Monday, March 9, 2015

Travelogue: Taking a Break at the Sponge Capital of the USA--Tarpon Springs, Florida

Hello and welcome. And shall I say hello to spring yet? I hope you are some of the fortunate folks who are warming up this week. 

Congratulations to Karen Walker! Last week was Read an eBook week sponsored by Karen won her choice of my e-books listed on the My Books-Fiction and Non-fiction page of this blog in the tab above.  Did you get to read an eBook last week? 
I started a fun paranormal mystery,  Act of Abduction, by Brainerd and Fraser, and enjoying it. Truly an escape from everyday life.

We took a break from the usual everday activities when our daughter and her family visited last week. We took them to Tarpon Springs, Florida, well-known for its sponge business and Greek culture influences. In fact according to Wikipedia, Tarpon Springs has the highest percentage of Greek Americans of any city in the US. The scenic waterways in the area flow into the Gulf of Mexico where sponge divers harvest sponges all along the west coast of Florida.

We walked along the docks in the historic district filled with tourist shops and Greek restaurants and bakeries. (Yes, we stopped for some of their delicious treats in the afternoon. I wish I had taken a picture of the cakes we enjoyed. They were  beautiful as well as tasty. I had the plain kok (pronounced coke) which is NOT plain. Two small sponge cakes filled with custard and frosted with chocolate icing. MMMM, yummy! Take a peek at them and get the recipe at the Taste of My Life site.)

Many fishing boats and sponging boats docked in the harbor area.
Gorgeous day to be there.

Laughed at a boat tow away zone sign. Usually a vehicle tow away zone.

An original sponge boat circa 1933

Diver with his vintage water tight diving suit. He gets in and out of it using soap and water.

Diver with our nine year old grandson and me

Diver brought up a sponge from the bottom of the springs area

Clambering on board. Diver has to add 172 pounds of gear to his weight in order to keep him on the bottom of the sea floor..

I love pelicans. Maybe even more than flamingos. They were everywhere.
Hope you enjoyed the tour. Think of Tarpon Springs when you use your sponge. There are so many kinds of sponges. It was a real education for us.

Do you use a sponge? a natural sponge from the bottom of the sea? Leave a comment below and let us know how you use it. Thanks.


Miss Mae said...

Sorry to take so long in visiting, J.Q. But I really enjoyed this post today! Love hearing of those tasty yummy Greek cakes, and I also got a laugh out of the "boat tow away". LOL

In Savannah as you travel towards Tybee Island, they have road signs warning of: "Turtle crossing". I get a chuckle out of that too, but it is really serious as they're trying hard to save the turtles.

Your pics were great to see, thanks for sharing, and yes, I use sponges all the time, and I'm clueless if they're the dead critters or created in a mad lab!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Miss Mae, Thanks for stopping in and commenting. In FL we have signs for bear. Now that's scary!! I learned that real sponges from the sea never grow bacteria on them. They are self cleaning. So that's what the sponge salesman told us. Don't use Clorox on them, he said or it will disrupt the self cleaning. Interesting, eh??

emaginette said...

What fun. I love Greek food.

Anna from Shout with Emaginette

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Anna, They sell a lot of gyros there judging from all the signage.

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