It is Wednesday evening as i write my blogs. We planned to stay just two nights here in Tarpon Springs, but with both of us suffering from coughs and colds, it has been good to rest another day.
25 years ago Hank ate at a place called Mykonos and that is where we went to eat Monday night when we got here. As the “story” goes — Hank is sitting there enjoying his dinner when all of a sudden, the chef comes out of the back kitchen area with a long pointed knife in his hand WAVING it under the nose of some employee, who is backing out of the kitchen holding his hands up and shaking his head. The chef was yelling loudly – in Greek of course!! Hank was a little concerned about how that evening was going to end!!!
SO — Monday evening when we got seated at our table, this older gentleman came by to bring us menus and he had the look of perhaps being the owner of this establishment. Mykonos opened its doors in 1991 and was started by this man, Mr. Salavarias, and his wife. I digress…..Hank proceeds to share this story with him, and as the “tale” unfolds, this guy gets the ‘ol Cheshire cat look ( uh oh – my hand has been caught in the cookie jar, look) and with a sly grin he chuckles. I say to him “that was you, wasn’t it?”. He walks away and in about 30 seconds, comes back around and tells us that chefs are known for their very bad tempers. And then he smiles again and walks off. WHAT fun that was.
When we were leaving the restaurant Hank went into the back to find him and said “THANKS FOR KEEPING THE STANDARDS RAZOR SHARP!” Mr. Salavarias smiled!!
We are docked at the city marina, near the sponge docks. The Greeks came to this area in the early 1900’s where they made their living from fishing and sponge diving. Fishing and sponge diving continues today. Tarpon Springs is also a large tourist area – water activities, learning about the sponge industry, enjoying fine Greek foods, nearby golf courses, and of course the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.
Yesterday , mid-afternoon Tues., we got a rental car and drove a few miles from here to see one of my Mother’s cousins. Her name is Millie Schneeberg. She and my Mom were first cousins and the same age (92). They both left Southern Illinois after high school graduation to find work in Bloomington, Illinois.
After a sweet visit with Millie, Hank and I drove to Ybor City, the original Cuban community in the Tampa area, to meet with friends Hal and Sandy Shevers at The Columbia restaurant. This is the “original” location – #1, established in 1905. We had a grand dinner and a fun, fun evening
Today has been used for R & R. Tomorrow we will depart and cruise further South.