Monday, January 19, 2009

Back Again to Florida

Blue Heaven Rendezvous #18

Since we last left you way back in early December with our last entry we have been home to Lancaster, Pa. and back again. Before we went home for the holidays, we discovered what Stuart, FL was all about within biking distance. We also learned that we can bike a lot further than we ever thought when you are trying to locate something you need. We met a lot of nice people in the marina and have used the pool, jacuzzi,and the exercise room at the yacht club. The Yacht Club every Friday night has a Happy Hour for people in the marina to meet each other. They provide free appetizers and drinks are half price. Can't beat that!

We flew home for the holidays on Dec. 18th and returned to Stuart on Jan. 7th. We had a good visit with family and friends. While home the weather wasn't too bad except for one rainy cold day but we were anxious to get back to warmer weather. It certainly is warmer here but not hot. Just like the rest of the country we have had several cold fronts come through and need jackets and long pants on those days
We rented a car for two weeks since we came back so we are seeing a lot more of the area.

Al discovered that he has a fraternity brother, Bob Price and wife, Ann Louise, who have a house on Hutchinson Island which is only about 5 miles from the marina. Al found out through another fraternity brother who received our Christmas card with the summary of our trip. We visited their lovely beach house with a fantastic ocean view. It was great catching up on the last thirty years over dinner.

We also visited Al's Aunt Betty Jane and cousin Leslie down in Fort Lauderdale. We had an enjoyable visit at BJ's apartment and lunch out. We hope to visit with them again when we start heading south and spend a night or two in Fort Lauderdale.

We headed across the state to visit Bob Halter and Ann Miller from our sailing association. They rented a condo for January and February in Venice, FL. We had a great time even though the weather was a bit chilly. They showed us all around and I swear Bob was trying to convince us to buy a place down there. I liked the area very much, but good luck in trying to convince Al to stop sailing and have a condo where there are hurricanes! Ann and I had a great time on the private beach across from Ann's brother's house on Casey Cay looking for shells, while the guys tried flying a kite. They did quite well and we had an enjoyable morning being kids again.

These are some of treasures that I found on the beach. Now to keep them from getting broken until we get home in May will be another challenge!

At the condo we also got into completing jigsaw puzzles which I haven't done in years. We completed one that Ann had three quarters done before we got there. She then went and bought another one that we worked to get the border done before we left. Hope it is done by now, Ann.

On the return trip, we decided to go north to Tarpon Springs for lunch and a short visit. On the way, we crossed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge which goes over Tampa Bay. It was a very unusual design that was fascinating.

Since being in Greece three times and enjoying the food, music and atmosphere, we had heard that this town has a large Greek population and that many of the people were sponge divers from Greece. It was an interesting town, with Greek markets with food and wares from Greece as well as all the wonderful Greek restaurants.

Our last trip with the rental car was to Delray Beach with Luke and Jeannie McLaughlin to the Morakami Museum and Japanese Gardens. We had a lovely lunch at a restaurant along the waterway. Unfortunately, it was too cold to sit outside, however, being inside we were able to witness the inauguration of the new president on their big screen TVs. The Japanese Gardens were lovely and very serene. The bonsai trees were something to see, and lastly, the Japanese tapestries on display in the museum were exquisite.
So now we are back to bikes for our last week and an half while we are in Stuart getting ready to move south. Al is doing some teak work. He plans to replace a muffler and the stainless steel needs some cleaning from the salt water corrosion. So now it is time to do some work in stead of playing all the time. We hope to be on the move by February.