Friday, March 31, 2017

Our Last Full Day In Florida for this Trip!

I decided I would begin this post by showing you one of the
coconut fish I recently painted.  Each one has their own

I sold this one today, but took photos
before I said "good-bye"!  She went to
a good home!!

Ken was up by 6:15 and he woke me at 6:45.  We planned to play pickleball but after Ken checked the weather on his phone, there was rain approaching.  So we quickly dressed and went outside and brought in everything that we wanted to pack up for our departure tomorrow before it got "soaked"!  That included chairs, rugs, table coverings, grill, and drying rack.  As soon as we got inside Wilbur light rain started - what timing!!!!

Well, so much for playing pickleball which was really disappointing because we wanted an opportunity to say good-bye to all the French pickleball players.  We spent the time making breakfast and I worked on the blog and downloaded photos while the rain continued and got a bit heavier! This is probably about the 3rd time it has rained in the 3 months we have been here!

Ken went outside and loaded our bikes and a few other things.  I continued to do the same inside Wilbur.  At 11:30 Ernie, Noela, Ken and I drove to Farlows on the Water for another delicious lunch.  What a fitting thing to do on our last full day here in Florida. 

When we got back to the CG Ken emptied our tanks and then he disconnected the sewer and water.  

At 4:15 the 4 of us went to play shuffleboard.  Noela and I were pretty confident we could win, but not to be!!!!  The men won the 1st 2 games, we won the 3rd, and then the men won the 4th.  A bit disappointing!

We were back to Wilbur by 5:15 and Ken disconnected the water, we brought in the slides, and raised the jacks.  We put out the bed slide for tonight and we plan to be on the road by 5 AM tomorrow.  

After dinner we walked the small loop of the CG and we so happy to see 2 of the Canadian couples with whom we played pickleball.  We were able to chat and say our goodbyes until we meet here again next year.  Then we visited Ernie and Noela for about an hour before saying our goodbyes.  They may spend a night or 2 camping near us on their way home so there is a good possibility we will see them before we all return to Florida!

What a gorgeous sunset seen from the back of Ernie and Noela's campsite-

The colors were even more spectacular than this picture shows!
There were bralliant teal and pink stripes in the water!

We left there at 8:45 and were in bed around 9:15.  Hopefully all will go well and we will be on our way early tomorrow morning!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Our Last Beach Day for the Winter of 2017 in Florida!

Ken left at 7:15 for a walk with Ernie and I got ready to play pickleball.  I did pack our lunches and clean up before getting to the courts at 8:20.  There were only 4 of us so I got to play right away.

Ken arrived at the courts a little before 9 and we played until 10.  Both of us had a good time.  Back to Wilbur to get ready to go to the beach and put supper in the crockpot.  The 4 of us left in Ernie's truck at 11 and headed to Manasota Beach.

We joined Bill, Carol, Jim and Joyce, fellow campers at Harbor Lakes, who had gotten there about an hour before us.   It was a positively gorgeous day on the beach - plenty of sunshine and in the mid 80's but with a nice breeze.  Ken and I actually got in the water up to our waists,but we spent most of our time looking for sharks teeth.  The tides were just right and we were able to find a lot of them.  This was our last time on the beach for this trip to Florida and we loved it!

Shark tooth hunting@

Ernie and Noela love to go in the water!

A 1st for this trip - Ken and I both went in
the Gulf!

The water is such a gorgeous color!

On the way back to the CG we stopped at Wal-Mart for groceries that we will need when we are on Jekyll Island, GA.  We only got back to Wilbur at 6, showered, and got ready to "host" Ernie and Noela for dinner.  We ate outside around 7:15 and it was a beautiful evening.  We are so fortunate not to have bugs at this CG.  It is amazing!  Dinner was a success but there was a lot of clean-up.

Carol and Joyce came over to see Wilbur (he looked a mess because we were still cleaning up from dinner and had some clothes from the beach hanging around to dry).  Carol wanted to buy one of the fish I had painted, so I will complete it tomorrow so she can take it with her when they leave.

After they left, Ernie, Noela, Ken and I played a game of Skip-Bo.  The ladies were WAY ahead and somehow the men ended up winning the game.  Maybe it was all the Skip-Bo cards they kept getting!  It was ridiculous!  They left at 9:30 and I worked on this blog while in bed.  I can't believe tomorrow is our last day here in Florida for the winter of 2017.  We have had a great time and the weather has been fantastic.  Also staying at one campground for the entire 3 months has been so nice!  I loved not having to move!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What Can I Say! Another Gorgeous Day In Florida!

Ken and I were on the pickleball courts from 8:30 to 9:30 and had so much fun. Not too many people there until later so we got to play about 3 games before leaving to get ready to go away with Ernie and Noela.  

After showering and changing, we went in their truck to the bridge that crosses the Peace River right before you get into Punta Gorda.   The bridge is a mile long and we walked across it to have lunch at Hurricane Charley's.

What a great place to take a walk!

  On the walk across, we saw dolphins -

Dolphins are so adorable!

and 1,000 (I am not kidding) of stingrays.  It is their mating season and they were everywhere!  I have never seen so many in one place!

There were so many schools of stingrays - crazy!!!

We also saw such colorful geckos -

So many different colors on his tail.  The other "guy" had a
rather fluorescent green head!

We ate outside at Hurricane Charley's enjoying the view of the Peace River.  The food was good too, but it took a long time to get it.  Fortunately we are retired and not in a big hurry!!!

A view of Hurricane Harrys from the bridge!

What a setting on the Peace River!

A very busy place!

We saw a lot less stingrays on our mile walk back over the bridge to the truck. We returned to the CG around 3:30 after stopping at Publix and Michael's.  Ken spent a lot of time outside packing things in the car and rearranging things in the basement of Wilbur.  He took down the 100 feet of rope lighting that decorated the tree at the side of our campsite and packed away chairs, etc.

I spent time putting things inside Wilbur in their proper place for traveling which entailed rearranging some of the cabinets so I would have room for the decorative items that we have enjoyed seeing for the last 3 months.

Ken grilled chicken while I cut up and sauteed peppers and onions for the chicken cacciatore that I am making for the 4 of us for dinner tomorrow evening. Then Ken and I worked together to make salads for tonight and tomorrow.  

I called Cindy to make sure they were safe.  They are camping in Oklahoma after leaving Texas and avoided all of those tornadoes and huge hail storms.  We were so happy to hear that they were safe and sound!  We also called and sang Happy Birthday to our son-in-law, Bob.

Ernie and Noela came over from 8 to 9:30 and the women were the winners of Racko.  The men really dislike that game because they never win.  Kind of like Skip-Bo for the women.  We had purchased half of a Key Lime Pie at Publix and it was delicious.  The 1st Key Lime Pie we have had while in Florida!  What will power!

It was another amazing day!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Warm, Sunny and Beautiful!

Ken left for a 1 1/2 hour walk with Ernie at 7:20.  I decided to play pickleball for about an hour.  I was happy with my playing and had a great time!  Ken had a nice phone conversation with Lanie.  They are doing well, but poor Samantha continues to have a problem with hives.  She has been to the dermatologist many times, but the hives and itching has not been"cured"!  

I showered when I returned to Wilbur and by 10:30 Ken and I left to go to the Crow's Nest in Venice for lunch with Barb and Ray.  We had met them over 5 years ago when we were camping beside them at Royal Coachman CG near Venice.  We also visited them in Maine when we camped there several summers ago!

We had not seen them since last winter here in Florida so we were excited to spend time with them.  Ken and I had never eaten at the Crow's Nest and it is one of their favorite places. We ate on the second floor by the window that overlooked the north and south jetty at Venice and both the food and view were wonderful.  But the best part was spending about 2 hours visiting with Barb and Ray.  

We left there around 1:30 and Ken and I drove to Nokomis Beach.  It was a perfect beach day!  We found very few sharks teeth, but we did find about 10 pieces of sea glass - YES!  Ernie and Noela joined us at the beach around 3.  We all left the beach around 5 and went to Detweiler's Farm Market for fruit and veggies.  Of course, we had to have a small cone of ice cream too.  It is delicious and for $1.29 you just have to indulge!

We only returned to the CG at 6:30 and decided not to get together to play games tonight.  After showers and a light dinner, I painted another coconut fish while watching The Voice.  Ken spent time on the computer and doing some reading, but enjoyed The Voice too!

This will be a busy week, but we are loving every minute!  (Sorry, but no pictures today!  We didn't even get a photo of Barb and Ray - we are bad!!)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Another Gorgeous Florida Day!

Ken and I were on the pickleball courts by 8:30 and we had such a good time. There were lots of players but we still played numerous games.  Both of us played fairly well, but we certainly have a lot of room for improvement. Lessons would be good!

Stopped to chat with Ernie and Noela on the way back to Wilbur around 10:15. It was a warm, sunny morning with temperatures already near 70, so our showers felt great.  Ken went through numerous bags, boxes, etc. in Wilbur and I downloaded photos and worked on the blog. Nancy Savage called to let us know that the site we will have on Jekyll Island is a nice, large one.  She and Neil arrived there on Sunday and will be staying for 2 weeks.  We are looking forward to seeing them.

Ken checked the air pressure on all the tires.  Then we went to see Jim and Joyce's new 5th wheel that they bought at the Tampa RV Show this winter - how nice!  They store it here near the CG and have it delivered to their site for 3 months in the winter.

Ken and I picked up Ernie and Noela at 1 and we drove to the Costco at Sarasota to get just a couple items and to pick up a beach umbrella for Neil and Nancy!  From there we went down the road to have another delicious lunch at Sweet Tomato.  It was fantastic!

It was black and white day for Noela and me!

We were back to the CG by 4:30 and by 5 Noela and I left to go to Bealls Outlet and then the regular Bealls!  It was fun but I didn't buy anything.  Noela got a pair of shorts and a beach cover-up!  We were back by 7:00 and I worked on this blog and recorded expenses in our budget program!

Then I did some fish painting and watched The Voice!  Ken was at Celebrate Recovery from 7 to 9 for the last time before returning home.  He has enjoyed getting to know so many folks at these meetings!  He will miss them!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Great Day in Warm, Sunny Florida!

Ken and I met Eddie and Lori at Edgewater UM Church at 9:15.  It was another wonderful, thought provoking service.  The 4 of us agree that we really enjoy this church and the hospitality of its members.  We have found our church home when we are in Florida and will definitely miss its people and the great sermons of Pastor Dan!

After church, the 4 of us went to Denny's for breakfast and fellowship.  We have enjoyed getting to know Eddie and Lori better during our time here in Florida.

Ken and I headed back to the CG and stopped at the laundry to put in 3 loads, hopefully the last time we will do wash until we return home.  Ken went to a local car wash and did a though cleaning of the CRV while I finished the wash.  

Ken did some organizing of the inside of the CRV and I started painting coconut fish, again!  At 5 we drove to the North Jetty of Nokomis Beach to enjoy a beautiful sunset.  We had taken salads, fruit, etc. with us and enjoyed eating it on chairs right along the jetty.  We saw lots of boats, birds, and even dolphins!

Perfect place to sit and watch the boats and the dolphins!

What a beautiful sight!

That is Venice in the distance!

The little boy doesn't seem to mind that these birds are
almost attacking him!

We enjoyed watching the pelicans dive for fish and then
the seagulls would try to get the "catch" from him.  We never
saw seagulls sit on their backs.  Rather comical!

I walked the beach for a short time and then we went to the water's edge to enjoy the gorgeous sunset.  It was a very nice evening!

Lots of fishermen on the jetty!

Waiting for the sunset!

Great picture, Ken!
Another day about to end!

A peaceful way to observe the sunset!

Of course, we had to stop at McDonald's for a hot fudge sundae before getting back to the CG around 9.  We visited with Ernie and Noela and discussed our plans for our final week here in Florida.  We want to go to the beach at least 2 times and tomorrow we will make our final trip to Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. Ken and I also plan to play pickleball 3 more times.  It will be a busy week but fun!

Life is Good!