Sunday, January 3, 2010

Family, Friends, Food, Fun (and Driving)

First things first. Ted is having a ball playing with his Garmin and rejoices when it is wrong. It provides a lot of info but it does weird things like takes you some place one way and then wants to take you back a different way. He said he WILL NOT use it when he drives the trailer but he's been programming it all week.

Second, I didn't post the picture of us with the kids at Epcot in our matching shirts. So here it is.

The kids wanted a no commitment day on Sunday other than Mass at 6 pm. So we took our time going over. Pat set up the router, Kelly was doing laundry and I cooked omelets for Cassie and Ally. Once all the girls were dressed we went to the mall while Pat and Ted watched football. We met them at church and afterwards came home to polish off the Christmas dinner leftovers.

I went over to do laundry on Monday before my noon hair cut. Kelly's family was leaving for Tampa where they planned to visit the Salvadore Dali museum, have dinner with Pat's friend Steve, visit Pat's aunt and uncle in St. James City on Tuesday and meet up with us for dinner Tuesday night. After two nights in a motel, they were heading back to Orlando for their flight home.

Kristin was stripping beds so I put her things in with mine to make full loads. After my hair cut we went back to La Mesa RV to ask a few more questions about the Allegro. We told them we would call them on Tuesday. We had not talked to our insurance man nor our storage place. There were some logistics to work out in addition to the financial end of such a transaction.

From there we went to Tom and Eileen's where we picked lemons, grapefruit and oranges from their trees. We had dinner together and spent the whole evening with them.

We headed to Punta Gorda on Tuesday and received a call from the salesman at La Mesa. He said he had someone interested in the coach and to call him back. When we called he said he had just left us a message saying it was sold. Well OK then we can just quit working on a decision.

We found my Dad and Edna having reasonably good days and they were both able to go to dinner that evening. My sister Laurie and her husband Spence, as well as Kelly's family, met at a restaurant in the mall. Aunt Laurie had silver bangle bracelets for the girls and they were thrilled and put them on right away.

Laurie was off on Wednesday so we went to her house to visit and that evening Spence cooked some great steaks and we had another family dinner. Our time with all of them was too short but we had lots of ground to cover.

Both Edna and Dad had doctor's appointments Thursday morning so we left by 9:30. Our first stop was in the west side of Punta Gorda at Faith and Herman's who were our neighbors in Troy. We had visited them in Cologne, Germany on one of our trips but had not seen them since. Faith said Herman was due back to see us but we learned later he got caught up in some business and we missed him by 5 minutes when we left. Faith looked fantastic and they have a beautiful home on a gorgeous canal with a boat on a lift in the backyard. It was great catching up on their lives since GM and she wanted to know all about the kids and grandkids. We promised to let them know when we are in that area again.

From there we drove to Naples and impressed Les and Pat by finding their condo on our own (with Pat's directions, mapquest and the Garmin). Our plans were to go to the beach to watch the fireworks with Pat's brother's family - 8 of us in all. Pat got the wine, beer, soft drinks, cheese & crackers, shrimp and chicken fingers ready to go. Les had the four beach chairs all ready and off we went.

Don had found a terrific spot right next to a beach access walk way just one block from the pier where the fireworks would go off.

It gave us a great vantage point. Once settled, we had a good bit of time to catch up since our October trip we took together and witness a beautiful sunset.

The fireworks were terrific and because we were right by the walkway, we had no trouble getting off the beach and to the car. We all met up at Chili's for dinner afterwards and then the four of us went back to the condo. We watched the ball drop in Times Square and were all in bed by 12:05 a.m. Everything was going great until Ted got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and then walked into Pat and Les' bedroom instead of ours. We have nicknamed him the Midnight Masher! Pat had been awakened the night before "hearing voices" which turned out to be the radio on as low as it could go. Ted told her he was just making sure she wasn't hearing voices anymore. We laughed a lot about that incident.

We snuck out early the next morning for Mass without disturbing our hosts. They were up and dressed when we got back so we took a tour of Naples. It has been 15 years since we were there last. It certainly has grown but remains a very beautiful city. We stopped for breakfast at Blueberry's and all agreed this new restaurant should make it just fine with their extensive menu and good service.

We packed up and left, heading to The Villages to meet up with Phil and Mary. Phil is the General Manager of the Daily Sun as well as the TV and radio stations in The Villages. We called from Wildwood and met them at Bob Evans for a couple cups of coffee and some catching up. We drove on and stopped in Gainesville for the night.

Saturday morning we had breakfast with some RVing/Facebook/Farmville friends in person. We had planned to spend the night at the Village Lodge in Dowling Park but Dan was in the hospital over Christmas and it was too difficult to plan. He was up to coming to Denny's however. I hope they don't think I always wear make-up and jewelry while traveling but I knew we were going to church in Slidell before stopping anywhere so I was prepared. Last summer I don't think I wore make-up once. I figured I didn't know anyone, would never see them again, so why worry?

They are fulltimers/workampers with a unique situation. Dowling Park is a retirement village where they owned a house which they sold recently. However, there is a campground so they can go "home" to friends, doctors, familiar surroundings whenever the need or desire arises. I think that's a great arrangement. They have a stint at Unicoi State Park in Georgia (we've been there) before heading to an assignment in Alaska. Travel safely folks and we'll see ya down the road.

We were traveling west by this point and our next stop was St. Margaret Mary church in Slidell. Bloss, our sister-in-law, was expecting us about 6 and we were right on time. We took her to a steak house for dinner and then came back to spend the evening with her. She said it is a real treat to go out for dinner. It's hard to believe Tim will be gone two years next month.

After a good night's sleep and coffee in the morning, we headed in earnest for Texas. We arrived home safe and sound around 3 in the afternoon. Our house survived the other Rogers clan staying here and other than the clean bedclothes sitting in the bedrooms and the thank you notes on the counter, I would never have known anyone was here.

We have a busy few weeks of doctor appointments. If we can get through all of them with no follow-up, more tests or something wrong (God forbid), we may head down to the Rio Grande valley for a couple weeks the first part of February. We leave for Michigan the week of 2/22. I tell you, this retirement stuff is so busy!!!!


cdm said...

So glad you made it home with no problems! We did enjoy meeting up with you and Ted and we are just sorry we weren't able to show you around our "Village" - maybe next time you are this way! Good luck with all the doctors visits next week - and we'll see you down the road!
Carol and Dan

Anonymous said...

It was really good to see you guys and the kids. Glad you made it home safely. I'll keep you posted on any new developements with the geezers. You are so busy I don't know if I could handle the routine. Work may be less demanding. I'm not up for retirement!!!!
Love, Laurie and Spence

Rick and Brenda said...

Glad to have you back. We will have to get together one night for dinner in the motorhome. Hope this is a beginning to a wonderful year.
Rick and Brenda