Central Florida weather has been so mild and rather spring-like this December. This is the time of year when we Florida natives can actually enjoy being outdoors taking advantage of our great parks and attractions.
Hubby and I made our way toward the gulf into the next county Saturday afternoon. The Anclote River Park in Tarpon Springs was to be our first destination before heading to an early dinner in Tarpon. Positioned at the opening of the Anclote River and the Gulf of Mexico makes the park's location unique. It provides waterfront (shaded by pines & palms) picnic areas, boat ramps and a beach swimming area.
Black mangrove, Avicennia germinans; growing at the water's edge. The black mangrove can be identified by numerous finger-like projections, called pneumatophores, that protrude from the soil around the tree's trunk.
With the sun setting so early-- the afternoon was quickly turning into evening. We moved on to make our way back to the main thoroughfare in Tarpon where visitors come to walk Dodecanese Boulevard and visit its unique Greek shops, buy sponges and feast at restaurants serving traditional Greek fare and delectable pastries. Many of the shops are owned and operated by the descendants of the City’s first immigrants from Greece.
Tarpon Springs is a predominantly Greek community famous for its sponge docks and great food. Rusty Bellies is a fabulous seafood restaurant we had been to on other occasions. We are fastly calling it a favorite. They actually send their own boats out daily for fresh caught seafood. Yummy stuff and a surprising rarity around here- fresh caught that is.
We sat outside overlooking (literally- I was sitting in my seat taking this photo) this ginormous fishing boat at sunset with a perfect breeze blowing off the water. Our meal was spectacular including one of the best crab bisque soups we've ever had.
Hanging fishing nets at the back of the ginormous fishing boat at sunset.
After dinner we strolled along the street to the sponge docks where so many fishing boats are lined up with nets full of sponges.
Variety of sponges for sale at the sidewalk markets that open onto a shopping square.
Crowds of people waited to be seated at one of the many Greek restaurants on the main street.
We picked up some freshly made Baklava at one of the many Greek bakeries along the way. So much good food and good times.
The weather predictions for the next couple of days is by Wednesday morning to turn very cold . Of course cold here is in the 40's but there is a possibility of a freeze by Thursday morning. We will watch and see. I will be busily covering plants if so... I really hope not.