We arrived around 1:30 p.m. checked in and then had to work the rest of the afternoon. We'd plan to go for a swim while doing laundry as soon as I finished work, but of course at that exact time it began to rain :-) We waited a bit and then headed off in the light drizzle to find dinner. We walked several blocks through the old Main Street area and settled on a little Italian place. We had a great dinner and then headed back to the marina, gathered our laundry - all the sheets, towels and bedspreads. Coleen had a wonderful time swimming. There were a bunch of kids playing "Chicken" and they allowed her to join, probably the most fun she's had so far. I enjoyed pouring over the book exchange and picked out several to take back.We stayed until about 10 p.m. when I finally had to drag her out. Back at the dock a little party was going on. I met a bunch of locals - or weekenders as they called themselves. They actually had a little party dock with a tent and grills. I visited with them for a while before turning in.
Saturday I got up very early and gave the boat a good scrubbing inside and out taking advantage of having an endless water supply. We had great marina showers - even got to use a hair dryer and looked like proper girls by the time we headed over to visit the South Florida Museum.
We enjoyed a couple of shows in the Planetarium but our favorite was the Manatee aquarium where we met Snooty - a 61 year old manatee. We stood for a long time watching him eat tons of romaine lettuce, broccoli and carrots while the volunteer told us all about manatees. In all it was a great visit - well worth the trip. After the museum we took advantage of our $20 coupon and enjoyed a delicious lunch on the outdoor patio at the marina restaurant overlooking the Manatee River.
By then it was well past check out time so after my worst docking departure ever (sideways in the slip) we headed over to the fuel dock for a pump out and ice. The very nice dock hand gave me 3 free bags of ice and then we scooted back down the river to our anchorage near Desoto Point. We decided not to raft up this time as the weekend boat wakes are awful so I dropped my own hook - which was good as I was getting out of practice :-) We had a quiet evening eating leftovers from lunch before turning in a little early.
Yesterday we actually went for a fun sail -- no destination just sailing to sail. We went on DJ's boat (which was the first time I'd sailed on her). She's a very heavy boat but quite comfortable. We sailed over past Egmont Key and out the pass into the Gulf. The water was the most beautiful green and very clear. We saw lots of dolphins and with the water so clear we could see them swimming. It was very relaxing - at least for me, and I spent most of the time sitting on the bow (or anywhere I could find shade) just enjoying the afternoon. On the way back I cooked up a little one pot dinner and when we arrived back around 8 p.m. the little Glass Slipper was doing just fine.
I looked forward to a relaxing evening and turning in early but unfortunately a storm was brewing and the wind picked up something awful. I ended up keeping a watch in the cockpit until around midnight when things either had calmed down or I just lost interest and turned in anyway -- hard to tell because I was so tired :-)