Published: February 5th 2013February 4th 2013
panorama from skyway
I tried several times, but the biker kept getting cut off. I guess he really did have weird juju.
The One About Bucket List Items
Breaking camp Sunday morning was kind of bittersweet. Ginnie and I have been together for almost 4 weeks now. She and Joanne are headed to Thousand Trails, Orlando. Kathy has been with us for two weeks; she and her sister DeeDee are headed for DeSoto County Park. All going our separate ways, to meet up again in a week or so, minus Joanne and DeeDee. Amazing as it seems, we were all ready at the same time, and followed each other out of the campground.
HOLY COW!! I never told you about Joanne’s RVwarming gift for me. She brought with her, in her amazingly small duffel bag (no suitcase…..don’t fit in RVs) collapsible measuring cups. What a great gift for a camper and what a great gift for me; I cook a lot when traveling, and am always eyeballing and guesstimating the amounts. Thank You, Joanne!!!!!
Kathy disappeared over the horizon, Ginnie and I caravanned for the first 6 miles until I turned off and headed west towards Tampa and she continued north. I traveled 30 miles, and turned right to go north, when I noticed Kathy was behind me. I don’t
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
You can see it really is painted yellow
know how she did that or where she went, but there she was.
I did lots of research on I275 north thru St. Petersburg to Palm Harbor. I went so far as to look at google earth to check out what type of cars went on it. I noticed at the southern end there was a Rest Stop with 18 wheelers in it, so I figured any road that could fit tractor trailers could fit my as yet unnamed Vista. I paid the $1.25 toll (Yes, a toll on a US Interstate) and asked the chirpy toll taker if I could fit in the rest area, and she told me, “This rest area has been voted the prettiest rest area in FL. It is right on the water.” Good enough for me. As I pulled in I saw this vast expanse of water with a magnificent view. I took a panoramic shot with my iPhone, and I hope I can get it uploaded here. As I was trying to keep the camera level for the panoramic pic, I heard a motorcycle come up behind me. He's in the picture, far right. You know me and my peoplewatching, trying to get a good story to share, and this one was no exception. Black Harley, Maroon accents. Black leather jacket, leather pants, head scarf, beard, mustache, $500 sunglasses, manicure, ultra expensive looking boots. My brain was telling me psychiatrist, neurologist, urologist, some type of highly educated hippie throwback out for his Sunday bike ride. He must have been eyeing me up as well, as he tossed his head in the direction of The Vista and said, "Yours?". Yup. He asked me where I was going, and we traded quick pleasantries. The reason for his Sunday bike ride? Looking for corners. He said he turned them whenever he could find them, but "You know, Florida, there are no corners." I nodded my head in agreement, but my mind was not making any sense of that statement. Any idea what that means??? He, too was taking pictures to "Put on Facebook tonight." A strange encounter for sure.
Research portion: go to next paragraph if you don’t want to read about this bridge. Taken from a few different web sites: Sunshine Skyway Bridge is a 6.7km-long (4.14 miles) bridge built over Tampa Bay. It is considered to be the longest cable stayed concrete bridge in the world, while the Travel Channel rated the bridge as one of the top 10 in the world. Sunshine Skyway was opened in April 1987, built at a cost of $244M in place of an older bridge that was partially destroyed in 1980. According to cousin Valerie’s husband, Bill, the old bridge was destroyed by a tanker hitting it in the fog, causing it to collapse, and a couple of cars and a truck went off the edge. The approaches to the old bridge are visible as you drive the new bridge and those northern and southern ramps serve as fishing piers. An estimated 52,000 vehicles use the bridge every day. It is painted bright yellow to represent the Sunshine State of Florida.
This crossing started out to be a scary adventure for me, as the bridge seemed to go straight up. Bill says as steep as it is, the biggest of the big cruise ships cannot go underneath, limiting which ones can embark from the Port of Tampa. But my V10 chugged right along and made it easily, then we flew down. Driving across this bridge was one of my ‘new’ bucket list items, now checked off.
When I arrived, I asked Bill to be my DOT spotter, and I know he thought I was crazy, but he did as I asked (I think it was more like a bark/order.) I pivoted around him and my driver side tires landed right at the edge of their driveway concrete. I am less than a foot off his garage roof, and over the sidewalk about a foot. I gave Valerie and Bill a tour, plugged her in, and started my visit.
Winston peed on the furniture within 10 minutes. Jerk. Again, a physical licking with a strong verbal rant from me and he was back to being submissive. I contained him on his leash or put him in his crate for the rest of the day. Their dog, Holly, has a BIG crate; I put Winston’s small crate right next to hers with his bedding, and he now goes in it to sleep. They kind of look cute in their side by side crates. Except when he hears the cats moving about, then he’s all piss and vinegar again, until we calm him down again. Will this dog ever get out of the terrible twos??????
Val made a wonderful chicken dinner, Grandma Scoutelas’ recipe, and it was wonderful, like old times, brought back memories. It was great to sleep in a totally level bed, and shower in a real huge shower with real tile walls, and do laundry in a machine I didn’t have to add coins to. And wonderful secure internet access that doesn’t chew up my data plan, and coffee from a Keurig, and on and on and on. I now know I need this real life break in the middle of my snowbird trip, it kind of rejuvenates the rejuvenating trip, but it also means my adventures are half over. We watched the SuperBowl to the bitter end, and I thought it was a good game. The commercials were ok, loved the baby Clydesdale, disliked Beyonce (must be a gender/generational thing.)
Monday Valerie and I met up with my Corpus Christi grammar school/Mineola HS classmate, Maureen Kelly. She has a memory like an elephant. She can remember things such as what was the color of my CC graduation dress. Valerie also has a memory that amazes me. I just have to shake my head as if I agree when they start to stroll down Mineola memory lane, as if I remember……which of course I really don’t. laugh. They both have hearing issues. I felt like a sign language interpreter at times, gesticulating driving directions from the back of the car to the front of the car. Me, whose kids think I am deaf as a bat!!! I love you both, Girlies…….I couldn’t resist poking fun at you both.
We went to the Lucky Dill, a NY Style Deli. It was mobbed. I selected a combo, Matzo Ball soup, ½ Pastrami on Rye, Cole Slaw, Pickle, slice of raspberry cheesecake with a Dr. Brown’s Black Cherry soda. Valerie had Fish and Chips with fries and apple strudel. Maureen had New England Clam Chowder, pastrami on rye, and cheesecake. We rolled ourselves right out of there, and neither Valerie nor I ate dinner, we just enjoyed the Linzer Tarts Maureen bought us to take home.
Continuing to enjoy the wonderfully fast internet, I balanced my bank accounts and paid some bills. I also spent some time researching an RV road trip to Park City, UT. Looks like I now have reason to spend my summer vacation in Park City for a special event in July. Tee Hee. Enuf said on that still in the early planning stages event. 2200+ miles one way. But, driving across country has long been on my bucket list, and now with the new RV……….Any thoughts…?????? Anyone???????? Can I miss six weeks of beach time in ILM???????