Thursday, August 12, 2004

2004 Florida - Day 9

This is the first time in more than a hundred years that two major tropical storms have hit Florida at the same time. Bonnie is coming ashore in the panhandle, while Charlie is threatening the Florida Keys and then the west coast including Tampa and St. Petersburg. We spent some time in the morning watching all of the weather reports to try and figure out what is going to happen over the next couple of days. All in all, it appears that we are in the best possible spot to ride out the weather.

I ran a quick 3 plus miles on the treadmill. Afterwards, we had breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast, we headed to Vizcaya. Described as Florida's grandest residence, it was completed in 1916 as the winter retreat for millionaire industrialist James Deering. We toured the house and gardens. Jack had a great time leading us using the self-guided tour map.

When we were done with the tour, we headed to the Miracle Mile section of Coral Gables. We had lunch at an interesting place called the Atlanta Bread Company.

From here, we headed to check out the Coral Gables Historic Venetian Pool. Formed from a coral rock quarry in 1923, Venetian Pool is included in the National Register of Historic Places. Originally, we had been considering spending the afternoon swimming there, but decided just to head back to the hotel pool. Jack and I spent an hour and a half in the pool, while Sharon went to the hotel Spa.

For dinner, we headed to Texas de Brazil. Sharon had found this in a local dining guide. The hotel tried to steer us away from going there because it was pretty far away, but both Sharon and I were intrigued by the description. The restaurant features a very large seasonal salad bar. Once you have had your salad, roaming carvers serving beef, lamb, chicken, pork and Brazilian sausage come to the table. It was probably one of the most unique dining experiences that either Sharon or I have had.

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