Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'm SO happy - my dear friends Cindi and Glennda are down here on a week-long vacation. They are staying in Port St. Lucie, which is about halfway between our two state parks (we moved today from Jonathon Dickinson State Park up to Sebastian Inlet State park - about an eighty mile trip north). This is a great location because we can visit from either location. I'm so excited about the day we had yesterday that I HAVE to blog it right away (plus do a little whining about our new park) and I have PICTURES. OK - they made me promise NOT to post any pictures until they had a chance to preview them, but I'm just going to post away - so there!

Anyway, we've continued to have wonderful weather down here at J.D. (what the "locals" call Jonathon Dickinson - at least, one person that I met referred to it that way plus it's easier for me than spelling out the whole thing!). It's been in the mid-80's ever since we arrived, topping out at 87 a couple days ago. I've been very anxious, hoping that this great weather would hold while the girls were here and it did - for one day! They came in late Tuesday night and went right to their hotel - and then Wednesday morning they came down to J.D. and picked me up. It was SO great to see them! They came in and visited with Dave for a few minutes then off we went! First I took them on a very quick tour of the state park - I really do like this park (even more so now that we've moved!) and wanted to show it off a bit. Then we headed down to Jupiter Beach - it's just a county park but I wanted to give them a minute to see the ocean since I wasn't positive how much of our day would be spent by the shore. And it IS a nice little park. On the way to Jupiter Beach, we stopped and got lunch at this neat restaurant named Schooners - nice casual atmosphere with very pleasant outdoor seating, so Cindi and Glennda had a chance to eat "al fresco" for the first time in a number of months! Then we headed out to the county park for a half hour - but our main "activity" for the day was an AVA walk on Palm Beach. (The one I did last week was the West Palm walk - a totally separate but very nice walk). It was very nice weather - probably high 70's with a light breeze. It was kind of overcast most of the afternoon, but that was ok because I was worried about my red-headed friend Glennda getting toasted (which she has a tendency to do!). So we did the 10K AVA walk and it was really, REALLY beautiful. We were right on the ocean about a third of the time, in gorgeous residential areas porbably another third, and then kind of in town (around shops and stuff) the remaining third. One of favorite places was this absolutely gorgeous Episcopal church - it had a beautiful "courtyard" (which is probably not the right word - maybe a cloister????) with three separate garden areas. The flowers were beautiful and it was just so peaceful and pretty and serene. We also got a kick out of walking past The Breakers, this very cool, very large, very upscale resort hotel on the island. One more special thing on the walk was this absolutely incredible banyan tree - I've attached a picture with Glennda and I standing at the base of the tree - you'll have to doubleclick on the picture to expand it in order to even see us - we look like little tree-elves because the tree is just MONSTROUSLY huge. Amazing. We also got a kick out of walking through the shopping area - oh my God - VERY posh and upscale - Saks 5th Avenue, etc., etc. - we agreed that we probably didn't "blend" (ala My Cousin Vinnie) but we didn't actually care too much. Plus we were talking, talking, talking the whole time. What a treat - I love my husband very much, but there's something about "girl talk"! When we were done with the walk, we crossed back over to West Palm and I gave them directions on how to get into the City Center area. I really liked that area when I did my West Palm AVA walk, and I wanted to share that with the girls. They liked it a lot too and we wandered around a bit, stopped and had 50% off happy hour drinks and appetizers (and then felt like PIGS afterwards because we ate all this junk food!) and then topped it off with a smooth refreshing frozen yogurt. By now it was about 8:00 and we were all getting tired (yes, I know, but we aren't as young as we used to be!!!). What a great day we had together.

We knew in advance that Thursday was "moving day" for us, so Cindi and Glennda were on their own - I talked to them late this afternoon and it sounds like they did some fun shopping and they were just headed down to happy hour, so I'm guessing they had a good day today too. But the bad news is - this COLD front moved in - I'm just sick about it. When we left J.D. this morning it was probably 75 degrees - and by the time we got here to Sebastian Inlet it was raining, with a pounding wind straight from the north, and just barely over 60 degrees. But the really bad part about our move is the fact that there was this fish "die off" last week and there are thousands and thousands of little dead fish all along the inlet. And it STINKS - and I mean REALLY stinks!!!! It reminds me of how, years ago, the alewives in Lake Michigan would die and wash up onto the beaches and just stink to high heaven. I talked to Glennda and she said we should cancel our time here and move, but Dave's not really into that - he's pretty much here for the long haul. And the good news (...REALLY???) is that it's still raining and cool so at least we have the windows shut which keeps the majority of the smell out. I even burned one of my scented candles all afternoon. Yuck! But - to try to focus on the positive - the park itself is nice, and the weather is supposed to clear by tomorrow afternoon and begin to warm up again - by early next week it's supposed to back into the high 70's (I'm not sure what that will do to the dead fish - but I'm going to try NOT to think about it!). The only other thing about this park (and, yes, I know I'm whining!) is that we came from a pretty developed area so there were lots of bars and restaurants and stores and everything else within a few miles in each direction. There is pretty much NOTHING out here on the island. We have to drive about 12 miles just to get to the nearest Publix - and there doesn't seem to be any bars or restaurants at all. We drove around today and it's actually kind of bleak out here. So I'm thinking that, after the girls leave, we may be doing a few "day trips" - but by the time we leave we'll probably be amazed at how quickly the twelve days went - and I'm sure we'll have found some really positive things about the park and the area. (But, in all honesty, I'm sort of thinking this won't go onto our list of parks that we HAVE to return to!!!)

Anway... tomorrow I'm spending the majority of the day with Cindi and Glennda again - I'll probably head south to them since it's certainly going to be a few degrees warmer there than here. I'm sure we'll spend time together Saturday and Sunday, and then Monday they leave. I already miss them and they aren't even gone yet. It's funny - Dave and I love our trip and we are VERY happy and satisfied with spending our time with just each other, but BOY is it nice to have a little bit of company every now and then. I'm really looking forward to spending more time with my "bestest" friends over the next few days!


  1. Hi Gail! You sound just like yourself when you write...your words just bubble with enthusiasm and love for life!! I'm glad you're having such a good time traveling, and how fun to have the girlfriends down for a visit! I just read your note on my was so nice to hear from you! We're both on our own "adventures", aren't we?! Next time you're in Holland, give me a call...I'd love to see you! Love, Marcia

  2. It's so nice to see Cindi and Glennda, even in a picture! Tell them both I said hi! Sounds like you are having a great time!!! :)