Saturday, March 30, 2013

High 80’s = Pool Time

After several days with lows going down into the 30’s and highs in the mid 60’s, we finally had a couple days in the normal temperature range. A perfect two days to just lounge around the pool side.

Hat protecting bald head and burnt face from the bright sunshine At first the breeze felt cool when leaving the pool. But the bright sunshine made it oh so easy to get warmed up again.

Wilma with others enjoying the pool with the shuffle board court in the background As I lay on the lounge chairs, my face and shoulders started turning a cherry red. Oh No! should have put on some sun screen. But today I kept a hat on protecting my face and the top of my head.

This lady gave everyone wanting one a  strawberry Margarita. Mmm Good on a hot day. We all at the poolside were even treated with a Frozen Strawberry Margarita by a wonderful lady. She said she just had to get it out of the freezer before she ended up drinking the entire batch herself. :)

Along poolside enjoying the warm day Thank You oh so much for that fine treat. Everyone there enjoyed the cool drink.

A Local resident balancing his drink on a noodle We were even shown how a “professional” handles his drinks while enjoying a dip in the pool. He never spilled a drop!

Tomorrow we will continue packing a few items in the car for our trip home on Tuesday. Then for an Easter dinner we are invited along with another couple to a smoked ham dinner prepared by Greg, our neighbor.

Monday will be the final day devoted to packing the car, and getting the Motorhome ready for storage. We are going to dinner that day with Greg and Cherie to Cracker Barrel. (Most of the food is gone from the fridge).

Tuesday morning we should be gone by 10am. The office opens at 9am and I have to make my final day’s  payment and the electric payment for the month of March.

We are looking forward to arriving home after being gone for a little over 3 months. And we will miss the friends that we have met here at our Winter Home.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cold Nights, Warm Days

For the last two nights, Arcadia, FL has broke all the low temperature records. Last night it got down to 38 F.

Closing off half of the area in the motorhome kept it comfy in our bedroom area. But when I awoke in the morning opening the door separating the living area from the bedroom, what a shocker. It was down to around 48 F. in the living area! Brrrrr. I immediately plugged our second heater to start warming up the living/kitchen area. I knew it wouldn’t be long and the sun that would be shining through the window would help to heat up the area.

Outside temps were 38F. last night, inside....very cool Kybee took no time at all finding the warmest area. In the sunshine in front of the heater. He actually laid there close to an hour before the room was up to 72 F. and I unplugged the heater.

It really only takes about 3 hours to warm up outside after the sun comes up. Just amazing to us how quickly it warms up. Most mornings Wilma and I have our coffee outside under the awning. But this morning we chose to sit in the warmth of the sunshine.

Ellie's Winnebago next to Palm and Live Oak Trees Today was just picture perfect with the bright sunshine and blue, cloudless skies.

Spanish Moss hanging in the Live Oak Tree By noon we were in short sleeve shirts and shorts. :)

We watch RV’ers leave by the day now, and the park has many empty spots. It’s getting very quiet around here. We are planning on leaving this Tuesday.

Sunday our neighbors have invited us over for a smoked ham dinner. Monday evening the 4 of us are going to Cracker Barrel for dinner. Tuesday morning I will be putting the Motorhome in storage here and we leave this great park to head home. Driving the Chevy Malibu that gets 33 MPG is going to be much easier on the wallet than the Motorhome that gets a whopping 6 MPG.

So for the next few days we will be busy going through the Motorhome cleaning and packing the car for the trip home. We are getting anxious to get back home, but not looking forward to the cold weather that is still around back home.

Trip Home

 

 

 

Miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Andy’s Can Party

I first met Andy here on our way home from Florida last year. A sweet English fellow, a ‘no nonsense” kind of person. I didn’t know much about Andy as he passed away just after we arrived here this year. You could tell from the reactions of the people here at the park that knew Andy, that he was a very special kind of guy and would be very much missed.

Last evening, the park hosted another “Andy’s Can Party”. I just had to find out as much as I could about Andy by asking the others at the party.

The Club House Florida Room  It was his idea that there was a need to recycle the aluminum cans that could be collected through out the year. He took it upon himself to take all the collected cans to the recycle center, saving the funds collected, and have a party at the end of the “Snowbird” season. Being a huge success, the managers of the park designated an area near the dumpster for the collection of aluminum cans. Everyone seems to deposit their cans in the designated area, needing a weekly run to the recycle center.

Pool side This year there were at least 100 in attendance. Margareta's, Beer, Soft Drinks, Water and Pulled Pork sandwiches were all available for those who attended. A park resident DJ furnished the background music, and toward the end of the evening, Karaoke and dancing.

Great conversation was had by all George, our park manager, a very close friend of Andy’s, announced that even though Andy cannot be hear in person, he will always be here in spirit and this party in the future will always be known as “Andy’s Can Party” in his honor. An applause from all attending was loud and long for Andy! What a wonderful thing Andy started those many years past. I wish I could have known him as much as George.

Wilma and I had a great time at the party, socializing. We were warned of a possible problem when we were asked when we were leaving. It seems that leaving on April 1st. is not a very wise idea.

Our site 102 in the morning We were told of major traffic jams on that day heading north on I-75. Seems all the Snowbirds leave that day, plus you have the annual “Spring Breakers” who are heading back home.

Large Red Headed WoodpeckerStories of the Police in the rest area’s directing traffic because the area’s were full with no spots to stop and park. Traffic jams so bad that one year it took over 6 hours to get to Tampa, which is just  95 miles North of us!

This family of Herons held up traffic crossing the highway Hearing these stories from more than one or two couples, prompted Wilma and I to have second thoughts about our plan of leaving on the 1st.

We had lunch here at Perkins. This Egret watched us as we left. Our discussion while having our coffee this morning under the awning, was what day should we leave?

Wilma enjoying her morning coffee We discussed the pro’s and con’s of the different days to leave. Knowing that Wilma is getting a little home sick, I left myself open for her suggestions.

Kybee just has to lay his head down enjoying an ear scratch I just know it was very hard for her, but I’m giving her the credit for making the decision. We have decided to stay just one more day, leaving on April 2nd. to head for home in Michigan.

Port Charlotte weather We will be leaving this type of weather here in Florida, to highs in the 40’s forecasted for Michigan. Winter just doesn’t want to leave Michigan this year! We are going to FREEZE! But we miss our kids and Grandkids very much and that will make it all worth it.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Flat Tires and Dead Computer

It’s been quite a week and a half for Wilma and I. Two weeks ago I was telling Wilma that when we get back home to Michigan, I have to get new tires for the car. I must have jinxed myself because the very next morning we were going to go to the beach, and I noticed a “low tire alarm” on the dash. Checking the tire, the right rear tire, it showed only 20 lbs. of air pressure. The rest were showing the normal 40 lbs. of pressure. It was a very slow ride to the nearest gas station to put in a dollars worth of quarters to pump the tire up to the 40 lb. pressure.

We then headed south to Fort Myers where we were going to meet our friends Bob & Donna at Sanibel Island. We headed that way for 2 reasons. First, there is a Costco in Fort Myers where I was planning on purchasing new tires. I told Wilma that if the tire starts to loose air pressure we would head for Costco, if not we would head for the Island.

It turned out that the tire did indeed hold the 40 lbs. of air pressure, so we spent a good part of the day with Bob and Donna on the beach. I figured it was an omen telling me to buy new tires before we made the 1300 mile trip back home. Leaving the Island, Bob and Donna headed south back to Naples, while we headed for Costco.

Talking to the tire man at Costco, I determined which tires I would purchase the next morning as they were booked up for the day. It turned out that I did indeed get those tires the next morning and was amazed at the difference in ride from the old Firestone tires. Getting home I looked at them closer and noticed they were all looking half flat! Checked the pressure and they only had 30 lbs. of nitrogen in them. Knowing that in a few weeks I would have the car loaded heavy for our trip home, I did a search on the Droid Smartphone for dealers that had nitrogen. Finding one, I went there the next day and had them top off the tires to a pressure of 40 lbs. cold.

A few days later I just had finished up on paying bills on the computer when I turned it over to Wilma. She was on the internet only about 15 minutes when the computer just froze on her. I told her to just reboot it, which she did. We never saw the “desktop” again! The hard drive light just kept on, but nothing. I looked at the receipt from the replacement of the hard drive that I just had done, and it was only 20 some days ago. So I knew it was still under warranty. The next morning I made the 15 mile drive to the computer repair shop. They said it would be at least 24 hours before they could get it back to me. That actually turned out to be 4 days, as they do not do repair work over the weekends.

I got my computer back yesterday just before 5pm. and worked until almost midnight loading the programs I needed on it. I didn’t want them to do a “restore” of my backup this time, just a fresh new Windows 7 operating system on a brand new hard drive. My computer is running super fast again and I’m a happy camper! We are just holding our breath and keeping our fingers crossed that this hard drive will last many years to come.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Arcadia, FL. Rodeo

We knew it was going to be a perfect day as the weather forecast was for temperatures to be in the mid 70’s with clear blue sunny skies to attend a Rodeo.

Wilma and I were so excited to go to a “real” rodeo that we arrived a half hour before the gates even opened! We purchased our tickets and stood in line for the opening of the gates.The Grandaddy of em all

Our “bench seats” 7 & 8 in Section O, Row 2 were almost perfect. Close to the middle of the arena and within 100 feet of the “Bucking Shoots”.  I say “almost” because by mid afternoon we were in full sun. We sure were glad we had our Cowboy hats on!

We had some time to look around at the several Vendors selling their wares before taking our seat in the stands.

Need a pair of cowboy boots?

Need a cowboy hat

The sites and smells of those vendors selling food triggered our appetite, so we ended up purchasing a cheeseburger with a bottle of cold water.

Western items and food to purchase if needed

Another food vendor

After the cheeseburger we still had time on our hands so we checked out the area where the horses and bulls were kept.

Big Bad Boy Bull with Wilma

Wilma actually got within an arms length from the bulls! Couldn’t get close to the horses as there were bushes between us and the pens.

Some of the many horses in their pens

There was a “Gunfight” prior to the Rodeo events which got everyone’s attention mighty fast. Especially when the guns were fired! It actually got everyone in the stands in the mood and right frame of mind for a fun filled Rodeo!

The Shoot Out. Bad Guys on left were all shot dead.

The first event was the little ones riding sheep, or trying to.

Ride em kiddo!

Woops, didn't make it very far.

Then came to “Bareback Riding”. Think horses can’t fly? The horses were so fast out of the gates their feet were off the ground!

Horse off the ground, cowboy almost off the horse!

Next came the Steer Wrestling. The announcer said that the steer runs at a speed of around 30 MPH by the time the cowboy lands on it. How scary is that?!

Jumping off the horse to wrestle the Steer to the ground

Got a hold of the horns and twists

Both end up on the ground.

It was then time to give the cowboys a short rest and intermission time. So we were given a show from Jimmy Riffle of the “Gator Boys”.

Jimmy Riffle of the "Gator Boys"

He demonstrated several dangerous moves he does with gators. I think the most dangerous was putting his arm and hand inside of the gators mouth. I couldn’t get a photo of that as we were at a bad angle.

Takes two men to get the gator out of the truck

But Jimmy did allow everyone on both sides of the arena to get photo’s as he did each stunt twice, moving the gator to face each side of the arena.

Holding the gators mouth open with one hand

Even holding the gators mouth open with only his chin!

Holding the gators mouth open with his chin

After intermission it was time for Saddle Bronc Riding.

Saddle Bronc Riding

Loosing grip

Off He Goes

These cowboys are tough! After getting thrown from the horse, landing on the ground, they are up on their feet within seconds. I don’t think I would be able to pick myself up off the ground, that is if I could even manage to get up on one of these horses.

There were several more events scheduled. Barrel Racing, Tie-Down Roping, Team Roping, and Bull Riding, but the sun was getting the best of us and we had to leave early.

We both had an exciting and enjoyable day at the 85th. Arcadia all Florida Championship Rodeo. The Rodeo’s web site: Arcadia Rodeo

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Trip to Sarasota, FL.

The weather was forecasted today to be around 70F. so Wilma and I decided we would like to take a trip to Sarasota. We were aware that it is a large city, but we just wanted to go see the Yoder's Amish Village and Siesta Key Beach. So with the help of my Droid Smartphone, the addresses were found and put into the Garmin GPS.

Upon arriving at the Amish Village, I just couldn’t take my eyes off of the RV Park located across the 5 lane highway from the Village. I actually find it hard to call it an RV Park, more like an RV Parking Lot!

Has to be the WORST RV Park

The Village was much smaller than I expected.

Amish Village, Sarasota, FL

We found that there were only 3 buildings there. A souvenir shop, restaurant and produce store.

Souvenir Shop

Entrance to the Restaurant

After touring the souvenir shop, we decided we would like to have lunch at their restaurant. We both had the chicken dinner. One word to describe the food. DELICIOUS! The serving was so large, that we both brought half of our dinners home with us. Wilma then bought some produce at their produce store and we then headed for the Siesta Key Beach.

We first noticed that they have plenty of FREE parking along the beach.

Boardwalk from the parking area to Siesta Key Beach

We now realize why this beach was rated #1 of all beaches in the USA. Just beautiful sugar white sand, shallow swimming area in the beautiful Gulf, Life Guards year round, and the list keeps going. Just plain beautiful.

Looking South

Looking North

We couldn’t believe the size of this beach. Seemed to go on for miles but the web site says it only about a half mile long. I’ll tell you, that has got to be the longest half mile on record!

Sand like sugar

We walked along the water front, Wilma picking up small sea shells.

Shells from Siesta Beach

All along the beach are lifeguard stations, something you don’t see at many beaches.

Lifeguard Station, one of many

Because of the wind today, the beach was under a “Yellow Flag” warning.

The Gulls watch as Wilma walks by

The sea gulls just watched as we walked by within a couple feet of them. They are very used to people here at this beach.

The King of his Castle

The photo above is not zoomed in. We were about 4 feet from him before he flew off leaving his sand castle.

What a great time Wilma and I had today. This is a beach that we will be returning to again and again.

Here we are, on Siesta Key Beach, Fl.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.