Sunday, February 05, 2006


Where is America's #1 rated beach for 2005? About an hour from my friend's house and that is where we went on Sunday. I understand why it was named #1. Judy said that the people in the water must be from Maine. After a long beach walk, with my pockets full of shells, we drove along the beach and saw young (strong) men kite surfing. The wind was gusting 20 to 30 mph and they had to work the very large kites with both arms to keep them up while staying on the small surfboards. My pictures did not capture the beauty, grace and daring of this activity.

After crusing by the art district, the aquarium, the wharfs and other sites, we met Marty for dinner in Ybor City. We went to the historic Columbia Spanish restaurant for dinner. I've had mixed experiences with historic restaurants, but this one did not disappoint. I had Ropa Vieja, literally translated as "old clothes." Absolutely delicious. Ybor City was where most of America's Cuban cigars were made until 1963. There were a few stores where they were still rolling cigars. It reminded me, in atmosphere, of the French Quarter. Once again, I knew I wasn't in Indiana.

The trip ended way too soon. I know Judy's thinking: give me the whirlwind tour to whet my appetite and I will be come back often.

I think her plan worked.

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