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Day 3 Florida 2018

What is it about stores and restaurants in America ? You can get exactly what you want and when you want it. In England, we seem to have to mail order everything, or visit a specialist store to get the most simple of items. And apart from visiting a Frankie and Bennys to get the most lacklustre and expensive steak or ribs, where else can we go to get a good steak dinner? Miller and Carter, where you pay a grand for a small steak the size of a dice? I don’t think so.

Blackbeard’s, the restaurant mentioned yesterday, where many Americans leave before paying the bill, then complain that they are being hunted down for the money, is a great example. The place was packed. It’s January, and every seat was taken. Their signature dish is the Prime Rib (a slab of tender steak cooked to your exact liking). The dish includes a seafood chowder (lumpy soup), a bowl of warm bread and flavoured butters, unlimited visits to the salad bar, and a choice of potatoes and vegetables to accompany your steak. $21. That’s about £14 with today’s exchange rate. I’m typing this on an iPad, and the steak was about the same size. So, the next time you’re in a restaurant, and you order a steak, ask for one the size of an iPad, and see how much they charge you.

And shops. It’s well documented that you can walk into Wal Mart and buy a gun, a boat, have your car tyres changed and get Honey Mustard Pringles. But what about other things? I want French Vanilla flavoured Coffee Mate, chicken wings that look like they’ve come off an Osprey, and some pickled spicy okra for my Bloody Mary. Yep, Wal Mart has it all. But Tesco? My Coffee Mate is original or light, my wings look like there’s a butterfly farm somewhere being harvested, and the closest I get to spicy pickled okra is a jar of kosher turnips. I heard a woman complaining yesterday that they were out of stock of low fat roast zebra sausage with maple sauce. They had it with paprika, but no maple….the assistant was most apologetic, and offered to hand deliver it later that day, and pay for the item out of her own pocket, flogging herself with a strap of nails whilst she did so. I was in Tesco last week and asked for calamari. “It might be with the pasta I think”. Thanks for that Chantelle….

Anyway, as you can tell, yesterday was a slow news day, and a little uneventful when it comes to Nikkisms. We had a lovely breakfast of Zebra sausage and scrambled eggs, before being joined by Rafe and Joe, and their minders Rebecca and Christan. It was beautifully sunny, so we decided to go for a swim. The pool was slightly iced over, but that didn’t stop us. Actually it did. Our travel insurance, as it turns out, does not cover death from heart failure due to extreme cold in swimming pools. Joe did his best, but when his feet turned blue we decided enough was enough. Rafe had the right idea, and just conducted his own survey on who had the nicest boobs to cuddle up to. I’d like to say Nikki won by a hand, but it was more like a catchers mitt.

Off to the beach then, to walk on the sand and have a beer. Nope. Tide was in, and the rain came. Sunny to cloudy in a matter of seconds. So, quick beer in a beach bar. “Four beers please”. “Can I see some ID?”. Who from? Me and Nikki, clearly late thirties, if not a little older, or the 6’4″ Fireman with his Wife holding two sand covered twins?. Come on, use a little common sense here….I didn’t see you ask Ethel and Spencer for their ID. “Who are they?” He asked. “The couple over there….the one with the Zimmer frame and oxygen tank and the man with her being measured up by the undertaker”. “Oh they are regulars”. I’ve since looked into Florida state law, and it says, ” Persons wishing to buy alcohol from a licensed premises must produce identification to prove they are over the statutory age restriction of 21. If no ID can be produced, then they must be refused service – unless they’re regulars”. Anyway, after we drank our Sunny D, we headed home.

Not a first in the Talbot house, but we did have a January bbq last night, where our hosts Terry and Vivian cooked up some amazing burgers and wings….zebra I think, with an amazing recipe I’ll try out on my unsuspecting guests when I return home. Needless to say, one ingredient will surprise even the most seasoned of charred meat smiths.

I had a three hour power nap in the afternoon. Hence why I’m typing this at 4am. Wide awake and on my third coffee. On the plus side, I get to watch an infomercial on loop, allowing me to have a free 60 day trial of vitamin supplements to improve my incontinence.

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