One of my favorite places to go in these parts (well actually I think I have about a dozen "favorite places" so what the heck does that say?) is Alabama Jacks (can't seem to put a link here) but it is a very funky place about 15 miles down the road (well I guess it is up the road since it is north of here) - actually, it is two floating barges on a canal in and/or around Biscayne Bay. I think I did a post about it last year but it is surely worthy of another.
Now to those dancing girls. Damn to have their energy. I've tried and tried to upload a video (as I think I may have done last year as well) and can not seem to accomplish the task - even with a help mail to blogger!!! Gosh darn and fiddlesticks (that is my word of the week, by the way and my cousin was just horrified at such strong language from me weren't you Laurie) - you'd have loved it I'm certain.
The woman above (as well as on the left hand side of the first photo) named Betty, I believe, is just a HOOT, to say the least. If my memory is correct (which is certainly debatable) she was 79 last year when we were here and chatted with her -which I do believe would make her 80 these days ... This women has more energy flowing in 20 minutes than I do in 24 hours - she is remarkable, enjoyable, delightful and just a very sweet woman.
While we were there she happened to take a break from her dancing for about two and a half minutes and as I was walking by her I had the pleasure of chatting for about 2 minutes of her break - I explained to her that I'd been waiting a year to get back there and was so delighted to see that she was still a Sunday dancing girl!
Now don't get me wrong, these are not women that the establishment hires - they are just three woman who love to dance and this is the place that they chose to be on a Sunday afternoon. Gotta tell you, the band is a bit on the "country western" side, but not exclusively, and Betty, Fran and I can NOT remember the third woman's name just add to the music and thoroughly enjoy themselves, while endearing themselves to the "crowd" ~ although King Richard did divulge to me last Sunday that his tolerance for such fun lasts about three and a half minutes - mine well heck, I could have stayed well beyond the time the "band" was there, which I think is two until seven, but alas, I compromised at 3:00 when the band went on their first break that if we could stay for 30 minutes, just 30 minutes after they came back then we'd go wherever he wanted (a lot to be said for this compromise thing, cause damn I sure wanted to stay, but what's the point if your pal is clearly not having any fun?!?!).
Wow, I went off on a tangent there didn't I! Anyway, in the photo above Betty has just finished one of her great ("infamous") flash the pantaloons moves. I just think this woman is terrific - she is so flippin full of fun and full of life.
And look at these children out enjoying the time! It so reminded me of my nephew Tim's wife Kelly who is a dance instructor with two daughters - I was so picturing my "great nieces (WOW seriously, I am a great aunt - well great aunt as in age - great aunt as in great to my nieces and nephews, well ummmmmmm) Emily and Hayley out there getting into the dance thing - at one point the younger one (in the white dress) mimicked Betty after she did the show the pantaloons move - it was so cute, adorable and just darned precious. Oh my Muffin, Pie-face, Princess, can you and I imitate this move in a year or two - your Vovo's will just LOVE it I'm sure (oh lucky Vovo"s who are loving on you right this minute ~ hugging, squeezing, piano playing, walking and dancing with you as T~T blogs away).
Okay, so I guess that's about it for now as I try to play "catch up ~ NO not ketchup, in this blog posting and trying like heck to redeem myself once again. As I just asked on my status update on facebook - is it an oxymoron to realize you have the world by the balls but be pissed off at the world ..... hmm to ponder .... g'night all and to all a good night.
oh and by the way ..... did anyone notice anything different about Betty between the first photo and the last? OH she is so terrific....
Okay, Chester, it is time for ANY post I know. My bad - seems I usually blog first thing in the morning after Sir and I go for the first walk (??), however if I go back to bed after said walk (been doing that a lot lately) blogging doesn't get done! Case in point, I loaded these pictures sometime last Saturday with the intent of doing the text of the post on Sunday - guess I went back to bed on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and this morning as well!
My lodge (where we've been for weeks) had a new dock built last year. I believe the old one got "wiped out" by a storm some years ago - before we started coming here. For whatever reason the new dock is not used - it could have something to do with the fact that there is no indication on the dock or anywhere on the building looking in from the water what the place is, so people passing by have NO flippin' clue that it is Elks Lodge #1872! Oh dear once again I digress.
So we were in the coach last Friday evening, perhaps eating the delicious pork chops I made and I look out and see a woman and a little boxer. I run out (boxer freak that I am) to "chat boxers". The woman (Jenny), her husband (Doug) and one year old boxer (Roxie) had just arrived at our dock!!! To spend the night!!!
What a terrific story (as well as delightful people to chat with). They are from Lancaster PA (long way on a sailboat isn't it!). Jenny is a bartender at the Lodge in Lancaster (where we had stopped when we were in PA - come to find out).
They were married in Key West two years ago and were on their way there to celebrate their anniversary. They bought their 23 foot sail boat in the fall and trailered it down here to set sail for their two month travel to KW. Friday was their third night on their boat. Two months can you imagine. They aren't even 30 years old - like Jenny told me, they want to do these things before they have children - smart girl that Jenny huh! They were so fun to chat with and have such a great story at such a young age.
We are headed (if all goes "right") to Key West on Monday to spend a few days before we head to the West Palm Beach area for six weeks or so - from West Palm I have to fly back to MA for a doctors appointment. Hopefully we can "hitch up" with Doug, Jenny and Roxie while we are in KW - they may need transportation to buy groceries or something?
They stayed one night - then left ... no pictures of the sails up when they were leaving though. Would have been pretty I'm sure - the water was so calm.
Another story from last week .... As you may have read in past posts we've been taking Sir off the property to swim and get some serious running exercise. One day last week we went to a little park down the road where there are rarely people and it is fenced and fairly secluded. It is bordered on one side ("high" above the park) by route 1 and on the other by one of the many "inland" waterways (canals??) that go through these parts to connect to the ocean or bay sides of the islands. We've been to this park several times and Sir just runs around like a nut sniffing things and chasing wilson.
This particular day he went off into the trees that run along the canal side (as he always does - the sniffing must be great in there I guess). Well Rick goes over to be sure he isn't pooping somewhere that we would miss and not pick up - all of a sudden Rick yells to me that he needs HELP (careful with comments about that please) ~ sort of a desperate sounding call for help I might add. As I get through the brush he is taking his phone and wallet out of his pockets and calling to Sir (again). Apparently Sir got himself in the water (no surprise there for sure) but could not get himself out of the water. There was not a shallow area - just a straight down drop ~ which made us think perhaps he had sort of slipped/fallen into the water ~ that it was not necessarily intentional. I get over there to help Rick try to pull him out and we are fearing that one or both of US are headed into the canal as well - trying to pull 93 pounds of dead weight up and out and I just know he (Sir) is going to slip right out of the collar we are trying to get him out with! Sir just FROZE - seriously FROZE ~ he had no flipping idea what to do and there is nothing for him to step on to try to "push" himself up and out some. So he did NOTHING!
Looking back it is kind of funny but it was NOT at all funny then - it was down right scary. I just knew one of us was going to end up in the water (most likely King Richard) to get him out and there could have been gators in that there water!
Needless to say, it did somehow work out but it was quite an adventure. Then again, life is quite an adventure isn't it!
great, beautiful, lovely, gorgeous sunsets ~ if you can stand the smell.
It takes only a few seconds to snap a photo or two then head inside... rather frustrating to be at this gorgeous property and not be able to spend any time outside other than from the coach to the car or the coach to the Lodge .... hopefully in a few more days all the dead fish will be gone - raked from our beach or otherwise mysteriously have disappeared - seems a shame to be here and not be able to enjoy being outside the coach, the sun, the breezes ...
Oh well hopefully in a few more days we shall have a clean beach and Sir can play at "home" .... but yes, I sure as heck do realize it "could be worse".
Heck, I could be in MA trying to figure out "what the heck" was up with THIS election - then again I'm thinking most places in the country might be scratching their head going "what the heck" ....
Sir Arlo's Coconut Guard. We went out on a field trip yesterday ~ again down the road where Sir gets to play at a boat launch.
It was SO quiet there that Sir Arlo played in the water for nearly two hours - he just seemed unable to "get enough" of HIS time - let loose, retrieve a coconut a couple hundred times - it was all good for the three of us!
Watch the fish Sir, watch the fish .... are you getting sleepy?
And the parrots - how I love watching and listening to them. It was so terrific to watch them fly around Keys "Christmas decorations" here last year (well Christmas of 2008 - we weren't in the Keys for Christmas of 2009)
Today we went to a park just a bit down the way so Sir could have some water play - without dead fish. The dead fish are still floating in and "baking in the sun" at the Lodge beach - I can barely stand to have the windows open, never mind sit outside and enjoy the sun - so me taking him to our beach for play time, rock retrieval, coconut chasing is just out of the question.
We did get both bikes out today and went for a a bit of a ride - felt great - a bit cooler than we'd wanted but it was good to be out on them.
I seem to be having this strong (very strong) need to be moving on these days, so to get the bike out again was a good decision. I need to get back on the road - in spite of the sun and the 70 degrees it just isn't working for me here these days - 13 more days, but who is counting (oh yes I am).....
I do not lie when I speak of iguanas in "hibernation" .... that have fallen from the trees during the recent cold spell in these parts ~
Problem is, these guys didn't make it to their hibernation state. They finally were disposed of this morning. The top one (first two shots are of the same fella) was about 2 1/2 or 3 feet long tip to tip ~ the one just above was about 2 feet tip to tip.
Connor is, of course, correct - GROSS GRAMMIE. They freak me out, gross me out! Thank goodness it's warmed up.
from Chad's blog, there are no photos today (or bananas either, for that matter).
But as King Richard pointed out to me this evening over a veggie pizza with a whole wheat crust (NO I did not create such a gourmet delight, but I certainly DID enjoy said delight), persons would rather click on the blog and see not much new, but a new post rather than the same thing they've been clicking on for the last week!?! Point taken, I guess, so here we are.
With that said, no photos on this post, no new adventures to post about. I guess the "biggie" in these parts is the continued cold (I won't continue to "go there"), as well as, it seems the entire country is cold but can I/we really complain about cold when, thankfully, we are not trying to dig ourselves from rubble post a 7.0 quake ~ how can they, how will they, in Haiti, so impoverished prior to this catastrophe, recover from this devastation?
Because of the "cold" and my continued laziness, we have not done much of anything. King Richard did venture out on his bike today (it is a fine line between NOT wanting to deal with the "cold" but having a need to be on the bike - I whimp out and the cold rules and I stay in with a book and/or a nap). Rick ventured out about 15 miles south then returned (yes, with a stop or two along that route) but seemed genuinely delighted to be back in the coach with the heat on at the end of the trip.
Sir and I went out for a walk this afternoon while Rick was out - seriously, if the temps are in the low to mid 60's it seems like great walking weather. Along the way we passed two iguanas and one snake. All rather "creepy" to me, but I did NOT "freak out" about them - we just carried on with our adventure, and Sir remained totally clueless!
Word has it that the iguanas go into a natural (??) hibernation mode in these cold weather situations (snakes, I guess do the same?). I do remember last year when Sir and I were here walking, very early in the morning out behind the coach (remember King Richard gets to sleep in and I get early morning walk privileges with Sir??) that there was an iguana (aka in Tracey lingo a "glizzard) that was motionless and I thought Rick was playing a trick on me to freak me out (NOT so much) and someone pointed out to me that this is a natural behavior with the "glizzrds" to go into this hibernation thing. Anyway, along with all the glizzard behavior is the fish behavior. ~ the water has been so flipping cold that fish are dying - not hibernating - but in the morning when Sir and I go down to the waters edge there are many many dead fish there who have washed ashore with the cold cold water. We did rescue one guy yesterday - I swear, true story, but I don't know what kind of a fella he was ~ he was in a shallow pool, but clearly still alive and "we" made sure he got into deeper, continually deeper water and when we returned an hour or so later, he was gone - do NOT even go there with any scenario other than that he swam off into the sunset (in search of warmer waters and perhaps Nemo?).
So hopefully there may be two bikes out tomorrow ~ or perhaps Friday, but NOT Saturday or Sunday - rain strongly predicted.
Key West next week ~ well strongly predicted and strongly anticipated!
One of Rick's favorite places in Key West is Capt. Tony's, not sure why but he's always enjoyed the place. So with that said, we went on a field trip to Key West last week - maybe Thursday, maybe Wednesday, I don't remember. Of course we had to stop by Capt.'s. One of the "things" about Capt. Tony's is they have these bar stools (what a shock huh!) with entertainer's names on them - according to the bartender, these people have actually been there and sat at the bar ~ whatever .... check out the stools above - Sir Arlo's name sake and another of our favorite entertainers (John Prine).
And, as always, Sir is happy to "belly up"
and make new friends. Is she a cutie or what?!? Another two year old female (like the cutie he met at the dog park in Tampa) full of "piss and vinegar" for sure - OH how I wish there had been a big field or beach close by, because these two would have had a whole lot of fun playing.
Since we never got to the fabric shop there that I wanted to visit, we will be returning (probably next week) - I guess I should research off leash parks there before we return next week!
As always, there are roosters in abundance in KW - and a Coast Guard boat or two (just for you Chester)
After our "big day" in KW we "laid low" for a while - what IS up with this weather anyway? I did figure that after a couple days in the house Sir probably needed some chillax'in' so we went down the road to the "Caribbean Club" whose claim to fame is the filming of a teeny, tiny, itsy bitsy portion of "Key Largo".
Anyway, they have a boat launch there where we often take Sir for some "free play". Here at the Lodge we have to be very aware of people outside their coaches and other dogs so sometimes it's good for Sir to be able to just let loose a bit. We always take a couple tennis balls and at least one "Wilson" with us, but this particular day there was a lot of boat traffic and Sir ended up being quite content to just sit with us and "enjoy the show" (I think he may be getting old and sedentary too!!)
The sights are usually pretty nice there and there are several photo ops on any given day - case in point below. I'm not sure about the color quality of this new camera though ~ sort of blah ~ oh it may be the photographer you say?
So seriously, what the heck is with this weather throughout the country? COLD COLD COLD, major snow in the north and major cold in the southern climates - the past few mornings when Sir and I go out around 7:00 (King Richard gets to "sleep in") it's been 36 degrees! I keep forgetting to cover the plants I have in front of the coach (gerbera daisy, a gorgeous Martha Washington geranium and some herbs) and so far they've gotten through it! Thankfully we aren't shoveling anything but darn, this is the pits!
Remember last week (a long long time without a post I know) I was going to "explain" why we got a late start leaving Brandon?
Well the photo above explains it ~ our satellite wouldn't stow properly. In fact it wouldn't stow at all! We ended up calling "tech support" and were walked through how to disassemble some parts of it enough to manually stow it so we could finally get on the road. All the while trying to locate a dealer in FL.
We finally located a dealer who we met in an industrial park in Fort Lauderdale. Because of our size (combined length of 68') it is challenging to find a suitable spot for such repairs. The whole repair process worked out quite well and three hours later we were back on the road. We had been without satellite for two days, but thankfully we were in a real campground that had wifi (Clewiston KOA).
So we finally got back to the Keys last Wednesday (yes a week ago!!) to gorgeous sunsets (although I haven't figured out how to get the new camera to do them justice). The weather here has been unseasonably cool - low 60's rather than the upper 70's or low 80's. But along with the cool weather there has been no humidity, so the AC hasn't been running and the windows have been open and we aren't shoveling anything.
The other night I was pounding some chicken breasts for chicken marsala. Well Sir does not like loud noises - they startle and frighten him. As soon as I started he jumped up in Rick's lap so Rick could protect him - yup, a 93 pound lapdog!!
We haven't done much while we've been here - I've been working on a big sewing project which has kept me house bound most of the time. We did go down to Key West yesterday. On Sunday we went out to watch the Patriots give away another game. We started at a "sports bar" in Key Largo called JJ's Big Chill owned by Jimmy Johnson (former coach for the Dolphins(??)) What a mistake that was - the place may be lovely but the bar tender sucks. After waiting for 15 minutes (NO it wasn't busy there and there were empty bar stools and tables) and watching her saunter by us several times, hands in pockets ignoring us Rick finally called her over to order ~ what an attitude this girl had. We decided at that point we weren't about to stay there for the game and try to get service so since the game hadn't started we headed back to Tavernier to one of our favorite places a mile down the road from where we are at (they don't have a web site so no link) called Dillons. They have a grouper rueben that is out of this world. Anyway, back to the game ... what a difference ~ game day at Dillon's is a blast - with friendly staff (what a concept when serving the public huh!), drawings, prizes, trivia .... and LIFE in the place! The owner (as we found out last year) is from Bennington, VT where I spent some years as a child (five years I think). Don't know his name though, but probably my age or a bit older.
Isn't that a nice photo (beauty is in the eye of the photographer??) above of my honey with a sunset? These were the first sunset shots I took with the new camera and I pretty much thought they were the pits, BUT I did LOVE the clear silhouette of himself in the shot above so IT was NOT the pits!
I will make a "concerted effort" (as my Mother often said) to figure out this camera's settings soon ...
So that's the post today folks .... stay tuned :-)