Friday, March 30, 2012

I Love Clouds

Out of all the things there are to love about living in Florida, from the time we first moved here at the top of my list right under: Ocean/Beaches and then: Warm Weather are: The Clouds.
 I don't know what it is about the clouds that capture my heart so much but they just do.
We will be driving along, looking at many beautiful things and I will say over and over again, look at the clouds.  Aren't they incredible?  The look like cotton candy fluffs that you could just reach up and grab.  Like I'm five years old or something.
Then I get home and I am editing pictures and again, all I can see is clouds.  And I fall in love again.
If I had a theme song, it would not be Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  It would be something along the lines of Somewhere In the Clouds.  Because it just seems to me that is a peaceful place to be.
I guess it is the same reason we lie on our backs as children and try to figure out what objects they most resemble.  It is somehow where heaven and earth meet each other in our minds.  Whatever the reason, they are lovely to look at and I'm grateful we have them here almost every single day.
Living the life in sunny Florida!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Happy Hour at Karen and Tom's

As we were discussing when people are heading out tonight, I had a talk with some people about how sad they were at the thought of leaving.  We had a nice talk about how our pickleball family really does make this place "home" for us.

I know I've said it time and time again here, but I love our pickleball friends.  They are some of the most special and rare friends we have ever had.  They just tend to be the neatest, most kind-hearted and interesting people as a whole.

As always, we had tons of fun with them tonight.
The food was fabulous!  Tom made pulled pork and it was incredible.

  We were even honored with music by Garth and Rosemary.  Rosemary has written two songs, the RV song and the Pickleball song.  Both were awesome!
It was a wonderful time with some of our "chosen" family. 

Living the life in sunny Florida!

People Watching at the Tigers Game

While cropping pictures from the game today, I realized that I enjoyed some of the shots of the people as much as the shots of the action going on there.  So I thought I'd share a few of my favorites.

Still sleeping on the couch?  Oh yeah...but she's coming around!
The key is to keep them guessing.  If we start to be consistent, then they get bored.
Yes, I do need to update my Facebook status right now!
You caught that one?
I loved seeing the fans decked out in their sports gear, both young and old.
My all time favorite moment of the day was when the ground crew dropped their equipment to dance to YMCA!  So funny!
Living the life in sunny Florida!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cypress Swamp Trail

I love this trail at Highland Hammocks Park.  It is a really unique trail, winding through a swamp with Cypress trees.  My favorite part is the catwalk/boardwalk type of path that you walk along.
It starts out as a wide path, big enough for two to walk along.  Then at some point it becomes more narrow and only has handrails on the one side.  It spans some creepy dark water where I hyperventilate if I think about it too much.

If I have not shared this yet, I can sometimes have a pretty serious water phobia.  Or to be more accurate, I can be phobic about bodies of water that do not allow you to see what creatures are inside of them.  I cross this section pretty quickly if at all possible.

This trip I reminded Nathan that I like to move quickly here and he stopped and blocked the walkway to ask me if I want to go around him.  I think I shrieked something like OMG...keep walking!  I am not going around you where I could fall right into the water and who knows what can get me...are you trying to kill me or something!?!  I think he smirked inside but he was smart enough to keep walking so we could get past this part.
There are benches where people leave their mark.
 There are areas that have me thinking surely the faeries live here! 
 Most of the areas get you so up close to your surroundings, it allows you to fully experience what exactly is in this section of the park.  All of the areas are beautiful.  It is just a really cool way to experience nature.
Even with the creepy part, I really do enjoy this trail for a nature walk!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Detroit Tigers Baseball Game

One of the first things we did as a newly married couple years ago was to go and watch the Detroit Tigers play.  And we have never been back to see them since then.  Until today.  We remembered that they do their spring training in Lakeland and bought tickets and headed out to cheer them on.
The stadium was really nice.  The crowd was really nice.  The weather was really nice.  The game was pretty good.  There was a lot of this:
We were in awe watching things like this:
I mean, seriously, how is that even humanly possible?  Mind boggling is what that is.  Still...the score was not all that exciting until this bit of magic happened:
And the score got very exciting:
After that, it was pretty much more of this:
And when all was said and done, we were very excited about the score!  So neat!
 Living the life in sunny Florida!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Now It's Funny Tale

You know how sometimes it life you have things happen and say to each other, we'll laugh about this later?  We had one of those concerning the new car we bought.  It has taken me some time to get to the I'm laughing about it part though.  In the meantime I was not laughing at all.  I was in fact convinced it was the Universes way of telling us, "Bad idea" on buying the car. 

We bought this car during the weeks that were extra crazy busy for us so I was already on overload.  We lost some employees at work so work was extra crazy busy for me.  The car was in Clearwater which is at least two hours away.

The drive was pretty hectic for us, especially when we had to go after our work days which meant we were hitting other people's rush hour traffic in Tampa.  I am not a fan of this.  In fact, I've been known to freak out a bit in traffic like this.  But we wanted this car, so I made myself do it.  (I'm not driving here, only the passenger)
Once we got closer to Clearwater, it was a delightful drive.  You cross over water.  The mermaid in me was slightly satisfied to be that close to a real body of water.  It was beautiful.
So we made the trek there.  Took the bad along with the good.  I drove the truck back home, so I could not snap pictures this time except at traffic lights.  Swore a bit while driving but we made it.

Had the car at home.  Enjoyed it for one day.  The second day the top got stuck and wouldn't go back up.  Called the dealer.  Oh yeah, we knew there was a problem with the top but we thought we fixed it.  Bring it back in and we'll fix it right this time.  So we go after work again.  For a two hour drive each way.  Hit rush hour traffic again.   Hit the lovely part near Clearwater again.
So pretty, it was almost worth the second drive over.  NOT!
Left our car.  Brought home a loaner car.  Made it home just fine.  Few days later got a call saying our car was ready to pick up.  I am beat so Nathan offers to go pick it up alone this time.  So he heads over for the THIRD trip in one week's time to Clearwater.  So much for the car saving us lots of gas money. 

I am scrapbooking and get a text message from Nathan that lets me know he just had a flat tire.  With the loaner car.  He hasn't even made it to our car yet.  Before I can even respond with great sympathy he sends me another saying that the spare tire now has a flat.  Wow.  Really??????

Calls the dealer who tells him to drive on the rim until he can get to a tire place.  Shows us at the tire place just in time to get a new tire.  Sends me this picture:
At this point, we are not sure who is crying harder, us or the car dealer.  He got the tire fixed and got the car to the dealer.  Dealer lets him know how much money he has lost on the deal.  We feel bad.  A little.  He then picks up our car and made it home.  At one a.m.  We pray this is the end of this nightmare.

What makes all of this even funnier to us now is that at the very same time we decided to go ahead and fix our golf cart and after replacing the batteries we discovered there was something else wrong with it.  So we were also transporting the golf cart back and forth to the repair guy.  We had to borrow a trailer in order to transport the golf cart.  Oh yeah, big time fun there too. 

To add even more irony to this fun fest, I had just been telling someone how I was considering getting rid of the golf cart because it was just one more thing to take care of, be responsible for and have to spend money on.  That I felt our lives becoming less simple because of adding more things to it.  Cue Twilight Zone music.

I'm happy to report both mechanical devices are working beautifully and we have been enjoying them very much.  And I really am laughing about it now.

Mostly, that is.

Just a plug for the car dealership that did right by us: Regal Cars of Florida Inc.  They seriously rocked and made the nightmare as smooth as it possibly could have been.  We highly recommend them!

I really, really hope this is The End.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sunday Drive #2

Even though this is almost a week old by now, I still wanted to share another one of our Sunday drives.  This one we kept pretty local, circling in a radius of about 20 miles and seeing exactly what is here.  We headed down to Arcadia where we saw our old campground, which is also named Peace River.
 We have a lot of good memories of our time there.  We had no idea when we first started hanging out there that it was a part of our journey to become full timers.  Now I feel even more warm and fuzzy towards the place knowing it was a key part of getting us from there to here.
We saw a local country club near Ona.  Really snooty looking place, isn't it?
We saw many other cool buildings, and another snooty looking pub named Charlotte's Web.
 We saw lots of animals. A cactus.  A lumberyard. 
 And my personal favorite from this week, an old barn.
Living the life in Sunny Florida!