Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Last Days at Orlando TT

On Saturday morning as we began our walk, there was another hot air balloon way off in the distance (the little speck in the sky to the left of Chuck's head):


After several of our morning walks, we would talk and visit and laugh with George and Jean who were camped across from us. We actually have met George and Jean previously at the RV Dreams full-timing rally in September 2011 which was when we first met Ken and Bonnie too.


After playing pickleball for a couple of hours Saturday morning, we loaded up the bikes and drove to Fort Wilderness at Disney to ride bikes on their bike trails.  Unfortunately, the parking lot for Fort Wilderness was full with some kind of event going on so we weren't able to ride our bikes on their trails.  We were disappointed but quickly put smiles back on our faces with some Frosties from Wendy's.  :)

After church on Sunday, we relaxed and took a break from walking and pickleball, which gave us all a day to get caught up on things like laundry, etc.

On Monday morning, we were at the pickleball courts by 11:00 and switched up playing pickleball with James, Brenda, Mike and Frank, who were also staying in the park.


They gave us (and me, in particular) some good tips on pickleball and the rules for playing pickleball.


On Monday afternoon, we rode with Ken and Bonnie a few miles north of the campground to Showcase of Citrus.  This orange grove is a U-Pick orange grove on 2,500 acres that also has a big fruit stand with all kinds of jellies and sauces for sale.  We also sampled their orange juice slushies and orange creamsicles made with orange juice and frozen yogurt.  We walked around the fruit stand and then out to the groves to find us some oranges to pick!

The ladies in the farm stand told us the tangerines and navel oranges are in season now and gave Ken directions on the grove map how to get to those sections of the grove.  Our first stop was at the playground behind the fruit stand store where we watched Bonnie pick up this big hula-hoop and show us what a good hula-hooper she is!


When we reached the navel orange grove, Ken picked and cut up one of the oranges for us to try.  It was a little green but sweet and delicious.


We loaded up our bag over half full with naval oranges and then headed out to find the tangerine grove.  We noticed a sign on our way to the tangerines that said "No eating fruit in the grove."  Oops!
There were rows and rows and rows of groves full of all types of citrus fruit but only the naval oranges and tangerines were in season right now.


We walked by this stream carefully hoping that we might see some alligators,


but we didn't see any gators out today.


We had to walk a fairly good distance to the grove where the tangerines were located.


When we got to the grove, the trees were loaded with tangerines.


There was a lot of tangerines on the ground.


What a waste!  We found out from the manager that some kids that were there for a birthday party had pulled off a lot of fruit this past weekend.  She did say that the deer and other animals would come eat the fruit.

We stuffed as many tangerines into our bag and then headed back to the fruit stand to pay for our orange treasures.


After we returned to the campground, we went to the pool to enjoy it for a while.  We enjoyed the jacuzzi even more because it helped soothe our pickleball aches.

On Tuesday, our last day, Bonnie found this poster-size greeting card on the road when we walked that morning.  Ken said he had laid it there on purpose earlier that morning as an early anniversary card for Bonnie as their anniversary is coming up soon.


The only problem was the card said "Happy Valentine's Day!" on the inside.  :)

Later that morning, we played pickleball for a couple of hours and then began cleaning up our RVs and getting ready for leaving on Wednesday.  Chuck and I ran some errands that afternoon and on the way back to the camper, we came up behind this palm-covered vehicle that looked like "an accident waiting to happen."


On Wednesday morning, we went on our last walk at Orlando Thousand Trails.  Lake Hancock was just as pretty as it had been every other morning...


...and Chuck is sure he could probably have caught a fish out of it.


But not in a Porta-Bote like the one tied up to the dock.


Boy, does that bring back memories!  (See March 2013 of our blog.)  We're STILL glad we no longer own a Porta-Bote...or any boat for that matter.  :)


We posed for one last selfie at the dock at Lake Hancock,


touched the palm leaves on the same old palm tree like we had every other morning,  


and finished up our walk around the campground.


After we got back to the camper, we said our good-byes to George and Jean...


...and then hooked up the cars and headed for Myakka River State Park...


...for more adventures with Ken and Bonnie!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Laughing 'Til it Hurts

After walking on Wednesday morning and enjoying breakfast outside, we had a couple of visitors come by to visit us.


Chuck called them over by clapping his hands together.  They probably thought we were going to give them something to eat.  Their call sounds like something gurgling in a hollow tree.  You can hear their call towards the end of this video:


Chuck tried mimicking their call but he sounds more like someone gargling Listerine from inside a well.  :)

We decided to go to a Michaels store about 20 minutes south of here to look for some new frames for our pictures in the camper.  Ken and Bonnie have decorated their camper nicely with pictures and suggested looking at Michaels if we wanted some new frames for our pictures.  We bought a couple of new frames that were on sale at Michaels.  After leaving Michaels, Bonnie and I went to Ross's to look around a little bit while Ken and Chuck went to Dick's Sporting Goods to look for us some new camping chairs.

You never know what's going to happen when you leave those two alone.   Chuck decided to try out the latest gadget in camping equipment -- a collapsible wagon:


They did not find the particular camping chairs we were looking for; but they did find the newest thing in outdoor chairs:  a bungee chair.


Chuck tested it out too.  Watch!  :)


By this time, we were all laughing so hard it was a wonder they didn't kick us out of the store.  Because we were only a couple of miles from Crispers (a restaurant that specializes in fresh salads), we decided to go there for lunch which was delicious.  We made a couple of more quick stops on the way home and then it was time for shuffleboard.


The campground has 12 shuffleboard courts but very poor equipment.  But that didn't stop us from having a good time!  We played even after dark!  


After all of our driving and shopping on Tuesday and Wednesday, we were ready to just stay at the campground on Thursday.  We started the day with walking and then played some pickleball after breakfast.  Chuck and I had only played pickleball one other time and that was when we were at Moody Beach in Maine.  It took a little while for me to learn but it is a very fun game to play but can make you tired too.  Here we are taking a break for a few minutes!


When we went back to the camper for lunch, Chuck was going to help Ken tie his awning down because it was a little windy and Ken wanted to be able to leave it out.  


Like always, Dim and Dimmer keep us laughing.  I think they will keep you laughing too as you watch the below video on how NOT to tie down an awning.  :)


I don't know which gives us more exercise.  All the walking, pickleballing, shuffleboarding, and biking...or laughing until our sides hurt watching Dim and Dimmer.  :)

Needless to say, Ken decided to just put his awning in before we went back to the shuffleboard courts.  The weather was perfect today for walking, pickleball and now shuffleboard.


Bonnie and I finally won a game a shuffleboard with Bonnie scoring a record 33 points in one turn!  

After shuffleboard, we grilled and shared a delicious dinner together.  The temperature was so cool Thursday night that we had to wear light jackets.  But we couldn't stay out too long because by 7:15 the mosquitoes were starting to bite!


Friday was another beautiful day that began with some hot air balloons flying across the meadow behind the campground and another nice walk.  We have cut our morning walks down to just 2 1/2 miles and our feet have really appreciated it!  :)


We played some more games of pickleball after breakfast.  Pickleball is a cross between ping pong and tennis.  You play with paddles but on a court that is smaller than a tennis court.  


Today, we played three games with Frank, another camper, who gave us some good pointers about improving our pickleball game.  Look at how Ken and Chuck are really going after the ball here.  


We finished up the evening with some more shuffleboard, card games, and a lot more laughter...the best exercise of all!  :)



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Some Fun in the Sun

We were so glad when Ken and Bonnie arrived at Thousand Trails on Sunday morning.  Fortunately, the site next to us stayed open and they were able to park right next to us.  The laughter began before they even were got set up on their site!

We enjoyed talking and getting caught up on each others families.  On Sunday night, we played Skip-Bo with the women beating the men the best 2 out of 3.  A GREAT way to start the week!

On Monday morning, we were all up by 7 am to walk around the campground a couple of times to get our 5 miles (or 10,000+ steps) in.  By the time we reached Lake Hancock, the sun was just beginning to rise in all its glorious beauty...


and brightness.


We watched the sun rise for a few minutes and then posed for this sunrise selfie,


Just as we were about to start walking again, Ken noticed a hot air balloon going across the horizon.


We started walking again and then noticed the hot air balloon flying near the meadow behind the campground.


After completing our walk, we enjoyed eating breakfast together outside and talking and laughing some more.


Chuck looked up in the sky and noticed an airplane writing words in the sky.  We watched the plane make the letters and wondered how the pilot could possibly know how to write out the letters much less spell out the words.  It looked like the pilot had spelled out "Jesus" on the first line but this was almost gone by the time the pilot had finished writing "Love U."  The below video has been speeded up.  It actually took about 4 minutes for the pilot to spell out "Love U."




On the second line, he went on to spell out "Love U Jesus."  How cool is that!  

Then, we noticed a big turtle walking in front of Ken and Bonnie's camper.  There are several small fenced off areas in the campgrounds to protect the turtle holes.  This was the fastest moving turtle I had ever seen.  I guess he was trying to get out of the hot sun!  This video has not been speeded up.  He was just a really fast turtle.  



After all the excitement, it was time to play corn hole.  Ken got out their new corn hole (or bean bag toss) game and we played a couple of games of corn hole.  


These boards are lighter and easier to pack up in a camper.  They are more challenging to score on than the wooden boards because the bags slide off and bounce off the boards easily.  We played two games with the men winning both games; but the women gave them a good game and didn't make it easy for them!  

After playing corn hole in the hot sun, we were ready to cool off in the pool for a little while.  The campground has two very nice pools.  We got cooled off in the pool and then warmed back up in the nice spa.  


After dinner, Ken and Bonnie taught us how to play Pinochle again.  We hadn't played since we were together back in March.  We played one game of Pinochle with the women coming out victorious! Then, we played a round of the dice game "Toss Up."  The men came out winners in Toss Up.

Tuesday morning was warmer and much more humid.  We were treated to another beautiful sunrise at Lake Hancock.  



I think we all had a few more aches today and the humidity made you feel real sticky.  After walking the 2 lap/5 mile walk around the campground and eating some breakfast, Ken got out the cornhole games and set them up between our campers so we could play in the shade this morning.


The games were even closer today with both teams having to go back to 15 when they would score over 21.  But the men won both games.  Congratulations!  Rrrrrrrr.  :)

Since the forecast was calling for rain Tuesday afternoon, we decided to run some errands together up to Mt. Dora, Winter Garden, and Altamonte Springs.  After getting all the errands done, we finished up with dinner at Sonny's BBQ in Apopka.  It was delicious!  :)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Days are Getting Shorter

We have managed to start walking a little earlier every day.  Today we got started a little before 7 am.  The temperatures are more pleasant (70's) by walking early in the morning but the sun is getting later and later coming up as the days get shorter and shorter.

By the time we had walked to Lake Hancock on our first lap around, the sun had not risen over the clouds in the eastern horizon yet.


We looked to see if we could see any alligators; but I guess they were still sleeping.


The meadow behind the campground looks like the perfect place for deer...


...but we haven't seen any yet.


With our three mornings of walking, I got a nice big blister on my little toe on my right foot.  Probably going to take a day off tomorrow.

After breakfast, Chuck colored my hair for me.  I think my hair grows even faster now that I am prematurely gray.  (Ha! Ha!)  Anyways, Chuck took care of those pesky gray roots before the football games got started and he even painted my nails later that evening!


Am I spoiled or what???

There were a lot of good college football games on today so we spent most of the day watching football.  For dinner, we tried an easy grilled salmon recipe I found on www.allrecipes.com.  We also grilled some asparagus and zucchini.  Very tasty!  And healthy too!


By the way, I forgot to put on my blog that we found out that the black clumps that we saw on Carrabelle Beach were NOT from the BP spill.  We talked to a couple who lived on Carrabelle Beach and they said the black clumps are from where the surf from past hurricanes have come in and torn up the asphalt roads and pulled it out into the water.  They said BP did investigate thoroughly the waters off Carrabelle but found no damage from the spill.  I have corrected the post.