Monday, April 25, 2011

Morning Walk

Morning Walk

April 25th - Monday - 85 degrees w/ breeze

Lou and I agreed that we would take our walk each morning before breakfast, as it is hard for me to walk and breath when it gets hot in the afternoon, so we were off early this morning.

We are including pictures that we took this morning on our walk. Some of the wild flowers that we found growing are ones that we buy in the nurseries at home each spring. On the way back we just had to stop and watch the water birds. Our Marine neighbors from Ohio told us the small shore birds were called the Ruddy Turnstone. The birds sitting out in the water in the brush are of course, the Great Blue Heron and the smaller one is an immature Cormorant.

We also had to move our RV to a different site, we once again have full hook up and this time we have 50 amp, so we can use both A/C units, and that is good, as it is in the mid 90’s today and is supposed to be the remaining of the week. I have included a view from our bedroom window and one from our door.

I have put away our Easter decorations and put out our shore bird and shell collection for the remainder of our stay here. We haven’t been able to keep our awning out, as the breeze is too strong to allow it to stay out. I guess it hasn’t mattered, as I have spent the day cleaning and Lou has been catching up on his reading of the magazines that Krista had mailed to him.

Lou called his friend Donnie in Pennsylvania and he was delighted that we have decided to stay for the launch and he was tickled with the post card that I had sent to him from the Kennedy Center, it is amazing what little things you can do for some people that please them and make them happy. We promised more pictures.

We both talked to all of our family members yesterday, neither of us sent out Easter cards so took the opportunity to call everyone to wish them a Happy Easter, reached everyone with the exception of Scott, and it was good to have a personal contact with each and everyone of them. Even got to talk to our sisters and brothers which was very special. Was glad to hear that so many of them follow the Blog on a daily basis and knew exactly what we had been doing and that was the exact reason we started posting two years ago and never expected so many folks would travel with us, but welcome the company.

We have several prayer requests, Michelle is returning back to College for her final weeks and will be preparing for her finals, Susie, Preston’s wife, is in the hospital with an abscess in her colon, Spencer will soon be leaving for a tour overseas with the Army, Krista will be visiting a specialist, for her unborn baby, that will be checking the irregular heart beat.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Day at the Beach

Day at the Beach

April 22nd - Friday - 85 degrees w/ gentle breeze

First thing this morning, I decided to get the laundry done, as the laundry is right behind our campsite and I had plans to get to the beach this afternoon. My plan was to get the clothes in the washer and come home and have breakfast and go back and get them in the dryer. At the wash house, I met a gal from Towanda, PA and I chatted with her a little longer than I should have and came home to find that Lou was on the phone and by the time he got off the phone, the clothes were ready to go into the dryer……….

By the time the laundry was finished we should have been eating lunch and not breakfast. I really missed the huge clothes lines at MacDill, so just used the clothes bars that Susie had given me, that actually I use every day, and I filled them up twice and still had to use the dryers. Here the washers were $.75 to wash and the dryers the same, which is cheap compared to some others, we have paid up to $2.00 per load and as low as no charge for laundry services.

We have decided to stay an additional week here; however, we have to move off of this site and go to a site without sewer service tomorrow and we are willing to do that for a week. Krista called us today and told us that it is snowing at home and we aren’t ready to face that and we really wanted to see the rocket launched on Friday. She and Susie kept telling us that we should stay and take advantage of being here for the launch and Lou finally consented to do that. Now we will be here until May 2nd and will probably not arrive home until around mid May as we want to spend three or four days in Elizabeth City.

This afternoon, we walked across the driveway to the beach and I really enjoyed that. I think this is more my thing than it is Lou’s, because I can spend hours picking up shells and little critters from the ocean and I did. I found the shell of a horseshoe crab that I am going to take home with me. I want to decorate my back deck with an ocean theme for summer. Think that is about the only thing I haven’t used, so thought that would be appropriate.

After our afternoon at the beach we came home and showered and drove to Melbourne to a restaurant that a local person had told us about called Squid Lips. It was crowded, but it was worth the wait, located on the shore, we had a beautiful view as the sun went down. Lou ordered us an appetizer that was out of this world. It was homemade potato chips, served hot, with balsamic dressing over them along with huge hunks of blue cheese, fresh chunks of tomatoes and green onions and all of this was topped with creamy blue cheese dressing. This was served with a loaf of hot herb bread and butter. By the time we ate this and our salad and our wine, I didn’t care if I ate my stuffed shrimp or not. All in all it was a wonderful meal.

We really haven’t eaten out a lot this winter, not like last year at Key West. I have done most of the cooking right here in our RV and we have eaten much the same as we would have had we been at home.

I baked another fresh strawberry pie today with the last of our Plant City strawberries. Certainly will miss them now, we have had them on our cereal each morning, and had cottage cheese and strawberries with a sandwich for lunch. The tomatoes right now are wonderful also.

On our way out to dinner tonight we happened to look up and see this formation of planes flying over, we were both lucky enough to have our camera with us and able to catch a picture of them as they passed over head. We are both enjoying our sunroof here at Patrick. We drive with the windows down and the sunroof open, no bugs to worry about.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kennedy Space Center

April 20th - Wednesday - 85 degrees w/ breeze

Kennedy Space Center which is located east of Orlando, is where Lou and I spent our day. We arrived at 9:00 AM with Estee, as they have a free kennel that they provide for there guests, which we found to be a huge asset. We deposited her in her private huge cage, complete with her blanket, water dish and food, and we were free to come and walk her whenever we desired.

We were off on one of the 44 air-conditioned busses that moved us around on the 140,00 acres of NASA’s home. Our first stop was the NASA launch facilities, where we got to see Cape Canaveral, then and now, the launch site of the early space triumphs of Mercury and Gemini, paving the way of America’s journey to the moon. Then we saw the modern day Cape Canaveral rocket program where NASA sends probes and robotic explorers throughout the universe.

Then we were on to see the giant structures that make up the world’s largest launch facilities. We got an upclose look at the coastal launch pad that will unleash the power to put send up the shuttle on the 29th. In fact, it is already in place. Which really impressed me. You can see the building that houses all of this in the pictures. It is the building with the huge flag on the side and the huge NASA insignia on it.. The end of the building opens up and the shuttle comes out and moves down that huge run way to the launching pad. The run way is dug down seven feet and filled with cement and then had gravel on the top of it. Really amazing. I also have pictures of the launching pad that I took from an observation tower.
I also am posting a pictures that shows the building that houses the the Vehicles Assembly Building and the run way and the launching pad, but it is sorta hard to make it all out unless you know what you are looking at. The area is massage and ever so interesting.

Once back from the bus tour we were free to travel throughout the complex and we choose the Apollo/Saturn V Center and in this complex we were able to be apart of an actual launch. We were sitting in the control room of the launch of the Apollo 11, we heard and saw every command given and felt the lift off, right down to the windows rattling. Very impressive. We had all seen the control centers on television; however, to see it first hand is something different. We also saw The Saturn V, which was I think the first American Lunar Transportation. Along with the moon buggy.

In this building we were able to see all stages of the rocket and what part left at different stages, and I have pictures off all of that, rather I will post all of that or not, I don’t know.

We did take advantage of all of the shows and lectures that were offered. One that was offered was a 3-D movie that was done by the Astronauts in space, showing us what they can see from space and that was amazing.

Another lecture that was very interesting as a very informal lecture that was given by a former astronaut, Gregory, that told about him becoming an astronaut and his experiences being in space. He had some very humorous stories to tell, a side that we don’t usually hear, as to what happens when they spill soda, how they use the toilet, being strapped in, and he showed some personal slides that he had taken. This went on for an hour then he answered questions.

We continued on with our sights until nearly 6:00 PM when we finally picked up Estee and headed for home. All in all it was a very enjoyable day and one that I will remember for a long time. I learned a lot of things that have come out of the space program that we enjoy in our day to day life that I did not realize were a benefit of the space program, ie, many of our current medications, ridges on our roads to keep them from being slippery, just a few of the things.

Patrick Air Force Base

Patrick Air Force Base
April 18th - 86 Degrees w/ Breeze

Lou and I arrived here at 3:00 pm. We do not have any internet coverage; however, we do have good cell service and you can see from the pictures, we have a beautiful camp site. One of the best we have ever had. The best thing is we do not have any mosquitoes. We can go outside and enjoy the water, sunshine whenever with no worries.

We have the bay out the front and the runway out the left side and the ocean on the other side. We have security that patrols through every hour, so nothing to complain about, Lou doesn’t have cable, but with the antenna, he does have television, so he had all news, with the exception of FOX, so is roughing it.

I understand, we can get on line by going to the library, so may give that a shot, and if so will post as I am able.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Our Excursion to Venice and Dinner w/ Scott and his Family

April 16th - Saturday 87 degrees - Humid

Lou and I were up early and we all had breakfast and got Estee ready for a road trip and a day away from MacDill.

We drove to Venice, FL. This is an old city in Florida that I know my way around in. This is the city that Scott had made arrangements for my deceased husband and me to stay in when we came to Florida prior to his death, and we both fell in love with the quaint old city. The year that Al died, I knew I couldn’t handle him by myself, so our granddaugher, Michelle flew down with us and we rented a handicapped suite in Venice and that made our two week stay perfect.

I wanted to show Lou around this old city and we certainly enjoyed our afternoon. We went to my favorite beach and it was just as I had remembered, the beautiful white, clean sand, with parasailing, and many family activities going on. We ate our lunch on main street at an outside café. As the waiter brought our menus, he also brought Estee a fresh bowl of water. The whole city of Venice caters to the small dogs, with drinking fountains and tie posts for them. We both enjoyed a fresh Greek salad with Iced tea.

After our lunch, we drove to the Municipal Airport that I had always enjoyed and knew that Lou would enjoy and did he ever, we found that it had been used during World War II and he even got to see an Italian Airplane that he had only seen once before, in fact, a gentleman, allowed him entrance into the field so he could get a good picture of the plane, so that made his day, and he found there was a fleet of these planes located in St. Petersburg, FL.

It was soon time to leave to continue our journey on to Scott’s house and as it was, we arrived at Scott’s just as Sue was arriving home from work.

As usual Scott had everything under control. On his smoker he had three huge heads of cabbage, his specialty, along, with ribs, done three ways, chicken, roasting ears and Sue had made her famous potato salad. It was a feast and we ate and ate some more. We were celebrating Melanie’s 18th birthday. She had just become a new Mommy also, so there was lots of things to be grateful for. Scott and Sue’s neighbors, John and Sue also joined us for dinner and it was nice to get acquainted with them.

It was nice to have Nikki there to have a chance to talk with her also. She has a new job that seems to suit her as she had been trying to find something that was going to be better suited to her training and it sounds like this is what she had been waiting for. I believe she said they make custom boats, Intrepid. Hopefully, I have it spelled correctly. From the sound of the cost of said boat, I don’t think we will be ordering one in the near future. The new baby Aimee Nichole was named after her and she certainly took a true loving attitude toward her new niece. To bad she doesn’t live closer.

All to soon, it was time for us to start our 1 ½ hour drive back to MacDill. After hugs and goodbyes we were back on the road again. Lou wanted to travel across the Sunshine Bridge after dark, as neither of us had done that, and I was surprised that I was able to capture a picture of it.

Now tomorrow we are off to Patrick AFB and we plan to spend about a week there, want to tour Cape Canaveral and such while we are there and then travel up the coast to home, spending several days along the beach in North Carolina. I will post as I am able.