Recently my dear friend Sharon called to say that she and her hubby were heading to Toronto to visit friends and family. She knew I was coming down to celebrate my birthday that weekend and wanted to know if I wanted to come a few days early and stay in their home, so that I could have spend some time at the beach. How long do you think it took me to say YES!? They live in Dunedin, Florida, one of my absolutely favorite towns on the West Coast.
I headed out for my trip last Thursday and I have to tell you, Sharon is the best hostess ever! Not only did she offer her home as a vacation getaway, she left Jamaican Curry Chicken marinating in the refrigerator for me, along with rice and apple pie. Oh my gosh, it was out of this world good! She also left a gift card for a free frozen custard at Ritter's, a discount coupon for the local wine store, two local neighborhood newspapers full of all kinds of goings on and I got to see all the wonderful paintings and sculptures she has completed since I moved. I am so blessed with fabulous friends.
Speaking of friends, I also finally got to meet one of my favorite bloggers — Jane of Artfully Graced.
Rhonda emails Jane. Jane says, come Rhonda, come, let's have fun. Come and play. Fun, fun, fun. Yes, Jane, yes, I will come. See the sun. Sun, sun, sun. Run on the beach. Run, run, run. Meet Jane for lunch. Talk, talk, talk. Eat, eat, eat. Oh, Jane, I had such fun.
Fun, fun, fun.
Jane and I have been reading each other's blogs for close to a year now and we tried to get together while I still lived there, but our schedules kept this from happening. So, instead of a 30-minute drive, I drove four and a half hours. After meeting Jane, I can tell you honestly that I would drive across the country to hang out with her again! I had such a GREAT time and it was far to short a visit.
Jane treated me to lunch at the Ozona Blue Grilling Company, located in the Home Port Marina in Palm Harbor, Florida.
125 Orange Street North
Palm Harbor, Florida
Just look at this view…
We sat out on the deck overlooking the swimming pool. Yes, this restaurant has a pool and anyone can use it during the week. How cool is that? On the weekends they close it down and serve dinner on the patio.
This is a favorite spot for Jane's family and I can understand why. The view was gorgeous, the service was perfect and the food was so yummy!
Fish Tacos for me
Grouper Sandwich for Jane
I love fish tacos and if you haven't had them, you don't know what your missing. They are very popular in California and in recent years I find them more on more on Florida menus. But I make them myself, so if you can't find them — MAKE THEM. They are perfect for hot summer days.
Anyway, Jane and I talked nonstop for TWO hours. Her hubby had asked what we would talk about since we had never met. No problem! That's is what is great when you get together with fellow bloggers. We already know we have a lot in common (that's why we read each others blogs isn't it?), so it's like getting together with an old friend. If you haven't met any of your blogging friends yet, take my word for it, don't put it off any longer.
Jane is a doll and I swear it was like having lunch with someone I've known all my life. Now, of course, I love Jane's art and believe me she is SO talented and her art is such fun. If you remember she painted a tiki hut for me when I moved to Georgia, well, last week she showed up with this gift…
Isn't she adorable? As soon as I unwrapped it and felt it in my hands I knew that
it was painted on something every sheller loves — a sand dollar.
This is an Arrowhead Sand Dollar from the Philippines and the shape is absolutely perfect for painting fish. Yes, that is the natural shape.
I knew she had to go somewhere very special. I don't think I've shown you this mirror before. Can you see all the wood cutwork? Seashells, of course.
This cute little fish picked up the colors in the photos I framed and just balanced out this area. Did you notice that when I hung those frames I glued little starfish to the nails? They used to have bows, but I think the starfish fit my style much better.
To Jane, I thank you so much for showing me such a great time. I could have talked the day away with you. I love hearing you talk about your family. There is such love and pride in your words and to me, family is everything. I loved hearing the passion in your voice as we talked about art. You are such an inspiration and even more so now, a dear, dear friend. I can't wait to see you again! I'm hoping to make it out for your home art show and you know I'll be there if you do the show in Savannah.
I adore blogging and all the friendships I've made in the last year have brought such joy to my life. We are a loving community and I treasure all of you everyday.