Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Between quasi shopping for a new house and/or RV, we did manage a Monday - Friday trip to Cleveland. I've never been to Ohio before and we were pleasantly surprised with the city. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Looking Around

Jerry and I spent yesterday north of our area - specifically, Inverness. Just a thought that perhaps we might enjoy an after-retirement home near the lakes in the area AND the property could be a weekend place until my retirement. Additionally, we might find a place to park an RV if we purchase one.

When you don't have children and grandchildren to consider, you truly can live anywhere and in any situation. This has made our house and lifestyle hunt very confusing. We really have too many choices. It's like going to eat in a restaurant with a huge and daunting menu. I'm not complaining, because I feel fortunate to have so many choices, but it can be overwhelming and confusing.

A realtor showed us a house on a lake (technically a canal but it's where the canal empties into the larger lake) which I loved. The view, the dock with screen porch, the deck, the screen porch attached to the house, fish cleaning station, wide lot for parking a motorhome, etc. However, it was a two story with bedrooms on top floor. The stairway was a homemade type and I would guess not up to current codes. I cannot see us maneuvering it well today much less as we grow older. Plus, it would be a nightmare with the dogs.

Next we looked around another lake. We found a small cottage which would be a great weekend house, the price was good, the inside of the house very clean. Lots going for it but it was definitely not a house that could become a permanent residence for the 3 of us - it's just too small.

So, the hunt and decisions continue.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Boat Club

Our Bayliner Trophy in Kodiak with my Seattle friend Jane

Today we met with a boat club to learn information about this type of boat nonownerhsip. For those who are unfamiliar with this, you pay a $3,500 entry fee and then a monthly fee of $250 to have unlimited use of the boat inventory owned by the club. Additionally, you have to pay $150 for a half-day safety class where you can have up to 4 people attend for the price.

Since the ratio of boats to members is 10:1, there is the possibility that a particular boat may not be available on a particular day although the odds are pretty good.. You can make online reservations, up to 4 at a time, for up to 6 months in advance of use. In addition, you can call the marina and get a boat on same day, if available, and it doesn't count as a reservation. Today someone did just that and got a skiff while we were there.

The club has boats at 3 marinas in our area. One in our immediate area and two within 45 minutes. If we join, these 3 would all be considered our "home" marinas and we could reserve and use an unlimited amount of boats from any three. Each marina has a slightly different inventory of boats.

What caught my attention is that the national organization has boats on both coasts as well as the gulf of Mexico. Sadly, I learned that you can only use boats from the other locations up to 5 times a year. I say sadly because we were thinking this would be a great if we decided travel extensively by RV. (In fact, we are going to an RV show in Tampa tomorrow.)

I noticed a similarity of locations between this boat club and Thousand Trails. That's where my mindset was - we could rent boats near many of the TT campsites. So, we'll keep looking to see what other types of clubs are available.

We have owned boats before and having access without ownership sounds divine. In Aniak we had a 18' Hewscraft sled with a Yamaha jet engine and fished the Kuskokwim river. In Kodiak we had 3 boats:  a 24" Bayliner Trophy with the Alaska package (closed cabin) and Volvo Penta inboard/outboard motor, an 18'  "Alaskan" Lund with a outboard, and a 10' Achilles with outboard.

One nice thing about the boat club is that there are different types of boats available. Just like we've found with RV window shopping, one boat doesn't have it all. The Hewscraft was great for rivers and the Lund and Achilles were perfect for gillnetting. To really move away from shore and fish for halibut, the Bayliner was perfect.

Tomorrow we go to the RV show, and like boat shopping, we will probably leave even more confused. If we purchase a class C or A we will not have a vehicle available. If we choose a travel trailer or 5th wheel we would have a vehicle available but we have to tow it. We would likely have to buy a new vehicle to tow it. And, the length of the truck and RV together is daunting to us. This is especially true since we are looking for an RV that will accommodate both us and my mom.

So, for now we will try to enjoy the process of shopping and learning.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I Wrote A Book!

Well, that might be overstated. I have written a story and not a published book. However, I am posting it chapter by chapter on WordPress to motivate me to finish it so I can move on to "book" #2. Story #2 is dying to be written and wants released from my head, lol!

I started the writing process in 2008/09 and kinda dropped it in 2010 when my Dad passed away. I remember writing like crazy when my dad was in the hospital - he was watching football on the television as I was writing on my laptop.

I've picked it up a few times over the last seven years and added to it but I have to tell you it's a bit like starting over each time. I have to remind myself of where the characters are, who they are, the time frame and season, etc. Writing a story where you want to carry the characters forward is a lot of work! And, I'm picky as I try to avoid inaccuracies.

This story is just an easy read - I cannot imagine the work that novelist who create real literature must do. The one thing I do have in common with real writers is an understanding that writing is a process and not just something where you sit down one day and create a finished product. It's editing (a.k.a. write/rewrite/write/rewrite, etc.). I'm somewhat organized having created cards for characters to keep up with them but even that is work.

So, with the "book" 95% finished, I am thinking that publishing it online chapter by chapter (hopefully one each day)  will cause me to finally create the ending. I'm not too good at WordPress yet so this link to my story takes you to chapter four. You can scroll to other chapters if you are interested.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Last of the Vinoy Photos

The view from our room - the waterfront of St Pete and the pool area

From the historical wall

Fred's - where we ate. It has a speakeasy atmosphere.

Me Madre

The courtyard patio from the restaurant French doors - notice the waterfall from the pool area.

Crab and Asparagus fritters on Kim Chee and some green puree

My Chilean sea bass over saffron couscous with miso and sugar snap peas

Mom's beef tenderloin with pancetta risotto and pureed leaks

A strawberry dessert - forgot the name

Mom doesn't do breakfast and I wasn't interested in the big mother's day brunch so I opted for the simple buffet.

On our way to checkout and the spa this morning. My mom's purse and luggage match, lol.

Da spa and da end!

Vinoy Art and Grounds

Just some shots from around the grounds and in the building. Lots of hidden art pieces.

From the mezzanine

 Gorgeous Chihuly glass display

 There was a snack station and a station with water and punch.
 A mermaid of wire and seashels

Sitting areas

 Most of the tile was covered with beautiful rugs but this is what the tile floors really look like.

Waterfall from pool area down to the patio area outside the restaurant where we ate.

Mother's Day at the Vinoy in St Petersburg

Mom and I stayed at the historic Vinoy on St Petersburg waterfront last night, had a gourmet dinner, and spa services this morning before returning home. The old hotel is beautiful and very well run. Here's a few shots - more to follow:

The veranda where we waited until our room was ready
The view from the veranda of St Pete's waterfront.

 Mom enjoying her coffee and scone on the veranda.

The coffee shop had interesting donut combinations

Our double queen room

The room was huge!

Nice sitting area which we did use.

Bathroom had separate WC area and double sinks. We also had huge closest with all the ammentiies but didn't photo well.


Between quasi shopping for a new house and/or RV, we did manage a Monday - Friday trip to Cleveland. I've never been to Ohio before and ...