Friday, February 28, 2014

Sunny but Cooler Day!

Ken and I were rather lazy this morning.  Only got up around 8:15.  Then I convinced him that he should do my stretch exercises with me in the morning.  I do them every morning and evening for my back, taking about 15 minutes.  He moaned a lot, but he did them.  They would be so good for his back and shoulders.  We cooked breakfast and then started to walk around the CG, stopping at the clubhouse to ask if we could borrow a table for our craft show this weekend.  1 more table would be such a help.  They were more than willing to let us use one of their 6 foot tables.  So, we walked back to Waldo and then drove to the clubhouse and picked up the table.  Then we started another walk around the CG getting about 7,000 steps.

Then we went to Wal-Mart to get some sand to put in gallon jugs for holding down our canopy at the craft show.  Hopefully that will help if it would get windy!  After lunch I made jewelry outside at the picnic table while Ken unloaded things out of our CRV and then loaded the "stuff" we will need for the craft show.  Ken insisted that I do what makes us money while he does the necessary work behind the scenes.  I appreciate it!  He even made us large fresh salads for dinner.

We left at 5:15 to go to Mixons Orchard to do some preliminary set-up for tomorrow.  It is only about 6 miles from the CG, but traffic can be rather heavy.  We put up our canopy and all 4 of its sides, plus the tables.  Set-up tomorrow should be quick and rather simple!

We were back to the CG by 7, after returning some items to Wal-Mart.  We ate the delicious salads Ken had made earlier today. Looking forward to the craft show - the weather should be perfect and they are expecting a large crowd.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Moving Day! On to Winter Quarters Manatee near Bradenton!

It had rained during the night, but although it was cloudy, it was not raining this morning when we were getting ready to leave Ramblers Rest and head to Winter Quarters Manatee.  We are amazed at how quickly we can be ready to leave with Waldo vs. Willie.  We do need time to hook-up the CRV for towing, but we are getting better at that each time we do it.  Talked to my mother on the way, and she is tired but happy to be back to her home at Masonic Homes.   All her tests were negative, so she is doing well!  Also talked to Nancy Savage - they are back at Pine Island for 2 more weeks.  They met our former neighbors in Akron, Russ and Darlene Auker who are staying there too. It really is a small world.  We hope to meet up with Russ and Darlene before we head back to PA. 

We were on our way to the Bradenton area by 10 and arrived at our new location by 10:45.  We have been at this CG several times and it really is a beautiful setting.  Only downfall is its closeness to Interstate 75.  One of the few CG where they take you around in a golf cart showing you available sites and letting you choose!  We were set-up in no time and then headed to Wal-Mart for groceries.  While eating lunch, we read some local newspapers to try to find a craft show in the area that we could participate in while we are here. This weekend Mixon Fruit Farms is having an Orange Blossom Celebration in honor of their 75th Anniversary.  They are a well-known place in this area, especially for shipping fruit.  So I called and was able to get a place in their craft part of the celebration.  They expect thousands of people.  The famous Wallenda high wire act will be part of the festivities!  The only down side is that the show is on Sat. and Sunday from 9 to 5, so I know what we will be doing those 2 days.  We just hope it is profitable.  Time will tell - literally!

This is our new campsite!  Nice to back-up to palm trees!
Hard to tell, but we have a nice cement pad! (Less dirt!)
We took a short walk around the CG and then played some shuffleboard.  The courts are very nice at this CG and the setting is beautiful.  A great place to take gorgeous sunset photos!  It started to drizzle, so we headed back to Waldo.  We did a 30 minute skype with our daughter, Bria and Cali.  So good to see and talk to them.  Then I decided it was time to make more jewelry, especially since the rain continued and the craft show is this weekend.  This is only the 2nd or 3rd day of some showers since we left home!  Ken made dinner so I could keep working on our "livelihood"!  He even cleaned up!

Great courts with fantastic view!

Usually we see white Ibis!  This was unusual!

The OLD and the NEW!  This one is a classic!  (The colors
sort of gives that away!)  Amazing how much "taller" the
newer Motorhomes are!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Last Full Day at Ramblers Rest CG

Ken and I cereal for breakfast with those delicious strawberries from Parkesdale Groves.  Then we got a "jump start" on our 10,000 steps.  We walked around the CG and stopped when we got to 6,500.  

Then the "work" began.  Since we are moving to the Bradenton/Sarasota area tomorrow, we wanted to clean up both the inside and outside of Waldo.  Ken washed our bikes and all of our outside chairs, plus scrubbed the grill.  He also did some reorganizing in the basement area.  I did a thorough cleaning of Waldo inside.  We worked about 2 1/2 hours and were thrilled at all we accomplished.  After lunch I did some fun things on my computer and Ken checked out his I-Pad.  He took a short nap and then we went to play some shuffleboard.  I was winning "big time" and then Ken almost caught up.  I kept getting in the "kitchen", losing 10 points.  It was a lot of fun.

Finished our 10,000 steps and then we had a nice phone conversation with Jamie.  All of our mail is being forwarded to her, so she calls with info on our bills, etc.  We hope to skype with Bria and Cali tomorrow.

I did talk to my mother today, and she will be returning to her home at Masonic Homes.  They really found no reason for her high blood pressure, but they think it was related to stress.  She has a history of getting "stressed" and then having health issues, so I think that makes sense.

Ken disconnected the sewer hose tonight, so we won't have much to do in the morning to get ready to leave!  Enjoyed salads for supper and then a game of Upwords.  Got a call from Doloris back home.  So nice to talk to her.  They are expecting a possible major snowstorm this weekend.  They did have snow today, but only a "dusting".

We watched TV and I made some jewelry.  Did have some rain this evening and could continue off and on during the night.

No pictures today.  Ken was off of "camera duty"!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Drove Lots of Miles Today!

Ken and I took a walk around the CG when we got up, getting about 6,500 steps before breakfast.  After a cooked breakfast, we got in the CRV to head about 65 miles to Lazydays.  We needed to renew our temporary FL license for Waldo - it had expired while we where parked at this CG.  We could have had it mailed to us at the CG, but Ken felt better going there to pick it up.  It is about a 1 1/4 hour drive to Lazydays so we were there around 10:45.  I was excited to take a Healthy Cooking class for my combination microwave/convection oven.  It was an hour class taught by the chef for Lazydays restaurant, Exit 10.  What a great informative class.  Ken sat in on it too!

From there we drove to Parkesdale Groves located near Plant City, the strawberry capital.   Another great experience!  We had to wait in a long line (but it moved very quickly) to get their world famous strawberry shortcake and strawberry milkshake (voted #1 by Food Channel).  The prices were so reasonable and the food incredible - well worth the wait!  After enjoying our treat, we shopped the market for fruits and veggies - by far the cheapest place we ever found in Florida. The gorgeous strawberries were only $1.98/quart and we got a 5 lb. bag of oranges and a 5 lb. bag of grapefruit each for $1.69.  All the veggies were very reasonable too!

This is the long line that "weaves" like a line at an
amusement park!

It took us about 20 minutes to get to the food

A production line for making the "treats"!

Okay, we were good.  We shared these delicious treats!
The milkshake was $1.99 and the strawberry shortcake $3.29!
There must have been a cup of strawberries on this creation!

A nice little sitting area to enjoy the strawberry creations!

I couldn't believe we  had the opportunity to see
President Obama enjoying his milkshake!  What a surprise!
Actually, this is a photo at the market!

Look good enough to eat!

This is one of the strawberry fields we passed!

The city of Tampa skyline!

We left there and decided to drive to an Encore Park located near Largo Florida, just south of Clearwater and north of St. Petersburg.  We wanted to see if this CG would be an option for another year.  We were not impressed! Came back over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, a very scenic route.  Only got back to the CG at 5.  We probably drove about 200 miles today, but felt it was a day well spent!

I was in contact with my mother and sister throughout the day.  Mom ended up having a heart catherization - her EKG this morning was not as good as yesterday, so they wanted to be certain she didn't have some blockage!  She thought it would be done around 10:30, but she never had the procedure till 2:15. Fortunately they told her she has the heart of a person 1/2 her age - it looks great.  They decided to keep her overnight to do some additional testing.  Not sure what they are looking for!  I am thankful that my sister was able to be with her today.  She left her work place when she found out on short notice that mother was having the catherization done.

Ken made us salads and grilled chicken for dinner along with some brown rice. He did some work on his I-Pad and I did some work on my computer.  Then I made some jewelry.  Ken is frustrated.  For some reason, his computer would not come on at all.  Not sure what is going on.  It worked fine yesterday. Unfortunately, that computer has all his links and passwords to so many things and sites.  We sure hope it changes its mind and decides to "resurface".

Ken talked to Lanie, and she and Bob think is computer is "fried".  Hopefully some of his info can be retrieved.  We watched The Voice (love that show) and were in bed by 10.  Tomorrow should be a "stay at the CG day"!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Work, Shop, and Spend Time with Friends!

Ken and I decided to get up and go right to the laundry - after 2 weeks, we have plenty of things that need to be clean!!!!  Unfortunately, the washers and dryers did not take money, only special credit type cards that you get here at the CG.  It was 8 AM and we had to get the card at the office that only opened at 9.  So, back to Waldo to make breakfast.  Got the card at the office, started the washers, and then walked around the CG.  A little more walking when the clothes got to the dryers.  Finished the process by 10:45.

Then I got a call from Masonic Homes that they had taken my mother to the hospital with extremely high blood pressure and some chest pain.  Left a message for my sister, who was at Hershey with her daughter for a spa day.  In the meantime, I was able to talk to the ER at Lanc. General and they confirmed she was there, but no other info was available.  They said I should call back in 1 hour. Nothing for me to do at that point, so I headed out to do some shopping.

My sister called and she was unable to get any info from the ER when she called. Eventually I did talk to a nurse in the ER and they were admitting her to the observation area just to monitor her for 24 hours.  They feel it has nothing to do with her heart, but still want to do a stress test tomorrow and keep her on a heart monitor.  By 3:15 I was able to talk to her and she was comfortable and doing well.  

Ken spent lots of time today working on his computer taking care of "business" such as bills, checking on financials, etc.  I spent 2 1/2 hours shopping and didn't buy anything but a 99 cent Frosty at Wendy's - WOW!

At 3, we left to go to the Encore Royal Coachman CG about 6 miles from here to spend time with Barb and Ray.  We had met them at that CG 3 years ago, and then visited with them when we were camping in Ogunquit MA last July.  Barb is going through chemo for a form of leukemia, and although she has had her challenges, she is doing very well now.  Only 2 more chemo treatments needed. She has such a good attitude and has such a zest for life.  They are a joy to spend time with.  Ken and Ray played Bocce from 4 to 5 (the men play at that time everyday at that CG) and they won!  I stayed back with Barb and 3 of her friends stopped by to see my jewelry.  (Barb had asked me to bring it along!) They bought $60.00 of jewelry from me.  I was excited!

Ray is throwing the Bocce Ball.  No regulation courts at
the Royal Coachman.  The people there prefer playing
in the grass.
The 4 of us went to Pop's Sunset Grill for dinner.  What a setting and delicious food and drinks.  You sit outside and have a view of the Intracoastal Waterway. In the center of the restaurant and still outdoors, they have tables where you sit at tables that surround gas burning fire pits.  It really looks cool when the sun goes down.  We had such a nice evening with Ray and Barb.

This is Barb and Ray!

The center of the restaurant outdoors before sunset!

The view of the Intracoastal Waterway from our table!

What a beautiful eating area, especially after sunset!

Looks like you are on a tropical island!
Back to Waldo at 8:45 and we watched The Voice.  Cindy called on their way home from visiting Mom.  She is very comfortable and feels confident that she will be back at Masonic Village tomorrow.  That would be great!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

What A Day!

Ken and I were up rather early and took a long walk around the CG - 7000 steps worth!!!!!  We left at 9:30 for a contemporary Church Service about 6 miles from the CG.  We had no idea what to expect, but it was a very good experience. Excellent band and singers and the minister just came to the church 1 week ago from Minnesota.  He seemed so relaxed and excited to be there.  Enjoyed his message.

Back to the CG by 11:45 and we got ready to go to Manasota Beach.  Changed, packed our lunches and we were on the beach by 1:00.  It was so sunny when we left the CG but by the time we got to the beach it was so hazy and no sunshine. The good thing - it was warm.  We spent about 2 1/2 hours finding sharks teeth with Ken using his "snow shovel".  We have never been on a beach where we found so many sharks teeth in such a short time.  We found lots of teeth just walking along the surf without the "shovel".  It was so exciting to be so successful. We found 340 teeth - Imagine that!!!!!  What an adventure!

These 1st 2 photos are the haze when we arrived at the beach!

These last 2 photos are the haze when we left!

As soon as we got about 2 miles from the beach it was sunny and warm.  I believe it would have been sunny all day if we would have swam in the pool at the CG. But, then we would not have found all the sharks teeth.  We made the right choice!

An unbelievable find for only a few hours!  Our best!

Ken cleaned the shells and teeth while I got dinner ready.  Only finished dinner at 7:30.  Watched the Olympics and worked on some jewelry!  What a good day!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bike Riding Along Intracoastal Waterway

We slept in this morning, had breakfast, and got ready to head into downtown Venice!  Ken loaded our bikes and we were on our way to the Farmer's Market in Venice.  The sun came out just as we arrived.  There was a musical group playing in the gazebo and we stopped at the Upper Crust for a delicious raspberry scone. Then we got on our bikes and rode from Venice to Caspersen Beach on the Intracoastal Waterway Trail.  The sun was out, but it was so hazy when we got to the beach.  On the ride back to Venice, we saw a large turtle and a beautiful bald eagle just posing for us at the top of a tree.

The painting on this building in downtown Venice is so
well done.  The condos in the background are very attractive!

The farmers market was very busy today!

The music gazebo in center of town!

The delicious scones in the window of the Upper Crust!

It was sunny and beautiful on the bike ride to Caspersen
Beach, but so hazy when we got to the beach!

An impressive bird!!!!!

Just love the beautiful scenery when riding on this bike trail!

By 2:30 we were back to Waldo for a late lunch.  Both of us were feeling a bit tired, so Ken decided to take a nap.  I did some work on my computer and then set-up outside to work on jewelry.  It was a great day to work outside - sunny, but not too hot.  At 5:30 we drove to Nokomis Beach to be a part of the drum circle and watch the sunset.  We never saw so many people at this twice weekly event picnicing  and enjoying their wine and there wasn't even a sunset.  It had gotten very cloudy on our way there, but that didn't stop all the festivity.

Saw these wild pigs along the road on the way to the drum circle!

Walking out to the drum circle on Nokomis Beach!

Ken took this photo from the top of the lifeguard platform!
So many people!

Feather man, as Ken calls him, is always a part of the
activity.  He must be a body builder!

There are belly dancers, drummers, hula hoopers, and lots of folks
just having a good time!

This is probably one of my favorite places to eat when
we are in Florida!  Just can't beat their pulled pork sandwich!

It was 6:45 when we left, so I convinced Ken to stop at Sonny's for another pulled pork sandwich.  (It was an easy persuasion!)  Can't believe it is Saturday.  The days here in the Venice area are flying!  

Friday, February 21, 2014

A Participation Day At Ramblers Rest CG

Ken and I were up by 6:45 and got ready to go to the aerobics class here at the CG.  It is from 7:45 to 8:45 and it is quite a workout.  We participated last winter when we were here and met so many nice people.  It was time to return.  We are both amazed at the number of people who show up for the class and most of them are not "spring chickens".  Ken decided it was the most he has exercised since last year's class - not good!!!  We were both tired and sweaty by the end of the class!

Then we walked about 1 1/2 miles around the CG, so we had a late breakfast.  Did talked to my sister, and John and she plan to join us when we go the Escapees Rally in Goshen, IN in May.  It will be their 1st real camping adventure and should be a great place to learn a lot!  We know it will be helpful for us!  Sharing the adventure with Cindy and John will make it extra special!

Ken and I left at 11:30 to spend the afternoon on Manasota Beach.  It was a warm morning with plenty of sun, but around 1 it got partly cloudy and a bit cooler.  We spent time reading on the beach and then about 2 hours using Ken's "snow shovel" to find sharks teeth.  He would get "shovel's full" of treasures from the edge of the surf and then dump them on the beach for us to "sift" through.  It was so much fun and we found 80+ sharks teeth!  We left the beach at 3:45 - a bit chilled!

None of the teeth were very large, but we were still excited
to find so many!
We had a delicious dinner - grilled chicken, quinoa, and of course, a salad. After cleaning up, we went back to the River Pavilion for Karaoke night.  Ken convinced me that I should sing - what was I thinking!  So, I did what I am most comfortable singing - show tunes.  I did The Sound of Music and My Favorite Things!  It was my 1st attempt at Karaoke, and it went pretty well. It really was fun!

Back to Waldo by 9:30 after a rather busy, but funfilled day.  Will probably go to downtown Venice tomorrow morning to the Farmers Market and then have one of those delicious scones.  My mouth is watering already!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Another Special Day in Florida!

Ken and I were up at 6:45 and got ready to go to the pancake and sausage breakfast at the CG clubhouse.  We haven't done any activity here at the CG and thought it would be a good opportunity to meet a few fellow campers. Also, the breakfast included 2 pancakes, 2 links of sausage, juice and hot tea for only $2.00.  What a deal!  We did sit with an older couple from Michigan and he was a history buff who told us some very interesting facts about his home area.  His wealth of knowledge was incredible.

After breakfast we began walking to get our 10,000 steps doing about 7500. Ken decided to wash and dry the CRV at our campsite while I vaccumed and organized the inside of Waldo.  After lunch, we rode bike to the beautiful heated pool here in the CG.  It was a very sunny, warm day with the temperature in the 80's.  We were at the pool for 1 1/2 hours and then got ready for the arrival of Lori and Eddie Paparo from Ephrata at 3:15.  We had a few snacks and a drink in Waldo and then we drove to the Casey Key Fish House for dinner.  Ken got to have another grouper sandwich!  All of us enjoyed our meals.

Entrance to the Casey Key Fish House.  Fortunately this was
the crowd when we were leaving.  We got right in when we
arrived and were able to eat outside!

A new place for Lori and Eddie to dine!

We were happy to share the evening with Lori and Eddie!

Sculling boats being loaded by the young paddlers!

So many of these boats!

We took the drive along Casey Key Road for the beautiful views of the Gulf and of the unbelievable enormous homes.  Stopped at Nokomis Beach just in time for the sunset.  Amazing how many people were on the beach!  Then we drove them through downtown Venice before returning to Waldo.  More time to chat before they headed back to their CG.  So nice to spend time with Lori and Eddie!

When the sun is about to set, the pigeons and seagulls take
off from the beach!

I always enjoy Ken's beautiful sunset photos!
We took a short walk to complete our 10,000 steps before relaxing and watching the Olympics.  It was around 70 degrees when we walked at 7:30. How nice!  Another special day in Paradise!