April 6, 2015
About a month ago now, my parents and my little brother were in Florida for a day and came to visit me. Of course we had to decide what to do and I suggested we travel to Tarpon Springs. It is about an hour drive out from where I live. My mom asked me what they have there, and I responded with “I keep hearing about the sponges and the Greek food in Tarpon Springs.”
She responds back with “What do you mean Sponges?”
I follow up with “I don’t know… sponges.”
Next thing you know we’re on our way to Greek sponge town settled off the Gulf of Mexico.
Once we had arrived in the town the Greek influences where definitely noticeable in the names on the storefronts. Just trying to pronounce some of the names was fun.
Then we spotted a sign that pointed us in the direction of the sponge docks. Several people tried to lure us into their parking lots. We finally settled on one and the lady running the lot tried to sell us on a dolphin sight seeing cruise. (Several people up and down the strip would also try to get us on their dolphin sight seeing cruise as the day progressed.) We opted out, but one day I plan on going back to try one of the cruises. We walked for a little bit trying to decide which of the many Greek restaurants to eat at. Finally, my parents stopped a police officer and asked for his opinion of the best one.
We took his advice and tried Mykonos Authentic Greek Cookery. The food was fantastic and the platters were quite full. Because of our waitresses thick accent ordering our food was an intense process. But she was very nice and I wouldn’t mind stopping back here one day.
Continuing down the docks we found all of the little tourist shops that sold cute little knick knacks made with sea shells, soaps, tee shirts and of course sponges. I bet you never realized there are so many different types of sponges. Some are better for cleaning dishes and some are better for cleaning your body. And some just look nice with a little succulent plant inside of them. I left the city with little sponges that are great for washing my face and applying makeup.
Of course where there is Greek food involved I have to get myself some baklava. Thanks to my Mom I left with a nice big tray and a smile on my face.
My Dad couldn’t help himself and had to go into the Spiceman’s Kitchen and try all the hot sauce. The ghost pepper extract almost defeated him, but he managed to power through.
The day was nice and breezy and even though we didn’t go to the beach and lounge around all day we managed to have a great time being tourists in the “Sponge Capitol of the World.”
What nearby places have you day tripped to? What were your favorite parts of the trip?
Do any of you know of places in the Tampa Bay Area that little mini tourist traps?
Let me know in the comments below!