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STOP #190

After a short 135 mile drive up the west coast of Florida, we find ourselves in Tricia's Aunt Beth and Uncle Barry's driveway which is located just west of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

As you can see by the photo below we just about fit into our camping spot for this week.

We almost fit in their driveway!

Also just a few miles away lives Tricia's Aunt Linda and Uncle Bob who have invited all of us over for dinner on Sunday. We arrived early in the afternoon and chatted on their back porch while munching on fruit, cheese and crackers. For dinner they're serving up a spaghetti plate with homemade red meat sauce and homemade garlic bread, with mint chocolate cake for desert. The meal was delicious, but Tricia wouldn't allow me to even sample the cake.

THURSDAY - Tonight is Tricia's weekly Family Zoom Meeting. They have been doing this once a week for nearly a year now. Lately interest and participation has been a little lacking.

In order to spice things up a little Tricia has a plan. For the last couple of weeks we have been preparing for tonight's Family Zoom Meeting by making sure every family member has one of her Mystery Boxes in their hands.

The plain outside boxes are clearly maked not to be opened until the Family Zoom Meeting tonight. Her Uncle Jon and Aunt Joanie's box was mailed to them in Cape Cod last week and the rest of them have been hand delivered over the last two weeks. Her brother Jim recieved his first while we were in Fort Lauderdale where he lives. Next was her Aunt Jill and Uncle Peter while we visited the Fort Myers area last week. Finally was her Aunt Beth and Uncle Barry, along with Aunt Linda and Uncle Bob, here in the Tampa/St. Pete area.


The main attraction inside each box is a sinister game developed by Jelly Belly called Bean Boozled! I say sinister because the premise of the game is simple, you each eat a jelly bean and watch the reactions of the other players. You're probably thinking, how is that fun?

These aren't ordinary jelly beans. They come with flavors like Toasted Marshmallow/Stink Bug, Birthday Cake/Dirty Dishwater, Buttered Popcorn/Rotten Egg, Coconut/Spoiled Milk and everybodies favorite Strawberry Banana Smoothie/Dead Fish.

There are 20 different flavors in each box but the problem is you can't tell the difference between each pair of flavors because they look and smell identical. The fun begins when you spin the dial and it tells you what the chosen jelly bean looks like. Then each player pulls one from their box and simultaneously puts it in their mouth and chews.

Tricia thoughtfully included in each box a 2 oz. Dixie Cup to be used as a spitoon. Also a bag of Cheddar Cheese Goldfish Crackers and a roll of Menthos Mint Chews, in order to cleanze your pallette before beginning the next round of play. There was also a round yellow paddle with a Smiley Face on one side and of course a Frowny Face on the other, so you could display which flavor your jelly bean was, in case it wasn't obvious. Pretty clever I thought.

Everyone, but most importantly Tricia, had a good time with the game. I suspect next time they receive anything in the mail from Tricia, they will all adamantly deny it ever arrived.

FRIDAY - I spent all of my Friday afternoon hanging out with Barry at the airport. No we weren't seeing anyone off or picking anyone up and I didn't go anywhere.

Barry rents an airplane hangar there to store his classic car parts and a few classic car build projects. This weekend he is going over to Ocala to set up a booth at a large swap meet that specializes in just this kind of mechandise.

So for 4 hours we loaded up his 20 foot long (open car hauler) trailer with items he has for sale. It was probably the most work I've done since we hit the road nearly three years ago. He asked me if I'd like to go the the swap meet with him, but I declined the offer.

At 4:15AM on Sunday morning I heard him start up his truck and head out for the hour and a half drive over to Ocala.

This is his wife's daily driver, a 1973 Plymouth 'Cuda with the 440 big block under the hood.


MONDAY - So ends our swing through South Florida to visit with family and friends. We hadn't originally planned to revisit South Florida so soon. It took a worldwide pandemic to change our travel plans of visiting Alaska (no border crossings) or the great National Parks out west (most are only half open).

We are not sure when we'll be back again, but if we've learned one thing while being on the road, "All travel plans are sculptured in jello, not granite". So be prepared for another visit at anytime. Like we say at the end of every blog post, Until next time.

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