Thursday, January 12, 2012

We'll miss the hot tub

A double header tonight! I wanted to add this post - to conclude our stay here at the Marriott - particularly while we still have non stop electricity and wifi. Good thing we are leaving tomorrow because

we could get used to this kind of living! 

You could probably see this coming, and I guess we could too but just didn't want to think about it - but we will definitely have trouble detaching ourselves from this place. I think Cassia too - who was the most suspicious, has come to see why mom and dad were so excited last Monday.

This morning we decided to start the day with our Black Sapote - it was FINALLY time. This was one of the exotic fruits we picked up at Robert Is Here just outside of the Everglades National Park. When purchased it was green = unripe. The clerk told Derek to wait until it becomes black and mushy. mmmmm appetizing...

We figured it was now or never.The black Sapote is also called the chocolate pudding fruit - which was what REALLY got our attention and why we bought it. Guess we should have read the fine print.

It LOOKS like chocolate pudding it does not TASTE like chocolate pudding! 

So disappointment and a general sense of displeasure quickly set in. I was the one that ended up eating it as Derek and Cassia lost interest after a few bites - the problem?

It has NO taste! Can you believe that. I don't care that it didn't taste like chocolate - although that would have been a great breakfast - but it sure would have been nice if it had a taste. Pass it by if you see one.

The morning and early afternoon continued on like every day this week - not much. We did take a trip to the pool and hot tub of course.

Early afternoon we got a call from Pastor Curt - the deliverer of the deviled crab I told you about last night. So off he and Derek went to Brocato's Sandwich Shop - an institution here in the Tampa area. They don't have a website but you can check out the great reviews at the link. It's one of those places that is ALWAYS busy - we are glad that we got a chance to sample their food.

We had deviled crab....

and not sure of the name of this one - a deep fried shephards pie - or meat pie is the best we can come up with.....

and a Cuban of course!


And so the the three of us sat with Pastor Curt enjoying our late lunch and some great teaching. Actually, one of the blessings of the hotel was not only the physical comforts, but being able to be close to Pastor Curt and his wife Debbie (whom we hadn't met in person until last Monday) so that we could visit with them and begin our bible study before tomorrow's bible study. 

Pastor Curt and Derek - discussing what - the Bible - Rightly Divided - of course.

Since that took the rest of the afternoon and we were stuffed from the cuban food we didn't have dinner. Instead we headed back to the pool room for one last dip in the pool and hot tub. This time I brought the camera and was able to catch the old man (of now 47) doing a back flip in the pool - to impress his daughter no doubt. Sadly, the few hot tub pics I took have hit the cutting room floor. 

And so, in the morning we say goodbye to the Marriott. We are headed back to where the 39 meets the 60 and heading south a few miles. Of course if you have been following along with us those 2 roads will sound familiar. Yup

that's where the STRAWBERRY PALACE is located. 

I think we'll have to stop back in to see our new friends there - just in time too - we just finished our 2 - yes 2 - containers of strawberries.

The bible study with Pastor Curt will take up the day and we'll be parked at one of the brethern tomorrow night. Kinda hoping there is a place to plug in since 38 F or 3 C is expected for Saturday night. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! are we NOT in southern Florida?

Come this weekend we are headed - NORTH - which was inevitable. Problem is that this whole time we have been headed south. I didn't stop and really think about it when we were in Key West. It was the most south we could go - everything else was now north. Oh well - there is still so much to see. We are really excited to see the north western side of Florida and of course the gulf coast areas.

By the way, I have been really bad in keeping y'all up to date on our expenses for the last few months. Suffice to say that we are KIND OF on budget. We are staying pretty close to our $1,000/month budget but we have been going over a bit. We definitely splurged in December - mainly due to the cost of things in Florida and paying for some camping. We have managed to stay under $400 for food which is good.

Also, just to let you know we have now travelled 8,809 kms or 5,474 miles! WoW! a longgggggg way - eh? To date gas has cost us $1,624 so still between 29-30 cents a mile. At the moment we may exceed the budget I had in mind of $3,000 for gas - my rational being that we are 1/2 through our trip and so I will have to double the $1,624. 

But I don't think that is totally true - our trip home should be shorter - I think - I'll get back to you on that!

I'm glad you came to hear about our day! 


Today's Interesting Link: Today I posted on Authentic Florida's fb page looking for suggestions and comments from Floridians (or those that travel here) about our trip north. Robin of Authentic Florida forwarded this article about central Florida which was very helpful. She also recommended Withlacoochee (quite a mouth full) State Park. Her suggestion was given a big thumbs up by others and so we may need to stop and check it out. 


  1. Oh, those Cubans look soooooooooooooo good!! I lived in Miami many years ago, and was introduced to the many flavors of Cuban cuisine there!!! A grilled Cuban with spicy brown mustard.....mmmmmm...

    Safe Travels guys!

  2. You deserve to be spoiled !! Glad to hear you enjoyed your hotel time ...
    Can't wait to see where you head to next !!
    Take care ... TnT

  3. We can't wait to see where we head next - too! You just never know what happens on the road. We are nicely settled in here for a few days and then will be off again.


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