Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Continuing our Florida odyssey, Dave, my family and I drove over to Tarpon Springs yesterday to have lunch. Tarpon Springs was settled largely by Greeks who came generations ago to dive for natural sponges. The sponge-fishing industry is a relic of the past now, but the town still thrives on its Greek pedigree. The main strip along the water, Dodecanese Boulevard, is lined with little souvenir shops selling standard Florida fare like lacquered gator heads and shell-covered jewelry boxes, along with pseudo-Mediterranean items like olive oil soap and beaded sandals. There's a Hellas restaurant, a Mykonos restaurant and a Santorini restaurant, as well as a statue devoted to the sponge-dovers of old. And nearby, some random political graffiti.
We'd planned to go to a restaurant on the water called Rusty Bellies (like the belly of a ship, I suppose?) but it was closed on Mondays. So we wound up at Paul's Shrimp House, where my brother ate something like a pound and a half of steamed shrimp.
I've driven Dave around my hometown, showing him my elementary school that's slated for demolition (it's still there) and my high school. Dave cooked dinner for my mom last night, and he plans to do the same for my dad and stepmother tonight. The way to my parents' hearts is through their stomachs!