Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Wednesday - Getting Ready to Go Home for Christmas!

Ken was up by 6 to do some reading, but I only appeared at 7:00.  We made breakfast and then got ready to play pickleball.  It was in the low 50's when we got to the courts and rather cool in the shade.  It was so good to see many of our Canadian friends that we play pickleball with each year.  We were welcomed back by all!

I enjoyed playing but my leg and hip really didn't want to cooperate.  I had trouble stretching for the ball and picking it up off the ground.  This hip and leg problem is really getting "old"!  I did play about 4 or 5 games, but by the last one I had enough!  Ken did so well and really had a good time!  If he plays regularly he will be a great player!

We were back to Wilbur around 11:15 and the packing for heading home began.  Ken emptied the tanks while I decided what clothes I should take home and what should stay.  My closet here is way too full, so I had to make some choices.  I also packed some food that I didn't think should be here for the next 2 weeks.  Ken sorted through things in the car and in the basement of Wilbur.  Then I cleaned so Wilbur will look "good" when we return.  

After we were organized, we played a game of Hand and Foot before dinner, which I won - Yeah!!  We ate our leftovers from last night's delicious meal, cleaned up, and showered.  I worked on the blog and Ken did some reading.  We are hoping to be on the road around 2:30 tomorrow morning and maybe make it home late tomorrow night!  We shall see!

Noela called to wish us a safe trip home!  Good to talk to her!  Obviously, we will go to bed early!  It will still be a short night!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Tuesday - A Trip to the Beach!

Ken and I had debated about playing pickleball today, but it was too cold - only in the low 40's.  So we started the morning by playing a few rounds of Hand and Foot.

After omelettes for breakfast and clean-up I did some work on my Christmas calendars and at 11 we went for a walk around the CG.  It had warmed up but the sun was in and out.  I didn't wear my SAS and my walk went a bit better.  We did stop to visit with Jeff and Carol from New Hampshire who have been in this CG the last several years and play pickleball.  It was nice to chat with them again.  

After lunch, we left the CG at 1 to meet Rick and Joyce at Manasota Beach, about a 1/2 hour drive.  By then it was only in the 60's with winds between 15 and 20 mph, so it was a bit chilly.  I have never seen such big waves and so many of them in the Gulf.  It looked like the Atlantic Ocean!  Ken and Rick took a long walk on the beach while Joyce and I looked for shells and shark's teeth and then sat in our chairs just chatting.  After 2 hours we were chilly and decided it was time to leave.  





We followed them to Briandi's, a small Italian Restaurant in Nokomis, that is one of those places you would probably drive by without giving it a second thought!  Lloyd and Deb had introduced them to the place and it was amazing!  I had lasagna for $10.99 and it included warm homemade bread, salad or soup, and enough lasagna for me to take home for tomorrow night's dinner.  This place definitely served authentic Italian food!

This was the Italian Restaurant outside of Nokomis!


These are the pictures Ken got to view while in the bathroom!


We went to Rick and Joyce's home from 6 to 9:30 and played a game of Hand and Foot (women won) and then we also were leading in double deck Pinochle when we left.  

We went to bed as soon as we returned to Wilbur after a fun day but there were also some unnerving events today.  Alton, a member of our Life Group, had surgery today to open his carotid artery.  Surgery was longer than expected and he ended up in ICU because they couldn't stop the bleeding.  Alton had a stroke the beginning of September and is still recovering from that, so this surgery was concerning.  He was improving later in the evening!  The other very shocking event - Scott Fetterolf, a young minister at LCBC, died in his sleep yesterday.  He was an amazing man and phenomenal man of God.  He will be missed by many.  We are praying for his family as Brenda, his wife, lost her brother and mother in the last 2 weeks and now the passing of her husband.  How tragic!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Sunday and Monday - Some Time To Relax!

Sunday was a cold morning here in Florida, but no snow like they had gotten in PA!  We had time before leaving for church at Edgewater to unload the car from the craft show yesterday and even put a few more things in their proper place in Wilbur.  We got a lot accomplished before leaving at 9.

We really enjoy the service at Edgewater and the very friendly people.  We got a warm welcome back from Kaylea who is in charge of hospitality.  The sermon was excellent and so was the music.

From there Ken and I went to Denny's for breakfast and had the same waitress we had several times last year.  So good to see her again.  Then on to Wal-Mart to finally get some groceries to put in our refrigerator.  We are so ready to do some cooking and "eat-in"! 

We returned to the CG around 12:30 and spent some more time organizing the car and Wilbur!  Ken had a short night's sleep so he rested while I did some game playing and some work on the computer.  I recorded expenses in our budget program while Ken made salads for dinner and carved the chicken we had bought.

We decided to go for a walk before dinner, so I put on my SAS and off we went.  Unfortunately, it was a very uncomfortable walk for me and we had to "cut it short"!  During the night and earlier today I had very little discomfort, but the pain when in my "suit" was crazy.  It did let up when we returned!

We played some Hand and Foot, which I won, and then watched a Redbox movie we had gotten, "The Zookeepers Wife".  It was both amazing, sad, and interesting.  All in all, I enjoyed it!  We were in bed around 10.  

Today, Monday, it was only 37 degrees when we got up.  I almost thought I was in PA.  We hadplanned to play pickleball at 8:30, but it was too cold.  So, we finished another game of Hand and Foot we had started yesterday and Ken won this one!  Then we actually made breakfast, omelettes, and they were so good.  

We left the CG around 9:45 to run errands.  We stopped at Wal-Mart with a return, Wells Fargo to deposit money from the craft show, a stop at RV World to try to find a replacement for our under the sink water filter, only to find they don't make that model anymore!  So, we had to find a replacement for that particular filter.  Then to Costco with another re turn.  We actually left Costco (1st time ever) having bought nothing - imagine that!

It was 1:30 till we got back to the CG and we were hungry, but we did stop and talk to Norman, one of the pickleball players from Canada.  We had such a nice time chatting with him.  Many of the Canadians we know through pickleball have already arrived here for the winter but we haven't had a chance to  meet with them yet.  Hopefully we will be on the courts Wednesday.  After lunch  I made 2 pendants and a pair of earrings that Joyce had ordered while Ken checked our accounts on the computer.  Ken also did some work on our booster for the TV because we haven't had TV reception since arriving here and the CG does not offer cable.  We have had trouble with this booster off and on - works sometimes and then nothing!  He took it apart but found nothing wrong.  Norman did give us an inside antenna to try and we are able to get about 5 or more stations.  I think we will try to get someone to check out the booster when we return after Christmas!

We had salads for dinner and then Ken left for Celebrate Recovery at Edgewater Church.  I spent the evening putting new photos in our frames in Wilbur and then working on this blog. I am also getting calendars together as Christmas gifts for friends and family!  I was able to watch The Voice using the antenna from Norman.  I hadn't seen it for the last two weeks so I was excited. 

We had a great phone conversation today with Lanie and Jamie.  Lanie was visiting Jamie so we could talk to both of them via speaker phone.  They are doing well and it was so great to talk to them.  Another great day to celebrate life!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Saturday - Craft Show Day!

Well having a good night's sleep was a great thought, but not to happen.  During the night we had thunder, lightning, strong winds, and very heavy rain so we were awake many times.  Also, when we went to bed it appeared that the refrigerator was not working properly (they had removed it when they replaced the roller on the slide), so that had us concerned and wondering what we would do if we had to take Wilbur back to Lazydays.  

Fortunately when we got up the refrigerator was working fine, which was quite a relief.  Because we did not have access to the refrigerator since we left home (no groceries bought), we left the CG around 8 and stopped at Burger King for an egg sandwich.  It was a cool morning with off and on showers, so mighty thankful it was an indoor craft show.

It was a well run show with good attendance and we were thrilled that it was only from 9 to 2.   We appreciated that Rick and Joyce stopped by to spend time with us.  All in all, it was a good show and we were loaded and out of there by 2:45. 







By then we were hungry and with no food in the refrigerator we were forced to stop at Sonny's Barbeque for a "lupper".  I really enjoy their food, but I am very ready to cook and "eat in"!

We were both exhausted when we returned to Wilbur, so we only brought in the cashbox before taking much needed naps.  We decided we will wait to unload the car until tomorrow morning before going to Church - just didn't feel like "rearranging" things in Wilbur to make room for all the craft stuff!  Tomorrow is another day!

Ken talked to Chuck and I had a nice conversation with Doloris and Noela.  Ken and I played a game of Hand and Foot (4 rounds) and I finally beat him!  What an accomplishment!  Then I worked on this blog while Ken did some reading!

We are looking forward to some relaxing days before we head back to PA for Christmas!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday - Finally Back in Wilbur!

Friday morning Ken and I took our time getting ready at the hotel and went for a very good breakfast in their dining area.  We loaded up the car and went over to Lazydays by 10 to meet with Samantha.  She was out in the bay checking on Wilbur!

They had finally been able to put in the new roller with about 8 of the serviceman working together to get that job accomplished.  She told us they hoped to have us on our way around 1, but that would probably be the earliest.  So Ken and I headed to the cafeteria area and played 4 rounds of Hand and Foot which Ken beat me severely!  They were having a Holiday Sale at Lazydays and offering free hot dogs, chips, and soda to everyone, so it was another cheap lunch.  By 1 we checked in with Samantha who was out in the bay again getting an update.  While there, she did some vacuuming of Wilbur so he looked better for us.  What a gal! 

Long story short, we were on our way to Harbor Lakes CG by 2 and I just followed Ken there for the 1 1/2 hour drive.  I must say that Lazydays treated us very fairly, only charging us for 1/2 of the labor (they absorbed 4 hours, the warranty company paid for 3, and we paid the other 4 at a reduced rate!), which we really appreciated.  They also reinbursed us for the hotel room.  Samantha really goes above and beyond for us!

We were on our site at the CG by 3:45 and quickly unloaded the car and then reloaded it with the things we needed for the craft show we will be doing on Saturday.  We left the CG at 4:45 and drove about 20 minutes to the Englewood Sports Complex.  You could set-up from 1 to 7 instead of early in the morning and we were thrilled to be able to do that.  By 6:15 we were out of there, stopping at Subway to get a quick sandwich to take with us.  By then both of us were physically and mentally "beat"!

We spent time putting the things we had taken out of the car earlier into their "somewhat" proper place and went to bed rather early.  We were ready for a good night's sleep! 

I did have phone conversations with Cindy and Joyce to let them know that we had arrived (in Wilbur) at Harbor Lakes!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Good Bye to St. Augustine and on to Lazydays!

After getting ready, Ken and I packed for today's departure from St. Augustine.  Ken loaded the car and then the 4 of us enjoyed a light breakfast together and after saying our good-byes, Rick and Joyce headed to their home in Venice and Ken and I drove for 2 1/2 hours to Chuck and Melissa's home.  We had left numerous things there so we didn't have to take them to St. Augustine.  So, we said our good-byes again to Chuck and Melissa, hoping to see them next year when we are in Florida!

From there Ken and I drove another 1 1/2 hours to Lazydays to check on the status of Wilbur.  We were hoping to be on our way to Harbor Lakes Resort sometime today, but NO!  The part had only arrived late yesterday and Wilbur went into the bay 1st thing this morning.  The roller on the slide that had to be replaced was very difficult to get to and it was even tougher to gain access to put the new one in.  Long story short, they got the new roller in place, but it was going to take some time to put everything back together (they had to do some repositioning of the slide and even remove the refrigerator.  So, Lazydays are paying for us to stay in a Country Inn and Suites tonight and hopefully we will be back in Wilbur "sometime" tomorrow.  We would be thrilled to be out of here by noon, but time will tell!  Samantha, our service rep, has done a terrific job for us and really the problem has been getting the needed part and getting the warranty company to approve the work.  Both of those things only happened yesterday - crazy and frustrating, but Ken and I are staying positive.  This is not life and death, just inconvenient, and we were blessed to have wonderful places to stay and get friends to be with during this waiting period!

We were checked into the hotel by 4 and so glad for some time to rest and regroup.  Ken did some needed work on the computer and I worked on this blog.  I have a feeling it will be an early night!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Wednesday - Our Last Full Day in St. Augustine!

Ken was up a little before me to do some reading.  We met in Rick and Joyce's suite around 9 to make omelettes together.  After breakfast we discussed our plans for today and decided to leave around 12:15 and go to Mission  Nombre de Dios and Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche in downtown St. Augustine and then take the 2:00 tour of Flagler College which is located in the heart of the downtown area.

Before leaving I did have a conversation with Samantha at Lazydays and the roller that was supposed to be delivered yesterday never arrived, but we did get approval from the warranty company that they will pay for the repair but only for 3 1/2 hours of labor.  Hopefully the repairs will be completed by Thursday or Friday, but that is not a guarantee!  Time will tell.

I also talked to Noela and they were just arriving at their home in LaChute, Canada after a 2 month trip outwest.  They had a great time and all went well!  Later in the day Ernie called Ken for a brief chat.  We will spend the winter with them at Harbor Lakes CG near Port Charlotte, FL.

The 4 of us headed into St. Augustine and spent time at the chapel, walking around the grounds and reading the plagues with lots of interesting history.  The huge stainless steel cross is 208 feet, filled half way with concrete and weighs 70 tons - yes, it is massive!!! 



A beautiful small chapel.


It was to honor Mary, the mother of Jesus!

St. Francis

One of the stations of the cross!

Father Lopez, who celebrated the 1st mass
here at St. Augustine in 1565 stands at the base
of the cross that was erected in 1965 marking
the 400th anniversary of the approximate site
of the 1st cross planted in the US!

From there we went to the hour tour at Flagler College lead by 2 of their senior students.  What an unbelievable masterpiece!  The architecture and detail are incredible.  Flagler built the building in the late 1800's as a hotel for the rich and famous.  Back in 1885 it cost about $4,000. to stay there for 3 months. 


Some interesting info!

Gorgeous entrance 

Beautiful courtyard entrance!

12 spitting frogs for the months of the year and 4 spitting
turtles for the 4 seasons!





The chandeliers and the stained class windows were made by Mr. Tiffany from NY.


Many chandeliers through out the building!

Lots of stained glass windows too!




The entire hotel was completed in 18 months (unbelievable) and designed by 2 young gentleman who had just graduated from college.  One of the architects went on to design the Metropolitan Opera House and the New York City Library.  The paintings on most of the ceilings are enhanced with 23 carat gold leaf paint that is "mind blowing".  


This is the rotunda in the lobby!

The ceiling in the rotunda!


Part of the ceiling in the Dining Room!


Currently the building is a privately owned college and over 30 million dollars has been spent to maintain it.  Tuition, room, and board is about $27,000./yearly which didn't seem bad for this day and age! The students eat their meals in the original ballroom sitting on chairs that are replicas of the original ones.


This is the student dining room!

One of the original chairs!  They used Spanish
moss for the inside of the cushions, but people
complained about bug bits from the jiggers!

A reproduction!

The woodwork and painting are amazing!

 Just a little more info - this mosaic floor was done by hand by 50 workers that worked everyday during the 18 months of construction just laying the tiles - hard to imagine!  They even have 2 little designs on the floor that are intentionally not "perfect" because Mr. Flagler believed that only God was perfect and the building needed some imperfections!




It is a tour that is well worth the money!

From there we went to Publix to get pre-made salads and a rotiessiere chicken for dinner back at the resort.  We were able to eat on our screened in balcony!



A nice place to have dinner!

Then we spent the evening playing Hand and Foot (which the men won by a huge margin) and then a game of single deck Pinochle, won by the women.  We called it a day around 9:30 and I did work on the blog.  It was another great day!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Tuesday - Our 1st Full Day at St. Augustine!

Ken was up a little before 6 and did his devotions and reading.  I had stayed up too late watching the Steelers, so I only appeared around 8.  After taking our time getting ready, we had breakfast with Rick and Joyce in their unit.  We enjoyed sitting around the table drinking coffee, chai and tea sharing life and then planning our day.

By 10:45 we drove into St. Augustine stopping to spend about 3 1/2 hours at Ponce de Leon's Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park.    On the way we called Deb Eberly back home and by way of speaker phone, the 5 of us had a great conversation.  Lloyd is still waiting for an appointment for his needed Cat Scan and then with his specialist.  What a long time of being in limbo!  

The  4 of us enjoyed walking around The Fountain of Youth Park which is privately owned.  It is the original site of Spanish Colonial St. Augustine, the oldest successful European settlement in the US.  Located in the area 1st explored by Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513 and settled by Pedro Menendez de Aviles in 1565, St. Augustine was founded here in the park 55 years before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, and 42 years before Jamestown was colonized.  It was a very interested area!  



Ponce de Leon

These structures show where some of the 1st buildings were
constructed!







watching the demonstrations -




A replica of the 1st Christian church built in the continental US!

Fairly simple inside!

This baptistry dates back to the 1800's!


Sleeping quarters for 1 family.  Each family had a section of
the area with different "buildings" for sleeping, meeting,
cooking, food storage, etc.

These beds do not look very comfortable!


going to the show at the Planatarium -



The show explained how the early explorers found their
way on the sea by following the stars!


another show at the theater -



This 2 story globe showed the routes followed by the early
explorers!


feeding the peacocks -








and then the most important thing - drinking water at the fountain of youth!  I wanted to submerge myself in the water, but it really is just a "spigot", so that wasn't a possibility!  I am hoping by tomorrow that I will look like a new person - not!!!!



 We also checked out the burial grounds and because the folks where lying on their backs with the hands crossed over their chests, they knew they were Christians.  The Indians here were converted by the Spanish.





From there we drove to downtown St. Augustine and had a delicious lunch outdoors. 





Then on to Vilano Beach where we walked out on the pier to get photos of the beautiful sunset.








We enjoyed such a wonderful day together!



Back to the resort by 6:15 and after watching the world news the 4 of got together in our suite and played one game of Skip-Bo and one of double handed Pinochle.  The women were victorious in both - YES!

We called it a day at 10:15 and I worked on this blog for a short time and downloaded some photos.  We did get a call from Samantha, our service adviser, that the roller needed for the slide repair did not arrive on the morning delivery, but hopefully in the afternoon one.  In the meantime, the warranty company has still not confirmed that they will pay for the repair and Wilbur has been there since last Monday.  How can things take so long?????  We are still hoping we can get him back on Thursday, but who knows????