We journeyed down to our old stomping grounds in Safety Harbor today. The first place we went by was our old house in North Bay Hills. As I drove through, it seems so very different than our most recent house and even our house before that in Sioux City. There are palm trees everywhere and more sunshine, but all the homes are ranches and set very close together. But we did have sidewalks. I drove by the house that we used to pick tangerines, but I didn’t see any trees growing tangerines. Hmmmm. Mitchell told me I had the wrong house, but I think I would remember better than someone who was only 10 when we moved.
We finally reached our old home and my jaw dropped. The first thing I saw was the mailbox lying in the street. The yard looked like it had not been touched in over a year. On the left side of the house, the fence was missing and you could see the pool, covered by the new screen I put in before we left. The house had no for sale or foreclosure sign. Was it abandoned or owned by hillbillies? I would guess the former, but I still didn’t want to sit too long in front of it and stare in awe. It was really sad to see our old house like this. I know at one time it was listed as a short sale, and I thought perhaps it might have a sinkhole.
We next stopped at North City Park and walked around. No one was around, and we didn’t hang out very long. I drove out of the neighborhood passing Cory’s house and saw the lights on and two cars in the driveway. While we were at Espiritu Santo Catholic Church, I called him to find out he was indeed home. I drove back and said hello and then left to meet my parents for lunch.
The next stop was the one Roman was probably most excited about: Sun Groves. And even more exciting was that they had Blue Moon ice cream! I got the classic orange-vanilla twist, which was delicious as usual. They no longer had orange juice samples or salsa samples. But it was good to see the place still in business.
Next it was time for a drive through Phillipe Park. That’s all it ended up being as no one wanted to get out of the car. I would have climbed the Indian mound, but there were no other takers.
The last stop before hitting Clearwater Beach was the Safety Harbor pier. The pier literally had nothing but guys fishing and another guy with a pierced mouth, who offered to take our picture. I obliged. Can’t always judge a book by the cover.
We got to the beach around 3:00. I thought 90 minutes would suffice, but I don’t think the kids (or Joel and Alyce) were really ready to leave. But leave we did. I believe Joel and Alyce will probably return to some beach on Friday.
A full day and I wish we had gotten there earlier. We didn’t visit anyone while there (other than the impromptu Cory visit), but if we return to Safety Harbor (next time with at least Julie), I am pretty sure we will do so.