Friday, July 25, 2014

A Wonderful Visit with My Friend Linda...........

It was just about four month's ago that our very good friend Don Bass passed away.  Don and his
lovely wife Linda stayed in our home for almost three years, while Rich and I were off RV'ing pretty much full time.  Our friendship began on a beautiful day in July of 1999 when Rich and I were checking out the progress on our home that was being built in Wesley Chapel.  Our home was directly across the street from  Don and Linda.    Don and his canine companion Cheyenne were doing their daily walk down Forest Glen Drive.   Don and Linda would be our neighbors  and very very good friends from that point on.   We shared many many good times together; they were our extended family, and we spent so many holidays together.   We would often take care of Cheyenne, and later Dakota, their two beautiful Sheltys and they in turn always took care of our Beagle - Beau.  

On Thursday morning I headed out early, about 7:15 am and headed for Wesley Chapel, to spend some time with Linda.  She has family and many friends that keep in touch with her.  I know this is a difficult time for her - but I wanted to take her out, do something she would enjoy........and just spend some time with a good friend.

It didn't take as long as I had anticipated to get there and before 10:00 am I was turning off Bruce B Downs onto County Line Road - familiar territory!  Below is County Line Drive, a quick turn into Deer Run where we used to live to check out our old house!  Still looks great.

Just a hop, skip and a jump up the road and I entered into Lynnhaven Village where Linda lives.  She and Dakota were waiting for me in the driveway - and then she welcomed me into her home.  She has a lovely villa - beautifully decorated and very welcoming.

We had a cold drink (iced tea !) and chatted for a little while.  Took Dakota out for a quick potty stop and then headed into Tampa for some touring and shopping and eating!

Our first stop was at the University of South Florida Botanical Gardens............And unfortunately, it was a quick stop.  We paid our entry fee as the clouds were forming and it was not long after that it began to rain.  We started down the trail with our umbrellas in hand and stopped  at the Orchid Display.  This was under cover - so we stayed, and hoped that it would not rain for long.

 Since it was not raining very hard we decided to open the umbrella's and continue on......
We made it down the first path where the landscaping was beautiful, and those sun flowers were supurb!

Walking on a little further we found the Medicinal Garden.  We had not spent too much time here, when it started to rain a little harder - and the shower that we thought was going to pass quickly looked like it might be hanging around for a while.  I noticed that despite the umbrella - Linda's shirt was getting quite wet.  So we decided to call it a day - and come back another day.

The lady refunded our admission fee, which we thought was most thoughtful  These gardens cover over  seven acres and include wildlife around the lake and a butterfly garden - among other sites that were were not able to see.  I really do want to come back!

This really did put a damper on our plans - but we decided we'd do lunch and spend the day shopping.  

Linda suggested Panera Bread for lunch.  Have not been there in many many years - so it sounded good.  Linda ordered the Frontaga Chicken Panini, and I ordered the Chipotle Chicken Panini.  It was OK ..............I just can not believe I spent almost $6.00 on a HALF of a sandwich and a glass of water!!   Truthfully?  I'd prefer the $1 Mc Chicken from McDonalds.

We shopped at Joann Fabrics, Michaels, Bed Bath and Beyond and a new store I had never been to -   Home Goods -  I really liked that store!  In between all of the shopping we stopped at Stone Cold Creamery for a dish of ice cream.  

At one of the stores - I saw this owl that I really liked and before I knew it, Linda bought if for me as a "housewarming gift".  In Joann Fabrics, I  found some material  (bottom right in the picture below)that I'm considering to reupholster our kitchen  chairs and bar stools.  And Michaels was having a 70% off sale on many of their items, so I picked up two artificial floral arrangements for the front porch.

It was after 4:00 when we got back to her house, so we poured another glass of iced tea and just sat and chatted for a while.  For dinner, Linda wanted to go over to Wiregrass Mall to the Red Robin for dinner.  I had never been there before so I was in for a treat.  Nice restaurant, with the atmosphere of a sports bar almost.  The menu is primarily burgers of ALL KIND!  Linda ordered us a small onion ring tower......Great Rings!  And we both just had the cheeseburger.   Good Food, and Good Service.  I would definitely go again.

Back at the house we just relaxed for the evening.  Linda opened a bottle of Riunite Lambrusco and we had a couple of glasses enjoying a couple of our favorite TV shows.  We called it a day just after 10:00 pm.  I was back on the road home by 8:30 the next morning after a cup of coffee and a bagel.

The time went by so quickly, but we both had a very good time.  We promised to get together again.  And our next adventure will be a day at Busch Gardens/Tampa.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you had a great day with Linda! I agree, Panera is way overpriced, even if they do have some great soups! The material you picked up would look great in your place! I love the welcome owl!