Monday, January 20, 2014

Having Fun Close to Home.......

After cancelling (postponing) the weekend to Ft. Lauderdale/Dania we were so disappointed that we knew we had to make plans to do something!   Those of you reading this would love to enjoy the winters we have here in Florida - but once you've lived here a while - 60 degrees, 15 mile per hour winds and boating on the Atlantic Ocean just does NOT happen.   So we "googled" ........what is there to do close to home?  And then asked Nick and Tonyia if they wanted to join us.

They drove here and parked their car in our garage. We loaded the luggage and headed for Punta Gorda about 10:30 Saturday morning.    And the fun began at Fisherman's Village on Charlotte Harbor, just a little over an hour from home.  As close as this is - Rich and I had never been here before.  Charlotte Harbor is located between Sarasota and Ft. Myers, Fl, and the village is better known as Punta Gorda's Waterfront Mall. There are restaurants, boutiques, a Resort and a Marina.  Like most "tourist attractions" you can spend a whole lot of money - or you can just browse and enjoy the view.

We did a whole lot of browsing........and the typical buying of "souvenirs" you know t-shirts, sweatshirts.......checked out the boats docked at the Marina and enjoyed the beautiful view of Charlotte Harbor.   And Rich found the booth  from Edward Jones Investments........ and it's always tough to pull him away from a conversation about investments and the stock market! 

We enjoyed lunch at Harpoon Harry's, which overlooks the Harbor.   A beautiful view.  A little chilly today - but we found a great table directly under  a register in the ceiling that was very warm!  The food was excellent.  Rich did the Angus Burger, Tonyia the Pork Barbecue, Nick the Seafood Platter and I enjoyed the Chicken Salad Wrap made with pineapple, coconut and mandarin oranges!  Outstanding!  There was a large menu of tropical drinks - but it was coffee all the way around.  We needed to keep warm.  

And we got a little "silly"....................Pirates and Mermaids,  Catching the "Big One",  Hat's with Long Hair and Glasses with Moustaches!

We'll probably be back one of these days, when the weather is warmer and enjoy a cruise around the Harbor. 

From there we headed to Port Charlotte.  A great view of the harbor from the bridge.  We checked in at the Sleep Inn and Suites on King's Highway.  Rated "Excellent" on Trip Advisor and #3 of hotels in Port Charlotte.  We agreed!  Rooms were beautiful and very clean, with fridge and microwave.  Nice heated pool and a great breakfast buffet in the morning.  

It was really a nice afternoon and we sat out by the pool.  I had thrown in the Skip Bo game, so Tonyia and I played a few games to pass the time until we had to leave for our Night at Visani's Restaurant and Comedy Zone. 

If you visit Port Charlotte, make this a place to visit.  The food was outstanding.  We all had a different pasta dish tonight, Manicotte, Pasta Domingo,  Linguini with Sausage Onions and Peppers, or Linguini with a Chicken Cutlet and Sausage. Salad and French Onion Soup.  At 8:30 the Comedy Show Started.  Opening was Patrick Garriety - who actually was MUCH better than the featured, Kevin Lee.  But the evening was very enjoyable - and we would definitely return for an Encore

Rich and I didn't turn the light off until well after midnight!  Turned on the TV and found the Australian Open was on.  Serena Williams was playing .  Always love to watch her LOSE!  And she lost tonight.  

We had no plans for Sunday.......Nick and Tonyia knocked on the door on their way down for coffee, and we met them about 1/2 hour later.  Breakfast buffet included waffles, eggs, sausage/ham, pastry, bagels/toast, cereal, fruit, pastry, coffee and juice.  None of us were ready to head for home we sat out by the pool and searched the "net" to see what there was to do/see here or on the home. 

First stop was Fish Cove for a  late morning round of golf!  PUTT-PUTT that is.  Played 18 holes on a great course and laughed a lot.  Nick was the winner with a score of 51, followed by Donna with 54 ( Have to gloat here a little bit, I NEVER beat Rich).  Rich was next with 57 and Tonyia with 60.    It was guys against the girls.  We got off to a great start - I had a hole in one on two of the first three holes..........but it was short lived and the guys went home with the gold!

Got on SR 70E and headed from Palmdale, which is just south of Lake Placid where we stopped at Gatorama.   Living in Florida - you are bound to see Alligators.........but we've never seen SO MANY, nor any this BIG!  

A few of the smaller ones........

Not a huge place, but enough to see.   Below are a few other attractions; parrots, birds, a skunk and turtle.  There were also two beautiful peacocks, that just wandered along the walkways. 

And then there were the 'cats' and the raccoons.  

Actually - I think we spent more time feeding the peacocks and the raccoons and watching the 'cats', than we did anything else.  Can you tell we're having fun? 

 And before we left, Rich found himself a new "fishin' hat.   He's wearing it above as he sits on the bench out front waiting for  Tonyia to finish "shopping" in the gift shop. 

We headed North on 27 back to Lake Placid and home - with just ONE MORE stop.  And that was for lunch at Coz's Sports Bar and Bowl.  Right downtown - but had not been there yet.  Huge Sports Bar with bowling ally.   And the food here is also excellent.  Rich did a small pizza, Tonyia the Chicken Quesadillas, Nick the HUGE burger and I had a Reuben.  Nick also ordered some fried pickles.  We were all so tired  - we were STILL drinking coffee at 3:00 in the afternoon.  The servings were so large that with the exception of the small pizza - no one could finish their meal.  

Nick and Tonyia headed for home, and if we had to guess - Nick would be sound to sleep within the hour.   We unpacked, grabbed a glass of water - and watched a couple of programs we'd recorded. Rich finished is chocolate from Fisherman's Village and we called it a day!


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