Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guitar Heroes

We have enjoyed having friends around to hang out with here at Peace River.  Well, we almost always have friends here.....but they don't usually come over to play Guitar Hero.

Guitar Hero is a great thing to play because it only involves the game, the guitars and then of course players:
This is serious stuff.  The games can get pretty intense:
It's almost as much fun to watch as it is to play:
Then there is this:
Please don't ask me to explain it.  Because I couldn't if I tried.  They are having fun.  That's all I know!  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Living the life in Florida!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Peace River After Much Rain

The kids kept telling me how high the river was after all the rain we've had.  I think this winter it has rained more than any winter I can recall in Florida.  So it didn't surprise me to hear it was high.

Tonight, we took a walk back there to see it ourselves.

It was as beautiful as always back there.  And the river was higher than I've ever seen it before!
Since we are gearing up to head out of this area in a few days...I'm wanting to soak up the beauty while we are still here.  With all the rain, there is green everywhere.  It just screams Spring!

I love it!  Living the life in Florida!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Pickleball Recruits

Yesterday I played pickleball all day long.  As much as I love the sport, it is really hard for me to play for that long because I'm not in good enough shape to do it.  Why did I play that much then?  Because in the morning, I played with some of the regular players.

This is Carol, Austin, Lou and Buddy.
 I just met Carol and Lou.  I'm not sure how I just met them because they've known Austin and Nathan for years.  Or most likely almost two years since that is how long we've been full timers.  Buddy is someone I briefly met last year.  This year I was able to get to know him better.  I can't believe I missed not knowing Buddy better last winter because he is the best.  He has a great smile, a great laugh and a great attitude towards life.  He's pure sunshine.  As much as I adore Buddy, he is not why I played all day long though.

This guy was:

That is Connor.  He is one of our new pickleball recruits.  He's about ten years old and he already plays almost as good as me.  He rocks.

Then there is this guy:
That's Kelby.  He's twelve and he was the first in the family to be sucked into the world of pickleball.  He's awesome after only one day of playing.  And he's really fun to play with.  He's definitely worth playing past my physical comfort level!

Of course if they play, then Dad has to join in the fun. 
Vern is not only great at the game already, he is one of the most entertaining people I've ever watched play.  He dives, he spins, he runs in circles, and moves his feet like a skilled dancer.  You just have to see it in person.  In the meantime though, this gives you a taste of it:
I love it when we have new recruits.  It is so much fun to play with them.  Especially when they are as cool as these particular recruits.

Living the life in Florida!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Royal Hermmann Lipizzaner Stallions

I've visited the Lipizzaner horses three times before.  Nathan had not made it there before today.  So we drove over with our friends, the Evans family.
The show went well, and was the same neat things as the other times I've been here.
At some point, it became very interesting to me though because I saw something different.  When Aric and I were here, they told us that they were bringing out a new stallion.  They weren't sure how he'd do.  He did great.  Today was his second time.  He's the middle horse in this group and you can see the look on his face that tells us he is feeling feisty already:

Here he is plotting his grand plan to do his own thing:
This is where he lets us know he is going to implement that plan:
And this is where he does it:
This is where that plan gets nipped in the bud:
And this is where he pouts about it.  He wasn't happy about being reigned back in.  He wanted to show us his stuff.  He didn't want to simply perform the show that mere humans came up with.  They stopped the show to explain what the deal was.  They explained that it was his second time out with the big boys.  They said he was the teenager in the bunch.  That explains this expression:
I had no idea horses could make that face.  I'm on teenager number five.  I recognize this face all too well!
It's not all that amusing when my teens give me that look, but I have to tell you that it was hysterical when he did it.  I feel for his mother is all I have to say.  I have loved every trip to this wonderful place, but this was the best by far.

Living the life in Florida!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We are Cat-less

I have sad news.  We are officially cat free as of yesterday.  The main reason we drove over to Sarasota was to take Miss Mimi to her new home.  She was the last of our cats that we had to find a new home for, and it was a bittersweet thing saying goodbye to her.  There were many reasons that we decided to place the cats with new families and since I'm already feeling weepy over it all, I won't go into it all today.  I think we found places where they will be greatly loved and will be safe so that is the most important thing to us.

It is an odd thing to only have Coco here with us.  I'm guessing she will be even more spoiled! 

Classic Car Museum in Sarasota, FL

After visiting the plantation, we drove over to visit the Sarasota Classic Car Museum.  It is located across the street from the Ringling Museum.
 Every time we visit Ringling, I want to visit the car museum but we just haven't managed to get there until now.  I love classic cars.  In fact, I love them more than the guys in the family do.  So Nathan humored me to visit here, and Austin opted out and stayed in the front lobby and ate ice cream. 
Well, that's not true...before he sat and ate ice cream, he did humor me with one photo op picture:
He has been pestering us about driving since he obtained his learner's permit, so I teased him that he could drive that car anytime he wanted to!  Back to the museum...this is the second oldest continuously running car museums in our nation.  There are over one hundred cars inside.  They had a fabulous collection.

The very best part of it all was the unexpected surprise that had Austin kicking himself for not wandering past the lobby.  There were four Beatles cars there!  So cool to find that here!
I loved this place!  So glad we did make it inside today.

Living the life in Florida!

Gamble Plantation State Park

We visited this neat place last year, and enjoyed it so much.  It is a antebellum mansion that sat on a sugar plantation.  It is the only surviving plantation in South Florida.  It is a beautiful building and it has beautiful grounds.  We enjoyed our visit this year too.

You can read more about it here: Gamble Plantation

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Austin is a Pickleball Star

He was in the Tampa Tribune.  You can read it online here: Austin's pickleball article

Back to Wauchula FL

Yesterday we headed back to our favorite winter home, Peace River.  We've discovered that we get cranky when we stay too long at the Orlando TT.  It is a great park and we have only had one and a half bad encounters there...so it's not that it is the park's fault.  We just like Peace River better and do better to stay here for long periods.

We get here and we just go "ahhhhhhhhh" and feel our shoulders relax.  It just feels like home here, and given we are heading out in a few short weeks, we could use some home before then.

Living the life in Florida!

Coco the Super Hero

I wrote about the less than obedient Coco the other day, and while resizing some pictures, I realized that although she has her own agenda at times, she is so much fun to take hiking because she turns into a super hero when we go.

We could sit and watch her run for hours.

We think it is especially cool to watch her leap into the air while jumping over things:

And then there is that not so obedient part again...where she runs into the water and drinks it...and gets sick from it.  Leaving messes that Nathan has to clean up.  She knows she is in trouble:

And being the dutiful grandmother, I have to share a beauty shot of her.  I'm forcing myself to shoot in manual mode since I'm about five years overdue on it, and she is doing a great job of being my favorite model for the time being.
 Ok, enough about the dog.  Because although I love this dog, it is pretty ridiculous when I have two blog posts about her this week and none of the kids!

Living the life in oh so sunny and WARM Florida!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Trees We Found This Past Week

Just some of the trees we have come across while hiking.