On days when we don’t have any plans, the first thing you’ll see me do is sit up in bed, still pajama-clad, to check the event listings on Creative Loafing. This was one of those days.
After seeing a few events that required babysitters and/or designated drivers, I finally scrolled by the Palm Harbor Citrus Festival. My thought process: Nearby? Yep. Kid friendly? You betcha. Free? Then it’s for me! And that’s how the boys and I ended up in the car, Palm Harbor bound.
Once the boys and I were unloaded, it was time to get festive! Bobby had already spotted the midway, so I knew that’s where we’d be headed first.
There were a few rides for the thrill seekers…
And then they had some others for the littler guys like this one:
Don’t get me wrong. I’ll hop on the “kiddie rides” any day. Have you ever been on the kiddie tiger coaster over at Lowry Park Zoo? I have, and quite shamelessly I might add. Having kids gives me the excuse to do all of the awesome things I took for granted when I was a kid, but that’s a post for another time.
After I spent five dollars on Bobby to ride the bumper cars once (yes, you heard me!) I decided we’d better head on over to the truly free area of the festival. I’m sorry to report, I wasn’t all that impressed when we turned the corner onto Florida Avenue.
Was it an arts and crafts fair? Was it a business card swap? Well, I’d say it was about 40% arts and 60% cards. The only part I really liked was the tent for Nationwide Title Clearing. They had it all set up for the kids to make a variety of different crafts, and Bobby chose to make a pipe cleaner bracelet. It was free, kept him entertained, and seemed like one of the liveliest happenings at the event.
Well, to be fair, there was also a corn hole tournament going on, so there’s that.
Here was my biggest question: If this was supposed to be a citrus festival, then where was all of the fruit? Yes folks, there’s a reason I’ve sounded somewhat grumpy in this post. The only citrus I saw there were two bowls of oranges along the way. There might’ve been more, so kick me if I’m incorrect, but that’s all I saw without having to sign up for someone’s email list. It was hilarious and awful at the same time.
There definitely was other food there, but I was no longer in the mood for this.
Disheartened, we found a patch of shade under a sprawling tree as I tried to figure out lunch. Turns out we were standing next to one of Palm Harbor’s most well known restaurants, Thirsty Marlin.
After scoping out their online menu, we made our way inside for some eats and a/c.
Our waiter, Barry, was bar none one of the best I’ve ever had. Coincidentally enough, my Southern Belle burger was one of the best burgers I’ve had as well!
This behemoth came stacked with cheddar cheese, carmelized onions, bacon, bleu cheese, a fried green tomato, and Thirsty Marlin’s Bahamian sauce. It was so huge I had to cut it into quarters! Once I took my first bite I was in hamburger heaven. I was so engulfed with my meal that it didn’t bother me a bit to give Barry a greasy thumbs up whenever he’d check on our progress.
When Bobby and I were sufficiently stuffed we strolled along Florida Ave, away from the fest. One of my favorite metaphysical shops, Celestial Circle, was a stone’s throw away, so off we went. We didn’t have long to peruse the store, though. Avery had woken up from his nap and it was time for him to finally get his lunch. We wheeled him next door into the Witch’s Brew and enjoyed the view for a bit.
This gave me just enough time to make me realize…the day was a success! Sure, we weren’t blown away by the offerings from the event, but this was still Palm Harbor, and I love this place. It’s just like that saying, “If you’re bored then you’re boring”. With crazy people like us, we’re bound to find an adventure wherever we go! So here we are, being crazy and having fun in our own way.