Back in Palm Harbor, we settled easily into the rhythm of days at Aunt Doris and Uncle Bill’s house. It was cool, for Florida (we tried to keep quiet about this since much of the country was experiencing extreme cold, with snow), which meant we did not ride our bikes.
I took this opportunity to get some work done on my bike. Apparently traveling loaded and hauling Rebbe around have been hard on the bike, as I needed a new chain and cassette in addition to the freehub we had already replaced last month. I dropped the bike off at The Energy Conservatory bike shop in nearby Dunedin, where they actually had a Shimano 7-speed cassette in stock. They returned it with the new parts installed the next day.
When we dropped the bike off, we went for lunch at Kelly’s in Dunedin. It was a good lunch, even though we couldn’t take Rebbe on their patio. Next time, I want to try breakfast there–the french toast sounded great.
While we were really enjoying our time, we also had some logistics to manage. I got my Dad a plane ticket to go home to Ohio, since the original plan had been for him to drive our car back, and now we were taking the car. Then we looked at plans for the next month, before a scheduled return to Ohio. We decided that we wanted a week of essentially “down time” to figure out next steps and regroup, while doing some cooking, reading, walking, and (hopefully) bike riding. And this should be somewhere not too cold and preferably by the beach. So we took to VRBO to find pet-friendly rentals in the Florida Panhandle. We found and booked a condo for a week in Miramar Beach (more on that in future posts) and could then relax, get packed up, and enjoy our last day in Palm Harbor.
As Maureen has mentioned, that last day took us back to Tarpon Springs and Mr. Souvlaki. I did have to order Greek salad again. In Tarpon Springs, Greek salad is often served with a scoop of potato salad underneath, which makes it even more delectable. I still miss Louis Pappas Riverside Restaurant where this version of the salad was pioneered and it always came presented as a tower. I didn’t know until just now that the Pappas family now has a fast-casual chain.
After lunch, my Dad and I finally went to the pinball museum, Replay, something we had been talking about since before we left Ohio. We both really enjoyed the game Spectrum, which had some twists in ball launching. Haunted House was also interesting for its upper and lower levels that used a second set of flipper buttons. And, of course, I had to play some Ms. Pac-Man and Baby Pac-Man too. I was troubled by the fact that I was the only woman in the place for most of the time we were there, and by the violent themes and objectification of women–particularly in some of the newer games (usually 1990 and newer). Overall, though, I liked the experience and the idea of a working pinball “museum.”
Once we had worn out our wrists and forearms, we decided to pick up some macaroons from Hellas Bakery and Restaurant in Tarpon Springs. We had previously learned that parking in the restaurant parking lot for the bakery was not permitted and nearly every other available place to park in Tarpon costs $3 or more, no matter how short your stay. Fortunately, we discovered that there are a very few free 10-minute parking spots available right across the street from the bakery. That was almost as sweet as the macaroons themselves!
After catching up on Downton Abbey and having some more quality time with the family, we said a reluctant goodbye Friday morning and headed north for our next adventure.