Friday, January 13, 2017

Another Beautifull Beach Day!

Ken spent time working on the computer and I decided to head to the pickleball courts at 8.  I was there till 9:45 and enjoyed playing about 5 games.  I started out fairly well (I hadn't played since the summer!) but the longer I played the worse I did!  It was rather frustrating.  I can only hope that the more I play with better players that I will see an improvement in my game!  Let's hope!

We packed a few snacks, drinks, the beach and bike bags and then loaded our bikes on Ernie's truck and the 4 of us were on our way to Nokomis Beach by 11:30.  Noela and I read while the "boys" took a long walk.  Eventually Noela and I did take a walk.  Jamie called on my walk back to my chair and we had such a nice conversation.  Their family was on the way to Rehobeth Beach for the weekend.  

The 4 of us got on our bikes and rode 4 1/2 miles on the beautiful Casey Key Road to enjoy a delicious meal on the outside deck of the Casey Key Fish House. It was Ken's 1st time to have grouper since arriving in Florida and he loved it. Ernie and Noela had not eaten here before and we were so excited to get probably the "best seat in the house" right on the water!  

Unbelievable landscaping....

....and huge homes (mansions)

Also spectacular views of the Gulf!

One of our favorite places to eat near Venice!

Not a bad setting for eating!

Fun to watch the boats go in and out!

Ken loved his blackened grouper salad!

We rode back to the beach, enjoying the huge, beautiful homes and gorgeous landscaping along the way.  

More views while riding along Casey Key Road.....

We returned to the beach to do some reading and then enjoyed the gorgeous sunset.  Ken had a wonderful chat with Lanie while viewing the sunset from the water's edge.

Sun still shining but getting close to sunset!

Quite a unique sailboat!

The beginning of the end of another great day!

Here goes the sun!!!

Love viewing a sunset from the beach!

We were back to the CG by 6 and decided we would not get together tonight to play games.  All of us were rather tired.  Ken and I watched some TV and then he read while I worked on the blog and downloaded photos.  Looking forward to watching some exciting football games this weekend!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Gorgeous Day in Florida!

What a special day in Florida!  The 4 of us left the CG at 10 to go to the weekly farmers market at Englewood.  We had been their 1 time last year and it is a very nice market with lots of organic items, crafts, bakeries, coffees, veggies, fresh fish, etc.  We enjoyed some freshly baked healthy cookies that were delicious.  Together we bought a quart of paella that was being cooked in a huge wok type pot.  Chef Ef, who made it, was quite a showman when putting it in the foil pie type plate, covering it, and then sealing it in a plastic bag.  While there we saw Rick and Joyce who were making their 1st visit to the market.

The market was very crowded!

Chef Ef making the paellas.  He offered chicken or seafood!

Quite a potful!

Lots of good citrus fruit!

Plenty of good fruit and veggies!

We left there and planned to go to Englewood Beach or Stump's Pass, but both parking lots were full, so we decided to go to Manasota Beach. 

It is a beautiful drive along the Gulf from Englewood to
Manasota Beach!

The 4 of us sat at a table overlooking the Gulf eating the delicious paella.  When we walked down to the beach, Rick and Joyce were following us.  The 6 of us had a great time on the beach looking for shells and shark's teeth and the weather was perfect for a day at the beach!

Here come Ernie and Noela walking along the water!

Time to rest from shark tooth hunting and read a good
Nicholas Sparks book!

Okay, I can only read so long!

Here come Rick and Joyce from their
shark tooth hunt!

Time to leave the beach, but just for today!  More beach days
to come!!!

We got back to the CG around 6, showered and had delicious salads for dinner. We went over to Ernie and Noela's around 8 and played a rather long game of Uno with the women being victorious.  It was a fun game.  We were in bed by 10:30 after a busy day!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Very Nice Day Venice Florida!

The temperature was around 50 degrees and it was sunny when we got up at 6:30. We packed our lunches and some drinks and by 9 we left the CG to go to Venice.  We stopped at Detweiler's Market to get some very reasonably priced fruits and veggies!  

By 10 we were at the home of Rick and Joyce, friends from back home that are in our small group from Church.  They had settled on a home right off of Venice Avenue in October and it was our 1st chance to get a tour of their new property. What a nice semi-attached home with a nice lay-out and many great features! The setting is amazing too.  They have decided that when they return to PA in April, they will sell their property there and be full-time residents of Florida. They are so excited and happy!

Rick and Joyce at their new home!

Rick, Joyce, Ken and I left their home, got on our bikes and rode to the Legacy Trail towards Venice. 

This bridge is on the Legacy Trail!

This is the bridge over busy Route 41!  Ken took this photo from the center
of the bridge.  Joyce and I are waiting for them at the bottom!

We crossed over the Circus Bridge ad followed the Venetian Waterway Trail to Caspersen Beach. 

Here we are riding along the Venetian Waterway Trail!

The drawbridge on the Circus Bridge had to be raised for
the sailboat!

Time to come back down!

We saw some interesting birds along the way -


Great Blue Heron

Tri-colored Heron!

We ate our picnic lunch there and then spent time walking the beach looking for shells and shark's teeth.

Caspersen Beach has had so much erosion.  Years ago it was a very
wide beach!

Lots of shark's tooth hunters!

Joyce and I joined in the hunt!  The water was rather chilly!

We were determined, but had very little success!  Only a few
very small ones....

but we had given it a good try!

This collection of shark's teeth were found by this gentleman
while scuba diving about 2 miles off shore.  They were huge!
Some were larger than his hand!

That little one was my large find!!!

On the return bike ride, we stopped to try to get the Florida Scrub Jays to take peanuts out of our hands.  We had stopped on the ride down to Caspersen with no luck, so we were hoping for a better result to show Rick and Joyce that they actually are rather tame and will sit on your hands when retrieving the peanuts we offer. Bingo, they showed up on the way back.  

We spotted this beautiful woodpecker!

Aren't these scrub jays a gorgeous shade of blue???

He was willing to sit on my hand for
quite awhile before taking the peanut!

Ken didn't have any treats, but the scrub jay came to sit
on his hand anyway!

Another view of our ride on the Venetian Waterway Trail!

We also stopped in downtown Venice for a delicious Gelato.  We got back to their home around 5:30 after riding almost 20 miles - felt great!  Ken got some great photos of the "lake" behind Rick and Joyce' property -

This is out the back door of Rick and Joyce's home.  Are these
pictures right side up or upside down?  The shadows with the
setting sun were gorgeous! 

I think this picture is amazing!

We decided to play a game of Pinochle before leaving around 7:30.  Unfortunately, the men won, but we certainly had a good time!  We saw Ernie and Noela walking in the CG when we got back, so we stopped to chat.  They had a fun day at Myakka State Park doing some bike riding and walking with Jim and Joyce, fellow campers here at the CG.  Ken was "jealous" when they mentioned seeing lots of roseate spoonbills, Ken's favorite bird.

Ken and I had some soup and then I worked on this blog while he went through the photos we took today!  It certainly was a fun day!  Thanks Rick and Joyce!