Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fishin' Today

The day started out miserably - the installers called before 8AM to say they could not make it today to install our new carpet.  The one place we were able to find on Black lake for the summer - did not pan out - so we are still looking for a place to say.  And last - before we'd even been up one hour........we learned that our credit card has been compromised...........Someone has our information, but hasn't figured out the expiration date yet............So we had to cancel the card - and we'll now wait patiently for a new one.  Not fun when you have a lot of your stuff set up for automatic pay!

The day could only get better.   We decided to head out and get some minnows and some worms at the bait shop and go do some fishing.  First stop was for breakfast at the Interlake Blvd. Cafe in downtown Lake Placid for breakfast.  Little family owned restaurant that only serves breakfast and lunch daily.  Rich had pancakes and sausage and I had a western omelet.  Delicious!

Back home  - Rich got his lucky fishin' hat and we headed out ..........  Not a great day - but not too bad either.  We  (Rich) caught six fish/four keepers.
First catch -  from the looks of that pole should be a big one!  No - but it was 2 decent sized Crappie. Yes  - we got a picture this time.  I've done this twice already  - but he managed to bring in two fish on the one pole!  He rigs them with a split shot and two hooks.  The second catch was a  real nice Shell cracker.  Caught these on the worms.

 Then he got a real nice fish on the line, and we knew it was a bass once it surfaced.  They always jump!  As he was reeling it in - it looked like he had a bite on his second pole, so I grabbed that one.  We soon realized that we were both reeling in the same fish .  The lines got caught on the anchor.  Luck we did not loose the fish - but it was right there when I pulled up the anchor.  It was about 15 1/2 inches.

 He caught two more bass one a hair over 14 inches and the last one about 12 inches.  We threw them both back to get a little bigger!  

We were out about three hours - headed back in time for Rich to get the fish cleaned before dark.    Good Job Rich!

Girl's Day at The Spa

For Christmas this year, Rich gave me a gift certificate for "Some of it All" at  The Spa at Hammock Falls in Sebring.  This is a gift "request" that has been on my Christmas list for several years.  You can only imagine how excited I was Christmas morning.  

My appointment was for Friday morning at 11:00.  Joining me for the day was Tonyia who had gotten a $50 gift certificate for Christmas, and Carla - who was not going to let us have all the fun without her.

Here we are arriving at The Spa.........

  "Some of it All" is one of the packages sold at The Spa - and includes a 1/2 hour d'vine facial, a 1/2 hour Sweedish Massage and Body Exfoliation, also called a Sea Salt Glow. 

This place is amazing.  They are friendly, professional and make your Spa experience very memorable.  Nothing is rushed - you relax, listen to the soft music, and enjoy refreshments (coffee, tea, water, wine, tea cookies, cheese and crackers/fruit).  Here we are enjoying our morning coffee and cookies before our next 'spa experience.  Tonyia had just finished her Sweedish Massage, and going next for the facial.  I had just completed the Body Exfoliation and was heading for the Sweedish Massage next.  

 This is one gift that I hope Santa remembers to give me every year.  This was my very first experience at any Spa and it was a perfect day.  We all would highly recommend The Spa at Hammock Falls.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A short visit with friends........

It's been a long while since we've seen Nathan and Krystal.  We looked forward to their visit on New Year's Day.........but Krystal was sick.  We missed them. Like us, they've been very busy with one thing or another......but we all finally found time to meet for dinner.   We met here in Lake Placid at the  Casa Tequilla Mexican Restaurant.

Rich and I have been here a few times already - and the food is always good.  Tonight was no different.  A very nice, (but way too short) evening with friends. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Having Fun Close to Home.......

After cancelling (postponing) the weekend to Ft. Lauderdale/Dania we were so disappointed that we knew we had to make plans to do something!   Those of you reading this would love to enjoy the winters we have here in Florida - but once you've lived here a while - 60 degrees, 15 mile per hour winds and boating on the Atlantic Ocean just does NOT happen.   So we "googled" ........what is there to do close to home?  And then asked Nick and Tonyia if they wanted to join us.

They drove here and parked their car in our garage. We loaded the luggage and headed for Punta Gorda about 10:30 Saturday morning.    And the fun began at Fisherman's Village on Charlotte Harbor, just a little over an hour from home.  As close as this is - Rich and I had never been here before.  Charlotte Harbor is located between Sarasota and Ft. Myers, Fl, and the village is better known as Punta Gorda's Waterfront Mall. There are restaurants, boutiques, a Resort and a Marina.  Like most "tourist attractions" you can spend a whole lot of money - or you can just browse and enjoy the view.

We did a whole lot of browsing........and the typical buying of "souvenirs" you know t-shirts, sweatshirts.......checked out the boats docked at the Marina and enjoyed the beautiful view of Charlotte Harbor.   And Rich found the booth  from Edward Jones Investments........ and it's always tough to pull him away from a conversation about investments and the stock market! 

We enjoyed lunch at Harpoon Harry's, which overlooks the Harbor.   A beautiful view.  A little chilly today - but we found a great table directly under  a register in the ceiling that was very warm!  The food was excellent.  Rich did the Angus Burger, Tonyia the Pork Barbecue, Nick the Seafood Platter and I enjoyed the Chicken Salad Wrap made with pineapple, coconut and mandarin oranges!  Outstanding!  There was a large menu of tropical drinks - but it was coffee all the way around.  We needed to keep warm.  

And we got a little "silly"....................Pirates and Mermaids,  Catching the "Big One",  Hat's with Long Hair and Glasses with Moustaches!

We'll probably be back one of these days, when the weather is warmer and enjoy a cruise around the Harbor. 

From there we headed to Port Charlotte.  A great view of the harbor from the bridge.  We checked in at the Sleep Inn and Suites on King's Highway.  Rated "Excellent" on Trip Advisor and #3 of hotels in Port Charlotte.  We agreed!  Rooms were beautiful and very clean, with fridge and microwave.  Nice heated pool and a great breakfast buffet in the morning.  

It was really a nice afternoon and we sat out by the pool.  I had thrown in the Skip Bo game, so Tonyia and I played a few games to pass the time until we had to leave for our Night at Visani's Restaurant and Comedy Zone. 

If you visit Port Charlotte, make this a place to visit.  The food was outstanding.  We all had a different pasta dish tonight, Manicotte, Pasta Domingo,  Linguini with Sausage Onions and Peppers, or Linguini with a Chicken Cutlet and Sausage. Salad and French Onion Soup.  At 8:30 the Comedy Show Started.  Opening was Patrick Garriety - who actually was MUCH better than the featured, Kevin Lee.  But the evening was very enjoyable - and we would definitely return for an Encore

Rich and I didn't turn the light off until well after midnight!  Turned on the TV and found the Australian Open was on.  Serena Williams was playing .  Always love to watch her LOSE!  And she lost tonight.  

We had no plans for Sunday.......Nick and Tonyia knocked on the door on their way down for coffee, and we met them about 1/2 hour later.  Breakfast buffet included waffles, eggs, sausage/ham, pastry, bagels/toast, cereal, fruit, pastry, coffee and juice.  None of us were ready to head for home we sat out by the pool and searched the "net" to see what there was to do/see here or on the home. 

First stop was Fish Cove for a  late morning round of golf!  PUTT-PUTT that is.  Played 18 holes on a great course and laughed a lot.  Nick was the winner with a score of 51, followed by Donna with 54 ( Have to gloat here a little bit, I NEVER beat Rich).  Rich was next with 57 and Tonyia with 60.    It was guys against the girls.  We got off to a great start - I had a hole in one on two of the first three holes..........but it was short lived and the guys went home with the gold!

Got on SR 70E and headed from Palmdale, which is just south of Lake Placid where we stopped at Gatorama.   Living in Florida - you are bound to see Alligators.........but we've never seen SO MANY, nor any this BIG!  

A few of the smaller ones........

Not a huge place, but enough to see.   Below are a few other attractions; parrots, birds, a skunk and turtle.  There were also two beautiful peacocks, that just wandered along the walkways. 

And then there were the 'cats' and the raccoons.  

Actually - I think we spent more time feeding the peacocks and the raccoons and watching the 'cats', than we did anything else.  Can you tell we're having fun? 

 And before we left, Rich found himself a new "fishin' hat.   He's wearing it above as he sits on the bench out front waiting for  Tonyia to finish "shopping" in the gift shop. 

We headed North on 27 back to Lake Placid and home - with just ONE MORE stop.  And that was for lunch at Coz's Sports Bar and Bowl.  Right downtown - but had not been there yet.  Huge Sports Bar with bowling ally.   And the food here is also excellent.  Rich did a small pizza, Tonyia the Chicken Quesadillas, Nick the HUGE burger and I had a Reuben.  Nick also ordered some fried pickles.  We were all so tired  - we were STILL drinking coffee at 3:00 in the afternoon.  The servings were so large that with the exception of the small pizza - no one could finish their meal.  

Nick and Tonyia headed for home, and if we had to guess - Nick would be sound to sleep within the hour.   We unpacked, grabbed a glass of water - and watched a couple of programs we'd recorded. Rich finished is chocolate from Fisherman's Village and we called it a day!


Friday, January 17, 2014

Frost on the Pumpkin!

Today was the coldest day we've had so far this winter.  Exceptionally cold!  They had forecast a low of 37.   About 8:00 Rich called in from the lanai that there was frost on the yard!  Of course, I grabbed the camera!  By this time, the sun was shining brightly - but there was still a good amount on the ground!  Wish I had gotten up earlier to see what it had looked like at daybreak!

Needless to say Rich was dressed in layers of clothes - and complained about the cold most of the day, despite it getting very comfortable during the afternoon.  

Our original plans were to leave today for Ft. Lauderdale/Dania for the weekend.  We had the hotel booked and the deep sea fishing boat all set up.  But when we called the Dania Jai Alai fronton we learned that they were closed for a couple of weeks - and had not updated their website!  And then the forecast was for 50' and 60's and 15 mile an hour winds ---- which none of us looked forward to at 7:30 in the morning in a boat on the water!  So we cancelled....

But plans are to meet with Nick and Tonyia in the morning and head over to Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte for the day.  

Bird Watching

We love just sitting out on the lanai.  And most mornings this is where we sit and have our morning coffee.  Most mornings it's just the ducks...watching them fly in, make their trip up and down the canal or come and perch atop the boathouse for an hour or so.

Every now and then we get some of Florida's beautiful birds visit us.  The other day it was the Great Blue Heron.  On Wednesday morning our first visitor was one that was new to us.  A quick look on the computer and we learned that it was a Wood Stork.  A short time later 2 or 3 White Ibis joined him.    So beautiful!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Another dinner in the freezer!

OK - Update on the "homemade" minnow trap.....


Fried some fish the other night that Rich and Nick had caught about a week ago in my new deep fryer that I got for Xmas.  It was very very good.  But we liked the coating that Al and Barb used much better, so Barb is ordering a case for us to share.  Now we just need to fill the freezer!

Yesterday was a beautiful day. In the 70's, low humidity and just a light breeze. Absolutely perfect for fishing!

We headed out about 1:30 and fished for close to 3 1/2 hours.

OK - No BIG one to brag about, or to claim that 'got away'!

We caught a total of 14 fish (3 crappie, 2 bluegill and 9 shell crackers).  Two were pretty small so Rich put them back.  But it was definitely enough to replenish our supply for at least one more meal.   Rich rigs the poles with two hooks, and for the second time I caught two fish at the same time on the same pole!  I know, where's the picture to prove it.

But it was a beautiful, fun day and Rich got to use his new fish station and above demonstrates his skills at perfectly filleting our catch.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bait for the Big Ones

Today Rich finished his "homemade" minnow trap.  Total Cost?  About $2

Trap set at about 5:00 pm today.  Let's see how well it works!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dinner at Dock 633

This past week has brought with it some of the coldest weather we've seen in a long time.   Early in the week we had some 30 and 40 degree mornings.  Too cold to be outside for long - definitely too cold to be on the water fishing.  So on Tuesday I took a ride down to Lake Josephine to visit with Tonyia.  She and I and Carla went to the club house and played Mexican Train.  

Bob and Carla are parked next to Nick and Tonyia at the park and are spending their first winter in Florida, both of them having recently retired.   Carla joined Tonyia and I Thursday night for Bingo at the Elks Club here in Lake Placid.

Tonight Rich got to meet both of them for the first time, as we joined them along with Nick and Tonyia at Dock 633 for dinner.  It was a beautiful night so we sat outside.  Picture below of the group.............(not great- it was pretty dark out there!)  Rich and I have been here probably a half dozen times since we moved to Lake Placid. Nice place to eat - and the food is always good.  We started the evening with cocktails, a Bloomin Onion, Fried Pickles and Gator Bites.   Rich and Tonyia opted for the Speghetti, Nick and Bob went for the Double Burger ( absolutely HUGE), Carla did the lemon pepper wings and Lobster Bisque soup, and I had a large salad with grilled chicken.  Bob managed to eat the WHOLE burger - but had to take the Key Lime Pie home in a doggie box!    Very nice couple.  We hope to spend more time with them this winter before they head back to Illinois.

Taking a "mini" vacation soon.  Just book the hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale, and a 1/2 day deep sea fishing charter for next weekend.  We hope to take in at least one evening of Jai-Alai at the fronton in Dania before we head back.  Should be fun.  Can't wait!

Great Blue Heron

Sitting on the lanai the other morning we looked out and saw this very large bird walking in the yard. The Sandhill Cranes are in the area and/or in our yard all the time so I didn't think too much about it. But unlike other times, there was just one lone bird - most unusual for the sandhill crane. As the bird walked closer we noticed the very long hair ......and the orange beak instead of black. After looking it up - I learned that this was a Great Blue Heron...........Beautiful

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


 WELCOME - 2014

This is year is the first time in a long time that we did not party on New Year's Eve.  The last several years have allowed us to celebrate and welcome in the new year with our RV friends.  This year Rich and I  stayed in.  We had an excellent dinner;  Beef Stew, Salad and Garlic Bread.  The Chuck roast cooked all day long and was absolutely delicious!  We skipped the Champagne, the dropping of the ball  and were in bed well before midnight!

We did however welcome in the New Year with friends; old friends and new friends with a gathering at our place.   A few couples had to miss the gathering due to illness, and we want them to know that we send our "get well wishes"   Don found himself in the emergency room a few days ago, so he and Linda were not able to make the trip down from Tampa, and Nate called this morning to say that Krystal was under the weather as well.  We missed them.

Nick and Tonyia were the first to arrive, followed shortly after by Buddy and Diane.  After a successful few hours out on Lake June, our new friends and neighbors, Al and Barbara joined us.  They had family, Charlie and Peggy, visiting from Kentucky - so we invited them to join us as well.  They have rented a home here on the Lake for the month of January.  We enjoyed meeting them - and hope we get to see them again before they leave.

Pictured below, the group relaxing, enjoying a cocktail before dinner and getting better acquainted.   Clockwise from the top left:  Rich and I,  Rich, Nick, Buddy, Diane and Tonyia.  that's Tonyia with her back to the camera, with Barb,  Nick, Diane, Buddy, Rich and Peggy ( in pink).  And the bottom right is Tonyia and Barb.

Dinner was absolutely delicious.  We had an assortment of beverages, including beer and wine and some finger sandwiches and cheese and crackers.    I made baked ziti and chicken and potato casserole.  We had rolls, fruit salad, coleslaw, tossed salad (Barbara), Meatballs (Tonyia), Green Bean Dish ( Buddy).    Below - at the dining room table is Rich, Peggy, Nick, Al, Charlie and Tonyia.  At the kitchen table is Diane, Me and Barb - and another with Buddy.  ( Thanks Buddy and Nick - for getting me in the picture this time!)

I had made some cookies, but Diane and Buddy brought some (white) chocolate covered pretzels and marshmallows AND a cake decorated perfectly for the day!

It was an absolutely beautiful day, even the weather was perfect.  We thank our friends for welcoming in the new year with us. We are so fortunate.

Well - Al and Charlie had to head out ( they had all those fish they caught earlier int he day to clean!)  By about 6:00 - everyone had left except Nick and Tonyia.  So she and I finished putting left overs away and settled in for a game of Mexican Train while the guys visited out on the lanai.

It's after 10 o'clock now - time to call it a day!


Since we are not staying in Peace River this year - I had to look for a place to play Bingo.

Every Thursday it is played here in Lake Placid at the Elks Lodge.  Huge room, kitchen is open if you want burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches,  etc,  good crowd and nice pots!  Tonyia and I went last Thursday and decided to split all winnings.  We both went home with about $25.00!  Had a great time.  Tomorrow is Thursday - I think I'll go back this week.