Saturday, March 7, 2015

February 2015 - Kimmissee and a crazy busy month

Busy month.  Spent the first week viewing apartments so we know where we want to live when we return.  John made a spreadsheet so we have 1-5 listed.  We'd like to have our apartment ready to move into when we pull into town.

Annual trip to Kissimmee for Valentines Day week and visiting with our fun Canadian friends Walt and Lammy.  Visited Shingle Creek, and went to Lake Shore Park with Walt & Lammy.

Shingle Creek, Kissimmee, FL

Cathy's arrival in Orlando and spending several days with us in Kissimmee and back to Clearwater so we can show her our beauty/interest.   Park Avenue and Kraft Azalea Garden, Lakeside Winery, visited our friend Tom in Clermont, and had a great time at Gatorland.  Saturday night Old Town for classic cars.

Breakfast essential cotton candy
w/Cathy, Walt & Lammy

 Kraft Azalea Garden
Winter Park, FL

Lakeridge Winery
Clermont, FL

Gatorland - a fun place to visit

A huge gator

Swamp walk in Gatorland

The flamingos were so fun to watch

 Old Town, Kissimmee, FL
Our annual trip to see the classic cars

Huge wheels on this monster truck

Our Valentine's Day selfie

All good things must end, so we left Kissimmee on Sunday.  On our way home we stopped in Tampa at Nicole and James' house for a wonderful, sumptuous brunch to help Nicole being alive after a near death accident 3 years ago.  Had a nice visit.

February 17th Robert's graduation (he finished school Feb. 6th).

Home from last day of school

To the beach.  Cath is a beach maniac and has to get her toes in the sand and collect some shells.

Sand Key Beach State Park
Fun collecting shells

Resting after shell collecting

The Graduate

Tooth Fairy Dolphin

Always time for ice cream - Dunedin

The Flamingo Girls

Fun time at Tarpon Springs.  So glad Cathy could appreciate the old movie and museum which are things I just adore.

Lunch at a favorite place
Cathy had her first po'boy

Memorial to sponge divers
A very cold, windy day in Tarpon Springs

Big day including DeSoto Park (pier, Fort and shelling on the beach).  Then I decided Cathy must see manatees and we made a long drive over the Sky Bridge to TECO (Tampa Electric Company) to see the literal tons of manatees that shelter there in the warm water.  I've never seen so many manatees and we also saw black tipped sharks.

Cold day, we filled my mittens with shells
Fort DeSoto


After TECO, drove to St. Pete for dinner at Taco Bus, drove by the pier, went to the park and showed Cathy the beautiful banyan trees and the old open air post office.  A fun, exhausting day.

 Magnificent banyan tree

St. Petersburg Marina

Saturday was my Meet Up Group FUNSTERS day at Honeymoon Island with a hike/talk with two Rangers.  Nice hike, lots of cool birds, including bald eagles, who were nesting at this time of year and even nice weather.  After hike, we had lunch at Frenchy's

Funster hike with Rangers

Osprey nest


Spent the morning at Shellabration over in Seminole.  The St. Petersburg Shell Club had an exhibition of shell collections that were amazing.  We couldn't believe all the different types.  It was very fun to see and something different. 

At 3:30 p.m. we attended FUNSTER'S SSS - Ice Cream Social and Security.  A feast of vanilla ice cream that we supplied and everyone else bringing toppings to share.  Then we settled in and listened as our member, Richard, gave a talk on computer safety.  I felt this event might be doomed since I had to change date once and then location.  But it was a pretty day and we all had a nice time.

Happy eating our sundaes

Philippe Park is such a beautiful place

Robert's graduation present was a day at Busch Gardens.  Had never been and we enjoyed seeing all the animals and had a fun day.  I can now say "been there, done that."  I'm just not too much of an amusement park person.  Prefer a beautiful park or beach.  But it was a fun change.

Train ride through the park

All things flamingo

Robert's new hat

Not for me

Cool art made from junk

Of course we rode the carousel

Tuesday, we just had to take a rest after being on the go for almost two straight weeks.  So we stayed home, laid around and rested.  In the evening Cathy took me out for Crab Legs.  We went to our little bar down the street, the Brown Boxer, and had all you can eat with two sides.  A true feast.  We both love snow crab and were so happy.  They also had karaoke and Cathy had fun singing several songs.  She even talked me into my karaoke debut "Honkey Tonk Woman", by the Rolling Stones.  We sang together and I have no idea how we sounded because I couldn't hear it.  Probably not too good, but it was fun and something new.
Delicious crab

Rock'in out

Up on Wednesday at 8:00 a.m. and drove to Orlando to take Cathy to the airport.  We sure had a fun visit and saw about as much as we could.  It was wonderful to see Cathy and I'll miss her.  Came home and actually started packing up for our move.

Finished our month with a lunch with our friends, MaryEllen and Greg and Saturday night with Michelangelo and Carmen, our new friends from Colombia.  We had fun learning some cultural traditions.

What a month.  A crazy whirlwind and friends and activities.  Next month will be different as we hit the road in the general direction of Idaho with lots of fun stops on the way.  I will keep a blog as we have some new adventures.

*  Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach delivered reliable electricity to the community for 16 years before the commercial operation of Big Bend Unit 4 in 1986. That year, people started seeing manatees in large numbers in the power station's discharge canal, where saltwater – taken from Tampa Bay to cool Unit 4 – flowed, clean and warm, back to the bay. When Tampa Bay reached 68 degrees or colder, the mammals would seek out this new refuge. The Manatee Viewing Center was soon born. Today, Big Bend's discharge canal is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary that provides critical protection from the cold for these unique, gentle animals