Saturday - March 31

H A P PY   E A S T E R
What a glorious day - we left Blacksburg at 8:17 AM and it was 38 degrees!    Burrr...  
Good trip on this pretty day seeing spring erupting with trees budding out and lots of flowering trees/bushes/flowers.  It was just a short jaunt (2 hours) to Lake James arriving at 10:06 AM.
Philip is working till late tonight but Michael came to help us settle Flo here at Philip and Annette's, her  home for the next 3 weeks.
We all left around 11:15 for Camp Lake James and enjoyed brunch and then the egg hunt.   Fun for all the kiddies and a big crowd. Temperature warmed up to 65 with not a cloud in the sky and no wind!    Alleluia!!!
The Easter Bunny made an appearance, but Maeve only wanted to stay with Mommy and Blair wanted NO part of this bunny!

Annette, Maeve, Luke and Bunny

Patiently waiting....
ready to run and gather eggs

Maeve and basket are rarin' to go...

Luke, Maeve and Blair with Grandpa

Checking out our goodies
Blair, Brooke, Luke, Grandma, Maeve and Annette

We all went to Michael and Brooke's for delicious steak dinner and some of us watched the Loyola vs/ Michigan game.   I was rooting for Loyola but Michael was in a big pool and needed Michigan to win (which they did) and then he needs Villanova to beat Kansas and then Villanova to win the tournament and he would be getting some big $$$.    So he is very happy, but another game coming up, so one game at a time!
Wishing you and yours a beautiful Easter Sunday....


Friday - March 30

Woke up to rain this morning....wasn't expecting that and forecast was  it to continue till 11 AM in Scottsboro.    But around 9:30, it stopped and we got Flo ready to roll!     The rain was gone but cloudy skies for most of the day.    We traveled 240 miles with me driving around 30.   
We stopped in Waynesboro, GA at Wal Mart for a few things.    Had lunch at Subway (tuna sandwich) in Keysville, SC and on our way again.    The azaleas were blooming and sooo beautiful.    Also some dogwood and flowering crab.    Spring is in the air, although it was in the
low 60's and windy!
Passing by in a flash, so this wasn't the best 

At a rest stop in South Carolina
Like yesterday we took the rural roads for the most part, but did some time on I-20, I-85 and I-26.
The sun did peek out a little around 2:30
We arrived at The Cherokee Campground in Blacksburg, SC at 4:00.   
Maeve loves her finger puppets and uses her chunky cheeks to store them!!!

Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor are at the Braves vs. Phillies game tonight in Atlanta.
 Two years ago today Mark's Mother died and so many memories of spending Easter weekends on the farm enjoying all that wonderful home-cooked food, Easter egg hunts with our kids and their cousins and just the best times being together.
Mom/Grandma C is so missed.

Tuesday-Thursday, March 27-29

We have been busy nomads and tonight we are settled at Parkwood RV Park and Cottages in Statesboro, Georgia.   We were here New Year's Day, 2016.   It was a long day of travel (left Lakeland at 8:15) but Flo did great and I even managed to drive 80 miles this afternoon and give Mark a break as he's been working that hand pretty good lately!   Here's what's been happening the past few days...
Tuesday - today is the 2nd annual Cousins' Gathering in Lakeland.  My Aunt Dee from Daytona Beach and her daughter Barb, visiting from Grand Junction, Colorado arrived at 10:30.   They wanted to see Flo and we had a nice visit before we all left for Grillsmith at the mall where we met the rest of the kin. 
It was a fun lunch (12) of us with Aunt Dee and cousin Barb, my brothers and wives, cousin Denny and Deb from Punta Gorda, cousin Dave and Karen from Odessa, Mark and I.    Lunch was delicious and lots of yakking going on...
Mark, Pat, Barb, Ron, Vicki, Linda, Bob, Deb, Denny, Dave, Karen, Aunt Dee

After lunch we went to Ron and Vicki's home and continued the visiting...

Aunt Dee (89 years young), Karen, Dave (son) and Barb (daughter)

The cousins
Ron, Pat, Aunt Dee, Barb, Dave, Bob and Denny

Deb and Denny

The party broke up around 4....Mark and I stayed on and enjoyed eating (again) and more chatter.

Wednesday - Mark and I were up early to get Flo hooked up to truck.    We met Bob outside their park entrance and I went to their home while Mark took Flo to Dover (Tampa RV Center) for a few little maintenance issues.   Bob picked him up later.    Today is Vicki's birthday.    Vicki, Linda, friend and neighbor Sue came over for mimosas, apple fritters/cinnamon rolls.  

Linda and I went shopping later and then met Mark and Bob back home and we all went to Parksdale for strawberry shortcake/ice cream/whip cream
....what a feast!!!

Linda and Bob with our delicious treats!

At night 12 of us went to Bonefish Grill for wonderful dinner and celebrated Vicki's birthday!
Birthday girl and Ron

Marty, Sue, Pat, Mark, Bob, Dan, Ken, Denny, Ron, Vicki, Linda, Sue
Great evening topped off with Chocolate Lava Cake!

Said our good byes and on back to RV park....we'll see Bob and Linda in May but not sure
 about Ron and Vicki!

Thursday - we drove a total of 360 miles (further than we had planned)....not a lot of RV parks
in the Georgia boonies.    But that means less to travel tomorrow.   The highlight of today was having lunch with Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor at Cracker Barrel in Ormond Beach.    So good to see them all and glad they are enjoying their spring break!

Sweet grandsons (Connor and Liam) and a cookie treat from friends John and Beth

Liam, Anne, Patrick, Connor meeting Flo for first time!

Sweet Maeve is all decked out for whatever the weather may bring!
Can't wait to see the NC kiddies!    How lucky for us to see all 8 in 2 days time!

Ryan has been in Taipei and now Kazakhstan on his 'round the world trip!


Monday - March 26

Cloudy and cool morning.....we went to 8:15 Mass at St. Francis and then to Publix.    Home to get Flo ready to roll down the road!
Mark really makes do with one hand and all the work involved with getting hoses, electrical cords, etc., etc. put away + all that goes with hooking Flo's hitch to truck!   I am his "left-hand" these days but he amazes me at all he's been doing!    Not sure Dr. Fran would approve?
So, we were finally on the road at 11:30; stopped along the way for lunch on Flo in Wauchula and arrived at Sanlan RV Park at 2:15.  
It is crazy windy and very little sunshine today, but warm!    We washed Flo (1st time) and truck Mark used hose and I did the scrubbing with long soft-brush!
Sun came out late afternoon and we were off to meet Ron, Vicki, Bob and Linda at Harry's Seafood Bar and Grill downtown.     This is New Orleans inspired fare and the food is always excellent!
Good to be together again and looking forward to hanging out the next 2 days!
Little Miss Curly Q 

Sunday - March 25

Beautiful Palm Sunday....went to 9:30 Mass with Father Anthony presiding at St. Francis Xavier.    Back home to start in on getting things organized, car cleaned out and filled up the truck.  A lot of this stuff will go back into storage when we return to Bloomington in May.     
We talked to Ryan early today as he was at the airport waiting for his big trip 'round the world.    What a trip.......praying for his safety and fellow travelers.
We "HOPE" the 3rd time is the charm as we are changing plans again for seeing the cherry blossoms.    The newest prediction is now April 8-12th as there is no real end in sight for the cold temps (especially at night).    We are now thinking April 10th and return the 12th.
I did a load of laundry in the afternoon and we got more stuff in the truck organized.    After one more bike ride (for me) we loaded up our bikes in back of truck and took them to Goodwill.    We've so enjoyed them, but they re really starting to show wear 'n tear with lots of rust from the salt water.    We will use our fold-up bikes we keep on Catrina for next year.
Then we were off to the airport to return rental car (Mark) and I drive the truck.    Stopped at Culvers for an ice cream treat before returning to Flo.
Mark is really sufficient (maybe too much so?) using just one hand.....
we moved a bunch of stuff around today!
Bye bye  bikes
thanks for a lot of good rides

Bye bye car....
enjoyed driving this Toyota Rav 4 for past 6 weeks 
Liam and Connor enjoying the Atlantic

That's one big coconut full of root beer!
Connor loves his root beer - so does Grandma!
Tomorrow we are off to Lakeland.....
Have a great week!

Saturday - March 24

HaPpY BiRtHdAy
Brady is 12 today!   This boy just oozes sweetness and so proud of all his accomplishments in the classroom, on the basketball court, soccer field and golf course!!!

Mark went to breakfast at the clubhouse - French Toast, sausage and hash browns.  

Beth and John came at 11 - we are enlisting John's expertise in supervising the work on our lot
 while we're gone.    #102 will be in good hands.

After the guys went over all the nitty gritty, we went to The Mix (a new "favorite" in FM).    Great lunch as always (Mark and John are BLT connoisseurs and The Mix makes an awesome one)  and so enjoyed visiting with these dear friends.

John and Beth

They brought us back to Flo and we said our good byes....not sure when we'll be back (late spring?...summer.?...November for sure)!!!

It has been such a perfect weather day and so hard to believe what the folks in the Midwest and East are dealing with....Michel and Drew are home safe 'n sound from the Iowa City snowstorm!   Anne and family are in FL....let their "fun in the sun" begin!

 We met some really nice "neighbors" in recent to visit and chat about who is doing or has done what with their lots.

Our landscaper, Kevin is from NC and went to college at Lenoir Rhyne (Drew and Davis take classes there) and lived in Hickory for a while (close to where they live).

Also met Jayne and Shawn from Coral Springs, FL.   They are both still working but come to the park on weekends.     Jayne has been to Bloomington frequently with her IT job visiting State Farm.   

So excited that Loyola University in Chicago is in the Final Four of the NCAA.    They are in the Missouri Valley Conference which Illinois State belongs to.     
And one of their players is a CCHS graduate!!!


Friday - March 23

What a lovely day.....we are so spoiled and blessed down here in Florida with day-after-day of warm sunshine!    And so much of the country is dealing with floods, snowstorms, tornadoes, etc.
Anne, Patrick, Liam and Connor are on their way to Florida.....and just in time as 3-5" of snow is coming their way back in Bloomington tonight and tomorrow.
Michael and Drew are in Iowa City visiting the U of Iowa - snow coming their way, too.
We had a leisurely day catching up on our "to-do" list and got the laundry all done this afternoon.
We went to The Hut for supper - we each had a cold glass of Chardonnay and the shrimp dinners - sooo good!
A big exodus of RV's is leaving daily - folks are heading back north!
Walked when we got home - gorgeous evening!

Thursday - March 22

Chilly this morning when we went to 8:15 Mass (50).    At 7:15, the H2O folks were here ready to start on our irrigation system.  
Mark saw Stephanie, (physicians assistant) and she said hand is doing well.    He will continue to wear the splint for at least 6 more weeks and not do any serious lifting for 12 weeks and will take 1 (ONE) year till he's totally "up to snuff"!
He has an appointment with Dr. Novotny (my orthopedic doctor in Bloomington) on May 1st and then another follow-up 4 weeks later.
Orthopedic Specialists is a huge facility (11 doctors and 11 PA's).    We asked Stephanie how many patients they see in a day's time.....the doctors who work there full-time average 80 (EIGHTY) patients per day per doctor and those who work 1/2 days, see around 25 per morning or afternoon.    Unbelievable!!!    When Mark filled out the initial paper work, he had to give 2 addresses
 (Florida and "Northern").
Dennis and Jamie around the corner stopped in for a nice visit.     Mark and Dennis used to work together and they bought their lot in January.
We went to The Mix Grill for lunch - love this place and I had a unique sandwich (cheeseburger wrap).    Ground beef, bacon, cheese, onions, chopped tomato, lettuce with a delicious Russian dressing on a Spinach wrap.).    It was excellent!
Then we drove downtown and met with the Lee County Permit and Zoning Board to see what is all involved for what we plan to put on our lot......shed, chickee hut, gazebo???).
Came on home and it was already almost 4:00.   Boy, this day got away from us, but overall,
a good one!
We went for a walk around the park checking out lots and what people have added, etc.!   
  Too many choices!

Wednesday - March 21

Sunny and breezy and low 70's.    And seeing this picture pop up on Facebook taken 3 years ago in
 El Centro and start of Ryan's year as #6, was a nice start to the day!

Corrie Mays, Nate Barton, Matt Suyderhoud, Ryan, Mom, Dad,
 Tom Frosch, Andy Talbot, Mark Tedrow, Jeff Kuss
Sure miss these Angels....RIP Jeff

Wishing the 2018 team a fun, safe season!

Mark got a haircut in the morning.   I got some things done on Flo and we braved the very strong winds.....25 mph with gusts 30-35 mph. 

It's been a very busy February and March and since we arrived at Cypress Trail on February 1, we have been with over 35 family/friends (several of them more than once)!    That's a lot of fun AND eating!    So today until next Monday (except for Saturday) when we leave, we are going to enjoy some "down" time - just us and vowing to:

Exercise MORE

I got a haircut at 4:15 (Jewel had a cancellation)!     But traffic at that hour was heavy!   Ugh..
We were going to go for our nightly walk after supper, but still so crazy windy and really cooling down, so....took a short walk and called it good!

They are really working away on the newest and final phase here at Cypress Trail.   After clearing away lots of trees and hauling away truckloads of dirt, they are smoothing things out for the 57 new sites, streets, etc., to be completed by fall.

If Mark had not had his accident and the weather had stayed warm in DC for the blossoms to come out, we would've been there tonight......5" of fresh snow on Terraphobic today!
  Ugh....just wasn't meant to be!

Total sweetness
"taming the curls"

Tuesday - March 20

H A P P Y   S P R I N G

Very windy today, but what fun we had with Allie and Owen.....they picked us up at 9:30 and we visited for a bit and then we showed them our clubhouse and pool and off to Manatee Park.  

Allie and Owen on a little tour of Cypress Trail

  We were very pleased to see so many manatees today....some really big ones, too.  

Owen and Allie watching a video all about manatees

One of many we saw

Left the park and drove downtown and had delicious lunch at Cabos Cantina - excellent "gold" margaritas and seafood enchiladas.   This place has the best Mexican fare...

 Owen, Allie, Pat, Mark

Tomorrow we had planned to fly to DC to see Ryan and the cherry blossoms.    They are predicting 4-6" of snow, so thankful that it wasn't meant to be this week.....Mark needs an x-ray, weather will be awful and those trees are not budding out any time soon!

Luke and Maeve went to the Science Center in Hickory today.
They are checking out "Pedro", a 60-year old tortoise

Weather was certainly in the news again today. terrible damage in Alabama and some nasty heavy storms in the Midwest and Florida, flooding in the west and another big nor'easter coming again to the east coast.

  Strong winds, heavy rain and lightening for us late this afternoon.


Monday - March 19

Happy "Sweet 16"  Davis
Our Lego Master celebrates today!
How is this possible......March 19, 2002 we welcomed our 2nd grandson and here we are 16 years later - with our smart, athletic, handsome, funny, sweet,
favorite red head
Foggy this morning when we left for 8:15 Mass, but afterwards, nice 'n sunny 'n warm!     We ran some errands, picked up a few groceries at Publix and then on home.   Mark had some projects on Flo
which I helped him with - a bit reluctantly as we were using some tools - no electric drill, though!
Allie and Owen arrived at 2 and we showed them around Flo and visited.    They left to check into their hotel and then we picked them up at 3:45 for trip to Cape Coral and the Gatlin show.    This was our first time to see them at Overtime Pizzeria Pub - great food, packed house and as always, so enjoyed the show!
Owen and Allie

Crab nachos

 Afterwards we went downtown to the Skybar for drinks (chocolate/raspberry martinis for Allie and me - "Guilty Pleasures" and Grand Marnier for the guys).   It was just a perfect evening to sit on the 4th floor of the Firestone Grill overlooking the Caloosahatchee River with the fountains, boats, etc.

At the Skybar

Pat and Allie overlooking the Caloosahatchee River
We talked to the birthday boy on our way home.....great ending to a great day!
Our niece Laura and Mike welcomed their 3rd child yesterday...

Congrats to their family
Riley and MacKenzie with their new brother, Paxton Michael
Mark's parents had 13 children (10 girls and 3 boys); 38 grandchildren (19 boys and 19 girls) and if I'm counting correctly, Paxton is the 43rd great grandchild with 2 more coming in 2018 (so far)

Sunday - March 18

Sunny, warm, breezy.....perfect Sunday!    We went to 11:00 Mass at St. Francis, ran a few errands and then picked up friends, Earl and Rhea from Bloomington at The Fairfield Inn.     They've been vacationing with their daughter and son and spouses near Sanibel this past week and now in Fort Myers a few days.     We had such a nice visit and lunch at Bahama Breeze - delicious mojitos, coconut shrimp and lobster/shrimp quesadillas.   After lunch we went to Sun Harvest - neat gifts, gourmet foods, fresh OJ and lots of other goodies!
Rhea and Earl
Back to Flo around 4ish.   I read and then rode my bike around the park.   
"Maeve the Builder" with her favorite hat
Connor's biography project - Derek Jeter and his world series trophy
Have a great week.....our last here in Fort Myers!

St. Patrick's Day - 2018

What a spectacular day for the "wearin' of the green"!   
  Clear blue skies, 80's and gentle breeze.
After breakfast we walked down our street for the start of the parade and here are some of the fun entries:

Our own Tice Fire Department led the big parade 

Decorative cars

and golf carts

 pulling the kiddies

and doggies

and all decked out in their finery

We had a fun afternoon - ran some errands and then arrived at River Bend which is the new home for Mike and Judy from Michigan.    We were with them in January at Water's Edge in Okeechobee and Judy had 2 very serious surgeries.    She is doing great now and they have bought a lot in River Bend (between LaBelle and Fort Myers).    Their lot and the park are beautiful!!!

So good to see them and catch up!    They have sold their home in MI, too, so more nomad friends!

Mike and Judy

Brady's birthday is a week away but he is celebrating this weekend with friends at Lake James
5 men in the hot tub

The kiddies enjoying a nice day outdoors

Meanwhile out in Jackson Hole...

3 rosy-cheeked guys after some time on the slopes

Ryan reports no injuries, great skiing and fun week!!!