Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Another weekend in Tampa...

March has come in with a roar and we have been on a bit of social roller coaster. The first weekend we headed into Tampa to see Bill's mom and attend the Tampa Brewer's Guild Beerfest with our friends, Maria and Brian from The Roaming Pint. On our way into town we stopped at an international market to purchase some lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves that Bill needed for his curry recipes. We couldn't find this stuff anywhere close to Cedar Key - ordering it online was extremely expensive and they fly it in from Thailand so it would take weeks to get here.  At this market the leaves and lemongrass were only $1 each! After our score we finally made it to Dunedin Brewery. Maria and Brian had mentioned this brewery to us several times, they had a good friend who worked there and knew that their beer matched our tastes. On our way in we spotted The Roaming Pint's signature logo stuck on the door - this always gives us a chuckle; this time we knew they had been there before but quite often we don't and are happily surprised to see it. We both are full-time rv'ers and met over two years ago; we meet up on the road several times a year so seeing the sticker is kind of like seeing them, well, kind of!
The Roaming Pint sticker at the entrance to Dunedin Brewery.

Dunedin Brewery - good beer and some vegan friendly lunch choices!
After lunch we headed down to Clearwater to see Bill's mom, Doano. Bill and Doano had a date at Verizon to get her an iPhone. Doano had been wanting to upgrade her little "Track", pay as you go, phone for a smart phone and give up her landline. This actually required a lot of work because her DSL internet and cable tv were packaged with her telephone. During the week the cable guy had come up and switched her internet and tv over from Verizon, what we didn't know is that she would also lose her email address, which was through Verizon as well. It's kind of odd that she couldn't keep that when she was going to have her cell phone through Verizon - not quite sure how that all happened. Fortunately, Doano was not too bothered by this and knew how to get in touch with all of her friends and family. We spent the rest of the weekend teaching her how to use her new phone. This is difficult task for many of us but especially for seniors. Doano is quite technologically adept, though, and has 3 computers and 3-4 kindles - but the size of the iPhone with the small font and keyboard are a bit of a challenge. It's been a little over a week now and she's a bit frustrated but making progress. We head back down there in 10 days and will spend some more time helping her adjust.

Jaimie and Bill

Friday night after dinner with Doano we hooked up with Bill's classmate, Jamie Danielik and his wife Susan, at a bar just a few miles from Doano's condo. The place was hopping when we got there and we jumped right in. About an hour or so later the band announced that a Subaru with California plates was about to be towed! Bill didn't hear the announcement at all but my ears sure did poke up and I grabbed my purse and jacket and ran out the door. Our car was hooked to be towed and slightly elevated when I ran up to the scruffy looking guy, hung on his arm and batted my baby blues....please, oh please, sir, don't take my car!! He was a cool guy and said he only came in to warn us because we had the CA tags, Florida tags and we would have been a goner. We had a nice chat with him, paid him his $50 and off he went. Phew! That was a close call and would not have made for a fun evening or morning bailing our car out of jail.

The Roaming Pint sticker strikes again!

Saturday afternoon was the beerfest and lucky for us the rain that had been threatening all week stayed away and we just had a bit of a cloudy afternoon to contend with. Bill and I have been to a couple of beer festivals and this had to be the least organized of them all. Up to two weeks before there was no information about the 2013 festival on their website! When we arrived right at the opening time there was a line of people wrapped several blocks around the neighborhood. Maria and Brian were towards the front of this line and we were thrilled to join them there. An hour later and the line didn't look like it had moved much. There was also no food or water for sale at the festival. If you had purchased VIP tickets you could get a sausage lunch but not even for a price could you get food anywhere - not such a good plan for drinkers. The port-o-potty lines were also incredibly long and look what we found there!

Maria and Brian stayed in town a few more days and then came back to Cedar Key for a week. They were here in December for a month or so at the Low-Key Hideaway, just down the street, but this time they stayed at our rv park, right across from us. We just said our goodbyes this morning and will meet up with them in Lawrence, Kansas at the end of April. One of the things that brings us so much joy on this "wild ride" of ours is meeting up with friends along the way. We have a "roaming community" of sorts and I wouldn't have half the fun we have without them!

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