Been gone, but not forgotten…I hope!

It’s a glorious morning to be perched at my desk, after a great Friday workout in my Jump Start Your Heart exercise class earlier this morning, and I’m actually inspired to get some writing done today! No appointments or other need-to-do items lurk over my shoulder as I begin here. There is so much to get caught up with, so I probably should just begin.IMG_8126

Not only do I want—need—to get some cogent words shaped into a long overdue blog post, but getting back to editing and rewriting that musty manuscript of that novel I’ve been “resting” for such a long time, beckons! That’s up next after I finish this post.

Such a long time since my last post, and a lot has transpired in my life. The highlight of my time away from posting would have to be our winter journey. On the morning of January 26, with the temperature reading -4 degrees here in Aurora, Illinois, Carolyn and I set off on a month-long vacation to Florida (Naples, Sarasota & Ormond Beach) and it was a terrific time from beginning to end.

Everyone’s first question, How was the weather? is an easy one to answer: Perfect! Getting away from Illinois in February is a good thing, we discovered, and we definitely will be planning to do the same next year.

Our first night out, we stayed with good friends at their beautiful home on Kentucky Lake. We’d left any trace of snow and really cold weather behind, and for the next several weeks, we would live in shorts and t-shirts and no socks. Life is good!

And all during our delightful drive down, we enjoyed everything (gas prices an exception!) as mile after mile clicked off. Even Atlanta didn’t cause too many slowdowns as it so often has, but we must have timed our trip through there just right this time.

Our second night, we stopped in Gainesville, Florida, and continued on to our daughter’s the next day in Cape Coral for an overnight. Up and out early the next morning, we traveled down to Naples to check in to the time share condo, where we’d spend the next week with our friends, Barb and Bill, who we’d be picking up at the Miami Airport that night. They were flying in from St. Maarten. Never having spent any significant time in and around Naples, other than traveling Route 41, The Tamiami Trail, the experience was all brand new—and quite delightful as it turned out.

Anyway, the hour-and-a-half drive over to Miami and the airport was a new experience which  I managed to IMG_7107survive, but I am very thankful for the Maps App and the friendly Siri voice who guided me there and back without mishap. At any rate, Barb and Bill’s flight was right on time, and our wait in the Cell Phone lot was not bad at all. By the time we got back to  our condo at Charter Club Resort of Naples Bay, we were all ready to finish unloading our stuff and to get some much-needed sleep.

IMG_7953As they always do, our week flew right on by, but during that time we managed to enjoy the fabulous Naples Pier and and a trip over to the nearby Everglades National Park for a wonderful pontoon cruise to see wildlife and the friendly dolphins riding our wake for a good deal of the time.

To my liking, I made plenty of time for sitting and reading on the screened-in lanai and some sunshine on the pool deck each day, and even managed to get some longer-than-normal walks in. Without a doubt, we enjoyed some wonderful seafood (grouper!) during our Naples time. It’s a “no brainer” that we look forward to exploring more of Naples on our next visit!

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After our week’s stay there, it was time for Barb and Bill to fly home to Illinois from the much-closer Southwest Florida Airport, and I didn’t mind driving them, despite the very early hour they needed to be there.

Quick goodbyes ensued as I deposited them there in the early hours, and I returned to the condo so Carolyn and I could finish packing the car and checking out to head off for the next “leg” of our vacation: Sarasota, an old and friendly and familiar place for us. We had great expectations for a couple of weeks there, and, as it turned out, we weren’t disappointed!

I’ll tell you all about it in my next post. I promise it won’t be two months from now!

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