Thursday - February 28

Beautiful day....Bob and Linda came for their annual visit (Ron and Vicki are not coming this year as Vicki is still recovering from her knee replacement).    Linda and I took off hitting our favorite shops, lunch at Skillets, more shopping and then on back to Flo. 

Mark and Bob had a leisurely day in their reclining lounge chairs with i-pads, etc., and lunch at The Mix.    We changed clothes and off to pick up Jim and Lydia.    Went to the Prawnbroker (in very heavy traffic) and met Denny (cousin) and Deb from Punta Gorda.    The 8 of us had a great visit and dinner.
Jim, Bob, Linda, Lydia, Pat, Deb, Denny, Mark

Had trouble getting back into the park as we forgot to take our key code card.    Luckily we were able to follow another car (Airstream owners) thru the gate!

Nighty night to all....been a very fun day!

 Luke enjoying his I-pad on the tractor (matching orange)
Love her pose

Bye bye to February - March is going to come in like a lamb (at least in Fort Myers)!!!

Wednesday - February 27

A nice fresh morning after all the rain....breezy in the afternoon with more rain predicted.     I went to yoga and then donated blood.    In all the years I've donated blood, never left with a pretty little bow and free T-shirt!

Nice arm decor

Didn't do too much this afternoon -  read and set some dates for May when we are back in IL.   Mark got some jobs done in the she shed with his tools and job list.

We walked a bit in the park and then hunkered down.

Just a very light shower tonight but that's okay as lots of water standing in the park after last night's deluge.

My brother Bob and Linda are coming tomorrow till Saturday so looking forward to some good shopping, visiting and of course, more eating!

Tuesday - February 26

Sunny and warm......we exercised and then Mark took off to get a haircut and ran several errands.   I made some waves on Flo - tidying up, cleaning and organizing things here and in the she shed.     So nice to have the extra space.    So much on-the-go and things had been a bit neglected!

Made BLT's for lunch using the tomato and fresh lettuce we bought at Buckingham Farms the other day - absolutely delicious!!!

Good day to accomplish book work, too, catching up on this 'n that....the rain started around 4:10 and really heavy at times.

  Several weeks ago Mark made a reservation at CIBO (a favorite Italian place of ours) to celebrate my birthday (6 days ago).    Tonight we were off to dinner and lots of rain along the way.    But once again, we enjoyed a fabulous dinner (I had chicken/pepperoni ravioli in a vodka sauce) - absolutely divine!    And Mark had hog cheeks - it was one of their specials and Wally, our waiter went on and on how tender and delicious it was.    So, Mark, the former farm boy, tried it and another winner!    Certainly not something you see on a menu!!!    Topped it all off with tiramisu - excellent!    CIBO was packed and lots of framed awards on the walls from the newspaper and other food critics.    Interesting to read that Tony Bennett came to Fort Myers on February 13, 2018 and ate at CIBO. 


It was raining very hard when we came out of the restaurant and on the way home, eased up a bit.   Glad to be in and now rain is coming harder again.....

Nighty night!

Sunday-Monday, February 24-25

We are back on Flo after a quick trip out of town......with good friends and of course, more good eating!

Sunday - went to 9:30 Mass at St. Francis and afterwards had breakfast in the parish hall put on by the Knights of Columbus.    Scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, biscuits and grits.    We met 2 snowbird couples - one from Rockford and one from Peoria.    Small world.

On home to change clothes, pack up our stuff and left for North Port around 1:30.     Staying with Allie and Owen at their lovely condo - good visiting over wine in the afternoon and then off to a wonderful Italian dinner at Donato's in Port Charlotte.     A very neat atmosphere like being in a Broadway theater with dressing rooms, sparkly lights on the ceiling, hearing the subways, too.   And of course, delicious meals.    Back to Allie and Owen's and watched the Oscars for a little bit and off to bed. 

Donato's with Allie and Owen
All of us doing what we love to do!!!   EAT...

Monday - Exciting to wake up and hear that "Green Book" was the big winner for Best Picture last night.    The only movie we've seen in years and it was excellent!!!

 Much cooler today after all the heat - felt so good and more clouds, too.    Allie had a nice breakfast of yummy blueberry coffee cake, fresh fruit and assorted rugelach!    Their little honorary grandddaughter, Lydia and her Grandma Irma stopped by - nice to meet them as we've heard so much about Lydia and her brothers.    Said our good byes but happy to know we'll be together in Fort Myers later in March.     Great visit always with plenty of chatter.

Lydia (will be 2 same day as Luke turns 6 - April 8th)

At 10 we were off to Bob and Carol's in Venice.    We've been getting together with them in Florida since 2008 but go way back before that to our Racine boating days.     Kathy and Paul joined us (they had been to Sarasota visiting friends).    Unfortunately, a glitch with Mark and Barbara who were coming from Anna Maria Island but had "tomorrow" on their calendar instead of today.....

We had a wonderful lunch at Fin's - excellent food and beautiful views.    Another fun outing and then it was time for good bye again.     I won't see Kathy till May and God willing, Bob and Carol, next February.    Not sure about Paul?

Bob, Mark, Paul 
Kathy, Pat, Carol 
Pretty view from our table

  We drove downtown so Mark could mail a package at the post office and I browsed a few shops on Venice Avenue.    Lots of people out and about and the major construction is coming down the homestretch.    The road is done and now just finishing up the plantings.

Back to Flo around 3:15, unpacked and just chilled a bit with nothing on for the rest of the day!   But sure was a nice little getaway!!!

After all the heat from last week, I actually put on a jacket to walk in the park late afternoon!    Cooler temps feel really good.    Italian leftovers for supper - so good 2nd time around, too!

Saturday - February 23

Whew....another hot one - yesterday's high was 89!    Some cooler temps coming next week.

We exercised, did some laundry and then picked up Diana and Tom from their park at Orange Harbor.    We had met them in Okeechobee and took them to church each Sunday as they only have their electric bikes.    They have been getting lots of exercise for sure!

 We then went to Buckingham Farms - this place has turned into one of our very favorites!    Another big crowd and awesome lunch.    They really enjoyed it all and picked up some fresh produce and other items from the country store.

Diana and Tom

These friends are from Minnesota and leaving Fort Myers Friday for a month in Cedar Key and then to Texas eventually returning home (WHEN the weather improves - been a horrific winter up there as in so many parts of the country).    They are wintering in the southwest next year, so probably won't see them till 2021.   A fun afternoon spent visiting on the patio after we showed them around the park and then dessert before we took them home.

Enjoyed a quiet Saturday night with our leftovers cause tomorrow we are off again for a little overnight trip......North Port to visit Allie and Owen and then to Venice on Monday for lunch with boating friends from years ago in Racine.    So, taking another little blog break.

Wednesday-Friday, February 20-22

Wednesday - We are back home after a very memorable birthday celebration in Odessa with 7 cousins, spouses and Aunt Dee.    We left Cypress Trail at 7:40 AM with Flo (so nice to not have to pack - just take our home and on our way), stopped at Starbucks in Tampa for my free birthday latte and onto Dave and Karen's where we parked Flo in their driveway.    The rest of the kin arrived and the party began.....the cousins came from far and near......Dick (British Columbia); Barb (CA), Carol (St. Louis), Denny (Punta Gorda); Ron and Bob (Lakeland), me (Fort Myers) and Aunt Dee (Daytona Beach).
The birthday cousins.....Bob, Pat, Dave (all born February 20th) with Aunt Dee
Delicious cake

 Dick, Dave, Barb, Carol, Aunt Dee, Pat, Denny, Bob, Ron

The siblings...

Dick, Carol, Denny 
Bob, Pat, Ron 
Dave, Aunt Dee, Barb (missing Karen who passed away 3 years ago)

Dave and Karen (Dave's sister was Karen and his wife is Karen) have a beautiful home in the country and great for entertaining - lots of good food, drinks and visiting!!!    Spent the afternoon taking lots of pics and catching up.    Around 6 PM, the party started to break up and most left for home.    Aunt Dee, Barb, Chris, Mark and I stayed over.    Two of Dave and Karen's kids and grandkids joined us in the evening.   Dave built a nice bonfire and we sat outdoors on this lovely evening under the stars enjoying drinks and more stories.  Finally, nighty night - I'm a tired, but happy birthday girl!

Thursday - After a good night's sleep we enjoyed a nice breakfast of bagels, banana nut bread and fresh fruit.    We sat by the pool on this gorgeous morning yakkin away....

Cheers to Aunt Dee (90) with our mimosas

Around 12:30 we all went to "Get Hooked" in Hudson for some good grouper and grouper Reubens.   And then it was time to say good bye to Aunt Dee, Barb and Chris who were headed back to Daytona Beach.    Barb and Chris will return to CA this weekend.

Dave, Karen, Barb, Aunt Dee, Chris

We rode back with Dave and Karen.    All of us took a nap!!!    Then wine by the pool and later snacks and more chatter.....great ending to this birthday celebration!      Said our good byes and "big" thanks as we plan to leave early in the morning.

Dave and Karen.....GREAT hosts!!!

Friday - we pulled out of Karen and Dave's driveway at 6:52 AM    Had some back-up of traffic around Tampa but overall, not too bad.   Stopped in Bradenton for my free birthday treat at Panera and then a Publix stop closer to home.    Flo was parked back in her home at 11:45.

Tonight we had our neighbors, John and Nancy from Michigan over for drinks on the patio and then went to their 5th wheel which is gorgeous and spacious.    Really fun to be with them and compare notes on families, travels, etc.    They are just getting into the RV lifestyle and will be moving on March 3rd.

John, Nancy, and sweet Charlotte

Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday - February 19

H A P P Y   B I R T H D A Y,    P A T R I C K
Best wishes to our favorite son-in-law doing what he loves best 
"singing his heart out and entertaining others"

Our day started off saying good bye to Bill and Charmaine who left after spending about 7 weeks here.    We will miss these good friends, neighbors and hanging out at happy hour!

Charmaine Bill and Ty
Safe travels as they head across the southwest on up the west coast
Hope to see them in October.

It was a very fun day for we nomads - had a lot owners meeting (still going on when we left) and then downtown and met our friends, Paul, Kathy, Mike and Claire at Cabos Cantina for delicious lunch (celebrating my birthday).    Great margaritas and food.    We girls stopped at Java House for a few to-go treats while the guys drove to Cypress Trail.    The girls joined them, sat on the patio and visited and then went for a walk in the park visiting Jamie, Dennis, Jim and Lydia.   We showed them our clubhouse and then back for more visiting and yummy desserts!    What a fun afternoon with these dear friends!!!
Thank you for making the "day before my birthday" so special!!!

 Claire, Kathy, Mike, Paul, Mark, Pat
 Great desserts with special friends
 Paul and Kathy
Mike and Claire

Tomorrow we are taking Flo on a little trip up north to Odessa (north of Tampa) and spending a few days with my cousin Dave and Karen.   We'll be back Friday.   Tomorrow will be the 3rd annual "cousin"  gathering along with my 90-year old Aunt Dee coming from Daytona Beach.

Tuesday night euchre was fun - some of the regulars and new folks!

Taking a few days off from the blog - thinking of all the folks gearing up for yet another winter storm advisory.   We are having hot, sunny days here....may break some records?

Monday - February 18

We exercised, had breakfast and then left around 9:30 for Gulf Coast Town Center and wine replenishing at Costco.     Met friends, Bob and Carol from Pennsylvania for lunch.    They are down here for a week (staying with their daughter in Weston).    Bob and Carol's son-in-law, Tom Frosch was Ryan's commanding officer of the Blue Angels.    And now Tom and Ryan are with FedEx.

We had lunch at the Capri Fish House on the Isle of Capri......good food and popular spot for this old Florida restaurant on the water.

Always enjoy being with Bob and Carol and had a great visit catching up.    The people just kept coming in waiting for a table so we left and drove to Mangoes and ate inside (ready for the cool AC) and had dessert......Mark had key lime pie with raspberry drizzle, Bob had ice cream, and Carol and I shared the soft pretzel with cream sauce and caramel drizzle!    All yummy!

Pat, Mark, Carol, Bob 
Creamy pretzel!!!

Back to Flo at 5 - traffic wasn't too bad.    Walked in the park and called it a day!

Sunday - February 17

Hot 'n sunny 'n breezy!    We went to 9:30 Mass at St. Francis Xavier after picking up a few things at Publix.   Then on home to change clothes and off to meet Okeechobee friends (Joyce and Butch).   The others were not able to make it....we met at The Boathouse Tiki Bar and Grill - a very happening place on this awesome Sunday with the pool, boats, 2 tiki bars, beach, BIG screen TV's, and lots of people.    Food was great and we had a nice leisurely lunch before returning to Cypress Lake.

We sat on our patio and visited and then showed them the clubhouse and park.   Back to Flo and had dessert and drinks before they left at 4:15.    Butch and Joyce are from Champaign, IL, so....made a plan to get together when we're back in Bloomington in May.    Such a fun afternoon catching up on the goings on at Waters' Edge in Okeechobee.

Pat, Mark, Butch, Joyce
The Boathouse 
Butch and Joyce

Tonight we were treated to a delicious rib feast )ribs, green beans, slaw, okra, garlic toast from Bill and Charmaine.    We ate on our patio and topped it off with key lime pie.    Another fun evening with these dear friends....
Charmaine and Bill 
The moon overlooking Lot 102

 Liam scored 7 goals today in an 11-11 tie!!!

Have a great week ahead!

Saturday - February 16

Another very fun day - weather was perfect and we spent a delightful afternoon with long-time friends, Don and Cathy, Steve and Connie (part of our old bridge group).    They came to Cypress Trail at 11:15 and we rode together to Buckingham Farms for a fabulous lunch (breakfast there earlier this week).   Love this place and all their fresh-grown produce, Roger the turtle and unique, large menu.    Big crowd dining indoors and outdoors today.

Down on the farm....
Don, Cathy, Pat, Mark, Connie, Steve

Back to Flo and sat on the patio enjoying wine, gin 'n tonics and little pastries.    So fun reminiscing and chatting away under the umbrella with a nice breeze.    Said our good byes - we'll see Steve and Connie again before we leave Fort Myers; Don and Cathy will be headed back to Bloomington next weekend and we girls (bridge gals) will get together for lunch in May.

Don and Cathy 
Connie and Steve
The girls in front of my "she" shed!
Pretty blooms on Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Newest soccer star in the family
Luke just started playing indoor soccer!!!

Walked around the park and met Paul and Pat from Minnesota.   Bill and Charmaine came over for happy hour!

Friday - February 15

A very fun day with dear friends......I picked Lydia up at 9:15 and we were off to Starbucks and then met the gals at Wilford and Lee shopping there. SteinMart and across the way at Bell Tower.    We had lunch at Society (very good) and then shopped the Bell Tower Shops.    A whole lot of chatter going on.....

It was a perfect day for a girls outing!

Lydia, Joanie, Claire, Kathy, Beth, Sue, Pat

Meanwhile back at Lot !02, Mark with the much appreciated help from Bill and Jim installed wheel balancers on Flo.

Spectacular sunset at Cypress Trail taken from Bill and Charmaine's lot.

Have a great weekend!

Valentine's Day - 2019

H A P P Y   V A L E N T I N E' S   D A Y

We had a wonderful day with our long-time friends who we played bridge with back in the 1970's.    We picked up Sue and Jerry and met the others at Coopers Hawk near Naples.    We've eaten at a Coopers Hawk in Annapolis, but this one was so new and awesome with large gift shop and wine tasting upon entering.    They put 10 of us in a nice little alcove making it more private.

Everyone loved their drinks and food - big hit and so, after buying wine to take home, we decided we all wanted to come back here (God willing) next Valentine's Day, so....we have a reservation for 2020!

Then we all drove to the Promenade Shops on Bonita Bay and we girls browsed the shops while the guys sat at an outside spot on this gorgeous day!

It was so fun to be together and amazing that we all started in Bloomington and now are in Fort Myers
 (Don and Cathy were visiting!).

We took Sue and Jerry home and then back to Flo. Had a glass of wine with Bill and Charmaine and now nice and settled for the evening!

 Sue, Sharon, Pat, Cathy, Connie
Harry, Mark, Jerry, Don, Steve
Connie and Steve, Jerry and Sue, Don and Cathy, Mark and Pat, Sharon and Harry

Our sweet little NC Valentines

Wednesday - February 13

A rainy, cool day for we Floridians.    Today our Okeechobee friends were planning to come over, but we postponed those plans till Sunday when the weather promises to be warm and sunny!

We started the day with Mark exercising and me off to yoga.    We decided it was a good day to see a movie (something we never do - "once in a blue moon")!   So, off we went to North Fort Myers and the 16-theater complex for the 11:30 showing of "Green Book".   Oh my, what a wonderful movie inspired by a true story.   Highly recommend this.   LOTS of people had the same idea as us and going to a movie on a rainy day was the thing to do! 

Afterwards we drove downtown to the Java House for coffee/latte and delicious lunch and pastries. 

Mark's chocolate almond croissant 
My grilled chicken breast, pear, brie panini

Good to be back on Flo - did some laundry and happy to be indoors!
Our flowers and plants are lovin' this wonderful rain!!!

So much terrible weather around the country....Grandfather Mountain in NC (about an hour from Lake James) had wind gusts last night of 121 mph.

Tuesday - February 12

H a P p Y   B i R t H d A y

 1st Birthday!

Flo has been our home for 1 year!   My oh my how time flies and what fun adventures we've had living on her!

I exercised this morning and then Mark and I met Bill, Charmaine, Jim and Lydia for breakfast at Buckingham Farms.    This is very rural and home to a huge hydroponic farm of vegetables and plants along with a country store.   The menu is so unique and we all enjoyed our choices - definitely a "come back to" place for breakfast or lunch.
Roger, the turtle enjoying his breakfast of greens

We ran several errands and then home for the afternoon.    I got a massage from Debbie at 5:30 - she's here in the park and wow...she's good!   And then off to play euchre with Mark, Jim, Lydia and evening!

Today was 85 and sunny....big change coming tomorrow with 67 and lots of rain....our friends are coming from Okeechobee!   Hope some of the day is salvageable?