Thursday - January 31

Wow....can't believe it's the last day of January!   It's been a month of sadness losing Mark's Dad (but also a great celebration of his life) and lots of fun in Marathon!    The days are just flying by....
Rained during the night and for a bit this morning - exercised indoors and then we walked 2 miles to
Enterprise to get a rental car and off to Punta Gorda to get our truck.   A pilot friend of Philip's lives there and brought the truck to his home about 10 days ago from Lake Worth.   REALLY appreciate this!   Got the truck, stopped at Pies and Plates (fun kitchen/gift shop and cafe), Mark went to Wal Mart and then we browsed around Fisherman's Village.   Met friends, Roger and Carol at the Isles Yacht Club for delicious lunch and then back to their beautiful condo overlooking the Peace River for more chatter and catching up.
Back to the boat and just settling in this COOL evening.....we are to be down to 42!   WHEW....that's chilly for us, but expecting no sympathy from the folks at home when they are to have 1 degree overnight and a high of 19 tomorrow with SNOW!!!!!

Wednesday - January 30

A sunshiny and breezy day and we are settled in slip B-35 at Salty Sam's Marina on Fort Myers Beach thru February.   Good trip this morning from our mooring in Naples (2.5 hours and 34 miles)     Found out yesterday that on Monday night we were anchored out just a 1/4 mile from friends, Glen and Paula on their boat near Marco Island.   This morning we were out on the gulf together heading to FMB.   Looking forward to some fun times together these next few weeks.
We had planned to give Catrina a good scrubbing when we arrived; however, we soon found out that a pipe had broken and our dock has no water!    So.....we went to Big Game and had lunch (great spot to eat along with Parrot Key next door).     It's Pennsylvania Day at Big Game, so....lots of folks having fun AND our favorite, Frank Turino is entertaining on a floating stage just 30' from Catrina.   We've enjoyed him so much when we're here and today he did an awesome job with his oldies and just a great entertainer!    He even sang a special Elvis song to Mark and Pat!!!
Pat and Frank
The past 2 days Mark has come across 2 guys he knew from in Naples and then today here at Big Game.    Cheryl came to my craft show for many years!    Small world!

Finally around 4:30 the water came back, but still leaky (some boat hit the water line busting the fittings)    Got Catrina scrubbed and good rinsing of all that salt.

Lots of people still at Big Game - either from PA or all around the country out having fun on a pretty Wednesday evening.    Also music coming from the Indian Princess (old time paddle boat for daytime sightseeing or sunset cruises on Wednesdays and Sundays - tonight is "Ladies Black Dress Night").    And also have a big game of sand volleyball going on with the young adults!!  Things are happening here at Salty Sam's!

May get some rain after midnight and then cooler for next several days.

Tuesday - January 29

GREAT day on the water and then shopping, eating, etc......we exercised (couldn't have a better setting...just us and nature, some good music and doing our thing on the back of Catrina with lots of sun and breeze).   Took off for Naples (1.5 hour trip) and enjoyed coming past the lovely BIG homes here in the harbor.

Cruisin' on the old ICW towards Naples
A big ole bird nest on top of a day mark
We are at a mooring ball at the Naples City Docks and after getting Catrina settled, Mark took me by dinghy to the docks and I took off for downtown and the 5th Avenue shops.    What a fun afternoon - perfect weather, awesome shopping fix and just so enjoyed strolling along the way...

Pretty geraniums blooming in downtown Naples
Tomorrow we are off to Fort Myers Beach and Salty Sam Marina - a favorite fun spot!    First thing we'll be doing will be a good scrubbing of Catrina and getting all the salt off.   Ray and Linda had it sooo clean and now after 2 days and 1 more coming up out on the's really gritty!    I could easily find enough salt on the chrome rails to put on rim of my margarita glass!    HA!

Had a great dinner at The Dock at Crayton Cove with Barb and Roger.    Sooo fun to catch up with them and also enjoyed Pina Colada Bread Pudding!


Monday - January 28

We made it.......8.5 hours  and 108 miles after leaving Marathon,  we are now anchored off  Umbrella Island 1.5 miles north of Marco Island.   We left this morning at 6:59 AM and despite windy conditions, waves were relatively mild, especially latter part of the trip.    Along with some dolphins playing in front of us, we dodged a jillion crab pots!    And the sunshine was with us all the way...
Mark grilled burgers for supper and just enjoying this lovely evening - we have the whole anchorage to ourselves
Here's a few photos from today...
Leaving the boats at Boot Key Harbor in Marathon
Cruising past Marco Island

Sunday - January 27

Cloudy all morning and windy.    We had planned to have one final breakfast at Baricci's, but they are closed on Sunday!     Picked up some pastries and fruit at Publix.    Had a very enjoyable afternoon at Jane and Joe's - (Tom and Mary Lou left at 5 AM for home).    We played dominoes outdoors (Mark and I tied) and then moved indoors for euchre with the guys winning 5 out of 7 - aaarrgghhhh!
Went to the Sunset Grill for delicious dinner and what a happening place - "Fun Day on Sunday".    Back to Catrina for cake and ice cream (thanks J and J for sharing).....a double celebration of Jane's birthday yesterday and mine coming up in a few weeks.    Played 3 games of euchre with once again, the guys coming out ahead winning 2 out of 3.

Sunset Grill
Cousins, friends, fellow Sublettians and Birthday Girls

Sad to say good-bye as we've sooo enjoyed our time together these last few weeks.    Tomorrow, the plan is to leave around 6:45 AM and hoping the winds aren't too strong and we have a good, safe trip across Florida Bay,    Not sure we'll have internet tomorrow night (if we make it to the anchorage near Marco Island)?
We're taking lots of memories with us from our stay in Marathon.....phenomenal weather, meeting new friends on the dock, biking and walking, great eating, shopping, trip to Key West, and especially having Allie, Owen, Jane, Joe, Tom and Mary Lou to hang out with!    What a fun time
 we had together!!!

Saturday - January 26

Our day started with a trip to the Stuffed Pig for delicious breakfast; then to Publix and onto see the Birthday Girl (Jane) and treat her to a German Chocolate Cake and Blue Bell homemade
vanilla ice cream!
Back to Catrina for a productive day of......defrosting the fridge and freezer, 2 loads of laundry, washing windows, going for a walk and really enjoying our very nice clean, polished Catrina thanks to Ray and Linda who finished this afternoon! WOW.....she looks awesome!
I had a good chat with my Aunt Dee this afternoon - the plan is for my cousin, Karen to fly back to FL on a private jet with medical personnel on board this Monday.    Home Sweet Home till she's ready to begin the radiation and chemo.    Saying lots of prayers for safe travels, healing and recovery.
We went to 4:00 Mass at San Pablo and met Jane, Joe, Tom and Mary Lou. Then to Key Colony Inn for another delicious dinner and lots of good laughs.
The Birthday Girl
After dinner at Key Colony Inn
Joe, Mary Lou, Tom, Jane, Pat and Mark
Said our good-byes to Tom and Mary Lou as tomorrow they will be on their way back to IL.   Sure enjoyed out time with them  

Friday - January 25

Quiet kind of day with exercise, walked to the post office and Publix, long bike ride to the beach, and then since Joe and Jane kindly lent us their car for a few days....we checked out a few more shops and had treats at Sweet Savannah's.
Late afternoon, the temps start dropping and it's been in the 60's overnight and early morning, but then warms up to around 75.    Perfect!!!   Our Marathon days are winding down as we'll be leaving next week for Marco Island, Naples and onto Fort Myers Beach for February.    Mark checks the weather forecast (marine) for wind speed, direction, etc. daily.    For now, looks like Monday will be the day......but that could change!!    We have 110 miles to go the first day and 80 of those miles are out in open water.

Thursday - January 24

Thinking back to one year ago today when my Dad passed away......sure do miss him and our
 daily phone calls....

Dad, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa Pete
Mark and I took a taxi to 8:00 Mass at San Pablo (great service here in Marathon.....anywhere on the island for $5 no matter how many in the car).    We walked 2.8 miles from church to The Wooden Spoon for wonderful breakfast (1st time there and deeelish).    Then continued on with our walk back to Catrina (another 1.5 miles).   The wind was behind us and with the sun shining brightly, made for a very pleasant walk.
Jane and Joe came over at noon and we played euchre (12 games) till 4:30 with the guys winning 7.   Sure had fun!     Met Jane's brother Tom and wife, Mary Lou for early dinner at Burdine's.    It was such a pretty evening and awesome sunset.    Food was so good, but shortly after we started eating, the noseeums came out and attacked with a vengeance especially poor Jane.   We finished eating, Jane got their fried key lime pie to go and we were outta there!    Our waitress said at this time of day with little or no wind the noseeums really come out!!!!   Yessereeeee.....
Mary Lou, Pat, Jane
Pretty sunset

Wednesday - January 23

Windy, cool, cloudy and temperature slowly creeped up to 69 this morning...exercised, walked and did a bit of cleaning inside Catrina.  Mark polished more of the chrome - that darn salt water makes for never-ending maintenance; however, as much as we prefer the fresh water of the great lakes, you don't get the sea life of frolicking dolphins and our manatee friend who swims by occasionally in and around the boats.     Ray is here waxing the hulls!
My Mom loved flowers and every Christmas I would give her an amaryllis plant which came in a box  to be placed in the sun and watered frequently.  Slowly, but surely it would burst forth with beautiful blooms.    Since Mom has been gone the past 4 Christmases, I would buy one for myself with memories of how much she enjoyed this pretty flower.     Unfortunately, I just never had that much luck, and this year it was very s l o w growing.    By the time we left in late December, it had 2 short stalks.    I gave it to Anne and hoped for the best......ta's what it looks like today with 3 big blooms!    Apparently the "green thumb" gene skipped a generation!

  Grandma would be so proud, Anne!
Rode our bikes this afternoon to post office (mailed Liam's birthday gift), picked up a few things at Publix and a stop at Baricci's for cupcakes and coffee!    Spent the afternoon reading.
Around 3, the sun came out and took off on our bikes for Flamingo Island and up and down all the streets!   
Really appreciate the daily updates that my cousin Barb is sending regarding Karen's condition out in California.   Lots of praying for her healing, peace, strength and comfort!

Tuesday - January 22

Breezy today……after I walked, we got to the task of giving Catrina a good scrubbin’…..something we’ve put off for a while, but it was time to stop playing and “get to work”!    We finished just as Ray and Linda arrived to wax Catrina.    They are professional detailers, divers, and you name it – it will take them 3-4 days to wax.   They are live aboards just a few boats away here in the marina.   Ray is one of the guys who delivered Catrina to Fort Myers Beach last January while we were home for my Dad’s funeral.   
Our mail came today – 2 weeks’ worth with almost 40 sympathy cards and several monetary donations in Mark’s Dad’s memory!    WOW…we are so blessed with wonderful family and friends!
Rode our bikes to Baricci’s for yet another awesome lunch and then onto West Marine for some boat supplies.   
Had leftovers tonight – tasted mighty good the second time around!

Monday - January 21

Got our exercising out of the way, walked and then Joe, Jane, her brother Tom and Mary Lou came aboard Catrina for a little boat outing.     First time I'd been out on the water since last April when we returned from the Bahamas.     Mark wants to be sure everything is in tip top shape before we leave next week.    So..........the six of us enjoyed beautiful warm sunshine and calm seas.
The water was like glass!    
Jane, Joe, Mary Lou and Tom
Mark and I had a leisurely afternoon of not doing much of anything till we walked to Publix to pick up dessert tray for tonight's potluck on the dock.
We've met the nicest people here - other boaters from all over the country and all comparing notes on how COLD it is back home.....Manitoba, Idaho, Rochester, MN, New York, Baltimore, IL, etc.....Soo much good food with bar-b-que chicken as the main course.  
Did face time with the NC bunch tonight - the primary topic of discussion was the boys calling out "baby" names!    What fun....

Sunday - January 20

 Beautiful day in Marathon.....went for a walk, had breakfast and mostly a leisurely day of reading, napping, trip to Publix, doing computer stuff and good chats with Ryan (he's putting in 12-hour days 6 days a week, but sounds good) and Brooke (we had a good chat about Karen....earlier today Mark and I found pictures taken in July 2004 when Brooke and the boys visited Karen in FL.)   Our kids, cousins, etc. are just so sad over this news. 
We still have our "wheels" so drove to Porky's for delicious bar-b-que (ribs for Mark and pulled pork - Carolina style for me) topped off with Fried Key Lime Pie w/raspberry sauce!   Yum...

Great bar-b-que

New variation of key lime pie (fry and top with raspberry sauce)
When we returned to Catrina, did facetime with Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor on our I-pads.    So fun......and shortly after Anne texted that Connor just lost his first tooth!   Yeah Connor, but you are growing up toooo fast!
Hope the tooth fairy is good to you tonight...

Saturday - January 19

Keeping close eye on e-mails coming in today on any Karen updates in CA.    I had a good chat with my Aunt Dee in Daytona Beach.....feel so bad she's having to go thru this scary time and so far away.    The latest is that Karen will return to FL when she is able to fly with her sister, Barb and have her treatment and rehab near home.
Been in touch with my cousins and other family/friends - Karen has a great outpouring of love and support and prayers going her way...
Mark and I had a fun day enjoying our "wheels" thanks to Joe and Jane.    We went to Baricci's for breakfast, drove around checking out several RV parks, stopped at a few shops I had never been to and enjoyed a delicious treat at Sweet Savannah's.    Back to Catrina for a little nap and then to 5:30 Mass at San Pablo followed by another excellent dinner at Sunset Grill.   Mark had never been here after dark (had appetizer last night) and it's so pretty at night on the water with all the tiki torches, lights on all the palm trees, nice music, etc., and the food is excellent!
Had good chats with Anne, Michael and Philip today and hoping to chat with Ryan tomorrow and do face time with the grandsons sometime this weekend - they have Monday off for MLK holiday.

Friday - January 18

This has been an emotional, scary, sad day hearing that my cousin (who just had her 63rd birthday on Tuesday) had surgery for a cancerous brain tumor.   Karen lives in FL but was vacationing in Palm Springs, CA.   Her sister from CO is with her.    The really bizarre thing about this is that another cousin, Clarine  (both from different sides of my family) was diagnosed with this same condition last February.   AND....both Clarine and Karen were bridesmaids in our wedding.  Also....Karen was our "tour guide" in Budapest this past April before we started our European river cruise with Paul and Kathy.   Praying big time for her recovery and hoping we can get together when we return to the east coast in early March.
We had a nice day with cool, cloudy, windy unlike the warm sunny days we've had.   I walked to Gioia's for a manicure.   Elizabeth (who also cut Mark's hair about 10 days ago) is so nice and found out her son is working on his masters' degree at Milliken University - not that far from home.    Elizabeth's family lives in Charleston, SC and she so wants to go visit (18-hour drive from Marathon).   I had told her we would be going there with our boat in March and she begged me to take her along....she promised to cook, clean, give me all the manicures, pedicures, facials, etc. that I could possibly want......whoaaaa....told Mark this just might be too good a deal to pass up!    HA!

Mark did more paperwork and phone call for funeral details for his family and I finished the thank you notes for now.    So grateful for the many donations made in "Dad's" memory.
Jane and Joe are letting us borrow their car for the weekend so we can check out some RV parks - the plan is to bring Daisy down here next January.     We had an appetizer and drink by the water at Sunset Grill - so pretty, but a little nippy.   Then to Lazy Days for yummy sandwiches.   Supposed to warm up tomorrow!   The locals love the cooler temps.
Tomorrow we will scout out where we might want Daisy next year...

Thursday - January 17

Whew....Catrina is rockin' and rollin' tonight here in the slip.     After a morning of heavy rain (such an unusual occurrence), the sun came out, but was really sticky and muggy.    We walked around the golf course, rode our bikes to Publix and had lunch at Baricci's.    Lots of water still standing around especially on the golf course.
Around 7:00 tonight, a front came thru or something?    But the winds really picked up, temps dropped and tomorrow, only a high of 68 coming!
I have some big news to share.....Michael and Brooke are having a baby in July!   We are so excited about this little surprise and what a blessing he or she will be to our family.

Wednesday - January 16

Mark is back on Catrina.    He and Michael (who flew into Chicago yesterday for business) hung out at O’Hare for about 1 1/2 hours!      It was after midnight when Mark got to hotel in Fort Lauderdale and after a good night’s sleep, arrived in Marathon just before noon.
Allie and Owen picked me up at 9:30 and we met Jane and Joe at The Stuffed Pig for delicious breakfast outdoors and then we drove around and went to the beach.    
After "stuffing" ourselves at The Stuffed Pig
Miss Piggy serving up drinks!
Allie and Owen at the beach 
 They brought me back to Catrina and they spent the afternoon browsing around, napping, lying by the pool, etc.   Mark and I caught up on Marathon/Dixon happenings.
We returned his rental car to airport, Allie and Owen picked us up and we met Jane and Joe at Key Colony Inn for their "Early Arrival" is sooo good here and such for $13.99, ++++ awesome entertainment tonight on a baby grand - great tunes!   

 Said our good-byes to Allie and Owen - tomorrow they are off to Fort Myers Beach for a week.   What wonderful friends who sure took good care of me while Mark was gone and oh, the laughs and fun we had!!!!

Tuesday - January 15

Beautiful day in Marathon and started it off by exercising and then Allie and Owen picked me up and we were off to Key West for a fun day - their first time to visit.     We had breakfast at Blue Heaven (sooo good) and then strolled the streets, did some shopping and toured the Little White House (Truman's summer home).   
Buying some key lime juice
Owen looking quite dapper in his new hat
Stopped at the Sunset Grill for very good dinner in a lovely setting on the water with tiki torches, lights around the palm trees, nice music and the sky filled with stars.
Sun just setting at the Sunset Grill
Mark flies into Fort Lauderdale tonight and will arrive back in Marathon tomorrow.   Yeah....

Monday - January 14

Hello from Catrina and good to be back in Marathon where it's sunny and warm!    Very busy days since we left last Thursday, but what a grand celebration for Dad (Harland) and Mark's family.    Sooo many family and friends were with us at the visitation and then the beautiful funeral - wow   With the outstanding choir at St. Pat's, the church decorated in all its Christmas splendor and very special, (sometimes humorous) homily by Father Bernie....made for a very special tribute to a great life well lived.    Mark and I were so appreciative of our friends coming either Friday night or Saturday and thank you all for the very kind words thru facebook, texts, e-mails and phone calls.
 Ryan was not able to make it back, but sure kept in close touch throughout the weekend.     I rode to Chicago with Michael and Philip with Michael flying back to NC and Philip and I getting into FL very late Saturday night.
Mark is with his Mom and other siblings taking care of so many details.    He plans to fly back tomorrow night and arrive in Marathon Wednesday.     Our friends, Owen and Allie had planned to be in Marathon from today thru Thursday, so met them this morning after Philip, Annette and I had breakfast and we were on our way - long trip down here with lots of traffic.
I want to share a sweet little letter that Connor (age 6) wrote to his Great Grandpa and displayed at the visitation.....
Dear Grandpa Harlan,
I no that you died. but I hope that you have a safe time in heaven.   I am sad that you died.
Then a picture of a man, clouds, blue sky, green grass and a cross.....Love, Connor.
This brought tears, plenty of attention and Connor's letter has been posted on several Facebook pages!
After Allie and Owen checked into their hotel, they came to Catrina around 5, we walked around the golf course and then enjoyed a delicious dinner at Lazy Days with lots of chatter! 
Owen and Allie

Thursday - January 10

Good morning from the Key West airport.    Mark and I are still a bit numb that this is really happening…..flying home to bid a final farewell to his Dad    Jane and Joe brought us here this morning and we enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at Blue Heaven.      What a comfort and support they have been – deja’vu all over again as we were together one year ago here in Marathon when my Dad died.
Mark had a long chat with his Mom this morning……these next few days will be so hard for her – losing her best friend after almost 67 years of marriage.     Together they raised 13 children (10 daughters and 3 sons);  38 grandchildren (19 of each) and 26 great grandchildren with 3 more due in 2013 – boys are ahead at this point.    Mom and Dad still lived in their own home; he made daily trips to the coffee shop (sometimes 2x a day) and so enjoyed his buddies as they caught up on the latest.    He was a big fan of Fannie May chocolates and eating in general!   And cards – oh how he loved to play cards (500)!!!
Last night (thru tears) I read many postings on Facebook from Dad’s grandchildren….so many happy memories, photos and personal tidbits about their Grandpa.   He was a man of great faith, life-long farmer who was very family-oriented, loved a good story and had a delightful sense of humor with a very sharp mind
Thank you for your e-mails, texts and phone calls – all so much appreciated.
As I write this…we are almost home (had a delay in Atlanta due to a computer malfunction on our plane) so had to get off the plane and finally on our way on a different plane – we’ll be around 1.5 hours late.   We are staying with Anne, Patrick and the boys tonight – tomorrow, off to Dixon for hugs, tears and memories.
On Saturday we shall honor this great man who would not want a fuss made over him, but with his large, boisterous, fun-loving family, it promises to be a grand celebration for sure….

Wednesday - January 9

Today was a very sad day hearing the news this morning that Mark's Dad died suddenly at the age of 91.    We are still trying to comprehend this.....although he had several health issues, he was the Patriarch of the clan and perhaps "invincible"?     What a wonderful man and I'm so proud to have called him "Dad" for 43 years - the best father-in-law a girl could ever ask for!

May 26, 1921-January 9, 2013
Rest in Peace, Dad
Very grateful tonight that several of Mark's sisters are close by for his Mom....this will be so hard for her - they would've celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on the 15th.
This morning when Mark called his sister Doris (there are 12 living children), she was at the hospital.   Her son and daughter-in-law had just had a baby girl......a new great granddaughter!!!  
 The Circle of Life goes on....
Jane and Joe will take us to Key West in the morning for our flight home.

Tuesday - January 8

Mark and I walked and later we met Jane and Joe at Baricci's for delicious lunch.    Back to Catrina and Jane and I played RummiKube and the guys went for a dinghy ride in Boot Key Harbor and then Sister Creek.
We all played 3 games of dominoes (I won all three - shockerooooo) - fun afternoon and then to Sparky's at Key Colony Marina - supposedly the best happy hour in Marathon.   It was a happening place and enjoyed our sangria's, beers, wings and peel 'n eat shrimp (25 cents each), blue cheese potato chips, conch fritters and cups of gumbo!!!    Mark and I walked the docks and now just chillin'.

The guys out and about for a dinghy ride

Monday - January 7

Up and at'em to exercise, walk, breakfast, etc.    Mark tackled his boat job list and I took off on foot to hit several shops (bought new swimsuit) and run a few errands.    Home for lunch, e-mail stuff, read, etc.    Nice relaxing afternoon.    Both of us rode bikes (3 miles) in late afternoon.
Thinking of and praying for our good friend and neighbor back home, Norma who is in the hospital.....God bless, Norma and hope you're home soon!
Our dock mates invited us to a potluck tonight starting with Happy Hour at 5 followed by delicious fresh-caught fish (today).   They used the electric skillet and then grill to keep the fish warm.....sooo yummy with soo many delicious side dishes.    What fun to meet these folks (all ex-Loopers) from all over the country.   Pleasant evening sitting around chatting under a starry sky and the twinkling lights from a palm tree.

Sunday - January 6

This beautiful sunny Sunday started with a walk and then breakfast.   Jane and Joe picked us up and off we went to Big Pine Key for 11:00 Mass at St. Peter - had a delightful priest and enjoyed all the camaraderie of this very friendly parish.    Then back out in the sunshine to Deer Key where the Key deer reside - only place you'll find them is in the Florida Keys.   One of the world's most endangered animals, they are nature's smallest version of the white-tailed deer.   Due to proximity, the Key deer have lost their fear of humans.

Little Bambi is standing next to a boat trailer - tiny little thing for full grown 
Enjoying apples, carrots, etc. that a friendly homeowner threw out.    I could get close to take this picture and Bambi never moved.
After our search for Key deer (we found 2) + a lazy sleepy alligator, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Springer's.......seafood chopped salad, fish Reuben's, chicken sandwich, fried okra, club sandwich plus yummy rum punch drinks!
Can't beat this delicious fare down here in the Keys (forgot to mention last night's early-bird dinners cost $13.99 each......what a deal)!
Back to Catrina....took a little nap and then long bike ride!   Very enjoyable day!   Here's to a good week for all...

Saturday - January 5

After our exercise routine and walking around the golf course (1.6 miles), the skies really looked threatening and the 20% chance of rain happened.   Had a few little showers off and on and then a beautiful afternoon of warm sunshine.
We rode our bikes to Publix for a few more things - it's a good thing our favorite grocery store is so close, but also.....not such a good thing as we love to go there and browse around!    Michael and Brooke gave me a great basket for my bike for Christmas and it easily snaps off and on to take into the store, and then carry our goodies back to Catrina, along with each of us wearing our backpacks.

All I need is Toto...
We did a couple more rounds with our bikes around the golf course and then Jane and Joe picked us up at 2 and we went to their place for a fun afternoon of dominoes (I won)!   I did a load of laundry and then we took off for Duck Key (very upscale area north of Marathon) and Key Colony where we had a fabulous dinner at the Key Colony Inn.     We were there before 6:00, so enjoyed the early bird special which included wine, many choices of entree and dessert.   It was absolutely excellent.......Jane, Joe and I had the Mahi Mahi and Mark loved his ribs.   The key lime pie tasted like velvet.    Back on Catrina - stuffed with happy memories of a fun day!

Friday - January 4

Steamy out there......I walked first thing and Mark rode his bike to get a haircut.    We met at Publix and rode bikes to Walgreens, K-Mart and back to Publix for some groceries.     Spent some time reading and doing computer stuff and after lunch we walked to the post office and tah dah....found a new ice cream shop (Kandios) and of course, had to check it out!   I had yummy key lime sorbet and Mark enjoyed chocolate and black cherry.   Just as we were leaving, here comes Joe and Jane for a sweet treat!    Walked back to Catrina and enjoying the air this afternoon.   Took another bike ride to Flamingo Island late in the afternoon
Here are the photos I wasn't able to download last night from the beautiful lights around the San Pablo church grounds....

Grotto of Mary
Joe and Jane in front of angels with trumpets
Lights everywhere along the path
Thousands and thousands of lights

Thursday - January 3

We exercised in the morning and then Mark took off for a 5+ mile bike ride to Home Depot, West Marine, Walgreens, etc.     I walked around the golf course and we got more stuff put away.    Spent a quiet afternoon on Catrina and then rode our bikes around the golf course.    Jane and Joe picked us up at 5:15 and we had an early dinner at Castaways - delish!     Joe and I had hogfish and Mark had lion fish!   Jane loved her cobb salad with lots of chicken.    All excellent.    Then to San Pablo's Catholic Church (our church while in Marathon) for their phenomenal display of lights in a religious setting surrounding the church grounds.   It is beautiful in the daytime which we had seen last year, but seeing all the lights at night was really something!

For some reason, I'm not able to post any photos tonight?      Will check into this tomorrow????


Wednesday - January 2

Our January vacation started off on a happy note this morning when we met my cousin and fellow Sublettian, Jane and hubby Joe at Baricci's for breakfast (a favorite spot from last year and same nice guy, Josh waiting on us)!    Then to Publix for some groceries (sad to see some of my favorite shops from last year are gone.....) and back to Catrina for an hour of stowing away our stuff.    Took our rental car back to airport, Jane and Joe picked us up and we went to their duplex - very nice!    Then drove around a bit and back to our stuff - no magical fairy came and put everything in its place while we were gone - ha!    Spent big chunk of day getting organized and tonight we are about 90% done - there's always tomorrow and the next day.....
Around 4:00 we went for a long, leisurely walk around the golf course (across the street).    So good to be back on Catrina with this awesome weather and just looking forward to a fun winter in the sun!

Beautiful bougainvillea here at the marina
Mark put some interesting stats together for our 2012 travels.....we were at home
130 nights and 235 nights away
86 nights on Daisy
36 nights in Hotels
88 nights on Catrina
 25 nights with Family 

Tuesday - January 1

HAPPY NEW YEAR….hope you had a great time (or slept thru it like us) ringing in 2013.     We had a good day of travel on Monday arriving in Florida and welcomed by warm sunshine, gently swaying palm trees and 79 degrees.     I got a pedicure, stopped at Costco and then arrived at P and A's shortly after the kids (Philip picked Annette up from the airport).      It’s great to be back at their lovely home and enjoy their new pool/patio enclosure which they had done this past summer.     After unloading their Christmas and baby shower gifts, we settled in – opened Christmas gifts, played Sequence on the patio and devoured delicious steak/shrimp dinner.    Annette and I walked into the nursery and she squealed with delight – Philip had painted the walls while she was gone – very nice surprise in a soft green color they had picked out. 
So, after a full day of travel for us, long flight for Annette from IL, and teaching for Philip……we were all ready for dreamland by 10:15!    
Annette opening her presents
Slept in this first day of January and then to 10:00 Mass at St. Therese of Lisieux.   Mark and Philip left for West Palm airport to get rental car for us to get to Marathon (Philip will use our truck this month) and we Nomads will do lots of biking and walking.    Philip, Annette and I had breakfast/lunch at Strathmore Bagels, loaded up the car and Mark and I were on our way!    It’s 83 today – hard to believe the snow and cold we left behind in IL
Philip and Annette on their new enclosed lanai
We arrived in Marathon and on Catrina at 4:40 this afternoon and after all the unloading and little bit of putting away (there’s always tomorrow), we walked down to the Sombrero Bar & Grill (very close to Catrina) for drinks and shared delicious beef nachos.    Sooo good to be on the water again….. 
May your 2013 is peaceful, healthy, safe and very happy!!!!