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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Monday, December 31, 2007

tarpon springs

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.

I did my usual photo overload while hubby found a comfy place to sit and read.

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.


  1. I love your sunset pictures! You know that is one of my favorite times of day. I must admit that the sunsets are nearly as pretty in Texas where I have spent the last week and a half. I've never been to Tarpon, but your pictures are enticing and making me think I made need to change that.

  2. You've done gone and made me homesick! Nice night shots! You're getting really good with that camera!

    I'll have to try and make time for that restaurant when I finally get down that way. Assuming I can stand the thought of seafood by then, of course. LOL!

  3. Your awesome post made me want to visit TS...thanks for sharing!

  4. Great pics meems. I love the marina shots. It makes me want to get out and go fishing. I can almost smell the salt, hear the gulls, and the water lapping against the pilings. I can almost feel the wind in my face and the worn planks under feet as I traverse the docks. Marina's sure have a distinctive quality and I sure do like them.

    I had not heard of this restaraunt before. You know I like to know of any "fresh caught" seafood restaraunts that may be visited in my travels. Maybe next time we are down that way we can take a short trip?

  5. Cool new background and pics.

  6. jane: Not the prettiest sunset but the water was perfectly still with reflections of all that bordered. There are probably several near-by haunts you should check out.

    sophie: Tarpon is an easy drive for us and yet like a world away. I almost forgot about your nearly fatal seafood bout. I don't blame you if you wait a good while before you eat it again. LOL

    mlm: Happy for you to hitch a ride next time we go??? :-)

    nt: OOOOhhhhh, I too can walk around a marina for great lengths of time. So refreshing are the smells, sounds, and feel of all things near and around water. Good idea on your next visit... and thanks for checking back and noticing my January colors and photos.

  7. Oh my goodness. I think I've had my picture taken in front of that ship "Aegean Sea." My friend, Kat, that now lives in Zephyr Hills, took me to Tarpon one time when I was down there visiting. We ate at one of the larger Greek restaurants (can't remember the name right now) and of course I bought some baklava to take home. I LOVE BAKLAVA!

    Thanks for bringing back a great memory!

  8. I just remembered what one it was! Hella's. :-)

  9. Kylee: I was leaving a comment on your blog while you were leaving yours here. LOL!

    It's a small world afterall. You were so near to where I live... Zephyrhills is just North and Tarpon is just West. I hope you were able to venture off the main streets of Tarpon when you were there. That main street is so trouisty. Tarpon Springs is so much prettier near the surrounding waters.

    The photo with all the folks waiting to get in is Hella's. They have a bakery and that is where hubby bought the Baklava. I'm not a big fan but he loves it.

  10. Kylee: I meant to say "touristy"... it's late... I'm calling it a day.

  11. LOVELOVELOVE the new pics and colors and quotes...I'm looking forward to blog shots of the covered plants! :o)

  12. mlm: The plants are covered and I've ranted ...errrr blogged about it tonight. It isn't a pretty post!


Have a blessed day,

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