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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

it's good to be "home" -a pete perspective

"hello everybody, pete here"

it's been a while since we have been to indialantic, fl, which is where my mother and her husband dennis live.  i have to say that it was great to get back to the old stomping grounds.

after a three hour drive south from st. augustine, we got to wayne ave in indialantic.  we were greeted with hugs and kisses as we toted our luggage and escher into the house.  we were glad to be off the road.  mom had a chicken and wild rice soup brewing so our bellies were glad too. as our bellies would be for the remainder of the stay!  mom and dennis were our gourmet hosts... we all enjoyed many great meals. dennis's great pasta casserole, and moms guiness meatballs were among the highlights.

guiness meatballs, cheddar chive mashed potatoes, and sauteed cabbage

tinker, tailer, soldier spy was the first order of business on our first day.  we went to oaks cinema ten where we enjoyed the fantastic film. anything "focus films" puts out is fantastic. Go See It!

 view of the mossy oaks in the cinema parking lot

after the movie, my friends at Optique Unique were very accommodating.  they all stayed a little late to help me get some new specs, along with some great tips for western travel.  thank you dr. thomas for making us stop in new orleans (we'll blog about that stop later).

we were also glad see all our friends back home. urcan, booger, snoop, alex, don, roof, and sarah just a few as the list would be never ending.  we also got to see sarah, dennis's daugter and her husband brett and their little baby graham.

escher loved graham, because graham would let escher lick the food off his face.

the next day i wanted to take a dip in the pool, which is a must every visit home.  i under estimated the temp though and it was so cold it took my breath away.  shortly after the "i was in the pool!" "i was in the pool!" (seinfeld), we went up to the boardwalk and got BIZARRO'S, new york style pizza...

with slices the size of you face.

next we went to wickham park where there is a pretty cool disc golf course.  the course itself is very forgiving with many wide open fairways.

there are twenty-two holes, with last, a par three over water, a favorite.

indialantic is about an hour and a half away from orlando, home of universal studios and islands of adventure.  the wizarding world of harry potter, which was under construction the last time we were there, is now open and operating.  what more would two huge harry potter fans want?!  and then there's icing on the cake...our friend leah is working in orlando for big wheel provisions, the brain child of one of her culinary inspirations, tony adams.   she invited us to the audubon park community market where the bw food truck was serving up some the most flavorful, fresh, and local eats every tasted.  check out the schmorgasboard...literally!

the schmorgasboard open-faced sandwich special

the cheesy tots

and the brussel sprouts were among a few of the delicious menu items we were treated to!

the next morning, adrenaline is pumping.  leah joined us at are hotel across the street from the park and we hopped on the shuttle, arriving before the park opens.  we already had our tickets, so we booked it back to harry potter's wizarding world.  walking through the arch welcoming you to hogsmeade took our breath away.  the construction of everything is magical and you really feel like you are inside the books.

with a wait of only 10 minutes, the three of us jumped in line for "the forbidden journey" which has been given a lot of hype.

winding through maze of bars to get to where it starts, the riders get to walk through some memorable areas of hogswart which build up the anticipation.  the ride seats four in a booth style car, with individual seats and harnesses.  once you're in there's no turning back, and POOF, you're sent up the chimney with floo powder!  bits and pieces of the ride were well thought out, however, overall, the simulation was dark and blurry and the effects were under par.  with everyone in agreement, we were happy that we only waited for 10 minutes!  our highlights were the spiderman ride and the rip ride rocket.  emily overcame some fears by going on the jurassic park ride and keeping her eyes open on the spiderman ride.

windblown from a ride, leah and emily rocked some "dallas" hair.

leaving the park, we met up with tony at lee and rick's oyster bar.  this place looks like a total dive yet is an oyster lover's dream on the inside.  belly up to the turquoise bar, place your order, and sit back while your server shucks each oyster right in front of you!

we stayed the evening with leah and tony.  not feeling so great, it was nice to save the drive home for the morning.  tony made us an amazing meal of...

skate wing, farro, corn and tomato salsa, pea shoots, yellow foot mushrooms, and spinach.  

 on top of the amazing hospitality, he sent us home with a huge goodie bag of big wheel treats!

escher was happy to be able to run around in the yard,

rest in the sun, and tease the neighbor's dog, marley, through the fence.

for our last day in indialantic we wanted to take a bike tour of the town.  our friends dan and alex let us borrow their bikes for the trek.

the weather that day was ideal for a cruise. seventy five degrees with a light wind from the north. we rode along the indian river stopping at various points to check out the scenery.

then we rode a quarter mile east to the atlantic ocean.  indialantic is a barrier island sandwiched by   the river to the west with a small stretch of land  to the ocean on the east. not much wave action that day, though it was nice to walk on the warm sand. as the day was coming to an end we returned the bikes and concluded our tour.

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