December 6, 2015 – Snowman in the Keys

Two years ago, we went to Wisconsin in December for my exceptional grandson Cam’s birth. While there, we went to Discovery World Science and Technology Center.  Just inside the door was a snowman made of plastic cups. Here is Daughter Jennifer holding newborn Cam and admiring the snowman.  I was charmed.


Log Plastic Cup Snowman

I vowed to make a snowman for myself, even though I think it is silly to have a snowman in the Florida keys.  We came here to get away from cold and snow, after all. This is the year.  We drove to Key West, to the restaurant food store, and bought some plastic cups.  Then I started stapling them together until I got a cramp in my hand.

I am not a craft person!  My snowman is uneven and crooked.  He tilts forward. Some of the cups stick out uneven with the ones around it. The three sections don’t match up very well. He was pathetic. But after I painted the bottoms of some small cups with Magic Markers to make eyes, nose, and buttons and then put a scarf around his neck.  He looked great!

b Snowman Day

We stuck a rope of lights in the top of his head and this is what he looks like at night.

b Snowman Night

Andy named him Cuppy. He is about 40 inches tall, bigger than I expected him to be.

It has been raining for days and days.  My garden is growing.

b Garden

We have a large crop of tiny green tomatoes. I just hope they make it to harvest.  The iguanas are a problem here.

b Green Tomato


November 19, 2015 – Sombrero Beach

I spent four hours working on THE BOOK in the morning and then we went to Sombrero Beach for lunch and a walk.  We invited a man and woman to sit at our picnic table with us and ended up having a great visit. Joe and Tina Moore from Savannah, Georgia are here for a two-week family Thanksgiving vacation and had just arrived today by boat. They have rented a house and the rest of the extended family will be arriving over the coming week.

Sombrero Beach is a city park used by tourists and locals alike. For some reason, I did’t take many pictures and the ones I did take were not all that good. We’ll be back there often enough to get more before the season is over.

This is a Little Blue Heron, but was very red.  I spent a lot of time Googling images comparing it to the Reddish Egret, but couldn’t decide.  So, I decided the default is Little Blue Heron.

b Little Blue Heron

The tide was high for our walk again today.  I must have seen this before, but today noticed that a sea grape is growing out of the base of this palm tree.

b Sea Grape Growing on Base of Palm Tree

I worked four more hours on THE BOOK after our walk.

October 20, 2015 – Wildwood, Florida

Those of you who drive motor homes and those who have read my logs for the past few years will be familiar with an RV dealer and repair facility. So, for the rest of you, I took some pictures of my surroundings today. You can see an aerial view on Google Earth with this address:  4505 Monaco Way, Wildwood, FL 34785. It is a large piece of property, larger than Google shows because they now have recreational vehicles parked in a big field along the highway.

Mechanic Kevin had another motorhome to work on this morning; the parts came in.  That meant I did not have to be up and dressed before 0700.  I woke up anyway.  Andy made crepes for breakfast.  He had a flipping accident with mine, but I assured him that it was still delicious, especially after I loaded it with Nutella, raspberries, and whipped cream.

Andy discovered that AARP members get a 15% discount at Carrabba’s restaurants and there was no holding him back.  He found one on line and was ready to go even before Mechanic Kevin came out to take Sao into the garage. We stopped at Walgreens to pick up a prescription and then used the GPS to find our way through The Villages to get to Carrabba’s. Then we stopped at Walgreens again on the way back to buy a card for our service adviser, Will Burke. Today was his last day at work this week; he is getting married on Saturday.

So, here is what we are seeing at Alliance Coach today. We are parked in a “campground” of sorts out behind the building.  It is not like dropping your car off at the garage and getting someone else to take to home or to work.  Many of the customers, like us, live in the motorhome full time or for extended periods. We stay with the motorhome. They provide parking spaces with water and an electrical outlet for those of us waiting with the coach. It is still just a parking lot with some grass between the spaces. Ha! That describes a lot of RV parks we’ve been to. This is the view out the front window.

b01 View Forward

I walked out in front of Sao and took this picture looking to our right toward the garage building.

b02 View to Starboard

And, here is Sao, with our little red car, parked in Space 35. It is a really nice parking lot.

b03 Sao in Parking Space

Here is Sao in Mechanic Kevin’s bay in the garage.

b04 Sao in Garage Bay

I took a picture down the next aisle over to give you an idea how big the facility is. There are thirty-some service bays in there.

b05 Inside Alliance Coach Garage

We have a lot of fun with our Service Adviser, Will Burke. Here, he has joined us in the customer waiting lounge to talk about what work has been accomplished today.  I could tell that he was anxious to go home to start preparations for the wedding.  He told us that his girlfriend had put a gun to his head to get married. We gave him his card, with enough money in it to buy his bride a nice dinner on their honeymoon. He gave us hugs.

b06 Will Burke

Toward the end of the work day, we went back to our parking space and sat in our folding chairs on the patch of grass between our space and the neighbor’s.

b07 Waiting for Sao

There were a lot of small, thin clouds smeared overhead and I thought they would make for a nice sunset.  But, I got busy and forgot to go out to look when the sun did set.

b08 Sun and Clouds

It was well past quitting time when Mechanic Kevin drove Sao back to our spot. We watched him back the motorhome in between the two cars.

b09 Sao Backing Into Parking Space

Here is Kevin just after he got out of Sao and was heading to the back to plug in the electrical cord.

b10 Kevin the Mechanic

He is so adorable.  He reminds me of my nephew Jonathan. And, he is an extremely pleasant young man.


October 5, 2015 – Henderson Beach State Park, Destin, Florida

Since we have an annual park pass, we decided to check out Henderson Beach today.  It is just a few miles west of us.  I had tried to get a campsite there, but none were available. I like the campground here at Topsail Hill Preserve much better, but the beach access is much better at Henderson Beach.

A large parking area is right behind the dunes and there are several pavilions and toilet buildings along the beach. The first thing I noticed was the high rise buildings at the west end of the park.

b High Rise Buildings

The sand on the beach is very white and softer and finer than sugar.

b White Sugar Sand

We walked across the boardwalk with a couple from Indianapolis.  When I said the sand is finer than sugar, the man said it’s powdered sugar sand.

b Dark Clouds Over Water

Andy was concerned over the dark clouds.  They did look rather threatening, but we never got rained on.

b Dark Cloud Overhead

We walked to the east. I took a lot of pictures of this Sand Piper.  I didn’t notice the bubbles until I got the pictures on the computer.

b Sand Piper and Bubbles

I also did not notice this small wave about to break behind the Willit until I saw it on the computer screen.

b Willit

Here it is after the wave passed by.

b Shore Bird

We came across this mama and baby alligator on the beach.  There was not enough sunshine to highlight the texture the sand artist added to the back. That is the baby in the curl of Mama’s tail.

b Sand Alligator on Beach

The clouds were getting darker, so we turned about and headed back.  The couple from Indianapolis walked back with us.  They were on a motorcycle and did not want to be caught in the rain.

b Dark Clouds White Sand

I thought this was an observatory, but Andy learned from a park brochure that it is “a closed military mission electronic tracking and monitoring facility owned and operated by the U.S. Air Force at Eglin Air Force Base”.
b Observatory

October 2, 2015 – Breaux Bridge, Louisiana to Milton, Florida

All travel.  All interstate.  I’m getting tired of I-10, or I-anything for that matter.

One point of interest today was the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge. Water, water, everywhere. And, the bridge is 18.2 miles long.  I bet there were a lot of alligators down there. I have to admit that I really enjoyed seeing creeks and rivers with water in them.

We got underway at 0852 this morning and arrived at Pelican Palms RV in Milton, Florida at 1546.  That makes 317 miles. Andy pointed out that it was a four-state day, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  I responded, “as opposed for a four-day state, Texas”.

Now that we are in Florida, the weather is surprisingly cold. We are planning to find a beach-front state park to stay for a few days. Haven’t decided which one yet.

It was a pictureless day.