September 26, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Placida to Oldsmar


Kip and I had a great time, but like all good things, it had to come to an end. This was the perfect guys’ getaway: we hung out, watched TV, took long walks, checked out some sunsets, ate good food, and never ran out of stimulating conversation. It was comfortable and enjoyable, like sliding a favorite cassette into the boom box. Thanks, Kip, for being my friend after all these years and for having a lovely house in Florida which you so generously share.

After a walk and a late breakfast, I saddled-up the BMW R 1200 GS and rode to Oldsmar. I took the interstate the whole way and went back over the Skyway. It was warm, but I enjoyed the ride. I decided to get a hotel room to splurge a bit on my last night away, and the Hampton Inn was literally just across the street from Tom. After arriving, we went back to Safety Harbor to get some beer and lunch. We went to the Crooked Thumb Brewery for the former and Brady’s BBQ for the latter. The brewery was excellent—it’s a great space and they make excellent beer. The BBQ place was pretty terrible. We went for smoked chicken wings which they did not have, so I ordered the rib tips and a side salad. The tips were $11 and mostly fat, gristle, and cartilage. The little meat I was able to gnaw off of them was hard and chewy. Some of them had no discernible meat at all. What a disappointment. At least I had a salad.

It was also great to catchup with Tom. We’re both getting older, and we haven't hung out in a long time. I promised not to let it go that long again. He and I even talked about going to Walter’s together. That would be fun. We did not hang out late, as I have a long ride tomorrow, and he has work. I must get some sleep.