Thursday, December 23, 2010

Go Gators!

Gotta love basketball at the O'Connell Center in Gainesville. We went to three basketball games this week - we watched the men play on Monday afternoon. They played Jacksonville, and lost by 3 points in overtime. Very good game. Then on Tuesday we watched the second round of the women's Holiday tournament. The first game was at 2:00 and didn't include the Gators; the second game was at 4:30 and was the Gators vs Robert Morris (I have NO idea where they were from, but more than 50% of their team were from outside of the United States-mostly Europe). Anyway, the Gator women pretty much killed them, which was nice of course, but the game itself was kind of boring because it was kind of a bloodbath. We ended up leaving shortly before the game was over, which we normally don't do. It's fun to go to those games and watch the Gator fans and cheerleaders and the whole "gator bait" thing. And, BOY, do they like their bumper stickers and their gator clothing and the whole nine yards. For the men's game, we sat slightly behind two FANS, and I mean FANS! Both of them were middle-aged men - one of them wore a big straw hat with all of his tickets from previous games sticking up out of the hat band - dozens and dozens - and a big alligator head sticking out over the front brim of his hat. He kept leaping to his feet and turning in circles and sweeping his arms up like he wanted EVERYONE to jump up and start yelling. He was a hoot. The other guy was similar but maybe not quite as extremem, but he did a solo dance to a Paul Simon song played by the band, using his orange towel like a slide trombone- and it was obvious this was "his" song and he does this EVERY time. And of course the whole crowd does the gator chomp with their arms extended (including me - it's kind of fun). So, anyway, we always do enjoy our gator games!
That took up most of Monday and Tuesday, and then yesterday (Wednesday) I went into Inverness for an AVA walk. What a pretty town! They have a really cool out courthouse, which was the start point for the walk, and have done a lot of rennovation downtime - very attractive "old town" area. My walk took me through the old town, then out to a really big municipal park where I followed a nice hiking trail for probably a mile or more, and that then led me to the rails-to-trails bike path and back into town. Very pretty walk - probably would be in my top 10 list so far (I think this was walk #28 - 2 more and I get to send in my book and get my next certificate and a new book - YAY! I know-kind of scary, huh?).
So those are the main things we did this week so far. It was very nice yesterday - low 70's - but other than that it's still been a bit cool. We're still waiting for a warmer, calmer day to put the kayaks back into the Gulf and paddle over to the island one last time, but no luck so far. Today it's about 60, but quite windy.
It's so weird to think that tomorrow is Christmas Eve. The park is having a potluck dinner at 2:00 on Christmas Day and we signed up for it. The people that we've met here are all really nice and, honestly, what else would we do on Christmas Day? At least this way we'll be with other people in the same situation as us (snowbirds away from their families!) and we generally love the food that people bring to potlucks!
It's also weird to think that in just a few more days we'll be leaving here and moving on to our next spot. When we came here we were a little nervous that a whole month in one place would seem like a REALLY long time, but in reality it's gone very quickly. It's been very low-key overall, not a lot going on, but that's been ok. It's been very relaxing and nice and it's given me a good intro to the whole concept of working online. It'll get a little more challenging when we move into January because we'll be moving more often, plus work will be a little more demanding due to year end. So it's been nice to have this month to kind of set up my "system" and get myself organized.
Anyway, tonight we are going to Tony's for dinner - supposedly they have the "world's best clam chowder" - what we've been told is Tony actually takes his chowder to some type of international contest up in Maine or someplace, and has won the last two years. So - we'll check it out and report back to you all.
I probably won't blog again until after Christmas, so MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you!

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