Tarpon Springs, a small community of about 20,000, is located on the west coast of Florida, just a hop, skip and a jump from Tampa and St. Petersburg.
The first settlers to Tarpon Springs arrived in 1876. Although the area quickly became successful as an exclusive winter resort for wealthy Northerners, it wasn't long before it was discovered that money could be made by harvesting the sponges growing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. By 1890, the sponge industry was firmly established in Tarpon Springs and became the community's most important industry. In the next few years, over 500 experienced divers from Greece were brought to Tarpon Springs to work as sponge divers.
In addition to seeing exhibitions of sponge diving/harvesting, visitors can experience the Greek influence on Tarpon Springs by sampling authentic Greek cuisine at one of the many Greek restaurants.
There are plenty of yummy Greek pastries to chose from, as well as other traditional Greek dishes.
The main street through the Greek shopping district is lined with quaint, quirky shops.
If you need a natural sea sponge, Tarpon Springs, “The Sponge Capital of the World,” is certainly the place to get it!
If you aren’t in the market for sponges, I am sure you would definitely enjoy browsing through Catherine’s Linen Shop on Athens Street. It is filled to the brim with all kinds of lovely linens! And just look at that old-fashioned display window! It reminds me of the window of the old 5 & Dime store where we used to shop when I was a little girl.
This big tile mural of a sponge diver on the side of this building is really pretty.
Well, all this sightseeing and shopping has made me really hungry for a piece of sweet, flaky, authentic Greek baklava.
I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 44 years. We have one beautiful and precious daughter, age 35.
After more than 37 years in the workforce, I was fortunate enough to be able to quit my job in 2007 and stay home. As a natural born homebody and "nester," this opportunity to be a full-time homemaker has brought me immeasurable contentment and happiness. I thoroughly enjoy spending each and every day in the cozy comfort of "My Cottage of Bliss."
About the "House in Hooterville": In October 2009, we bought a 30 acre horse farm in a small country town approximately 45 miles from the city where I have lived my whole life. Join me, a city girl through and through, as I try to simultaneously adapt to country life in "Hooterville" and redecorate the 1978 brick ranch-style house on the property into My (new) Cottage of Bliss.