Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Saturday, February 28, 2009

learning isn't easy these days

So, I just got a new phone ~ yes I have been whining that I wanted the ability to "text" to whomever and I really wanted a phone with a camera - welcome to the 21st century Tracey Whelan!
So there she be ... but what I didn't realize, and certainly should have ~ especially if gadget man has to buy an Iphone for dummies book ... there is one heck of a learning curve involved ... well I just don't do much in the way of learning curves these days ~ do you think!

Today we went out on the bikes to Starke, FL about 30 miles away - south and perhaps east I guess .. for lunch.  Great ride, fabulous weather and we had the great pleasure of passing many many fresh produce stands along the way - apparently it is strawberry season in these parts and man oh man I would just love some fresh strawberries and cream for breakfast tomorrow but I thought I'd be pushing my luck to buy fresh strawberries and put them in the back pack I carry in the fork bag of my bike ... smooshed berries anyone?)).  With all that said, I did not take my old stand by, faithful companion side kick (no I am NOT speaking of my dearly beloved Richard J. (because of course he was there) at the moment) my nikon coolpix 3200 ~ soon to be replaced ~ but much to Chad's dismay NOT by an SLR ~ which would be way too much bulk for me ... I need easy, portable, very user friendly and did I mention portable?  So with all that said, I took several pictures in Starke (an interesting little town that seems to have been hit strongly with ... you guessed it,  this sucky economy) but I need to learn how to get the pictures from the phone to the laptop to the blog then I'll post them ~ if they are blog worthy ..........

Tomorrow we are off to a cook out at Paul's brothers in Jacksonville and hopefully their Mom (who lives next door to Paul) will be feeling well enough to go with us ...

In closing tonight ~ to Amy ...... Rick and my thoughts and love are with you tonight and through this incredibly difficult time ~ my words of "wisdom" (such as they are) ... hold tight to the many fond memories and let them comfort you and remind you of the love, peace and wisdom of your Dad ... 

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What I miss and what I don't

Some things I miss while we are enjoying our travels ....... the #1 is family (although we're all a phone call away), I miss my gardens (although I wouldn't be gardening now), I miss not having a house to "decorate" (although, not a house to clean!)  I can only "decorate" the coach just so much ~ cleaning the coach, well the inside cleaning is pretty quick and easy - outside, that's another story!

While we were in New Hampster we spent some time with my older sister and my niece (and Chad and Amy, Richie and Mary, of course Pat and Bethie and Beth's family and Rick saw his Lodge friends ....)  Yup I sure miss them ....

I don't, however, miss this snow!  Yes it was pretty enough for  me to take these photos, but they were taken from the warmth of the car!  No shoveling involved!

The White Mountains (or in this case Monadnock) yes, I miss them, but we've seen many mountain ranges while traveling ....
Finally, another sunset photo (just because I can) ~ this was taken a day or two before we flew north for the arrival of Paige.  I was delighted to look out the window at just the right moment here in Macclenny to see a "Keys" quality sunset!  Note, the oak trees rather than palms!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Whelan's Wheels is delighted to present.....
Paige Elizabeth L Whelan
("Princess Paige")
Isn't she a beauty!
There was lots and lots and lots of waiting .... for Grampa Rick (who still hasn't decided what he wants to be referred to as!), Vovo and Vovo and Uncle Tim
Oh so many hours of pacing ~ I wonder how many miles Rick really did pace yesterday 
Congrats to both of you .... and Rick, by the way for those of you who don't know, was sure he was having a grandson!  Everyone, and I mean everyone knew it was a granddaughter but Richard didn't want to know the gender.  Imagine how challenging it was to create a quilt for Paige when Rick didn't want to know if it was a blue quilt or a pink quilt?  (NO I was not going to make a yellow or green quilt for this baby).
Gramps first glimpse ~ above, and below, passing Paige from one Grandfather to the other!

Above, the proud Mom and grandmother and I admire the beautiful bundle of joy, and below the maternal grandparents (Roy and Betty).  If you can enlarge the photo you will see both Roy and Betty have their thumbs between their index and middle finger - imitating Paige, which is a Portuguese sign of good luck according to them!

Three big happy smiles above and below Uncle Tim (who is about 6'2") holding all 20", 8lbs 14 oz. of his new niece.    Edit ~ Uncle Tim "the gentle giant" is 6' 5"!!!
Congrats to all .... and welcome to the world Paige Elizabeth L Whelan born February 23, 2009 at 6:40 PM

Friday, February 20, 2009

I know I know

It's been too long without  post.  After we left Deland we went to Macclenny(ville) to stay at our friend Paul's for a while.  Last Saturday we flew to NH because Rick's grand baby was due on Monday (the 16th) and we were due to fly back to Florida today .... well no baby and rescheduled flights and we are still here in the snow.  Hopefully there will be a baby today.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Dog day in Deland

So seriously, how often do you go to a Dog Mardi Gras parade?  Me neither, so today was a first for us ~ although Sir was not in attendance.  My original plan was to have him be in the parade wearing some of my New Orleans beads ~ ummm logic seems to have prevailed and I (we) decided not to take advantage of yesterdays good fortune when Sir made new friends at the bark park.

Before I continue about the parade .... Rick and I recently learned that Frick doesn't like peacocks (!?!?!?!?  HUH) so it was most appropriate that I take many photos of this "lovely" poodle/peacock ~ wishing Frick was here to see it first hand.   Since you weren't here Frick, we could only wonder if you'd have stood there watching this dog/peacock or run "for the hills"?? 

The next several photos (as well as the babe above with the coconut bra) are just some sites from, and around, the parade .... 

NOPE, that is not Sir above ... truly.  And below, let me assure you, I am NOT in that photo ~ those are the 2008 debutantes of Deland, FL.  Who knew debutantes were still around!  WOW
Seriously ~ a debutante .... I have a difficult time comprehending that in this day and age .... can someone help me out here ~ Mom, I need you to help me out with this one, cause gosh Mom understood ~ her daughters didn't, but she surely did and tried to instill the "logic" in her three daughters (is there really logic in debutante?)!
And below, yet another parade bystander shot!
We had a great day today and Sir went back to the dog park this afternoon to work of some of that pent up energy.

I've told Rick several times in the three days that we've been here how much I really like this town.  For some reason it reminds me a lot of our hometown of Sioux Falls (Rick and Jaye where the heck are you guys?).  Deland, FL is a very warm and welcoming town with old, lovely kept or rehabbed buildings, streets that are laid out with some logic, interesting shops and very very friendly, inviting people.  I've mentioned several times throughout the last 15 1/2 months that some Lodges are more welcoming than others - well this is one of those very welcoming Lodges.  We've met some terrific people from many walks of life (as you've read that is one of the high points of these travels of ours).  Deland is certainly on our "do return" list.

With all that said (well written) we are leaving here tomorrow to head north.  We'd planned to be out of here today, but I really (read whined) wanted to witness the "parade" today.  Oh by the way, the parade lasted 50 minutes (Rick timed it, it didn't matter to me how long it lasted ... it was a blast!!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

it's a miracle in the Florida sun and air

That photo above is of the Volusia County Barkley Square Dog Park here in lovely Deland.
Barkley Square would be where Sir met his new FRIENDS ~ Charlie above, who had more energy than Sir ~ hard to believe but true ... How does anyone deal with a Jack Russell Terrier anyway?  Charlie truly bounces off the fences and hops like a rabbit (or kangaroo?)
The photo above and the two below are Sir and his new pals George (the sheepdog, unfortunately named after George Steinbrenner ~ bet you love that huh Josh!) and the St. Bernard named Toesha ... 

Sir has never been to a dog park ~ because we were unsure/afraid of his behavior.  At this park there was a very large fenced area prior to this huge huge huge field (also fenced of course) ... we took Sir to the first fenced area and let him get used to the smells etc. and Charlie's person came along and decided Charlie and Arlo would play wonderfully together!!!  Oh a tense moment for myself!  Well it was just wonderful ... then Rick and I figured what the heck we'll walk Sir around the huge area with the pond etc, on his leash .... after he got that part we let him go ... he was so happy to be running around like a whackado with his new pals!!!

Who knew????

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm trying already!!!

Yes, I am trying to be a better blogger ~ I really am.  

The picture below (since I've had really nice comments on the sunset photos I guess people maybe enjoy them??) was taken last night at the upscale motor coach resort we were at in Port St. Lucie.  No ocean view there but there was a body of water in front of our site (the "resort" referred to it as a lake but .... Champlain or Winnipesaukee or Mead are lakes - this, well not so much) ~ you know, the site that if you wanted to purchase it would be $159,000 plus a monthly maintenance of $249. thank you very much ~ yes we might have been a bit out of our league ~ I'd prefer my very own couple acres but it was a lovely property, just not for us.
These two photos are as we were leaving Port St. Lucie today.  We had to go to the storage facility where the trailer (with the bikes and my bicycle (forgot to bring it with us to said resort) were stored while we were at the "resort" ~ no lowly trailers allowed there!  Down the road was this stadium ~ Frick you know what is is ... Joshua I imagine you do too?

Correct, it is Tradition Field ~ spring training for the New York Mets.  Word has it that the rookies are there now, but there were no practices or games scheduled for several weeks.  Had there been you know we'd have hung around for  few days ~ darn I would have loved that since the Mets are the only NY team I could , with any conscience, cheer for.

So here's a story for the Rick and Tracey travel journal of how interesting things can be....

My sister lives in a small town in New York (Crown Point) where the population is approximately 2100 people.  Well we pulled into an Elks Lodge here in Deland, FL (where the temperature outside at the moment is 35 and predicted to go to 24 ~ seriously, this IS Florida right?  Anyway, I digress ... I noticed that our "neighbor" here (there are only two "sites" here) had VT plates on his rig so when they arrived back here I asked where in VT he was from (I was born in VT a few years ago) and he told me Middlebury and we chatted some about the area and I mentioned I had a sister across the lake (Champlain) in Crown Point and he explained that he had a cabin on the lake there in Crown Point ~! well later in the Lodge we discovered that my sister and his sister in law are friends and my sister works at a store his sister in law owns ... another case of what a small world this is.

And to all a good night as I crawl under the electric blanket .......

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I know I know

Without Chester telling me ~ it's been a while since an update, and I better get with the program!  Once again, I've been down a couple days ... what is going on here anyway?  We had my after procedure follow up appointment with the gastroenterologist in the Keys and it seemed I was "staying the course", HMMM?
Anyway, we left the Keys on Sunday for the 190 mile journey up to Port St. Lucie.  Unfortunately Rick's co-pilot was horizontal on the couch for most of the journey so he was pretty much on his own with "smarty pants" (the GPS) as his co-pilot!  I guess sometimes that could be a blessing in disguise because "smarty pants" doesn't tell him to watch out for things or slow down (although I rarely have to request he slow down when he's driving the coach!)

So, here are a few random photos again.  Above is Himself doing parking duty at the Lodge a couple nights before we left.

Below is our last Keys sunset for this season.  We did, however, book part of our stay there for next year.  We have reserved the month of January again.  Once more this was a change of "plans" ~ we had decided a couple months ago that we would probably head to Texas or New Mexico next winter, but changed our minds once we got into the "Keys-attitude" again!
Yesterday, we did a bit of travel around this area.  Arlo went exploring at Jensen Beach.  Poor guy probably wondered where we put his ocean from the Keys ... as he hadn't see ocean for 24 hours or so and would go swimming several times a day in the Keys.  He was so funny when we pulled into the parking area for this small beach area yesterday!

This man at the fish cleaning table there was really attracting the pelicans!  Pelicans ~ did you know their beak can hold more than their belly can!
Below is Sir at some restaurant we stopped at in Ft. Pierce (I think it was).  For the life of me I can not remember the name of the place.
The beaches and waterfronts in these parts are beautiful.  This Jensen Beach and Fort Pierce area is a peninsula separated from the mainland by the Indian River.  It reminded me somewhat of the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  However this area was much much friendlier and more accessible with many many beach access areas ~ neither of which were our observations when we were at the Outer Banks.

We are staying at an "Outdoor Resorts of America" park in Port St. Lucie for a few nights on a deal someone told us about ~ four days and three nights free ~ you do have to listen to a sales speech, but you know it's nice to have these opportunities once in a while.  This is a gorgeous place but out of our league to say the least!  As Lucy said about a place she and her husband stayed "we have nothing in common with the Prevost crowd"  We can't even have the trailer here so it is in a storage facility a couple miles down the road!  

Today we are off to get a connection to hopefully solve an issue we are having with one of our tanks!  After which I'm going to a farmer's market I read about, then to go stock up on stuff we need before we leave here tomorrow and continue our northern journey.