|Our last night from Torrey Oaks RV Resort, in Bowling Green, FL, 50 miles east of St. Petersburg.
Doing it on Feb 25....being totally comfortable.....actually felt quite refreshing, with on rush at all to exit....even Vicki, who is typically cool natured, enjoyed it.....thinking about the many other winters in which we had dealt with sub-freezing temperatures &/or snow on this same day....yes, it was such a different situation to be lolling in the outdoor swimming pool, chatting with Ken & Kay who have been our neighbors here.
Vicki, being the more avid sports fan of the two of us, had researched the major league baseball teams' spring training locations & schedules. She has been a Mets fan all the way back to 1969 or whenever it was that they won the World Series. The Mets have their spring training in Port St. Lucie over on the Atlantic Coast, so hopefully we will catch one or more of their games when we come back up the coast.
Luck being on our side, she found that the Mets were playing an exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday (yesterday). We are about 30 miles from Lakeland, so we made plans to go to that game.
Those plans were good until the coldest snap of weather that we have encountered since arriving in Florida blew through Tuesday night. It only took a few moments outside yesterday to decide that baseball would just have to wait a few more days.
What a change in two days....from enjoying the outdoor swimming pool to dodging attendance at a baseball game.
Readers Bob & Judy, with whom we have exchanged several messages while we have all been here in the Bowling Green area, stopped by to chat for awhile. They are from Illinois, staying in another campground in the area.
We were psyched to do something....psyched to do something & bored with sitting around. We decided to go ahead to Lakeland & see the town anyway. Reader Mike had suggested that we see the campus of Florida Southern University.
It has the largest collection of buildings designed by famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the world. He had a master plan to build eighteen buildings there, but only seven of them were completed before his death. We walked the relatively small campus, but it didn't take long for the cool winds to convince us that we had seen enough.
We found that Lakeland had a couple of quaint parks centered around their lakes. I never got an explanation for them, but we saw real-life statutes of people just about everywhere that we went around town. They were so well-done that you had to look twice to see if they were real people or statutes.
Our final stop in the city was at Hollis Gardens. I have seen several such gardens much larger than the 1.2 acres of this site, but I don't remember ever seeing one that was nicer or better maintained. The gardens have over 10,000 flowers, ornamental shrubs & shade trees.
A couple was there dressed in wedding attire, having their pictures made at several different locations. The bride wore a spaghetti-strap dress, completing exposing her shoulders & a few inches below, front & rear, to the cold winds. Vicki shuddered every time that she looked in the direction of the bride, feeling the obvious cold that she must have been feeling.
Certainly the couple had no idea that the date that they scheduled for their outdoor photo session would end-up being the coldest day of the winter.
After driving around the town a bit more, we then set-out on our way back home, looking to find Catfish Country restaurant that had been the second part of Mike's suggestion. GyPSy Lady found it for us & then she took us there.
When we arrived at 4:00 PM, the parking lot was already at least half full. The meal was well worth the search. They had two catfish offerings, a two-piece meal & an all you can eat. Not knowing how much we wanted, but definitely thinking that it would be more than two pieces, we both ordered the AYCE.
When the plates were delivered to our table, I knew immediately that my one hush puppy would go very quickly...I love good hush puppies. When the waitress asked if there was anything for us, I asked for more of the little doggies, to which she delivered a bowl of six more.
She offered more fish several times.....we asked for one additional piece each at her first offer, but that was enough. After eating all that was available & having no room for anything else, we called it a day. While reviewing the ticket, I was amused that those extra hush puppies came at a cost of $1.50.
OK, what's wrong with this picture.....an all-you-can-eat meal, in which additional fish was offered several times but taken only once, in which the platter came with only one hush puppy each, but then $1.50 for more puppies??
It was one of those situations where I just laughed & paid the tab.
Today our friends Al & Marianne from Tennessee came over for "chew & chat". We grilled burgers & enjoyed their company.
Tomorrow we leave here, hopefully with a lunch stop in Ft Myers to see long-time readers Jim & Jane (who I mentioned a few entries ago) if an allergy problem that she had earlier in the week has not worsened, then we'll head on into Homestead, Florida to spend the night with Uncle Wally before arriving in Key Largo Saturday.
As would be so appropriate to say here in Florida....later, gator.