Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy new year

I'm actually awake on December 31 with midnight coming up in a few minutes! No I didn't stay up and party, I went to bed at 8 and woke up at 11. I took a bit of a spill on the stairs coming out of the restaurant here at Big Game Club in Bikini. with a sore Anker and knee I'm staying in bed today while the rest go diving.
Blessed be the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.


Sunday, November 27, 2022

Thanksgiving Family Cruise

 We've only been on a few cruises and they've all included Jim's sister, Debbie. The last one was over 12 years ago, so when she asked if we would go on a Thanksgiving week Carribbean cruise, we said sure!

The adventure started with the ride to Port of Miami. We crowded 6 people and lots of luggage in an SUV when we had hoped for a big van. Oh well, we can manage for the 45 minutes - 1 hour that it should take. 

Crowded but happy - on our way. That's Jim's nephew Stephen and his wife, Sarah

err, make that 3 hours! It was raining - to put it mildly - and the tunnel to the cruise ship area was closed. The streets were flooded and traffic was at a standstill. At one point we could actually see the cruise ship, but it still took us nearly 2 hours to get there.

Really on our way now

The ship skipped the stop in the Bahamas because the weather was still bad, but it cleared up by the time we got to the Carribbean islands and we took our one excursion to go snorkeling in St. Thomas. That was fun, even if it was a very crowded sailboat.

Food, food, and more food! That's the biggest decision on a cruise ship: which restaurant should we eat in tonight?

I especially liked the eggplant parmesan and asked the waiter if I could get the recipe. He said, "sure, what's your room number?" 9262 The next morning, after breakfast, we went back to the room and there it was!

We saw one play - the Choir of Man (#choirofman) It was great fun! Just like being on Broadway.


I loved having a balcony. How do I bring this home?

Of course, the reason for the cruise was spending time with family. A good time was had by all.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Scuba diving in Cozumel for my 70th Birthday

I remember exclaiming, so many times, about how we took my Mom scuba diving for her 70th birthday. I thought that was so amazing, and everyone I told also thought the same. It was also a shark dive, so there's that then. But now I'm 70 and hey! It's no big deal. Of course I'm going scuba diving, that's what I love to do. 70 is the new 50, right!


We went to Cozumel and stayed at the same resort where I celebrated my 60th. It's called Occidental and is part of the Barcelo properties. The diving was wonderful - my favorite thing to do is swim thru underwater canyons, and they are plentiful. The dive boat is right on the property and, because the resort is located at the suthern end of the island, it's very close to the best dive sites. Just 5-20 minutes instead of 40-60 from the town of San Miguel.
It's an all inclusive resort so after our morning dives, we could just belly up to the bar and have our fill of cerveza or vino or Mojito. Then have a wonderful dinner in any of 6 (I think) excellent restaurants.
But, the best park is simply the beauty of the place. There are people sweeping the sidewalks constantly, as well as minding the plants and flowers. It is just perfection.

I love the Mexican tiles and colors

One day I took advantage of their spa and got a massage - ahhh. And, another day Jim had arranged for us to go over to the mainland and do a dive in the Cenotes. I was hoping I could link to an old blog post for you to see when we took a cavern-diving class at the Cenotes years ago. But, it was many years ago ... before blog :-(

It was 1997 when Mom had the idea to take a cavern diving class in the Yucatan cenotes. What fun! Jim and I and Devon joined Mom in the trip. I think the class was about 3 days and we did about 3 cenote dives. The most remarkable part is the gin-clear water, the fact that you cannot surface once you're into the dive because you'd just bump into the ceiling of the cavern! I also remember lots of stalactites and stalagmites because these were once dry caves. The names were Car Wash, Dos Ojos, and Ponderosa.
We just went to one cavern this time - Cenote Chikin Ha - and it didn't have the same stalactites/stalagmites. But, it was still cool. It was quite a bit of work though, especially for a 70 year old woman. errr, I mean 50?!?

We had to walk to the entrance down these steps with all our gear on

The water was 74 degrees

Happy Birthday to me!

Monday, October 17, 2022

A sociable week and new teeth

 Monday: Date night We started October off right by going to our favorite restaurant - Cooper's Hawk. It's also a winery and we joined the club to get one bottle each month. It gives us an excuse to go.

Friday: Next up, my old high school friend, Leslie Golay - now Leslie Sheffield, invited us out on a boat ride . YES! She and her husband, Rich were great hosts. We went up the intracoastal and out the Hillsboro Inlet for a little bit of ocean time. Then, on the way back we stopped at Cap's Place - a historic, accessible by boat only, bar-restaurant.

Monday: Then came Jim's sister, Debbie's birthday - we're the same age, so it was a little preview of what's to come for me at 70! Nice party. 70 is the new 50 doncha know!

But wait, there's more ...

Tuesday: Gone with the Wynn's meetup in Miami

Jason and Nikki Wynn - aka "Gone with the Wynns" have a very popular YouTube channel about living on a sailboat and traveling around the world. We met them when they were RVers and have kept in touch. We were actually hoping to meet up wiht them in New Zealand - but Miami will have to do for now!

Friday: Dinner with Christine Hall who lives in Thailand

I knew Christine back in the 80s when she took classes at my training center, Computer Savvy. I always remember her because she was the most determined student I ever had. We kept in touch somehow and ended up friends on facebook as I followed her travels and actually settling in Chiang Mai Thailand. I would love to visit her there someday, but when I saw that she was visiting Fort Lauderdale, I jumped right on email and asked if we could get together for dinner. Our conversation could have easily lasted many more hours than dinner! She has continued her interest in technology as well as travel. She even introduced me to a tech group message board for expats in Chiang Mai - cool!

Sunday: Dinner with best old friends, Chris and Richard

It seemed appropriate - Chris and I became friends back in 1984 when I first moved back to Florida. We belonged to a group called "Week of the Ocean" and the group met every week at Coconuts restaurant on the water. Wow! It's gotten a LOT busier over the years.

New teeth

You may never have noticed my crooked and discolored teeth, but I did. I wasn't interested in going thru the time and work of braces, but when my dentist said she could give me a new smile in a couple of weeks with 4 crowns and a little bit of filing, I said yes. I justify the $4,000 as my birthday present for my 70th birthday. I love having new teeth! It helps me feel younger.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Last stop - the beach - then home

 Gamble Rogers State park is our favorite, and it's hard to get a reservation for the beachside sites. We always check, and if we can snag one, we'll make the stop. I need to remember for next time though that many beachside sites still don't have beach views because of all the shrubbery. Try to get sites 11-23 odd numbers for a clear view out your back window.

Theses old farts even went and played in the surf. The water was so nice and warm.

Next stop ... home.

All is well, even the plants did OK - except the hibiscus out front, it was dead as a doornail. Oh well, I want to do something else with that front entryway anyway.

It took a week or so, but we finally had the perfect day for kayak diving!

Monday, September 12, 2022

At home in 21 feet

It's a rainy morning in the Doughton park campground. We're so glad that we dumped and took on water and got gas yesterday. That means that we're good for anything we need to do. This was our 5th night with no hookups. We've cooked every meal except one in the camper. These campground didn't even have showers, so we had the rare joy of using the shower head in our tiny bathroom. It's called a wet bath, because the whole bathroom gets wet when you use the shower. In the five years that we've  had the road trek, we've only used it once or twice.
We ran the generator to make coffee and we decided to have oatmeal for breakfast. We usually cook on an electric, induction, cook top, but I didn't want the noise of the generator any more than we had to so we used the gas stove. Hey! It worked! I'm not sure we've ever used it before.
With the rain keeping us inside, cooking and cleaning giving us something to do and, oh yeah, we had pretty good cellular signal so we could catch up on news, and some YouTube channels we like to follow. We felt so at home that we easily spent the entire morning in our cozy little camper, only leaving when we had to for checkout time of noon.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

The perfect morning

We go to bed early when we're camping, so I was awake at 6:30am. I stared out the windows at the pristine woods that surrounded our rv and watched as darkness turned to speckled light from the rising sun. I'm looking, futilely, for bear. We had no cell signal or wifi, so I couldn't check email or Facebook. I was tempted to pick up my phone to read my kindle book that was downloaded, but I chose the path less taken and just laid quietly with my thoughts, comparing the dappled sunlight to the ideas and topics that flitted through my brain. One of those thoughts was how grateful I am to have Jim. He does double duty. First, he enables me too do these things. He is good at things I'm not, like vehicle maintenance and driving long distances. Second, and miss important he is my partner in sharing these wondrous experiences with me. We enjoy so many of the same things, liked living in a small vehicle! So, as he stopped, I rolled over to give him a morning hug and kiss and mostly a great big smile. I'm a happy girl.
We get up, stow our sleeping bags, and get dressed. The campground we're in, Peaks of otter, has a companion Lodge with a restaurant where we planned to get breakfast. It's a little over a mile walk, a lovely walk, thru the woods and around a lake. The lodge served a delicious breakfast, had a picture perfect view, and good wifi! We were able to check out email and download offline maps for the rest of the trip.

Walking the mile back to our camper, my apple watch and Jim's oura ring proudly informed us that we'd reached out exercise goals for the day.

Fully rested and relaxed, good exercise and filled with beauty. 

Saturday, September 03, 2022

Relax, take it easy, don’t stress

We got back to LBI on the Jersey shore on Labor Day weekend, so we decided to sit tight until that was over before hitting the road to go back home. I can never get enough of the beautiful sunsets from our driveway parking spot at Jimmy's house.

For the trip back, we decided to do the Blue Ridge Parkway. We've been there before, but it's been a long time. We know it's beautiful and we're up for it. We started with the Skyline drive that turns into the Blue Ridge Parkway. So here's our whole route ...

Skyline Drive - thru Shenandoah National Park

I can feel it in my muscles and my bones. Traveling on the skyline Drive with solid green scenery, no traffic, no cell service, and no electricity at the campgrounds. Your one choice is to just be. The driving is sometimes steep, always curvy, but it's still relaxing because it is so beautiful and so little traffic. This is not just a scenic road, it is The Scenic Road. It was built for the stated purpose of providing access to scenic beauty and it runs the length of the Shenandoah National park. Trucks are not allowed and, if you know what's good for you, you don't drive a big rv here either. No commercial traffic at all, no trucks on the road, no businesses beside the road, no billboards or any signs other than directions. There is a scenic overlook it seems like every mile or even more.  Our little camper van is so perfect. 

The campgrounds are beautiful, and empty. We stayed at Mathew's arm , the northernmost campground on the skyline and at Loft Mountain, the southernmost. I even found a perfect spot for some of moms ashes at loft mountain. Right in our campsite, a beautiful old oak tree with a cubby hole in it and I could just heart her say, "I wish I could just curl up and go to sleep in there", so she did.

Our comfy bedroom is so nice when we can leave the back curtains open and see forest