Saturday, February 16, 2013

Blessed Friendship

Kissimmee - Another Week

2/10/13 - 2/16/13

Rested up on Sunday. Spent quite a bit of time at the pool and met two nice people from Canada (Lammy and Walt). They both have done lots of mission work in Haiti with their group Mission to Haiti – Canada ( Their group, which is non-denominational has been working there for many years and has helped Haitians with medical and dental care, housing, education and other areas.
Bath water temp pool
Relaxing hot tub

Later we made a trip to the grocery store. We're trying to not buy so much at one time and just get enough food for two days. Seems like we have wasted food by stocking up when we have to change places so often.

We spent early part of day at pool on Monday. Met some nice people, Lynn and Paul, who are from Wisconsin. Lynn and I talked quite a bit about how kids are raised these days with no competition for them as it could ruin their self esteem, negotiating with a two year old, etc. I thought it would be fun to have a BBQ, so asked the two couples we met if they'd like to come to dinner. We decided on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. John and I went to store and bought some nice chicken breasts that I will marinate in mojo. Got some cheese/garlic bread sticks, yams, and Valentine cupcakes. Should be fun. For our dinner I did BBQ two steaks and they turned out perfect, done just right and they were so tender. Was nice to have some grilled food.

Had great news over Facebook that Maria was accepted into the Master's Program at Florida State University. She is so excited and we are so happy for her. I think this school will be a wonderful place for her and there won't be any winter to speak of. We wish her the best as she pursues her desire to be a professional opera singer.

Evening after her audition 
Accepted to FSU,  Tallahassee!!!!!!
Ordered Robert's ticket to Cancun online, so let's hope that he gets his passport squared away. I got him on the same flight as Cathy, March 20th, even though they don't sit together they can go to airport and wait together, have company. Robert has the flu so I hope he gets well soon.

Tuesday I got up and checked e-mail and FB and my friend in PA had just posted a message that her daughter was in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. I watched the show and it was so fun to see all the fantastic dogs.  In Terrier group, Branson, my friend's daughter's dog, won best of breed.  He sure is cute and knows how to pose. 

Super Cutie

Later went to the pool, visited with our new friends and read.   Walking back to our room I saw a little squirrel digging around in the grass. I stopped and watched him for a few minutes and then started wondering about what he was doing. It is not like it gets cold or snowy here and it just sort of cracked me up. Hiding food for the winter?   How does he determine when winter is?

Back in our room and marinated chicken so it will be yummers tomorrow.   Danielle, our friend from Tampa, e-mailed that she wanted to come over on the weekend and would try to figure out when. That will be so neat to see her. A little TV and bed.

Supposed to rain and I kept peeking out to see since BBQ in the rain is not optimal. Went to the pool and visited with our guests (Lammy, Walt (from Canada), Lynn and Paul (from Wisconsin). We talked about possibility of rain and made an alternative plan just in case. Came back and John went to the store to pick up a few things. Packed up BBQ stuff and put it all on a luggage hand truck and took it over to BBQ area. Clouds getting darker and it feels like 70/30% chance of rain, but I guess we'll risk it. Can always run in pavilion close by or to one of our rooms. Folks arrived and I got chicken cooking. We had such a nice meal, garlic bread sticks, yams with cinnamon sugar and butter, mojo chicken and a great salad with garlic dressing. For dessert we had Valentine cupcakes that were quite tasty and not greasy. We all talked and had a real fun time. This is a group of talkers so there was never a lull in the conversation.

Ready to grill
left rear to forward - Walt, Lammy, Gena
right side rear to forward - Paul, Lynn & John (taking pic)
Such a fun evening together 2/13/13
Valentines Day.   John sent me an e-card, and then I sent him one. He had bought me a batik dress-like bathing suit cover for Valentine's Day present. We were up early to go into Winter Park, about an hour away, so I could participate in One Billion Rising to support ending violence against women and girls. It was a short, non structured dance with a tiny group with Peruvian flute music (a favorite of mine) in the background. In the grass, next to a lake. It was very meaningful. This was the 14th annual OBR and I had never heard of it before. The power of the internet. I'm curious to see how the participation was across the globe. Met a neat couple, Lenore and Rick, there (nice to have a man involved) who are traveling full time. Lenore is keeping a blog too, so I got her e-mail and blog address, and will send her mine. Fun to keep track of each other.

Lovely, dancing beside the lake
After the dance, John and I went to one of our favorite areas here, Park Avenue. Just the coolest area with shops that have jewelry, chocolate, pastry clothes, just all kinds of beautiful and mostly expensive things. We had lunch at Cocina 214, a highly rated, winner of best Mexican/Tex Mex food in Orlando for 2012 and several past years. John had a chicken tamale and I had enchiladas de queso with verde sauce. The food was good, just not our style of Mexican. It was a beautiful restaurant and we dined al fresco. After lunch, we went to chocolate shop looking for truffles. I love Grand Mariner truffles that are really big and hand rolled. We found some small truffles, but no GM, so we passed. Tried another chocolate shop, but not the right kind. So down the street to the little French bakery we had eaten at a few weeks ago. I got several delicious cookies and a palmier to take back to our place so I can enjoy them when hungry and with coffee. Robert called us and wished us a Happy Valentines Day and that was a pleasant surprise. Rain started in hard after Park Avenue, so we headed home for an quiet evening.

Valentine Lunch
Patio Dining - Winter Park, FL

Up early Friday to go to VA in Winter Park for blood work. I was a bit under the weather so John ventured off and got it done. Went back in the afternoon to get oil changed in car we have now put 14,000 miles on the car. Hard to believe we've driven so much. John went online and ordered us Rosetta Stone Spanish for Latin America and we are super excited about trying to learn Spanish. We do have the time, now we just have to apply ourselves and make time to work on it.

Again, up early – what's up with this up early, I'm retired. Down to our friends' room on 1st floor who were giving us a frozen pizza as they are hitting the road today and heading back to Ontario. Three day trip for them and they are part of an escort to help a friend home who was in the ICU in Orlando. They just found out that the other friends were down here, so will travel back to Canada together to be sure everything is OK. Sounds like a God thing to me.

Rushed out the door and knowing we're going to be late to our Concealed Weapons class. Thanks goodness for GPS. I've taken this class in Idaho two times, just never carried through to get paper work done and permit, so it is truly time. We were late for class, but that was OK. It was packed, about 35 people, and an equal amount of men and women. About 2 ½ hrs. class time, and then we went to the range and safely handled and shot gun with our instructor. Was proud when instructor said to both John and I twice that he could tell we knew what we were doing. I shot some type of revolver and then got to try another smaller, pink handled revolved. The trigger pull on that gun must have been 40 lbs. and I could have shot it 5 times, but opted for 3, because it was just awful to shoot. John enjoyed the class, so he can add a Florida permit to his Idaho.
All Shots Counted

We were going to head back to pool but the wind is howling, so we will do wash and clean up room since our little Danielle from Tampa and her sister are coming tomorrow to spend the day with us. So looking forward to their visit.

Observations this week are:

How fun it has been to be here awhile. We know so many streets and it is feeling familiar. We are about 1 hour from Gulf Coast and also the Atlantic. Amazing.

How precious it is to make new friends. Until you are away from home for a bit of time one doesn't always realize the importance of friends; how special it is to be connected, talk to others in a more meaningful way. I loved this week making our new friends from way up North (Wisconsin) and even another country (Ontario, Canada) and the full-time trailer travelers (South Dakota). Funny too how we didn't know any people from that upper region with the exception of our old friends, Bob and Rebecca, in Wisconsin.

How precious our old friends are. There are so many degrees of friendship and it is fun to think about each friendship and how it came about, how it developed, how it is maintained. We don't always have to be together and through the internet (the wonder that it is) we have the opportunity to communicate around the world with our friends – both people we know personally and people we may meet via the internet.

Squirrels in Florida are crazy (see above)

Hugs and Kissimmeesssssssssssss

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