I am typing today from sunny New Braunfels, Texas. Our time in Florida flew by very quickly, our schedule was full of relaxing family time and friend time. Since I have a 5 1/2 week time span to summarize, I better get to it!
Christmas was quiet, it came and went with little fanfare. We had dinner with my parents the day of at their place. We had FaceTime and Skype with the kids, which we look forward to when we aren’t physically there. The following Wednesday my sister and her boyfriend came to Clearwater and the six of us had dinner at our place. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we sat outside.
Gene and Eileen came to visit us! They are spending the winter in Nokomis, but drove up to Tampa for an appointment and came by Clearwater on their way home. It is always good to see them!
Karen and Al organized a get-together at Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs. The sun was shining, but it was COLD! Check out how bundled up everyone is (everyone except Bill!)
Bill and I, along with my parents, made what has become an annual trek down to Arcadia. We found and purchased the largest rib eye roast in the meat case at K & J Produce, and it was promptly cut into 1 1/2″ steaks – YUM! Fresh, homemade ice cream was enjoyed at Joshua Citrus, and we stocked up on Meyer’s lemons.
We attended the Tampa RV Show two days this year. We just had so many people we wanted to see, along with touring the newest rigs and sitting in on a seminar, we needed more than one day. Thankfully, while both days started out a bit chilly, they were sunny and warmed up nicely. It was great seeing Jim & Diana, (thanks again guys for a delish chili lunch!), Guy & Sue, James & Cindy, Bill & Linda and meeting Ray & Betty.
It was nice to finally get the bikes off the back of the 5er and put some miles on them! Along with taking the familiar route to Safety Harbor, we also headed to St. Pete and Honeymoon Island State Park for the first time. Love checking out new territory!
New Lazy Boy Chairs
I hadn’t mentioned this before, but the fake leather on Bill’s recliner had started cracking last summer while we were in New Jersey. We knew there wasn’t really anything to be done about it, so we just covered them (mine too) with a blanket when we sat on them to minimize the damage, but to little benefit. By the time we were half way done at Amazon, we were already looking into where and what kind to replace them with. The peeling was getting really bad. Seems once it started, it got worse and worse very quickly. The search kicked into high gear when we arrived in Florida, while mine still wasn’t too bad – Bill’s was a hot mess.
Research, you know – Bill’s favorite pastime, led us to Lazy Boy. We’ve owned Lazy Boy furniture in the past, in fact we still have recliner couch and love seat in our storage container, we love their quality and their prices are fair. We actually measured the pieces in the container, thinking maybe we could switch it out, but the backs are too high and would block to much of the windows. Anyway, after 3 1/2 hours in the showroom, we walked out with 2 chocolate brown (all but exactly matching the couch) leather rocker recliners on order. We could pick them up (skipping the $150 delivery fee) the following Monday! They are so comfy! They fit perfectly and we couldn’t be happier!
The highlight of our Florida trip this year was definitely the day we spent with Shannon & Rodney in Disney’s Animal Kingdom! They both are working there and they had guest passes for us. On the top of the things to see and do in Animal Kingdom was Pandora. Shannon was able to get FastPasses for a few of the popular rides, including Flight of Passage and Everest, no waiting in LONG lines for us!
I was excited to see Pandora and ride Flight of Passage, which is a virtual reality “ride”. It felt like you were riding a “banshee” as it climbs to the top of the floating mountains, then dives down to skim the surface of the ocean, to navigating through the top of the forest. I looked it up and it is actually compared to a flight simulator. When visiting Universal Studios many years ago and rode the ride in Harry Potter, and I had to shut my eyes a few times to avoid getting nauseous. Because of that, I was a bit concerned about this ride, but I was able to keep my eyes open – and didn’t get sick at all! It was pretty overwhelming though – I was a bit shaky when I got off.
There was a baby hippo, born just the week before our visit. We had been hoping to see it, and we did, but we went by too fast to snap a pic!
Thank you to Shannon and Rodney for sharing their guest passes and showing us the new awesome land of Pandora! It was one of those perfect days – weather was beautiful, lines weren’t very long (thanks in part to the FastPasses), and we just enjoyed the time spent with family. Can’t wait to do it again next time!
More family visiting!
While I was visiting my sister, Bill went to spend the afternoon with his Uncle. It had been a couple years, as schedules had been conflicting. It’s always good to catch up with family.
As we were starting to pack up, a few days before we were leaving, I got a text from our friend, Rick. We hadn’t seen Rick in about 2 years – way too long! He has been camphosting in GA, but was visiting his friends, Steve & Patty in Bushnell. Since Bushnell isn’t very far from Clearwater, he wanted to know if they could come and spend the day with us! They arrived right around noon, and since it was warm and partly sunny, we were able to enjoy sitting outside. Maxine (Rick’s faithful canine companion,) was along for the ride, and she loved the extra attention from Bill & I. We so appreciate them taking the time to come see us! Let’s hope our paths cross again before two years goes by!
One of our last nights in town, I made my first attempt at Lobster Mac & Cheese. Linda & Steven had picked up some lobster for us when they were in New England and we had it tucked away in the freezer for a special night. We shared the deliciousness with my parents, and even my skeptical Dad enjoyed it and went back for seconds.
We also appreciate it when you use our Amazon affiliate link to purchase items at Amazon, as it helps support our blog. You can still use your Prime membership – and it doesn’t cost you a thing! Thanks!