Thursday, May 19, 2016

Retired 10 Years Today

Well the days are staying sunny and humid and the nights continue to feature thunder showers and lots of lightening! It's just after 10 PM now and the worst of the storm is over.

Rested most of the day today, but took a short trip about 1/2 mile down the road to the Florida Key Lime Pie Company.

As long as we have been coming over here, this is the first that I've heard of it.  Just happened to google "things to do" and found it.

 The people who run the store are about the friendliest I've ever met.  As soon as you walk in they offer you free samples of the key lime pie, and key lime pretzels.  And they tell you that you can sample whatever you want, the jellies,  the cheesecake.........and even the wine!  They have really different stuff - Rum Cake and mixes for different kinds of drink, including Sangria, seafood dips, barbecue sauce and pepper jelly!  We left with a small Key Lime Pie in a Cup for me, and a Munchie for Rich.  A munchie is 4 pieces of cheesecake smashed into a mason jar!  He chose the Tropical Irish Chocolate, Guava Cheesecake.

Tonight we used our free $50 gift certificate at Brano's Italian Grill.  Again, only about a mile from the hotel, right on A1A in Cocoa Beach.  Great atmosphere, great service and excellent food.   I ordered the house salad and Shrimp Scampi, and Rich the salad and the Blackened Talapia with Shrimp and Scallops, served with steamed veggies and garlic mashed.

We waited until today to go to Brano's, as we wanted to go someplace special to celebrate our 10th Anniversary!  Rich said it best.....

"Donna Donald and I are celebrating our ten year anniversary today! Ten years of FREEDOM. We BOTH retired on May 19, 2006. Promised Donna, back in the early 80's she could retire at 55 and she did!! Not once have we missed going to work every day. For six years we were full time RV'ers and were introduced to the game of pickleball and met so many great people, who today remain some of our very best friends. Both loving to fish - we bought a home and settled on Lake June, in Lake Placid, Fl in 2013 returning to Black Lake in upstate NY for the past 2 years.  Our NY trips have been blessed with visits from our Son and family and more great friendships.

Wednesday in Cocoa Beach

It turned out to be a nice day on Wednesday, especially after the heavy rain and thunderstorms that arrived later in the evening.   Wind was blowing so hard that it was impossible to sit out on the balcony.

Lots going on here at the resort. Today offered a 1/2 massage for $25, DJ Mike at the main pool, create your own ice cream sundaes and a magic show at 7:30.  I really would have enjoyed the massage - but knew I could not lay on my stomach!  Darn!!   But, we did listen to DJ Mike.  Most of the songs were ones we didn't know - but some of the younger folks did!  It was beautiful around the pool and people enjoyed it.

We used our $25 gift certificate at Gregory's Steak and Seafood Grill here at Ocean Landings for dinner.  The restaurant is a little pricey, but the food was absolutely awesome.  SOOOOOO  GOOD!    Rich ordered the blackened Mahi Mahi with garlic mashed red potatoes and a garden salad. I didn't have any, but Rich finished the roll of homemade bread!  I ordered the crab meat stuffed jumbo shrimp with sea scallops, with sauteed green beans and walnuts.   ( And share some with hubby!)

As you can see in the last picture we were able to get back to our room before the rains came again!  Once more it rained well into the night.  

Thursday is anniversary (not our wedding) celebration day. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Day Two Brings Rain

Tuesday morning it was beautiful, but by early afternoon the rain began..... some pretty good thunder storms right into the evening.  Actualy it's almost 8:00pm and it is still raining!  We did get out and about today, before the rain and got some pretty good pictures of the resort and what it has to offer.

First -  The restort has typical hotel rooms, which many people will use when only staying a few days.  They have one and two bedroom oceanfront and off ocean.  Right now we stay in the one bedroom off ocean, which has two queen beds, a comfortable living room, where the sofa pulls out to a bed, dining table that seats four, two bathrooms and a small kitchen area with microwave, small refrigerator, coffee pot, toaster and the necessary cups, glasses dishes etc.  two flat screen TV's and free MIFI.  Our unit also has a small balcony for sitting outside.

The resort has two other large buildings; The Centre which I shared yesterday, and Gregory's Steak and Seafood Grille, where the Comedy Club is upstairs.

Lots of great ammenities:  The main pool and hot tub, with the pool bar that serves cold beverages, frozen cocktails, beer and wine, and has both a breakfast and lunch menu.  At the opposite end of the resort is the Terrace pool.  Both pools are heated.  There is music a couple of nights during the week at the Terrace pool.

There are two main tennis courts, and two raised courts located above the parking garage.  We have a large covered pavillion with lots of picnic tables and grills, and located adjacent to this is a kitchen area with refrigerators and stoves etc. making it easy to picnic.    A small play area is available for children, along with shuffleboard, and an area where cornhole is played.  And of course there is a beautiful private beach, with a vollyball net and lots of umbrellas and chairs for the beach.

Lots of things to do to keep you busy!

Tonight we headed for Anacapri for dinner.  Rich has to make at least one trip here for the Giant Cazones or Stromboli.  Tonight he ordered a SMALL Strombli, and I had just a small chicken salad.  Everything was delicious!

Senior Year almost over - Events, Awards and Senior Pictures of Dalton

Have to share some family photos.  Our grandson Dalton will be graduating from highschool this year and venturing on to the next phase - University of Iowa.  But right now all those end of year highschool activities and award ceremonies are taking place.

Back on May 13th, the yearly High School Talent/ Variety Show took place. This is a charity/fundraiser event.  Dalton performed with a musical/dance(?) group calling themselves the Funk Brothers.   With this year's win, they have been voted #1 two years in a row.............but since all but one of them are Seniors.  As our son would say - No Threepeat!  All by one of the boys are seniors this year.  Wich I could insert the video for you to see - but the best I can do is share a link.  It is awesome - pretty good singers and funny!   If you watch - There are two trumpet players in the front - and Dalton is the one on the left.

Yesterday was Awards and Recognition Night.  West High School Senior Honors Program - Dalton carries a 9,9 GPA.  SO PROUD!

And our daughter-in law, Crystal recently share a few of Dalton's Senior Pictures taken by Aubrey Kall.    What a handsome young man! 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Day one goes by so fast!

Today went by so fast.  Woke up to a beautiful morning, coffee on the balcony, shower and the morning was almost over.

We had a lunch appointment at The Center at Ocean Landings, followed by a short presentation on myMVPCollection.  Since upgrading to the Carribbean or Dream Buidlings, which are the two larger building here which are facing the ocean where all room are oceanview, we've been considering upgrading from our current membership or to at least look at how we could maximize our membership.  Agreeing to attend we would also recieve a $75 gift certificate for a local restaurant. So we decided to invest a few hours.

The Center is part of this resort.  In addition to several larger meeting rooms, and the Resort Check-In area, there is also a small bar, a game room, a beautiful fitness center, a day spa that also provides massages, and, new this year a Sauna.

Lunch was excellent and included soup, tossed salad, macaroni salad, an assortment of sandwitches, fruit and muffins/cupcakes.....  We are always hesitant to make any kind of a monitary transaction/investment on the spur of the moment, just because something sounds good.   Long story short, we did not sign a contrat to join MyMVPCollection, but we did take a temporary 18 month membership to allow us to use the membership and some of it's priviledges, and we also got one free week here at this resort that we can use any time in the next year and a half.  
                                                                                 At the end of the 18 months,
we can say no we do not want to join, or for a  reasonable investment  we can exchange our current unit for an Oceanfront unit with a permenant membership.    With our upcoming trip to NY - we will have a good opportunity to use this program and determine whether there are advantages to a full membership.  This is the smaller of the two buildings that face the ocean, and we would be looking at a room on the third floor or higher.  We've stayed in this building in the past and the units are very very nice.

So we left with a $50 gift card to Brano's Italian Grill, and a $25 gift card to Gregory's, which is the restaurant located here at Ocean Landings and a free week here at the resort.  

By the time we got back to the room it was after 3:00.  About 6:00 we headed out for dinner.  Tonight it was a fish fry for Rich, and a Chicken Quesadilla for me, and then a quick trp to the grocery store, and a short walk down to the beach.  I would like to attemp the walk along the beach - but I'm not sure I can get through the deeper softer sand to get to the shoreline.

Going to try and get up early tomorrow morning and see if I can catch the morning sunrise  across the ocean!

Back to Cocoa Beach!

This past week we started to get stuff put away at home, hoping to be able to leave here to go north by the second week in June.  And this week we would be spending in Cocoa Beach.   Rich emptied the boat, covered the seats, raised the lift and secured the boat for any bad weather.  All that fishing gear will be packed for the trip north.

I watched, while he worked and notice how well the pineapple plants are doing.  I think we have five that are ripening quickly.  Once pulled we will root and replant for more.

It's been two or three years since we've been back to our timeshare in Cocoa Beach.  Had advertised it for rent again this year, given my medical problems,  a probably trip to Iowa for Dalton's graduation, and then a trip to Black Lake.    When we were unable to rent - we decided to come over for the week.  Hoping that the doctors can figure out what's going on, because riding and sitting in the car is not real comfortable right now.  The trip here, only a couple of hours, was a good test - and we needed to stop a couple of times. Not ready for a long trip, for sure~

We arrived late afternoon, hoping that we could upgrade our room for an ocean view, but with this being boat week - there were none available.  But we are comfortable in our second floor room, with a nice balcony where we can sit out.  Always enjoy seeing the beach, and we got our first glimpse crossing the Banana River to Merrit Island.  Had to snap that picture of the young man on the very tall bicycle!

They continue to do work on the rooms, and the grounds.  

Being boat week the final race was taking place off our beach....  Both tired - so it was just dinner across the street at Dennys.  Rich did the pasta and meatballs, and I had the Bourbon Chicken, minus the mushrooms and red potatos.   All good.    

Monday we have a free lunch here for owners to give us ideas to maximize our costs and save on yearly dues.  We'll see.  But with that we are getting a $75 restaurant gift certificate,   Maybe we'll make it out to the beach this evening.  Maybe a very short walk -  since walking has not bothered me alot, but the abdoman is hurting a bit today!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day

What a great day!  I have such a great family - who never forgets this special day.  Thank you, Richard, Dennis, Crystal, Dalton and Chauna for the warm Mother's Day greetings and flowers!  I am so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving family. Love and Hugs!!!

Original plans for the day were to treat me to dinner at Red Lobster, one of my favorite places to eat.  But, with the restaurants being so busy today - I opted to stay home and fix Chicken Fajitas with Rice and Beans.    We're going to go down and clean the boat, and then probably just veg out and watch the ballgame and a couple of our favorite programs this evening.  

We also have to send our very best wishes to our very special daughter-in- law, Chystal  - who is an AWESOME MOTHER and who makes our family extra special!

And Rich and I  can not let Mother's Day pass by without remembering two very special ladies, who on the wings of angels, God has called home.  We think of them daily with love in our hearts.   Happy Mother's Day, Edna (Donald) Strawn, and Marjorie Benjamin.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A little under the weather.........but still time for friends

This past week went by pretty quickly.  Rich did quite a bit of work in the yard - trimming branches, sprinkling Preen in the flower beds, adjusting and replacing some sprinkler heads.   Me on the other hand - have not been feeling the best.  The pain in my lower abdomen has continued, getting worse at times, especially at night trying to sleep.  Finally decided to see the doctor and he is pretty certain that I have an abdominal hernia.   It's amazing though -  before I really know for sure for almost 2 weeks.   Ultrasound is scheduled for May 4th, and then an appointment with the surgeon - but not until the 9th!!   In the meantime I am also scheduled with my OB/GYN on the 5th,  my Mammogram on the  9th, and my Optometrist on the 13th! We been considering a few days at our time share the week of the 15th - but we'll see how that goes.  Also got to get stuff ready for our NY trip.  Good news is - I've cut out carbs, like break, pasta, potatoes in the last 2 or 3 weeks, and I've dropped 12 pounds!  I do treat myself to at least one of those carbs on the weekends!

So today is May 1st an our good friend Nathan Showalter's Birthday.

 We send along our very best wishes as he enjoys his day with family.........

Happy Birthday Nathan!

Rich and I headed for Sebring today to spend the day with our other good friends Nick and Tonyia.   They have been so busy with work that it seems like it's been months since we've been able to spend some time together.  I think the last time we saw them was Easter Sunday!!  

But today we really enjoyed the day.  Tonyia and I spent most of the day playing Mexican Train!  Three Games, and while I beat her pretty good one game - she took the other two!!  The guys spent the day outside, enjoying a beer  and just catching up on what they've been up to.  Tonyia  shared some snacks, apples and Carmel sauce and cheese and crackers.  Nick threw some hot dogs on the grill and I had brought along a potato salad.  Their yard really looks great - the airplane being the newest addition to the Key West theme.   Thanks guys for a great afternoon!

Tomorrow I'll need to get out and do some grocery shopping.  Tuesday is the Indiana Primary and the doctor visits begin!

Next Sunday we're meeting up with Buddy and Diane over at Nathan and Krystals' for some target practise, grilled pizza and games!  Buddy and Diane will be heading north on the 7th so this will be our final get together with them until probably September.