Mardi Gras, Florida-Style

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Occasionally, writing becomes a chore. I’ve always been inspired by the Ben Franklin quote, Either write something worth reading or DO something worth writing. I find myself thinking, I should be DOING something right now.

Whale heading to boat painting
Ishmael: definitely DOING something

These last few weeks we’ve been in Winter Garden. I’ve shored up the back patio/garden. Done some interior painting, dog sitting, and watched Hali sweat while tearing apart pallet boards… all in the Florida summer heat. I am so looking forward to traveling again! In the mean time, I look back at recent drafts and realize how many I’ve started but never finished.

Here is One of THOSE DRAFTS, from February~ Fat Tuesday.

So, I’m asking you to follow me back in time…. Carli was hosting out-of-town guests, and we made an exit to Dunedin for a weekend getaway. Perfect timing. Not only is it Mardi Gras, but also the Tampa Bay Area Beer Week. Fun fact: Mardi Gras is a state holiday in Florida.

Less than a 90-minute drive from Winter Garden to the gulf side of Florida are the beaches of Clearwater. Home of some of the best beaches in the world. Barrier islands, piers, music, crafts and street performers, call Clearwater home. For the most part, Clearwater gets the hype, but they also get more tourists. Just so happens, Clearwater is a bike ride away from our destination of Dunedin. And Dunedin has stuff too.

Dunedin

For one, Dunedin has Honeymoon Beach State Park. Right here in this bay, a bike ride over this bridge, Honeymoon Beach boasts what Clearwater has, without the crowds. (Disclaimer: the couple visits we made had very few visitors – chances are, there are plenty of days, like Spring Break, where crowds will peak.)

But the crowd pleaser this weekend is Mardi Gras.

Apparently, Dunedin, Florida draws the biggest crowds for its Mardi Gras parade than any other city outside of New Orleans South Florida. And, we were lucky enough to catch it, and the beads thrown our way.

We brought out our bikes, and although temperatures have sunk below 60, this party will still attract the crowds and parking will be at a premium.

With the spring training “Grapefruit League” in full swing, there are a huge contingency of Canadians and Northeasterners here for support of their favorite team: Blue Jays, Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies.

Toronto Hat & mitt
Baseball Fans

I will vouch for these folks, they know how to party. And the parade party ended up in the town square with this band playing for the Mardi Gras revelers: The Black Honkeys.

With the Black Honkeys disco rhythm ringing in our ears, we peddled home. Imagine KC and the Sunshine Band stuck in our heads as our bike lights flashing like a disco ball. . .

Oh, that’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh
That’s the way, uh-huh uh-huh
I like it, uh-huh, uh-huh

The next few weeks we will be doing so much traveling I’m not sure if we’ll even get our weekly newsletter out. We’ll be boarding a boat, cruising the inside passage of Alaska, and renting a car to explore the interior of our 49th state ~ the Last Frontier (translates: limited wifi). In any case, we’re always writing. More doing, more writing. Just look at my draft folders. Stay tuned and hold on to your hats and glasses.

Kayak on the Estuary

Thanks for following, and enjoy the ride.

About Woody

We are a couple who took the first step toward a life of traveling in May, 2015. Staying within the continental US, we amp'd the adventure-factor by traveling in a VW Vanagon, circa 1985. Our mission is to share irresistible and compelling stories conceived from this lifestyle of travel.

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