Monday, February 23, 2015

Picnic at Honeymoon Island & Barley Mow Brewing


Lance’s sister & brother in law, Brandi & Jeremy, got us an awesome grill for Christmas, and we’ve been so busy we haven’t had the chance to use it until we brought it to Honeymoon Island the other day!  Before, we only had our little George Foreman, but this one is great because it’s compact enough for our small porch and it’s portable.

Last time we went to Honeymoon Island was back in 2011 – we had only been dating a month, and we took the ferry from there to Caladesi Island.  That was in the summer, so it was beautiful weather, but we didn’t plan for how cold it would be this time!  The highs were in the 50’s, but with the wind it felt more like the 40’s.  Luckily I brought a jacket, but it wasn’t really beach weather.  The ferry to Caladesi was closed due to the high wind. 

Originally we thought we’d set up by the water, but we moved to a picnic shelter to keep warm and make sure the grill stayed lit.    

Like most of our picnics, we made a run to Trader Joe’s first to pick up some food.  We bought their Spicy Italian Vino & Formaggio Chicken Sausages, baked beans, corn, peppers, and onions to grill.  We were going to just get some normal hot dog buns, but we saw that TJ’s had soft pretzel sticks, which was so much more exciting!  We topped the sausages with the veggies and Double Cream Gouda cheese (I also love the smoked gouda cheese at TJ’s!) 

We grilled the corn with Sriracha Kaffir Lime Rub from Williams Sonoma (a gift from my cousin Chris and his wife Marty). 

As an impulse buy, we bought some nuts to snack on – Thai Lime & Chili Cashews and Sesame Honey Almonds.  WOW they are both delicious.  The cashews at first bite didn’t seem all that spicy, but the chili hits you after a few seconds – make sure you have something to drink with these.  And the sesame almonds were really filling – they’d be a good snack to hold you over between meals. 

We had planned to grill pineapple as well, but we had way too much food already.  We walked it off on the Osprey Trail, which was a really nice little hike.  We saw an eagle in its nest – then another one joined carrying a fish!  There were also a bunch of armadillos along the trail. 

Lance’s niece, Lila, sent us a “Flat Stanley” a few weeks ago.  We had to bring him on adventures and document his experiences in a journal, then mail him back to her class in Pittsburgh so she could talk about his trip.  One of the pages asked what the landscape looked like in our area compared to Pennsylvania, so we brought him to the beach with us. 

Afterwards we checked another brewery off our map by visiting Barley Mow Brewing Company in Largo.  We kept hearing great things about their beer, and we weren’t disappointed.  The people were very friendly, and it was clear a lot of the patrons there were regulars. 

A photographer from Visit St. Pete Clearwater was there taking pictures of their Quackalope IPA, so Lance got a free beer for letting them take shots of him drinking one (I don’t think they’re online yet, but I did find a really great video they posted last month about the Craft Beer Trail!)

I especially liked the Son of a Seabiscuit – which is a sweet amber beer brewed with Serrano peppers.  I probably couldn’t drink more than one, but the small taste in the flight was the perfect way to warm up from the chilly weather. 

Honeymoon Island is located at 1 Causeway Blvd, Dunedin, FL 34698.

Barley Mow is located at 518 W Bay Dr, Largo, FL 33770 and is open 3pm – 2am Monday – Friday and 12pm – 2am Saturday – Sunday. 

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