Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back to Pine Island

On Wednesday morning, February 3rd, we left Ramblers Rest around 9:20 and we arrived at Pine Island Campground around 11:00.  We got checked in and drove back to our sites which back up to one of the two small lakes in the campground. 

It took some maneuvering to get backed into the sites that are really meant for smaller campers. These sites were flooded a week or so ago when this area of Florida got 13 inches of rain and both of our RVs were within just a few feet of the lake.  The view of the lake was beautiful but it was so cool and windy most of the time that we didn't get to sit outside to really enjoy it.

After getting set up and checked in, we walked around the campground with Ken and Bonnie and saw Bonnie's sister and brother-in-law, Cindy and John, and we also saw Neil and Nancy whom we had not seen since we were all at Pine Island last winter.  We checked out the pool also but it's going to have to warm up a lot before we'll be taking a dip.

Later that evening, Ken and Bonnie came over to play cards and the women emerged victorious this time winning both SkipBo and Pinochle.  The Pinochle game was extremely close with both teams having a tying score of 159.  (You only play to 150.)  We played one more round with the women winning the round and the game!  Ken and Bonnie said in all their years of playing Pinochle they had never seen a tie for both teams over 150. 

We got up early Thursday morning so we could play pickleball at 7:30.  We had some very good games and did pretty well considering it had been last fall that we had played pickleball. 
Reggie and Paul, some friends of Ken and Bonnie's in the park, invited us to go to Mexican lunch at the VFW post.  We had a delicious lunch and enjoyed meeting and visiting with some other campers in the park who were there for lunch.

Later that afternoon, we got together with Cindy and John to play cornhole.  They have some beautiful cornhole boards and this was the first time they had been used.  We played several rounds of cornhole and had some very close (and very long) games. 

On Friday, we rode with Ken and Bonnie down to Estero.  Our first stop was at the Lakes Park Farmers Market.  We walked around and tasted a few samples and bought some fresh produce.

Bonnie had a doctor's appointment early that afternoon to have her lip rechecked from skin cancer surgery the week before.  Fortunately, they had gotten all the cancer when the surgery was done the previous week and they were just wanting to check her lip to see how it was healing.  We all waited in the waiting area and in typical Ken & Chuck fashion, they started giggling and laughing about something they were reading in the paper.

I think they may have even taken Bonnie back a little quicker to see the doctor so that the boys would be separated.  :)  Bonnie's lip was healing nicely but when the nurse began to scrape some of the white film off of where it was healing, it began bleeding profusely.  They got it stopped by applying pressure and Bonnie was fine except for a very sore lip.  Ken, on the other hand, looked a little green as they came back out to the waiting area.

After we left the doctor's office, we stopped at Sweet Tomatoes for lupper.  It was after 2 in the afternoon and the place was packed which was surprising for that time of day.  We enjoyed a relaxing lunch and just getting to chat and talk awhile longer.  We made two more stops on the way back to Pine Island stopping at Costco and Wal-mart.  We didn't get back to Pine Island until after 6.  But that didn't keep us from getting together a short while later to play some more card games.

On Saturday, Ken & Bonnie, Neil & Nancy, Cindy & John and Chuck & I, all got together over at Cindy and John's for a cookout.  We scheduled it early in the day because it was supposed to start raining later in the day.  Unfortunately, the weather forecast was incorrect and it started raining before we even started grilling.  Cindy and John had their awning out and the picnic table set up where we were able to all sit outside under the awning and enjoy a very nice lunch together.

After lunch, Cindy and John took their cornhole boards to the clubhouse where we had an inside cornhole tournament between the four couples.

Ken thought he would lift some weights
while waiting their turn to play cornhole.  
John gave Ken and Chuck a lesson on how to properly tie your shoes.
The rain didn't stop us from having fun and we had a great afternoon of playing cornhole in the clubhouse.  Ken and Bonnie emerged the victors of the 2016 Pine Island Rainy Day Cornhole Tournament.

On Sunday morning, we went to church service in the campground and Cindy sung a beautiful song as part of their special music.  She has a beautiful voice.  I think she and Bonnie are singing a song together this coming Sunday.  I'm sorry we're going to miss that!

On Sunday evening, we got together over at Ken and Bonnie's for Super Bowl 50.  We enjoyed some delicious snackies before and during the game.  Of course, we were pulling for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.  If you watched it, you know it was a close and very defensive game but we were all very, very happy to see the Denver Broncos emerge the winners of Super Bowl 50!

On Monday morning, we played pickleball with Ken and Bonnie for a couple of hours and had some very good games again.  Later that afternoon, we rode our bikes to Low Key Tiki for a late lunch.

We had originally planned to ride a little further after lunch, but the wind was so strong that we decided to just ride back to the campground.  We stopped on the way back to try to find a couple of eagle's nests we had seen in previous years back in a subdivision, but the brush has grown too tall to be able to see them.  We did stop and watch a rancher feeding some of his cattle.

They were mooing like crazy.  I think they were saying "Eat Mor Chikin."  :)

We got together later that evening for cards again but by the time we finished playing, I wasn't feeling so good.  I had started with a little cough while watching the Super Bowl Game and had felt a little more tired than usual today and by the time I was ready to go to bed, I was really feeling puny.  I took some Nyquil hoping that would knock it out but I ran a low-grade fever, was achy and was coughing worse with a really nasty sounding cough on Tuesday.  So, I just laid around most of the day Tuesday hoping the rest would help me get rid of whatever I had.

On Wednesday, I woke up with a nasty headache but after I took some Tylenol and drank some coffee and it went away and my temperature was gone.  But my cough was still pretty bad.  Chuck thought I should see a doctor so we went to an urgent care clinic over in Cape Coral.  They tested me for flu and thankfully, it showed up negative so I guess I just have a bad cold or a touch of bronchitis.  They gave me several prescriptions and while we were waiting for the prescriptions to be filled at Walgreens, we drove to Sweet Tomatoes to have lunch again.  We just missed Ken & Bonnie and Ernie & Noela who went there for lunch after seeing lots of manatees up at Lee County Manatee Park.

After picking up my prescriptions, we headed back to Pine Island and Chuck cleaned the outside of the motorhome and began taking things down to get ready for our departure on Thursday.  Ken and Bonnie came over to play some cards later Wednesday evening and we had some good games of Pinochle, SkipBo, and 5 Crowns.  I won't humiliate the men any further by telling you who won all three games.  :)

We woke up to a cool 44 degrees on Thursday morning but at least it was not windy and raining.

We said our good-byes to Ken and Bonnie and are looking forward to meeting up with them again and Cindy and John in two weeks at Ramblers Rest.  We wanted to get one last picture of the bearded guys together.

Don't they look mean and serious!  You better not mess with these guys!

I like this picture a lot better!  
Neil and Nancy, we will miss you guys!  Sorry we weren't able to spend more time with you.  Safe travels and we look forward to seeing you again down the road sometime!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Back to Florida

After saying our good-byes and giving and getting hugs, Chuck and I left San Antonio about 8:45 on Friday morning.  The weather was nice (like it has been most of the time we have been in San Antonio) and we were hoping to bring that good weather right along with us all the way back to Florida.

We got hung up in traffic a couple of times while driving through Houston but made it through without any problems.  You just have to make sure you stay in the right lane.  They have interstates going every which direction here in Houston.

We drove about 400 miles east on I-10 stopping around middle of the afternoon back at Frog City RV Park in Duson, Louisiana.  We even got our same site #11 again!

On Saturday, we left around 7:30 and continued heading east on I-10.  We ran into some traffic due to construction before crossing the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge and then again in Hammond, Louisiana, but continued making our way east stopping about 45 miles east of Pensacola around mid-afternoon again at Eagles Landing RV Resort.

Eagles Landing is a nice place to stop overnight with pull-through sites and full hookups and with Escapees discount it only cost $23.  Sweet!

On Sunday morning, we got back on the road around 7:30 and the traffic was very light.  It was so light that Chuck suggested that this would be a good place for me to drive a little while.  I didn't really want to but I know I should probably drive every once in awhile just in case I had to.

Notice my death grip on the steering wheel.  :)
I was pretty tense at first but it got a little easier.  I drove about 70 miles over two hours.  No, I didn't drive 35 mph on the interstate.  We crossed over into the Eastern time zone so I told Chuck I drove for two hours.  :)  We stopped at a rest area on the west side of Tallahassee so Chuck could take over driving again which I was very glad to let him do.  It's a good thing he likes driving and a good thing I like navigating because we wouldn't get anywhere otherwise!

On Sunday, we drove about 350 miles to Wildwood, Florida, stopping overnight at Three Flags Thousand Trail where we could stay for free.  It is not one of our favorite parks but it was free so no complaints.

On Monday morning, we drove over to Alliance Coach in the car to pick up a new battery cut-out switch because the indicator light on ours had burned out.  Then, we hooked up the car again and drove about 145 miles to Ramblers Rest Encore Park where Ken and Bonnie were currently staying.  We wanted to surprise them a couple of days early.  They happened to see our motorhome just as they were driving out of the park and pulled back around to see us.  Bonnie said she wondered if we might surprise them since I hadn't written anything in the blog in a couple of days.

After saying our hellos and getting our hugs, we parted ways because they were meeting up with Ernie and Noela for a bike ride they were taking today.  We got set up on our site and then went to Sweet Tomatos for lupper and Costco and Detweiler's Farm Market for a few groceries. After unloading the groceries, we walked around the campground and checked out the amenities.  It is an older park and the streets are narrow but the pool and some of the recreational facilities have been recently renovated.  They have had a lot of rain here and we could see where vehicles may have gotten stuck in places.  Ken and Bonnie told us later that Ernie had to put his truck in 4-wheel drive to pull out of their site on one of the days he and Noela had been over to see them.

Ken and Bonnie came over to the camper later that evening and we enjoyed talking and getting caught up on everything that had been going on before calling it a night around 11 pm.

On Tuesday, we walked around the campground a bit with Ken and Bonnie and then we all rode over to visit Ernie and Noela where they are staying at Harbor Lakes RV Resort.  They have a very nice site that backs up to a canal with lots of birds and sometimes gators.

We all loaded up in Ernie and Noela's truck and went to Farlow's Restaurant for a delicious lunch outside on their patio.  This was the first time Chuck and I had been to Farlow's and it was very good.

I had their Scallop Caribbean Salad and it was delicious!

The restaurant sits right along the edge of the water.

After lunch, we went back to Ernie and Noela's and played a couple of games of shuffleboard.  I think we successfully brought the sun and good weather with us from Texas because it was very sunny and hot today!

Harbor Lakes is a very nice campground with nice wide roads.  The recreational facilities like the shuffleboard courts are very nice too.  We had such a nice afternoon getting to be with Ernie and Noela and visiting with them again too!

When we got back to Ramblers Rest, we rested for a little while and then went over to Ken and Bonnie's to play SkipBo and Pinochle later that evening.  The men won both games!  Congratulations, guys, but we're not going to let this become a habit!

Friday, January 29, 2016

A Month in San Antonio

Well, I know it's been about a month since I posted on our blog so I thought it was about time to summarize what all we have been doing and get caught up.  We have spent the past month at Travelers World in San Antonio, Texas, where we have enjoyed a relaxing time with new friends and old friends.

Chuck enjoyed playing several rounds of golf the first couple of weeks we were in San Antonio.  He played in a couple of the park's weekly golf scrambles as well as a couple of new courses he had not played at previously:  SilverHorn Golf Club and The Quarry Golf Club.

At the SilverHorn, he saw a lot of huge deer with Texas-size antlers.

Unfortunately, his phone does not have a Texas-size lens to zoom them up with.

The Quarry was a beautiful course also built along the edges of an old rock quarry.

While Chuck was out on some of his golf outings, I would go out on some adventures too like going shopping and out to lunch with Gloria, Joslyn and Suzanne at IHOP and eating yummy Swedish crepes with ligonberries (like what I had at Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant Sisters Bay, Wisconsin).

Or going to Mi Tierra in the Historic Market Square for lunch with Gloria and Betty.  Betty is a native San Antonian and she knows the good restaurants and Mi Tierra is one of them! The restaurant is so colorful and the food was delicious!

Mi Tierra is located in the Historic Market Square in downtown San Antonio.  After lunch, we walked down to one of the inside malls so I could look for the hand-made Guatamalan backpack/purse that I had almost bought when we were here back in April with Ken and Bonnie.  I found it and bought it today!  After a little more shopping and looking around, we stopped off at the bakery inside Mi Tierra to get a couple of pastries to take home.

Way too much to choose from and it all looked delicious!
When we walked back to Betty's car, we found that someone had backed into her bumper and had not left a note or anything.  Well, that was not a very nice thing to do!

Before we got back to the campground, Betty drove by her son and daughter-in-law's house to check to see if there were any packages on the front porch since they were away on their honeymoon.  Because their driveway was kind of steep, I told Betty to just let me out and I would run up there and pick up any packages.

A couple of weeks later after her son and daughter-in-law had gotten back from their honeymoon, they mentioned that they thought someone had stolen one of the packages that had been left on their front porch.  When they told Betty and Doug (her husband) about the incident, they were like "I can't believe someone would steal your packages like that."  When their son showed them the picture of the "thief", there I was on their security camera picking up their package.  Oops!  Betty had forgotten about our having stopped by their house that day.  :)

We also made a couple of trips into downtown San Antonio on the bus.  One day, Terry, Gloria, Tim and Chuck and I went downtown and had lunch at Pat'OBriens and then walked around the Riverwalk and near the Alamo.

New Orlean's Trio:  Red Beans & Rice, Jumbalaya, and Chicken Gumbo.

On our 2nd outing to downtown San Antonio, several of us Travelers World veterans (Terry & Gloria, Warren & Joslyn, Charlie & Suzanne, and Chuck & me) took the newbies (Dana and Keri) to the restaurant at the top of the Tower of the Americas.

The lower the sun sets,
the taller the Tower gets.
L to R: Suzanne, Charlie, Gloria, Terry, Joslyn, Warren,
Chuck, me, Keri & Dana)
Yummmm.  Prime rib sliders!  
Sunset view from the top of the Tower.
View from the glass elevator:
Full moon over San Antonio.

After the sun sets in Hemisphere Park.

In the middle of our stay in San Antonio, we flew back to Nashville because Chuck had to have a spot removed on his upper arm that had shown to be a squamous cell carcinoma from a pathology test taken in December.  Of course, this gave us another chance to be with my mom for a couple of days and she, of course, kept us well fed.  :)  On the morning we were scheduled to fly back, I received a text message saying our flight had been canceled because of the snow and ice that had hit Nashville earlier that morning.  So, we got to spend one more day with my mom and flew back to San Antonio that night.  And the really good news is that the 2nd pathology test came back clear and no more squamous.  He just has to go to the dermatologist twice a year now and that's fine with us!

Two days after we got back to San Antonio, I received the following picture text from my mom...

...and Chuck at about the same time got the following picture text from his uncle Donald:

We got out of Nashville just in time!  I did rub it in just a little bit and texted them back with a picture of the beautiful weather we were having in San Antonio.  :)

We ate real good while we were in San Antonio and my jeans are now telling me how well I ate.  :)  We ate at Lou's Pizza twice where their largest pizza is 52"!  We didn't order one that big but the pizza we did eat was delicious!  We had a couple of very good breakfasts with Terry and Gloria and Joslyn at Cracker Barrel and had the nicest waitress, Jessica, both times.  

And speaking of breakfast, I asked Warren to take me to the nearby Mexican bakery early Tuesday morning so we could get some of their delicious, sugary-sweet fritters and twists.  I bought 5 huge fritters and 4 twists.  Guess how much they cost?  $4.50!  I couldn't believe it!

We also went to a couple of the pot-lucks and social hours where there is always lots of good food and great fun and laughter and fellowship.  

Except for the Saturday night steak night at the rec hall, Chuck only grilled for us one time!  

Our neighbors in the Airstream next door, Patric and Kimberly, are both fantastic artists.  Patrick is a painter and Kimberly a photographer.  We're looking forward to maybe seeing them along some of our travels at the Plein Art Festivals they participate in.  

With all that good food, we tried to get a little exercise by walking on the treadmills in the exercise room (and I read a couple of good books while walking).  They also had a Yoga class on Mondays that Karen led.  I had never done Yoga and Karen was so good at showing us how to breathe and do the different poses.  I really enjoyed it!

Last Saturday, we had fun playing in the park's Wii Bowling Tournament.  Terry, Gloria, Chuck and I were on one team called the Ten Pins.  

Chuck was unable to play any more golf after his surgery for the remainder of the time we were in San Antonio, but we did enjoy more of the park activities.  Nancy invited us to the park's Thursday night Texas Hold'em game and we had so much fun learning the game and playing with Harold, Donna, Mary C., Sharon, Dixie, and Nancy.  I worked some jigsaw puzzles with Gloria and Mary B. but they were much better than me at putting those 1,000 and 2000 piece puzzles together.  And I loved hearing Mary B.'s stories about her and her husband Skip's 38 years in Alaska!

On Monday, Terry & Gloria and Warren & Joslyn fixed a delicious dinner of grilled pork loin, chicken, fresh vegetables, and mashed potato salad which gave us another terrific evening with Peter & Linda, Lorne & Betty, Dana & Keri, and Suzanne & Charlie.

And then on Wednesday evening, Terry & Gloria, Warren & Joslyn, Doug & Betty, Charlie & Suzanne, and Chuck and I went to dinner at Capparelli's.  We all had delicious Italian food and several of us had enough leftovers for a second night.

On this, our last morning, Warren and Joslyn fixed a delicious breakfast of breakfast tacos and then we said our good-byes to everyone.  We have made so many, many friends here at Travelers World. 
We are so very, very blessed.  We will miss "all y'all" so much and look forward to seeing you again next year!!!