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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Explore Tampa and Key West with Mr. and Mrs. Grouch

Well I finally got all the pictures processed from our trip to Tampa and Key West and have uploaded them all to FLICKR. If you’d like to look at our adventures there then read on, if not, then go soak your head.

We arrived in Tampa on January 20 and spent the 20th and the 21st there visiting with Wifey’s brother, Dwayne and his wife Belinda as well as our niece, Stephanie and our great nephew, Forrest. It had been a long time since we had seen any of them and in fact we had NEVER seen Forrest. If you’d like to see pictures of our visit, click HERE.
Saturday night, January 21, we attended a party in celebration of Belinda’s parents' (Arbea and Gordon) 50th wedding anniversary. In this day and time, 50 years of marriage is quite and accomplishment. The party was great and they had a fantastic band called the Nashville Express. Pictures of the party can be found HERE.
Sunday, January 22, was a travel day for us and we stopped for the night in Florida City. We ate supper (all you meddlesome Yankees call it dinner) at a place called The Mutineer Restaurant. If you’re in Florida City or passing through to the keys, I’d highly recommend stopping by. I enjoyed a huge sampler plate of shrimp, conch fritters, calamari , and fish. Yum yum!

We arrived in Key West on Monday, January 23 and checked in to our hotel. That evening we drove around just a bit and ended up eating at Camille’s Restaurant. I had the hogfish and Wifey had her first taste on the trip of Key Lime Pie. Definitely put Camille’s on your to do list. Monday pictures are HERE.
Tuesday, January 24, we took a tour to the old town and frequented the numerous shops and stores. We visited the Shipwreck Museum and also rode the Conch Tour Train. The Conch Train is a great way to get an overview of all the important sights in Key West. That night we ate at a wonderful place called Mangrove Mama’s Restaurant in Sugarloaf Key. They served me the best cocoanut shrimp I have ever eaten. Tuesday pictures are HERE.
Wednesday, January 25, was our trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park, aboard the ferry, Yankee Freedom 2. The Dry Tortugas are about 70 miles west of Key West. It is a place loaded with history and is a beautiful trip. Unfortunately, poor Wifey got deathly seasick on the way home. As soon as we got into the harbor and got still, she was fine. We didn’t do anything fancy that night because of her queasy stomach so we went to the Denny’s down the street. Wednesday pictures are HERE.
Thursday, January 26, included another visit to the old town, more shops, more stores, MelFisher’s Maritime Museum, the Truman White House, and the Hemingway House. What an interesting place is the Hemingway House, 6 toed cats and all. Thursday night we ate at Red Fish Blue Fish restaurant in the center of Mallory Square in the waterfront district. I chowed down on delicious fried Mahi Mahi while Wifey had her second taste of Key Lime Pie. Go HERE for Thursday pictures.
Friday, January 27, we visited Fort Zachary Taylor State Park. Fort Taylor is another place loaded with beauty and history. Friday night Wifey and I had the best New York strip steaks we had ever eaten at the Stoned Crab Restaurant in the IbisBay Resort. The only comparable steak for me was at a place called Chef Geoff’s in Washington DC. Go HERE for Friday pictures.
Also on Friday, Wifey visited Mel Fisher’s Treasures and bought herself a very nice silver and emerald necklace. The silver in this necklace is silver actually recovered from wrecks explored and salvaged by Mel Fisher. Of course it is a beautiful necklace for a beautiful girl.
Saturday, January 28, we visited the US Coast Guard Cutter Ingham. This is a ship, which served from 1936 to 1988 and in 2 wars. She is a ship rich in history and tradition. The Coast Guard rocks! We also visited the Key West Tropical Gardens. Saturday night we went back to Mangrove Mama’s for some more cocoanut shrimp. Mama also has live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. We listened to and artist called Chief Billy. Saturday pictures are HERE.
Well Sunday, January 29, we sadly left Key West bound for home. We stopped off in Lake City, FL for the night and arrived back home Monday night. This was a spectacular vacation. The weather was near 80 degrees every day with brilliant sunshine and cool breezes and we never had anything but delicious food, even at Denny’s. Of course the best thing was that I was with my sweet Wifey. This September we will have been married 40 years and God willing we’ll have our 50th as well. We’re already planning our next trip. I’m looking forward to it.


  1. It was a fantastic trip, sweetie. So many memories that will last for years and years! And I was with my sweetie! That's the most important!

    Right Truth

  2. Family ties, a special anniversary, a cherished child, beautiful sights, delicious food, special jewelry ... it's all wonderful and spectacular and memorable. But best of all is your love for your dear wife and hers for you. Long live romance and long live marriage. Thanks for sharing your sojourn in paradise.

  3. Jenny, I am always pulling her leg about spending the winter in Fortuna, ND. I guess if I really wanted to do it she'd go with me. It wouldn't be a lot of fun but it would be OK as long as she was there.

  4. If you go to Fortuna, I would be with you. Always with you sweetie.


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