Friday, January 12, 2018

Loss of a Tarpon Springs Icon

Home in Holiday-Tarpon Springs, Florida

Maria Koursiotis

We have written about our FAVORITE Greek Restaurant, The Original Mama Maria’s, many times.  Maria Koursiotis opened Mama Maria’s around 1978 after her husband, John “Sfeeka” Koursiotis, died during a dive for sponges.  Every time we went to Mama’s, there she was in the kitchen doing something…her head barely able to be seen over the counter top.  Lunch, Dinner, it did not matter…there she was.  Last night we met our friend and relative Ginger at Mama Maria’s, had another great dinner, and yet Mama was not there.  Asked her son Costa as we were leaving how Mama was doing…found out she had passed away while we were gone.  Sad thing to learn….

 The Original Mama Maria’s

Ginger was married to Marcia’s cousin, who passed away a little over a year ago.  Ginger has gone through a lot dealing with his cancer sickness, and his death, and dealing with so much stuff that comes with that.  However, Ginger is doing great, and that was so nice to see.  We got there at 5, got home at 8…it is only 10 minutes away…so you can see we all had a very enjoyable meal, and conversation.

Cosmos Family Restaurant

Earlier in the day we met Cousin Mary at the Cosmos Family Restaurant which we ate at the night we got home.  When we left last April this restaurant was called “The Blue Oyster”, and we were disappointed in it…glad it changed owner and name upon our return.  We are very pleased with Cosmos, better food, better service, better atmosphere, a bit less expensive.  This is a true family business…run by the father, the mother, and the 25 year old son.  The servers are more friendly…as is the owner.  What we also like a lot is that this restaurant is just around the corner from us!

The Dreaded Scale

Marcia had her first doctor’s appointment earlier this week…and of course, there was the dreaded “Step up on the scale” moment.  Well, we are happy to report that Marcia lost 47 pounds since she last stepped on this same scale back in December of 2016.  The doctor was very happy…and Marcia was elated…as am I because for the past 10 months or so all I heard is, “You are losing weight on this diet, but I am not losing @#$&.  Well, now she believes me ….

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Quick Stats of Trip Home – Sacramento to Tarpon Springs

Holiday Florida. RV in Tarpon Springs

Sacramento to Tarpon Springs Map

Left 1:30 pm  (PT) on December 26th, Arrived 12:30 pm (ET) January 4th. 
2950 miles traveled (I know, the map says it was more), 353 gallons of gas (we did idle and run the generator which also uses gas, so it was probably closer to 8.5 miles per gallon).
Least expensive gas was in Tucson Arizona, $2.029 per gallon, most expensive was in Bakersfield, California, $2.779 per gallon.  

Lowest overnight temperature was 19 degrees in Boerne Texas.  Yes, we froze up our grey tank and our black tank, but was able to dump them in Houston the next day.

7 days of travel.  We stayed 2 nights in Phoenix Arizona, and 2 nights at Top of Hill, Boerne Texas.  Longest day was 12+ hours from Welcome Center in Louisiana to Walmart in Perry Florida.

Biggest Scare:  When I ran a red light on Highway 19 in Florida, with a Florida Highway Patrol Car sitting in the median on the other side of the light.  Either he did not see us, or the car was empty, or I got to the intersection before the light turned red.  Not sure which it was, just grateful I did not get a ticket.

Dead Deer along highway:  Most deer were in Florida, next was Texas.  Did not see any live deer except for one young fawn sitting along a freeway entrance, very near a mother deer which was dead….a very sad thing to see.  We were coming onto the freeway…can only hope that the fawn was rescued, because it was too young to make it on its own.

Wrecks:  Two trucks were being unloaded by what looked like inmates, both had been in a wreck hours before we went through.  Saw many police in Eastern Texas and in Florida…few anywhere else.  Freeway was shutdown in Tallahassee Florida, but opened before we got to the area.

Four nights in Passport America parks, two nights in a county park, one night in Walmart, one night is a welcome center, one night in truck/RV area attached to a gas station.
Overall, it was a good trip, hard due to cold weather causing freezing up of waste lines, and traffic due to Christmas Break.  Engine worked great, as did all the rest of the mechanical features.

Countdown to trip back = about 11 weeks….

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