Saturday, May 12, 2012

long promised

and not forgotten - the post about the cottage on Anna Maria Island-

my grandfather bought this cottage- known as "the beachcomber" from his brother-in-law (my mom's Uncle Bruce Cox) in the late 1950s.  Bruce had moved to Florida in the 30s we think - he met a gal there who was named Irma (better known to us as Aunt Irma) who was the post mistress of Bradenton Beach - the location of the cottage was in Bradenton Beach along Gulf Drive fronting onto the Gulf of Mexico.

Bruce had built a custom designed home up in the Anna Maria community on Marina Drive - or maybe it was Holmes Beach- anyway both houses are long gone at this point - the cottage property sold to finance my grandfather's purchase of a house on 70th Street in Holmes Beach for his retirement and then resold by the buyer to a condo developer- alas- a common enough story...

it was small- very small- and made of wood- which the termites loved - had two bedroom and one bathroom and a garage that had been made into a third small bedroom. A minuscule kitchen, moderate living room and large screen porch rounded out the room count. No dining room- we ate on the porch.

but you could hear the surf all night long- even if you didn't draw the long straw to sleep on the screened porch-

no AC of course- this was 1960! Water for drinking had to be bought in large bottles at the store because the well water was non potable (and smelled of sulphur- we used to call it "egg water" because it smelled like rotten eggs to us- although I seriously doubt my sister nor I had ever smelled a rotten egg at that stage of life- LOL)

anyway- it was a place full of super memories from growing up- and with all the moving around my folks did when we were kids (I went to seven schools before graduating from high school and lived in eight houses before I was 18) the most consistent place in my life during those years was Anna Maria Island- which is I guess part of the reason I am still so drawn to it- even after I was an adult my parents and grandparents lived there-

basically my direct family had property there from 1958-2008 and that isn't counting Bruce Cox's time there. so next year we are scheduled to rent for the winter less than five minutes drive from the small island that was home to my family for so many decades.

and here are some photos:

above- my parents outside the cottage (license tag says 1961) and below - my grandmother, brother, me and my sister (from left to right) at the front door (which opened from the side of the house)- the Gulf of Mexico is off to our left and Gulf Drive off to our right (you can see it in the photo of my parents just before the greenery across the street....
the photo above is dated June 1961 which would have made our ages 7, not quite 6, and 22 months and I guess my grandmother (ancient to us at the time) must have been in her (aaaaccckkk) mid 50s - yikes!!!!!

with that I have to end- LOL

istanbul photos

as promised I dug up some photos from Istanbul- we had really good weather for late December and were able one day to spend the day on the Bosphorus- a beautiful cruise up the straits- 

some of the things I really liked were - of course the Grand Bazaar and the Topkapi Palace but also the Cistern Basilica was waaay cool-

anyway- on to the photos- first the Cistern Basilica-

then the bazaar-

a view of Hagia Sophia from the Blue Mosque-

inside Topkapi Palace-

inside the Blue Mosque-

inside Hagia Sophia -

on the Bosphorus

a lovely museum with incredible relics- housed in a part of a former palace (detail of tile work below)

we also had a lot of fresh seafood and fish the last time we were there so we are looking forward to the food on this very short return trip-

off we go again

we are getting ready to start packing again- we are off on a small ship (25 cabins) to the Greek Islands- in about ten days

here is the route we are taking- beginning in Istanbul and then going through some of the islands and ending up for exploration on mainland Greece in Delphi and Meteora...

I have been to Athens twice before and Phil and I spent a Christmas week one year in Istanbul (because the year before we had spent time in Rhodes and Athens. I will see if I can find some of the photos from our previous trip to whet your appetite for following this one-

our breakfast in Rhodes and a view from the terrace where we were dining-

below- several of the lovely courtyards:

the holiday lights in old town Rhodes:

the nighttime view of the Acropolis from our hotel:

another view form the rooftop of the hotel:

a view of our hotel room windows from the Acropolis (highlighted in yellow) -

a selection of nuts in the market:

so we are pretty excited to be going back to Greece in warmer weather and to see more of the islands (Rhodes and Corfu having been the only ones seen on prior trips)-

On this trip, after Istanbul and Ephesus, we see Patmos, Amorgos, Santorini, Naxos, Delos, Mykonos, Syros and then go on to Delphi and Meteora on the mainland... I am pretty sure I have some Delphi pics as well from the last time I was there- ah yes- the climb to the top of the amphitheater was somewhat of a hike- LOL-

above-  the view from the bottom of the amphitheater

and then finally - maybe some photos from Istanbul - - nope have to go hunting for those so maybe next post--- back later - as always.....

Sunday, May 6, 2012

we leave town for dinner

and head out to Lockport???? to Tallgrass.  it was a lovely dinner but cost $4.80 in tolls and was roughly 100 miles round trip.  we had been saying we would try it for years and finally made the trek. 

a meal easily ten times better than the lunch on Wednesday and half the cost...

here is the menu followed by some courses and some of the wines:

OK so I missed the photo of the walnut crusted trout - falling down on the job but I did get a really good shot of the dessert- which was wonderful!

doubt we will get back there anytime soon but it was a good anytime anyone is out in that area (???) we can recommend the place... a lovely small dining room paneled in wood with an original tin ceiling and high placed mirrors to give the sense of space.  all in all a plus but for the 60 minute 50 mile drive... :-(