IMG_0203We went to Florida to escape winter, visit friends and family, see a gymnastic meet with Kate in Orlando and to ride our bikes. We managed to get in over 240 miles of trail in the dead of winter. Outdoor exercise in the winter is a “pearl of great price”.

After  we left Alligator Point on Florida’s Forgotten Coast we drove down to Fort Myers Beach where we stayed a week with our friends Joe and Jeanette in their condo on the beach. While there, we also met up with other friends from Louisville whom we have not seen for 25 years

PopeBob and Georgia Pope met us for dinner at our favorite restaurant in Southwest Florida. They have hardly changed since they were part of the original houseboat gang that began in the early 90’s. When you meet again great friends that you have not seen in years it only takes a nano second to be right where you left off!

After a week on Fort Myers Beach we crossed  the bridge to one of our favorite places; Sanibel Island where we had arranged a condo for two weeks right on the east end of the island noted for the shells that wash ashore with the tides. This year due to storms the shells were far more abundant in quantity and variety than we had ever enjoyed.Shells

In just a short walk Karen collected perfect examples of many of her favorite shells.

shell display 1shell display


We reluctantly left Sanibel but we had a great opportunity to visit family in the Jacksonville Beach Area where we stayed with Sister JuneJune and Karen

and had a great visit with more of the familybreakfastafter leaving we had a


our grandaughter was to compete at a gymnastic meet in Orlando and were we not going to miss it!

Due to an injury she received during a floor exercise she was unable to compete; but that did not stop us from having a great time at The Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios.Eric at MKHogsmeade

In and around our travels across Florida we also looked at possible places to buy or build a home when the time comes. We saw a lot that we liked, we were tempted several times but are holding fast to being “HOME FREE”.

We felt it appropriate to leave Florida for Texas by boat, sailing by ferry to Alabama on the way to Texas for several weeks with Shelley and the kidsFerry from Florida