Thursday, March 3, 2016

A Fun Day on Manatee Beach on Anna Maria Island!

Despite our campsite being backed up to I-75, Ken and I had a great night's sleep.  I guess we were really tired.  We didn't even hear the traffic!

Ken went to LR around 6:30 to do some reading and I was reading in bed by 7:15.  Ken got fruit ready for breakfast and each of us made our own eggs.  I cleaned up while he loaded the bikes and the necessary items for the beach and bike ride!  

I had a nice chat with my mother and she and dad are doing very well.  My friends Jackie and Kathy went to Masonic Homes yesterday and played Pinochle with mom and dad.  My parents were so grateful for the fun time and a great afternoon of card playing.

We were at Chuck and Melissa's site by 9:45 and the men loaded their bikes, beach chairs, umbrella, etc. and the 4 of us were on our way to Manatee Beach by 10.  We made one stop at a local recreation/park area to check on the procedure for playing pickleball on their indoor and outdoor courts.  We were on the beach by 11.  Ernie and Noela joined us around 11:30, after driving about 1 1/2 hours.  We are so happy they are willing to drive the necessary miles to join us for our adventures.  

Not sure why we drag so much "stuff" to the beach, for almost as soon as we get there we go for long walks along the shoreline and when we return we just sit for a few minutes and then leave.  Ernie used to bring just a towel to the beach, and now look at him -

Oh Ernie!  We are so sorry!

We put all our beach gear in our vehicles and then got on our bikes to ride about 3 miles to the Swordfish Grill off of Cortez Road.  It is a nice ride with lots of water along the way!

Crossing the bridge on Cortez Road

Note the houseboat in the rear of this picture.  So cute!!!

By this time we were all starved and so ready for a good "lupper".  After all, it was about 3:30!

After making a few wrong turns, we arrived at the right eatery!

Ernie was the one who was the most hungry!  He is used to
eating at lunchtime, not at 2 or 3 when he is with our group!

Do you think these folks may be Tennessee fans????

We are just happy to be with these special friends!

The happy camping group!

Ken loved his grouper!!!

The setting for eating our food wasn't bad either nor was the interesting things that were happening at the docks -

Not sure if this young fisherman was netting shrimp or bait!
His balance was incredible because his boat was really a
small antique!

This pelican swallowed a large fish whole that was dropped
off the cleaning table by a fisherman!

It looks uncomfortable and impossible to swallow.  We watched
for a long time, but we never did see him get it "down"!

This egret didn't have a chance against the pelicans for getting
some of the fish pieces the fisherman were throwing in the water!

This is the "resident rooster" at the restaurant.  Ken and I have
seen him there year after year!

On the way back to the beach, Ken fell off his bike when getting back on after walking it across the metal part of the drawbridge.  Fortunately, Melissa was behind him and saw the very slow motion fall and was able to signal the slow moving traffic.  He had a few minor scrapes, but nothing serious.  He was very fortunate.

Heading back to the beach!

This is a picture of Ken riding on the bridge right before he
fell off his bike and landed over the left side a little bit into
the line of traffic.  Thank goodness he was safe and Melissa
was there to help him!
After loading the bikes, we went back on the beach to the concession stand and got some ice cream. 

Looks like the place to relax and enjoy!!

The concession stand on Manatee Beach!  It gets very busy!

An interesting tree on the parking lot at the beach!

Then we said our good-byes for now to Ernie and Noela and left the area at 6. We were back to the CG by 6:30, unloaded, unpacked, and then showered. Headed over to Chuck and Melissa's RV at 8 for cards and to watch the Presidential Debate or "lash out session"!  I think our granddaughters are better behaved than these guys!

The men won Skip-Bo before the debate began.  The guys watched and Melissa and I played a game of Scrabble.  We were back to Waldo by 11:00 and went right to bed.  So tired!

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