Saturday, December 8, 2012

2/17-3/10 Thousand Trails, Orlando, FL

Here we are again.  We get hooked up in a different site from last time, and we have a lot more room, and aren't face to face with neighbors this time.

The Steve's are continuing to ride Harleys almost every day.  They are having a blast!

Interior of the fort

getting ready to fire some cannon

One day, the Coltons and the Berrys take a trip to St. Augustine, the oldest city in America!  We toured the fort "Castillo de San Marcos" and the San Sebastian Winery.  Guess which was Cathy's favorite? The fort offered recreations of the cannon training and fired the guns every half hour.  It is in amazing shape, considering its age!
St. Augustine City Gate
Oldest wooden schoolhouse

Guess who got tickets to the Daytona 500??? You guessed it, the S
teves have a blast!

We have dinner with friends we met in Texas, Dave and Pat.  Great fajitas at Manny's Chop House in Winter Garden.

We went to Disney's Animal Kingdom,  kind of an amusement park...kind of a zoo...but not superior at either.  Had fun anyway.
Steve actually rides a ride or two

Took a trip to Sea World with the Berry's and had fun there as well.

Cathy and Steve Berry

Riding the Manta

2/3-2/17 Cruising the Caribbean with Ken and Charlene

2/3 - Well, the home is in storage, Dottie is with the Berry's in Apopka, and here we are at the hotel in Fort Lauderdale.  Just in time to watch the superbowl (commercials) with Ken and Charlene!

2/4 - Leaving Fort Lauderdale.  We are onboard by 2pm and set sail about 5pm.  We will be cruising for a couple of days until we get to a port.
what a great view!

at the National park
2/7 - St. John's, Antigua - we take a tour of the area and see the National Park, Nelson's dockyard, and a great view of Eric Clapton's island home.

great view of the harbor

2/8 - Castries, St. Lucia - another tour today through the rainforest, to the volcano, with a great view of the mountains.  Ate lunch with a great view of the town and the ship.

Steve checks out the cannon!
early recliner!?!

Orchid World

Orchid World
2/9 - Bridgetown, Barbados - toured again and saw the Gun Hill Signal Station, Orchid World, and Sunbury House Plantation.  We learned how to make Bajan Rum Punch, and had a really great time drinking the results!!

more beautiful flowers!

Fort Charlotte.

at the botanical gardens
gorgeous view

Steve wades in the Caribbean Sea
2/10 - Kingstown, St. Vincent - toured Fort Charlotte and the Botanical Gardens.  Rum Punch rounds out the tour!  We are getting to really like rum punch.

slave quarters - 8 to a hut

salt flats-pink from brine shrimp
2/11 - Kralendijk, Bonaire - toured the salt flats, the major export of the island.


art museum

2/11 - Oranjestad, Aruba - toured the Archeological museum,, an art museum and the Alto Vista chapel.

27 feet

after ringing the bell at the top

on his way up

2/12 - Cruising at sea.  Steve tries out the on-board rock climbing wall, and really does ring the bell at the top.

2/15 - back in port by 7am, off the ship at 9 and back to the hotel.  Ken and Charlene stay on board for another cruise!!

2/16 - spend the night with the Berry's and pick up Dottie.

1/27-2/3 Thousand Trails, Orlando, FL

Well, Cathy is taking this week to get ready for our cruise, but Steve is taking this week to ride a Harley with Steve Berry!!!
What a macho man, huh!

12/30-1/27 Fort Myers Beach RV Resort, Fort Myers, FL

Barb and Steve on the Beach
This is also an Encore park but it is very tight in here!!!  Took us quite awhile to get to the point where we could hook up to utilities, even though this is a pull-through site.  Yuck!

We do seem to be in the thick of things, though, and are just a drive over the bay to Barb's condo.  Estero Island is cool, and lots of activities.  We spent New Year's eve with Barb and Mama Jane and watched a lot of fireworks from all over the mainland and other islands!

Mangrove Crab
Well, Cathy limited the suspense of when she would fall down, by doing so on January 2nd and scraping her elbow all to pieces.  Luckily no other injuries!  Took a tour of Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge and Captiva Island.

We have eaten quite well, and Barb and Steve have an established assembly line process for fresh shrimp!

Mama Jane has been hospitalized for a week, so no touring while we visit with her and run errands!

Denise and Joe
We met some old friends for dinner and then went sailing with them the next day!  Thanks to Denise and Joe for getting Cathy and Steve out onto the water!  It was great fun.

at the saloon

Barb, Steve and Cathy went geocaching on Pine Island, then had lunch and drinks at the Ragged Ass Saloon.


feeding time!

We took a trip to Naples to see the Del Webb community.  This one is a planned city around a Catholic College.  Very interesting.  Also toured the Naples Zoo.  Cathy fed a giraffe, and we saw a Malaysian Tiger.  The alligators were fascinating.  They were trained to come out of the water onto the beach, by name, so the keepers could check for injuries.  One tap on the snout, and they backed up into the water again.

Daylight when they started
Still at it at nighttime

Steve and Cathy Berry came for a visit, so it was nonstop cards (pitch) at Barb's place for a few days.  From morning 'til night, cards, cards, cards!!!

not interested in meeting new people!

We took a trip to Everglades City for an airboat tour, and only saw pelicans and racoons while on the ride.  We saw many alligators in the roadside canals, though, on the way back while on Alligator Alley!

look at this wraparound porch!
in one of the biggest bouganvilla bushes!

 We toured the Ford and Edison winter estates!  Very cool.  Edison was trying to find a substitute for imported rubber, in case we were cut off from our supply during time of war.  He planted many different plants to find which could produce the substitute, so his estate is covered in plantings.  One banyan tree provides over an acre of shade!!

chickens run loose in Key West!

Also took an Express catamaran trip to Key West!  What and experience that was!  Cathy got to pet many polydactyl (6 toed) cats from Ernest Hemingway's estate on the island.  She was in heaven!