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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Fabulous at 59

~Thursday, February 16, 2023~

Day 978


HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEFFREY!!! 🥳🎁🎂Since October, I can vouch that being 59 is fun and fabulous…..still young enough to do plenty of “dancin’” and experienced enough to give out some noteworthy advice (even when not being asked). “Over the Hill” has not even entered our minds. I count my blessings everyday for having the hubby I do…..my rock and my light. These last 977 days with you with our home on wheels has been nothing short of amazing, and I think it’s made us even stronger as a couple. We got where we wanted to go, much of it thanks to you and look forward to what the next chapter will bring.


After my quick trip to a local Starbucks to get Jeff’s favorite breakfast drink……a Chai Tea Latte with 1 pump of mocha, I learned upon my return to the campground that our plans for kayaking today were nixed. The ranger said with the “medium-chop” alert from the Coast Guard that all kayak rentals were cancelled for the day. It’s hard to tell the conditions from the sheltered area of our campsite, but suppose in the open waters, things can be completely different. Obviously, if you own your own watercraft, it’s completely your decision to take the chance. We would have preferred that.🤨


Now for Jeff’s birthday breakfast…..Eggs Benedict.

This tried and true breakfast treat has been a part of many Latreille celebrations, so feel pretty confident in making a killer poached egg or two even on the road. It’s been fun to add things to the recipe here and there but find roasted asparagus to be the best addition. And since I prefer vegetables over meat, I guess that means more Canadian Bacon for Jeff. It turned out perfect!


Now to come up with our Plan B…..a day at the beach? Touring a local museum? Having a few tasty suds at a local brewery? Or maybe all 3? Back in our design school days, having learned a lot about one of the most famous figures in art history, Salvador Dali, the Salvador Dali Museum in Tampa sounded interesting, but thought with the beautiful weather that being outside on a beach somewhere with our pups sounded better. Maybe on a rainy day Sal! So a beach, a dog and a brew it was!


The drive to the beach took us about 40 minutes. As we drove the historic neighborhood of Hyde Park, with its tree-lined streets and quaint bungalows, we had no idea just how lovely this area of Tampa would be. The fact that Tom Brady and countless other celebrities call this home should have been our clue. Located on Hillsborough Bay, at the south end of Davis Island, the Davis Island Dog Beach offers a decent sized swim area and plenty of room for Fido to run off-leash. The views of the busy shipyard across the way are not all that stunning, but it gave Sadie the romp

she’d been craving, almost too much so. I tell you that girl does not know when to quit. The ball is ever intriguing to her, not so much the dogs. She really could care less about the socialization aspect, though they take an interest in her. She must have done 30 long laps out and back where we finally had to hide the ball. It was fun watching her and the other pups, not to mention the many jet skiers taking advantage of any opportunity to ride the big wakes of ships coming in and out of the bay. I even spotted a dolphin.


With Sadie completely worn out, we headed back toward Ruskin where we stopped at Corporate Ladder Brewing Company, an up and coming brewery in the Tampa area. While we took a shady spot outside, Sadie joined us on the patio where we sampled a few beers and nibbled on

a few yummy things we had brought in the Yeti……all of Jeff’s favorites…Marcona almonds, goat cheese/fig spread, crackers and grapes. A guy came over to meet Sadie and as we got to talking, came to realize we were talking to the owner of the brewery. Good thing we didn’t say anything negative about the first beer Jeff had. Whew! Jeff is certain it was no fault of the brewery’s since he usually doesn’t go for HAZY IPA’s in the first place. His second beer redeemed a not so good review into a 4.6 by day’s end. Their beers are not sold in stores, which is where the 2 large refrigerators stocked with beer to go, come in handy. If you’re ever in the Tampa area, make sure to check them out.


Now for the showdown….kitchen time for me. While Jeff enjoyed his reading time, riverside, armored with bug spray, I spent a few more hours in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on the 2 appetizers which are actually dinner. At least the soup was easy, needing just a reheat. All I can say is thank goodness I prepped the day before or it would have been a midnight feast. The sign of someone loving your cooking is how fast they gobble it down, right?

About 5 minutes in, Jeff realized that he needed to slow down and savor the abundance of flavors on his plate and allow his stomach to catch up to his brain. He absolutely loved it all and was grateful for the time I put into it. He’s soooo worth it of course. The tomato soup, the Goat-Cheese Phyllo Pastry Rolls

with Honey/Red Pepper Flake Sauce and the Fried Sticky Rice topped with the Smoked Salmon Relish really were scrumptious. All definitely binder worthy! The cake and presents were also a hit! Now where is my dish duty person?


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