Monday, August 24, 2009

Photos from the beach getaway

I've lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida for well over 20 years now and I hardly ever go to the beach. I know how crazy that sounds. Frankly, visiting the beaches in the Tampa Bay area (St. Pete & Clearwater; Tampa isn't on the Gulf and really doesn't have any beaches to speak of) is something of a hassle. Traffic, crowds, noise, mess...all the things you're trying to get away from are all right there in concentrated form. In Nokomis, near Venice, you don't have those problems. No huge condos, no loud, obnoxious crowds. It's like what I presume Florida was like in the '50s or '60s, before the real estate holes and the short-sighted tourist development prospectors got their hands on it. And you get the impression from talking to the locals that they know how good they have it and have decided to keep their mouths shut in an effort to keep it that way. With that in mind, never, ever go there. It sucks. You'll hate it.

Late afternoon at Casperson Beach

The Island House Motel, where we stayed.

Our vehicle parked next to what I dubbed The Over-Compensationmobile

Entrance to Woody's River Roo. This is actually in Ellenton, along the Manatee River. Great music, great food.

Colorful rental bikes at Casperson Beach

There's something about watching animals just do their natural thing that I find endlessly entertaining. I think I got that from my grandfather. This little bird (somebody told me it's a tern) cracked me up. "Yeah, I know I'm the size of a parakeet. So what? I'm hungry and I'm going to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico and getting some dinner. Why the Gulf of Mexico? Because I don't live near a bigger body of water, that's why. Bitches."

This is a device we used for finding sharks teeth. The beaches near Venice are LOADED with sharks teeth and we found quite a few:
The big piece on the far right might be a piece of a dinosaur bone, possibly either a Mastodon or a Wooly Mammoth. The quarter is from the Philadelphia mint.

Speaking of prehistoric artifacts, check out this old-school placemat we found at the Lucky Family Clock restaurant (or whatever it's called). They don't make 'em like this anymore.

The entrance to Pop's. Our bartender George was an extremely gracious host. Maybe too gracious for my own good. Thankfully, my companions are 100% trustworthy and I was in good hands.

The intracoastal outside of Pops at dusk.

Not a lot of idiots here yet, but there's signage waiting for them when they get here. Yes, knowing how to swim before you get in the water is a good idea.

It's turtle business, it's turtle business time...


Anonymous said...

Thanks Clark!!! Can I share this with friends outside Fla or just "crackers"???

Jessie said...

...more importantly, do turtles wear business socks?

Why, it's Clark! said...

By all means, share, share and share!!!

Jessie: You know there's only one way to find out...

What's Up Tampa Bay said...

That definately looks like the perfect place to go to get out of the hectic life of Tampa. It looks like "real" Florida to me. I'll have to check it out and keep sending the tourists to Orlando and Tampa!

What's Up Tampa Bay

Gail said...

This was a very fun post for what looks like it was an awesome and memorable trip!

Why, it's Clark! said...

Thanks, Mike! Thanks, Gail!

Denise said...

I would pay you money to buy that place mat from you if you happened to gank one. I'm a native and yet I wear "FLORIDA" T-Shirts. What can I say - I'm proud to live in Florida and NOT be from NY.

1)Since when do first generation Diamond Stars race at Daytona?

2)Is that woman a mermaid or is she diving because I can CLEARLY see that she has pulled that bathing suit between her "legs" somehow.

3)The Howard Frankland Bridge hasn't been designated as I-4 since like 1973 or something.

Yes, I'm obsessed with the place mat.

- D

Why, it's Clark! said...

Denise, the funny thing is we'd recently had a conversation, like the day before, about how you never see placemats like that anymore...and then BOOM! If I get down there agin, I will try to go there and get a few. But honestly, that was the only place in town where we didn't get good service (we dubbed our server "The Hateress") and I may not be able to talk my companions into going there again. Although, the pancakes were good...