Sunday, February 07, 2010

Early 2010 in St. Pete

We spent the first few weeks of January hanging with Cathy and gearing up for numerous boat projects. On Friday, January 15th, we treated Cathy to dinner at the VIP, a popular local Mexican restaurant we always visit when we’re in town, to celebrate Cathy’s new job. Her position with Verizon Wireless was eliminated nationwide but she was snatched up quickly by another division within the company.

On Sunday Cathy drove to Orlando to pick up long-time friend Gale who lives in California. That evening we all went down the street to a gay bar called Flamingo’s. Sunday is apparently a big night at Flamingo’s and the place was packed. We saw a number of interesting people, sights and activities while we were there but the photos we tried to take with our cell phone didn’t turn out, which is probably just as well!

A late dinner back at Cathy’s after our visit to Flamingo’s.


Todd and I took Gale back to Orlando Monday morning to catch her flight. Cathy had too much fun the previous evening and was not up to the drive. On the return trip we stopped at the Hard Rock Casino east of Tampa, something we’ve been talking about doing for a couple of years. Being a holiday Monday the place was quite crowded, but the gambling gods weren’t smiling on us so we didn’t linger long.

On Tuesday the Captain started contemplating the dreaded task of refinishing the exterior wood. He started on a piece on the stern that has been neglected for some time; unfortunately, that is just the tip of the iceberg. The entire bow has to be dealt with so it will be quite a project before all is said and done.

Friends Steve & Lisa invited us to spend the weekend with them, so Steve picked us up Friday afternoon, January 22nd, and took us to their home in Lutz, FL, north of Tampa. Later that afternoon we borrowed Lisa’s truck and drove over to Todd’s cousin’s house in Temple Terrace to have dinner and meet his wife Marian. Norman and his daughters, Beth and Sarah, paid us a visit on “Life’s2Short” in early January but Marian was not feeling well and stayed home. Thanks again for a wonderful meal!

Norman with wife Marian and daughter Sarah.


The Captain bonds with little Sarah.


After a great breakfast Saturday morning we headed to Tampa Bay Downs to bet the horses with Steve & Lisa. We all won a few dollars here and there (generally betting more than winning), but the Captain walked away with a surplus, even though he still isn’t sure how he won as much as he did. The saying “I’d rather be lucky than good” definitely applied to the Captain that day!

After we got home that evening, Steve and Todd decided to assemble a bookcase Lisa had recently purchased. Cocktails and bookcase instructions don’t mix very well!


Later in the evening, the uniquely bizarre game Quelf resulted in a thumb-wrestling contest between the ladies.


Lisa drove us back to St. Petersburg late Sunday morning before going to the ranch to ride her horse for a few hours. After a late night of fun and festivities, the Admiral needed some down time.

We untied from Cathy’s dock late Tuesday morning, January 26th, and motored over to nearby Gulfport Marina to pump out our holding tanks. That afternoon I flew to Missouri to visit my family for about ten days, leaving the Captain to his own devices.

As I was deplaning in Springfield, I saw Todd & Cathy Morris who were on their way to Key West via St. Petersburg for a week of fun and adventure in the warmer climate. Todd Morris retired from the University where Todd & I were both employed until May of 1996 when we resigned our positions and moved aboard “Life’s2Short.” Todd (Morris) made sure he had our cell phone number and said he would give Todd a call when they came back through St. Petersburg the following week.

Friday, January 29th, Todd met Steve & Lisa in Tampa to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team play the Anaheim Ducks. Unfortunately, Tampa Bay lost in overtime but it looks like a good time was had by all!


View Budweiser Clydsdales


The Captain apparently had no problem enjoying himself while the Admiral was freezing her buns off in Missouri!


Lisa & Steve with the “Stilt-Man.”


View Tampa Bay Lightning

Cathy invited several friends over Saturday evening for a potluck dinner party. Among the attendees were Don & Patty, Chuck & Linda, Jim & Marianne and another couple from Apollo Beach. Don purportedly kept everyone supplied with killer homemade margaritas as they played a fun game of Apples to Apples.

True to their word, Todd & Cathy Morris called the Captain on Tuesday, February 2nd, and stopped by the boat for a tour before taking him out for lunch at Crabby Bill’s.

Hope you enjoyed your visit to Florida, Todd & Cathy!


I got back from Missouri late Friday evening, February 5th, and Todd and Cathy were there to pick me up. Saturday was a very windy, cool day but at least there was no snow and the temperatures were above freezing – unlike Missouri! Sunday was also quite cool with clouds and a temperature hovering around 50 into the early afternoon. I know that sounds warm compared to what I experienced in Missouri, but it’s supposed to be cold in Missouri this time of the year whereas it is supposed to be warm in Florida. Definitely an odd year for weather. Seems like it’s been cold more often than not since early October!

At any rate, today is Sunday, February 7th, and we plan to watch the Super Bowl this evening with Cathy. Then we are going to have to buckle down and spend some serious time, effort and energy on the teak on the bow. The Captain has started removing the caulking between the strips of teak and it’s turning out to be an extremely tedious and time-consuming project. Ah, the joys of boat ownership!