Sunday, January 30, 2011

Boiled Peanuts

We kept seeing signs for boiled peanuts once we got to Alabama. We were intrigued but not enough to stop.

Then when we were in Tampa we went to a restaurant that gave us a little bowl of peanuts boiled with Cajun seasoning. The texture is mushy but the taste was good. This is not something to write home about so I'm surprised I am even blogging about it. I guess the six hour drive back to Noreen's is getting to me!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

#1 in Lakeland for a reason - actually many reasons

We went to the #1 rated restaurant in Lakeland according to Trip Advisor. It is called Primo's Pizza. From outside it doesn't look like a number one restaurant. But we went in.

It is very small. But immediately we were greeted by the owner like we were regulars. Then his daughter waited on us and she was very nice. We ordered white pizza with sausage - one of our favorite pizza's.

While we waited they brought us four little garlic knots with sauce. Yum. Then the owner came over and talked to us. He grew up in Michigan and went to Central for college. He was filled with stories. He kept going from table to table talking like we all were his best friends. In between all of this he was taking orders for people walking in for takeouts. While two couples waited he made a couple of slices of pizza for them to taste.

Our pizza came and it was VERY good. Garlic, ricotta, mozzerella. Just very good - not one thing overpowering any of the others. Then when we were done our waitress brought over two small cannoli's. A perfect ending to our dinner. During one of the owners stops to our table he mentioned if we know of anyone that needs a dinner and can't afford it just to call him and he will send over a pizza. Then said everyone needs to help other people.

When we got our bill the garlic knots and the cannoli were free. We tipped very well. When we left I read all the reviews on Trip Advisor and many of them mentioned that he asked each of them if they knew anyone who needed a dinner just to let him know. Many mentioned getting something free during dinner.

It was such a good experience - we left feeling like good friends.

Tigers in Florida

What a fun day
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We had such a fun day. Woods, Kemp, Lollich, Wilcox, Bair, and more. . . They all had so much fun messing with each other. Having fun with the fantasy camp people. We sat in the first row next to the dugout by 1st base. We watched everyone come in and they were so nice to all the fans.










We felt like it was a Field of Dreams moment. The smiles never left our faces.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lakeland Pigfest 2011

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Lakeland Pigfest 2011

We went to the Pigfest at the Lakeland Tiger's Stadium.

They have raised over $500,000 for the community since they began this festival. We tried the number one BBQ from last year and then another one - the second one we tried we thought was better.

They had a band, their Mayor, their Senator, the National Anthem, radio personalities - and great pork and fried pickles! We had fun walking around and enjoyed people watching.

Tomorrow is the second day - with the game with the Detroit Tiger Greats - can't wait to go tomorrow.

Galaxy Glitches and Verizon to the Rescue

Last night the Galaxy Tab started getting errors saying my personal memory was filled and it started freezing up - First thing this morning we went to the closest Verizon store. They had trouble getting into the system and finally told me they would need to reset it to the factory settings. I didn't care I just knew I wanted my Galaxy back!

Well - they got it working and we left Orlando for Lakeland. Before we got to Lakeland the errors started back up again so we headed for the first Verizon store in Lakeland. We were very lucky to have Eddie work on the tablet. He started researching on the Internet and found there is a glitch right now with syncing or something. So he turned off some checkmarks and it began to work right.

Then he asked me if I had seen the new keyboard for the tablet - I said no and he took me over to it - when I saw it was only $79 I told him to pack it up - the only down side to a tablet is the keyboard. Then he started to ring up the bill and told me that because I had to go to two stores he was giving me a discount - $20 off - that was so nice.

And finally, we brought our Garmin with us on the trip "just in case" and that has gotten us out of a couple jams when GPS was screwing up. So I have to say. I am glad we had a backup this morning to find the Verizon store and I am glad that Verizon worked on the Galaxy two times with no charge to me at all.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Animal Kingdom

We went to Disney's Animal Kingdom. It was fun and we saw animals we never even heard of before. We saw lots on the African safari. We were in line for about 45 minutes but we didn't mind at all because we stood by two women from Ohio that were very nice.

There was also a large family next to us that did not speak English but the father kept the children occupied by telling them stories. It was precious. The children had their eyes wide open listening to the tales he was weaving for them and his arms were waving in the air and the tone of his voice would go from scary to funny and the kids loved every minute of it. So did I!

We walked for almost four hours and I was happy to be done when we decided to go. Of course then we had to walk for a bit trying to find our car! I forgot that I have an app called Find My Car!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's 1:00 in the morning. . .

And I can't sleep. Mmmmmmm. . . Could it be Pat snoring? Yes I think so. Oh well who needs to sleep?

We saw on the Lakeland Tigers website they have a big fundraising bbq contest each year and a game with the Fantasy Camp attendees and Tigers from the past. Willie Horton and Al Kaline and others that Pat knew but I didn't remember. So we are spending the weekend i Lakeland.

That leaves Wednesday and Thursday in Orlando. I think we may go to Animal Kingdom today - depends on the weather. We had huge rainstorms last evening with tornadoes all around us. I think it is supposed to clear up and be nice the rest of the week.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tigers in Lakeland!

OK. . . OK. . . it was a Lakeland Tiger Camp - but it was baseball in 72 degree weather watching them play in Detoit Tiger uniforms at the stadium the Tigers have Spring Training at and it was fun.

We are on our way to Orlando - still not sure what we are going to do but there are hundreds of choices.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sawgrass Lake, Chihuly and a Hot Shop

We have had such a full day and it isn't even 2:00 yet!

We started out at another great park with boardwalks where we saw 9 baby alligators and their mama's snout. She stayed hidden the whole time. But her nose was sticking out watching the babies.

Then we went to the Chihuly exhibit - alas no pictures allowed because it is a private collection. But there are a few pictures from the gift shop. Trust me when I say if you get anywhere near St. Petersburg you should go.

Then we went to a Hot Shop where we watched glass blowing and it was fascinating.

What fun we are having!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


We had two stops planned and both were great!

First we stopped at Lettuce Lake Park - a Tampa County Park. They have boardwalks all through the park where we saw Herons, Limpkins, Turtles, Egrets and our very first Armadillo!

It was a great park to walk and stop and sit for a bit and then continue on.

Then we went to the Manitee Viewing area. - when the ocean is too cold they come in to the warming area created by the discharge at the coal plant. It was cool to see them laying around the pool. Big tails and little noses!


A Chihulli exhibit and a hot shop where we can see glass being blown. We are waiting until tomorrow so I have both batteries for the camera fully charged!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On the road again

We left our gracious hostess and good friend, Noreen this morning for parts unknown. We decided to just get in the car and begin driving South.

We have no destination in mind when we get tired of driving for the day we will stop.

I'll continue on this as we go along.

Ok we ended up in Tampa - we had a great dinner at Carmines Seventh Avenue. Our bartender/waitress was Amanda and she was great. The food was so good. Pat had linguini and clam sauce and I had half a Cuban sandwich with black bean soup. We had the best bread with dinner. The atmosphere was great with a mix of locals and tourists.

Our hotel is nice even though we drove through a pretty rough section to get to it. We may stay one more night here depending on what we do tomorrow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Big Mama's Hula Girl Gallery

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1300 B HWY 2835

The store has amazing art. As soon as I walked in and met Linda, the artist/owner, I knew I wanted to be part of this gallery. I am so pleased to offer my pieces at this great shop.

Pelican Pictures

I loved the Pelicans - this one was my favorite:

"I'm Keeping My Eye On You!"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Striped Pangasius

The first night here we went to the Calypso - we had a good dinner but in Michigan we call a catfish a catfish!

Last night we went to Salty Sues and had bbq pulled pork. They use a dry rub and then you add the bbq sauce at the table. It was very good.

We went to two Goodwills yesterday - found several dishes.

The beaches have fabulous white sand and yesterday there was a bright green color along with the blue in the water.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Panama City Beach Winery

Noreen, Pat and I went to the Winery today in Panama City Beach. We had such a great time with Larry as our guide.

We tasted so many wines and they were so yummy. The fruit wines do not have sugar added and that makes them very full bodied.

Larry was very good at figuring out which wines each of us would like and how to drink eah one to drink each one in order to savor it.

We bought a lot! It looks like a dinner with the dinner club with our favorite one made with tomatoes and peppers.

Morning Wakeup in Florida

Good Morning from Panama City Beach! We have been trying to keep quiet so the puppies won't hear us. We have been semi successful! The fog has lifted and we can't wait to see the sites. The sun is up and so is Noreen which means I wasn't as quiet as I thought!

I also want to see if there are any treasures to be found at flea markets and antique stores (won't Patrick be happy about that?)

Well - I will keep you posted as the day progresses. We went shopping and stopped to take pictures as we were walking along the shops.

We made it

We made it to Florida. Our drive the last few hours looked a lot like Michigan, except for a few palm trees and Spanish moss hanging I would have thought we were home. Lots of pine trees, signs for loggers entering the highway, huge log trucks filled with pine, robins galore, and even a bear crossing sign! Very unexpected.

It was so good to get to Noreen's. We went out to take pics of Flat Stanley - there was lots of fog so I'm looking forward to seeing the Gulf.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Church Sign

Just outside of Highland Home, AL, (which is close to Honoraville!) there is a little church with this sign:

Try Jesus
Don't like him
Satan will take you back

I like clever signs - they are sort of like Twitter - you only have so much room to get your message across.

Police in Prattville

Just an observation. . . . We stopped at a flea market in Prattville, Alabama and while we were in town we saw 10 police cars - then I looked up the population and it is only 33,000 people! They must work cheap here in the South.

Mounting Evidence

Just after entering Alabama we saw a hawk on the ground between the expressway lanes in the median. A few miles down the road we saw another one. I mentioned to Pat that there is mounting evidence that the hawks in Alabama are stupid. Sure enough within 5 miles we saw three roadkill hawks!

I don't think I would want to hit one of those hawks!

We are on our way to Panama City Beach - maybe a few flea market stops on the way!


We met with our friend, Sr. Dinah, last evening. It was so good to see her. We used to sing together in choir at the Cathedral. She took us to see her office at the hospital and their new chapel. Her office is very peaceful the moment you walk in you can feel that. The chapel has dark wood panels with brilliant stained glass windows all around the space. We went to dinner at the Fish Market which is really a fish market - it was really a fun place to go.She suggested the grouper which was delicious.

It was a great evening and so nice to visit with her. She sends her best wishes to all her friends in Saginaw.

Flat Stanley

Flat Stanley sitting on Babe Ruth when he is getting ready to swing his bat at the Loiusville Slugger Factory.
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Louisville Slugger Factory AND antique malls

What a great day! We went to a couple antique malls and found about a dozen plates, however when we were at the checkout counter I asked the cashier where I could buy a plastic bag holder where you put a pile of bags on a hook and pull one out to fill it and then tear it off. She said they just got one in yesterday! Let me tell you - the most frustrating part of selling my dishes is opening the stupid plastic bags. This will be so easy!!!!

Then we went to the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. It was SO much fun. You should have seen Pat order a baseball bat! He was so happy. When they asked what name he wanted on it he said Paco of course.

We took Flat Stanley in for Olivia, my friend Heather's daughter, we did a Babe Ruth theme. One on a plaque, one on one of his bats and one with a mannequin of Babe swinging a bat. Every kid there new Flat Stanley! He is one popular fellow!


Yum. . . Caramel Macchiato and a bluberry scone for ME and a regular coffee and classic coffeecake for Pat. . . So much for watching what we eat on this trip!

ok ok ok

The lesson for today is. . . . Pay attention to details. I am using trip advisor to plan where we are staying. I read all the reviews and then went in to choice privileges to make a reservation. Mmmmmm. . . How can there be two Comfort Inn Airport Hotels? We go to the one I think I made a reservation at and the lady at the desk said that I did not have a reservation. So she gave us directions to the "other" comfort inn airport hotel.

Yuk - it is an older place with lumpy carpets, old bathroom tiles with yucky grout, and the room you eat breakfast in has several leaks happening. We are going out for coffee this morning!

The hot water heat was quite loud and when the pipes were cooling it sounded as if there was a mouse in the room - but it was the same noise every time the heat went off. Half way through the night Pat tapped me on the shoulder three times. I asked him what he wanted but he was sleeping. I asked him about it this morning and he said he was dreaming he was trying to kill a mouse with a shovel!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weber Grill Restaurant

We are at the Weber Grill Restaurant in Indianapolis. So far the pretzel rolls are yummy. We just got salmon dip just came and it is so good. We decided to get two appetizers for dinner - the other one is a sampler bbq platter - so I will save this as a draft and finish our dinner before I finish posting this.

OK - I'm done and it was GREAT. We each shared what looked to be a very small portion of meat and shrimp - we each got 1 shrimp, 2 pieces of skewered steak, a half of one sparerib, and a very small portion of beer can chicken.

We got one salad and one baked potato and we are stuffed. It was a great dinner - however there was an hour wait for the restaurant so we ate in the bar - part of the fun is watching them grill the food in the restaurant. But we had a nice time anyway.


The casino in Indiana is just like Michigan - go in with $40 come out with 23 cents! We had an hour before we could sign in at the hotel so Pat watched the Chicago and Seattle game and I played Wheel of Fortune.
By the way - the sucker holes gave way to blue skies and sunshine.

Florida or bust

We are on our way. After a whirwind weekend with family and friends we packed up this morning and we are on our way to Indianapolis. We are leaving snow covered and cold Michigan. I will keep you updated as we go along. We left at 0838 and an hour later we are getting on to South 127.

My cousin Mary Lynn gave all the brothers and sisters a Chihuly art quilt. Mine is the most amazing and beautiful one - It is a boat filled with glass globes - I hung it by the kitchen window where Paula's handblown glass balls are hanging. It looks great.

It is a beautiful Michigan Winter day. There are clouds but sunlight peaking through on the horizon. One time when we were camping a woman told me the blue sky peaking out through the clouds were sucker holes. Since then we are always willing to believe we are suckers because we always think the day will get better!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Retirement Party

We had such a nice evening. So many friends from old and new. My family surprised me from Tulsa and Phoenix and even a good friend from Milwaukee. I am so blessed with wonderful friends - family friends, church friends, work friends. Thank you everyone for your friendship.