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Old 18 Sep 20, 11:41 PM  
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walt4it
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:) Going Out in a Blaze of Glory - Summer of Sorcery 2019 -DAY 25- Cloudburn in Clearwater!

Welcome back - you made it once again! The end is getting closer!

If you missed our Rainy day / baseball trip - Day 24 is here

The whole index can be found here if you have missed any of the earlier fun

I know there is just one question you are desperate to know...



Welcome to DAY 25

Saturday 17th August


After a whole day of rain yesterday we opened the curtains this morning to find find weather more akin to Cleethorpes than to Clearwater, it was raining again!


Nothing for it but to put the TV on and watch the Premier League football. With a choice of 3 oíclock games plus live updates of the Everton and Scarborough games it was a worthwhile chill out Saturday morning!

The boys enjoyed the last of the doughnuts whilst Alison and I braved the elements to visit the Starbucks just down the road- lovely little bacon and egg toasted sandwich. No pics though! It was warm outside and yet still raining.
We also popped into the 'Floridian tat' Shop next door finding such things as this




We did use the opportunity to experience the indoor entertainment offered by the hotel - free popcorn and the opportunity to play cornhole, so expertly watched and observed on the TV at Orange Lake, it proved to be a whole lot more difficult when playing in real life! It was great fun though and plans for a purchase of beansbags and some wood at home to make a UK version for when this becomes an Olympic Sport



Once back at the hotel room, we took stock of the recent purchases and acknowledged that the extra bag would now be needed, no point in denying the obvious nor indeed on ditching all the other stuff that you seem to accumulate on holiday over here!

Bags reorganised and some semblance of organisation later we turned the football off and made for the beach, it was still warm with cloud cover but the sun was certainly desperately trying to get out.

So, body boards borrowed from the hotel and sun loungers occupied- we once again made the best of the conditions. Even the birds were hopping in and out of the raindrops!




Now you possibly know what happens next, we did!

Gentle sea breeze, cloud cover and a gentle sprinkle of rain drops every now and again= red nose and a top up of the tan that you never get under a lanai at a villa.


We retreated to the pool and hot tub and I then went to Subway with Josh to get a quick sandwich for him and Joe.

Iím not a great fan of subway and I have to admit the miserable girl behind the counter made me even more determined I was not buying more than I needed to.
We were the only ones in the place too.

We topped up the sandwiches with crisps we had in the room and water that was in the fridge.


The boys enjoyed their food top up as we sat poolside- Joe had got changed when we were gone and had spotted that there was a wedding in the hotel today with the beach set up for the ceremony.

We all just hoped that the weather would hold for them.



You could not wish to get married in a more beautiful place than this, the hotel is beautiful and the beach would be an incredible place to share that special moment.

Today, it just required more sunshine to really top it all off.

As the wind got up again, we decided to go and explore Clearwater by foot.


After getting changed, we headed out, with a courtesy umbrella from the hotel and once again the offer of a poncho turned down once more!

We were determined not to succumb!
We had met the father of the groom on the lift on the way out, he had been to collect his own brolly!

Ours was not needed for too long, as we dropped into the bar across the road which we had visited by chance last year, when we came to Clearwater to see The Alarm.

Our welcome in there today was 100% different than a year ago, interesting to see, but frustrating all the same.

Last year we had great things to say about the place and the staff, tonight the staff were the worst advert for the place.
Rude, ignorant and without an ounce of customer care but with a huge dose of arrogance.

We did not linger and did not even get a response from a gaggle of 3 Ďservers Ď at the exit (only one of whom had rolled her eyes when we declined the food menu, and none of whom bothered to come and ask if we actually needed anything!)

We all rolled our eyes as we exited, even the miserable so and so in Subway had wished us a good day earlier- these three said nothing!

It was perhaps the UK weather that was getting to them, but certainly donít expect it over here though.

We walked down to the Pier and had a look at our favourite boat trip that had not been running for the past two days and also noted that Little Toot had received an upgrade and was now Little Toot 2, the weather and sea conditions were such, that none of the tourist boats were leaving the harbour. The new boat looked pristine and we really did miss not getting a trip this year.



Pier 60 hotel Ė we were booked to stay here last year, but cancelled to go to St Augustine instead.

The rooftop here is amazing and whilst I got the drinks in, something else was happening unbeknown to Alison and I.

Josh had spotted that whilst heading to the lift to travel the 10 floors down to the street, a lady had dropped her purse from her handbag. Josh headed after her and quickly reunited purse and owner.

She was so thankful, so much so, she returned to say thank you again and to give him $5 for his quick thinking.

The gratitude shown was heartfelt and her lovely words meant rather a lot to an unsuspecting mum who turned up at the right moment.

I missed the whole thing.

He was already making plans as to what he could buy with his windfall but I insisted that he keeps the $5 bill at home and never to spend it, keep it as a reminder of what being instinctively honest and for that we remain very proud of how he dealt with the whole situation.






As we enjoyed the view from up here, despite the lack of a fading sun and with no sunset to be viewed tonight.


Time then for a beautiful reminder of our stay in Anna Maria Island in 2014 and possibly one of my most favourite photos of all time Ė this is what a West Coast Floridian sunset should look like!



We decided to walk a bit further and head for food at a reasonable time.

With a range of good choices we decided on Gondoliers once again- we had enjoyed our meal there so much on Thursday.
Tonight was the same, a different server who was excellent. He food was fantastic too.
Canít speak highly enough of this place.









We walked back to the hotel, stopping at Kilwinís for ice cream on the way back.








The boys settled in for a game of chess in the foyer and we made for the room.


We enjoyed sitting on the balcony watching the world pass by and enjoy the heat that could be felt now. It was a great way to end the day with the tingle of the sun on forehead, nose and body!



Time to crack open the After sun after a day of rain and cloud!

Whilst we never seem to get much luck with the weather when coming to Clearwater, yet we have loved being here, the hotel has certainly been a huge help in making it memorable.

The baseball tonight would have been a very late one with Tampa winning in the 13th inningsand at an hour that would have seriously messed up our final night.


Sleep was upon us all, after we had finished watching the MLS game between LA Galaxy and Portland- for no other reason to watch the shocking refereeing of the same ref we had at the Orlando game the other night. Robert Sibiga proving he was consistently rubbish!


As we went to sleep , there was an unspoken awareness that we turned for home tomorrow, we don't like talking about things like that!

DAY 26 is coming real soon - Just click here to read on!
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Going out in a Blaze of Glory- Our Summer of Sorcery 2019 - click here to read a trip report in progress

All of our previous Trip reports and escapades can be read here.

Edited at 11:29 PM.
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Old 19 Sep 20, 04:49 AM  
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Taffy1959
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What a shame about the weather
It was like that the first time we went to Clearwater for the day and when we got back to our hotel in Orlando I was like a tomato 🤣
The food at Gondoliers looks lovely and that pizza was huge.
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Old 19 Sep 20, 06:59 AM  
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I think we share your beach weather luck! Iím not sure that we make such a good day of it as you do. As always your boys do you proud.
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Old 19 Sep 20, 07:45 AM  
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Despite the dreary weather you still managed a fun day. I love the photo of the boys heading off to the surf with their body boards. It seems like you had fun visiting old haunts, well mostly, a shame about the reception in the bar but if you hadn't moved on then you wouldn't have got to Pier 60 in time for the good deed. A pity about the sunset as that would have been a lovely end to the day. I bet the views from that rooftop bar are amazing.
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Old 19 Sep 20, 09:38 AM  
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Shame the weather was so poor on your last beach day but sounds like you made the best of it !

Well done to Josh

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Old 19 Sep 20, 12:18 PM  
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They look like very British seaside clouds! You seemed to makecthe most of it as ever. Thanks for sharing another day with us.
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Old 19 Sep 20, 04:20 PM  
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Another day of soaking it up and living the US vibe. Cloudy days are a killer for the sunburn. It kinda creeps up on you when you think it's safe!

A shame about your return trip to the bar but I guess you got 'authentic' if not 'welcoming'. That's absolute reality for you!

Dinner looked good, especially the seafood pasta thingy! Kilwinís for ice cream on the way home is a great substitute for pudding from the menu, we often head elsewhere for goodies after our main meals.

Good work John at Pier 60! Nice to be able to save the day for someone! We'd all want someone to do the same for us. Nice idea to frame the $5.

Another lovely day and of course, one step closer to home. Looking forward to the last few days of this trip. It's been a lovely read and has reminded me of so many of our own great times in our happy place.

To be honest with you, I'm sticking with (and thoroughly enjoying) this report but am finding reading others a bit too sad at the moment. I love to hear what people have been up to and what I can look forward to, but with no prospect of returning to Orlando within the next 12 months now (unless things get much better) it's like torturing myself. Usually I'm reading reports with a specific upcoming trip in mind and have a spreadsheet open on another tab to make notes about cool things to do or places to visit or to add places to eat/menu's that have been reviewed.

With no plan's for any holidays until 2022...nothing at all..not ever a weekend..actually nothing! It feels as if there is very little to look forward to. Even planning trips in the UK is becoming tricky now with local lockdowns and new rules every other day.

This report has been a great friend to me through the covid crisis. I've been furloughed since March and may not get back to work proper until the end of October. Thanks for being a light in the darkness Walt4it. I'm looking forward to reading the last few days before I finally get back to having a day job again.

Planning for 2022 might be the best I can hope for but it's only 18 months till Easter 2022!
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Old 19 Sep 20, 06:42 PM  
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Proud parent moment , fab idea to keep the $. Shame about the weather but sounds like you all made the best of it and had fun . Like the poster above Iíve been off work since March and am just about to go back but with the new measures may be delayed. I have really looked forward to seeing if another day had been posted on this report itís been something to look forward too . 😀
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Old 21 Sep 20, 11:52 PM  
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Originally Posted by Taffy1959 View Post
What a shame about the weather
It was like that the first time we went to Clearwater for the day and when we got back to our hotel in Orlando I was like a tomato 🤣
The food at Gondoliers looks lovely and that pizza was huge.
Even so many days into a trip , it is a bit of a surprise when you get that lobster feeling!
Possibly shows just how much we 'accidentally' find shade in the parks and how much sun protection is offered by a pool lanai.

Food was fab though

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Going out in a Blaze of Glory- Our Summer of Sorcery 2019 - click here to read a trip report in progress

All of our previous Trip reports and escapades can be read here.
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