Since I took 97 pictures of this, please look at my Facebook Album for all of them. I made it so that everyone can view them. I will share some of them in this post :)
We decided to take the Crosstown Expressway this time
Funny thing -- there are no toll booths. A friend informed me that they either record your Sunpass tag(which the rental has) OR photograph your license plate and send you a bill. Or you can go online and pay it. Crazy!!
We had to take a quick excursion through Downtown Tampa to pick up the Interstate
Courtney Campbell Causeway into Pinellas County
Alt 19 up the coast
Here we are!!
Deconese Blvd. This is a Greek community. Deconese is a village in Greece that was known for its sponge fishing.
This place used to be billed as "The Greek McDonalds"(it was on the sign), but I don't think McDonald's liked that!!
Rice Pudding I actually liked!!! (apparently I only like it when Greeks make it -- I think because it was so thick)
We decided to visit the aquarium and see a shark feeding show
They know when the food is coming!!
The diver who feeds them
There was a cute little puffer fish that kept following him around. Kind of what Scout does with me!! LOL
My favorite -- the Para Fish!!
Aside from looking like it is puckering up for a kiss, this little beauty likes to "eat" coral. He will crunch it up in his sharp teeth to get to the animals inside. The crunched coral passes through him and comes out as sand. So guess what sand is?? Para poop!!
I have been brave enough before to pet a stingray
But this was the first time I ever fed one!!
And I fed a shark!!
In Honor of Sponge Divers
Cute tourists in front of an example of a sponge fishing boat
We went on an authentic sponge fishing boat and this guy gave us the history of sponge fishing and how it came to Tarpon Springs and also examples of the different sponges. He was a wealth of knowledge!!
Frank was our sponge diver. He comes from a long line of sponge fisherman :)
Ready to go
In the water
He got a sponge!!
We visited many stores, but my top 3 were Simone's(we had gone in early and told her we would be back and she was quite pleased that we did come back!) where I got a water bottle, bracelet and magnets, Spongeorama
The lady here was so helpful and I bought all my sponges here. I bought one for cleaning, one as a vase, a chamoise and a loofah, plus plants. And directions for all!!
This was the first place we went and the last. I bought my much coveted shell hanging thing here as well as soap and lotion and a dried seahourse and TJ got a couple of shell jewelry boxes as presents
The guy also gave me a free gift -- a small loofah :)
I really love this place a lot. The people are so incredibly friendly and it is just so peaceful and beautiful. Lots to see and learn. I think I will be making this a regular stop each time we visit Florida.