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Old 09-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #1
wilma-bride
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Fred and Wilma - 'The Keys' to 'The World' - Day 4

Wednesday 15th August – Moving on

Today is relocation day. Sadly, our short time in the Keys had come to an end and today we were moving up to Bradenton, north of Sarasota on Florida’s west coast. We had estimated that we needed to leave by 8am to ensure we made it to our resort by nightfall. Although it was ‘only’ a 6 ½ hour journey, we had a couple of stops to make along the way.

I was ready first so went down to the front desk to check out, where I discovered that the $29 a day resort fee was included in the room rate we had pre-paid, which was a nice surprise. Hawks Cay also offers an incentive to its patrons, whereby on day of checkout, if you vacate the room before 10am, you get two vouchers, for free coffees, redeemable at the Starbucks concession in the lobby. Since we had checked out so early, I got the vouchers and was advised that I could use them for tea instead of coffee. However, there was a huge line in Starbucks so I gave them to an unsuspecting, but grateful, couple in the line and met Gary and Daniel out front, where valet services had just delivered our car. We loaded everything into the car and set off for Made 2 Order in Tavernier, for breakfast. We were greeted warmly and told to sit where we liked.

Made 2 Order




For those of you who remember the amazing, disappearing child from my April 2008 trip report, I present to you…

The amazing, disappearing child Part 2





There was a very extensive menu and I struggled to decide but the sound of the famous croissant french toast with orange butter grabbed my attention. It had obviously grabbed Gary’s attention too and we both ordered the same thing while Daniel opted for the kids’ Mickey Mouse pancakes with chocolate chips.

Hmm, doesn’t look much like Mickey



Made 2 Order’s Famous French Toast (Croissants dipped in a freshly squeezed orange juice batter and served with our homemade Orange Butter)



The French toast was delicious but the addition of the orange butter took it to a whole new level. More of a frosting really, this fruity, zesty spread really brought the french toast to life. It really was amazing.

We also had to try one of their delicious key lime muffins. They split the muffin in half, lightly butter it, heat it on the griddle and serve it warm. It was so good.

Mmm, muffin



Daniel really enjoyed his pancakes too. All in all, the best breakfast in the Keys, in our opinion.

Gary had a couple of cups of tea, to prepare him for the long drive ahead. However, I made sure to limit my liquid intake as I didn’t want us to have to make any ‘emergency stops’

The check was $33.33. We left $40 and, as we hadn’t been able to finish the muffin, our waitress bought us a box for it.

We got back in the car and back onto the US1, heading north and leaving the Keys behind. I was determined not to feel too sad, though, as I felt sure we would come back again in the future and also because we still had the rest of our holiday ahead of us.

Our next stop was Gator Park, in the heart of the Everglades, along the Tamiami Trail.

We had pre-booked tickets but, to be honest, it didn’t really save time since they had to locate the copy of the booking in their hi-tech filing system, which consisted of a bunch of printed orders held together with a paperclip, sorted by month of purchase. Eventually they located our booking and we received our tickets and were directed out to the pier to wait for the next boat. Gary decided to buy a bottle of water and took it to the counter, where a surly girl barked out “Three dollars”. He must have misheard and put just $2 on the counter. “I said three dollars” she snarled. Gary threw the extra dollar on the counter and walked off. Without a doubt, this girl was the rudest, grumpiest person we’ve ever encountered in a customer service role, while in Florida.

We took the airboat tour but didn’t see much in the way of wildlife, just a couple of gators and a blue heron.

Gator



Blue Heron



We were in the middle of the boat so every time we saw a gator, everybody stood up to look and Daniel couldn’t see a thing. Still, the boat ride was good fun and I felt sorry for the poor guy sat right at the front in a nice, white t-shirt as he got filthy.

It’s a bit loud



We tipped our tour guide and Daniel had a picture taken with him. He was extremely tall, though, and had to crouch right down so I could get them both in the photo.

Little and large



After the airboat ride, we watched a short wildlife show. The presenter was very funny. First of all, he showed us a scorpion. I was taking some photos and he said “You wanna get a really GOOD photo Mom” and shoved the scorpion right into Daniel’s face. He shot backwards almost into the lap of the poor guy behind. It was hilarious.

I’m not afraid of scorpions



Then he got a huge toad out of a nearby box. He asked the audience how you could tell the difference between a frog and a toad. The answer? If you kiss a frog, it turns into a prince. If you kiss a toad, it doesn’t. Yes, you guessed it. A poor girl from the audience was chosen to kiss it and see whether it was a frog or a toad

He also showed us a skunk and a small alligator, then finished up with a spot of alligator wrestling. It was very entertaining.

Who knew that skunks were so cute



After the show, there was an opportunity to have your picture taken holding an alligator. Daniel, of course, was keen to partake, given his love of reptiles. It took me a little while to line the shot up and Daniel kept telling me to hurry up because the alligator was really heavy. It was a great shot though.

Are you sure this is just a baby?



After a quick tour of the gift shop, I bought a t-shirt for Sian which has a picture of an alligator and the words ‘Bite Me!’ (her favourite saying) and we got another bottle of water for the journey. I also bought a fridge magnet and a pen.

Spot the odd one out



Back in the car, we were Sarasota-bound. I’m afraid the next part of the trip report is incredibly boring as the most exciting thing we did for the next two hours was make a right onto the I-75 We did spot a young bald eagle but I was too slow with the camera. Daniel also got really excited when he spotted his name on a roadsign.

Daniels Parkway



After a short stop at a Publix just north of Fort Myers, where we visited the restrooms and bought some snacks, we continued our journey, eventually arriving in Sarasota just before 4pm.

Continued in the next post...
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Old 09-04-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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Gary and I are massive fans of the Food Network show Man v Food so, when we spotted Yoder’s Restaurant on an episode a few months back, Gary was desperate to try the famous peanut butter cream pie. Whether or not that influenced the decision to visit the west coast of Florida, rather than the east, I couldn’t possibly say Yoder’s Amish Village is situated just west of the I-75 in Sarasota. We were fairly early for dinner so were able to be seated straight away.

Yoder’s Restaurant





I had known for some time what I was going to order – the fried chicken. I am a huge fan of chicken. Add some breading to it and fry it up and I am there! I tried to persuade Daniel to share with me so we could order the half chicken dinner, but he was having none of it and insisted on ordering the BBQ chicken sandwich. I didn’t think he would like it so tried to dissuade him but he insisted. Gary ordered the special of pot roast with vegetables and a side of Amish potato cakes. We were also brought some freshly-baked honey wheat bread. I only tried one piece but it was lovely.

Bread



The fried chicken was really tasty; crispy on the outside and tender and juicy inside. Gary really enjoyed the pot roast and the potato cakes were nice too. Daniel, of course, didn’t like the BBQ chicken sandwich and ended up eating half of my meal

Me and my boy



The meal was great and, to be honest, we could have managed without dessert. But dessert was why we were here.

For Gary, there was never any doubt over what he would order.

Peanut Butter Cream Pie



As luck would have it, today was Wednesday and Yoder’s have lemon meringue pie on the menu on a Wednesday. It was like fate. I love lemon meringue pie so just had to have a piece.

Daniel couldn’t decide and rushed backwards and forwards from the chiller cabinet trying to decide. Eventually, in a rush of sentimentality, he opted for the key lime pie.

A taste of the Florida Keys here in Sarasota



The desserts were all yummy. I finished mine (in my defence, it was incredibly light and not that big a portion).

It’s a small plate, honest



Gary and Daniel both struggled with their desserts. Gary was so funny as he hates to waste food but it was obvious he wasn’t going to be able to manage it. He kept saying “I’m not putting my fork down because, if I do, she’ll take it away”. Sadly, in the battle of Gary versus food, food won!

Gary v Food





In the end, our server persuaded Gary to take the rest of the pie away and brought him a rather large box. We paid the check ($64 inc tip) and embarked on the final leg of our trip. It wasn’t long before we arrived at Shorewalk Vacation Villas, Bradenton.

Shorewalk



We had a 2-bedroom villa here and Gary and I were really looking forward to having a few nights not having to share with Daniel. He is such a fidget, it’s really hard to sleep when he’s nearby. The apartment was nice – not quite as nice as Ocean Pointe, but perfectly acceptable for a few nights and very decent for the price we paid.

Shorewalk Vacation Villas











The view from our verandah



Turtle!



We quickly popped to Publix, which was just at the end of the street, for tea bags, milk, Pepsi Max and chocolate milk (just the essentials), then came back to the villa. Daniel took a shower, then went to bed. Meanwhile, I did some laundry and then Gary and I chilled out, watched TV and retired to bed around 10.30.
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
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Love that you went to Yoder's. Dbf's dad lives in Sarasota and we are also big man vs food fans, so it's a must do for us! We sometimes go 3 times each trip, they have an amazing breakfast also!
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:22 PM   #4
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Your photos are not showing up for some reason
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:33 PM   #5
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i cant see half of the picture either
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Old 09-04-2012, 02:46 PM   #6
wilma-bride
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TotallyAngelic View Post
Your photos are not showing up for some reason
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronandterri View Post
i cant see half of the picture either
Stupid Photobucket
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:31 PM   #7
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I thought it was just me with the photo errors.

I might not be convincing Mike on the Keys but he does seem to be getting into reading your TR, after dinner the first thing he said to me was, "has Joh posted another day yet".
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:36 PM   #8
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yoder's sounds great
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Old 09-04-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Lovin the TR's

Great food pics too. We love Man v Food too but there is no way I could have eaten half that peanut cream pie, it's huge! I would have managed he lemon meringue though

Bring on the next instalment
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:00 AM   #10
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Yay !! Can see the photos this morning ...those desserts look incredible.As a big fan of peanut butter desserts that pie does look very tempting but I doubt I could eat a quarter of it at one sitting.
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:25 AM   #11
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Look at the size of those desserts who knew a travel day could be so much fun. Love the disappearing child photos
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Old 09-05-2012, 04:13 AM   #12
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NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

Gary V Food; my money would have been on Gary everytime.

Great day and all the pictures are up.

I can't believe your time in the keys is over. It seems to have flown by.

I think we will be going to Made 2 Order for our breakfasts.

We may even have to have a drive over to yoders.
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Old 09-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #13
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LOL at Daniel's Mickey Mouse Pancakes

How brave of Daniel getting so close to all those creatures - well done.

Love the look of the peanut butter cream pie - looks amazing

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Old 09-05-2012, 07:03 PM   #14
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The peanut butter cream pie looks HUGE! No wonder Gary couldn't finish it.
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Old 09-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #15
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I can understand you're sad to leave the Keys, but you've relocated to another beautiful place. Looking forward to more great work Joh, thanks for sharing so far!

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