Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Clearwater, again

Hollie wanted to spend another day at Busch Gardens. Since Casey and I had no desire to be dragged from attraction to attraction again, we decided to do our own thing. We'll still have Thursday to spend with Alex and Christine. So we enjoyed a lazy morning, listening to the sound of the backhoes pushing sand in the distance.

Around 2:00 we took Olivia back to the groomer and headed north to Clearwater Beach. (I told you we'd go back!) We bought our tickets on the Thriller (Yes, the Sea Thriller. They convinced me to give it a shot), then walked around for an hour waiting for our departure time. 4:00 rolled around, we took our seats on this boat, and we were off. The first thing our driver said was: This is not a dolphin tour - this is a speed tour. LOVELY. As we cruised through the no-wake zone we listened to a prerecorded safety precautions tape about how we should keep our hands inside the boat and remain seated if we want to survive the next hour. Then came Michael Jackson singing Thriller and we were off, driving 50mph on the Gulf of Mexico. It felt like our chairs were going to rip out from under us and send us hurling to our fate as fish food. An hour later he slowed down. I actually saw one dolphin for about 1/2 a second. When the driver noticed that it was playing in our wake he stopped the boat. (huh? Is he related to the Ericksons or something?) So the dolphin went away and we got to see homes owned by Derek Jeeters, Hulk Hogan, and a bunch of Scientologists. $50 later we were happy to back on land.

We stopped at Crabby Bill's for dinner and split a steamer bucket (had our pictures taken too). Then it was off to Clearwater Beach to walk off the excessive amount of calories we had just consumed. As we were walking toward the beach we found one of those pedal taxis, and hopped on for a "free" tour of the area (the pedalers work for tips only). Our pedaler's name was Andy. He is an aspiring chef from Littleton, CO and he reminded us of Robert, Cassidy's dad, a whole lot. He drove us past Captain Bligh's Landing (Miniature Golf) so we jumped off there for a quick 19 holes.

We took a cab back to Pier 60 and walked through the sand, watched the sunset, chatted with street vendors, listened to music, and Casey did the bungee jump trampoline thing since the rock climbing wall was closed. All in all it was a very relaxing evening and a nice time for Casey and me.

Kathie's house was on the way to our motel (she lives in an apartment on the intercoastal), so we stopped by to pick up Olivia. We got home around 10:30 and the construction was going full blast. We contemplated getting a room at the Holiday Inn for the night, but I couldn't bring myself to pay for 2 hotel rooms, so we roughed it out. The AC served as white noise for us, so that combined with the fact that we were very tired allowed us to sleep right through the night.

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