Thursday, 1 October 2015

More U.K. tourist tales/Sarasota attractions.

"The children"  Beth and Jordan took the Mote Marine boat trip yesterday.  They liked it a lot, and learned a lot.

They delighted in the Ospreys and the Pelicans, but above also else they were thrilled to see a couple of Dolphins, who put on stellar performance.

Best guess is that it was a mother teaching a young one to jump out of the water. curl over, and dive back down.

Back at home, they went down to our good sized community pool, and frolicked for an hour and a half.  They had the pool to themselves.

I had intended to take them to another of Sarasota's notable attractions, namely Total Wine.  But we ran out of energy, and deferred that visit.

I cooked supper.

For Jordan:  Roast Turkey, French Fries and Baked Beans  (U.K. style).
For Beth:  Roast Turkey, French Fries and Corn
For jmp"  Roast Turkey, Romaine Lettuce and Bean Sprouts.

I aim to please.

As we sat down to dinner they asked why I had not said grace on the previous days.  I said that as it is not a part of their tradition I had omitted the prayer.  They countered that they expected me as their host and as a minister to offer grace.  Sweet.

After supper, in the very warm early night air, we took a walk around the pond with Penne -  a great ending to a lovely day.

TODAY  we made their  reservations for para-sailing (tomorrow)  and for Busch Gardens (Monday).

Then I took them to the always fascinating Linger Lodge.

http://www.lingerlodgeresort.com

It's a blissfully unmodernised  Camp Ground in the banks of the (Little?) Braden River.

For a starter  we shared a plate of Alligator meat "bites"   (a first for them, and for me).  Alligator meat does NOT taste like chicken.   I perceived it to have a rather sweet taste.  It's a bit chewy.  We liked it but,  as with Calamari and Escargot  it's hard to know if the best bit is the flesh or the sauce

Beth had a more than decent piece of grilled cat fish for her main course,   Jordan chose "Monterey Chicken ( and was served a huge portion which more than satisfied his very healthy appetite). I went off diet to have a BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich  (sans the Kaiser Roll) - so tasty of course,  even though most BBQ sauces are both utterly tasty and extremely unhealthy. But once in a while I splurge.

Linger Lodge is a great place to take out of town visitors.

These evening (Thursday 1st Oct) Jordan and Ben are down at the Myakka River State Forrest for some horseback trail riding.    They are riding rescue horses.

See http://www.bitofhoperanch.com

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I truly enjoy being a Tour Guide.  It's been fun to cook breakfast and supper for Beth and Jordan.

Beth agrees that my Epitaph should be: "He was a weird guy, but he made the best omelettes"

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P.S.  Yesterday, Wednesday 30th Sept.  I set out Penne's breakfast as usual at 6:30 a.m.  She did not touch it.  But by the time  I got home at about 10:30 a.m  from a meeting at Church, she had scoffed it all.

Similarly, this morning, Penne disdained her breakfast until Jordan and Beth came into our home from the neighbour's home where they are sleeping.

Once they arrived, Penne tucked in.    I think that she is adjusting well to my guests, and with a cool sense of hospitality.


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Great Young People

My niece Beth and her b/f Jordan are super guests.

Yesterday (Monday 28th) in the early afternoon they spent a couple of hours rejoicing in the beauty of the Beach at Siesta Key, and the warmth of the Gulf waters before they were driven home by rain.

Later that afternoon they walk with Penne and with me, through a light and warm rain to visit with my pal Ben for his cocktail hour.

There they were, two hip young people from England, having a drink or two with five aging homosexual men.  They  (the aging men and Beth and Jordan) had a ball.

My friend John introduced Beth to a mixed drink called a "Cosmopolitan" -  and she was almost instantly hooked.  So dear and kind John made up a Ball Jar full of Cosmopolitan  as his gift to them -  I retrieved it from his home this morning.

Back at home yesterday evening, I cooked them grilled salmon, with spaghetti in carbonara sauce (they hardly "do" vegetables"!).  They think that I am a decent cook.

After dinner, and despite the rain, I bundled them into my car, then drove them to see a bit of downtown Sarasota.  We crossed the Ringling Bridge and stopped at the Bird Key Park to enjoy the night-time view of SRQ, and a thunderstorm off to our east.    Then we went through the bright lights of St. Armands Circle, and from thence to South Lido Beach for a brief visit  -all in the rain.

Beth and Jordan, being of good British stock, were not at all bothered by the rain,  nor was Penne who "loves" to ride in the car, and to explore new places.

I was up and at it early this morning for a study group with other Priests.  These  young people  (who are sleeping in a friend's house - two doors away), slept late.  I left them my regrets that I could not cook the ham omelettes for breakfast (as I had promised to do), and if they would content themselves with a bit of toast to tide them over, I would take them to Alma's Kouzine for lunch.

http://www.almasrestaurant.com

Who were they to refuse!  They tucked in  (both have hearty appetites), and agreed with me that Alma's Chips (French Fries are the best).

As I write, (Tuesday  5:45 p,m.) Jordan and Beth are up at the Ellenton Outlet Stores for some "retail therapy".  I told them that if they are very good I will grill some streaks for dinner.

Tomorrow morning (Wednesday) they will take the Mote Marine Laboratory Eco-boat tour in Sarasota Bay, after which they'll probably chill on South Lido Beach (sans rain).

On Thursday evening they will do some horseback trail-riding down at Myakka State Forest. (Beth owns a horse and is a good rider).

Meanwhile -  they are creating two monster cats.

Ada and Adelaide are crazy about Beth and Jordan, and the feeling is mutual.  The cats have received more affection in forty-eight hours than I offer them in forty-eight days.

Those "damn cats" will make monstrous demands for my attention when their English Aunt and Uncle go back home.

And Penne; ever loving an faithful Penne greeted them with not so much a a bark, but with a wagging tail and smiling face when they de-camped to my place this morning, even though I was out of the house.








Sunday, 27 September 2015

They are here

They are here:  "they" being my niece Beth and her b/f Jordan, who are visiting from Bristol, U.K..

After three busy and action filled days at "Disney" they drove from Orlando to Sarasota, arriving at my home at about 1:20 p.m.

The first order of business was a "cuppa" (tea).

I asked if they were hungry.  Indeed they were, having not eaten breakfast at their Hotel in Orlando.

I know the way to the English heart, so I made some bacon sandwiches. I became an instant hero.

Beth and Jordan had decided that today was for "chilling".

So we took a couple of walks with my dog; went to the local 7/11; and had a long Skype video chat with my sister Ruth (Beth's mother) in the U.K.

I made supper/dinner at 6:30 p.m:  - some very tender sirloin steaks (cooked in butter), with french fries, baked beans,  and corn;   and cantaloupe for dessert.

Jordan and Beth fell into instant love with my cats, Ada and Adelaide. The feeling was mutual.


These cats received more affection in six hours than they usually get in six months.

After a wee while my dog Penne decided that Beth and Jordan are more than O.K,, and they decided that Penne is "the tops".

I wish that you could have been with us as we ate supper/dinner.

We chomped away at good food.

Adelaide, Ada,  and Penne laid themselves down on the floor around the table, then they snoozed, and chillaxed as we ate our meal.

They never do this when I eat alone.

Beth and Jordan are my honoured guests,  But they are sleeping two doors away at the home of my good neighbour Ed Green.    He is in North Carolina.

Thanks to his hospitality Jordan and Beth can go to bed at night, and arise in the morning at the times which best suit them, without having to work around my own sleeping  hours.

"They are here"  and I am utterly happy.  (My pets are ecstatic!).