Ken organized another Oyster Tour around a lunch with fellow Modern Vespa friends for this past week.
He set it up to meet with Terry and Nada at a restaurant in Palmetto, then ride to Avon Park to one of our favorite hotels, The Jacaranda. From there we rode to Cedar Key followed by Apalachicola, making it another Oyster Tour.
We had to meet at Ken's house in St. Petersburg, so I rode from Jacksonville. Captain Gary rode a longer ride from Dothan, Alabama and he arrived a bit tired.
We had dinner at the Casual Crab with more friends, Walt and Helen. Ken's wife Vicki and their friend Rich joined us too. It was an old Florida type of place and the food was average.
Sunday was lunch with Terry and Nada, so we rode over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge to Palmetto. The lunch was fun, talking to such nice people. They are living in Malta, so we discussed that along with their time in England, especially about their canal boat.
Gary, Ken and I then headed east to Avon Park, through miles of orange groves, now blooming with the pleasant smell of orange blossoms along the way.
When we arrived at the Jacaranda, our friend Bob had come over from Titusville, and we dined at a Taqueria a few blocks from the hotel. There, we thought this should be called the "Fine Dining Oyster Tour" but it withered on the vine.
Monday started with breakfast at The Depot across the street from the Jacaranda. It was filled with interesting patrons and the food was average.
Riding to Cedar Key took us through more orange groves and small towns. We rode through a very well preserved residential area in Floral City on the way to see another scooter friend, Jim Mandle at his house in Hernando. We observed a cool project of his, then had lunch of BBQ in a local restaurant, also filled with interesting characters and average food.
We made it to Cedar Key and checking us into the hotel was fourth grader William, as his dad was in Chiefland buying groceries.
Gary and the rest of us were tired so we ate dinner at a seaside restaurant across the street from the hotel. Nice views, interesting patrons and a average food.
Gary decided to head back to Dothan on Tuesday morning, skipping the westerly end of the ride in Apalachicola. We dropped him at Pouncy's in Perry. Very sad to see that the home of the best BLT in the world had closed.
Ken and I made it to Lynn's for a lunch of oysters. Lynn's is a colorful place of interesting staff and much better than average food. The oysters, unfortunately from Texas, were perfect. I even met Lynn.
Ken and I stayed in our favorite hotel, the Gibson in downtown Apalachicola and dined on the porch of The Owl restaurant, where our server, Robin, did a great job serving very well prepared fish followed by an extremely rich chocolate dessert.
We got up early and headed east as the sun was rising. I dropped Ken in Perry where he rode south to St. Pete while I went further east to Jacksonville.
All said, a better time couldn't be had.
Somewhere along the ride to St. Pete.
Scooters in Ken's new garage
Riding in St. Pete
Near the top of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.
Ken and Nada
Gary and Terry looking at boat photos
The four of them with scooters
Bob meeting us at the Jacaranda
We crossed the railroad tracks at dusk.
Scooters at the Jacaranda. I liked the shot with the truck passing.
Ken in a sandwich board
We stopped to photograph orange trees.
We missed the big show by a week.
Scooters at a gas stop. You should have seen the guy's gold grill here.
Floral City's historic street
Gary and Ken posing at Jim's house.
A shirtless William Jr. checking us in.
I went for a ride and got an afternoon shot of the estuary at Cedar Key
Scooters in Cedar Key
Breakfast in Cedar Key
What is a ride without a dirt road?
Ken took us to the Bat House.
And a volunteer fire department with a big flag.
"Say it aint so"
Rocket crossed 85,000 miles on the way to Apalachicola.
Along route 98 near Carrabelle.
Lynn's of course.
Ken and oysters.
Fred doesn't visit the Gibson without needing a new exhaust gasket.
Shrimp boats in Apalachicola.
The sun rising on the Apalachicola Bay Bridge.
Ken saving a turtle.
And on the road before heading south.