Thursday, January 12, 2012

1,067 Miles Later

Bob and I took our 3rd annual trip to Florida last week. We have a lot of friends who live there since we lived there for 6 1/2 years and we have family who live there. I try to get back there to visit at least once a year. Of course, it is hard to get to see everyone, but we try to see as many of our friends and family as we can. This year we put 1,067 miles on our rental car! We drove from Tampa, to Jacksonville, Lake Placid, Vero Beach and back to Tampa.

We arrived in Tampa on Jan. 3rd. Bob's son Zach lives there and he was working when we arrived, so Bob and I found a nice restaurant where we had lunch. We checked into the Hampton Inn, met Zach for dinner and chatted for awhile at a nearby coffee house.

After breakfast with Zach on Wednesday the 4th, Bob and I drove to Jacksonville. DeWayne, who is one of the recipients of my son's organs, lives there. Michael is another organ recipient and he lives in Gainesville. Michael drove to Jacksonville and we all met at the hotel where Bob and I were staying. I met DeWayne and Michael for the first time in January 2009 and we all stay in touch through phone calls, emails and texts. We went to dinner at Ragtime, near the Jacksonville Beach. We took a very short walk on the beach, as it was cold -- in the 40's.

On Thursday the 5th, DeWayne, Michael, Bob and I met at DeWayne's house. DeWayne had told me a lot about all of the antiques he collects and I wanted to see them. His room is like an antique museum! So many wonderful things to see! We went to lunch, told them good-bye, then Bob and I drove to Lake Placid to visit my dad and Susan.

Bob and I stayed with Daddy & Susan through Sunday morning. DeWayne had given me two new cookbooks, so we picked a Chicken Parmesan recipe that I made for dinner the day we arrived. I love to cook and try new recipes and the others love to eat the foods I make. It is a win-win situation!

Bob and I have a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 that we wanted to use at Daddy & Susan's, but they didn't have wireless, so Bob got them fixed up with a wireless router so we could use our new toy. We also got them a camera for their computer so we could use Skype. We chatted with Ken, my brother, and Cindy, my sister. Daddy & Susan thought that was wonderful! We also noticed that Daddy was using the closed caption on the TV so we bought him some wireless headphones. He is in the Techno Age now!

My friend Junie, whom I met through the Florida Navy Moms group, lives in Lake Placid with her husband Jeff, so we met them for lunch on Friday the 6th.

On Saturday, Bob and I drove to Arcadia and met my friend Pat and her husband Ross for lunch at the Mary Margaret Tea Room. Such a cute, girly place! Thank you Bob & Ross for going along with us and letting us eat there. We walked around the town and into several antique stores. I bought an old necklace that I plan to remake into a piece of my own.

On Sunday the 8th, Bob and I drove to Vero Beach to visit my sister-in-law Chris, her son Paul and daughters, Chelsea and Tarah. What fun to get together with more family! Chris loves to cook and entertain like I do. She made yummy quiches, homemade bread and a salad for lunch. Later in the day, Chris, Bob and I went to Treasure Cove Beach, where we walked and found many shells and pieces of sea glass. Chris collects the sea glass. The weather had warmed up to the upper 70's. We took Chris and Paul to a restaurant on the water for dinner. Too bad it was so dark and we couldn't see the water. Bob and I stayed overnight with Chris. After a big breakfast of cheese grits, eggs, toast from the homemade bread and Florida oranges, Bob and I drove back to Tampa.

The weather in Tampa was sunny and in the upper 70's when we arrived. So different from the cold couple of days from the weekend before when we first arrived. We met Zach for lunch and then, he returned to work. Since it was such a beautiful day, I wanted to be out in it instead of sitting in a hotel room. So, we walked along the Riverwalk and we took a trolley ride through Y'bor City. That night we returned to Y'bor City for dinner at the Columbia. Their famous 1905 salad is THE BEST! After our dinner, we went to Zach's apartment and watched a strange movie, "Momento".

Bob and I met Zach for breakfast on Tuesday the 10th. We went to a wonderful French bakery and cafe. It was a beautiful day and we sat outside to eat and chat. Zach took a little time off work to spend it with us, so we went to the International Mall. They know I love to shop!

Our vacation had come to an end and we arrived back in Dallas around 7 p.m. It was 76 degrees when we left Tampa and 46 degrees when we arrived back in Dallas. It was still nice to be back home.

You can see my photos from our Florida trip at this link --

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