This write up was done by Jim....
Part of the TBA group traveled to Longboat Key to visit jwh2
who was visiting us from the other coast. XconZ, Tidal, Lisa, Susan and I (jvrabel)
made the trek down early to goof off and see the sights.
We started out at the Waffle House for breakfast. Let me tell you, the WH booths are not made for 5 people! I was playing footsie with everyone, not intentionally of course (except for Lisa). Breakfast was good and the weather held out.
We traveled south to St. Armands Circle and then north to Longboat. We stopped off at the Mote Aquarium. Found a sweet spot to park with only three spaces, perfect! 12 bucks to get in was a rippoff but we were just happy to get inside with some air conditioning. Man, it was getting hot! We saw all the fishys and saw a movie about sharks. Of course Tidal could keep his hands to himself in the dark theater! Hand check please!! The place got us again with their 2 buck drinks in the gift shop. Eric was the only smart one, he found a vending machine outside with drinks for 50 cents. (He's brighter than he looks!)
After the aquarium, there was no way we were driving around with the tops down. So we cruised up to the Hilton where J was staying with the A/C blasting. To our surprise, the suzuka w/hardtop was already in the parking lot 2 hours early. Can't miss that car! So we pestered J to let us use his room A/C instead of our cars.
We went up to his plush, top floor, two room suite. Pretty cool! We met Jen and our new little friend Jake. We stuck around there for awhile until someone got the bright idea to leave the room and got to the pool bar. Wait, leave the A/C? Nooooo!
J was a good sport and bought us a round. Thanks J! Then jcarlton and Teresa showed up to pick up the next round! Free beer is cool. The slackers from Sarasota showed up finally right after all the beer was dispensed. Too bad guys! Joining the group were SarasotaRed, Smokindog and LondonRam.
Jeff had to go shop with the wifey so he parted ways. The rest of our group headed down to the Columbia restaurant for dinner. That place usually kicks ass, esp. in Ybor. But every time I go to a branch, it's lack-luster. This was no exception. It did get exciting when SarasotaRed spilled a glass of water on me. I needed it anyway, I was so hot!
After dinner, we took some more photos and then parted ways. Dave photoshopped SD's chrome wheels onto my car. Pretty cool. Not sure if I like it on the Silverstone or not. Jury's still out.
Oh yeah, we almost had a major pileup in the circle. I think it was heatstroke but I felt like I went around the whole circle about 2 times when I started to pull off onto on of the streets that led us home. Turns out, that wasn't it. Thanks to Guy for coming to my rescue! Never let an out-of-towner lead again!
Thanks to all for showing up! Overall it was a great day and some nice pictures to prove it. Enjoy.