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Old 10-03-2012, 04:54 AM   #1
Dreams really can come true !!!!
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2012 - OLYMPIC FREE TOUR - Day 4 - Clearwater - Little Toot - Manny's (2)

Day 4 – Clearwater – Little Toot – Manny’s(2)

TODAYS VIDEO – Little Toot Dolphins.

An early get up for us all today at around 6:30 since we had planned a long journey ahead to Clearwater. We left Hilton BC at around 8:30 and joined the long string of commuters travelling west along the I4 towards Tampa. Traffic was heavy so we decided to get breakfast and exited at junction 33 and soon spotted a McDonalds. The menu selection was much more varied than back home in the UK, but it seemed that I was the only one willing to try something new.

Nigel: Steak, Egg and Cheese Bagel, Hash Brown and Orange Juice.
Sue: Egg McMuffin, Hash Brown and Orange Juice.
Emma: Sausage & Egg McMuffin, Hash Brown & Diet Coke.

Travelling onwards, we headed towards Tampa joining the I275 and then turned off towards the airport along the Courtney Campbell Parkway. The journey across Clearwater Memorial Causeway is very impressive, but it was disappointing that no stopping places were available to take pictures looking towards Clearwater beach. We arrived near to Pier 60 at around 10:30 and already the nearby car parks were showing full. Travelling a little further along the coast, I found a gift shop offering parking for $10 all day. The sun was fierce as we make the walk back towards Pier 60 and the harbour. Crossing over the road, we made our way to the booking kiosk of The Little Toot. I had discount vouchers for each adult, that I had printed from their website before we had travelled. A tour had just departed, so we booked for the 13:00 sailing. Heading back towards the Pier, we noticed that an exhibition of Dolphin sculptures (The Pod at Pier 60) was being displayed near to the entrance of the Pier. Local businesses sponsored artists to decorate each Dolphin in various forms of attire. The attention to detail was amazing as can been seen from the selection of photographs below.

The heat was almost unbearable and in an effort to kill some time, we had a browse around the nearby Ron Jon surf shop. This is a lot smaller than the one at Cocoa Beach but still had a wide variety of goods. A few items caught our eye but we decided to return after our dolphin trip. We made our way to the boat dock, where a few people had already gathered. By the time the skipper arrived, it was clear we had a full boat.

We sat at the back of the boat as I reckoned this would be the best place to photograph the dolphins, however it offered very little shade from the sun. As we headed out of the harbour, the skipper pointed out a small white wooden house to the right, which looked completely out of place amongst the surrounding condos. He told us that an old lady who refused to be intimidated and sell to property developers, had originally owned it. This battle progressed to court and was eventually awarded in the lady’s favour in the form of a protection order. As a result, only one family can now occupy the dwelling at any time.

Travelling farther around the harbor, we crossed the bottom of Pier 60 in our search for the dolphins. Despite searching the usual locations, it seemed that they were avoiding us! The skipper also pointed out an enormous white painted property along the shoreline for sale with a price tag of $40 million. It was the former home of Nigel Mansell.

By now, it appeared that the captain had resigned himself to returning without any dolphin sightings, however our last port of call turned up trumps. From nowhere, two adults and a calf appeared and as the boat engines roared into life, they were quickly in our wake. They followed the boat with ease, performing impressive jumps as the passengers clapped and cheered. At times they appeared to be dangerously close to the propellers but I guess that they are familiar with the chase.

After arriving back to the dock, we returned to Ron Jon’s and purchased some t-shirts, bracelet, necklace and fridge magnet. Returning back to the Pier, we had a leisurely stroll along it, taking in the lovely views along the white sand.

Continued in next post ……

Last edited by DISWolves; 10-03-2012 at 05:25 AM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:56 AM   #2
Dreams really can come true !!!!
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The sun was still fierce as we made our way along the beach towards our car. I spotted a police officer on a weird Segway type vehicle, who was patrolling the nearby car park.

The return journey was uneventful except for a fuel stop and the expected traffic jam as we reached the outskirts of Tampa during rush hour. Once on the I4, traffic seemed to flow fairly quickly as we made our way back home. It was then we realized that we hadn’t eaten since breakfast and so decided to call into Manny’s again. As usual, it was quite busy which resulted in a one hour wait before being seated in the newly opened front annex. Must remember to call ahead next time!

Nigel: T-Bone Steak with fries – Bud Light.
Sue: Half rack of ribs with fries – Diet Coke.
Emma: Chicken Fajitas (2 for 1) – Diet Coke.

Emma couldn’t manage to finish both plates of food, so I kindly offered my services.

We returned back to the Hilton BC at around 20:30 where we chilled out watching TV and I wrote up my trippie notes, before calling it a day.

Coming up next – IHOP – Premium Outlets – Hard Rock Cafe

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Last edited by DISWolves; 10-03-2012 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:07 AM   #3
Should've been a Cowboy
In charge of driving & collecting coffee and doughnuts for breakfast
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Nice day again.
I have a registration number plate off of one of our old lorries that I'm going to take to Manny's on our next trip.
1995 Paris 1997 Masters Inn 1999 Clarion Floridian 2001 HoJo 2003 Econolodge 2005 HoJo 2006 Sheraton Vistana 2007 Club Sevilla 2008 May Sheraton Vistana 2008 Aug Terrace Ridge 2009 Barefoot'n in the Keys 2010 Villa at Cumbrian Lakes2011 Sheraton Vistana & The Magic 2012KeyLargo, Sheriton Vistana & OKW
The Buckland Disney Stampede August 2005 TripThe S.V.R. 2006 Trip T&T Do Thanksgiving 2007 Trip T&T & 2 1st Timers May 2008 Trip T&T Do the Triple Aug 2008 Trip T&T's 2nd Thanksgiving Trip 1975 & 2010 A double trip Bad Mothers & Others Oct 2011 Key West to Old Key West Nov 2012

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Old 10-03-2012, 07:56 AM   #4
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Little toot looks fun, glad you saw the dolphins
20+ trips to USA 1997 onwards including All Star Movies Dec 2009 with DDP, OKW Oct 2010 with DDP, Floridays Resort Oct 2011, Bahama Bay resort May 2012, OKW Oct 2012 with DxDDP, All Star Movies Oct 2013 with DDP, Cabana bay and Universal Oct 2014

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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great report

me DH DD

Planning my tenth Disney holiday
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:13 PM   #6
I was having a bit of a blonde moment
Married my prince at WDW
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Great Dolphin shots!
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:31 PM   #7
Am I the only one who loves Quorn Sausages?
I would love to be at Ghiradelli's ice cream parlour with a massive choc sundae
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What can I say but wow, we do forget that there is more to Florida than theme parks, what an amazingly day
Andrea xxx
1994:Grosvenor 1996:POFQ 2002: Comfort Inn LBV 2007: CSR 2009:OKW 2011:POFQ&Dream HNY DLP 2012
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:46 AM   #8
Repeat after me....I LOVE CROC's, I LOVE CROC's, I LOVE CROC's!!!!!!
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Lovely day
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