Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Marathon Alpaca Farm

One evening when the weather had cooled down, Joe took me on a motorcycle ride to see the Marathon Alpaca Farm, a Horse and Alpaca farm near our house. 

There were 8 life-size horse statues bordering the farm.

He finds the coolest things to see!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

'Gator Spotting

Our friend Carol had found a good deal on Groupon for a 90-minute charter airboat ride so this morning six of us went to the St. John's River down by Mullet Lake. 

It had been rainy for the last few days here so we felt lucky that this morning was clear and beautiful...

We sat up front with Richard

Carol sat up top with the guide.
It was Ray and Anna's first time in an airboat. the river had filled up and lots of alligators were out and about.

We found several nests of babies with 20+ little ones
scurrying around

I was worried this big guy felt trapped between
our boat and the bank -- Let's move on!

Good guide and great ride -- even ran into a herd of manatee frolicking about! (we could see them but the water was too dark from the recent rains to get any good pictures)

Joe & Deb, Richard & Carol, Ray & Anna

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island is across the state on the Gulf Coast near Tampa and St. Petersburg.  We heard that one of our friends from Kansas City was coming down to visit her grandmother who has lived on the island for 40 years. 
So we decided to take a drive over (about 3 hours) and get what we knew would be an excellent guided tour.  Oh wow -- what a beautiful place!  The beaches are largely unspoiled, bright white and the color of the water is amazing.

Just a perfect day!

Deb at the Anna Maria Island City Pier

Ryan & Keri (our "guide") were married at the City Pier
and had their names inscribed on one of the planks

It was a perfect day and we had a wonderful time -- and amazingly even ran into some other KC friends as we were having ice cream at Two Scoops.  What a surprise!

On the way home, we decided to take a side trip over the Sunshine Skyway bridge which we had heard was amazing and it was!

Friday, May 4, 2012


It was such a great day, we decided to go for a motorcycle ride to DeLand, a little college town about 20 miles from here.  The grounds of Stetson University are just beautiful and the downtown is lined with lots of cute local shops and restaurants.

DeLand Opera House, built in 1892

Athens Theatre, built in 1922

The walls of many of the downtown buildings are painted with murals, which just adds to this town's charm:

This building mural is the backdrop for a cute little
downtown park

Paintings above the downtown shop awnings

Had a great lunch at the Brickhouse Grill...

... and then Joe found a place near and dear to his heart...

Sweet Things -- chocolate covered EVERYTHING
(including BACON!)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Crane Lakes Golf

Good thing we golfed with some strong friends today since they had to carry me for 18 holes...  for you non-golfers, that means I did not golf well... at all... for the whole 18 holes :)  But it was a beautiful day and fun fun fun!


Such a beautiful course!

We had a great time today and Joe snapped this beautiful sunset from our back Florida room... he's getting to be quite a photographer, isn't he?

Monday, April 9, 2012


We went to Lakeland, Florida (about 2 hours away) to see our friends' son play lacrosse at Florida Southern College.  I've never seen a lacrosse game before and WOW! what a fast, exciting and crazy game! 

Great idea -- give the boys sticks and let them
beat the crap out of each other while we cheer!

Chase Juelich in action

John and Maria have three sons and they all play lacrosse, so the younger two boys sat behind me and explained the rules of the game.  It seems you can hit each other randomly with the sticks and throw this super-hard rubber ball at about 100 miles per hour.  It's just the wildest game ever.

It was Senior Night at the game.  Chase is a senior and this was his last home regular-season game.

the Juelich family

And they WON!

Joe and Maria happy with the win!

We all went out for a big celebratory dinner afterward.  It was all so fun!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tuesday, John and Joe golfed at the Crane Lakes course while Janet, Hannah, Alex and I played at the community pool. 

Grammy and Hannah enjoy the pool

Alex manages to get his nap no matter where we are --
he is definitely Papa's boy!

Met Carol and Richard at the River Grille for a great dinner.

Hannah finally touched the giant

Everybody's happy with that great seafood

Too soon, it was Wednesday and time to go home.  It was a short visit, but we really packed in the fun!

Goodbye Florida