Thursday, February 27, 2014

Muscle Car City through my eyes

It was a cool, dunkel day so the Banks and the Wrights headed south to Punta Gorda to explore the huge indoor museum that is Muscle Car City.   Dave piqued our interest when he recounted his visit last week.   He gave you his impressions in a previous blog. He was so enthralled by the rows and rows of iron that, after dutifully taking two or three pictures, he totally forgot he was carrying a camera and it remained in his pocket the rest of his day.       So now I'm going to show you what I saw......

first things first......
Pam's healthy lunch at the 60's diner

look closely at this Cadillac's front tire....

39 Lincoln Zephyr

78 Indy Pace Car
I used to drive a car just like this,
well, not exactly.  I wouldn't let Dave put the decals on the door.

32 Chevy Cabriolet


59 El Camino

notice how the tail lights seamlessly integrate into the fenders...

55 Chevy pedal car

two young men walking down Corvette memory lane

gypsy motorhome

Pam contemplates trading the Discovery in on this beauty

1st 1958 Corvette to come down the production line

know what this is?

1930 Stake body pickup

Corvette ZR1

Pam positions her handsome subject next to this ZR 1 for the perfect shot

line up of cherry 55-57 Chevys

Dave and John admire this AC Cobra replica, one of the few Fords in this otherwise all GM collection

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

golf and rain

I got to sleep in, really sleep in today like I did when I spent most of my time at home, before Dave retired.     Dave got up at the sound of the shrill alarm, I didn't.  

Dave and John had an 8 a.m. tee time this morning and all I had to do was grocery shop before lunch.  After Dave left,  Lewis crawled into bed and we enjoyed a nice long snooze.   I had to make breakfast for myself, I'm not used to that anymore.  No one served me my tea......   Yep, I'm spoiled and I love it.

The guys had a good morning on the golf course.    Our afternoon was spent doing bills and taxes.   No fun, but necessary.

MonaLiza warned me that rain was coming.   She and Steve are north of us at a place called Chalkoosawaulakee or something like that.     She said it was pouring and their rain was on its way to us.   So....what do we decide to do?   Walk across the street for take-out shrimp dinners.   Dave says those lines in the clouds mean rain is close,  as he steps outside.   I ask him if he should drive over to pick up our meals instead of walking.     He says no, he'll make it back before the skies open.      MonaLiza warned us.

He didn't.   Shortly after he left, it started to really rain, rain hard.   He took his phone with him, I couldn't believe it!    I called to see if he wanted me to pick him up.   Yes, he did.    I dashed out between the raindrops, got in the car and drove across traffic to the restaurant parking lot.   I waited.
No Dave.    I dashed in to see where he was.    Not in the restaurant.    Hmmmmm.
I called his phone, he was back at Beluga with the food.   Grrrrr.     Evidently he saw a break in the deluge and decided to make a run for it.   He called me to say stay home.    My phone never rang.   Grrrr.     We both were a little wet, but nothing really lost.   We sat together, snug in our little Beluga, and enjoyed our good shrimp dinners.   

Its still pouring, thanks MonaLiza.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

No traffic but plenty of toes

Monday we went to the beach.    Nothing special about that, we go to the beach often.  We sit in traffic on our way often, even though its less than a mile to our destination.  Yesterday we beat the lines of cars and found a beautiful empty stretch of beach.     Pam and John (Pam and Vic also for that matter) beat the traffic by riding their bikes over the bridge to the Gulf beaches.   We don't have bikes.

Ahhh, no one ahead, no one behind

What we do have is a little blue and grey Zodiac with a newly tuned up Johnson, at last pushing out a strong, steady stream of water (thanks to Mr. David's A-1 Johnson Rejuvenation and Repair Service).  This resort has a small boat launch a few sites down from Beluga.   Off we went, slowly down the canal running behind our resort and out into Sarasota Bay.

I didn't take pictures when we were full underway, the Zodiac is a wet boat, splashes and spray are part of the fun.    Not for the camera though.     We went under the Cortez Road bridge, putted slowly along Anna Maria Island - noting the stopped traffic - and under the Longboat Pass bridge to beach ourselves on the flat white sand.      We left the Zodiac safely above the tide line and walked along the island.

Where the pass meets the Gulf lots of large driftwood trees are lodged in the sand.   It made us think of the beaches in Oregon.    The water color is not the same, nor is the temperature, but the smooth silvery skeletons of the dead trees took us to the wild west coast beaches.

see Dave?

not everything was dead

We spent a few hours just relaxing and walking and wading before it was time to shove off and motor back, past the stopped traffic.

Back under the Cortez Road bridge, under the stopped traffic.....

back into the entrance to our canal....

And home again without seeing a single car in front of us.    A lovely lovely way to go to the beach.

sea fog rolled in near sunset

Monday, February 24, 2014


Yesterday we got a lot done while we were waiting.    If you know Dave even a little bit, you'll know he waits all year for the Daytona 500 race.   It signals "spring" to him, it signals another year of racing has begun and he likes that.

The race started on time, 1 p.m. and he was glued to the tv.   I enjoy watching it also, so we had planned to just spend the day watching.      

Unfortunately, terrible weather was on its way through the Daytona, Florida vicinity.  First it started with light rain, progressing to heavy rain.   These race cars roar like lions, seem like tough guys, yet they can't be out in the rain, poor babies.   At the first signs of precipitation the race is stopped and they retreat to the sidelines, covered up and wait for the rain to stop and huge jet dryers to blow the track completely dry.    Then they can go out and play again.

We waited.   Wave after wave of rain moved over the track.   The stands had to be evacuated twice because a severe weather warning was issued.   High metal bleachers are not good places to wait out lightning, strong winds and possible tornadoes.

While we waited, I prepped and cooked boneless country ribs, roasted veggies, and made potato salad for dinner.   I read.

Mr. David's A-1 Johnson Rejuvenation and Repair Service was also waiting for the race to restart so he was able to send over his most trusted man to work on our Johnson.

Luckily the rain delay continued so the repairman, sporting snazzy new glasses, was able to find and fix our outboard motor's problem.    We'll be good to go as soon as we get another warm and sunny day.

He was such an efficient worker that I was able to persuade him to come inside and take care of another needed job, while he was waiting.

if Mr. David can't come himself, he always sends his most versatile workers.

After the jobs were done and the repair van had driven away, Dave and I enjoyed our yummy dinner, while we waited for the race to start.   At Daytona, rain, thunder, lightning, severe weather warnings continued.

Finally, the wait was over.   The skies cleared in northern Florida, the jet dryers finished drying the track, fans refilled the stands and the delicate flowers were able to get back to the job at hand, the crash bang running of the Daytona 500.

Dave watches, Sasha waits
After a day of waiting, I finally gave up and retreated to the bedroom to watch the season finale of Downton Abbey.     I can't believe its over already!    I waited so long for the season to start and now its over.

Friday, February 21, 2014

an opportunity seized

John, Pam, Dave and I drove down to Venice to meet Steve and MonaLiza ( at Sharkey's on the Pier today.  The Lowe's are staying in Punta Gorda until Monday so we seized the opportunity to meet each other halfway.   We all love the flexibility this lifestyle affords us, the flexibility to drop what we're doing and spend the afternoon with friends when they're nearby just because they're near.   These moments are all the more precious because we never know when we'll have the opportunity again.   The Lowes', the Bank's and the Wright's plans diverge from this point next month, so we "made hay while the sun shines"!

After a huge lunch at Sharkey's we walked out on the pier, at least we girls did.   The guys stood in one spot and talked and talked.

Pam and MonaLiza are shameless hams

Dave, John and Steve neatly arranged on the pier

MonaLiza made them stop talking and smile for a photograph

MonaLiza, Pam and I continued our walk along the beach looking for Venice's famed fossilized shark teeth.  We found a few teeny tiny ones, but it was fun looking.  The guys trailed behind, still talking.

I guess Steve was talking and taking pictures, thanks Steve!

None of us were really ready to head home, so we decided to find Snook Haven, an old Florida fishing camp turned restaurant on the Myakka River.

It is at the end of a long shell road on the banks of the primeval looking Myakka River.


Steve, MonaLiza, Dave and I explored the area a bit while John and Pam stayed in the jeep, on the phone (s) trying to sort out Pam's mother's delayed (then finally cancelled) plane reservations.   She was to arrive in  Sarasota this evening but with the bad weather everywhere her flights were becoming more and more complicated.   Back and forth, back and forth Pam went, her mom, the airlines, her son Kevin, the airlines, her mother, her sister.    Will she make it?    Please hold for the next available agent.   Please leave your number and we'll get back to you within the next 3 hours.    The flight has been cancelled and rebooked with a million connections, sorry but that's all we can do.

At last the 6 of us settled into a nice table next to the water, ordered sweet teas and a couple beers, laughed and talked and generally enjoyed the company of friends and the serendipity of our lives.