Our four night reservation in Cedar Key ended Friday and we were honestly kind of sick of the cool wet weather so were happy to head south Saturday morning. Florida has a nice website for their state park system with real time availability by campground and site. By this time most of the parks are 99% sold out for the winter but I was able to find a spot for Saturday night and then a different spot for four additional nights at Oscar Scherer State Park near Venice. We picked it for its latitude, about 50 miles south of Tampa, but were pleasantly surprised to find out just how nice it is. The camp sites are about 75′ apart with a little strips of jungle separating us from our neighbors. It’s right on US41, the main highway along the coast and only 6 miles from Nokomis Beach a really nice beach and very uncrowded in spite of our visiting on a sunny 83 degree Sunday afternoon.
When I went to the park office Sunday morning to register for the second site I asked if there were any sites available after our next four days. The lady checked her computer and said ‘I don’t believe this but there is a site open for eight consecutive days.’ We signed up for five of those days and then plan to spend two days at Sue’s parents house in Port Charlotte, 40 minutes drive south of here, before we meet up with our friends Jean and Craig in Naples, FL.
The proximity to Sue’s folks was a plus for this location as we are in easy driving distance for laundry and mom’s home cooking. In fact it was cloudy and wet this morning so we went to Port Charlotte for a nice lunch and visit and I got a chance to finally wash the car and vacuum out the inside. We stopped for breakfast first at Ophelia’s Pasta House because we saw their sign of on the way to the beach yesterday advertising a $3.49 breakfast special. Not only was the $3.49 special tasty but they also had complimentary Bloody Marys and Mimosas. Gotta love the hyper competitive restaurant market in south Florida.
Ophelia’s had a guard Egret posted at the front door to keep order. It was real, the black Lab was fake. The stuffed dog was to call attention to the doggie special they served in the outdoor seating area – a dog bowl of chicken and rice for $1.75.