Monday, April 2, 2012

Lined up at the border

did all these people know gas is 1.44/l this morning?

New Shoes

I love these new shoes!!


This is Monday night; we got home Sunday night at about nine. By the time we left Bangor and were on our way to Houlton, I told Mike that I could really do this three day trip home if I knew in advance. I actually thought we would be an extra day in Maine when we left Davenport. AFter the first day and then doing another twelve on Saturday, I pretty well knew we were headed to 124 on Sunday. The problem there was that I had planned on doing the Maine shopping on Sunday/Monday.  As it turned out, I got most of what I wanted on Sunday anyway and we are happy to be home a day early. The planning was my error; I can do pretty well anything if I know in advance and have my head into it. The element of surprise, great or small, really throws me for a loop.

Mike went to the office before seven this morning and I went back to sleep. There was no fresh food in the house so no point in my being up at his departure time. The hot breakfast will begin tomorrow morning. I have to say I was pretty tired for the first few hours this morning. In fact, I just unpacked my suitcase in the past hour. The "stuff" had to be taken out of the living room so there was a certain amount of sorting and stowing went on today and a visit to Sobeys of course. A hospital visit to see Gloria with Carol and back on the couch. I missed a curling draw today but will get tomorrow's instead. Clocks still have to be put ahead an hour and laundry.....and then more laundry. Phone calls to catch up on and this is Holy Week. Easter to organize. Turkey or ham? Church schedules. Hot cross buns. Fish cakes. Desserts for the neighbours. Holy crow...I have to get busy.

One favorite sweater is still in the bottom drawer of the bureau at 516. I'll never see it again. I knew when I put it there it was in a dangerous place. How careless of me. UGH!!!!!

The Jazz. She actually seems happy we're home. She's been in and out and in and out all day; climbing on our bed and on my lap. Who is this cat and what happened to the independent indifferent cat I left here on the 28th of February!? I combed her last night and she loved it. It's shedding time and when we were leaving, I put towels on two of the pieces of living room furniture so that I could easily wash them and avoid a lot of hair on the cushions. Well she didn't sleep on them at all and chose a chair in the family room that was COVERED  with fur. REally funny. Not hard to see where she was and where she wasn't.

I am thinking about getting another cat. Mike is coming around to the idea, Looking for a Rag Doll.

So this is it for today. I know I have a few other thoughts to share but fatigue is setting in again and it's time for a bit of a rest. Stay tuned if you want to; I'll be back!!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Changed plans

Plans are meant to be changed I suppose. We had another early morning today and stayed on the road for another twelve hours. Very hungry and a little cranky by the time we get off the 495, so here we are close to Lowell Mass and I believe we will be home tomorrow night. I have shopping to do in Maine both fabric and grocery, as well as some real shopping and that will be done so tack on twelve hours of driving and we will have another long day. Did I say ANOTHER ?? I don't mind one long day but two is a bit much and I am dreading the thought of three but here we are.

Good drive today. Quite uneventful except that it kept getting colder and colder the farther north we drove and I have to think we looked pretty funny in the restaurant this evening in shorts. Will it come as a surprise to say we were the only ones in such clothing? I have yoga pants for tomorrow and I may even put the sandals away and go with the more appropriate Nikes so as to blend in a bit.

It is starting to look like spring as we moved along today. There are treees covered with blossoms of some kind. One tree in particular had purple blooms and I would have loved to get a close up pic but hopping out of the car on an interstate was a bit out of the question. Lots of white blossoms and also the same bright pink ones I saw in Charlotte last year. Beautiful. All of this against the grey brown that prevades the countryside at this time of year.

So early to bed and early to rise. Next post will be from home, after an adventure at the border and a long day. HOpe there is no snow along the way. Till then,.....

Friday, March 30, 2012

Good looking day

Greetings from Virginia

I wonder how many people left the state of Florida this morning. We left 516 at six o'clock which was the planned departure time and we drove for twelve hours. That took us to a small city south of Richmond VA so we can get through Richmond early in the morning and head towards Penn. We were in what I call heavy city traffic for the first five hours of the drive. Tight and close; oodles and oodles of people heading north. By far the cars from Quebec outnumbered the other provinces and states. Loads of rv's and all of them towing cars or small suv's. I couldn't believe it. Maureen Smith told me that traffic picked up at certain times in March but I couldn't imagine how you would see it on a major interstate highway but you sure could see it today. By the time we were in NC, it was looser and steadier moving but we did 1100 km in the eleven hours for the day.

I left Davenport with a heavy heart this morning. I always hate leaving, missing seeing Chris and Laura and Jocelyn and Bhreagh before I am past their exit. It's hard every year to go home, knowing that it could be six months to a year before seeing them again. The little ones change so much in that period of time but I have to be grateful for the opportunity to see them on Skype. Still I miss them tonight and it will take me awhile before I am over the lonely.

As we drove north today I had not one but two map books that I referred to, the GPS which is pretty invaluable and the Drive I-95 book which contains information on what is to be found at each exit along the 95 between Boston and the Florida border. They take the guess work out of the journey and although it makes for a crowded front seat, it's a better safe than sorry situation. All the bases are covered. I am a map person and still love going through the pages and noting the local names and all. The maps give you the big picture.

America runs on trucks, not Dunkin (Donuts).  Don't ever doubt that.

So the big question every year at the point is, which is better : fly to Florida and rent a car or take your own car and put up with the wear and tear on your body as you pound north. Honestly...I am undecided. Except that I could not bring back very much shopping, I would have to go with the flying option. The Doreys left yesterday morning and I had mail last night to say they were home. We have had a long day on the road and the most difficult day is to come: tomorrow. At least we won't run into snow in the Poconos as we did on the way down. If we just drove eight hours and stopped; if we weren't pushing.... However, we try to get a lot of miles/kms behind us the first day and then try again the second day only to find that we are totally wasted on the third day. I think most people don't push as hard as we do but I could be mistaken. Men just seem to want to get home.

so I hope to get some sleep tonight. Not much last night and I was not awake for the first hour this morning as we got the car packed up. Sleep might come more easily tonight, now that we are on the way. Hope all is well with you. We are still in shorts and sandals; hope to say the same tomorrow night. Till the next time...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Laughter is the best medicine

We have laughed more this past month than any other time in our lives. The Doreys left this morning and we were laughing as they went out the door. We played bridge every night but one during our stay here, as we had intended. Actually we never thought we would play EVERY  night but that's how it ended, except for that one night we were just too tired. The over all champ was Mike, followed closely by Norma; then Terry and finally me. The scores were close: Mike surpassed Norma by 90 points; Terry by 200 and 1800 separates top from bottom. That on a total of 70 000 points. For non bridge players, that's close. I thought it would be even closer. I started out with a couple of great nights and was in the lead during the first week and then I could hear footsteps coming behind me and little by little, the others crept up as my cards continued to be DREADFUL. We played golf four times together; Norma and Terry played an additional 2 rounds and Mike and Terry were out one day. They were very happy with how their trip went. You can't spend a month with just anyone but this worked out like peaches and cream; like peas and carrots; like apple pie and ice cream. They were ready to go home today; they have two dogs they miss very much.

So today I am going to sort. There are food items and some booze that has to go to Chris's. I have kept things pretty close together so everything I bought except for the leCreuset casserole is in my sewing machine case. I have all of my receipts clipped together so there will be no issue at the border. We didn't reach our exemption anyway. Mike didn't buy anything except two shirts that he needed. He didn't pack well and ended up buying a couple of shirts to fill the gaps.  Also today I am going to make the car lunch which consists of sandwiches to hold us together on the first day of the drive. We have lots of water and I need to add some fruit. I would like the cooler to be empty when we get to Maine so I can add a turkey for the last lap.

It's 6:30am. The Doreys are gone; we got up an hour ago as they were getting ready to leave.  Mike is asleep on the couch. I didn't sleep well and it's not in my nature to go back to bed. Time to get started. A trip to JC Penny this morning to get a couple of towels to wrap around a gigantic hurricane vase Chris and Laura give me in which to grow the paperwhites I love in the winter. I wanted a straight tall vase that the flowers would grow in, completely contained. No more toppled over paperwhites!!! That should be it. I have to leave room in the car for the Maine shopping which will fill in a couple of gaps, and then we're done, folks. A few posts on the road and the summary/reflections once I am unpacked. Hang in; we're almost there!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

24 in the morning

I took a jaunt to Publix this morning before 10am and it was 24C already. Low humidity this day so you don't feel the heat quite as much. We have never had this kind of weather in our previous visits. There is often a day in the 70's but there was nothing that cool during the whole month of March. It's quite amazing how fast the month goes by. Cliche, I know. I have my thoughts together as far as getting ready to leave but that's about all. I have to sort out the timing on the trip as I would llike to be in Maine to do some shopping on Monday before we get home that evening. Timing is everything when travelling with Mike. We never wait around for something. It has to be there when we get there or we're gone so if I am to get to Mardens, we have to be there WHILE it's open. As I recall, it closes early on Sunday so this might be a problem. Plus he keeps reminding me that we lose an hour when we leave Maine so it's go go go while driving through that enormous state.

So cruel reality is creeping up on us. Mike is ready to go back to work and I am thinking 'quilt show' and such things. I can't wait to get back in a regular walking routine but I have to say I have had lots of exercise this trip. The massage on the 11th is going to feel great for sure. I put on two pounds in the month which isn't that bad, really. We had three key lime pies and chocolate cake and I enjoyed every morsel. Two pounds isn't so bad. I may have lost that yesterday, but maybe not. (I lost a pink golf ball though). We had great Italian at Maggianos and so it goes. Vacation. March. So what?! That's what April is for! Pruning down.

Hope all is well in your nest. I looked at the NS WebCams and it looks a bit like winter. Probably looks like spring by now, as March snow doesn't last long. Incidentally, the new moon is very high in the sky here. Check it out tonight and see how low it is in NS. Venus is very high also.

I'll be back, probably tomorrow. Take care everyone. You are brave to be following these rants!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday March 27th

Another beautiful day. Not quite as humid but still in the mid eighties and that's hot for me. Today we left early and headed to a spectacular golf course called Legends in Claremont. It's a very up town course and Terry was able to get an amazing deal there so off we went. It was a favorite for Mike and Terry.Lots of hills and chasms...not valleys. Gullys. (Gullies?) On the par threes, if you didn't reach the green on your first shot, you were shot. We had a great day and dashed back here to get ready for supper with Chris and Laura and the girlies. Those little girls!! I cannot begin to tell you!

Chris loves to cook and he is so good at it!!!. Tonight we had pulled pork that he started yesterday with a brine and concluded today with ten hours in the oven, rubbed with spices, low and slow. Also a brazilian cut steak that was delicious, done on the grill. A couple of salads that we brought and a cake creation of Laura's. I have to include here that today was my birthday and a three layer chocolate cake with a chocolate butter cream frosting topped with one of Laura's flowers was our dessert.  Pictures to follow! The Piece de resistance was Jocelyn singing Happy Birthday to me. This was one of the best birthdays ever! Thanks to all for making it such a great day. Some of you know that Laura specializes in cakes and decorating them with flowers or other design features. She is quite the talented lady and pulls if all off without ever breaking a sweat. A busy Mom all around. She is so good at that too!

Tomorrow is the Doreys last full day here. They fly out on Thursday morning. We will have one more visit with Chris and Laura and Jocelyn and Bhreagh and then we will be leaving on Friday morning. Mike and I haven't talked about that whole process yet... I imagine we will thrash out the route on Thursday but I believe we will go home the same way we came, through Penn, as we have done before. There will be things left undone; things we planned to do or hoped to do that just didn't get taken care of.Nothing too serious. A month goes by very quickly and I am happy I decided to do this blog so that I can actually go back and see what we did most days.

A few more posts to come if you are interested.

 My biggest problem will be getting everything into the car when the time comes to leave. I didn't wear the two pair of long pants I brought along, or anything that had long sleeves. I must remind myself of that when packing for next year. No real critical mistakes. Late night after a long day. Time to hop into bed and read for five minutes...that seems to be my limit these nights. Back later.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Starting week four

Well we are back in business and my blog is working again so I can get caught up a bit this morning. On Saturday I was pretty tired and the backs of my legs were very sore from the standing. I can walk but I can't stand...did I say that already? We went over to the Florida Family in the morning in the hopes of having a breakfast outing but out place of choice was telling us a 45 minute wait which doesn't work with a 68 year old man in tow. Second choice wasn't serving breakfast so it was an early lunch. Laura had run a 10k that morning, in the dark, and everyone was up very very early so by the time we made it back to 4910, everyone was ready for a nap. We figured discretion was the better part of valour and said good bye and headed to Davenport. The Bayhill looked good from the living room with a cold drink and air conditioning.

My Sunday observation: we attended Mass at Corpus Christi Parish in the (affluent) community of Celebration. You may know that Celebration is a very upscale region asssociated with Disney and there are dozens and dozens of restrictive covenants that determine what your property looks like. It's beautiful. It's very detailed and not for everyone. REally it looks a little like a movie set. That having been said, the church was beautiful. Quite new. A little Spanish looking but the demographic is definitely older. When we attend church in Bayhill at Holy Family, the congregation is made up of young families and Mike and I would stand out as visiting grandparents among all of these children and 30-something moms and dads. Not so in Celebration. Old people. As far as the eye could see. A few families, but mostly retired people. It looked like Our Lady of Lourdes in Stellarton! But wealthier. And both parishes are lily white which is interesting considering the make-up of the population in the area. Maybe these observations apply to the Masses we attended; it's just what we saw during the month.

Don't come to Florida without your Frizz-ease hair spray. The humidity here will turn your hair into limp strands of thread. Frizz-ease is the only answer. Just a suggestion. Does not apply to men but I have been going around looking like Margaret Thatcher for several days but my hair isn't going anywhere. I just have to live with the look!! The humidity is going down almost as we speak. It's beautiful out there right now.

Mike and Terry are golfing this morning and Norma and I are going to The Loop for a bit of retail therapy. Tomorrow we are going to have dinner with Chris and Laura and the girlies. The four of us are going. The Doreys are getting ready to leave on Thursday morning but there's a golf game at The Legends in Claremont. That ought to be a good outing. It's a lovely course, apparently and we got 'a deal' on the greeen fees.

So that's it for today. I finished The Sisters Brothers and could write about that but I will spare you my book review and say only that I liked it in spite of the gruesome imagery and deep sadness that prevailed throughout the book. There was redemption for two apparently lost souls. It seems that my book club turned thumbs down on it at the meeting this month, that I wasn't able to attend.

More in a day or less. HOpe the weather is glorious where you are. There is a sameness about it here in the sunshine state... hard to find fault with that in March!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hot day at Bayhill

The best way to watch a golf tournament is to arrive early, set up under a tree with a blanket and a source of water, and watch everyone who goes by from your well chosen location. The worse way is to arrive at eleven and try to follow your favorite, fighting your way through the throngs of people who have decided to do likewise, and hope to find a good location to watch his second hit and approach shots and also his putts. Guess which of these two options we followed yeseterday at the BayHill Invitational? Well it was hot on Arnold's course yesterday...very very hot. Standing for hours is hard on old bones. I can walk but I can't stand. We left Davenport at ten or thereabouts; off to Universal for parking and then the shuttle to the course. Great so far. Once there, we watched the driving range for awhile and got to see Phil and Mike and Ernie and Tiger practice (all of our best friends; first name basis of course) and then followed Phil. Along with thousands of others. The course goes through Bayhill and the homes which are backed by the course are amazing. A few enterpreneural children were selling water over their fences for $1 a bottle, compared to $2.50 at every concession stand. They likely made enough money for their trip to .....? certainly not Florida. Where DO these kids go on their March break? I must ask Laura. Anyway we dragged our bodies back to the shuttle pick-up at about three-thirty and then to the Orlando Ale House for a sit-down and a cold drink. LONG day. It was close to six by the time we got back. A little rest and a shower; bridge and then bed. Vacation....gotta love it. High humidity is supposed to break in a day or so and the forcast is saying low 80's all next week. By the time we leave next week, we won't have seen the 70's even once, in the daylight hours.

We are off this morning to have breakfast with the Florida Family. We don't evpect to be there all day but hope to get out and walk around Lake Eola perhaps and get some quiet time with a market perhaps thrown in for variety.

I see on the tube that The Hunger Games opened last night...not too sure about that one. Seems to be what they are calling a teen flick although the book was popular with all ages.

So time to suit up. It's another good looking day out there but I know it's hot already. Be back later today and tomorrow is a home day. HOpe things are good where you are reading...I am not getting much email from anyone so it's hard to know who's out there but this is me fulfilling my duty of keeping people informed!! Skype in less than a week and a half!!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Universal Studios

As at Disney, there is no shortage of places to eat at Universal. We went on Wednesday afternoon after Chris was done at the office. It was a good time to go as the crowds were thinning out, which didn't mean we were there alone by any stretch. We stood in the queue for the Harry Potter ride for an hour. Part of the expeience of the ride is going through the line which wends it way through the castle until at one point, it appears that Harry and Ron and Hermoine are standing on a balcony explaining the ride to you. It was very difficult to discern that they weren't real people. Authenticity is their objective. More pics of that journey later. The evening had freshened up by the time we were through the ride and from there we wandered through parts of the park that were of interest. The evening crowd was arriving for the night scene but we were home by nine or thereabouts. I would love to go again to visit the various haunts but this was Mike's show as he wanted to see the Potter exhitit exclusively. He was very impressed. The locales in the book were recreated to the nth degree and you felt once again, a total immersion in the environment. More later.
We are off this morning to the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bayhill. No photos as cameras aren't allowed. Could be another long day. Back soon!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21st already

Well Pointe Orlando sure shows the signs of the economic distress. What looks like a great place to shop and dine is perhaps half empty, at least. Shop after shop is closed but the evidence of their presence is still seen in the names on awnings and still visible above doors. Several great restaurants are there, however, including The Pub at Pointe Orlando, Maggianos and the Copper Canyon, all of which we have visited. We have eaten at Maggianos three times now and each time I am impressed by the whole operation. On a Wednesday night there were hardly any empty tables in this large large restaurant, including the private dining rooms.  We were joined for dinner by Rich and Claire Lello, Laura's parents. We haven't had much of an opportunity to get to know them as most often we are all together with the entire families. This was a good chance to get together as two sets of parents with the common denominator. I think it worked; we had a great time and sure hope they did too. The service is great at this lovely spot and the food is delicious. Mike, unfortunately, made a bad menu choice but the rest of us were very pleased with our entrees. The appetizers were beautifully presented and so yummy: stuffed mushrooms and the ubiquitous bruschetta and the drink specialties were a real treat. Claire and I had a Mulberry Street and Rich had a Lemon Drop. Mike had a dry martini with olives and he said it was great. I hope it was just as he was $11.  Desserts were as we expected as well...a lovely meal with interesting and delightful company.

Mike and I did a little exploring today as well. Tomorrow we are going over to scope out the Bayhill area and the parking situation for the following day. We will be attending the golf on Friday and it will be a first for all of us...being present for a PGA event at a faabulous location. Bayhill will be looking it's best this weekend. You might want to check it will be all over your tv I expect. We read the info on the web site and it seems that there are severe restrictions as to what you can or cannot bring in to the event. No cameras for example.

We hope to meet up with Chris tomorrow after work and spend the evening with him. There is a wine and seafood festival this weekend that we are checking out. Lots to do in the last ten days in the SS so planning is critical.  Hope you come back again. It's fun to know someone is reading. Aaron and Brian....we will chat lots when we are home. Aaron and Rika...I am no longer on Skype. My tablet is not connected to the internet and Dad's laptop isn't set up for Skype. The biggest issue is that the computers aren't on all the time as ours is at home. We will have lots to catch up on when we are back in NS early in April. See you then!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Starting Week Three

I can't believe we are in week three of this holiday. I am at the point that I am checking my Florida List to be sure that I am touching all the bases and getting the things done I hoped to do. Monday we played golf again at the Royal St Cloud and I really like that course. It's long and challenging but we had a great time and unfortunately won't be back there again this trip. Our next outing is on Tuesday the 27th and we are playing a lovely course called Legends and it's pricey but we got 'a deal' on line so we will see how the fancy people play that day. Yesterday's game was played in more moderate weather than the last time we played there but it was still in the mid eighties when we finished and so we decided to eat at the restaurant there and take our time on the way back. The food was great at this place as well. They have lots going for them. The night after a golf game is pretty slow and of course, the new season of Dancing With The Start started so I watched (most of) that. Today was kind of a day off.

We went over to Orlando this afternoon and picked Chris up at work. Had supper with them and got our dose of grand children which wasn't quite long enough. Chris showed me how to play Words With Friends and also Draw Something so I hope to find someone to play with one of these days. Tomorrow we are having dinner with Laura's parents at Maggianos which is a really swell Italian restaurant in Pointe Orlando.....did I tell that already? I am very much looking forward to getting to know them better.

Heather and Carol Robertson are here in this complex...haven't seen them but Allan and Anne MacDonald were here a couple of nights ago and told me the Robertsons had just arrived.

Working on a few books right now. I am finishing The Sisters Brothers even though the book club has already finished/discussed it. Ready to start Member of The Wedding by Carson McCullers. I hope it's as good or even nearly as good as The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Trying to make my choice for book club for May...I have a couple of options to choose from.

Driving does not seem quite as hectic this week as last. I really don't like being on the road in this tangle of drivers, each going as fast as humanly possible. I wonder where all of these important people are going!!??

That's about it for tonight. I am working on a cross stitch project in the daylight hours that are not filled with something else. We are not out and about in the evenings for the most part. Once the sun is down, we are in. I know a lot of the PC people who are here are out running around after dark but we seem to keep a pretty low profile in the evening hours. I miss no being able to prepare a meal; we just don't have the ingredients at hand here and there is no point in buying things that will not be used after the one recipe. I am going to cook a turkey when I get home, maybe a turkey I buy in Maine as we are on the home jaunt.

Thanks for dropping by. I miss talking to Brian and Aaron...can't do Skype the way we do at home for several reasons, mostly technological, but they are big boys and they understand. I still miss them though!! FYI, I won't have access at all on the tab from here on. We can't seem to get it established here and Mike has tried many different methods. Just not working for us. I'll be back tomorrow night; hope you can check in again.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Taking the Sky Ride at Busch Gardens

Trying again with the pics....

The Happiest Place on Earth

We spent the day Saturday at the Magic Kingdom, a first time for us and I have to say it was another amazing experience. Jocelyn was celebrating her third birthday by going to the Bippity Boppity Boutique to have her hair done and to be characterized as a Princess for the day. She chose her Cinderella dress and we were off to have the transition take place.

The day started with breakfast at the Polynesian Resort and really I just can't begin to explain the extent of the Disney experience. Everything is huge to start with and when you enter the PR, the vegetation alone is impressive. After we checked in, we went directly to the photo op location and had a picture taken with the children, Chris and Laura and both sets of parents, a first for that. We have the prints to proove it and I may get it on line if I can get it scanned in. Breakfast is what's called 'family serving' and the trays of food are taken to the table and you serve yourself, only to have the tray replenished  when it's empty. Excellent coffee and juice and breads; plenty of fruit and visits from Disney characters, all of whom Jocelyn recognized and none of whom I knew. It was a wonderful meal and we didn't eat again till we got home.

The Magic Kingdom is awesome in scope and design. Tens of thousands of people to the point at once in the afternoon, we were completely stopped dead in our tracks. A human traffic jam. Laura's Father works for Disney and he explained to us that the Disney property in Orlando is 47 square miles in size. He knows tons about Disney and had answers to our questions so it was like having our own personal Guide. At the end of the visit we went to the Lello's for a corned beef and cabbage dinner, St Paddy's Day after all, and then back to the nest by about nine. REasonable traffic to get back so it wasn't a real chore...we took "the back way" home through a bit more development but without the threat of a major congestion on Highway 4.

Today was a day off but we did a quick foray to the LeCreuset outlet where I got the braising pot I wanted and then back here to watch Bristol Motor Speedway Baby. It was fun to watch...we had the opportunity to go as John had tickets and called Mike to see if we were in 'the vicinity' but it's a two day drive from here to there, each way, and we just weren't into that right now. We did it a few years ago but this time was not an option. Maybe another year.

Tomorrow is golf at St Cloud again. The weather continues to be very warm and no real change in sight. Tuesday we will see the Florida Family again and on Wednesday we are taking the Lellos to dinner at Maggianos, a favorite Italian restaurant at Pointe Orlando.

Starting the countdown...two weeks left. I can barely stand the thought. Sending a few attachment photos which I hope are self explanatory. Hope you can drop by again and thanks for stopping by!!

I seem to be having problems with the pics.....will try later....

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fine day Friday

Although we didn't have anything planned for the day we seem to have spent a lot of it out and about. I had a minicure and pedicure this afternoon, giving the hands and feet a treat. Feels great. Also went to Joann Fabrics to get a carrying bag for my sewing machine with the benefit of that 50% off coupon out of last Sunday's newspaper. That was an item on my Florida shopping list and now it's checked off. If only I could find a coupon for half off that LeCreuset braizing pan I am looking for next. I know I will find it at the outlet off I Drive and may get to do that tomorrow on our way home from the birthday.

Tomorrow we are celebrating Jocelyn's 3rd birthday at the Magic Kingdom. Actually I dont know much about it other than that. We are mustering at GiGi and PopPop's in the morning before nine and it begins there. Off to the Kingdom...never been there before...for a Character Breakfast, I believe it's called. After that, I don't know what's going on but there are rumors of corned beef and cabbage later in the day. It's St Patrick's Day, after all. I am looking forward to this day very much. I called Chris this evening and they were working on a cake so that also sounds promising.

I believe we have little or nothing on for Sunday. I have to find a church...we usually go to Holy Family in Bayhill but that's a little far if we aren't going to Chris's. There has to be a Catholic church closer to us than that with all these Spanish speaking people around. How did we ever get along without the internet!? I will search there.

So two weeks are gone....already. I wonder how The Jazz is doing. I hope she is enjoying being home alone and I hope the neighbourhood cats are visiting her at the family room window or at the patio door. She may pay a little attention to me when I get home after her time alone. I believe I will look for a new cat when we are back. Perhaps she will like this one. I could let her pick it out, maybe. A little male may be the way to go. I had said that when I was down to one cat, I would get two...a mother and a kitten...they would at least like each other and it might be less of a challenge to The Jazz. Mike says we are not having three cats so that plan is out the window. I know if I go to the shelter and find two siblings, it will be difficult to take one and leave the other. It's never easy. I will have to fortify myself the day I go to look. But that's for later and this is now....

Still waiting to get photos downloaded to the computer. My technician is asleep on the couch and the Doreys are out for the day so I am amusing myself for a while. The condo needs another lamp. I am working on a cross stitch project and the liting isn't great. Worked on it for awhile today but at dusk, I can't get enough light.

I'll be back...hope you can make it back too!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday night

Well we made it through Thursday and tomorrow we are off! Taking a day to stay here in the digs, to do some laundry and generally recharge. We are getting too old for all of this running around, even though all of it is good. We left quite early this morning and arrived at Roger and Maureen's by ten thirty. We had a swell visit and took a hop out to the beach to see The Smith Kids who had arrived and are in a great condo right on the beach. The Pictou County crew had supper at Crabby Bills in Indian Rocks so we joined the group and made it back here at nine thirty...some nasty traffic through  Tampa but that's often par for the course. Got here safe and sound though and we are in for the night and for the day tomorrow.
Another great day in the SS and the rest of th week is supposed to be the same. No sign of colder weather on the way which pleases most of us. Tomorrow I am going to do a bit of laundry and check out a place or two for a day trip. Does anyone know something about Arcadia here in Florida? Bonnie says it's a great place for a day visit. Will see...I'll be back...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lunch time at Busch Gardens

Middle of the week already

Well it's the middle of the week already. Monday's trip to BG was great. We started out early, eight a.m. to Tampa and a relatively easy drive. We were there when the gates opened and got set up for our safari. Mike and I went in one direction and the Doreys went in the other with plans to meet up at eleven to be together for the planned adventure. We saw such interesting animals, particularly the kangaroos who can run/hop at an unbelivable speed. Almost too fast to really see. The highlight of the trip was the safari which was only a half hour long but it was the first oppoirtunity I have ever had to feel a giraffe and to be close enough to look one of these creatures in the eye. Of course they know that when the truck comes with 20 people standing in the back, that they have lettuce in their hands and it's snack time. They love to eat out of your hands and will slobber over you if you aren't careful. Additionally they are so elegant!! We were told to scratch behind their ears or rub their necks but not to touch their faces because they don't like that. There were several giraffes who came immediately to the truck and some that stood off and watched. Of course we saw many other animals on this sarangheti (sp?) but the highlight was definitely the giraffes. After lunch we separated again and Mike and I took the train around the park twice and he had a nap...on the train. We also took the sky train across the park and got to see things from quite a high vantage point. My acrophobia was under control except for one stretch where the cable car went up quickly and steeply and I sat with my eyes closed for a few moments just to regain my comfort level. We left the park at three thirty and it felt good to get home.

Tuesday morning we headed over to see Bonnie and Peter in Wesley Chapel. I kept a dentist appt first thing that morning and had a check up of my jaw.After some poking and digging I find that it feels much better. No need to go into that. Anyway Bonnie and Peter are wonderful hosts and of course, Bonnie is a great cook. She fed us a most interesting and delicious lunch and then we played some bridge just to say we did!! Home in time for supper which we didn't need and in fact didn't eat!!

Then today...the middle of the week. We headed to Claremont to play golf, about an hour's drive. Nice course but more difficult than Royal St Cloud. Of course the weather is wonderful and with the low humidity, it was a great day to be outdoors. Teed off just around nine. We picked Chris up after  work and headed to 4910 and after a brief visit, went to a new dining locale...The Pub at Pointe Orlando. What a swell place!! The appetizers were delicious: Laura wanted to try a scotch egg; we had deep fried pickles which were SO GOOD and also a goat cheese dip which was yummy. This pub is an English style eatery so three orders of bangers and mash and an order of fish and chips came next. The bread pudding with whisky sauce polished it all off and of course, there were interesting and unusual drinks and beer. I would go back tomorrow! I have pictures and in the next day or so I will get them included here. The decor is appealing as is the food.

We are all pretty tired tonight. On our way back from The Pub, there was a mammoth traffic jam between here and Orlando. A notice was flashing that there were completely blocked lanes 16 miles ahead and we didn't think that we would get caught in it as we were only eight miles from our exit but we were right in it for sure. The last few miles were totally stop and go. It took us just over an hour for a drive that can take 25 minutes on a good day. Very Very Ugly. NOnetheless we got back safe and sound. Played some bridge and it's now time for bed.

Tomorrow over to see Roger and Maureen. The Smith Kids are at the beach so we will probably see them as well. Supper with the Pictou County vacationers around 5 and then back here. I am not doing anything on Friday. Will get the pictures up and caught up at that time.

Thanks for stopping by and I will be back!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Busch Gardens

I would love to tell you all about our day at this point, but I am so tired, I don't know if I will be able to stay awake.
Here are a few comments...

  • Busch Gardens is well worth the visit
  • Giraffes are incredibly beautiful, friendly and elegant 
  • You can overcome a fear of heights on the Sky Train at BG

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Late night Sunday

 It seems like this was a long day...time change means we were a little behind the curve and were almost late for Mass at Holy,Family. Mike and I drove the average age up a bit. So many young families go  to church there. Teenagers and pre.teens and just a large number of them. Something we don't see at our church. We have mostly old people, like ourselves. I love that church.

After Mass we stopped at The Fresh Market and picked up some pastries to have at 4910. Poor Jocelyn wasn't feeling great today and she slept a lot of the time we were there. We had a good visit and will be back on Wednesday.

When we got up this morning, it was pretty grey looking and I thought it would turn into another lovely Florida day but it turned the other way and rained most of the day. The traffic was crazy when we were coming back here...the worst so far. Our 25 minute drive back took almost an hour and we saw five accidents along the way. Wouldn't that just ruin your day?! Everyone was on the road or at the mall. Laura said the stores were crazy too.

So in the morning we are heading to Busch Gardens at about eight. It' almost an hour to get there so we will have a full day. Hope you all have a great day tomorrow. I'll be back...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We decided today to do a bit of shopping so this morning we went to The Loop which is one of our shopping destinations. We don't seem to have much of a Florida list this year so we weren't too long. I got a good spring walking jacket which was 70% off. Love those sales. Also a couple of shirts as I prefer white shirt
s and somehow didn't bring enough. Still no red shoes...or shoes of any color for that matter. The hunt continues.

Tomorrow we are going to church in Bayhill and then to see Chris and fam.  Busy week ahead that just got a bit busier...
Monday to Busch Gardens
Tuesday to Bonnie and Peter's
Wednesday golf and it's Jocelyn's actual birthday
Thursday to the other coast for supper with the Pictou County Contingent
Saturday is Jocelyn's birthday celebration..
That seems like a full week to me...hope everything falls into place. Be back soon! till then!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Well this was a great day in the SS. We golfed at the Royal St Cloud Links and had a fabulous outing. What a spectacular course. It's a links course and quite rugged in places. Lots of sand and water and dunes. There is a video on line worth watching just to get a sense of the course. Cart and eighteen for $30. Probably more than lots of people pay but it was well worth it. We all loved it. Hot!! We teed off at nine- o-four with a starter from PEI. He lives here for six months and works a day a week for free golf. Sounds like a deal to me. Anyway by the time we finished it was pretty hot for sure. However there was cold beer in Davenport and we barbecued burgers and ate key lime pie for dessert.

You may know I have been struggling with the after affects of a tooth extraction that I had done just before we came. Finally I seem to be on the winning side and although it may seem to have been a poor choice to have it done before coming here, I couldn't take the chance of having it flare up while here and having to have the proceedure done away from home. Fortunately I had taken a course of antibiotics with me and I took them as a precautionary measure and things are looking good at this point in time. Hoping for the best.

We are really pleased with our location and how the first week has gone. The Doreys are great to spend time with and we have played bridge every day so far. Keeping a running score. No surprise to me...MVM is in the lead but I am firmly in second; had a bad night last night but my first couple of days were great so I had some wiggle room. Now that we have been fed, we are ready to get at it again. Right now we are!!

I hope my boys are reading along. No one is commenting so I don't know if anyone at all is reading except Carol! And Jane LL!! Jane commented! Thanks Jane!!!

We are going to Busch Gardens on Monday and to Bonnie and Peter's on Tuesday. Jocelyn's birthday is Wednesday although her party isn't till the weekend. I hope to get out and do some shopping tomorrow and maybe even get out for breakfast. I told Mike today that I didn't want to cook on the weekend. I don't do it at home and certainly don't want to do it here. Chris is back from Arizona today but busy on Saturday so we will be in Orlando on Sunday for part of the day.
 I don't have to say how much I love to visit with that family. They are all totally sweet.

So that seems to be it for this time. We seem to have our computer issues resolved. I have to do this on Mike's laptop as the keyboard on the SamTab is just too tiny, and digital to boot. Good for the basics but for any amount of typing I just can't do it.

Hope you find time to drop by again. All is well here. Wishing the same for you!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

This is a with care

Today was a beautiful day in the SS...bright and humidity. Yesterday our condo owner told us a wireless router would be delivered TODAY.  We stayed here ALL DAY waiting for said person to arrive. Didn't happen. A WHOLE day here. On the patio...that was fine but here ALL day.  I suppose it was a favour to us and Evie is in NYC after all, but someone dropped the ball today and we aren't too happy with the failure to deliver. At the end of the month we will be trying to find a day to get something done and that day was today.  Tomorrow we are heading to a national park for some geocaching and golf on Friday so it could be next week before we get this problem resolved.

Hope all is well where you are. Till the next time and a more cheerful mood..  :-)

The view from the patio

This is the view today and every morning so far, from the patio. One of the biggest changes to get used to here is that there is very little change in the weather in March. Chris says it rains every day in the summer between two and four but in March...this is it. We are in a quiet area but we are never far from what we need. Today we ar awaiting the arrival of a new wireless router so that we will get up to speed, as it were. You know the saying....a man without his computer is like a fish without a bicycle!!! Two men here to bring up to speed.

A good morning for a stroll- time for breakfast.... The Doreys are off to Sea World today. We are on our own till dinner. Hope your day is going well. Back in a day or so.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Just in case ... slow news day

So just in case someone is reading, an update for the blog: today we did a tour of golf courses both on line and in person and found an assortment of places to play close to us. We will do our first game on Friday as the Doreys are spending a couple of days with their daughter and her family in the next few and the preferred time wasn't available till then. Lots of places to choose from. Looks like we will be able to  choose from several courses  Hwithin a vey reasonable travel distance.

Norma and I went to Michael's today. I found a knitting patten I may go back and purchase but I am uncertain if I have the time to get back into knitting. There are only so many hours up for grabs. I purchased a few new counted cross stitch patterns as well. TIME...don't run out on me!!

We had supper at 4910 with Chris and his sweet family this evening. He is going to Arizona on business on Wednesday so we won't be there again till Sunday. When we got home, we played bridge till almost midnight. Keeping a running score...I am doing very well at this point but that can change quickly.

The dental problem seems to be coming along. I am thankful that I brought the antibiotics with me or I would have been at a walk in clinic on the weekend. Talked to Dr Noftall this morning and he gave good advice, albeit long distance.  That seems to be the story for the day. More as the days advance. Hope things are well in your nest...till the next time!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dinner is a fun event with a child at the table

Late night Sunday

We are into a bridge marathon with the Doreys. Tonight when we got back from Chris and Laura's, we played for a couple of hours, keeping a running score from last night.

Errands to do today...simple things like getting keys duplicated so that we don't have to coordinate comings and goings. We went to visit the kids (it always seems a bit inappropriate to refer to adult children as such...) this afternoon and had dinner together. It is such fun to spend time with them. Chris made candied ginger which was delicious. The little ones are so cute. Jocelyn just walks up to me and says 'Nona I love you' ... right out of the blue.  I would love to follow her thought processes for a few hours.

Tomorrow we have to do some shopping for golf bags. We brought our clubs in the trunk of the car without bags and we will get Florida Bags and leave them here till the next time. The Doreys are going to sscout out some places to play. We will have dinner with C and L as well Chris is going to Arizona on businesss for a few daysn this week.

That's about it for tonight. Not a really big day today but lotsmon the agenda for the next while.  Willbe back again..Thanks for dropping by. Slow news day!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday in the Sunshine State

The Doreys arrived about three this morning and we chatted for awhile but they were pretty beat. We have to run out this morning to pick up a few more essentials and to check out the surroundings. It's a great looking day and that is pretty well what you expext here.

We are having minor computer problems that w hope to sort out in a day or so. Could be that Imwon't have the access I had hoped for. We will have to see on that one.

Ba k later! Have a great day! Using the tablet with this tiny keyboard is quite a challenge!

Friday in Davenport

Well here we are in the nest. Last night we stayed in a nice spot just above the Georgia state line and we had a great drive into the Sunshine State during the morning.  Since we were here so early, we zipped over here to check out the digs and unloaded the car. In the process we met the neighbours who are Canadians and they are very friendly Ontarians. Hope to see them during our stay.  Decided then to get into the family zone and checked in on Chris at work. At the end of his work day we picked him up  and headed to 4910 to visit with him and Laura and those two adorable grand girls. It's amazing the difference six months makes in a little child. Jocelyn talks to me as though I were there everyday rather than the fact that she hasn't seen me in six months. That's what Skype does for the grandparent-grandchild relationship. I can't believe it. I could write and write about her but if you have a grand child you understand and if you don't have one, you may not completely understand. And cute. Just a little bundle of happiness.

So we are waiting here for the Doreys to arrive. They will be surprised to see us as we didn't think we would be here till this time tomorrow night. We stopped at Publix and got the essentials for breakfast tomorrow and after another inventory as we were stowing the goods, discovered there is no soap...the face-washing kind. I hope they were clean about themselves today. I have liquid shower soap which I will offer them but other than that, the serious washingth won't take place till tomorrow when we get to shop again. I also need a tea pot and larger mugs. I had full intentions to bring a pot with me and actually had it on the dining room table to bring along but it got left behind, with my computer glasses. That is worse than no tea pot. I can replace the latter but not the glasses.

Mike bought a new laptop, which means he replaced that stolen lap top of the past, and this is the first time I have used it. The verdict is a resounding NO on this one. Who would think the keyboard could be just that much smaller and the ENTER and SHIFT keys that much tinier. I am making dozens of mistakes and it's rather irritating to be correcting over and over. If you detect a typo, just imagine what the word should be. I may miss the odd error.

Tomorrow morning we will also scope out the complex. I want to see the pool and the clubhouse and see how they measure up to the photos that I saw online. I heard the pool isn't heated and that may or may not be a problem. I didn't use the HEATED pool last year but thought I would give it a go this time around. Will check it out tomorrow and see what I think. It's about a mile walk to the drugstore which would make for a good jaunt in the mornings for the paper. I see there are a few new outlets/stores/restaurants in the little strip where the Publix is located. What I am really looking for are the Joann's coupons that come in the paper on the weekends. I have a short list for shopping but one of the items I want would benefit from a coupon...that is to say it would cut it in half.

So here we are. Mike is asleep on the couch with a book in his hand. I am finishing a cup of tea (brought a box of King Cole with me). Only the location is changed! and the temperature. It's about 26 this evening. Lovely and warm. I looked like Nanook of the North when we stopped at the Visitor's Center at the Florida State line today. There were dozens and dozens of OLD PEOPLE there. I wonder if we looked as old as they did. I was really depressed. Men in shorts, bony bow legs; women in stretch pants and shirts tucked in.  Mike said we lowered the demographic but I am not sure.

Well if you made it through this, good on you. I am going to have a bath and settle in to see if I can stay awake till the Doreys arrive. We will certainly hear them come in. Hope they get here intact. It's not terribly easy to get yourself out of the Orlando airport and find your way to a previously unseen destination at midnight. More on that the next time

Thanks for stopping by!! I'll be back!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day three in the south

We hit the road this morning at seven, this time wearing capris and a hoodie. Warmer today, with a range of 21 th 26 which required the a/c for the first time. Travel on day 3 is certainly easier bit far more boring. Straight roads running between rows of pine trees, with hundreds of trucks zooming by.  Yesterday in the Poconos, there were hills and valleys and all that snow. Today, we ran into torrential rain as we were deciding to get a hotel but the evening is clear at this point. Neither of us is as tired as we were last night but we are both anxious to arrive at our destination.

We are travelling safely and in spite of some boredom, doing fine. I am going to read a while tonight. Last night I fell asleep at seven and woke at two to discover that I hadn't brushed and flossed and washed... I am ahead of the game already tonight!

 Tomorrow we will head into Florida. The condo will be ready Saturday nigh so we will be there then. Chris, I will talk to you sometime tomorrow...we aren't sure where we will be tomorrow night. We may see you or mayve not till Saturday, probably in the morning.

More tomorrow ...getting close.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The dreaded day two

Well the fact that I am writing this indicates a successful day on the road. \not as long a day as yesterday but ten hours is quite sufficient. Both of us were quite tired this morning as we didn't sleep well and fatigue seemed to set in quite early. We don't stop to eat as I pack a great lunch that does us for three days and we always have water and when we stop to fuel up, we get coffee for the driver and that's about it. I just drink the water but not as much as I do when  I am at home, for the obvious reason: the Honda Accord does not come equipped with a loo.

Well I must say that Mike is a Road Warrior. We left at seven this morning and headed into the mountains with a plan to get from Auburn Mass to Richmond VA by 5pm. Were it not for the four hours of snow and bad driving rain that made for difficult progress, we would have made it. As it is, we are less than an hour out of Richmond, at Fredericksburg, and have a great hotel early. I think we will have a good night as we both have books to read and we are not as stressed as we were last night. The last hour last night was in the dark in  speeding traffic and using a flashlight to follow the map and the GPS. Not the best conditioins for sure.

We are just decompressing for a few minutes and then will take a run out for a bit of dinner. Lots of choices as this is a major destination and there is a bit of everything here.

Tomorrow on Day 3, I will take a turn doing some driving.  Now that we are out of the really heavy traffic and such, I don't mind taking a turn and he can read and play Henry the Navigator Today he was not a bit concerned about the messy roads and the trucks that were zooming past us, spraying us with sluch and mess. He is so calm. He is so accustomed to driving nin NS in all kinds of weather and combine that with the excellent care these states give to their highways in bad weather. It was pretty impressive.

The weather went from -4 this morning to 8C right now. No snow whatsoever here and the grass is just starting to get green.

That's about the download for today. I didn't shop at |Mardens yesterday. May drop in on the way home but it's not a huge priority with me. Looking forward to a good sleep tonight. Thanks for dropping in to read the news, such as it is. I know Carol read yesterday...let me know if you are checking this out. Cheerio for now...more tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day one draws to a close.

The weather in Pictou County was dreadful this morning but we were pretty sure we would drive out of it so we hit the road at 7am and headed for fine skies. By the time we passed Fredericton, the roads were getting better and I was a much happier passenger. Conditions improved with each hour and we just kept on driving. This is the longest I have eve driven on any of these trips but we thougt there was going to be snow in New England and we wanted to get ahead of it   so here we are in Auburn Mass. Thirteen hours. Long day.

Driving in Nova Scotia

 is  how the day looked at the start...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting ready to go isn't my favorite part of the trip for sure. I tend to put off certain things till the last minute and tomorrow I have a ton of things to get done. I'm pretty sure Jasmine will not be too happy to be the first item on that list. She will get a trip to the groomer early in the day. Basically everything is done but Mike's ironing! should be a good day...sandwiches to make and shoes to find....almost time for lift off!