Final moments of Larry's 40th b'day getaway... the restaurant that made me cry...and re-entering the home zone
and then woke up at the last possible moment before breakfast was served this morning. We stayed at a wonderful place (a bed and breakfast) that I would recommend highly. In case you're wondering where we've been for 3 days, we've been at Southern Comfort Bed and Breakfast in Ruskin. Larry generally doesn't like B&B's. However, this is an exception for him. He absolutely loves Southern Comfort B&B. It's different. First of all, there is a lot of privacy there. That is one of the coolest things about it. Other than that, you'd love the owners (former A/G pastors, actually!), the hot tub, pool, tennis courts, and so much more.
This morning we got up for breakfast and enjoyed it lots - good stuff - and some great conversation as well. Then we headed back to our room to pack up and go and we went to do some Christmas shopping. I would have never suggested shopping on this trip but Larry actually wanted to go shopping while on our getaway. This was "his getaway" and we did what he wanted, at my insistence. I wanted this to be such a special week for him. He deserves it. I wish I could do so much more for him...I'd give my man the world if I could. I'll never stop giving him as much as I possibly can while I'm blessed to be on this earth with him. I want every day for him to be like a birthday party.
After shopping we wanted to go back to By the Bay Cafe since we received such a great reception from the owners last night and also the samples of cream of crab soup they gave us were just INCREDIBLE. The owner, Darlene, and her brother in law, John were just delightful people to get to know. This is a family run business, by the way.
So we went back today and Darlene served us herself (we got the royal treatment) and after settling in with a cup of their famous cream of crab, we ordered crabcakes. I am telling you, they were THE BEST we have ever had...not only are the definitely Maryland crab cakes, but they are OUTSTANDING. After eating the crabcakes and experiencing some of the Anderson family's great hospitality, Larry said, "okay...now to top it off, do you have snowballs with marshmallow (a true Maryland tradition). Darlene said, "of course!" and she promptly goes into the back to get me a grape and Larry a watermelon. When she brought them out and I took my first bite, I just savored it and then a few minutes later, started to cry...
Larry couldn't believe it. I said, "Lar, this is the first taste or experience of anything "home" that I have had here in FL for over five years...this just feels absolutely amazing..." He said, "I know, this would be like me finding Kennywood Park (in Pittsburgh) also here in Florida! I said, "yes...it is..." and sitting there eating my snowball, I have tears running down my face and he says to Darlene, "you've got her crying over here!" Yep. This restaurant was so good, it had me IN TEARS, ladies and gentlemen!!!
With that said, I have told the Anderson's I will tell everyone to please frequent the By the Bay Cafe. They are in a small town in Florida...(Ruskin)...not in the big city...and being that they are in a small town, especially in the summer months, it's not easy. Their main draw of customers is from a little further out -- people who are Marylanders like me who find them and realize how great they are and want to come back and make the trip. Much of their clientele is from an hour or more away. So, I'm telling all of you, if you live anywhere within a reasonable distance from Ruskin, please GO to By the Bay Cafe and tell them I sent you. Thankfully they are only about 40 minutes from my house and I'll be making the trip from now on for many special occasions! In addition to By the Bay Cafe the family also owns and operates the ice cream parlor that is attached. Delicious ice cream, and coffee. The place is so quaint, I'm telling you - you'll LOVE IT. So take my advice, and GO! It's not easy (even when you've got a great thing going) to keep a business going strong, especially one still getting off the ground. (By the Bay is only 2 years old.) I want to do my part to keep them around forever!
For a newspaper review of By the Bay, just click here.
After eating at By the Bay, we came back home to pick up Savanna from the Harts, then headed to the grocery to pick up things I needed to make my dish for tonight's CE Christmas dinner. We came home and I started cooking and cleaning. I had not finished all of the week's cleaning yet and so after making my dish of food, I started unpacking and also scrubbing down my bathroom, and doing other various chores, then got ready for the CE dinner. A woman's work is never done!
Had a good time at the dinner tonight...Bernie and Lisa did a great job as usual.
This is a busy season but I'm enjoying each moment with my family. Something I am realizing is what a blessing it is to just be together for the season. That is another post in itself and I'll probably write more about it this week.
As I mentioned before a woman's work is never done...it's time for me to put something together for Sunday afternoon dinner, so must go and then -- spend some more time with Teeby. Yes, we've just had three glorious days together but honestly that just makes me want a little more...