Yes! What a weekend! It’s always nice to take a time out from the hustle and bustle of working life and actually spend some regular time in Goodland. No work, no volunteering, just a bit of a good time with friends and local business owners.
On Friday night we went down to Stan’s. I usually go on Sunday like everyone else, but we wanted to try something different, and it was worth it. Owner Steve Gober and his sons were there, working away as usual. But Steve made the time to sit and talk with us. We chatted about how Queen Mary is doing (excellent is the answer, by the way), how Friday nights are really picking up because of their Full Moon Parties and how the start of season has been great. Since it was a full moon party, we enjoyed extra large buzzard punches, served in mason jars with an accompanying glow stick. I love glow sticks. I love outdoor bars because at night, you can use glow sticks. I also love buzzard punches.
Saturday was a bit quieter for us, so we opted for a sunset into the evening cruise with Dreamlander Tours. Locally owned and operated by Steve and Kieu Banks, Dreamlander Tours is located right next to Stan’s, they offer boat and beach tours, kayaking, wave runner trips and much more.The boat cruise was so nice that I actually fell asleep lying on the back. It felt really good to be able to relax. I enjoy relaxingon a boat.
Dreamlander is a great example of the small businesses here that offer fun in the sun. For example, Backwater Adventures boasts personal mini catamaran charters where you get to be the driver, maneuvering in and out of the Ten Thousand Islands. I love those things. LOVE! Vantastic Tours offers trips out to the Everglades, stopping for airboat rides, swamp boardwalks, gator sightings and a chance to search for the elusive Skunk Ape. I love the Skunk Ape, even if it stinks. Charter captains are at the ready any day of the week here, and they know the waters like the back of their hands. I love to eat fresh fish.
Sunday was a full day! Breakfast at Marker 8.5 was great. I didn’t opt for the Sunday Brunch Buffet, even though it looked amazing, but my eggs over easy, toast, home fries and mimosa sure hit the spot. The restaurant, owned by Executive Chef Michael Duncan gets better and better every time I go there. And I go there a lot. I love good food. I also love sitting right on the water – in this case, over the water – but still having the luxury of a screened in porch to keep the mosquitoes at bay. No one likes to run inside mid-breakfast, lunch or dinner because they’ve suddenly become the meal. I like a screened-in porch that sits on the water.
No cooking was allowed for this Sunday, so lunch was at the Old Marco Lodge. Owner Shelly Balanteis the best. I can be picky about my food sometimes, I must admit. But she always accommodates. Always. And talk about a beautiful view, sitting under an umbrella and feeling a nice cool breeze. They also have an amazing salad bar. I really love salad bars. My favorite foods in order are: 1. Cheese; 2. Avocado; 3. Salad Bar. When I can have all of these in one sitting I am happy, and I was.
I almost forgot to mention the live music they have on Sundays. I like outside live music. You can hear it, but still have a conversation. There’s nothing worse than being cramped in a tiny bar with loud music blaring in your ears, leaving you with a shattered ear drum at the end of your dining experience.
Dinner on Sunday came by way of a friend who stopped by with stone crab claws. Yes, stone crabs! Now that’s a good friend. She bought them from Kirk’s Seafood where stone crabbers supply them with fresh claws daily. It’s the cheapest way to buy them and you get to crack them yourself! Try the Little Bar for pre-cracked claws if if you’d rather not have to crack them yourself. Personally, I LOVE to crack open my own claws.
I love when Goodland is good. And this weekend was. So many people, many of them being the small business owners down here, really do a great job to ensure that Goodlanders and visitors alike have a good time.
I love a good weekend in Goodland.