Monday, April 30, 2012

Yes ........Another Happy Hour

I hesitate to say that this should be our last happy hour of the season; it seems I did so twice before already! But a few more of the "annuals" will be heading out over the next few days so Nick and Tonyia decided we d do one more "farewell" get together.  Some of the early birds below: Jerry and her daughter-in-law, Judy (standing), Janet and a visiting friend on the far side of the table and Tonyia and Karen  smiling pretty for the camera.

We arrived early - just after 5:30.  It was a beautiful afternoon, with the sky a little overcast, as it had been most of the day.  And the sun was trying to burn through and  peak  from behind the clouds.

On the other side of the yard the guys had huddled.   Tom and Jim (sitting) and Rich and Lee.  

There were only 8 or 10 of us there when mother nature decided that it was time to rain on our party.  We grabbed the chairs and some of the food from the table and headed for cover

We had a pretty good little shower - but in less than 10 minutes the rain had stopped and we were ready to party!

So Nick donned his dreadlocks and headed for his Ti Ki Bar to create our beverages of choice. It was Margaritas tonight with a shot of Blue Curacao.  I must admit I've never had a Blue Margarita - but it was quite tasteful.

Ever the jokester - Nick decided it was time to share the dreadlocks and surprised Lee from behind!  Always a  good sport - Lee smiles for the camera! 

By this time most everyone had arrived and the food was ready.  Tonyia made a huge pot of chili and we shared a little pasta, spinach dip, finger sandwiches, seven layer salad, deviled eggs...............and for dessert a great bunt cake, brownies, fresh strawberries and whip cream and chocolate chunk cookies.

For some reason, this year we seemed to meet and spend a lot more time with some of the annuals and visitors to the park that were not just our pickleball friends.  Like the Gonzales' below

and Jan and John Alverson..........

Jim, Archie, Doug and Karen......

 Jerry( wife of Lee with the dreadlocks) who are pulling out of the park on Monday.  And that's Archie and Janet  and Judy (Jim's wife).  

And of course - Nick and Tonyia ( with Jan and John).  Always the host and hostess with the mostest!!
God willing - we will see them all again next year!

It was a very busy Saturday.....

My time working in the store here at Peace River is winding down - and just when I thought the season was slowing down.........I had one of my busiest days all year. I only had to work Friday and Saturday this past week, but Saturdays I work the store alone.

This Saturday we had more than 100 cars of "fossilers" parked back near the river.   With boats and shovels and screens the fossil club, Pac 312 of the local girl scouts and a group of hiking boy scouts were all shelling in the River.   I would have loved to get some pictures of a couple of hundred of them in the river - but by the time I left at 3:30 in the afternoon, I was only able to catch a couple of dozen still wading and having fun..
But at the very least, I was able to get some pretty good pictures of the river.

Coming back from the River, I saw Rich standing outside of Tom and Karen's motor home, so stopped by to say hello.  We met Tom and Karen here in Peace River five years ago and this was the first time we've seen them since then.  When we first met, we still had Beau and he and their female beagle were best of friends.  We were surprised that Princess was still with them.  And I was glad I had my camera because she gave Rich and I  a perfect greeting!

 She is now 17 years old and suffers from dementia - but she is still a beautiful little girl !

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Recovering from Oral Surgery.....

Over the last several months I've been having some problems with my teeth.  It's been to the dentist, the periodontist, and on Friday the Oral Surgeon.    All of our dentists/doctors are in the Tampa area, so it was about an hour and a half ride to get there.  So glad that Rich went with me.  Had four teeth pulled including a wisdom tooth that was impacted.  The top two came out quickly - but there was a lot work wiggling around the nerve as he removed the wisdom tooth. 

That was Friday. Today, Sunday my face is still pretty swollen, and I am popping the pain pills about every 5 hours.   It's been very painful to say the least and the last two nights I've been sleeping in the recliner or propped up on the couch.  Just too painful to lay down.  If the pain does not subside it's back to the doctor on Monday.

In the meantime - there are a few things that have made me feel better and that' our friends staying in touch.    First I got a couple of pictures from Karen and the pickleball group enjoying breakfast compliments of Chef Mitch and Barb.   And to think they just left here a few days ago.    

The next day Silly Willy sends us some pictures of him and Fluffy.  They were returning from one of their shows and stopped to visit with the pickleball players on the Orlando courts.  Thanks guys!  You made my day!    Stay in touch ----- see you all next year, I hope.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Another Last Happy Hour of the Season?

Yes, folks are leaving the park to head north for the summer.  And they are leaving much faster that we'd like.   We didn't have the 30 or 40 folks here in the park, but we had JUST ENOUGH to have another fun evening together.   There are not a whole lot of pickleball players in the park right now - but still lots of our friends, so I scheduled a Happy Hour for the last of us for Monday.  On Sunday, Rich and I stopped to chat with Nate and Krystal, who are parked directly behind us... and since the site right next to them was open we decided to move the happy hour to their front yard.

We took over our food and set up our chairs and one of our favorite  canine friends, Miss Ava was right there to welcome us! 

 It wasn't long before everyone else had arrived.  That's Nate and Krystal's 5th wheel on the right, and ours right behind them.  The corner lot made a perfect playground for us tonight!

Below is Travis, Jim and Judy.  ( I think Travis is on his 2nd plate of food!)
Friends Nick and Tonyia. ......

Nate, Krystal, Jerry and Lee.........
Art, Hedy, Diane and Buddy.
We had ton's of food including Sloppy Joes, Macaroni and Cheese, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, A variety of meat/cheese roll ups, deviled eggs, and baked beans.  For dessert Diane baked an awesome fresh apple cake and Tonyia brought an excellent whip cream cake topped with fresh fruit. 

Rich and I  and Krystal played a game or two of corn toss BEFORE dinner- so I missed us with our game faces on........but below the rest of the folks take their turn.   Some, like  Tonyia, Art, Travis and Buddy were naturals.......and the rest of us watched their techniques - the stretch , the high toss, the two step, or Buddy's best - holding the corner of the bag.

 I understand that I missed the best points of the game when Art and Travis went neck and neck with back to back to back perfect hole shots.  I think they said there were four or five in a row. 

And if you were just too full to continue playing ---- you could stroll across the road and do a little river fishing.  Loved this picture of the lake right behind Lee's site.
We probably would have stayed out a bit longer but the mosquitoes were coming out.  Yes - it's that time of year again already.   If this is indeed our last Happy Hour - it was definitely a fun one.  The food was delicious and the company , games and conversation made for a most enjoyable evening with good friends.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Back home in Wesley Chapel

We were back home in Wesley Chapel today.  We always look forward to going back, especially to visit with our very special friends Don and Linda.

I get a little homesick whenever we're back.  Below is a picture of the front, beautifully landscaped by Don and Linda and the great view from the back lanai. They tell us that there are now 2 alligators that visit the pond and that the deer are back.  Two great reasons to keep the binoculars close by.

 Got a great picture of Linda in the kitchen, and Don cooking our burgers for lunch out back.  And that's Dakota,  their 11 year old Shelty playful in the back yard.   We enjoyed a great lunch of hamburgers, dogs, potato salad, mozzarella salad and some left over cake from Don's Birthday on Sunday!!!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Our Little Girl turns 13

Wow...........How quickly time goes by.  It seems like yesterday that we welcomed this little one to our family.............And today she is a beautiful young lady ; a teenager!  

And so it was off to the Quad City Bandits Baseball Game where  Miss Chauna,  ( probably should stop calling her that!) threw the first pitch of the ballgame!    A true sports family they are, so this is the traditional birthday celebration...................along with the Flaming Birthday Banana!

Pa Pa and I called to wish her Happy Birthday and afterwards it was a time for me to reflect back and  - REMEMBER WHEN...................   And so we're sharing a few of those special times that bring back memories and make us proud grandparents......


Monday, April 9, 2012

More time with friends.................

Well - Tom and Karen took off on Saturday, so we joined up with the two of them Friday evening for dinner at Paul's Kitchen.  One of our favorite places to eat here in Wauchula - and tonight the food was just as good as ever.    
Before heading back to the campground Tom and Karen wanted to stop at Pure Magic - the new ice cream shoppe in town.    Great place - and  below Karen  and Tom enjoy their  self creations and Karen shows her silly side!!  We will definitely miss these two.

And the it was Easter Sunday.................We had originally planned on going out for dinner - and then I decided I'd just do a roast for the two of us and then Nick and Tonya invited us over.  Nick grilled some great steaks, tossed together a little Shrimp Scampi and Tonya made an awesome Green bean casserole......................  Monday is Nick's birthday - so we celebrated a day early with a great chocolate raspberry cake.
Nancy and Jerry joined us after dinner  and the six of us laughed and joked and enjoyed the evening until well after 10:00 PM .   And Jerry if you are reading this...... SHHHHHHH!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Happy Hour with Tom and Karen

Yes folks...........yet another Happy Hour here in Peace River.  This will probably be our "season ending" get together since  most folks are heading out in just a few days.  How does that saying go?  We saved the best for last?  Indeed we did.   I think everyone at Tom and Karen's site tonight will agree, this one will be hard to top!

Below, everyone lines up for or settles in to enjoy the food table, Silly Willy pouts because the line isn't moving,  and Hedy stops to chat with Karen.    Tom cooked up a great Port Barbecue, and everyone brought their dish to share, including salads, slaw, macaroni and cheese, ziti,  appetizers, and some great desserts!
Karen - ever the friendly hostess stops to chat with Diane,  Krystal and Nate smile for the camera, Nell, Barry, Donna and Gene chat with their neighbors, and Tom and Karen's Gambling Buddies settle in to enjoy the meal. 
I'm sure I didn't get everyone - but below we have another group picture that includes new folks:  Rich and Art, Garth and Rosemary, Keith and Marie, new pickleball player(can't remember their names!), Bob and Lavern (the clowns) Edie and Big Al and Merlin and his wife. AND.....Tom finally breaks away from cooking and stops to chat with Buddy.

OK - So far not much different than any other Happy Hour, Right!  WELL!!!
Let's move on to the entertainment for the evening.  Below, Krystal snaps her picture and Rich smiles as Prince Edward Island's, Garth and Rosemary Matthews  give praise to Art,our oldest pickleball player  and to their "claim to fame: - to be able to play like Rich!  They are both singers/songwriters and tonight  they entertained us with the Peace River Pickleball Song, The RV Song and Garth's beautiful tribute to his father.   

And then the magicians took to the floor.  Lavern shared her newest "decapitation" trick and Merlin did about a 1/2 hour magic show for everyone. While each trick was entertaining - I think those in attendance will agree that the most memorable would be changing the tangerine into the peach!!   Following the magic acts were jokesters  Bob (Silly Willy) and Garth!   If ever you run into Garth ask him to tell you the joke about the tractor that broke down..............

And the night was still not over!  About 11 of us headed to the pickleball courts and played under the lights until AFTER 9:30!!!