February 3 – Ruskin, Florida


Not sure what Ruskin has to offer but we are headed there to meet Josh and Leah as they take their boat from Bradenton to Ruskin to dry-dock and do some repairs. We feel like “roadies” and never sure which direction we are going – it is good as we are helping family!

Only 38 miles and mid-morning so the trip was uneventfully. Really enjoyed riding across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that is 430 feet high at the top of the towers across the Tampa Bay.   It has a under clearance of 180 feet.Always amazing to see an engineering marvel – still enjoy seeing my skillset put to work.

Arrived at Sun Lake RV Park about 11 AM. Nice little park (only 40 sites) with paved roads and grass sites. The sites are probably the biggest we have ever been in (not really found out they can park another RV in the space – they double up on spaces which made it very tight). Enjoy all the space and not having to listen to your neighbors.

We took the dogs and went exploring. Tried to find the Ruskin Visitor’s center but never found it. So we went to Sun City Center VC and found someone home and gathered information about the area – not a whole lot here.

There is only and I say only one brewery in the area and off we went to Four Stack Brewery. Just before we got there we called and asked if they were “dog friendly” and they responded “oh yes if well behaved” When we got there, there was no patio and we went inside and sure enough they allowed the dogs inside (didn’t serve food) and yes our dogs were good. Great brewery with many choices.

Back to home and finally got a text from Josh that they had arrived safe in Ruskin.

Saturday Brenda had her sewing shopping to get done and afterwards she picked up Josh and Leah (they needed the car to pick up their new to them dingy for the boat). Rest of the day was reading and sorting articles out of old magazines.

About 6 PM Josh returned and we went out to Julie’s Fish House (near where we had to drop Josh and Leah off at their boat) and enjoyed a variety of fried fishes for dinner. Only problem was they did not serve beer. Good local restaurant with lots of people and always packed.

After we headed to Beanie’s Sports Bar for a cold one and then returned J & L home.

Sunday found a church and enjoyed a time of worship. Always good to take time out of our busy and self-centered life to focus on the true meaning of life – relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now prepping for the Super Bowl – doing a variety of items on the grill and waiting for Josh and Leah to arrive.

Had to send Brenda to pick up Josh and Leah because I started grilling early and you know what goes with grilling – beer!

Had a great time with Josh – not sure if we ever watched a Super Bowl game together before – great being able to discuss football strategy and the tough hits or at least discussing the commercials. My team didn’t win but it was a great game and glad to see Tom Brady get 5 Super Bowl wins.

Josh and Leah stayed the night as no one wanted (or capable) to drive them to the boat.

Monday they requested to get up early and return to their boat so they can begin the process of having the bottom painted and some other miscellaneous repairs.

Brenda and I took the fur babies and headed to the Manatee Viewing area near the Apollo Beach Power Plant.

Didn’t open till 10 (was 9:45) and we were the first in. Glad we did because within an hour you couldn’t find a place to park.

No dogs in the viewing area and walkway so we each made separate trips out to observe the gentle giant. I saw about 30 of them across the canal – occasionally coming above the water for air. Brenda saw a baby one adjacent to the walkway. Lots of fish and birds.

Did Bingo tonight. Started out with 6 cards (each) and quickly got rid of two (the caller was so fast and we were using dots (plastic chips) and it was much harder to keep up. Only about 22 people played and it was 10 cents a card. Low and behold I won, then I won again (two in a row). People were looking at me wondering who I was and how I did it. Almost won the third game but came one number short. Good evening of fun and fellowship and everyone brought snacks which made it better.

Tuesday another warm day (82 by 10 AM). Brenda did her shopping, I’m getting ready to smoke some ribs and help Josh on the boat.

Josh wasn’t ready for help, so I watched the ribs all day. Josh and Leah did borrow the car for shopping items to do repair work on the boat. They stopped by for ribs at the end of the day.

Wednesday Brenda needed to go shopping again (near Tampa) at a JoAnn’s Fabric so I rode my bike over to Josh’s – only 6.5 miles. Spent the morning removing the AC system in Josh’s boat. It ran off 110 and they don’t anticipate having that power and they need the space. Did finish the task and I was impressed with my flexibility to get in and out of those small spaces.img_2816

Rode the bike home and relaxed and had leftover ribs and stuff.  Brenda got up early and did some sunrise shots.

Thursday went back to Josh’s boat and helped do a variety of tasks; we reconnected the refrigerator from 110 to 12 volt DC, installed new air compressor and cooler in the refrigerator space, installed new solar panels, and cut out shelves for Leah. Took all day, but before returning home had a beer under the pavilion and watched the water, then went home.

Yes that is Josh inside the refrigerator shoving piping through.

Friday Josh figured he could handle the rest of the work, so I started working on more campground reservations for the rest of the trip (after Josh and Leah – awildwaypoint adventure).

They texted later in the day and needed a ride to the marine store for some parts. Only supposed to be 16 miles but that was the way the crow flies and we needed to go thru Tampa at rush hour and it took 1-1/2 hours (traffic accident (someone elses) included).

Josh got his parts and we realized we were ½ mile from Cigar City Brewery and we stopped – great beer. Even got two growlers for later.

Still thirsty and hungry we stopped at Four Stacks brewery with their food truck and another beer. Dropped Josh and Leah home and we crashed at our house.

Saturday Josh continues to work on his boat and didn’t need my help (little things and there is not a whole lot of room for 3 people to be working in the same space) so I took off for a bike ride. Did 22 miles and visited the E G Simmons State Park – nice park with lots of camp sites and many boats were being launched into the Tampa Bay. Did stop and see Josh for a moment and also had a taco from one of the local stands.

Picked up Leah later and let her use the car to make needed returns and buy more stuff. We had dinner after their return.

Sunday was able to attend a new church in Parrish, FL. Great attendance and a funny pastor. After church, Josh texted that they were ready to put the boat back in the water. So I went over and said goodbye for now – we are supposed to meet them in Punta Gorda.

It was kind of sad to see them off – knowing that they will soon be gone for a long time. Spent over a month with Josh and Leah helping them whatever way we could. It was fun to spend so much time with my son – miss the times we spent together when he was young.

Monday made my final reservations for the Keys – able to find a couple of campgrounds down there to get in despite the enormous number of people vacationing down there – expensive to stay down here.

Took off for a bike ride out to the State park and did 19 miles.

Bingo tonight and we had two wins – they will be glad to see us leave. Not really, this turned out to be a very nice small campground, the people were very nice.

Tuesday is off to Punta Gorda to meet up with Josh and Leah and the Peacemaker.

Categories: Uncategorized

1 comment

  1. Check out Scotty’s Brewhouse in Fishermans Village next time you’re in Punta Gorda. I’ll keep an eye out for Peacemaker next time I’m out in the boat. I think our Elks Lodge 2606 has RV sites for members, not sure about hookups. I’ll try to find out more.

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