Monday, May 27, 2013

Saturday in Daytona Beach

Saturday was our last full day in Cocoa Beach, but we had previously made plans for Rich and I to do a pickleball skills clinic for the players a little further north in Daytona Beach.    Actually it was at the absolutely beautiful Pelican Bay Community where the USAPA ambassador for Delray Beach, Cathy Stansbury  lives.    I can not believe that I didn't get a group picture......but I know we counted somewhere between 35 and 40 players.    Cathy had also invited some folks from the neighboring towns of Deland Beach and Port Orange and  Dave Vander Weide, who is trying promote the game in Winter Gardens, FL was also there.  He had some really nice shirts that he was selling to help raise some funds to help introduce the game there.  Unlike most T-shirts for pickleball these were those very light weight drip dry kind.  Very nice for $25.

When we arrived, Cathy had set up the meeting room next to the courts.   Everyone enjoyed coffee, juice, pasty and fresh fruit while we held a question/answer session about the rules of the game. 

Instruction then moved outside to the four beautiful pickleball courts, which were previously two tennis courts.   Rich did a great job as usual.  And everyone wanted him and I to critique their play while playing a games.   

After the clinic, Cathy treated us both to lunch at their country club, and a few of the players joined us.  The food was great and one of the couple we will more than likely see again very soon.  They reside in  Delray Beach, but like us, will be spending part of the summer at The Villages.  

We got back to Wauchula mid afternoon on Sunday.  This week will be cleaning and packing and closing the RV up for the summer.  We will leave for The Villages next Saturday, June 1st. 

PS---  THE PICKLEBALL T-SHIRTS  are very very nice and come in all sizes and colors for men and ladies.  Ladies shirts will have the v-neck line.  If you are interested - contact Dave at 407- 877-6661. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Grill'n Out Tonight

We had torrential rain overnight on Monday well into the morning.  I woke up around 3:00 am when the rain was just pounding against the window.  Looking outside the puddles of water looked like ocean waves across the parking lot!   I  was going to wake up Rich but he was sleeping so peacefully, unaware of  mother nature's fury outside.

What I didn't know until morning was that once I went back to bed, Rich  heard the rain about 4:30 am, got up and even went out on the patio to make sure I didn't leave my puzzles and papers out.............and he too decided to not wake me up since I was sleeping so peacefully!!!

Anyway - only a couple of quick afternoon sprinkles on Tuesday.   I did 2 miles on the treadmill and another 2 on the stepper and bicycle in the gym and won $25 at Bingo!!

And Rich cooked an awesome dinner!  Rib Eye Steak, perfectly marinated and SO Tender..........Baked potato and grilled asparagus.  It was absolutely delicious.  I love the little guy (owl) perched next to the grill in the picnic area.

Monday, May 20, 2013

We Arrive in Cocoa Beach

On Sunday we left Wauchula just after 10:30 am.  A quick stop at the Post Office and then to Paul's Kitchen for some breakfast before we hit the road.  One more stop for gas and we were on our way............

It was just after 1:00 as we passed through Merritt Island and got a glimpse of the cruise ships docked at Port Canavaral.

From here it's just a quick drive to the Ocean Landing Resort located on North Atlantic Avenue (A1A) in Cocoa Beach.   We come here most every year in May, and every year the place seems to look better and better.   Pictured below is (top left) the picnic area.  There a lots of gas grills and picnic tables under cover and actually there is a kitchen here where you can use the ovens or stoves at any time.  Top right is the Terrace Pool.  If it's real crowded here, you may find some kids, but for the most part it's primarily adults.   Bottom left is the  main pool area where you find most of your families.  There a great hot tub and a snack bar that serves some pretty good food and drinks.  And .... yes Rich actually caught a picture of me - sitting on the balcony doing my Killer Sudoku!

When we arrived there was a huge car show at the Resort next door and the the Annual Space Coast Super Bowl Grand Prix was already underway  in Cocoa Beach, with the path of the boats passing right behind Ocean Landings.  We skipped the car show but did wander out to the beach to watch a little of the race.  There was a lot of people on the beach, and according to the local news thousands of people were out here this weekend for the race. 

The Anacapri Pizzeria is about a 10 minute walk from the Resort, so on Sunday evening we walked there for dinner.  Rich has been talking about this place for a couple of weeks now,  and so finally he was able to order his Stromboli.  These are some of the best we've had and they are HUGE.  This is a small........... Rich finished his - but 1/2 of mine is still in the fridge.    Monday evening we drove to a new Mexican Restaurant....La Fiesta and it too was very good.  Rich opted for the Beef Burrito with beans and rice and I ordered the Chicken Fajita.  Too much for me to finish, so Rich helped me out!  

We made a quick stop at ABC Liquor  and then the grocery store to pick up a few things before heading back.  About 7:00pm we went for a nice walk on the beach for about an hour.   It was very overcast tonight, but we were very surprised to see only about a handful of people out.  A bird wading in the water and two helicopters overhead was about the only thing we saw.  On the way back the sky was getting a little darker and you could see out across the ocean where it was raining in the distance.   It was a great night, a slight breeze; perfect for a walk.

We are enjoying our stay so far.  Tomorrow we'll probably cook out, and then music is scheduled tomorrw night at the Terrace Pool. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

More News from the Family............On Mother's Day

This time of year is always busy with Dennis and the family.  We hate being so far away, but at least we can stay in touch through photos..... .  Not hard to tell how very proud we are of this family!

 Happy Mother's Day goes out today too to our lovely daughter-in-law and super Mom, Crystal!   Rich and I spent the day with our friends Nick and Tonyia in Sebring, and dined at the Tower Restaurant in Lake Placid where we had a great meal.  The highlight of the day of course, was the phone call from Dennis wishing me a Happy Mother's he does every year.  Love Him!!

Below are pictures of the Iowa High School Music Association Large Group Festival with Dalton (Davenport West High School) at the Bettendorf High School this month.   Dalton is in the marching band and orchestra and enjoys it very much.

Then it's time to put away the suite and tie and the musical instruments and pull out the baseball gear!  The recent flooding in Davenport Iowa  delayed the start of the baseball season for Dalton, but FINALLY the boys were able to take to the field.  Below are pictures of  the 2013 Opening Ceremonies (group picture), and of  his very first game. Go Hollingsworth!   

Yes - Dad gets in the pictures too!  Dennis joins the team as one of the Coaches!
Dalton played the Catcher position at this game, but will be pitching the next!

Last year we watched as Dalton got his permit and was learning to drive.  And now, just a year later, Chauna is old enough to take the driver's seat.  Dennis went with her for her very first practice earlier this month at the fairgrounds at the  Mississippi Valley Fair.........    Below is a picture of Chauna behind the wheel...  Dennis  did a video of her first time out..........  She really does not look old enough  
to be doing this!!!!

to be

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dinner with Friends at Wauchula Family Restaurant

Another one of those places here in Wauchula that took us four years to visit.  As you drive south on US Highway 17, the Wauchula Family Restaurant is not the most welcoming site.    It is a very old building, and the entrance to the restaurant is actually in the back.   Like a few of the other restaurants here in this small town, it is family owned.  And like a few other restaurants the owners are Greek.

Above: (top) Hedy, Art, Nathan and Krystal, (bottom)  Donna, Rich, Diane and Buddy.     Very welcoming and cozy in side.  The food was great!  And it was nice just getting together  ONE MORE TIME, before we all head north for the summer.

After dinner, Rich went up to help Nathan tape the lines on the pickleball court to get it ready for a new coat of paint!  Krystal and I are scheduled for an afternoon of Mexican Train tomorrow.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pioneer Park, Zolfo Springs, FL

We have been staying here at the Thousand Trails Park in Wauchula, Fl for the past four or five winters, and have never taken the time to visit Pioneer Park in Zolfo Springs, which is about 1/4 mile down the road from the park.

Each winter Pioneer Days is held at the park and this year we both made a point of trying to remember that we wanted to attend. Unfortunately, I was very sick this year so................maybe next year? In the meantime, on Sunday we made a point of at least visiting the park. It is located directly on the Peace River with about 80 RV sites with water and electric hook-ups and several areas for primitive camping right along the Peace River. A very large pavilion is available for rent for groups; there are nature walks and a large boat ramp.

It is also home to the  Cracker Trail Museum, which unfortunately on Sunday way closed but we were still able to walk through the small Pioneer Village....

The picture on the left below is a wood-burning locomotive, built by Baldwin in 1914.  It was a gift in march 1967 from Kervin D. Revell of Wauchula to the Pioneer Park Museum.  The picture, top right is a ten-wheeler that was once owned by Cummer Sons Cypress Co.  Now it is proudly displayed here at the Pioneer Florida Museum.  The Marker, bottom righ, is in recognition of the legend of Morgan Bonaparte Mitzell, aka "Bone Mitzell" and he is described here as a "prairie philosopher, cowboy , humorist and prankster.  His body is buried nearby in Arcadia.

You follow the road through the park all the way to the back and you will find the Hardee County Wildlife Refuge.     This is an absolutely beautiful refuge with an elevated boardwalk where you can stroll at you leisure and watch Florida animals in their natural habitat.   Non of these animals are releasable.

 It is times like this that I really wish I had a better camera.........Many of the animals we could see - but were way too far away to get a picture.... Below is the raccoon,  several more were huddled napping an another pacing the area, the turtle and the bobcat.  You can see how they really blend in with their environment.

The walkways and the grounds are absolutely beautiful, and pavilions along the way describe the animals you see.......and the various types of trees and foliage.

Below was a huge waterfront home set up for the enjoyment of  a family of otter.

The alligator was sunning himself behind the bush across the water.... so I was only able to grab a picture of his snout!  The deer was quite a ways away too, way back among the tress in the bottom left photo.  And the black bear, despite the fact that we went back two or three times, never moved a muscle!

There were hundreds and hundreds of birds, mostly the black vultures or the turkey vultures.  They would perch along the walkways and be within arm's length as you walked by.  You would find them in the trees, the watering areas , and flying by overhead.

And I think Rich formed a lifelong friendship with this ostrich..  It must be a female taken in by his good looks - don't you think?   It followed him from one end of the walkway to the other.....and met him again at the fence as we exited the area.

Where else can you enjoy the animals and see such beauty for less than $10?  If you are in the area, we we recommend you stop by for a visit.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Dinner at Lake Josephine

On Saturday, Nick and Tonyia invited us for the day to their new location at the Lake Josephine RV Resort in Sebring, FL.   We miss them being here at TT Peace River, but they found a great park and we know they will enjoy their new "home".

Here is a picture of Rich and Nick before dinner..............

We were there for about 8 HOURS........... Tonyia and I set up the table for three games of Mexican Train....( Yes - I was the champion today - best 2 out of 3), clearing the table only long enough for us to enjoy dinner.    Nick fixed some awesome steaks on the grill and Tonyia complimented them with Ceasar Salad and Baked Potato.  Dessert was your choice of pecan or apple pie, or strawberry cheescake!  Absolutely Excellent!

During the afternoon the guys went for a walk down to the lake.  The park is located right on Lake Josephine, complete with a large docking area for your boat. In addition to RV lots there are several park models.  We had visited here once before and were very impressed with the park, and the people that we talked to had nothing but good to say about the park, the managers, the amenities etc.  While on their walk today they found a park model for sale.  Not far down the road a great site that would be perfect for our 5th wheel, with a view of the lake, and another park model  for sale that was located right on the water with a private dock and pontoon boat.      See below!

Here's a closer look...........First the lot.  Granted, the leaves need to be raked up, but it's a nice size lot with a big concrete pad and walkway....

  And the lakefront park model...........and the view of Lake Josephine.......

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Family Update..........

As you may already know, Rich and I are not big
on facebook.  We should do a better job of checking once in a while as it's where we usually find out what's going on with our son and family out in Davenport, IA..... Dennis, obviously had not seen me comment on his facebook in a while so he sent us an e-mail to check out the new pictures .............................

This is an aerial view of the flooding in Davenport Iowa on April 20th, compliments of KWQC,  By April 24th, it had already been raining for 10 days and they had received more than 7 inches of rain and that was enough to cause the banks of the Mississippi River to overflow.  Dennis said that they had 4-5 inches of water in their basement, which is where the laundry room and family room is located.

Since then the news has been MUCH better as our granddaughter, Chauna has been a very busy young lady.  We already reported on her 14th birthday celebration - but since then.

Here is Chauna - opening day for the softball team at Junge Park near Davenport.

And here is Chauna on April 28th, with her Dad at her confirmation ceremony at the United Methodist Church....

 Chauna is also a Girl Scout.  As a Cadette she was working for her Silver Award, which is the top award a Cadette can earn.  She loves animals, so for her project she chose to raise awareness in her community about animal preparedness.    She created a website:

We hope you'll click on the link above and see the great job she did.  If you have an animal take her ONE question survey and let her know what a great job she's done.

She also created these bookmarks to raise awareness:

We are so very proud of our Miss Chauna!