|A relaxing morning|
It’s nice, when on a trip, to have time to just enjoy where you are staying. Saturday morning was that day for us. Breakfast was prepared as a few of us slept in a little, taking our time to wake and enjoy another day in Redington Beach. The view over the Gulf was calm and peaceful and I sat on the balcony enjoying the quiet start to the day. There was no rush to get ready, no darting around to prepare for another adventure. Our journey that morning was no further than the condo pool.
After we ate and donned our bathing suits, we all grabbed books, music and drinks and made it down the four flights to the pool area. They had a tiki hut covering with chaise lounge chairs underneath, ready for us to kick back and relax.
And we did.
|Noting like a good book by the pool|
With my thermos, a cigar, a couple of books, the girls and six friends, I settled onto my chair for some simple down time. On any trip, this is important. Don’t go anywhere; just enjoy your surroundings and the people with you. We read our books and chatted. We even took an online test to see how bad our FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) was. Mine was only at a medium percentage, by the way. Funny but most of the men were mediums while the ladies were in the high percentage.
It would have been best if we had stayed there at the pool. However, we had plans to go walk around John’s Pass that afternoon with visions of nostalgia in our minds.
A few years ago, a couple of us had ventured to Madeira Beach and John’s Pass. We had fun walking around, enjoying the wine tastings, the cigar shop and the specialty stores. We had lunch at a sandwich shop out on the deck and I had been so impressed with it that one of the scenes in Losing Faith takes place there. However, after having visited it this past weekend, I am thinking of moving that particular scene to a new location.
For those of you who haven’t been to John’s Pass, allow me to give you a picture. The first half, at least the first half to us because we didn’t even know a second half existed until this recent trip, is a two-story plaza of unique and not-so unique touristy shops. The last time we were here, I remember browsing a leather shop, a store of fanciful wind chimes and shells, and the girls walked through an elaborate purse store. That’s when I had stepped outside and enjoyed my cigar. They had an hour of perusing bags I was going to say no to buying.
They also had this great sandwich shop as I stated earlier, which has now gone the way of the ghost. That was rather disappointing, because our group had planned on eating lunch there. However, you can now see a real live alligator! Imagine that. In Florida, alligators are so rare they have to put one in an air conditioned building so it can be gawked at. (Please hear the dripping sarcasm there.)
With our lunch plans now filed under “Lease Available,” we began to search out other forms of sustenance. Enter the second half of John‘s Pass that we didn’t see last time. I’m not sure why we missed this part a few years ago. Probably because our group was twice the size it was on this venture and because we ate at the first place we stumbled across. It didn’t matter. We now had something new to explore and the John’s Pass Boardwalk had a few dining choices for us to discover.
|I am not fitting in there|
We passed a couple of other eateries along the way, but finally made it to the fantastic recommendation, only to discover it wouldn’t seat a group our size. It wouldn’t seat our group even if we were the only ones eating there. The only tables were two benches outside that my gut was not going to squeeze into. I am not sure what it is with Floridians wanting to eat outside during the hottest months of the year, but trying to feed your belly while avoiding sweat dripping into your food is not what I call a great dining experience.
We wound up at Sculley’s, the Hut, another outdoor dining experience, but at least, this place had fans to move the hot air around. They also had a live band perched on top of their kitchen, playing beach tunes to help you try and forget you were melting while waiting for your food to arrive. Water, of course, was the first thing ordered and then adult beverages. With enough alcohol you can sometimes forget how uncomfortable you are.
|Plenty of room|
Afterward, we began our exploration of shops and wineries. The first one we ventured into was an oddity store. I say this because I am not really sure if it specialized in anything. It had what-nots, knick-knacks and this as well as that. As we entered, one of us made a quip about someone else being slow on the Words with Friends game most of us play to reveal how few words we truly know. As soon as the lady heard us mention it, she chimed in about how much she loved that game and was begging for our phone numbers in order to play us. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t just hand out my phone number to anyone. I don’t hand it out to people I know. Email me and I’ll answer it, eventually. I receive plenty of texts and calls now and I have enough Words with Friends games going on at present, thank you very much.
|The band above the kitchen|
|The girls and Mr.Frog|
First the cigar shop. It actually was related to the bar we had just left. CubanParadise is a small shop but with a wide selection, especially of their personal hand rolled blends. The girl behind the counter, who also joined me in the humidor, was extremely helpful and I walked out with a variety to enjoy the rest of the trip with, one I lit up there and enjoyed as the three girls wandered in and out of stores. Suddenly, the heat wasn’t feeling so bad.
|Time to sample some wine|
Once it was time for David and Myona to return to us, I was ready to go home. Between the wine, the heat, and all of the walking, I was finished with that particular adventure. John’s Pass. Been there, done that, no need to go back again. Now, it was time for a nap.
And that’s what I did. Once back at the condo, I stripped off my sweat soaked shirt and collapsed in my bed with the rule, don’t wake me until dinner time. It was the best hour of sleep, thus far.
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Thanks for visiting The Mess! Keep chasing your dreams!