Posted in Family, Travel

A Day in Tarpon Springs

My mom passed away last month, her loss has left a huge void in my life, so while in Florida we decided to make the 3 hour drive to visit my Uncle Bernard and Aunt Ellie in Tarpon Springs. The hugs I received when I arrived were worth the drive, It meant so much to be around my moms family. I was thrilled when they offered to show us around the beautiful town of Tarpon Springs. We went for a walk downtown past the sponge docks. The dock was filled with boats some that would take you on tours, some fishing boats that supplied the restaurants with the fish served inside. Bernie and Ellie took us to a beautiful restaurant called Mykonos, the restaurant was small and crowded but cozy, we walked in and a gentleman sitting at a table having a lively conversation stood up and greeted us as though we were all friends, he asked how many then began cleaning a table himself. Looking at the menu there were so many dishes I wanted to try but looking around at other tables I saw huge portions. We settled on the Saganaki, a delicious cheese flambé that they light up right in front of you, on bread or by itself if was a yummy treat. Next was Avgolemone, chicken lemon soup a lemony cream with chicken and lentils perfect flavors with a slight hint of lemon. Our main entree was a sausage gyro, flavorful meat, huge chunks of tomato and a delectable yogurt based sauce on a pita, delicious wonderful company and conversation, I could not imagine anything could ever be better, until we walked to Hellas for pastry. Staring into the glass shelves I knew I was in trouble, beautiful pastry each one more mouthwatering then the next, we decided on two kinds of baklava and a lemon cake, it was placed in a beautiful pink box for later. The downtown was filled with people outside enjoying the warm sunny February weather. Shops lined the street where they sold handmade soaps, sponges and other interesting items aimed at the tourist. We stopped and took a photo in front of the divers statue with names of those who had been lost at sea.
We then took a ride through town and stopped at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in town, my Aunt Ellie told us how each year on The Epiphany, the town has a great celebration that includes a parade from the church to Springs Bayou. There the Archbishop would bless the waters and the people then cast a cross in the water, young men who come from the original families of divers who settled the town would then dive into the water each hoping to retrieve the cross. Legend says the person who retrieves it will have a lifetime of good fortune and divine benefits. The people of Tarpon Springs believe this town has not been harmed by hurricane because of the blessings made during this 3 day celebration. But for today Spring Bayou was a beautiful quiet body of water where we had the opportunity to see the manatee that stay in the Bayou during the winter.
Back at my aunt and uncles home we enjoyed our pastry while sharing conversation. Being with my Aunt Ellie and Uncle Bernard gave me that wonderful warm feeling of being loved without condition, I would have made that drive just to experience that for a few moments, but to have that along with sharing the delicious food,wonderful heritage and beautiful sights of Tarpon Springs made this a day to treasure and remember always.

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Favorite color - pink Favorite place to visit - anywhere I am at the moment What I love most about life - spending time with family and friends If I could do anything I wanted - I would travel every inch of the earth and write.

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