Wednesday, June 5
It has taken days to learn how to spell the name of the town where we are currently hanging out but we believe we finally have it correct – Bradenton. Bradenton is just across a bay from Tampa on the west coast of Florida. It's on the Manatee River and everything here is about manatees. It's in Manatee County. There is a statue of a mother manatee and her baby along with a fountain on the sidewalk in front of our marina, the Twin Dolphin Marina. Capt. Ralph says they are the “founding” Manatees and swam along side the Mayflower.
Today as we ran errands about town gathering parts to improve the boat, we drove down Manatee Avenue. We saw the Manatee Technical Institute, the Manatee School for the Arts and Sciences, Manatee High School and Manatee Dental. We had no idea that manatees enjoyed education so much. We even saw the Manatee Library. I guess if you're going to have manatees that are that well educated, they are going to need a library. And sadly, a service for Manatee Families in Crisis. Who knew? And so went the morning jokes. We chortled our way through the errands and so began another day as we sit here and wait for the tropical storm to hit.
Stephen and Ralph spent several hours installing new handy things on the boat…….new winch handle holders for the back of the boat to use with the screecher, hardware to hang boat hooks, brooms and mops, etc. We are still waiting on the delivery of parts needed to get the shore powered AC going. Stephen made the on demand hot water heater work by turning it on. Well, sort of. We suspect this is the first time we have actually had fully 30 amp shore power and that may have made the difference.
Franci and Arlene did laundry and enjoyed the local swimming pool, hot tub and showers.
We received a comment from good friends that suggested how much they enjoyed the blog but mentioned that adult beverages seemed to be kept hidden. This section of the blog will be devoted to adult beverages so that you can rest assured that we have not left our former selves behind.
To begin, let me say that while we do not drink adult beverages while the boat is under way, we do have happy hour every time we pull into a marina and dock the boat. We do not keep beer on board because it takes up too much space in the cooler. However, Ralph and Arlene like vodka and Stephen and Franci are known for enjoying their Myers Dark Rum.
Franci and Arlene both like to laugh and do so very well. Ralph and Stephen enjoy telling jokes so we make a merry little happy hour bunch.
We often have happy hour on the boat followed by a home cooked meal. Sometimes we go to one of the local restaurants. Last night we went to Pier 22, the restaurant associated with our marina. We put it on the level with the Marriott Marquis in New York. The food was gourmet and delicious and the drinks were great.
Stephen and Ralph have on their matching aloha shirts that we bought on sale at the Boat, Bath, and Beyond West Marine today.
A toast to another great day on our journey.
Fish and chips.
As usual, we were among the last to leave the restaurant.
Please rest assured that we are still the same fun loving people you have always known and loved. We look forward to happy hours with you guys when we return. In fact, it's 5:00 at this moment. I think I'll make an adult beverage right now. Grilled steaks on the boat tonight.
Life is good,
Franci and Stephen