Joined November 2016 Message
  • Day17

    Woah, we're half way there

    May 12 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Woah, livin' on a prayer; in the words of Bon Jovi.

    Well very nearly that was the case as when we asked at Tampa International Airport what happens if the flight doesn't leave at 3:45 pm and we miss our connecting flight to Manchester.
    We would have 2 options:
    Option 1 - stay the night in a hotel 🏨 in Tampa
    Option 2 - fly to New York and stay the night in a hotel 🏨 there!!🤔

    But as we know we left Tampa and after a slightly bumpy flight ✈️ we landed at JFK 2 & 1/2 hours later with ample time to have some dinner and browse the shops.
    At 8:40 pm (US) we boarded Diamond Girl for our overnight flight, touching down in a much cooler Manchester at 7:55 am (UK) the following day.
    Coffee ☕️ for breakfast at the airport before catching the 9:45 train from Manchester Airport to Poulton Le Fylde arriving home 🏡 about 11:30 am (6:30 am US time) 23 hours after leaving Greg and Patti's apartment. 🥱🥱😴
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  • Day17

    Time to Go Home 😭

    May 12 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    Travelling day so another early start.
    Alarm at 6.00 am and out of the door an hour later but first another quick last look at the view.
    After saying our goodbyes 👋 to Patti it was into our chauffeur driven car, once again by Greg, who kindly took us the 1 & 1/2 hour drive from Longboat Key in Sarasota to Tampa International Airport, via the new Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
    Arriving at the airport, we said our goodbyes 👋 to Greg and thanked him for all he and Patti had done for us and vowing to meet up again soon we joined our 1st queue. Outside on the pavement is a fasttrack queue for Delta Airways. As we are flying to New York we waited in line only to find out about 15 minutes later we are in the wrong queue and we should be inside the airport. So off we go and while Jayne stands at the back of a long Delta queue I go and check to confirm that's where we should be. Following another announcement we joined another (but much shorter) queue for international destinations where we were finally able to Check-in and dispose of our cases. We joined the departures queue checking tickets before joining the queue to go through Security and baggage check. After this we stood in the non-queue waiting line to take the short shuttle ride to the Hub where our gate is.
    Hurray, finally through and no more queues. To celebrate I joined the the coffee ☕️ queue that went half around the Starbucks kiosk. Checking the Departures Board and we still had plenty of time as our flight was delayed 1/2 an hour so we slowly 🐌 made our way down to Gate E66.
    It's a good job we didn't rush because when we arrived at the Check-in desk our flight was further delayed to 15:45. Being true Brits we then joined the queue to find out what was going on with our flight and ongoing connection. Apparently there was a mechanical problem with the aircraft; as they say in America....No Bathrooms! Well I'll go before I fly I thought its only 2 & 1/2 hours, but no the aircraft can't leave. What about our connection we asked, no problem you still have over an hour to make it.
    Fortunately the plane left well before the re(re)scheduled time and we arrived at JFK with time to spare.
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    Traveler

    Quite an adventurous final day! I saw you flew right over Jacksonville. I hope you waved as you past over Amelia! it was a wonderful 2 weeks and thanks for documenting it all!

    5/15/22Reply
    Keith Eckersall

    Yes, of course we waved, and believe it or not we actually saw you ....... fast asleep on the beach ⛱️ 😴 😆

    5/15/22Reply
    Traveler

    I hope to see you both again soon!

    5/15/22Reply
    Keith Eckersall

    Undoubtedly, the only 2 questions are where? and when?

    5/15/22Reply
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  • Day16

    The Last Supper and Sunset

    May 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Only a 1 hour wait, time for a beer, an enforced listening 🎶 to the band (who didn't know how to play .. Far Away 🤣🤣) then just as Greg's shrimps 🍤 were coming off the barbecue we were called to our table. Those that know me will be surprised to read that I had the Red Snapper; along with Patti, Jayne went for The Grouper and Greg had the Wahoo.
    During the meal we shared more laughter about the English language and how we say certain things and call things names that they (Americans) couldn't relate to.

    Red snapper is a large saltwater fish found in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. The most common red snapper caught and eaten is from the Gulf of Mexico. They have a “stronger” taste than other species of fish because they eat more crabs and shrimp, which makes their meat more flavourful.

    The Grouper fish can be found in 25 to 50 foot depths 1 to 12 miles off the coast of Sarasota where the black grouper are the prevalent grouper. The blacks average 6 to 12 pounds and come and go all year long but seem to be best in Spring and Fall. They hang out on all the reefs, breaks and structure they can find and some are better than others. They hide deep in the structure which makes them hard to pull out with light tackle. Since most of the fishing done in this area is on light tackle, most are lost.
    Wahoo have elongated mouths and razor-sharp teeth. These creatures are bad-ass, almost prehistoric looking fish, that swim fast, and fight fiercely — making for a fun day on the water in the Gulf of Mexico

    Wahoo have elongated mouths and razor-sharp teeth. These creatures are bad-ass, almost prehistoric looking fish, that swim fast, and fight fiercely — making for a fun day on the water in the Gulf of Mexico.

    After our early dinner it was a quick drive back to the apartment to catch our final sunset and then joy of joys pack our cases.
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    Traveler

    💓💙💓💙xx

    5/15/22Reply
    Traveler

    Looks like you have had the best holidays. We have loved following your travels. Safe journey home xx

    5/15/22Reply
    Keith Eckersall

    Really had the best holiday, thanks. We have seen and done so much thanks to our friends Greg and Patti. And we still haven't done the tourist hot spots that Florida is associated with 😁

    5/15/22Reply
     
  • Day16

    Saving the best till last

    May 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Owens Fish Camp is a Sarasota staple! The ambience is very niche, and really underscores the theme of the restaurant. You can't prebook this restaurant plus it only opens at 4:00 pm and they only take 'in person' reservations. It is, however, definitely worth the long wait when you get there. One consolation is that If you didn't have to wait for a table then you would miss out on the great outdoor seating area out back to enjoy music and drinks and appertisers while you wait an hour or so for a table.Read more

  • Day16

    Avenue of Art

    May 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    Sarasota...... just when you think you have seen it all you walk 🚶‍♂️ around a corner and wham... The 'Avenue of Art', started as a Chalk Festival event during covid. Artists have already completed 150 sidewalk paintings for viewing pleasure. This social-distancing cultural community event started in 2021 to celebrate Sarasota County Centennial from 1921-2021. 

    Artists of all ages and skill levels, local, regional and national are participating in this event. Lori Escalera traveled from California. Lori participated in the Sarasota Chalk Festival since its inauguration in 2007 and every year since. There were also two sisters, aged 2 and 4, that did a sidewalk painting of the sarasota sun, handprints and footprints.

    Phase I of the Avenue of Art is complete and QR code are affixed to the bottom right corner of each painting. The QR code directs visitors to information about the painting and how it is celebrates Sarasota County, as well as the artist and sponsors. Visitors can take this walking tour through the Burns Square historic district to view the street paintings anytime day or night.

    The stroll starts at the South West corner of Laurel Street and S. Orange Avenue. Proceed south on the sidewalk towards The Fountain where it continues on the other side of the building heading north up the east side of S. Pineapple Avenue to Laurel Street; at Laurel Street cross over to the west side of S. Pineapple and walk south towards LBoutique. The Avenue of Art stroll ends at the corner of S. Pineapple Avenue and Oak Street.
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    Traveler

    Absolutely stunning 🤩

    5/15/22Reply
     
  • Day16

    Driving back to Longboat Key

    May 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    After a very leisurely breakfast Greg chauffeured us back to Longboat Key passing the infamous yellow American School Bus, houses that look like mansions. An Osprey nest was safely built amongst a road sign and traffic light and an amazing boat 🚢 park, where all the boats are stacked up and only taken down when the owner books his boat out.
    Last chance for a swim in the Gulf of Mexico Sea 🌊 the whilst walking along the beach ⛱️ for the last time I came across a pelican flying school taking it in turns to take off, hover and land!!
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    Traveler

    Fabulous 🥰

    5/15/22Reply
    Traveler

    Lovely 😎

    5/15/22Reply
     
  • Day16

    Amish Village

    May 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Greg manages to stand out in a crowd!!

    You know you're in Pinecraft when you come upon large populations of men and women dressed in traditional Plain clothing and prayer coverings, often riding large-wheel adult tricycles with large baskets on the back -- a replacement for horse-and-buggy transportation, which is not allowed on city streets. Pinecraft Park is a hub of activity, with matches of shuffleboard, horseshoes and volleyball going on much of the day.

    Visitors to Sarasota delight in going beyond the beaches and heading to Pinecraft, where they can slow down a little and enjoy delicious fresh food, charming locally made gifts, and the simple pleasures in life … and pie!
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    Traveler

    you just need a beard and a hat and would fit right in Keith!

    5/14/22Reply
     
  • Day16

    Amish Breakfast

    May 11 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Out for breakfast; that came with a guarantee you won't need to eat until dinner, on our last full day.

    Whilst the greater Sarasota area attracts visitors from all over the world who come to enjoy the white beaches, cultural amenities, and great restaurants. Within the city limits of Sarasota is Pinecraft, a small working neighborhood that draws some of the area's most unique and special snowbirds – members of Amish and Mennonite orders who flock to our winter haven, escaping the harsh weather of Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and other northern states.

    The food was truly delicious as Greg and I tucked into The Combo Breakfast going for the 'mini' Pancakes- how big is a large one?
    Jayne went for oatmeal followed by French Toast while Patti had the Corn Meal Mush which to be honest did taste better than it looked!!

    Next door was the Gift Store selling books, toys, souvenirs and gifts amongst a number of other items different and unusual.
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  • Day15

    Downtown Sarasota

    May 10 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 26 °C

    Casual attire tonight for a short drive into downtown Sarasota and a meal at Knicks Tavern and Grill. To me a typical American bar and Grill offering grilled fish, tacos, enchiladas, steak and burgers 🍔.
    Next door was a sports bar with outside tables and bar stools; not only at the bar, but also standing on the pavement as well. While across the road was a gourmet Market.
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    Traveler

    You're making me hungry again!

    5/13/22Reply
    Traveler

    That’s what America is all about 🍔 😘xx

    5/13/22Reply
    Traveler

    🤣 true

    5/13/22Reply
     
  • Day15

    Lunch with Patti

    May 10 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    Stopped at the Beach House, little bit crazy as we drove past numerous parking spaces in the car park outside of the restaurant so that the valets could park your car 🚗 for you!!
    Lovely lunch I tried a free sample of the Clam Chowder and decided to go with that and only got a little bit more for my main meal. Fortunately I had also ordered Calamari to share and the ladies shared a chicken 🐔 sandwich.Read more

    Traveler

    Beautiful xx

    5/13/22Reply
     

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