Monday, March 18, 2013

St. Patrick's Day in St. Augustine

My very good friends, Jan and Dave Clements, were motivated by Ed and me to get an RV.  They just bought their 2nd one, a brand new Damon Challenger 36 DF. It's actually 37 feet and has a bath and a half with two slides.(Triton 10 Ford)

They live near Ocala in the middle of Florida and their RV club was going on a rally to St. Augustine for St. Patty's Day weekend.  

They invited me and I accepted.....then started wondering how in the world I was going to get there!  (It's about 3 hours north of Port St. Lucie and I can barely drive a half hour without major muscle spasms and pain.)  

I convinced my new friend, Norma Pennie to go and be my driver.  I didn't get a good photo of their RV but you can get a glimpse of the full-body paint job.  Norma is in the foreground.  
We got there on Friday evening and enjoyed heavy hors d'oeuvres (which we considered dinner) at the clubhouse of the campground.  

Saturday, Dave went to play golf and I'm sure he was glad to escape a girls' shopping trip.  Jan's friend, Dorothy joined Jan, Norma, and me.  I had forgotten how fantastic the shopping is in old St. Augustine.  There was one little art shop and boutique after another with totally unique clothes, jewelry, and home accessories.  We shopped till we dropped!!
We got back to the campgrounds in time for the corned beef and cabbage dinner, which was sooo good.  It was nice to just get away and share laughs and conversation with dear long-time and new friends.
I did think the shot below was such a funny pic of Jan and Dave.  He looks like the cat who swallowed the canary and she looks like ????
It means so much to be with special, close friends.  Thank you, Jan and Dave, and a special thanks to Norma for driving (I think she had a good time, too).

Friday, March 1, 2013

Red Hats in the Swamp

I volunteered to be the activity leader for our February "Hattitudes."  We went to Indiantown, FL, which is about 40 miles SW of us.  We had lunch at the Seminole Inn.  This quaint, charming inn was built in 1926 and has about 35 rooms.
We then boarded a bus for a half hour ride to the Barley Barber Swamp.   We watched a video on the way out.  That was one ROUGH ride!
This swamp is known as one of the finest remaining old growth cypress communities in the country.  It adjoins one of the power plants for Florida Power and Light so they bought about 400 acres and have preserved it.  
There is a very nice boardwalk through the area and we had two personable, knowledgeable guides.

Here's a cypress tree that's about a thousand years old.

Mollie Pike, one of our older members, decided to go, even though she's having a hip replacement next week.  We made her Queen for the Day!  What a good (and brave) sport she was.
This is one of the more adventuresome trips this group has taken and I think most everyone enjoyed our "mini-safari" into a little-known place that's not really that far away.  

The Seminole Inn is especially famous for their Sunday brunches and some ladies were already making plans to return with their hubbies and visiting families for brunch and the swamp tour.