Friday, December 27, 2013


Dec 25 - Ken's daughter, Vickie, lives in Pembroke Pines, about 175 miles southeast of TT Peace River.  And, Ken's granddaughter, Niki, was home from LA for a few days for the holidays.  So, we drove down to spend a couple of days with them for Christmas.  We stayed nearby at the Courtyard by Marriott but spent most of our time with the family.

Niki and friend Carlos.  They met in LA and started dating.  They discovered they were both from Pembroke Pines, FL.  So they are both "home for the holidays"!

I am preparing an appetizer of salmon and cream cheese.  I attracted quite an audience!!

Ken checks out the decorations.

Amazing!  I got everybody to stop for a moment for a Christmas picture!
Ken, Vickie, Niki, Carlos, Steve, and Faye.

It was a lot of fun seeing the family for Christmas!!  Thank you Vickie for all the goodies!

Merry Christmas To All And A Happy New Year!!


Fri, Dec 13 - We had called Ken's daughter, Tracy, last week to let her know we were back in the Orlando area and would like to get with her for Ken's birthday sometime around December 14.  Still we were surprised when Tracy called to say she was off work on Friday afternoon and could we come over to the ranch.  She would prepare a Birthday Dinner for Ken!  Of course we could!!

You may remember, Tracy lives with a good friend, Chuck, on his ranch in Sanford where he breeds designer puppies -- Corgies, Norgies, Aussies.  Tracy helps him with the puppies and has set up a website on Facebook to advertise Royalty Puppies.

 When we arrived, Tracy immediately took us out to see the twenty-one new puppies that were only about six weeks old.!

All of the puppies are so cute!!

After meeting all the puppies, we took a stroll around the property.  These beautiful flowers were not in bloom the last time we were here.

The happy couple!

Before dinner, Tracy suggested that we drive to the nearby marina.  Hard to believe a big marina like this in the middle of Florida!

There is a Veterans' Memorial Park near the marina.

Ken enjoying his German Chocolate Birthday Cake!!  I baked the cake and made the frosting using Barb's special recipe!  UUMMMMMM!!  By the way, Ken is @&*# years old this year!!  Happy Birthday, Ken.

We ended our day by checking out the Christmas lights at Lake Mary.

Thank you, Tracy, for a most enjoyable afternoon!!


Dec 11 - There are a lot of these structures scattered around TT Orlando campground.  They are placed over Turtle holes to protect the many Turtle Nests.  We have been here for two months and have never seen a single Turtle!  Until!!  This afternoon!!  As we were driving toward our site, I spotted the head of a Turtle peaking out of this hole!!!

Stop the car, Ken!!!  Let me get a picture!!!  By the time I got out of the car, the Turtle had crawled out of the nest far enough for me to get a couple of nice pictures!

Spotting a Turtle at last was the thrill of the day!!!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Wed, Nov. 20 - Today is our last day at TT Orlando.  We have been here for two weeks and have really enjoyed our stay.  We went over to play Pickleball this morning, but there was a heavy mist falling as we arrived at the courts.  So, we only played one game each.  You might be able to see how wet the courts are in some of the pictures.

I did not get any action shots of this match but got a picture of the group at the net.  Hope I have correct names.

Bob and Lee played against Carol and Matt.  If not, I'm sorry!

Bill and Ken against -

Matt and Paul.  A really good match!

Bob and Pete played against -

New arrivals James and Brenda

Frank peeling his Florida Orange between matches!!

Lee and Mike.  When Mike saw me taking pictures, he said "Don't take my picture."  I didn't know if he was serious, so I decided to use this picture.  Hope this meets with his approval!!  HA HA

Terry and Joyce were Lee and Mike's opponents.

Bill and Ken still playing against -

Matt and Paul!  See how wet the courts are?

When their match was over, Bill offered to take a picture of the group on the sideline.

Terry, Amy, Faye, Paul, Ken and Matt.

As I said, this is our last day at TT Orlando.  We leave tomorrow morning for another two weeks at TT Peace River, about 65 miles away.  Good-bye, Guys.  It was fun playing around with you.


Tue., Nov. 19 - My brother, Nelson, recently purchased a Villa in the retirement community known as The Villages, about 50-60 miles North of our campground at TT Orlando.  Landscapers had just completed the landscaping project so he called us yesterday and invited us to come up for a visit.  It appeared that today was going to be the best weather, so we took him up on his invitation.

Nelson showing Ken the front yard landscaping.  (Ken had his own tree and landscaping business years ago.)

The interior.  Dining area looking into the kitchen.  Kitchen view.  One of two Bedrooms and Baths.

Separate utility room and one and a half car garage.  For a car and a golf cart.  You MUST have a golf cart at The Villages.  

There is a screened porch that opens onto the patio.  Landscaping at the back corner and along the back privacy wall.

Testing out the living room sofa!

Nelson was so funny telling us about the furniture throughout the house.  He said the villa had been used as a model.  After negotiating the price, he had signed the contract to purchase the villa.  Then, he told the realtor that he did not want the furniture, would they have someone come by  and pick it up.  "No.  It came with the house!  You bought it." At first, it appeared to be included in the price, and came with the Villa.  But, actually he had paid for it!  Since he bought it, might as well use it, for awhile anyway!!

After visiting for awhile we rode around the newer part of The Villages.  We went to several golf clubs.  This is the one nearest Nelson's Villa.

In The Villages, there are a number of Neighborhood Recreational Centers and several larger Regional Recreational Centers. This is the newest Regional Recreation Center, The Eisenhower Regional Recreation Center.  The interior was decorated all things military!  Very posh!!  On the grounds of the Rec Center there was Tennis, Platform Tennis, Pickleball and an Olympic Size Pool for adults only, Etc.  But, no golf courses here.

The Olympic size adults only pool.

We enjoyed lunch at one of the Country Clubs!

The Villages is the perfect retirement community!!  There are unlimited activities in which to participate!!  What fun!!

But it was time to go home!  Bidding Nelson farewell at the front entrance!!

Thank you, Nelson, for a fun time in The Villages!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Mon., Nov. 11 - Today is Veterans' Day and Ken is a Veteran of two wars -- The Korean War when he was only 19 years old, and Desert Storm in 1990-91.  A lot of well known establishments pay honor to Veterans every year with special offers.  We usually enjoy some of the "freebies" that are offered.

We were headed for Denny's for free pancakes, but we saw Bob Evans first and stopped there  instead.  Their pancakes were delicious, but we felt Bob Evans Free pancakes cost more than Free pancakes at Denny's.  But then, Bob Evans gave Ken a coupon for a free entree in December.  What can I say!!  Thank you, Bob Evans!

We had already planned to go to Great Clips in Citrus Tower, Clermont, FL for hair cuts because we have used Great Clips the last few times we needed hair cuts.

Imagine our surprise when we saw a sign in the window that Veterans were given a Free hair cut on November 11.

Not only did Ken get a Free hair cut on Veterans' Day, but Great Clips gave him a Thank You card that offered another complimentary hair cut in December!!  Thank you, Great Clips!!

For dinner on Veterans' Day, Ken chose to go to Chili's, only a couple of miles from TT Orlando.  We LOVE their "Onion Strings and Jalapeno" appetizer!!  We were expecting to order Ribs for dinner; however, Chili's offered a very limited menu to Veterans, and Ribs were not on the list.  While we did enjoy our dinner at Chili's, I think next year Ken will choose TGI Fridays as in previous years.  Thank you, Chili's, for honoring our Veterans!

THANK YOU to all Veterans for your service!!


Fri., Nov. 08 - We moved from TT Peace River to TT Orlando yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.  And, first thing Friday morning we went to see who was playing at the Pickleball courts.  We were glad to see a good group there, most of them we knew very well.

Shortly  after we arrived, a nice lady approached me and said she and her husband had met us some years ago.  I did not recognize her at first, but when she said they were Lynn and Steve and had bought a place in Buttonwood, FL, I knew exactly who they were!!  I remembered meeting them at TT Chesapeake Bay and we had a lot of fun together playing Pickleball, Hand and Foot, Euchre and who knows what else.

We looked forward to playing around with them again.  Unfortunately, they were planning to leave TT Orlando on Saturday morning to head home.  To solve the dilemma  we invited them over for drinks and conversation later on Friday.  It really was fun getting reacquainted with Lynne and Steve!

We are looking forward to getting together with them again soon because they said Buttonwood is only 20 miles from TT Peace River in Wachula!

Sidebar:  I thought we met them at TT Chesapeake Bay in 2008, but Steve said we had met in the at TT Soledad Canyon in Acton, CA.  In fact, he said I had "pickled" him with a pickle pin.


Sat., Nov. 09 - Yesterday morning at Pickleball, we not only met up with Steve and Lynne, but we were delighted to see Diane and Jack even before we got to the courts!!  Great!!  I knew a Pickleball Happy Hour was a certain thing!!  Diane is the "Happy Hour Queen"!  And so, in a matter of minutes we were announcing Happy Hour on Saturday at Jack and Diane's!!

A good group of players were at the Happy Hour that afternoon.  We were greeted by Jack and Diane and Diane's mother, Mickey.

Nate and Krystal have an Annual Site at TT Peace River so we were surprised to see them at TT Orlando!  Krystal said it is the first time they have traveled in their 5th Wheel in two years!

We taught Bob and Vicki to play Pickleball at TT Chesapeake Bay in 2008.  Vicki had injured her right hand so she had to learn to play with her left hand!  They have been instrumental in introducing more people to the game of Pickleball!!

We just met this group this afternoon at the party.  Marylyn and Harold.  Anita and Mike who promised to be at the Pickleball courts soon.

Diane's brother and his wife, Jim and Marlene!  Both good Pickleball players!

Lynne and Steve decided to wait until Sunday to leave and were able to come to the Happy Hour!!

Rene and Mira.  We met them in 2010 on the courts at TT Peace River, and several times at TT Chesapeake Bay.

Just met Frank and his wife at the party tonight.  Welcome to the group!

This is an odd couple that I put together for the picture!!  We met Charlotte here at TT Orlando some years ago -- a really good players.  Joe just recently took up the game.  He is a welcome addition to the "family"!!  Joe is another player who injured his right hand and is forced to play left handed.  What's wrong with that??!!

After eating, some of us played another fun game -- Corn Hole!!
Rene and Nate on one end, and their partners at the far end, Jack and Marlene.
Ken and Joe and their partners Bob (with Joe) and Faye (with Ken).
Jim and Rene and partners Frank and Jack.

By the time the party broke up, it was dark!  Here we are staying "Good Night"!!

Thanks Diane and Jack for a really fun time!!