3 January 2016 St. Pete, FL- 20 May 2016 Mt. Pleasant, SC

     It’s been so many months since I posted a blog that there’s no need in rehashing history.  Will include a few pictures and high lights and will begin with more current travels.      

     We said "goodbye" to the Pinellis Trail as we cycled across the peninsula and back home by way of Gulfport which was a glimpse back into the 1940's.  we tossed our lines. The time there flew far too fast. Hope to spend the entire season there next year. Although we love the city, we do begin to get the itch to move on but knowing we'll return lessens the sadness of leaving. 

     During one St. Pete weekend, we were on Treasure Island, and attended the Tampa Bay Cruisers mini-rendezvous. Great conversation and wonderful food. So glad we were included.

     Besides yoga, cycling, swimming, and walking, we were so fortunate to attend numerous concerts from all venues. For us, musical opportunities are usually few and far between.

     We had a lovely cruise after leaving St. Petersburg, arriving mid afternoon at Bradenton Yacht Club where we were welcomed by our friends, Eddie and Fred. Dinner in the dining room and the entire evening was delightful. The pool is 3 giants steps away from our slip so I took a plunge even before coffee. What a way to start the day.

     This is one of our most treasured possessions! Our friend, Rich, did this water color of our boat! When he and Sue presented it to us, I had NO words. First time ever that I've been rendered speechless! We are so humbled by the gift of his talent.

     Our Lake Okeechobee crossing couldn’t have been more ideal.  The lake was like a mill pond. Many people asked if we’d ever been to Moore Haven so that was a planned stop and now we can now answer in the affirmative.  Moore Haven occupies 1 square mile and is a pitifully sad little town. Making the acquaintance of Suzy and Michael made our stop there well worth it. We shared our anniversary dinner with them at a Mexican mom-pop joint ON paper plates and drinking water.  They don't have a liquor license.  A unique experience to say the least.

     As cruisers, we really don't need reminders of the fragility and stupidity of making plans, agendas, itineraries, schedules. Vero Beach was never on our list of intended stops but when the temps were/are low and the winds were/are howling, thanks to a kind-hearted friends, Jim and Betsy, who finagled a slip for us,  they were able to tuck in safely.This is why we choose to say that our cruising plans are cast in very dilute Jello. We can tell you where we'll be or hope to be---but just not when.  Jim and Bets took us to one of their favorite places in Ft. Pierce, Taco Dive.  Love their decor---pallets on the wall and dusty bed springs hanging from the ceiling! Food is very tasty and we highly recommend the Drunken Burrito.  I was more than enough to share.

     A nippy and windy Vero Beach, FL. sunset but despite those 2 factors, we covered some territory on our bikes. Quite a few changes here since we were here last…and we can’t recall when that was.  :-(


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     One evening we had a delightful dinner with Dick and Mela and just as we arrived home, the rain began. The next day the sun was shining beautifully but the wind was blowing like mad. We have 2 bow, 2 stern, and 4 springs and we’re still rocking and rolling. No complaints. We’re safe and a great day to accomplish some long-neglected “wanna do’s”. 

      We're being able to connect with so many of our boating friends but motor homing isn't like this. Out of 6 months we connected not with a single soul. Guess all our friends are water lovers.

     We were able to spend several days with our wonderful friend, Bobbi, on Merritt Island. Love love love going to visit her.  She's a wonderful hostess and a bunch of fun.

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Good morning from NASA Causeway Anchorage. This is a glorious morning!

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     Our stop at Smyrna Yacht Club is always a wonderful few days because we get to spend them with John and Cozette. Saturday was spent appreciating first class music of all genres and remarkable art displayed the length of Canal Street, Riverside Park, and a lengthy portion of Riverside Drive. Our visit concluded (till we meet again) Saturday night with a view of the sunset from their dock, cocktails beside the fire pit and one of Cozette’s masterful dinners. John and Joan, whom we’d not seen in several years, were also there and we lapped up tales of what’s transpired in our lives since last we were together. Thank you, Cozette and John, for a memorable evening.

     Loved my trek down the beach south of Marineland in search of coquina outcroppings, until the skies opened up and there I was in shorts and a tee shirt, wet to the bone, and shivering to the point of chattering teeth.The high point of being here was having dinner with our friends Gary and Vicki at Captain’s BBQ Bait and Tackle. The 4 of us talked a mile a minute just trying to catch up since last we had the opportunity to leisurely visit.This was a great and very enjoyable evening. 

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Brunswick Landing Marina Dock Master, Sherrie, and me.
     Enjoying a wonderful dinner of fillets tender enough to cut with a fork in Brunswick. We're sitting too close to the bar not to be reminded of the truth that alcohol does NOT bring out the best in those who are imbibers. Wonderful date night. You never get too old for romancing.


Cycled length of St. Simon's Island, south to north and back---from The Village to Fort Frederica, returning to The Village.  Beautiful day and perfect weather. Tried my hardest to hurl sticks at those oranges tempting me in so many front yards but no luck. Fear I might've been throwing like a gurl.

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     I made a mad dash into a store and there stands my next patient. Again, TMI, but she told me all about her Crohnes and the trials, tribulations and embarrassing moments that has caused her. Gave her the name and number of a possible solution and bid her farewell. I should keep a diary.

     Along that same vein, Bill and I had a very unusual experience and it was particularly so for him because this kind of thing happens to me ALL the time and when I come home and tell him, he's probably thinking, "Yeah!  Right!".  Strangers invariably approach me to tell me their medical and psychological issues. Don't know what it is about my face that invites total strangers to come up to me and bare their souls. They don’t even know I’m a RN when they start reeling off symptoms and telling me far too much about their physical maladies.

     We were taking a little walk one day adorned with our Santa hats when a woman pulled up beside us in her car and yells out the window, “Merry Christmas”. She was grinning from ear to ear. She sprung from her car, called us ‘darling’ and ‘precious’ and held our hands. She asked if we “live around here” so Bill always launches into that story with the same exuberance and enthusiasm in his voice as the first time he ever told it…so long ago and far way. I thought she might’ve been a little lady we’d met last night at the Christmas service but no.  She introduced herself as ‘Brender” and began to bend our ears about her 3 husbands. One had a gear shift accident to the groin and she regaled us with graphic detail of post op results of his reconstruction. Definitely TMI.

She told us she’s almost 65 and wants a husband so bad. She grabbed onto Bill’s hand and she wants a man who’ll be good to her, love her, and hold her hand. Suggest she try E-Harmony but got the impression that she isn’t computer literate so I asked if she went to church and she does but there’s one 49 y/o man who is alway groping.   She demo’d on me and I’m about to get the heebie jeebies. She said she probably shouldn't let him enter her home anymore…but “he’s so nice and he prays for me evertime he comes over.”
How about singing in the choir? Her church doesn’t have a choir but when last husband left her, she wrote a song and sang it for us as she held our hands. She has a beautiful voice. Would she like to be a volunteer pet walker for the pound or deliver Meals on Wheels or volunteer in her church or go visit with the elderly shut-in’s in nursing homes. Don’t think she was receptive to any of my supposed solutions. We caught her eye because we were holding hands as we walked and she thought that was so sweet. We hugged her goodbye and continued on our way. 30 minutes later she tracked us down, blows the horn as she drives by, and waving to beat the band. Of all my similar experiences, that  one takes the cake! Just an unusually long and puzzling
 encounter with a stranger who just needed to share



     Our interactions never go this long and it’s usually just a medical question. I could be a housekeeper for all they know. In Belk the other day a woman came up to me asking if I shop there often and her face was so contorted like she was in a world of hurt. So then she asked if I knew where the restroom was. THAT I knew so sent her on her werry may and hope she got there quickly enough.

     In Valdosta, we picked up our motor coach and now we're back in Mount Pleasant, SC.  It feels so much like returning to our roots. First day here we were gone for for 12 hours--appointments, coffee with Deidre and Bob, dinner with Betsy and Jim and quite a bit of errand-running. Although we lived in Greenville for so many years as well as retired from there, this is where we feel really at home. Bill and his good buddy Mark reconnected and lots of old car and British car talk has ensued between them with more to come.  We'll be here for a couple of weeks in the KOA Campground. Great location. Publix is near as is great cycling and walking opportunities. Had to go to Apple Store one afternoon and the things we saw twixt here and downtown was amazing.  We were here 5 months ago and it's surprising how much King Street has changed. Many new shops just begging me to wander through their portals. Construction here has gone berserk as is evidenced by a forest of cranes hard at work regardless of the direction that you look.. Charleston/Mt. Pleasant is looking VERY prosperous. After Day 1, we've taken it easy, enjoying our pastoral environment, sitting in the great outdoors doing absolutely nothing, loving the breeze and rustling leaves and that feels good. A long weekend visit to Greenville so Bill could catch up with his Michelin buds and sadly, attend the funeral of one of the nicest men you'd ever hope to meet. Barney will be terribly missed!

Bill and Laura
Monaco Dynasty Motor Coach
KOA Campground
Mt. Pleasant, SC





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