It was about a 200 mile drive west across Florida from West Palm Beach to Bradenton. Even though it was still early morning as we loaded the car for the trip, we worked up a sweat by our efforts in the humidity and the warm weather. So, it was with a shock that we opened the door in Bradenton 3 hours later, where we were meeting our nephew Jeff and his girlfriend Becky. The temperature was easily 25 degrees cooler and the wind was blowing to make the point. We quickly changed out of our shorts into jeans and packed the shorts away, not to be seen again for 2 more weeks.
Becky was less than 24 hours out of the snow and cold of Rochester, NY, so this was mild weather for her. We immediately packed up to go to Casperson Beach, a strand south of Venice, where shark’s teeth are supposed to be plentiful. After getting a good sandblasting from a walk on the beach, we enjoyed a meal at a local BBQ place and an evening of playing the Pirates of the Caribbean DVD game. The next day we ate lunch at the Troyer’s Dutch Heritage restaurant, which had a plentiful buffet of Amish cooking. To complete the experience, we asked to eat in the Amish buggy, complete with the familiar red triangles. After lunch, we spent several hours shopping in St. Armand’s Circle, before heading to Smuggler’s Cove to feed the alligators and play miniature golf. Unfortunately, since alligators are cold-blooded, they were not only not eating in the 45 degree temperatures, they were not moving at all, frozen in the same position until the spring (apparently). Miniature golf was still fun, despite the unresponsive reptiles.
Christmas in Southern VA
Between Cathy’s Mom and sister’s houses in NC, which are side by side, we spent a lot of time together. This mostly involved eating or preparing or cleaning up from meals. Sixteen mouths require a lot of maintenance. On the 2nd night, we took the kids to see the Tanglewood holiday lights, which were a big hit, especially with Droz. We ended our stay with a “concert” Carolyn had arranged. Each of us was given a whistle and a number. Led with great skill by Cathy’s sister Chris, we fumbled our way through a number of Christmas carols as each played our whistle as directed. It was hilarious, if not exactly tuneful.
New Year’s Eve in Florida
We managed to take 2 days to get to Riviera Beach, stopping overnight in Titusville to break up the trip. We managed to buy some more Florida citrus and stopped at Vero Beach to see Bonnie Lass where they were waiting for their window to cross to the Bahamas.
Pat and Fred escaped New Hampshire and the daily snow squalls to the welcome warmer weather of southern Florida. We met them late on New Year’s Eve and brought in the new year on Orion as we caught up with each other’s holiday news.
So, where now?
We still haven’t locked into a destination, but are leaning heavily toward traveling south to the Florida Keys. We also need to re-provision the boat while we have access to a car.
But first, we’re going to Disney World.