Tarpon Springs drew us in … and we ended up there for three nights (March 18/19/20). We spent some time wandering around a bit and walking the first day, and going to the historical society. We also ended up in pouring down rain. But we didn’t mind; it was a warm rain. And we holed up in a coffee shop drinking coffee and eating Greek pastries.
|I simply cannot get away from taking photos of pelicans, even ones in the rain.|
|We saw a number of decorated bikes around the docks and wondered about the significance.|
|My favorite with the black vulture. Each bike has 100 lights and I wondered if they are solar and come on in the evening.|
|We found the one with the sponges. How appropriate for the Sponge Docks.|
While we didn’t find out anything about Jaz’s relatives, we did find out that there was a Greek Independence Day Parade on Sunday, March 20. And that was the reason we stayed over an additional day. It wasn’t like we couldn’t find anything to do.
We spent our time walking beaches and in parks, seeing the
sponge docks that are quite famous, and eating great food.
|We found a yard art place. This polka-dotted pig barbecue sure caught my eye.|
|These little fire pits were quite colorful.|
|These giraffes were my favorites.|
|Anyone could find something here, but I did NOT buy anything.|
|We walked a lot of places, looking at beautiful old homes.|
|The 1910 Inn.|
|I'm not sure if she was a mermaid, or what, but it was a pretty statue along a canal.|
|This statue is in memory of the spongers of Tarpon Springs. There are a number of cool facts about this place. It was called the "Venice of the south," had the first female physician in Florida and has 35 miles of shore line, to name a few.|
One of the restaurants Jaz said we had to visit was Louis Pappas. It turned out the original restaurant had closed and there are now several “franchise” type ones bearing his name. But we decided to eat there anyway because of his famous Greek Salad.
Pappas was an Army chef during World War I in General Pershing’s “Wildcat” Division. He created his own version of a Greek salad by adding potato salad to sustain the troops during hard times. It doesn’t sound very good, but the one served at his restaurant places the potato salad at the bottom of the Greek salad, and it’s excellent. It’s now commonplace and even known internationally. I well know some of that as I ate Greek salad three different times, three days in a row, in three different places and they all had potato salad and were great.
The most fun was the day of the parade. We wandered downtown early to get a good parking spot and walked around until it was time for the parade. While everyone was jockeying for position and a good seat, there were people handing out Greek flags. Jaz and I both got one, and we waved them proudly. I felt Greek … waving my flag, and waving at the people in the parade.
The parade was an interesting one, with every Greek school in
Florida it seemed having a group of kids and adults walking with Greek
flags. There were a few floats, but
mostly it seemed to have a lot to do with Greek flag flying.
|A parade has to have military trucks.|
|There were a lot of kids.|
|Some were not as interested in the goings-on.|
|And others were quite enthusiastic.|
|What's a parade without a bagpipe?|
|Or a motorcycle?|
|At least there were some Greek soldiers.|
|The schools came from all over Florida.|
|Most of the floats were boats.|
|This little guy is growing up Greek.|
|Loved her smile.|
|We took a final walk on some trails near Tarpon Beach as we were heading out the following morning.|
|Can't resist a bird with an intent look.|
|We saw a tortoise with a shell about the size of a dinner plate.|
|And just maybe I'll get some good flying bird shots. I'm getting better.|