We meet Kurt Zuelseorf, owner of kayak Nature, at the Boca Ciega Yacht Club to start our adventure. Kurt’s “Bring Back the Bayou” waterway clean up program has recieved national attention as the trash totals are nearing 200,000 lbs…all removed from waterways using kayaks! The result of Kurt’s actions is a wonderful and amazing “Clam Bayou” that you really need to see. We were going to tour the bayou by way of kayak, which would have been fun, but instead
had the pleasure of touring Clam Bayou by means of Kurt’s new electric boat before it was even open to the public. It was an amazing tour. The boat seems to be quietly sneaking around the bayou allowing us to see an American Egret glide effortlessly over the mangroves… an Osprey closer than ever before… a Night Heron watching intently as we glide silently by. It was fantastic and defintily recommended. Bye Kurt and Thanks!
Just to make sure we mention everyone here is a link to the Gulfport, Fl restaurants that have created a sampler platter especially for the Rand McNally Road Rally. Click Here to see all of the sampler platters.
A healthy hearty breakfast with small town friendliness. We chose to try their Sampler Plate which included fried green tomatoes made with Chipotle Aioli Dipping Sauce, Hand Chopped Corned Beef Hash with One Quail Egg Southern style, Mini Biscuit & Gravy and Mini Lox. The Gulfport chef’s lack nothing on creativity, variety and style in serving beautiful and tasty meals. This was also a scheduled get together with the locals. Many people showed up to have breakfast with us. It was really nice. There is even a coffee mug rack on the wall that holds mugs belonging to the regulars. They just come in, grab their mug, and sit down. Stella’s replaces them after washing for the owners next visit. Now that’s community!
After breakfast we went to the beach to participate in the children’s sand castle building and fishing tournament. It was a great time and there were kids everywhere having a blast.
Car Show – Complete with 2 SAABs
We were the stars of the car show with not one but two SAABs. There were so many cars there to look at. The line went on and on. Here is a video of some of the cars. It’s a little long but it had to be:
Lunch at Omaddys with the press was a hit. We met representatives from area papers and had a fantastic lunch. Omaddys is on the beach and the view was beautiful. They, like 14 other restaurants in town, had a sampler platter in honor of “The Rand McNally USA Today Road Rally” and it was great.
We had a great time talking with the press and others from the community. We even got to meet the Chef, Wade Parrish, and Joe Guenther the manager and husband of Maddy, the owner.
Friends of The Fun Finders Lunch
Monday Lunch for Guests at Peninsula
No points earned, hospitality still at it’s best.
The staff at Isabelle’s Restaurant went above and beyond the call of duty. In fact it was not a duty at all but pure pleasure. It seems that creating an atmosphere where all guest feel welcome, relaxed and special is their motto. Several friends and supporters of ours, AKA the Fun Finders were staying at The Peninsula Inn and ready for lunch. When lunch timed rolled around the owner, Alexandra Kingxett came to accommodate them. During this month “Sampler Platters” are available but not this day. The chefs, Bernie and Edgar made an exception and prepared just for our friends that very thing. It was beautiful and made our friends feel as though they were treated as royalty.
Here are the sampler entrees: Lump crab cakes with remoulade sauce, zucchini fritters with balsamic glaze, sour cream and red onion marmalade, fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese sauce. These chefs take everything into account, flavor, texture, color and presentation.
FYI: The restaurant name is after the resident ghost, Isabelle Jarel. She is a multigenerational member of Gulfport from the early 1950’s. Isabelle passed away unexpectantly in her early 50s. She has been spotted in her favorite color of powder blues on the 3rd floor of the Inn. She loves cats, parties and all the activities at the inn. She is very playful and her presence is felt often by guests.
Thank you to the staff for all they did to make the stay one to remember.
We are confident that all guests are treated exactly the same as our friends were treated. Try them out and experience for yourselves.
We stopped to cool off and make three stops in one spot. Gulfport’s diversity isamazing.
We were invited to be in the 4th of July parade while we were in Gulfport. It was an honor. We joined the parade with both our traveling SAAB as well as the red convertible loaned to us by Dimmit SAAB in Clearwater, FL. There was quite a crowd out to see the parade and they were all cheering for us as well as the others in the parade. This celebrity thing could get comfortable. Here is a video of us passing the stage:
Council Key from Mayor
After the parade Mayor, Mike Yates invited us up on stage to receive the key to the city. When we get home were going to come down and see how many doors it fits!
More food at Pia’s Trattoria. This was a very relaxing atmosphere. Definitely Italian too. Here is an excerpt from their website which says it better than I can:
Pia’s Trattoria is the kind of sweetly earnest restaurant that you’d like to think unfurls fully realized from the ground. Just a kernel of vision, nurtured by sweat and love, fortified by some good basic ingredients and a healthy inoculation of Italian culinary know-how.
Finish the day with a fantastic fireworks show. Here is a video of the finale. You know, the part where they finally just throw a match in the rest of the box.
After a good nights sleep we woke up to the Tuesday Fresh Market. It seems like there is always something going here in Gulfport. There are produce stands and crafts up and down Beach Blvd. It just wonderful, I don’t know what else to say.
We had to stop by and say goodbye to Lori and thank her for all her help.
Time to get packed and off to Lafayette by Way of Tarpon Springs
Rand McNally specializes in maps, navigation, road travel, and trip planning. Founded in 1856, the company provides products and services for consumers, the trucking and commercial transportation market, and educators. Rand McNally's products and services include IntelliRoute® truck routing software and GPS devices, a leading geography-based online subscription service for schools, printed maps and atlases including America's #1 Road Atlas, as well as an online travel information website where Tripology provides an interactive travel referral service and online travel store.