Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Said Our Farewells in Naples/Marco Island Area!

Today was the 1st day since we arrived at Club Naples that we actually slept in and actually watched some TV in bed.  What a luxury!!!  We spent most of the morning and early afternoon getting Willie ready for tomorrow's move to Pine Island.  We did take the time to walk around the CG and then play our 1st gam of shuffleboard.  They have some very nice courts here for shuffleboard and Bocce!  Ken was victorious and I hate to admit it!  (But, only by 2 points!)  This really is a very nice park and one you should check out if you are in the area!

Many nice shuffleboard courts!

Pretty entrance to Club Naples Camping Resort

The attended gatehouse at the entrance to Club Naples.

I did some research on the Open Range Forum concerning our slide-out cable that is fraying and partially sliced.  It appears that it shouldn't be a difficult fix if you find the right RV Tech.  Thanks, Bonnie and Richard for suggesting we check out the forum.  It was informative and helpful!  We were happy when we pulled it in today without any problem.  We plan to leave it in until we get someone to repair it - that might have to wait until we get home if we are not successful in finding the right RV Tech here in FL.  It is an inconvenience, but we  can still manage and have a great time.  We will be a bit "cramped", but it is definitely do able!!!!

We went over to the KOA CG to have dinner with Barry and Deb's kayaking group.  They had a picnic with a trash can cooked turkey and everyone brought something to share!  What a treat!!!!  The turkey was so good and we enjoyed meeting many of the folks that kayak from that CG.  There we about 38 people at the picnic.  Then back to their Airstream to play one game of 5 Crowns.  Deb always wins when we play in their RV!!!

The trash can is covering the turkey.  Charcoal on top and
around the turkey in the pit!

Ready for the "unveiling". 


Quite a group at the Kayak Picnic!

Another night of card playing!

We have had a wonderful time here in Naples and always enjoy the time spent with Barry and Deb and Dave and Sharon Horst.  It only happens once a year, but it is very special each time.  Now we head to Pine Island, about 1 1/2 hours north.  We will see many special friends at the CG that return each year.  We are looking forward to those 2 weeks.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bike Ride Around Marco Island!!

Lots of excitement in our CG, Club Naples, around 2:30 AM.  Ken and I woke to lots of noise - sounded like some drunk folks driving around laughing and talking loudly.  Ken thought they may be hitting cars as they were riding along, because we heard something that sounded like explosions.  Soon we realized there were flashing lights near Willie.  5 sites down and behind us a large motorhome was on fire!!!!  The flames were as high as the tall trees.  By now lots of people were outside where there were 2 large firetrucks and a tanker.  It didn't take too long too extinguish the fire, but there was only a shell of the motorhome remaining and the newer motorhome beside it had quite a bit of scorch and partially melted materials on the side.  What a mess!  We found out today that there was a couple and a dog inside when the fire started and they were able to get out through a window.  That was amazing considering the lady is disabled and is a 3X.  What a blessing that they were able to escape the fire!  But now they have nothing, including wallets, cash, credit cards, medication, etc. 

Ken spent some time this morning calling RV Service Centers to see if we could get them to repair our slide in the near future.  So far we are not certain what we will be doing, but Ken did talk to a very helpful mechanic at Open Range who said it really isn't a difficult fix if we find the right person and that it probably could be done on site.  So, we are checking to see if there is an RV Tech on Pine Island who could come to the CG and help us.  Time will tell!!!

We met Barry and Deb at their CG and we both drove to Marco Island for a long bike ride along Collier Boulevard in front of all the gorgeous hotels and Condos that border the Gulf.  It was a beautiful day for a ride - around 80 with a nice breeze.  We stopped 2x to check out the beach and at a park right before we turned around and headed back to our cars.  Probably rode about 10 miles.

Off on a side road to go to Tigertail Beach!

Beautiful waterfalls and fountains in the front of the
Marco Island Resort and Spa

Our special friends Barry and Deb!

At the pier waiting for the fishermen to feed them fish!

On of the few access areas for the public beaches on
Marco Island. 

Looking down the public beach area on Marco!

The dock area where we parked on Marco Island!

Barry and Deb headed back to their CG around 3 to get ready for a dance there this evening.  Ken and I went to Joey's, a pizza place our daughter, Jamie, recommended and sat outside eating the best pizza we ever had!  Back to Willie by 5:30.  A rather relaxing evening!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Our Nature Day in the Everglades Area!

Ken and I drove to the Naples KOA to meet with Deb and Barry for our day of alligator and bird watching!  Barry and Deb drove with us in Diesel and we headed to Ten Thousand Island National Refuge Preserve to be on the lookout for Ken's favorite Florida Bird - the Roseate Spoonbill.  Last year we saw several flocks of them in this area.  Today we only saw about 5 and not nearly as closely as last year.  Saw several alligators too, some additional birds and numerous butterflies.

Our 1st alligator siting today!  A big one!!!!

The pink birds with the flat beaks (hard to tell) are
the roseate spoonbills!  They are unique and beautiful!

The Gecko!!!

These are Ken's roseate spoonbills!

We Must Be in Paradise!!!

What a wonderful weekend we had in sunny Florida!  Saturday was in the upper 70's and yesterday it we in the 80's - WOW!!!!  What's not to like????

Saturday morning the RV Tech came to check out the frayed cable on our slide-out.  He was very nice and informative, but could not help us.  We need to take it to a dealer to be repair.  Probably need a forklift to take the weight off the slide while it is being repaired.  Not what we wanted to hear, but so it goes.   Appears that the RV repair business is rather busy in FL, and we might have to wait a couple weeks for an appointment.  Time will tell!!!

We went to meet Barry and Deb at their CG and then we drove to downtown Naples for the Chalk Art Festival.  They block off 5th Avenue and artists begin chalk painting their designs.  There are many very talented people that participate.  Had a great lunch while there and Deb and I enjoyed spending some time at The Best of Everything, a great, inexpensive jewelry store.  Take time to check it out if you are in Naples or at their other store along Route 41 near Bonita Springs!  Mid afternoon we headed back to their Airstream and they made us dinner.  Then the game playing began.  We were back to Willie around 9:30 after calling and singing Happy Birthday to our daughter, Lanie, who turned 35 today.  Can we really have a daughter that old????  It doesn't seem possible!

This festival draws quite a crowd!

This artist did about 12 different painting on the road!

All the paintings are done by mixing chalk with water!  Takes
quite a long time to paint on macadam!

Yesterday was another fabulous day with Barry and Deb.  Before meeting them, Ken and I took the time to walk around our CG, Club Naples.  It really is a very nice resort with many amenities and everything is nicely maintained.  Definitely a place we would recommend.  Sunday was kayaking day and they had selected such a nice kayaking trail near their CG.  The trail, The Shell Point Paddling Trail, is part of the Rookery Bay Research Preserve and has 18 markers along the 2 mile route.  Near the end was a small beach area with picnic tables where we enjoyed our lunches!  We had some dolphins that swam very near our kayaks, pelicans, and those jumping mullet fish.  They are so silly to watch.  It was a wonderful kayak trip. 

Ready to take off on our kayaking adventure!

Beautiful paddle through the mangroves!

Lots of pelicans in the trees!

What a great setting for a picnic lunch!

This is a  place to check our near Naples if you
want a a great kayaking adventure!

We changed at their CG and then went to downtown Marco Island to the Sandbar for dinner.  Then back to their Airstream for some game playing.  It was another perfect day in Paradise!!!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Sunny, Warm, Naples!

We left the Sunshine Resort near Daytona Beach at 7:15 yesterday, Thursday, taking Route 4 around Orlando over to Route 75.  Lots of traffic in  the Orlando area, but the trip went well.  Stopped for gas and a quick lunch at Subway and arrived at the Club Naples CG around 2.  We gave the neighboring campers the entertainment for the day watching us pull into our rather "tight" site.  Actually, they were all extremely helpful!  Set-up went well until Ken discovered that the one cable to our stove/couch/refrigerator slide was coming apart - 4 of the 6 wires were split.  Not good!!!!! Obviously this is concerning, but we are going to continue having a good time until we find someone or some RV dealer who can help us with this "situation".

Deb and Barry came to our CG at 5 - so good to see them again, since it has been a whole year since we have been together!  We went back to Willie to relax and chat.  Then the 4 of us went to Cracklin' Jacks for some delicious "vittles".  You pick your entree and then get about 6 side dishes (the vittles), cornbread and zucchini muffins, plus pickles and delicious cole slaw.  I had enough fork cutting brisket to have at least 3 more meals.  Then back to Willie for more socializing and a discussion of our plans together for the rest of our week in Naples. 

Cracklin Jack's Vittles

Today Ken and I drove to Dave and Sharon's home here in Florida so we could enjoy our annual ride on their boat to the Lump and island near Marco Island that is great for shelling!  It was the perfect weather day for this activity - 77 degrees with very little wind and total sunshine!  Sure beats the cold and snow today in PA!!!!  After 3 hours on the island we went back to the house for Happy Hour and just fun being together again.  2 other couples joined us around 5 for dinner on the lanai.  We even had homemade ice cream.  This Florida lifestyle is tough but someone has to do it!!!!  We were back to Willie by 9. 

Did talk with an RV Tech who will come to the CG tomorrow morning to check out our "slide problem".  Hopefully he will be able to help us.  If not, we will have to find another local tech or schedule an appt. at a dealership nearby on our way to our next location, Pine Island.  Time will tell!

It is hard to tell, but the shadows you see
 in the water are Manatees!

Just beginning our boat ride to The Lump,
the island for shelling!

The Lump is off in the distance!

Shells everywhere!

These are concrete domes that were built many years ago
to be vacation getaways!  We don't think they were
ever inhabited and are slowly being washed away!

An unbelievable shelling area!

Shells, shells, and more shells!  They
cover the island!

A beautiful large blue heron!

A Loon!

We saw lots of white pelicans on the return trip!

Dave and his fishing buddy captured all these
sand crabs for fishing bait!!

Enjoying Happy Hour on the Horst's Lanai!  What
a beautiful setting!