"When you cannot make up your mind between two evenly balanced courses of action, choose the bolder."
– William Joseph Slim
Interesting quote this week, don't you think? How many of us have always chosen the path of least resistance instead of what could have possibly been a more challenging or fulfilling possibility, simply because we were afraid of the unknown? I know that I have been guilty of that a few times in my life and often wonder "what if". Anyway, just wanted to give you some food for thought this morning.
Good morning, by the way. Today is moving day for us. We're headed to Daytona Beach to enjoy some NASCAR time. Yeeee Haaaa!!! But first, let me catch you up to what we've been up to this week.
First, Steve and I played golf again with Deane and Dave. I am happy to report that all is right with the world and my golf game went back to its usual sucky level. Man, I was on such a high from the first game but alas, not a performance that I can say developed a trend. Oh well. The only thing positive that came from this golf experience is that THE GIRLS BEAT THE BOYS AGAIN. By 9 strokes this time and the loss means that Deane and I got breakfast made or us while we were in the Florida Keys. We also played Bingo here at our campground. None of us won anything but we had a great time.
Speaking of the Keys, we went there for 3 days (Wednesday through Friday). We traveled through alligator alley on the way and saw a ton of wildlife. Huge alligators, bald eagles, osprey, and a number of other really interesting birds. No snakes or panthers, however, which I guess is a good thing. Anyway, we were staying at a lovely 2 bed/2 bath, full-kitchen condo in Islamorada that was right on the water. We spent our first day pretty much driving and checking out Islamorada and eating some good seafood. Since our hotel was right on the water, we went out to the pool, pulled up a lounge chair and were blessed to see a beautiful sunset over the Keys. AHHHH, life is good. Speaking of which, have you seen the clothing that uses the phrase "Life is Good" and has stick figures doing various things like playing golf, laying in a hammock, fishing, etc. They are sooooooo cute. Anyway, . . .
The next day we headed to Key West for the day. The drive between Islamorada and Key West was 82 miles of some incredible scenery - - beautiful flowers and palm trees, and the water - - man oh man the blues and emerald greens that you travel over while heading South are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. As you know, the Keys are just a bunch of tiny little islands that are attached via a causeway called Highway 1 (aka the Overseas Highway). What you may not know is that this highway actually continues north all the way to the top of Maine. Steve and I have talked about that being one of our RV adventures - - taking Highway 1 (or A1A) from beginning to end. One of the pics this week is a sign of Mile Marker 0, but I digress . . . .
Key West is an interesting little island with a ton of history. It was the center of cigar manufacturing, participated in the civil war, interestingly they were on th Union side whereas Florida was on the Confederate side. It had one of the most complicated and expensive railways leading to it, and was almost completely destroyed in the hurricane of 1935. It is also a place for which "shipwrecking" was an actual industry. Here is a website that will tell you all about the history of the island since it is too long for me to add in this update: http://www.keyshistory.org/keywest.html. This website will give you the story of the railroad built by Henry Flagler: http://www.keyshistory.org/flagler.html
The four of us arrived right around lunch so we took some time walking Duval Street where all the cool shops and restaurants are. We stopped in the famous Sloppy Joes for lunch where two very momentous things happened - - one is that Ernest Hemingway used to hang out here, and the other is that this is where my daughter and son-in-law had their wedding feast after getting married on the beach in Key West. It brought back a ton of really happy memories for Steve and I and also provided us with a huge laugh - - read on:
Steve noticed that there was a webcam in the bar and texted our daughter Jill to check it out. She then texted back to him and indicated that she could see the stage via the webcam. So Steve went up to the stage and pretended to be looking at the CDs that the guitar player was selling and then texted Jill to see if she could see him. She texted back "I can only see the guitar player and a fat guy in a blue shirt." Sadly for Steve, he WAS the fat guy in the blue shirt. Man did we laugh about that. By "we" I mean everyone but Steve.
After lunch, we took a 90 minute trolley ride around the city and learned all about the historical points of interest on the island. We stopped at the southernmost point of the U.S. for a picture, of course, and found one of those wooden cut-out things that you stick your head into and then take a picture - - know what I mean? Anyway, the wooden cut-out thing was A FAT GUY IN A BLUE SHIRT. Needless to say, Steve couldn't pass that one up. My poor daughter. I am afraid she will be hearing about that one for quite a while (which cracks me right up).
The next day we were scheduled to head back to Punta Gorda but stopped to go on a glass bottom boat ride out to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. This is the largest coral reef in the United States and second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Here is a link to the website so you can check it out for yourself, but needless to say, this was a very cool thing to do. http://www.pennekamppark.com/photos/ For all you scuba divers out there, Key Largo is a dive hot spot so consider it for your next dive vacation. I know that Steve and I are for sure.
Anyway, Steve snapped some pictures from our glass bottom boat. We saw parrot fish of various colors, a moray eel, clown fish, and various other colorful beauties. The coral itself is alive and is also very colorful. Watching the plant life gently sway back and forth in unison with the waves and current of the water and the beautiful fish swimming in and around the coral was so relaxing. We were even blessed with the opportunity to see a nurse shark in the wild as it swam next to our boat as we motored back to the shore. What a great time that was.
Yesterday, we spent time with our Aunt Bonnie again. She came over to our "house" for lunch and a game of Mexican Train. It was really nice to have her there and she was genuinely surprised to see how nice our new home is. We enjoyed our time with her and will miss her until we see her again in the fall when we cruise through Michigan/Ohio on our way southwest next winter.
So, I have to go now and pack up the house so we can hit the road. Steve and I plan to visit Kennedy Space Center while we are on the Atlantic side of Florida. We have two other Nascar events that we are attending in addition to the big race on Sunday. The Duels are on Thursday night (which looks doubtful given the weather forecast) and the Nationwide race is Saturday afternoon. Both of those will be fun but the big race on Sunday is what we're really most excited about. Hopefully our next blog won't bore you non-nascar people to tears . . . . . . .