Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Caliente, Bike Maintenance, and Wings

April 13 Saturday, 2013   

In the last 10 days we have gone out a lot for us.  We went out 4 times for dinner, once for lunch and one breakfast. This last Thursday we accomplished going to the last of the big three resorts here, Caliente.  We went on Thursday as it is ladies night.  Drinks are free for Patty and they are ½ price for me.  It’s a damn good thing as a half price glass of wine is $3.75!  It is, however, a big glass of wine, but still!  We had dinner which was a little better than average food.  Service was slow though.  After dinner we went to the 3 bars they have.  To our surprise, there were a lot of 20 something females at the bars (with 50 something dates).  This is not the usual experience at other clothing optional places we have been.  So, the total cost for dinner, dancing, and drinks was $130. Not too bad considering!

This is the only picture I have at Caliente!  The pictures were too dark.  This is interesting as  there is a feud between Caliente and the Woods Resort just behind this wall.  All we heard it that the Woods got the land ahead of Cliente which made Caliente mad.  Seems very childish! 

Last Tuesday we went out to a local landmark, the Columbia.  It is a local chain with 5 restaurants in the Tampa area that serve Cuban cuisine.  We went to the one on the boardwalk in Clearwater Beach.  This restaurant chain was started by Cuban immigrants over a hundred years ago in Tampa.  The original family still own and run the place.  The food was just OK but it was a nice dinner out.  Probably wouldn't go back though.  The restaurant is located on the sound side so there is no sunset which we wanted to see.  In the coming weeks we are going to do dinner cruise in the Gulf so we can see the sunset during dinner.

Us at the Columbia restaurant.

Our waiter making sangria at our table.  It was very good!

Patty’s cousin Lee came for a visit last Sunday.  He has lived here in Tampa for the past 10 years working for a local TV station.  We had a nice visit and then went to another landmark restaurant in the area called Skippers Smokehouse.  This place was started by three military guys from Desert Storm.  They become friends while stationed in Alaska and decided to start a fish take out place in Tampa when they got out.  The fish take out place became a large restaurant with a stage for entertainment.  The place reminds us of the Le Tub in Hollywood FL on A1A.  They both expanded with materials that were just laying around.  The restaurants are also built around the existing trees giving them a real relaxed feel.   This place is not about the food; however the fried mushroom appetizer was large and very good.  We will go back for Grateful Dead Thursdays.

We also went out for happy hour with 10 of our neighbors to the Bonefish Grille.  It’s a Florida chain that serves seafood.  Good food and relatively cheap with great service.   

I am going to change the subject to biking and my bike needing repair.  The last time we were out I noticed that my left pedal was broken.  The pedals that come with cheap Wal-Mart bikes are made of plastic as was mine.  I bought two new metal pedals on Amazon which arrived last Monday.  Yesterday we planned to go biking on Honeymoon Island in the Gulf after I changed out my pedals.   Ah, but the original pedals were really stuck together as the metals were aluminum and steel.  I used tons of WD40 with no luck.   I went to the store and picked up a narrow wrench to get better leverage which finally worked!  Now, for the really ugly part.  I just couldn't get the left pedal to thread into the crank arm straight.  I got the right pedal in with no problem.  So now instead of going for a bike ride we were off to the bike repair shop.  At least that was a good experience.  The bike shop, Carrollwood Bike Emporium, took me right in and rethreaded the crack arm.  The total cost was just $16 and took 15 minutes from the time I walked in.  I should have had them do the entire job and then we might have been biking instead of driving around and me cursing at the bike!

Mark's bike repair shop.

Mark's bike at a real bike shop.

Yesterday was the chicken wing competition here at the park.  There were 8 entries and we didn't place in the top 4!  We entered the contest when we arrived here 4 weeks ago.  Ever since then we have been trying to perfect a good recipe for wings.  We started with our old recipe which is a traditional Buffalo recipe except we grill the wings.  I like the wings to be somewhat dry so I experimented with re grilling them after rolling them in the Buffalo sauce.  There were other subtle changes also like cooking them slow on indirect heat.  Last week we came up with a pretty good wing.  At the last minute I added a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  They were great or so we thought.  Now we needed to make 3 times as many wings for the competition.  We slow cooked the wings then rolled them in the Buffalo sauce and then rolled the now wet wings in parmesan cheese.  Then we put the wings back on the grill to give some crunch.  They turned out just OK in our estimation.  The problem was that the wet wings picked up way too much of the cheese which overpowered the wing taste.  Next time we will roll them in the cheese after the sauce has dried some on the grill.

Today or tomorrow we are planning to bike on Honeymoon island in the Gulf of Mexico.  We are going to park on the mainland side of the causeway and bike to the island about 2 miles over the bridge.  Then we will bike around the island and take in the views.
Monday our friends, Rob and Cindy, from New Jersey arrive for the week with us.   Hope the weather holds as it has been somewhat rainy the past couple of days.  The weather reports are routinely wrong here In Florida.  Seems that bad weather just appears out of nowhere.   Anyway, the prediction is for very hot, 90s with high humidity!,  We shall see.

Spring rain in Florida
Random picture of an old train station in Lutz.

The Breakfast Nook where had a great breakfast.  Note the sign about alligators.

Stay tuned!

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