Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Peace River - After the Rain!

For those of you who are familiar with TT-Peace River, and for those of you who recently left - thought you might enjoy a look at the River after our torrential rains Sunday and Monday. Those of you who were here this winter, know that we have had a lot of rain and the river has been high - but take a look at it now!!! Click on pictures to enlarge.

This is the P Row along the river. On Sunday the sites along the River were pretty much full. There are NO rigs there at all now. Afraid of flooding in that low lying area- everyone was warned, and heeded the warning!!Posted by Picasa

This is the area in the back where Princess Jane takes everyone to pan for shark's teeth! You can just about sit on the bench and put your feet in the river now.

The walking paths along the river- pretty much look like a River today.
And the boat launch.......
A better shot of the boat launch. The Peace River signs that are generally on land - are situated well into the water!
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On Sunday, Rich and I headed over to Seminole, Florida. We left early afternoon, with plans to stop along FL SR-64 for lunch before we got to the hotel. Those of you who have travelled 64 already know that there is NOTHING on 64 west headed toward Bradenton and I-75. So we waited until we pulled on to I-275N and took the first exit before we came to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. We wanted something light for lunch as we knew we'd be eating dinner out that evening. We pulled into a Subway. Just so happened that it was a combination Subway and DairyQueen. So while I ordered a couple of subs, Rich was getting his Reeses Pieces Blizzard!. So much for a light lunch for him.......dinner would be a little later than normal tonight- for sure!!
By the time we left - the weather had turned. By the time we reached the Sunshine Skyway Bridge - we were in the middle of a typical Florida thunderstorm. It was raining soooooo hard and the visibility was so bad that you could not even see the water of Tampa Bay off the side of the bridge. We checked in to a hotel in St. Petersburg, just south of Seminole.

After such a big lunch- Rich was not in much of a hurry to stop for dinner. Actually neither of us was very hungry, so it was well after 6:30 when we started to look for a place agreeable to both of us.

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Well - as we travelled up US-19 we saw this sign for the Egg Platter - Oopen 24 hours, where they served breakfast all day. Breakfast sounded good to both of us, so we decicded to stop and give it a try! The menu was wonderful! Yes - they served breakfast all day long, but the menu also included a great selection of soups, salads, sandwitches and full course meals. I selected the Reuben - and Rich stayed with a light breakfast entre!! Right!!! If you look closely at the menu you will see something call WAFFLE A LA MODE? Well this was a waffle about 6 inches in diamater, covered with a crushed strawberry sauce. In the center was a large scoop of vanilla ice cream, surrounded by about 8 mounds of whip cream. Atop the whole thing chocolate syrup was drizzled beautifully. And my camera was in the car!!! At any rate - both of our selections were perfect. If you ever see an Egg Platter on your travels - you should stop and check it out.

Our main reason for heading to Seminole was to attend the Pickleball Tournament on Monday morning. I don't usually compete, but had agreed to play with Rich this time. I have been down with a cold and flu for the past week - so Rich thought it would be better if we headed over on Sunday and I could get a good night's sleep before having to play early on Monday. The Good Life Senior Games were played at the Seminole Recreation Center.

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No - this time we did not take home a medal. I know that's unusual for Rich - but unfortunately I was not much help - just did not have my strength back. He had tried for a couple of days prior to find someone else to play in my place - but no one was available at that late date. But despite that - we had a great time and enjoyed seeing some of our regular tournament friends there.
Buddy and Louann - on the far court played mixed doubles together again. Tough competition this time around. Played well, had fun, but no medal.

Louann and Nadine fighting for a win!!
That's Gena on the left. There were three ladies registered to play in the ladies doubles (Age 70-79). But one was without a partner and had never played pickleball! So that the other three ladies could compete, Gena agreed to play with the lady brand new to the game. What a great sport!!! Well - this little lady could really move around on the court and picked the game up very quickly. They won!!!! This was the first time Gena had ever played in a tournament and she went home with the GOLD!! (She will not let Bruce forget this - I'm sure!!)
Buddy again. This time playing with his mixed doubles partner, Ron Munson from Sun City Center.
But yes........Rich did get to play again. This time with a much better partner. That's him and Bruce playing in the men's doubles competition. They won this match easily!
Here they are again.........Lost this match.....uh, oh.................
Nadine and Louann..........played a great last match and took home a Silver Medal.

And after a hard fought match with the final game played to 15 points, the two of them came back to win 16-14, after being DOWN 13-4! Rich and Bruce took home the BRONZE!

It was a long day. We had arrived about 7:30 that morning and the games were over just before 5:00 pm.

Before heading back, Rich and I stopped at Boston Market, relaxed and enjoyed dinner with Bruce and Gena. When we finally arrived back home it was after 7:30. Unpack - a glass of wine, relax and catch up on the news and another glorious day of retirement comes to an end.
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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dennis and Chauna

Every now and then Dennis sends me a picture from his Blackberry. Before I posted it, I thought I'd go out to his facebook - and see what else he's been up to. Rich and I love getting pictures of the family and knowing what the grandkids have been up to.
Here's Chauna - Gosh she's growing up so fast. She's a very active young lady including playing in the orchestra at school. Here she is with her violin.
And here she is again having fun on the ice with Dad.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pickleball, Picklball Clinic and Dinner with Picklball Friends

As with most days, pickleball is played every morning and afternoon here at Peace River. Below are some pictures taken during the week. You'll see a couple of new faces...........and some of the regulars.
So many pictures this winter have shown players bundled up to keep warm. Seems so nice to see the long pants and sweat shirts replaced with shorts and T's
That's John and Carla - back in the park for a short stay, in the back, and Tracy, looking like she's getting ready for the opposing team to serve. John and Carla just closed on a new home here in Northport, Fl. so a warm welcome goes out to new friends and new Florida Picklers.
Here is Judy and Bernie. Did I mention that Bernie is 77 years young? Would never know from the way he moves on the court.
Karen and Gene - I think Karen is hoping that Gene is getting this one!
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Posted by PicasaLove this one! What form Tracy!!!! Knees bent, wrist is wrinkled, and eyes on the ball. Jim is prepared just in case she misses. Speaking of the talents of Jim and Tracy.........If I could get a close up of each of the players you would no doubt see them displaying their new paddle pins.
Tracy and Jim made these wooden paddles, generally requested in the same color as the person's regularly used paddle on the court. Tracy - I think Rich will soon be in need of a new one!! His pin seems to be taking as much abuse as his regular paddle!!
There were a few players that over the week asked Rich to do another Pickleball Skills Clinic. About 10 players showed up on Friday to hopefully pick up a few tips to improve their game. Generally I go with Rich to help out and take pictures - but I didn't make this one. Fortunately Bill, who despite being one of the newest players to the game, was there and helped Rich with a few of the demos. Bill even said he picked up a few new things to help his game too. Like Rich, and Dean and Rene, and Buddy and a few of the other guys - Bill is the newest "Addicted Player" and soon to be tournament competitor.
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Here's the group at the Bread Board in Wauchula for dinner on Sunday evening. The soup and salad bar was great, but can't say the same about the dinner entre. But the price was good and the company and conversation was great! That's Val with Bill on the left. They're leaving the park on Monday morning. We'll definately keep in touch - and wish them safe and happy pickleball travels. Sitting next to them (almost hidden) are our friends Nathan and Krystal who just arrived back in Peace River a few days ago. So glad to have them back in the park. We've already talked about Easter plans together. Sitting on the left, next to Rich and I are friends Buddy and Brenda. They too will be leaving the park soon. We have had so much fun getting to know the two of them this winter. Can't believe the time has passed so quickly. We'll surely miss these two.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

An Evening wih Mike Thomas

On Saturday evening,musician, song writer, Mike Thomas performed at Peace River. In the past Mike has played both the guitars and the keyboard. We missed the keyboard tonight, but despite that, the music was great. This is the third time this year that we have gone to his show. So, it's pretty obvious we like to listen to him. Our favorite was still the Christmas Show, but tonight the meeting house was full fans singing along and having a great time.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patty's Day Celebration

Today we celebrated St. Patricks Day here at Peace River up at the "Meeting House". Music was provided by Bobby Mack - the Peace River Entertainer/DJ. One of the most memorable dances of the night was the "LIMBO"
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How Low Can You Go??? Rich didn't do too bad.....A couple of times under the stick and he was back in his seat- knowing that without some help he was going no lower! . Karen - she does a little cheating - bending the wrong way to get under. But Jane was the most fun to watch. The first time through she had a partner, that Tracy! ----but about the 4th time Tracy and Jim were there to help her through - OR catch her if she fell.
Everyone brought their own snack and beverage of choice. Above is a picture of our table and everyone having a good time dancing. Jim grabbed the camera and caught Rich and I doing the TWIST! Rich snapped a few pictures of us line dancing - and Jim and Jane slow down the pace with an easy slow dance.
Good Music, Great Dancing and Lots of Fun!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pickleball Happy Hour

There are probably about 40, or more, pickleball players here at the Thousand Trails RV Park in Wauchula. And I think that every single one of them was at Dean and Margie's on Monday for happy hour. They are parked way in the back along the River and have the perfect site for entertaining. Everyone brought along their own chairs and beverage of choice along with a dish to pass. Let me tell you - pickleball players are great cooks!! There was everything from chips and dips, and crackers and cheese to stuffed jelapano peppers, baked zite, salad and Italian bread. And a few desserts to die for!!

Click on the pictures below to see how much fun we all had. Use the back arrow to return to this page:

But it was not just good food and great conversation.......We even had entertainment!!

That's pickleball player Buddy playing the guitar with Tracy, Glen, Lee and Lou joining in and singing along with Buddy. Princess Jane is in the lower right corner playing the Spoons!! And when they played Boot Scoot Boogy and Waltz Across Texas the line dancers came out. That, Sally, Faye, Tracy and Me

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Above is Ken and Faye, Dean and Margie - the host and hostess of the party with Rich and I. What a great evening we all had.

Monday is Bowling Day!

Every Monday folks from Torrey Oaks RV Resort and TT Peace River meet for bowling. It's not hard to tell that the winter season is winding down. It't that time when snowbirds start heading back nort. Today there were only five that showed up.....But they all had a great time.
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Above picture shows Tom celebrating after his Third Strike in a Row! You can see that Margie doesn't quite get that full X - But a celebration was necessary - even if it was just a Spare. It was a tough split to get! Rich is in there twice - He got Two Strikes in a row. Stan had another good day - Here he celebrates a 4 Bagger!
Rich told everyone he was going to bowl a 300 today. And he did!!! If you add up all three games! If you ask him, he will tell you this is only his second time out after 42 years. And he did improve over his last time out.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pickleball in Punta Gorda and Dinner in Venice

On Friday morning we were up at 5:00 am. It had started raining about 2:00 in the morning and it was still raining when we packed the car and headed for Punta Gorda. Today we were going to the Charlotte County Fit For Life Senior Games. It rained hard most for most of the trip and was still raining when we arrived just before 8:00 am.
Click on picture to enlarge - use back arrow to return to this page: The tournament was held at the South County Community Park. This was the first time they were having pickleball in the Senior Games here - so the number of participants was much smaller than usual. A lot of our friends were competing though. Above Rich, Bruce, Buddy, Ron, Louann, Nadine and Nancy enjoy the competition. During the competition - the storm continued outside. At one point the thunder actually sounded like a train on the roof of the building.
And some of our friends from Peace River WISHED they were playing. Here is Margie, Dean, Rene and Mia. Dean and Rene I'm sure wished that someone was looking for a partner - but that had to settle for siting and watching. We're going to see if we can get the two of them registered for the Good Life Games in Seminole. Registration is closed - but we'll give it a try!!! They stayed until everyone was finished playing before heading back. I think they may have joined Bruce and Gena for lunch somewhere close by.

Speaking of Gena - Here she is with Mary Beth Cuccia.

Can't believe I got in the picture!!! Thanks Buddy for taking this!! That's me with Gary Ball, Louann and Nadine - friends from Kings Point in Sun City Center. All of them went home with medals - Gary in the Singles and Louann and Nadine with the Gold.

Buddy and his partner Ron Monson from Sun City. Looks like they might be planning their strategy. So proud of Buddy!!! They played great. Played three matches and won all six games. Took the Gold. Great job guys.
And here are your Gold and Silver medal winners in the men's doubles. That's Russ Cuccia ( Mary Beth's husband) in the blue shirt with his partner. ( Don't know his name - shame on me!) joining Rich and Bruce as they smile for the camera. Posted by Picasa
After the games - we headed north to Venice. We stopped at Subway to pick up a quick sandwitch and drink for lunch. Nothing too big - we were having dinner later today with friends.
Here we are at dinner with Dieter and Helen at the Marco Polo Buffet in Venice. We parked our RV in their yard and spent better than a week with them at their home in Columbia Crossroads, PA on our last trip up north. Today we arrived at their home in Venice early afternoon, enjoyed a drink( Only Helen will understand when I say I enjoyed the SneakerScotch!) and caught up on what's been going on.
We stayed the night with them, returning after dinner at Marco Polo. We all went for a walk together around the community to walk off some of the meal. We probably all ate too much! But isn't that what you do at a buffet? Helen had previously bought Dieter a DVD of Terry Fator. You remembe the ventriloquist who won on the last America's Got Talent? What a talented guy. So we all brought our drinks to the TV and enjoyed the video of his Las Vegas performance.
It was a beautiful morning on Saturday. The sun was actually shining and it was warming up fast. Helen fixed us all bacon and eggs, bagels, rainson bread toast and fruit for breakfast. That was followed by another walk for Rich and I. After lunch we headed for a walk through the Dome FleaMarket before we headed back to Wauchula. It was so nice seeing Dieter and Helen. They'll be heading back to PA the first of April -so we probably won't catch up with them again until the Fall.
Rich played a little pickleball on Sunday. Me - I had a lot of work to catch up on - so it was work, work, work for me today. Tomorrow we both plan on getting on the courts to play ( supposed to be back down in the 40's agin tonight). We'll meet Stan and Sally and the crew at the bowling alleys at 1:00 and then fix my meatballs for the Happy Hour at Dean and Marge's at 4:00. Posted by Picasa