February 15, 2014

early spring travel 2014

Our early spring travel took us to many exciting attractions and cities in Florida, some of which we visited for the first time. It was such a fun-filled and exciting adventure! It was a discovery tour of new places and new tastes. Our palates were happy sampling local as well as international cuisines. I came back home not just refreshed but more appreciative for the opportunity to travel. It has always been very educational and inspiring too. Here are just a few highlights from our trip.

Our convenient first stop was at Ybor City in Tampa. We were delighted to get a chance to go back to the Columbia Restaurant for our post-Valentine's Day dinner. It was good to have dinner reservations on such a busy Saturday night. As always, we enjoyed the flavors of their Spanish/Cuban food (shown above). We tried their special "1905" salad, mixed at the table next to us, tasty skewered pork appetizers, Camarones Rellenos with jumbo shrimps stuffed with crabmeat for me and for my husband, Palomilla, tender steak generously topped with mojo crudo (chopped onions, parsley and lime) served with sweet plantains and yellow rice.

It was our first visit to the Everglades. We made it a point to leave at sunrise everyday to get to our next destination early. I'm glad we stopped at Eco Pond. It was most amazing to see a flock of coastal birds like roseate spoonbills and herons there. It was so peaceful and quiet, a haven for bird lovers and bird watchers. Some serious photographers were also out there with us. Mangroves and cypress trees make up the landscape with many different marsh birds around them. More travel highlights coming up soon.

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