Little Manatee River State Park, and Mama Maria’s Pizza

January 28, 2014 22:25 – 22:25

Today, I met Barbara Barry at Rachel’s Country Kitchen in Wimauma. Food there was meh, but the prices were low enough. After lunch, we headed to Little Manatee State Park. There are two main hiking areas in the par. One is a 15-20 minute nature trail inside the main park. We began at that trail. Unfortunately, we didn’t much in the way of animals—just a few small birds and lizards. The trail itself is very picturesque, though.

After doing the shorter trail, we drove to the other side of the river, where there’s a 10K trail. It’s supposed to have a short cut to make the trail 5K, but we didn’t find it. Barbara was getting thirsty, however, so we turned around at about the 2 mile point, and headed back to the car. Again, no big animals were seen—just lizards and small birds. We did hear an owl in the distance, though. Here are a couple of pictures of what the trail looked like.

After bidding Barbara adieu, I headed back towards Venice. I tried—I really tried—to detour around a problem on I-75. But, I missed, and got caught in a 30-minute backup. Yesterday, a truck driver lost control and ended up punching five holes in the overpass over University Parkway in Bradenton. Only one of three lane southbound were open. About 1.5 miles north of the incident, they finally re-opened all of the lanes, which cut 15 minutes off of what would’ve been a 45-minute delay.

While I was stuck in traffic, I research restaurants, having decided that I wanted pizza for dinner. It came down to two—Mama Maria’s and Made In Italy. Mama Maria’s won, however, because MII seemed to have only specialty pizzas that didn’t include pepperoni as a topping. So, I stopped off at Publix to pick up some Stella and a few other items, and phone MM for delivery.

MM’s pizza sauce and toppings was pretty good, but their crust was nothing to write home about. The salad was a joke. I might investigate MII to see if they offer pepperoni. They have a wood-fired oven, which usually produces a superior crust.

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