Happy New Year 2014

After Christmas Eve and Day at Jekyll Island with friends, Betsy and Jim, we cruised on to St. Augustine where we had a short visit at A1A Alehouse with Kelly and her daughter who was home from college.  Even though it was not much more than a cameo appearance, it was wonderful to see them and know that all's well in their world.

Museum entry St. Augustine, FL

Dome Flagler College

A little garden entry from a St. Augustine side street

No shoes on board, please

Delightful NYE 2013 with Barbara and Barry and Peter and Nancy
Palm Coast, FL

New Years Eve, we spent a leisurely evening in the Palm Coast home of Barb and Barry and new Palm Coast transplants from Maryland, Peter and Nancy. We 3 couples “buddy boated” to the Bahamas in 2011 so for purposes of reminiscing and entertainment, Barry had all of our slides scrolling on their TV during the evening. Barb planned a fondue evening beginning with cheese fondue for Happy Hour; then beef fondue served with delectable sauces; and finishing with pretzels, apples, strawberries and marshmallows swirled in chocolate fondue. This was a slow and relaxing meal which encouraged thoughtful conversation and also assisted in keeping our eyes open till the ball dropped in Times Square.

New Year's Day we continued our trek south to New Smyrna Beach where our sweet friends, John and Cozette, “held” their traditional Southern New Year's Day dinner until that evening when we arrived so that we could have all the fabled fortune that black-eyed peas,
collards, and pork provides to those who partake of that on the first day of the new year.

Bill, Cozette, John, and Carina
Little's Drug Store
New Smyrna Beach, FL

We love their little town which is very small but has a wonderful museum of the area's history for such a wee village and an art gallery with studios where we were able to watch the paper sculptures, painters, crafters, ply their trade. In their downtown is a drugstore from out of the 1950's with stools, booths, and “fountain service” if you are from that era and can recall that term. In the afternoons they discount ice cream and milkshakes for “Senior Happy Hour”. 
Carina and Lorelei, their precious little granddaughters from Cocoa, came to visit and as we strolled the little shops, I caught our reflection in a window—we 3 were wearing pink so thought it called for a Kodak moment. Carina, the 8 year old, is a whiz! Being with her was like visiting with an adult. In the gallery she explained each of the techniques of the artists and would often ask me to “stand back” and asked, “what do you see in that abstract painting?” She absolutely amazed me with the depth and breadth of her knowledge.

Visiting our friend, Bobbi, on Merritt Island, is always a treat. Couldn't resist a walk through the park on a sunny 73 degree day. Ibis are fascinating and the fountain looked so refreshing. When I'm with Bobbi I wish I were a sponge to soak up just an iota of what she knows. She and Bill can talk about all things mechanical and nautical and they both know what the other is talking about.

The Auburn-Florida game was quite stimulating to watch—I'm a rabid Auburn fan and Bobbi's a FL alum. Bill was on the fence so the 3 of us had a great evening pretending we were in the stands. My brother and his son WERE there! It's OK that Bobbi's team won. The game was very exciting and well-played.
For all our friends above the frost line!

Bill exhibited expert boat handling as we came into Cocoa Village Marina with the wind howling.  The dock master and his assistants knew exactly what to do and I fortunately didn't have to issue any orders.  Too bad they all aren't that excellent.  This is a farewell shot but we did enjoy Ryan's Pizza.  Can never pass that up.

Now we're in sweet little Vero Beach

Continuing south to North Palm where we found great cycling/running/walking paths.

Now this weather's more like it!

I'd say this is some serious shrink-wrap at Rybovich in West Palm

Just north of DelRay we saw this sad sight

You can see their soaked belongings on the dock

Boca Raton Resort

Quite a lovely spot.  I was Queen Laura for a day there couple years ago.  Definitely something addictive.

Yay!  Finally in Ft. Lauderdale on the New River wall in our usual spot.  We do so love this place.  Great cycling/walking/running/PEOPLE WATCHING!

Had appointment with Apple Genius.  There's something about the smell of that store that keeps me coming back...and back....

Sun in my eyes and my driver turned corner too fast--explanation for tops of sails being severed.

Night time offers different flavor

Time to bid farewell to Ft. Lauderdale and we continue south.

These are four 350 HP engines on back of this small boat.  Do you think he'd pop a wheelie if he suddenly went full throttle??? 
At looooong last we finally reached our winter destination of Marathon yesterday, Saturday, 1/26.  Since early October we've been trying to get here but lots of bumps in the road like weather and mechanical issues.  Never give up!!!  We felt like we had come home with all of our buddies on the dock to greet us but can you believe---even though they knew were were coming, there was NO champagne, NO dancing girls, NO marching band, and NO balloons!  Since we missed last winter by being sequestered in the tundra of SC, we haven't seen some of these guys for almost two years so it really was a homecoming and a celebration.

Bill and Laura Bender
Aboard Kindred Spirit III
Boatman's Sombrero Marina
Marathon, FL


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