Three blog posts in one

March 10, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Yesterday I was complaining about my fascinating life being so boring that I couldn’t even blog about it. Since then three separate blog-worthy events have occurred, but I am going to just smash them all together now. So here comes over sixty photos and about 1,500 words. Fair warning.

Blog-worthy Event #1: Eckerd College Reunion Night

We went out last night! Yippee!


Love that feeling of driving away from the house, the kids with a babysitter, on our way to some adult activity. We drove off into the sunset…


to St. Pete Beach.



We decided to do dinner as a date before the reunion meet-up, so we went to Dockside Dave’s Grill, a local landmark kind of place that Chad had been wanting to try.


We had to wait just a few minutes for our table…


which allowed us to enjoy the last of the sunset on a lovely evening.


Dockside Dave’s has a bright color scheme and a typical beach restaurant type of décor.


Diet Coke for me! Yeah, that’s the stuff.




We got a small order of onion rings and a large order of grouper fritters.


This was too much food! I made a mistake with the fritters…should have ordered the small. I didn’t realize they would actually be grouper patties! Those were some big fritters. They were delicious, though.


The onion rings were totally phenomenal. Perfection in a circle.


They brought an impressive array of condiments!


Next came the entrees (which we were already too full to eat before they arrived).


Chad got the fried grouper sandwich that was as big as his head.


I got the grouper tacos.


Dinner was pretty good, but the appetizers stole the show. If we ever go there again we are only ordering appetizers.

After dinner we drove a short way to the Hurricane Restaurant in Pass-a-grille.


We met up with a bunch of our usual local Eckerd College alumni friends and one special out-of-towner:


The Honorable Andy. He’s a judge in Texas. He was Chad’s roommate in college. He uses Chad as some sort of example in stories that he tells defendants and parolees in his courtroom. So good to see you Andy! Love to Misty and Scarlet! Oh, and there is my margarita for the evening which I think was about 90% straight tequila. I nursed it.


Eckerd does an annual “Reunion Weekend” and sort of invites all alumni to the events. If it is a special class year, like 10th or 20th, then usually more of that year shows up and people will come from farther away. Many of the locals go every year just to hang out with fellow alums. Chad and I have gone to a few over the years.


The meet-up was on the roof of the Hurricane.


This is a great place to watch the sunset every night. The black at the top of the photo above is the beach and Gulf of Mexico.


We had fun hanging out with our friends for a couple of hours, but I had an early wake-up call, so we didn’t stay out super late.


Blog-worth Event #2: Bridge Running from Belleair to Clearwater

My early wake-up call this morning was in order to meet some IRunMommies in the Belleair/Indian Rocks Beach group to run some bridges!


Mitzi (in the flip-flops) didn’t run due to some knee issues, but she came out to meet me (we’ve been Facebook friends for a while). Great to finally meet up Mitzi!

Jenny, Chastity and I took off, headed to the Belleair Causeway Bridge.


It’s hard to take a photo of a bridge (or hill) you are approaching and make it look like the menacing mountain that it appears in real life. But trust me, this is a really good-sized bridge. Here’s a picture I found on the Town of Belleair website:

belleair causeway

Anyway, getting to the top (with no walking) felt good!


On one side was Clearwater off in the distance.


On the other side was Belleair Bluffs.


Running down long bridges is awesome. Such a reward.



At the next intersection after the bridge, Chastity turned around to head back home. She had already run a mile and a half from her house to where we met up. Jenny and I kept on going, heading north on Gulf Boulevard, running just parallel to the Gulf of Mexico. We took short walk breaks every mile and a half to drink water, but none longer than maybe .05 miles.


We ran past Sand Key Park…


and hit our turn-around point of 4.5 miles just before this next little bridge:


That bridge may be smallish, but I was still glad to be turning around and not running up it! You could see the REALLY big Clearwater Memorial Causeway off in the distance…


The Iron Girl has eliminated the Clearwater Memorial Causeway from the half marathon course this year, which is sort of sad and sort of a huge relief. The 5K will do the Clearwater Memorial Causeway.

Iron Girl Half course

I’m excited about the course!

It seemed like we were at our half-way point before I knew it.


Jenny and I talked about all kinds of things while we were running (joking about how we don’t like to talk when we are running, but we both just kept talking). One of the things we talked about was Ragnar. She is captaining a team! She is just as excited about it as I am. We talked about the pros and cons of various runner positions, hotels, vans, etc. I’m so glad we’ll know another team there! Go IRunMommies, sporting THREE Ragnar teams (so far…)!

I didn’t take many pictures on the way back in until we showed back up at the Belleair Causeway Bridge coming from the other direction.


Long and looming. We made a pact to run to the top and we did it…no walking. The beautiful view (and stopping at the top) was our reward.


There’s Clearwater again:


Yay for running downhill. Wheeeee…


until you notice that there is a definite hill after the bridge going back up towards where the cars are parked.


Getting to the top of the bridge without walking for the second time made me feel like I could do anything, so I was determined to run up this last hill.


Go Jenny!


Nine miles done!


We had a great average pace, for me, especially considering those bridges and hills.


Thanks Jenny! You were a fabulous running partner.

Here are our splits, which I’m very proud of:

20120310 Belleair Causeway

And the green line here is the elevation chart from my Garmin where you can see the 100 foot arch of the bridge on each end (the blue is our pace where you can see our sparse and short walking breaks):

garmin graphs

While not worthy of a separate “event”, after running with Jenny I went straight to the gym for Bodyflow. Hip openers and downward facing dogs never felt so good.


Blog-worthy Event #3: Food Truck Rally

After the gym I hurried home (I even skipped “relaxation,” which is my favorite part but does not burn calories, to get home more quickly) to shower and get dressed so that we could head to the St. Petersburg Food Truck Rally at First Unity.


I have been wanting to go to a food truck rally forever. I know they are all the rage now, and my friend Jackie has written about them in Orlando on her blog several times.


Mack got a hot dog from American Weiner up there.


Cal got pork barbecue nachos from this BBQ place…


and he wasn’t too happy that everybody had to try one.


I got a coconut glazed pork samich from this place:



It was amazing.


We also got some Gorilla Balls from Fire Monkey.


I follow them on Facebook and have been wanting to try their food forever. Next time I want to try the sweet potato fries (topped with blue cheese and tamarind sauce!).


These did not disappoint. I had one and the boys split one.


Melted blue cheese with beef and bacon, surrounded by risotto, then deep-fried? Yes, please.

Mack had an “OMG” reaction when he tasted the Gorilla Balls because they are so good.


Chad got chicken fried rice at an Asian place. There was lots of sharing and trading.


Hard-ass relented to dessert!


The boys and I got banana whips!


Cal and Mack got chocolate chips on top…


and I got chocolate syrup.


Banana whip is amazing. I got a “Yonanas” machine for Christmas. Need to finally break it out of its box!

As we were leaving I ran into my friend (and IRunMommy) Ali. Ali is on the advisory board for LocalShops1, an advocacy group for local, independently owned businesses in the Tampa Bay area. They promote local and so do food trucks!


So do I! We had a great time at the event and I can’t wait for the next one.

support food trucks

(that photo links to a Facebook page called “Support Tampa Bay Food Trucks”. “Like” them so you’ll know where the next rally is and you can support them by eating their awesome food)

After the food truck lunch, Chad dropped me off at home and the boys went to see John Carter at the movies. I wouldn’t have minded going to ogle Riggins (Taylor Kitsch), but I wanted to veg and edit photos from all these fabulous blog-worthy events. Chad said the movie was only so-so and Riggins wasn’t enough to carry it.

Longest blog post ever?