Weekday mornings I’ve been toying around with jogging routes. We’re less than a mile from McKechnie Field—something to keep in mind come spring training—but nothing jumps out at me as an obvious (and safe, especially pre-dawn) course to get in more than a mile or so. Running in any direction, even at 6 a.m., sends me into busy streets (301/41, 9th Street, etc.) and unpredictable sidewalk configurations.
HOME BASE: The Pirates’ spring training field is just a quick jog from our new house.
After hours, the Bradenton relocation puts an interesting hitch into nights out with friends. Pals Big J and Little J both bought houses in Sarasota just as we began our migration northward. (We’re no more than a couple miles from Big J’s old house in Samoset, but he now lives off Bee Ridge.) And all of our usual casual nighttime hangouts are now a less-than-casual drive away, so we’ll have to forge new bar crawls. We took a break from unpacking Saturday evening to visit the Lost Kangaroo Pub in downtown Bradenton. I’ve only been there four times total, but I’m constantly reminiscing that the Lost Kangaroo reminds me of one of my favorite college hangouts, DeLand’s Blind Pig Pub. Both are long, narrow, brick-walled pubs (“bar” doesn’t quite capture their European qualities) with impressive selections of draught beers (and a somewhat fratty clientele).
I SMELL BACON: Ok, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but DeLand’s Blind Pig holds some great memories.
Anyway, like anything else, the important part of settling in happens in the quieter moments. Tonight, after CCB puts the final screws in place on our new grill (an absolute steal from Sam’s at $170), we’ll be cooking steaks and corn on the cob under the cool January sky, next to our orange tree, in our back yard.
THRILL OF THE GRILL: What our new grill should look like, once we get it all put together.