mostly young women but Lee seemed to think there were some young men also. They were from all over the world. The two we talked to the most were from Illinois and Australia. We wondered how long their missionary duties lasted and how they lived. They said they would save to come here and live. When they get here they would give their money to the Church, the Church would then find them living quarters and pay them a monthly allowance. They would stay for 18 months. Sounds like a good opportunity for a young person to see some of the world and work at something they believe in. They of course asked us questions like for example what church we attended and did we want to contact us when we get home. They were not at all pushy with their proselytizing though just trying to gather in all they could into their fold. We enjoyed our chat with them.

Well after we left the Temple Square we headed back to the hotel to change into SHORTS. YES THAT IS WHAT I SAID. SHORTS! We had moved our warm weather clothes to the back or our cloths rack in the car and have been dressing in jeans and sweaters since Atlanta. So properly dressed for the weather we headed out to Antelope Island which is the state park and where we could see the lake. Well we got there and drove around the island which is accessed by a long causeway. The causeway was full of birds. Just hundreds of them. We went inland and to the visitors center. Saw a few movies and then headed out to see the bison. They have a heard of between 500 and 700 depending on the season. Once the calves are born the heard of course increases. They have a big round up and test the animals for their health, then they sell them off to various places. Like other parks who want to increase their herds, private individuals who want to raise bison etc. We learned that while we call them buffalo and also bison, buffalo is technically incorrect. That would be their African cousins the Cape Buffalo and also the Water Buffalo. So they are really Bison. They also have Pronged Antelope and Big Horned Sheep. We didn't see antelope or sheep but we did indeed see the bison. They were all over the place and a very large herd. Back and for the across the road and right in front of us. I took some still Pict's and also some movies. I will attempt to put them on here and also face book. Don't know if I will be successful. Anyway a great day. We topped off by having a cheap dinner at Wendy's. Good Day

OK the room. We had booked the is room using our rewards points. The room was at a discount price of $79.00. We had enough points we got 2 nights and had to pay a difference of $37 dollars. Not bad. Well we got to the hotel and the power was off. They couldn't do anything for us. Couldn't find any record of our reservation and were very sorry but their was nothing they could do. So I showed them my confirmation number on my cell phone and they were still sorry. I said well I know it is not your fault but I have a booked and paid reservation ($37 ha ha ha) so where does this leave me? Well they were pretty flustered doing business by lantern light, people walking out when they found there was no electricity and people who were already here calling to complain. Guess the prospect of having an hysterical old lady in their lobby they started a manual search for a room for us. Well they found one and what a room it is. I am 100% sure this was not the room we were scheduled to get. First of all they said they didn't think there was anything on the first floor and I said well I am sorry I told them at I had to have a ground floor or an elevator. I have a bad heart and can not climb stairs. Well they found this room for us and it is a beaut. Jacuzzi, Micro, small fridge and a separate sitting area. Oh well we are in now so guess its ours.

That is all for this now. Tomorrow we continue heading East.
Happy Trails see you soon.

Tales From the Trail - Day 56

Driving from Pendelton OR to Salt Lake City July 9, 2011

Another long long day of driving but at least we had good roads. We left Pendelton OR at about 7:00 AM driving through some interesting landscape. We had long stretches of flat country (a welcome relief for me as I am tired of mountains) then some mountain areas but nothing like we have been driving through. These mountains looked to be very old and worn down. They were very rounded off and not high at all. Some of them didn't even have trees on them save for a scattered spruce here and there. Many of them were covered with a yellow vegetation but not flowers, some sort of a grass. At one point in our travels we saw Mt. St Helen and Mt. Rainier off in the distance. Both very impressive white snow covered peaks. We had good roads all of the way and in Idaho we took a scenic bypass and saw some fossil fields and some pretty waterfalls. Never found the old historic bridge we were looking for but consoled ourselves with a milkshake. Not a good idea for me with my unsettled tummy problems I have been having. Be real glad when that is all behind me. The speed limit in Idaho was 75 and then you cross the border to Utah where it dropped to 65. Boy ya gotta be ready for that one. Jill (the GPS) was flashing red at Lee to slow down. Well better Jill than the man with the blue. At some time yesterday we got tired of Jill's voice, fired her and hired Jack. He is just as annoying as Jill so guess we are just stuck with annoying. So that is all for Saturday, it is now Sunday morning and we are off to hear the Mormon Tabernacle choir sing this morning.

Happy trails to all and will see you real soon

Friday, July 8, 2011

Tales From the Trail - Day 50 to Day 55

July 3 to July 8

Well golly gosh gee whiz. It has been a long time between postings and lots has happened. I won't even begin to put things in chronologically order I will just randomly post as I thing of stuff. Lets see I left off where we had gotten to Skagway a day late but still managed to catch the next ferry to Juneau. That being done we got to Juneau and of course being southeast Alaska it was raining and it continued to rain until we were almost to Bellingham Washington. I honestly don't know how people live in that dismal dreary climate. Sure its beautiful but when you are in your 70's (if you have good sense) you don't want to be out running around in the cold and wet weather. So between the bad roads in northern Alaska and the miserable weather in South East Alaska we decided somewhere along the way we are just dyed in the wool "Florida Crackers" and will just stay that way. So Juneau, what we did in Juneau. Lets see! We got our car washed and a lousy job it was, we washed our cloths and some other woman had the dryer tied up for ever so we went to Auk bay buy the Ferry terminal and found a laundromat and dried them there. On the 3th we were going to go watch fireworks but they were at midnight and of course it was raining so we went to bed pulled up the covers and went to bed. Getting a little tired of sleeping in the daylight. The midnight sun was a novelty but kinda over it now. On the 4th we drove over to Douglas Island to see what was going on. Nothing was. Apparently it all happned on the 3rd. There was a parade happening in Juneau so couldn't get in there so went back toward the Ferry landing and went "Out the road which is a 40 mile run to the end of the road and the people who live there call it "out the road" It was a beautiful ride then we turned around and came home. Also forgot to mention we went to see Mendenhal Glacier. It is magnificent. It is just so big it is unbelievable. After 5:00 when the parade was over we went back into Juneau and went to the Red Dog Saloon. It is a pretty neat pub, bar, don't know what it is classified but it is cool. Drank about 1/4 of a beer and had some potato skins and listened to live music. On the night of the 4th we went to bed early early early. CAN'T and I repeat CAN'T miss that Ferry. Cabins all booked up on the next one out which is not until the 12th. So up early and in line an hour early but we got on that ferry and got our cabin. I was quite surprised by the boat. I surly didn't expect a cruise ship I figured it would be way down on the list of luxury boats but it was surprisingly not TOO bad. The cabin was small and vry spartan. Bunk beds yuk! Lee took the top being the gentleman that he is. The food was not too bad. Have had worse. Had better too but it was edible and not too price and huge helpings so we split our entrees and bought a side of soup. So we spent the days sitting in the lounge looking for whales bears etc. A bear was spotted with her two cubs but of course I missed them. I did get a really good whale tale and some lighthouses. Big cause for excitement last night just before we went to bed. Number 1 there was a sunset. Hadn't seen a sunset for a while. Then number 2 just before I went to bed I looked out the window and it was actually dark and lo and behold there was a moon. Hadn't seen a moon or dark since somewhere in Northern Canada. Woo Hoo we are getting back to the normal way of things.

Tires hit the pavement in Bellingham Washington (the lower 48 folks) at 8:30 this morning. We drove down to Seattle went up in the Space Needle, decided not to have dinner there for a number of reasons. One being you have to book a week in advance and 2 we want to head home. Then after viewing Seattle and being devastated by finding out there is no such hospital as Seattle Grace. But then with the wacky Doctors they have who would want to go there? Oh well out of Washington state and into Oregon. We have stopped the night in Pendelton and will get up early tomorrwo and try to make it to Salt Lake City. That is about all. Can't thing of anything else I may have missed.

Take care and Happy Trails
See you all real soon now