Monday, January 30, 2012

This and that in Puenta Gorda, FL

Saturday, 1/28/12 - A beautiful day in the high 70s and we headed down Tamiami Trail about 6 miles away to a local car show that was being held in the Home Depot parking lot. Will especially liked the 53 Ford Convertible and the 37 Ford, just like Wills first car....way back when, a gift from Aunt Betty. We also saw the 1957 Thunderbird that had just taken "Best of Show" in a huge 400 car show, the week before. My personal favorite was the 63 red, convertible Corvette...did you get the picture, Rog?

After, we headed down to the Peace River Wildlife Rehab Center. It is a wonderful place located in Ponce de Leon Park, in Puenta Gorda that relies completely on donations to help birds of all kind rehab from injuries they have sustained. Many of the birds will be taken care of "forever" as they have injuries that will not allow them to be released back into the wild. However, if a bird can be healed it will most certainly be released. The best part was a very large area, that is open on top, has so many birds flying in trying to get a "free meal." The volunteers (they are all volunteers) have to keep shooing them away and they said the storks are the most aggressive and meanest. We had a young girl Lexi about 11 years old, give us a private tour around the place telling us about the different animals. She comes every Saturday morning and donates her time to work there. Great job Lexi!!! After we walked out of there we walked along the beach in this park and it was just beautiful.....very few people and beautiful white sand on the beaches around here. I just LOVE this area.

After we left there it was a WalMart run and then we had to come home and rest up for the spaghetti dinner with a dance afterwards. Unfortunately, the spaghetti dinner didn't seem to agree with me so we only stayed for a half hour of the music which consisted of a DJ playing/sing Karaoke songs from the 50 & 60's plus a "cowboy guy" singing country. They both were really good and we would have enjoyed it but I needed to be home, so we left. I might add about the people in this park - they sure drink a LOT OF WINE. When they hear we are from California they all know Gallo Wineries and Napa country. Go figure.

Sunday, 1/29/12 - Thank goodness I feel a lot better today - what ever it was didn't last long. Our friends Larry & Juanita called us to join them and another couple at Sweet Tomato's - and OMG how could I say favorite Fresno restaurant. We went over to their house and rode with them to the restaurant as they are from Fort Meyers and very familiar with where everything is. We met their friends, Bob and Doris, a wonderful 80 year old couple from Indiana that have been traveling for over 30 years and have been in every state more than once. Very nice people and honestly it is one of the best things of traveling - all the really nice people you meet and hear their stories. I promised myself I would go "light" on the eating...yeah right, it's Sweet Tomato's and they have granola and very favorite. Needless to say I got my monies worth. However, as of Monday....the eating out has to STOP!

We sat for a long time in the restaurant talking and visiting and telling our life stories and then headed back to Larry & Juanita's and visited for a little longer. By this time is was getting late and we headed home as neither one like to drive in the dark, but I was stuck doing it this evening. A fun weekend and we are sooooooo glad that Larry & Juanita are moving "up the state" in Florida about 15 minutes or so from where we will be. That will be our third move together! Amazing.

A note of great sadness and personal dear friend Elraine's husband, Kenneth is in Nancy Hinds Hospice and is not expected to live much longer. Please remember them in your is an incredibly hard time for their family. Much love to all our family and friends.

Friday, January 27, 2012

In Port Charlotte, FL with Cheeky Monkey

Wednesday, 1/25/12 - Our next store neighbor in the RV park, Peter is a musician and told Will that he plays on Wednesday evening with a group called Cheeky Monkey and we should come by and here them. Well of course, most groups start at 9 pm just when we would be going to bed but NO - Cheeky Monkey performs 6:30 to 9:30 pm....awwwww, now that is do able!

So we asked our friends, Juanita & Larry if they would like to join us for a 5:30 dinner and then stay for the show and they said yes, of course. They came over from their RV park which is about 15 minutes away and we were able to show them around our park (which doesn't take long) and then head out to see if we could find the place.

Actually, everything around here is pretty easy to find and Cheeky Monkey plays every Wednesday night at Coral Rock/Sports City in Port Charlotte which is the next town over from Puenta Gordo...just cross the Peace River bridge and you are in P.C. and of course it is on Tamaimi Trail/Hwy 41 which just about everything else is on that road. We found it, with the girlfriend, GPS help and it was just about a mile pass the bridge. It was a really big place and actually had 3 parts to it. First part was a huge sports bar inside, on the other side of "inside" they had at least 10 pool tables (which latter that evening were completely full.) Where we went was outside in the back where they have a huge area of a bar, lots of table on three side of a tiki hut stage - where Cheeky Monkey performs. It was a beautiful, mild evening and I would say the weather about 80 degrees.

Peter was so glad we had come he actually reserved a table for us pretty to close to where they entertain. We talked and visited with Peter and our friends and ordered dinner, we all had Basso fish ( a very mild white fish) Will had it plain, the rest of it us ordered it stuffed with crab....delicious.

At 6:30 the entertainment started and we of course had no idea what it was going to be - but Cheeky Monkey consists of Peter, on the bass guitar & bongo's, Karen, the main singer, and a 3rd guy who played the piano & drum set. Let me just tell you.....they were terrific!!!! There were no synthesiser and no Karaoke machine....just these 3 talent people. Actually, the group is more of show entertainers and their voices harmonized amazing together. The songs they sang were 60, 70, 80's - plus many California type music. Karen did several solo numbers where she actually comes out into the audience and performs.....and we were ALL just amazed at how good they were. They played for 3 sets and we stayed for 2 of them and should have stayed for the last one. It was a really fun evening and to bad we leave next Wednesday morning as I'm sure we would have gone back.

Thursday, 1/28/12 - We headed south on I75 getting off at exit 141 to go into Manatee Park, which is about a 20 minute drive from our house. Because manatees must have warm water, 70 degrees or so on the Caloosahatchee River there is a huge and I mean huge power plant. Back in the 1990's a group of high school students proposed and wrote a grant & lobbied that a "ditch" between the River should be build so that the manatees would be able to find and stay in warm water. It took better part of the 1990's but it was done and they have made it into a free, with beautiful walkways where you can observe these beautiful animals. They have talks about the manatees, which we attended the 11 am one which was fascinating.

The Florida manatees live in brackish, salt and freshwater coastal areas around Florida. An adult manatee weighs around 1000 lbs and is about 10 feet long. At birth calves weigh about 60 to 80 lbs. They are plant eating mammals that must come to the surface to breath air every three to five minutes. It has hair on its body, nurses its young (that stay with mama for up to 2 years) and is warm blooded. Manatees can live to be about 50 to 60 years old. Their greatest danger is man and their boats....the propellers cutting them up. They are amazing animals and Will and I can't get enough of seeing them. For more info on manatees We spent several hours at Manatee Park and thoroughly enjoyed the morning.

That evening we went into Puenta Gorda to a local park, Gillespie Park where every Thursday, starting January 1st they have entertainment. It is a large, rectangular park, right on the water (where you can see another amazing sunset) and several gazebos. In each gazebos there are different entertainers....some great, some good and some who should have stayed home...but it makes for the fun of it. We found a parking spot a block away and haul our chairs into the park & set up and the largest gazebo there. During the course of the evening we walked around and visited some of the other gazebo's to hear what music they had. It was a very fun evening and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The place were we set up was mostly country music and the one next to it was bluegrass....I kept walking between the two.

We got lucky and sat between 2 interesting people....Will's spent most of the evening talking with Ray and his wife from Crawfordsville, IN who spend 6 weeks in a condominium in Puenta Gorda. Ray who just turned 80 years old and looks still working 3 farms and runs a business (with his adult children) and was a policeman for 25 years. It truly was a wonderful story and Will was just thrilled to meet him and spend the evening talking.

Now on the other side of me was a lady and man from Maine who have a house in Puenta Gorda and spend most of the time here but do return to Maine for a couple of months in the summer. I don't know if they are married as she told me she has been in Puenta Gorda for 20 years alone and went on line and found - HIM. He was from Maine but was living in St Petes, FL at the time. She was a kick, a lively old gal and I really enjoyed visiting with her. She also knew lots of stuff about people that were there and was more than happy to share with me.....So much fun. We got down there about 5:15 and left about 9 pm as most of the "old folks" were picking up their chairs to head home. Much love to all our family and friends.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Lunch w/Nancy & Steve Perri in Ft Meyers, FL

Tuesday, 1/24/12 - Nancy Perri is the mother of my "wonderful 2nd cousins" that live in New Jersey. I met her for the first time at daughter Nancy & Howard's house at a party they threw and knew our paths must cross again. That evening at the party, I learned that her and her husband Steve live in the winter time in Fort Meyers, FL and spend the summers in their home up near Asbury Park, NJ. So when I discovered we would be in the Fort Meyer area (Puenta Gorda is only 10 miles or so North) I contacted her and we made plans to get together for lunch today.

We set the girlfriend, GPS with their address (g.f. has stopped "drinking" & seems to be doing much better finding destinations) and set off this morning with a 11 am arrival time. Fort Meyers is a great old town and we found ourselves driving by the Ford/Edison Estates again. When we arrived we discovered it was a beautiful gated community and after speaking to the "fence post lady" the gate magically opened. Of course that's when the problem do we find you Nancy & Steve? But after a few phone calls to Nancy she was waiting outside and flagged us down.

They have lived in this community for 20 some years and in 3 different residences. It is a beautiful golf and tennis community with winding lakes everywhere. They are on the second floor and have a lovely 2 bedroom 2 bath with 2 screened in porches - one in the front and one in the back. The one in the front get fabulous afternoon sun and I could see me laying on the chaise lounge all afternoon. Nancy many years ago owned a Seashell Shop in NJ (remember my new obsession with seashells) and the house is filled with them. Steve made this beautiful, very large, square coffee table that has sand in the bottom with a wonderful display of shells, covered with a heavy piece of glass. OMG it was amazing. They even moved the glass back so we could actually take the shells out and of course Nancy knows the name of each and every one. Shells were decorated everywhere, then she pulled out plastic bins of MORE shells.....I was in heaven. She even very generously gave me a plastic bag with some shells to take home.

Her husband Steve, just celebrated his 90th birthday last Wednesday and he was something else. First off we discovered that during World War II, he was in the Army and went to Fight Engineers & Air Mechanics school and completed a gunnery course. Now his job was flying in the B-17 Flying Fortress on the Delta Rebel 2 - as "the ball turret." This was a tight little "glass bubble" on the bottom of the plane and Steve maned the gun. Now to qualify for this position (why would you) you have to be small - Steve was 5'6" - 138 lbs. it was so small you worn NO parachute and NO jacket and temperature could get to be -30 degrees at 20,000ft. He had to wear thin electric overalls while in there. He said, "he wanted to fly and from the first moment, he loved it!" He was official credited with 4 hits but he claims 7. He received the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and a Distinguished Flying Cross. Actually, he has those and several other metals in a frame and many wonderful pictures of his time in the service plus the incredible welcome home he received from his home town. I even got to try on his fabulous bombers jacket. Will was completely enthralled with all his stories and the copy of Yankee Wings, a magazine of the Yankee Air Force that did a wonderful article on Steve. Of course my favorite war picture of Steve was him standing with Clark Gable and his crew as C.G. flew with them while making war films that were latter used in movies.

Nancy & Steve then took us to their favorite seafood restaurant for lunch - Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grill. A great restaurant located right on the water and they gave us a table inside right on the water. Of course I am taking pictures of everything - a pelican lands on a post...I got the picture. The restaurant was huge, both upstairs & downstairs plus seating outside on both. Will ordered his favorite again...grouper sandwich (which he loved) I had a specialty fish of the house which was grilled and baked with a crust on it....need I say it was delicious. Steve had a plate of muscles - which we had never tasted so of course Will & I tried them & they also were delicious. Nancy ordered for an appetizer -Beachbread - which was a toasted french bread, with 3 cheeses and chopped tomatoes on top..unbelievably good. We had a wonderful time and words can't express how much we enjoyed ourselves today and THANK YOU to Nancy & Steve for treating us to lunch and sharing their afternoon with us. We had a wonderful time and oh if I could only go "shelling" with Nancy before I leave....I would be in heaven. Much love to you both and thank you again!

We headed home in late afternoon traffic both talking about what a wonderful day it had been and marvelling about their lives and the stories they shared with us. Another great day on this amazing year long trip. Much love to all our family and friends.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Biker Bar in Port Charlotte, FL

Sunday, 1/22/12 - A lazy, warm Sunday morning we (or I should say I) decided we should go in to Puenta Gorda to an Arts & Crafts Show. Now you know Will would have NEVER initiated that suggestion, but he was game to go check it out and beside we wanted to look around the Historical District of the town.

Puenta Gorda is a straight 10 miles shot up Tamiami Trail from our RV park and because it's a pretty small town it was easy to find the 3 block show. We found a free public parking spot and started walking through the booths. Will spent most of the time looking for shade and a place to stand while I was buzzing through each and every booth. Lots of pretty stuff to look at but looking is all we did. However, we did meet Kenny from our park and he was able to tell us about a few other things to see there and also mentioned a biker bar in the next town, Port Charlotte they and others would be at after l pm. Good to know.

After the Arts & Crafts show we headed for Fisherman's Village in Puenta Gorda, which is another long covered pier on the water that also has lots of Artsy Fartsy shops but a least it was under cover and they had lots of benches for the men to sit on. As it was now around noon and time for lunch we decided to have lunch there at Harpoon Harry's which is located at the end of the pier, right on the Peace River. We were lucky enough to get a table right next to the water and it was delightful. Will ordered a grouper sandwich and me a grouper salad.....we had this the other day and liked it so much. It was good but not nearly as good a Grandma Dots on Sanibel Island but the surroundings made up for it.

After we left there (purchase - 1 shot glass for Mary Ann and oh my is her collection growing) we headed for Port Charlotte to look for the biker bar - Gatorz Bar & Grill Now they said it was also on Tamiami Trail on the right so as I was driving Will is looking for the bar. Just as we were about to give up I spotted it. Lots of bikes, cars and even a yellow Lamborghini sitting in front and we could hear the music - Clive Live playing 1 to 5 pm every Sunday. Now the place is pretty big and the whole front of it is open and you can see people eating and Clive is singing in this area. We parked the car and headed in and WOW was it something. We found Kenny and his wife Norma and met the 5 other people they were with. We pulled up a couple chairs and Will immediately ordered his favorite - 7 / 7 and I had a diet coke (designated driver.)

The entertainer, Clive is from Jamaican and I was sure Will would last about 10 minutes but the guy was really good and played lots of different types of music and it was really fun. We stayed for a couple hours......Will had several drinks and then we headed back to the RV park. However, going through Puenta Gorda we checked out a park that has several bands ever Thursday night and a restaurant there, DeBendetto's that you can have dinner and see the sun set right into the Peace River. After that running around, we headed home, thoroughly exhausted by this time but it was really a fun day and the more we see of this area the more we like it and we have NOT heard a single word of SPANISH since being here. Much love to all our family and friends.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A visit to Sanibel Island, FL

Friday, 1/20/12 - Today we have made plans to go with our friends, Juanita and Larry who we met at an RV park in Fort Lauderdale and became "forever" friends with. They use to live in the Fort Myers are and actually managed a resort out on Sanibel Island. We couldn't pick two more perfect tour guides than them.

Of course my new favorite Juanita and Larry story is: they had a brand new trailer when we met them in Fort Lauderdale (11/11) and while waiting for it to be serviced at a dealer in Fort Meyers, a short time latter - they traded it in and now own a beautiful, Newmar Kountry Star, class A, 35 foot gas engine Larry said we "inspired" them on our night out to dinner at the Irish Pub in Fort Lauderdale. Anyway, they are staying at an RV park about 10 miles from us in Puenta Gorda and when we met them yesterday....we were blown away. Their RV is absolutely beautiful and I know they are going to love it and will be traveling for a very long time in it. Suggestion you guys, when you take it in for service....don't wait around!

Anyway, after the RV tour we headed out in their car to Sanibel Island, FL, which is a small island located just off Fort Meyers. Now Larry and Juanita use to live in the Fort Meyers area and even lived on Sanibel Island for approximately 4 years managing a resort. These were the perfect people to be our tour guides. A side note: the first day we were here and watching the local news, they were interviewing someone that said that Sanibel Island had been picked by Frommer as one of the top 10 places to MUST SEE. I immediately looked it up and told Will how close we were to it and then they called and invited us out there. Talk about our luck holding.

We headed out through Fort Meyers driving by the Thomas Edison & Henry Ford houses (located side by side) that are open to the public. We then crossed the causeway (a $6 toll bridge) and entered this very beautiful and very rich place. Actually, there are places to pull off on the causeway where you can picnic and look for seashells. WELL, I did NOT know that Sanibel Island is the seashell capital of the world. Holy Moly, seashell everywhere....can I tell you how nuts and obsessed I became. Of course I was totally unprepared for this so Larry had to dump his new gold balls out so I could have the box to collect seashells. What fun Juanita and I had.

We then continued onto the island looking at the beautiful mansions plus some of the old houses along the way. During the "high season" (which is now) at the four way stops they have policemen directing traffic to prevent traffic jams. There of course is only one way in and out and just several main roads the length of the Island. It was about 1:30 pm so they took us to a favorite place, Grandma Dot's for lunch which is by the yacht club. We had about a 20 minute wait so of course we walked around looking at the yachts that were for sale and trying to decide which one we wanted. It wasn't easy. Lunch was wonderful we all had a fish called grouper and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

After lunch we headed to the South end to observe the lighthouse on the Island and of course look for seashells. Now the parking costs $2 per hour (that's after paying $6 to get on the island) as you can see they are definitely trying to keep the "riff raft" out....I guess that's US. So Will and Larry just drove around while we went down to the beach and looked for more seashells and peer up at the lighthouse. As I have now become obsessed with shells they want to take us to the Shell Museum ( that is located on Captiva Road. They were thinking it was free or a small charge but when we got there we found the entrance fee was $9 EACH so of course we only used the restroom and looked in the gift shop (I bought a pencil for 50 cents.) And I got a free brochure that gives the names of lots of common shells.

We then headed over to their old resort (about 12 units) that they managed and Will, Juanita and I got out to look around at the place, which is located right on the Gulf of Mexico. As you guessed....MORE shells so Juanita and I were back at it while Will went to find Larry & sit in the car. Then Juanita met an old client/resident on the beach and they were able to visit and catch up. By this time it was getting close to sunset and we wanted to be at the North end of the beach in a little town, Captiva (the other end of the Island) to set up our chairs on the beach and watch the sunset at 6 pm. We got there about 5:30 after a stop at a old, local cemetery for as Juanita said, "to pay our respects to our dear old great granddad."

There were quite a few people there to see the sunset with chairs, bottles of wine and we were informed by a couple there we had just missed a group of porpoises that had just gone by. Finally, the cameras were clicking (including ME) and the sun was dropping into the ocean, unfortunately we had a little cloud cover but it just makes the sky more beautiful. We sat there for a short time and then headed back as our fabulous day was coming to a close. We did make a stop at a local market, Baileys so I could purchase a few postcards. Unfortunately, all they had were a few and no selection but I did manage to purchase a shell net for the NEXT time we go hunting for seashells. Oh yes, we are taking a picnic lunch and going back with Juanita and Larry another time before we leave here. It was a wonderful day and can't wait to do it again. Much love to all our family and friends.

Saturday, 1/21/12 - This morning the park had a breakfast for $4 in the clubhouse at 8:30 am to 10. The menu was spectacular - scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon (yum, yum) pancakes, fruit cocktail, orange juice, coffee and tea. What a feast they put on and we met several nice couples at the breakfast. Actually, right at 8:30 this morning some gentleman was going up and down the road of the RV park yelling, hear ye, hear ye, breakfast is served..... Boy and did the people come pouring out of their places......time to eat!

After breakfast it was time to rinse off my shells, which I must add was quite a procedure and took several hours to do but they look beautiful. They are now in an old shoe box under the bed and I'll wait until I get home to do something with them. They will always remind me of that wonderful day finding them.

After lunch, my two favorite past times - washing clothes and laying at the pool - the laundry and pool are side by side. Another wonderful day on this incredible journey.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sadly we leave L&P Thompson RV Park, Miami, FL

Wednesday, 1/18/12 After 2 months at Larry & Penny Thompson RV Park in Miami, FL we sadly had to say good bye to all our friends and give up our FABULOUS Pod 7 - Site 1 and head for Punta Gorda located on the Gulf side of Florida.

We had a wonderful time there and made so many really good friends and friends I hope we will be able to stay in touch with. Last night (our last night) we went out to dinner, at the Chinese buffet - Blue Moon, with Zu (pronounced Sue) and Oscar. We met them when we first arrived in the park and have formed a real friendship and something tells me we will stay in touch. (Actually, they owe us a dinner) We arrived at the restaurant at about 6 pm and didn't leave until after 9 that's a long dinner and pretty late for us. We all laughed our selves silly and had a great time.

How I'm going to miss Brad walking by each morning with his dog Casey and yelling at Will, "hey old man, get out of bed." What fun we had with Brad and Hilda , first at Hialeah Race Track where we actually won money and the wonderful tour they took us on to Biscayne Bay.

But most of all I will miss my very own prayer warrior, matter where I go I know she will be praying for me everyday. We had some wonderful time together - at Bayside Shopping Center, So Beach, Art Deco tour and a day at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL. I hope someday to visit her at her home in North Carolina.

So many wonderful friends we made there, and my fabulous and not so fabulous Arts & Crafts projects, and oh how Will enjoyed sitting outside the Bounder feeding the squirrels peanuts, boy are they going to miss him! It was a great 2 months and I'm so glad we remembered how much we liked this park in 2004/05 and were able to get in a second time.

We headed out about 10 am this morning for the Gulf side of Florida....destination today, Punta Gorda outside of Fort Meyers. It was about a 4 hour trip and we arrived around 2 pm this afternoon, which is just the perfect time of driving. Sun N Shade is a Passport America park so you are never quite sure what you will be getting but much to our delight it is really nice. Not Pod 7 Site 1 nice....but nice and they are located on my most favorite Florida road - Tamiami Trail. They have a lot of activities here and we have already signed up for 3 of them - a ladies luncheon, for me, a Saturday breakfast and a spaghetti dinner and dance. We are here for 2 weeks, leaving on February 1st. so should stay pretty busy what with sightseeing and all and actually we have friends to visit here. My cousins mother, Nancy lives in Fort Meyers and we will be meeting her & her husband, plus our friends we met in Fort Lauderdale, Larry & Juanita. Gosh, I can see the time will go by very fast. I felt so sad leaving Miami and all our wonderful friends this morning.....but know there is a lot of good time ahead and more friends still to meet. Plus Nancy & NY Yankee Spring Training.....How grateful I am. Much love to all our family and friends.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A "free" trip to the Hard Rock, Hollywood, FL

Monday, 1/16/12 - Last week my friend Sonia from the RV park came and told me about a "free" bus trip to the Hard Rock Cafe. It seems that you pay $20 up front and when you get there they give you $25 back to gamble with and a $7.50 voucher for lunch. Now in anybodies world....that sure sounds FREE to me! Of course with a deal like that I told Sonia, sign me up!

We all met down at the RV office and they had sent 2 buses from the Hard Rock as there were about 76 people signed up for the trip. We all started boarding the bus at about 8:30 am for a 9 am departure. Surprisingly, the trip only took about 45 minutes as the buses use the Florida Turnpike to drive on.....we of course only use surface streets in driving around Miami (remember: it is UN American to pay for driving on a road) When we arrived, the casino lady boarded the bus and told us she would be giving out $25 vouchers that could only be used in one machine (that is any machine you pick) but you had to play all of it in that one machine. Of course if you were LUCKY enough to win something after that you could cash out. Now of course you get the long does it take to loose $25 in a slot machine? But of course we took the voucher, plus the $7.50 voucher for lunch.

Sonia and I had never been to a Hard Rock before and this place was huge, with lots and lots of great Rock and Rock memorabilia everywhere, which of course I wanted to see everything. We then walked outside to where the pool was and the weather was so beautiful we decided to sit down on a couple of lounge chairs and enjoy the sun, the huge waterfalls and just soak up this beautiful place. It gave us both time to call our daughters - which it seemed like forever since I had talked to Nancy and we had a lot of catching up to do.

It was now about noon and we had to find the 3 restaurants out of the 17 on the property that accepted the $7.50 vouchers in.....1st one was a coffee shop; 2nd one had a 2 hour wait (some special promotion was going on and the 3rd one...our choice - was the restaurant outside by the pool. It was the best choice by far, the only problem being, the only thing for $7.50 was on the KIDS menu. So we of course "sprung" for the extra, I had a delicious mahi mahi spinach salad and Sonia had the Buffalo wings plate. Actually, our extra was only about $8.00 so we were happy, a great lunch, good people watching and a beautiful setting.

After lunch we decided to walk outside and see all the different shops and nightclubs they have there. Honestly, I never imagined this place (are they all like this?) were so big. They had lots of shops, including a White House (Black Market) Quicksilver, a Tattoo shop, Brookstone and ice cream, pretzel and lots more. We of course wandered in and out of all of them, sampling the ice cream and gelato. The "club" area must be something to see at night with all the music, people and lights but of course we just saw the empty buildings, but it was fun to see it all.

By this time it was after 1:30 pm and we hadn't even played our $25.00 slot voucher so we went inside to find out how it works. We had to have a "rewards card" (why, I'm never coming back, thank you) and then once you choose a machine that is the only machine you can play with the voucher. Of course, big spenders caw and Sonia - we choose a 2 penny slot machine and fortunately, there was an old lady (shocking) playing right next to it and she showed us how to play and what to do. Now we were set, it was crazy, we had no idea what was happening, it said we were winning but our total dollar amount kept going down.....we were both laughing at how ridiculous this was. Just as Sonia was down to $3.00 left.....she must have hit some jackpot that made her money total jump up to $20. I told her, "don't touch the machine, go find an attendant (the old lady was gone by this time) to see if she could get her money out." So off she goes and brings someone back and the lady said yes, both of us had put enough in (how much is enough?) and could cash out. Sonia got $20 and I got $7. So lets see what was free....not much but we really had a fun afternoon..... laying in the sun, window shopping, talking non stop and a great lunch and a gambling spree. Of course, while we were there they announced over the loudspeaker, that they just had a $16,000. winner....however, I'm sure they weren't playing the 2 penny slot machine.

After our gambling spree, to celebrate we went back into the shopping area and blew our winnings on an ice cream. Gosh, after this it was really getting close to getting back on the bus at 3:15 for a departure time of 3.30 pm. It was a fun day and Sonia and I had a wonderful time together and I will miss her when I leave here on Wednesday, she has been a great friend and a real prayer warrior. I know she will be praying for me from now on......Thanks my friend. Much love to all our family and friends.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day Two in Key West, FL

Wednesday, 1/11/12 - Oh what a change in the weather when we got up today.....NO sun and they are predicting showers latter on, thank you Jesus I got to see the wonderful sunset yesterday. Breakfast was being served right outside our door at 8 am so it was just perfect. Becky, the lady who prepares the breakfast and also works at the front desk.....and lives at mile marker 25 was a terrific lady who moved out here from Missouri with her husband, a fisherman. He is working in a tackle shop and she is working at The Palms Hotel and they are loving life.

Our breakfast was good, they had several different types of fruit, juices, coffee and tea, french toast, pastries and hard boiled eggs and was perfect for Will and I. Note to Nancy & Howard - they also had individual peanut butter servings when breakfast started, but none when it ended. They had a breakfast bar with a tiki hut covering on the top and we were able to meet some of the other guests, many from Europe. After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel, put our stuff in the trunk of the car and headed out for our walk to trolley stop number 6 again. On our walk down, we noticed this old house was being remodeled by a local company and we walked up on the porch just to look in the open front door. At that moment the owner of the construction company, came out and invited us in and took us on a tour of the 3 floors he is remodeling. Some guy from NJ bought it a year ago and this guy has been remodeling for one entire year and has about 3 more months to go. The house was fabulous - 6 bedrooms (2 in the attic for the 2 boys) a large family room, dining room & beautiful kitchen - all local wood used through out on the house - beautiful bedrooms and bathrooms, we estimated about 2,000 sq feet. Now in KW, yards are unheard of, this home is on a corner and has a yard with a small swimming pool and garage!! What a wonderful tour and we thanked him so much for taking the time to show us around. This was a real highlight of the trip.

First stop for us was the Flagler Station Museum , now Mr. Flagler is one of Will's hero's. We of course knew nothing of him before our trip to FL in 2005 but on our trip down the Atlantic side you learn that Mr. Flagler is responsible for opening up Florida and bringing the tourist down here. He built the railroad that ran from New York down to St Augustine, Miami and Key West, FL. He then had a ship, that took people, cars & railroad cars to Cuba from Key West. He was a partner with Mr. Rockefeller in the Chevron Oil business, we are talking BIG MONEY. So seeing the Flagler Museum was on Wills "to do" list. We watched the DVD on how the over-sea railroad was built from Miami to Key West.....nothing short of a miracle. Actually, today you can still see several long parts of the train tressel that is still standing out in the ocean. The museum was very interesting and we read and saw everything. Actually, this year is the 100 year anniversary and they will be having Flagler celebrations for the rest of the year.

We took the trolley back down to Mallory Square to have lunch and we had also purchased tickets to see the Mel Fisher Treasure Museum No experiments on lunch today....Will had a hot dog & coke and I had Hagen Daus ice cream cup, now these are tried and true winning lunches. Afterwards we walked a block over to see the Treasure Museum. Now I remember some years back seeing on the Learning Channel about the Fisher family excursions and how they discovered, off the coast of Florida, huge amounts of treasure from 2 sunken Spanish ships. Mel Fisher and his wife and 3 sons, plus others spent many years looking for the sunken treasure and in the 80's - found it. On display at the museum are cannons, historic weapons, solid gold & silver bars, fabulous jewelery. There are two floors displaying the treasures, telling the story of their excursions. Mel Fisher was really an interesting guy who met his wife in California and they opened a diving shop. If you have a chance to learn about this story it is really interesting. We spent several hours here reading and watching the DVD.

Afterwards I just had to buy another black Key West shirt.....only $5.00 and they put what ever decoration you want on the front. We then spent time walking through the Duval Street and in and out of stores and bars - loved Sloppy Joe's, where Hemingway did his serious drinking. We saw the local bar that opens every morning at 7 am for Happy Hour and the small little "hole in the wall" restaurant that Harry Truman use to escape to have dinner by himself (no secret service) the many times he was in KW. Lots of stuff to buy, lots of FREAKS to see and we both enjoyed our 2 day stay in Key West. Actually, I was amazed how much Will liked it.

We then boarded the trolley for our last ride to stop 6 and the final walk back to the car. Now the weather really was turning ugly and dark (but still warm) and you could feel rain at any moment. We got back into the car around 2 pm, found highway 1 north....and headed back just as the skies opened up and it started to rain. I drove home, as Will drove the day before and we had rain most of the way home. Thank God, we came on Tuesday and not Wednesday. We got back to the RV park in Miami about 5:30 pm - just before dark and dead tired. It was a very fun 2 days and we were so glad we got to visit Key West again. Much love to all our family and friends.

Day One in Key West, FL

Tuesday, 1/10/12 - Finally, our trip to Key West is here. We went with another couple the last time we were in Florida in 2005 but only for the day....this time, by ourselves and spending the night. We left about 8:30 am this morning and I must say the drive down through the Keys is pretty spectacular. The first major town is Key Largo, where the original African Queen boat lives that was used in the movie. We saw it the last time through so didn't stop on this trip. The weather was beautiful and the water is so close on each side and again....that Hawaii blue. I believe it's 130 miles out to Key West and they have a "mile marker" at each mile along the way. That is also how people ID their locations, "I'm at mile marker 25." We arrived just outside Key West close to 12 noon so of course stopped at a Burger King for lunch. I was promised a fish dinner that evening.

When I wanted to find a cheap hotel in Key West, sometime back, I turned to my travel agent, Nancy Willis and she did great. She found us The Palms Hotel, located on White Street, in charming Old Town District. Actually, White Street is one of the few streets that goes straight thru from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf. This place was a combination of 2 old houses that had been converted into a bed and breakfast/hotel. We were in room 12, on the ground floor, which the breakfast bar and swimming pool were right outside our door. Parking is very scarce but we were so lucky to find a parking spot right in front our hotel and we knew we would NOT move the car until it was time to go it was perfect. Driving in Key West Old Town is a challenge, most people use, scooters, bicycle's, and walking....we choose walking and the trolley. After checking in we purchased 2 City View Trolley Tour tickets at our hotel and immediately walked to stop 6 to catch the trolley which was our m.o. for the 2 days.

The walk to the trolley is approx 7 blocks, where you pass by the old local cemetery. Now this cemetery is like the one in New Orleans, the graves are above ground because because after digging 6 inches down you hit solid coral rock. So of course the graves sites are very close and very ornate. The walk is very pleasant with so many old great houses to see along the way. Stop 6 is also the stop for Ernest Hemingway's house. We toured the home the last time we were here but always love seeing the 50 or so 6 towed cats walking the grounds.

We caught our Silver Trolley and headed out for our tour. The actual city tour takes about 1 hour with the drivers telling lots of KW history and interesting stories. All of the drivers we had in the 2 days of rides were locals and wonderful tour guides, we learned so much in that time. Some of the places we saw on the trolley ride included the Historic Seaport of Key West where they have a turtle museum (we toured that!) the Southernmost Point of Key West where they have a marker and the tourist form a line (up to a block or more long) waiting to take their picture in front of the marker. This is the Southernmost Point of the USA and is 90 miles from Cuba (we did the picture taking last trip.) All around this area they have the Southernmost Hotel, Southernmost Motel, Southern-Southernmost Bed & Breakfast and on and on. We passed Key West Butterfly Conservatory (didn't go in), the Truman White House (we toured on last of my favorite places on the Island.

After taking the full ride we decided to get off at the seaport and have our fish dinner at Conch Seafood Restaurant, which we got a table right on the water. Now Will who is definitely not an experiment eater decided to try Conch....a local favorite. The waiter recommend the Conch appetizer (his favorite) and I had the fish of the day, Mahi, Mahi and we ordered a bowl of Conch soup. Well, the soup was a red base with a slight "kick" to it and to hot for Will however I loved it. When our dinner came the Conch tastes like Calamari or as Will put it, "like rubber." I offered to trade him dinners but he wouldn't as I knew I would love his and he would like mine. As it was - I got all the soup, and I traded some of my Mahi Mahi for his Conch - dinner was good, but the view was great, we were able to watch boats and catamarans come and go. We had an early dinner as you want to be in Mallory Square by 4:30 pm for the entertainment on the docks and wait for the fabulous sunset at about 5:45 pm.

After dinner we caught the trolley to head down to Mallory Square to walk around and see the entertainment, such as some guy with trick cats.....go figure, a sword swallower and more. Also lots of people selling crafts, food and drinks......PLUS my favorite - fabulous people watching. What I was unaware of is that Key West is a favorite port for the cruise ships to dock and flood the town with people. It was so great as there was a Carnival Cruise ship in Port for the day and at this time the people were going back on board, stay to watch the sunset and the cruise ship would leave right after that. Of course there is "jockeying for position" to have a great view of the sunset and I might add there are hundreds of people out there. When we were there in 2005 it was a cloudy day and there was NO sunset and tonight looked like it would be clear and I was excited. Finally, we were in count down mode, cameras clicking everywhere.....including me and it was beautiful, a big, bright ball just disappearing into the ocean. After Will and I went to an out door bar so we could sit, have a drink and watch the cruise ship take off... which I must say was a spectacular sight also. This thing is huge and is like a floating city. After that we boarded the trolley to head back to our room, dead tired after a wonderful but long day. The room was quiet and very clean and we were able to watch some TV and read and then fell asleep with no trouble. A wonderful first day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Big Bus Tour of Miami area - Will and caw

Monday, 1/9/12 - When ever Will and I go into a city we always love to take a Gray Line Bus tour of the area as it is the best way to get an over all view of the place, without the hassle of driving and not knowing where you are. We found that Miami has just that - Big Bus Miami and when you purchase a ticket you can use the bus as a "hop on and hop off" ride all day long. So we decided today was the day as our time in Miami, FL is coming to an week we move on.

We found they have a bus stop in Coconut Grove, which is approximately 45 minutes from where we are and they have all day - $5.00 flat rate parking lot, so we headed out about 9 am this morning. With no problems at all (well a few) we found the parking lot, headed down the street just as the Big Bus was turning the corner and we were able to board right waiting. Actually, the buses pass by the stops every half hour so it is very convenient.

Our first city we went through was Coral Gables where the houses start out at a million dollars. They have so many regulations of the home owners but my favorite was the for sale signs can only be - 4 inches by 9 me you can't even read them, so funny. But beautiful homes, with gorgeous trees everywhere and we saw the old beautiful Biltmore Hotel. The Venetian Pool, that Al Capone use to swim in, a huge pool. They took us though the downtown area and tell you so much about the history and the people.

Our next city was Little Havana - which was named that after all the Cubans came here in the 60's. Before it was called Little Havana it was called Shenandoah - and was a very poor section populated by Jews and Irish people. Once the Cubans arrived, they took it over. Oh and Will loved that NOTHING is written in English there. It was fun to see the place and I can assure you we never would have gone there any other way. Oh by the way, Miami is the only large city that does NOT have a Chinatown.....

We then headed for South Beach, which of course I had just been there but Will had not. It was about 11:45 am so we got off the bus to find a place to have lunch....and So Beach is perfect for that. All the Art Deco Hotels have restaurant table and chairs w/umbrellas out on the sidewalk of Ocean Street and each one is "hawking" a special of some kind. We walked for a little ways and checked out menus and decided on one that offered a special - Will - a turkey club sandwich and fries and for me - grilled salmon with mash potatoes, with a free orange juice thrown in and the special was $8.95 each. Actually, we both loved our choice and it was great just sitting there doing more people watching whiled enjoying the weather and food. After, we walked around a little longer - and of course, took our picture in front of the famous Miami Beach sign that gives the temperature and the date so you send it to all your friends and make them jealous! We then boarded the bus for more touring of the South Beach area. After the Beach Tour we headed back to Bayshore where we would catch the City Loop bus to finish and go back to where our car was parked in Coconut Grove. Of course, while at Bayshore, which is a huge specialty shopping area on the water we managed to find a Hagen Daz and of course sat down for an ice cream break.

We then boarded the last bus to take us "home" and we certainly enjoyed the day and you definitely get your monies worth with these Gray Line Tours. I definitely feel like I have DONE MIAMI. Another tiring day and boy the traffic around here after 3pm is took us an hour an a half to get home. Much love to all our family and friends.

Fabulous South Beach, Miami, FL

Saturday, 1/7/12 - I was so bummed by this website loosing my entire post Friday, approximately 7 paragraphs. It's hard enough writing an entry once let alone two times. So just trust me, we had a fabulous day with Hilda and Brad in Key Biscayne and Cape Florida State Park.....the gorgeous lighthouse was something to see.

However, Saturday, my friend Sonia from North Carolina who with her husband James have been coming to this park for many years decided to take the public transportation down to South Miami Beach and spend the day.

First on our schedule was a "freebie" with our Golden Ticket (I always feel like it's the Willy Wonka movie..... finding the Golden Ticket) which allows seniors to take the Art Deco tour for free ( a $20 each value) on the first Saturday of the month - well, that's today! Then our plan was just to spend the afternoon on the beach.

Will took us to the bus stop a few miles from our house at 8 am and there we took the bus to Dadeland Mall where we caught the Miami Metro Train. While on the train, Sonia who is originally from Columbia, and of course speaks for fluent Spanish....which boy do you need down here, was asking questions of which I was feeding her in English and she asked fellow travelers in Spanish for directions (yes, the Frick & Frack show.) When we arrived at our second stop, Government Station, we needed to find a city bus that would take us to the beach. A very kind gentleman, Jose, who had been listening to our conversation came up and said he was headed to his construction job on the bus and he would get us on the right one....Bus C or S. We walked with him a short block and a half away and he asked, in Spanish for the driver to let us off at the street we needed in So Beach. So incredibly kind and I might add, Sonia and I thought, very handsome! We then headed through the Miami downtown area and over a causeway to South Beach, an absolutely amazing place, where all the sights might astound you, but very beautiful and a very big city. Actually, this area reminds me so much of downtown Honolulu.

Our Art Deco 90 minute walking tour was to begin at 10:30 am and we arrived at the Art Deco building at 10:05 am.....a mear 2 hours by public transportation, which I might add only cost $5.00 per person for an all day pass of train and bus. It really is a wonderful way to travel down here. Our tour started on time and was really great, we both learned so much about the Art Deco period and how these buildings were built in the 30s & 40s and never were meant to last but one woman was determined to save them and one by one she did. All Art Deco buildings are on the National Register and nothing can be done to change or alter them. Our guides pointed out features such as "eyebrows" over the windows (for shade) port holes (for sea decorations) and white w/pastel colors on all buildings. Our guide told how in the 60s this area was filled with, as he called them, "blue haired ladies" and lots of seniors and they called the area "Gods Waiting Room" - loved that! The city did much to change it with the Art Deco period, the clubs, the high rises and condominiums. Today, it is a huge tourist attraction with lots and lots of people with money (and some like us, with OUT) hanging out on Ocean Street.

After the tour was over we headed over to the beach and decided to do it up right, we rented 2 chaise lounges and an umbrella to sit out on the beach. We weren't interested in sun bathing (shocking for ME) but just wanted to "people watch" and just enjoy the beautiful weather and So Beach. We each had brought some snacks so we never even had a real lunch, just enjoyed eating junk food all afternoon. About 3:30 pm we headed back to Washington Street, where we needed to catch the bus for the return trip and walked about 10 blocks just going in and out of stores. Finally, it was time to head back....which we did and returned to our same parking lot - SW 152nd Street and Dixie Highway - where Sonia's husband James was waiting to pick us up. We both agreed that we had a wonderful day and enjoyed ourselves so much. Of course we were both dead tired when we returned home but lots of wonderful memories and plenty of laughs and junk food......Much love to all our family and friends.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Key Biscayne / B.Baggs Cape Florida State Park

Friday, 1/6/2012 - Several people here at the RV park have told us we must take a drive into Key Biscayne as it is a beautiful drive and at the end is a great old lighthouse. Well, today was the day. We made plans with our neighbors, Hilda & Brad, who are current "full time" RVers but lived in the Miami area for many years. I drove and they were the was perfect...Brad & Will in the back seat, Hilda & I in the front.

Sorry did not publish and LOST my entire days entry and to tired to try again.....ity was a wonderful day and sometime I will tell about it BUT NOT TONIGHT....


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Exploring the Everglades-South

Monday 1/2/12 - Because it is suppose to turn cold this week we decided to go back to the Everglades...only this time South. Actually, this is the largest part of the Everglades and has the boardwalks that you can walk out and observe the birds and animals at various locations.

We headed South on Krome Ave/997 through the cities of Homestead and Florida City and found the Everglades highway 9336. Now I was told (warned) that on our way to the Everglades we would run into Robert is Here stand. This is a very, large fruit stand that has been around since the early sixties. Besides fruit, they have jellies and jams and milkshakes.....every flavor you can imagine and some you can' chocolate key lime and the list goes on. However, Will and I decided to spilt the specialty of the house.....strawberry, which was delicious. I could have gone for one of the more exotic flavors but we split and other than vanilla for Will....strawberry is it.

Ok, we got back on the road and headed in to the Everglades, which of course is a National Park and we can use our Golden Age Pass to get in free. From the Visitors Center the last place we want to visit is 38 miles. However, our first stop is Royal Palm, which has the Anhinga Trail, a 1/2 mile loop trail where we saw many different types of birds, alligators (of course) turtles and so many huge vulchers we couldn't believe it. As a matter of fact, when we pulled into the parking lot at the very end of the lot was a red car with 3 vulchers on the hood and 3 on the engine was truly a camera moment. I would have loved to have seen the owners face of that car if he would have walked up at that moment.

After parking we headed out on the boardwalk trail that runs next to a water canal and through several very large bodies of water. The amount of wildlife out there was amazing. A beautiful day, temp around 78 degrees, lots of people as Monday was a holiday but plenty of room for everyone. After about an hour we got back into the car and headed for the final stop of Flamingo Visitors Center which is where the the Florida Bay (fresh water) mixes with the Atlantic Ocean (saltwater) which is called brackish water.

However, before we arrived at Flamingo we passed many stopping places along the road....our favorite was Mrazek Pond. We saw several cars pulled off to the side and camera clicking as we drove by I couldn't believe the wildlife I quickly saw at that one small pond. I told Will he HAD to turn around and go back, which he did and we parked and went down there. It was something to see, we saw a Wood Stork, several flamingos, a spoonbill (that is pink & looks like a flamingo) and many, many different kinds of birds. We said it was almost like being at a zoo there were so much wildlife. Back in the car, we headed again for Flamingo as we were hopeful to take a boat ride out into the Bay. So funny, as we were driving along they would have elevations signs of.....3 or even 4 feet. REALLY....

Finally we arrived at Flamingo and found out the Bay boat went out at 2:30 pm so we had plenty of time to pull out out our 2 chairs, Mimi's TV tray and have our lunch, overlooking this beautiful place. After lunch we walked through the Visitors Center, went down to the Marina where you buy the tickets for the boat ride and then walked around the Marina area. There were several Osprey birds nest we observed, one however was right at the Marina, a huge nest and the male Osprey was sitting on a pole just looking around. One of the fellows told us that the Osprey mates for life and this one is waiting for a girlfriend to find him. They say his luck hasn't been to good as there a to many people around this place and the girls just don't stay. While we were waiting to board our boat, the Pelican, there were several Manatees in the dock area but you can only catch a glance of their nose as they come up for air.

We boarded the pontoon boat along with about 20 other people and headed out into the bay. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of wildlife to see out there....oh we did spot a 6 ft crocodile laying on the shore, but would have loved to see him close up. We saw lots of Osprey even diving for their fish. The captain said the Osprey are the only birds that do not steal others food and fish for only what they will eat. They clean their fish away from the nest and return with meat to share with their mate/family. It was a lovely but pretty boring boat ride compared to some we have taken. The best part was we met a husband and wife and son (?) no name introductions, that I remember...who are in Miami for the Orange Bowl Wednesday night, supporting their team - Clemson, from South Carolina. They hope to retire in a couple of years and want very much to buy an RV and do what we are doing....seeing the country. They had lots of questions and it was fun sharing our travels. Good luck and GO CLEMSON.

Tuesday - 1/3/12 - Boy were they right ...... it is cold today. It was 54 degrees in the RV when Will woke up this morning and I don't think it got past 60 all day. Of course the worse thing was the WIND, it blew all day and makes it feel much colder. But the sun was out however we did have to wear our sweatpants....NO SHORTS today. They say the cold weather will last thru Wednesday and should be back in the low 80's by the weekend. Now that's what I want to hear. Much love to all our family and friends.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good bye 2011 and WELCOME 2012

Sunday, 1/1/2012 - What a year 2011 has been for Will and I. We left Fresno, CA on Mothers Day, 5/8/11 and are currently sitting in Florida, our 25th state we have been in on this trip. What an incredible trip it has been and to think it all started with Will's granddaughter, Fallon's wedding in Ohio, July, 2011. Thanks Fallon for getting these wheels on the RV rolling.

We have seen so many wonderful sights and when people ask us, "which has been your favorite" it is so hard to answer, besides not remembering HALF of what we have seen (hence the Blog)but really enjoying everything especially the wonderful people we have met along the way. Last Thursday, "our new best friends" Ron & Ms Dixie, left our current RV park where they had stayed for 2 weeks and boy do we miss them. Safe travel my friends and may our paths cross again.

When we came into this park we knew we would be in our current spot, Pod 7 Site 1 until Jan 1st and then we had to move two more times while we were here. We have grown to love this end spot we are in and the people in our pod and HATED where they were sending us to. We just kept saying, "oh well, at least we are still in the RV park" but honestly we weren't happy. Our current spot is sunny and bright, on an end so we see everything and everyone. The space they were sending us was dark & cold and in an avocado grove....I was calling it purgatory.

So today was moving day and we took up our outside carpet, put the chairs away and I got everything set inside so we could move to Pod 10 Site 13 (how unlucky does that sound?) Will had just pulled the RV out of our spot and I was in the car behind him when someone from the office comes up in their Miami-Dade County truck and tells us the people coming in Jan 1st just canceled their reservation and WE DON'T HAVE TO MOVE. The guy was so apologetic that we had already moved but we were just thrilled to just drive around the pod and go right back into our old site. We are now here until we leave this RV park on - January 18, 2012 for Punta Gordo, FL. Thank you Jesus for the New Years Day present!

After we got the RV all set up for living again, we had lunch and headed off to North Miami for the monthly Bluegrass Music Festival that is sponsored by the So Florida Bluegrass Assoc They have a monthly concert the first Sunday of each month in a very nice county park - Greynolds Park. This place was about an hours drive from where we were but it was nice seeing new parts of Miami.

The concert is free however they charge $6.00 to drive your car into the park, which of course we paid. It was a really nice place with an actual stage for the performers. They had 4 groups scheduled for today - 12:30 to 4:30 pm. The second group, Corn Country was the best of the three groups we saw and thought the Bluegrass concerts we have seen on Friday nights in Clovis, CA were far better. However, a couple we met there said the groups performing today were not very good and usually it is much better. It was ok, we had a fun time and it was great just hearing some Bluegrass Music. Unfortunately, on the weekend of Feb 24, 25 & 26th they are having a BIG festival that name groups appearing but we will be in Clearwater/Tampa area at that time.......waiting for NY Yankee Spring Training to start.

Here's wishing everyone a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and as always much love to all our family and friends and good health for all.