Saturday, July 28, 2012

What a week...


Fourteen days of early morning walks on the beach, eleven meals cooked on the grill, 20 plus dips in the pool both solo and with the Grands, too many meals with family to count and about the same with our wonderful friends (who also happen to be 'family'), two birthdays in two days and a gazillion sunsets beyond description...welcome to our life these past two weeks. 

We bought back the week we gifted to our son (due to a job layoff the fees are beyond him right now) and we may already have it rented for next year.  This year, we 'gifted' it to a fellow teacher at the school where my daughter teaches,  When the kids went invetro to get our precious twins, this woman stepped up to the plate, learned how to administer K's mid day shots into her stomach, helped her move her room while K was pregnant with Leighton and who defined amazing.  For a variety of reasons, she and her husband never had time for a honeymoon so we are all hoping this will be our way of saying thank you. 

Our birthday girls were Denise, our dear friend, Jadee's mom, whom we adore (both of them) AND our wonderful room mate this past week, our dear friend, Linda Adams, who has joined me in the Medicare Era.  We fested them at our annual "bring all your left overs and bbq " on Thurs night and then for our traditional visit to the Fish House (see pics of the food)on Friday.  Happy B'day ladies.

Every year we go to Estero Island Beach Club is different:  some of our friends own every other year, some rent but wish to own and some of the every others want to be every year folks like us.  Every year is unique and every year is so special.  These moments we spend together keep us glued until we once again toast the working people daily and the sunsets every evening.  It does not get any better than this

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Morning Walk on Estero Island (day six)

 Walking along the beach this morning reminded me that it is turtle season.  I read in the paper the other day how Tropical Storm Debby has decimated so many of the nests.  I was privileged a few years ago while down here to see a turtle nest being opened.  The Turtle Patrol here monitors  the nests and one needed to be evacuated.  The number of unhatched eggs was meticulously recorded, the number deformed or dented as well.  And then, just as the woman was ready to close up the nest, there was the tiniest of movements and a baby turtle 'swam' his way to the top.  The woman carefully picked the baby up and let the two or three of us who had stopped our journey to watch feel the baby's feet as it pushed against our fingers.  That little one was strong.  The lady told us that the baby turtle would be returned after dark to the exact spot of the next and 'assisted' into the surf, wished well and sent on its way.

 I walked about 5 miles total today and would have done more I went to roam through this

I was instantly covered with blood sucking mosquitoes. 

On my cut back to the beach, I discovered a sweet little lane paralleling the beach road but back a block and secluded.  This is the Florida I remember from visits to my folks when they lived on Sanibel Island...little cottages dating from the 20's-60s and many are still there and lived in.
Today, I headed to the cemetery to decorate my parents and my auntie and uncles resting places.  I briefly stopped to visit with friends from another time in my life.  I have missed these two gal pals. I put 3 silk roses next to my parents nitches (my mother loved roses) and a silly pink flamingo that I knew would put a smile on my mom's face . She played more than one prank on me with flamingos.  I put a pretty wreath on my aunt Marion and uncle Harlan's.  There vase is missing and, if my sister does not have it, I need to call the cemetery about this.

We have our favorite neighbors from the old neighborhood here coming for dinner.  The four of us, Ed and Deb, E and me, survived more than one hurricane together, signaling across the street to make sure the other couple was aok.  We'd make the coffee on our grill in the mornings (we lost all power each time for at least 5 days), cook dinners together and celebrate the return of power each time.
"Good people like Ed and Deb don't come along every day.  I did my longest bike ride ever (and probably one of Deb's when she and I biked the 17 mile route on Gaspirilla Island...with a couple of beach bar stops for refreshments, of course.  And we were stared down by one a huge iguana!  Oh, and then there was the Christmas decoration competition...each year we would do more and more hoping one year to catch up to Ed and Deb.  I miss this.

Busy week coming up starting tomorrow...Susie and Justin arrive tomorrow evening; Sat.  Jadee, her mom, her two girls, Cheryl and John, Kelly and Jill and their little guy all arrive here.  Sunday, Kristen and Chris arrive with my oh so darling Grands, Justin and Susie have to depart.  Monday, our lovely Linda arrives and our Week 29 is complete...with five friend filled days to go.  We are missing Kim and Mitch and thank them so much for offering their larger unit to Chris and Kristen for the week.  Soon, Ms Kim...soon.

Watch for our traditional "Toast to the Working People" of the oldest traditions of Week 29...let the fun begin.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day Five in Paradise South

 My morning walk today took me down Estero Blvd and over the bridge, down a road almost to Parrot Key restaurant.  Now, for those of you who don't know me well, crossing this bridge which is high, spanning the Back Bay was an extreme act of bravery on my part.  I have a height problem that developed out of the blue about ten years ago.  My dear friend, Janet Miller, has seen my problem first hand when she and I took a walk that led us over a bridge last Fall.  She has no fear of heights and is, therefore, my hero.  I not only swallowed my fear and walked across the bridge but I also managed to stop the shakes enough to get these pics.

The photo above is of one of our old favorite local hangouts, Bonita Bills.  We've never not had fun there and it is the 'home' to lots of the boat people and other assorted locals.

I had a wonderful day today surprising old acquaintances and friends.  Regina, owner of Owl and Pussycat Stamp Art Store in Ft. Myers, is one of the most talented artists I know.  Today and every Wed. is demo day.  I love learning from her and today was no exception.  I left the store with lots of new goodies and tons of inspiration.

My next stop was down the road a bit to Scrapbooks Etc. in Bonita Springs.  I first met the owners, Janet and her daughter, Colleen, when I moved to Ft. Myers in 2001.  Her then tiny store was located next to a video store and I felt so at home at her store.  They have moved the store and have a lovely one on Bonita Beach Road.  No visit to our time share is complete w/o a visit to the store and a good visit with Janet and Colleen.

Hope your day is a good one.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day Three evening and Day Four Morning Walk

I took this picture of last night's sunset through the screen on the lanai.  It was breathtaking and I'd have gone out to take the shot but I already had my jammies on. 

This morning I set out to walk about 7:30ish and make it about a block further than a day or two ago.  Put in an hour plus but walked back on the street as it sure looked like it was going to pour.  I've already lost one phone to inclement weather and didn't want to lose a second one.  Walking back on the street at least gave me some buildings to dodge under.  I did manage to make it back "home" before the rain started.
 The morning sky was pretty dramatic too. 

 Because of the storms, we've had unusually high waves and surf which has made for some great swimming by the visitors.  
 I had company on my walk!
 The frangipang is in full bloom.  We had a beautiful one when we lived here in Ft. Myers but have not been able to grow one in Tarpon Springs despite a few attempts.
 We read for a bit this morning, picked up the condo a bit since we are having my sister, Janet and her boyfriend, Dennis, over for dinner.  Then we headed out to the little out let mall to play shop til we drop.
We found a darling sundress for Leighton, plaid shorts and two tops each for the little guys, underwear and socks for E and for me...well, I hit pay dirt:  socks (I've been walking through mine), a pair of ankle length jeans, two tops, a pair of cute shorts, a pair of capris and a hat!

We stopped at one of our favorite haunts on the way home for lunch ...the menu is for you Pam Bennett.  You can tell me in the morning what you would have had.  Toasted to all the TIKI HUT gals and many others! 

Hope everyone is having an amazing day

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Vacation in Paradise South Day One

 Coming over the bridge from Ft. Myers to the beach is always such a delight.  The Back Bay teems with boats and birds and parasails.  Off to the right was this so very cute floating Tiki Bar.  There was a phone number to call but I missed it yesterday.  I am assuming you can rent this for private parties.  I can sure picture several of my pals and I enjoying an afternoon on this!

 We got checked into our time share, unpacked just before the afternoon showers hit and then, after a short visit from my sister and her boyfriend, E and I headed down the beach for the 17th. or perhaps 18th year in a row.  We always go to The Cottage on Estero Island for bacon wrapped shrimp dipped in honey and beach bread.  This year we added some lightly fried fish bits to tide us over.  This was a very early dinner for us.

 We spent the rest of the late afternoon/early evening sitting out on the patio on the beach.  We read, worked crosswords and renewed acquaintances with other owners whom we see year after year.  A couple of glasses of wine and a lovely sunset made this day complete.