Yesterday morning, we headed south to join Janet and Bob Miller at their beautiful home on Anna Maria Island and our new friends, Suzanne and Glen. The fog was pervasive until we hit the apex of the (dreaded for me) Sunshine Skyway Bridge...and then...the sun came out and we knew an amazing time was in store for us. This is the usual fare for a weekend with our friends, Janet and Bob.
Suzanne in deep thought.
We headed out to the fisherman's Pier for a wondeful lunch. And these are some of the pics
Oh, and did I forget to mention that Janet met us at the door with her now, since the last Cheeky Chics Crop, infamous Mimosas.? Going...going ...GONE
the menu for Pam Bennett.
We laughed, exchanged stories, laughed tons more and....
Gene fixed prime rib last night, Glen did the potatoes and the green beans and Janet and Bob crowned the event with their desserts
This is what we woke to this morning but it was so much fun to be encompassed with fog.
The day cleared and we had this to live
Here are our menfolk.
And Janet has helped me set a new standard for Wino Women...wine in a purse!
Bob and Janet spoil our Grands so very much and this is an outfit for our girly girl , Leighton, that Bob himself picked out. She is going to be the Toddler Diva for sure.
When I see the downside of the Skyway Bridge I know it is but a hop, skip and jump home...ok...maybe 40 min. lol
We can not thank Bob and Janet enough for making our 'get away' so much fun. We love you guys!
We will doing our last check for things we need to do or take on our trip. Chris' folks will have moved into our house, the kids will be reacquainted with their other grandparents and we'll be waiting for our driver to take us to the Tampa Airport. If we forget anything, we can either get it in Australia or New Zealand or we just plain don't need it, right?
We've had an incredibly busy week but then that makes time go faster and, I have found that the week before a trip can drag on and on unless one stays busy. We did an extra shift with the Grands and have still managed to get ALMOST everything done we need to do. I am finishing up the Help Manual we are leaving for Chris' folks (kids, our house and its oddities, the cats who are odd to begin with and local dinning places and things to do). As I have said, E is completely packed and I am semi. We're picking a large suitcase for me at the kids' today.
This is what I am going to miss so much....
these funny little people who expand my heart on a daily basis and occasionally try my patience...lol.
Last night, Bill and Jo took us out to dinner at The German Restaurant up the way in Holiday, Fl. Not only was the food excellent but the attention we were given was exceptional. I am sure it was generated by the fact that Bill spoke to the Mrs. of the Owners in German helped. Jo and I think he should get a part time job there as their official greeter!
I had the lemon chicken and the spratzel (sp?)...and the potato soup...all of which were very good.
Today is the last of our Nana/Papa limo days for this week. Tomorrow we head to visit with Janet and Bob Miller at their lovely beach home on Anna Maria Island. Another friend of ours and her husband arrive today from Alabama. While we gals relax on the loggia overlooking the Gulf, the guys will be slaving away in the kitchen. Isn't that how it is suppose to be? lol . Our house sitter is coming over so our cats (the boys) will not be lonely.
I have a card reader for my tablet coming in the mail today and I want to see how that works before we leave. Rob has loaded everything I need to continue to post to my blog while we are gone so I'll be posting every few days from foreign ports afar!
We ran errands today...picked up a new drag a long carry on...some wrinkle away stuff, small things of hair goo and spray and deodorant etc and, E is all packed and ready to go. The man irritates the hell out of me...he packs up to two weeks before a trip and hangs his clothes up wrinkle free. I wait til the last minute to put my freshly ironed clothes in the suitcase and I look like a bag lady when I put them on. There is something radically wrong with this picture. I'd let him pack for me but then I have to answer questions like, "do you really need 11 pairs of shoes ? um yes!" and how many pairs of slacks are you taking anyway?" ...so, I pack myself and arrive wrinkled but fully ready for any social event and with shoes to match!
This is going to be a busy week. We are coming off a four day "vacation". Tomorrow we have the Grands for the morning and then Ms Jacque of the infamous Women Who Do Lunch Bunch is picking me up and the gals and I are off for a lovely lunch and shopping. Wed. we do our Nana/Papa Limo service, then I crop with the Wed. Women at Posh Scraps and E and I have the Grands til about 7:30pm as K has a work shop.
Thurs is Nana/Papa Limo day and we have a dinner date with our wonderful friends, Bill and Jo. And that brings us to Friday...Limo Day and collapse. Sat am we head down to our other besties, Bob and Janet Miller's for a weekend where Janet, Suzanne and I sit on the loggia and the guys bring us drinks and goodies they have whipped up for our culinary enjoyment. We head back home some time Sunday as we are celebrating my favorite (and only )son in laws b'day early.
I am looking for a usb adapter or a card reader for my tablet. Just discovered that if I have that, I can upload pics from my camera onto my tablet and, when E and I are having a toddy on land at a pub or cafe with free wifi I can blog with less cost .
E out did himself last night for our weekly dinner with Bill and Jo. He made a chunk crab and lobster with shiitake mushroom bisque and lobster tail thermidor on bib lettuce and assorted greens (Rachel Ray's recipe). It was rich and luscious and I'll be walking forever to get this off. It was worth every calorie. And Jo, keeping in the spirit of buying locally and with our waist lines in mind, got us two cannoli to split.
The cannoli tradiiton goes back a couple of years to a cruise the four of us took to the Med. Jo arranged for private tour guides at each of our stops and at one, our tour guide took us to the top of the mountain across from Mt. Etna to a small town , Castlemore. It is above Taomina and not accessible by bus. It was a rainy day and Etna was clouded at the very top. We roamed the tiny town, exploring and investigating when a man in an apron called to us from the balcony of a little restaurant clinging to the mountain side. "Come! Come!", he said. " I make the best cannoli in Italia!" and he did. He gave us sweet wine to drink while we waited and we had The Best Cannoli in Italia with cappuccinos. He told us he wanted a wife soon but she had to be deaf and blind. When we asked why, he replied with a straight face, "why to get along with Mama, of course!". So, to honor Ricardo who made a rainy day bright, we share a cannoli and think of him.
Nana/Papa Limo Express got a day off so Jo and I headed to St. Pete to visit with Rob and have him do some tech work for me. I dropped off my laptop, tablet and phone and a list...got all back fixed except the phone which has to go back to the store. Thank Heavens I bought the total protection (no matter what) package. Will be returning phone tomorrow.
We left Rob and all my electronic appliances and Jo and I had an adventure. We parked near the Pier and took off shopping...er, ah walking. We found a cute little shop (can't remember the name where I was able to get some earrings to match the bracelet E gave me for Valentine's Day and a jacket for a steal from Chico's. Jo got a cool jacket there as well...here is mine.
Paired with black slacks and a black shell I have with ruffles along the u shaped neck line, I am now officially set for the cruise...or will be as soon as the tees I ordered from Old Navy come in.
Here are some of the shots from our day long adventure in St. Pete.
This has to be one of my favorite signs from the whole day.
And how cute is this message...love how my reflections shows up!
"Seek Happiness" ...LOVE.
This was tutu cute!
We headed to the Vinoy with a toddy in mind but a meter called us back to reality.
My son lives within walking distance of this area of St. Pete but we headed back to his house, picked him up and went to Johnny Vegas out on the Pier. The Pier won't be there much longer so we go there when we can. The view is amazing and I am sad to see the old Pier go and really am not fond of the Lens which is suppose to replace it. One word...ICK!
Joann is my son's god mother and has been incredibly kind to both the kids and the Grands as well. She and I go back so far that we could never not be friends...we have too much info on each other...lol.
the food was very good...you pick some good places to eat, Rob and thanks for the tech support!
Jo and Bill are coming over for dinner and we are having crab bisque, a light bib lettuce salad and Lobster Thurmador....I'll be walking for an hour tomorrow for sure. Almost all my slacks and shorts that I am taking on the cruise are 8s (a long cry from the size 16s I was wearing 3 years ago) and I refuse to out grow the 8s! Walking allows me to indulge a bit here and there (ie...live a human life food wise) and WW gets full credit for me knowing when to say when. I have been a Life Time member for 8 mo. now and living proof it works!