Hood Cleaning is a wonderful business and I can truly say that I’m ecstatic to do the work that I do. But, I do burn out once in a while and need a break. This year, I decided to take a vacation and head to Florida. While planning the trip, I came across some pretty interesting ideas on how to spend my time which included seeing Jimmy Buffet and The Eagles in concert. Also, I wanted to make the trip interesting by staying in Airbnb places that were quirky and different.
We flew into Tampa and our first planned stay was in a caboose on an estate in Clearwater. This buddy of mine told me about this place and that it had been featured on HGTV. So when we found that it was available, we had to book it for a week. In hind site, a week was a little too long considering that this was basically a ‘tiny house’ created inside an antique caboose. But we really liked Clearwater and spent a lot of time exploring the gulf coast north of Clearwater and Tampa. We even considered buying a house or a condo in New Port Richey or Tarpon Springs. We spent at least half our time in the area looking at real estate.
After leaving the Tampa Clearwater area, we traveled down through St. Petersburg and Sarasota to head to the Naples Florida area. Our next Airbnb rental was a condo on Marco Island which is on the coast, south of Fort Meyers Florida.
Marco Island turned out to be amazing. I fell in love with the beaches and the touristy feel of the island. The biggest issue – Marco Island is EXPENSIVE. The restaurants and bars were very high dollar except for this one crazy Italian restaurant that we found called Joey D’s Marco Island. The food was excellent. The service was great and the size of the meals was ridiculously large. The pricing was almost too good to be true. Now, being a hood cleaner, I was all intrigued by their massive kitchen. So, I talked the restaurant manager into giving me a tour of the kitchen, which he gratefully did. All I kept thinking was that it was overbuilt for the size of their business. But I was impressed.
Did I mention that we rented a Mercedes for this touring? Well, we did. My idea was that I did not want to risk my families life by driving a cheap rental car. So, we had this gorgeous Mercedes to drive. I know what your thinking – you do hood cleaning for a living and you go on vacation to Marco Island Florida and drive around in an $80,000 Mercedes. Well, yeah. Hood cleaning isn’t easy work – but it pays well. So I might as well go a little crazy while on vacation, right?
Anyway – back to my story… We spent a few days on Marco Island and we were off to Miami for our concert. The concert was at the Hard Rock Stadium and it was my first time in a stadium of that size. My hood cleaning brain started to immediately go to my big question, “how many kitchen hoods are in this place?”
Our tickets for the show were pretty awesome. We were on the floor seats, just 6 rows off the stage. Jimmy Buffet had put on a fantastic show and I was so thrilled to see the Eagles in concert for the second time in my life. It was my first Buffett concert. Which is funny because the guys that work for me will tell you that while we’re on a hood cleaning job, I’m listening to Jimmy Buffett music all night.
The next day, we were off to the Florida Keys and were staying in a hotel down by the beach for 3 nights. The hotel was nothing great – but the ocean across the street was amazing. I took my OneWheel out many times per day and rode up and down the strand taking pictures and people watching.
The second morning that we were in Key West, I was on my OneWheel for a ride and it was kind of busy on the strand. Lots of runners and bicyclists. One coming at me on the strand caught my attention. He had a big grin on his face as he looked at me on my OneWheel. He gave me a nod of approval to go with his big smile and he kept peddling down the strand. As he nodded, I realized who it was. It was Jimmy Buffett! It was cool to see him out like that but I was disappointed that I didn’t at least get to shake his hand and tell him how much fun I had at his concert but it was very cool anyway.
After enjoying the sites and food of Key West, we raced back through Southern Florida to return to Tampa Bay for one last night. We actually went across back to Clearwater to hit a Chinese restaurant that we’d dined at in our first week in Tampa Bay. Hood Cleaning does have its perks when it comes to restaurants. The owner recognized us from our first visit and he asked if we lived in Tampa and what I did for a living. He told me that he’d just had his hoods cleaned and that he loves his hood cleaning company.