November 10, 2012

One Day Getaway


Last Saturday, after our night of chocolate making, Mike and I headed to the second part of our Anniversary adventure with exploring the small town of Tarpon Springs on our agenda.

I thought I had never been there before (apparently I was there when I was about 4, but of course don’t remember), but had heard many cute comments about this small Greek town.

We set out from Orlando at around 10am with great weather on the horizon.  Knowing that we were going to stop for lunch on the way over, I started looking at my Trip Advisor app for a mom & pop lunch spot near our final destination.  Clearwater was only about 10 minutes from Tarpon Springs, and one restaurant stood out in my search:  Lenny’s.



The reveiws were fabulous and the pictures of the food looked delicious.  Knowing that our friend Jeremy is from Clearwater and remembering his wife, Jenny, talking about their favorite breakfast place when they visit, I had a hunch that it might be the same one I texted her right away…




Sure enough – it was the same one, so we knew we had to stop!!!




Lenny’s definitely did not disappoint.

The menu was HUGE and the staff was more than accommodating.



I opted for a breakfast dish which came with a pastry basket filled with delicious treats.




My favorite was this little gem…a mix between a cheese danish and crumb cake.  So delicious.




Our meals-  Mushroom and Cheese omelet with onions and home fries for me…




while Mike opted for the “Triple Threat” – a meat lovers dream.  3 halves of turkey, corned beef and pastrami piled high with potato salad.

Plus, a “relish dish” of macaroni salad and pickles.



The before and after shot.  As always, the boy cleaned his plate!



After lunch, we headed to Tarpon Springs and drove around a bit to get acquainted with the surroundings before we planned our attack.  Since the Gators were playing, we decided to stop by this cute watering hole, Lagerheadz Bar & Grill, to catch the second half before “hitting the docks”.




They even had real gators!



Hers and his.




After finishing our drinks and finishing the game with a win (a bit of a nail biter if you ask me), we headed to the Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks.

Known as the “Sponge Capital of the World”, this quaint waterfront has many Greek influences.




According to Wikipedia:

In 1905, John Cocoris introduced the technique of sponge diving to Tarpon Springs. Cocoris recruited Greek sponge divers from the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, in particular Kalymnos, Symi and Halki leading, by the 1930s, to a very productive sponge industry in Tarpon Springs, generating millions of dollars a year. The 1953 film Beneath the 12-Mile Reef, depicting sponge diving, takes place and was filmed in Tarpon Springs.




There were sponges everywhere.





Although most of the shops are full of tourist type trinkets, we did a bit of shopping for some sponges and homemade soaps.






Check out this “vase” sponge – I didn’t know there were so many different varieties.




This shop had adorable hand stamped soaps, made out of both olive oil and goat’s milk with tons of different scents.




After shopping, we headed to the Tarpon Springs Aquarium for some aquatic fun.  Although small, it was very inexpensive (around $7 a person) and we had a great time checking out the feeding shows and learning about all the different marine animals.




Nursing shark feeding time, and Mike feeding the rays.  He loves doing this, but it is a bit too close for comfort for me.




I opted to feed the baby nursing sharks…under the metal barricade.




Then it was on to the candy shop!  This place had any and every piece of candy you could ever imagine.




Mike was seriously like a kid in a candy shop.  I had fun picking out some specialty gummies while he stocked up on taffy.




Then it was time for dinner.  We were lucky enough to have visited on a night when they were featuring their monthly “A Night in the Islands” event.




All of the restaurants set up their tables outside on the docks and offer service there while the guests can listen to the live Greek band.  It was so festive!




We decided to eat at Hellas and weren’t disappointed.  The food was delish!.

We started with some drinks; and I found my new favorite N/A beer made by Guiness called Kaliber.  So yummy!

Mike drank Mythos while we feasted on pita and hummus.



Then the real food came out: 



Gyro platter for him and Chicken Souvlaki for her.



After finishing dinner and watching a bit of Greek dancing, we opted for one last stop by the Hellas bakery; not to eat, but to get a treat to go.




Two things I learned while at the bakery: 

1.  Pasta in Greek means cake.

2.  The Greek Canolli absolutely makes the Italian Canolli look like a wimp (see below).




All in all, a great day with a great guy!



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