Thursday, February 14, 2019

Laughing Out Loud

We took a break from our duties at the Florida State Fair for a couple of days. We were getting a visit from some VIP's again. A visit that has been in the planning for many months and our anticipation levels where high. In fact, they are so VIPish that they are "Friends with benefits". Now before your naughty little minds think of something else, your wrong. The benefits I am talking about is that I will let Jim go into my refrigerator when I am not home and drink my beer. Anyone else would get shot or something. That's right, Jim and Barb from fame.

A little bit about them for those that may not know. They are from Wisconsin(which we overlook) for one thing and they have perfected the art of "Alcohol Adventures". Whatever we plan for the day better involve some kind of alcohol consumption. Lisa found a new drink recipe to try and whoo them which I think she did. But that is getting ahead of myself.

We had two and a half short days for this visit so we had to be prepared. I removed all of the food out of our refrigerator and replaced it with beer. Lots and lots of beer. I worked the first day of their arrival so it was up to Lisa to show them around the fair and entertain them. Half way through my shift I got a text that we were running low on beer. Dang! I thought 2 and a half cases would get us through day one. Lesson learned. I finished work and got home to many hugs and handshakes. To be honest now that I think of it, I think they were just frisking me to see if I had any beers in my pockets. They had a good time at the fair and plans were made for the next days "Alcohol Adventure". With our beer consumed, they quickly said good night which sounded like food fight. So I quickly launched my corn dog at Jim and poked him in the eye with the stick. He was going to feel that in the morning.

The next day we drove over to their campground and picked them up and drove them to Tarpon Springs and the Greek sponge docks.
We walked up and down the street and decided to go to lunch at Hellas. A very neat and interesting little Greek restaurant.
Now I figured that they would see the bar in there and try to drink it dry but they seemed a little sheepish. After drinking my place dry I was wondering if they had reached their limit.
All they had was water and sweet tea and Gyros for lunch. We then finished walking down the street and looking at some of the sponge boats.

With that done we then made the trek back to their place for dinner and drinks. There's the Jim and Barb we know. Lisa decided to unleash the Kraken for some kind of drink. As you can see from the bottle they did a good job on it.
They made some kind of drink with the Kraken and spiced ginger beer.
Judging by those smiles, it looked like it knocked their panties right off. Jim stuck with Malibu and Cokes. I was the driver so contrary to what some might have heard, I behaved myself. Plans were then made for the next day and guess what? They involved drinking. 

The next day we were taking them to Ybor City.
Ybor City. Kind of similar to the French Quarter.
One of the many discussions we had was the pronunciation of YBor City. People that live down here call it Eebor City. But if you are from Wisconsin they call it Whybor City. Tourists?!

It was cloudy and rainy but we did not let that deter us. There is a little corner of YBor City that is actually owned by Cuba. So there is a piece of Cuba in America. We walked the few block to find it and just as I was going to take the perfect picture, this troglodyte of a Wisconsin tourist got in my way.
Well he finally moved on so that I could get my picture.
We then decided to walk down to a famous bakery for some treats. Ybor City is famous for the chickens that roam the town. We saw some of them. Just as I was about to take another photo some hillbilly in camo steps in the frame.
Well we made it to the bakery.
There was some confusion on how this next part happened so I will make sure that I tell it the way it really happened. We walked in and looked at all of the goods in the showcases. I waited patiently for them to make their decisions. After about a half hour I said "Does everybody know what they want. If so I will get a number for serving us." They all assured me that they knew what they wanted. I get the number and wait in line until they call my number. I tell everyone that they called our number. Now they are all back at the counter looking and changing their minds or something. I don't know. So I order what I want and pay. Then they say that they didn't get to order. I said they called our number and I called to you and no one came. End of story. So they then had to get their own number and wait their turn again. Like when I am driving a tram. When I say "All Aboard" I mean get your asses on board, sit down and shut up.

We then walked over to "The Columbian" for lunch. Another famous place to eat in Ybor City. They are famous for their Cuban sandwiches and 1905 salad.
Everyone went for the Cuban sandwiches and salad. I had a roast pork sandwich. All very good. The little ladies had Sangria with their lunches while I chose a Spanish beer. Just as I was going to take a photo of my beer, Barb's breast photobombed the picture.
So try not to focus on those. We then wanted to go to a rum tasting at the Gaspar Rum Distillery but they didn't open until 2. So we then jumped onto the trolley and rode that to downtown Tampa.

Things were getting pretty silly and we really hadn't started drinking yet. We got off of the trolley and walked the river walk for a little bit. Then got back on and headed back to Ybor City. The little ladies found a free shot glass coupon in the tourist guide book and they wanted it. They were not going to leave without it. So off to Silverhawk distillery for their free shot glass.
Here they are trying to decide what whiskey to sample. They thought that maybe they should try a free sample than rather just walk in and ask for the shot glass. They got their glass, took the free sample and both of them almost spit it up it was so strong and then quickly high tail it out of there. Good times.

Next stop. Gaspar Rum Distillery for a rum tasting. It was a cute little pirate themed distillery. They have been around for a year and are doing well.
They make 5 different rums. Now Lisa and I don't knock back straight rum but I think the Nelsons where very familiar with the process.
It was very strong stuff. Me being the driver I had to ask for half shots. Smart thinking on my part.
These are the faces of some happy pirates. With the tasting came a little tour of how they make their rums. It was a very small operation.
The tour if you decide to go is twelve dollars a person for the tour and tasting. I was thinking that since I bought a bottle, I should have gotten the tour for free. Next up was the Coppertail brewery.
Everyone began to sprint inside to get that rum taste out of their mouths.
Lisa getting here posh on.
Jim and Barb where getting a flight of beers while Lisa had a cider and I just had a light lager.
Barb was really enjoying herself. I think maybe a little too much. And she hadn't even started to drink her beers yet. Afterwards we went back to the campground and had dinner with David and Sharon. Fellow RV dreamers we met in 2014 and haven't seen them since 2015. It was nice to get caught up with them.
Jim, David, Sharon and Lisa. Barb may have passed out by this time.

Hugs all around and then it was goodbye. We are not sure when we will see any of them again but somewhere down the road we will.

We laughed so much in two days my face hurts. Until next time.


  1. Good times, I will have to write our version of the story to set things straight! When did you take the picture of Barb at the brewery? I must have been in the restroom....

    1. It was too fun and crazy. You were in the restroom I think.

  2. Wow, I have now heard both sides. Not sure which to believe... hmmm... Those Nelson's are quite the partiers. For a minute I had desert flashbacks.

    1. They hit it hard so that they can get to bed by 8. Those animals.