Thursday, July 20, 2017

Caspersen Beach on a hot July Day

Chris, Jan, Joanne, Conrad & Sally enjoyed the beach
We organized a beach day and eight in our boating club, PGIslanders, and one guest had a fantastic time at Caspersen beach on Wednesday, 7/19.  Although it was raining in Punta Gorda, the group headed down Rt 41 North to Venice because the RADAR NOW app showed "all clear" weather. And it was.  As another good omen for the day, a parking space became available just steps away from the rest room and beach path areas.  There is NO charge for parking at this destination, so it doesn't get any better than this!

A turtle strolls along with the locals
The water was warm and calm as we all skinny dipped in (OH, just kidding!)   Some looked for sharks teeth and of course, found a few.  Some of us brought our snorkels and were rewarded with schools of fish feeding from the plankton on the rocks.  After lots of fun and conversation, we headed down to Sharkey's.   Can you believe we got a fantastic table for 9 under the shaded patio and on cue, a coolish breeze filtered through.  The seafood lunch was great and everyone enjoyed the drinks, too!  Summer is a great time to become a tourist here - no swarms of people, lines of cars, etc. - -civility, peacefulness and tropical breezes were the order of the day. 
Sally, Conrad, Trudy, Chuck & Mahala enjoy lunch at Sharkey's

Those attending were:  Leaders - Joanne & Richard Collins, Sally & Conrad Pinches, Jan & Rick Petroski, Trudy & Chuck Millburg with niece, Mahala, visiting from Illinois.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Local newspaper pet photo contest

Our local newspaper is having a pet photo contest.  Today we entered the following 2 pictures (one per person) of our cat, Bleu Kitty, our 6 year old Blue Persian.  Wish us luck!

Bleu Kitty loves to smell the flowers!
Bleu Kitty is dressed for the summer in his straw hat and tie

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Visiting Pam & Don in Henderson Harbor, NY

Brockport Viking Apartments - lived there 41 years ago!
Snowbirds, Pam & Don Brandt, treated us like family

At The End of the Road on the Eastern Shore of Lake Ontario

Gorgeous view overlooking Lake Ontario from Pam & Don's back porch.  Note the Inuksuk (rock man) that Don built!
Our Punta Gorda snowbird friends, Pam and Don Brandt, asked us to drop by their summer place the next time we were in New York State.  Since we were only a few hours away, this seemed like the perfect opportunity.  It was fun for me (Joanne) because I lived in Brockport, NY (which was on the way) over 41 years ago.  I had not been to the area since then, so it was a trip down Memory Lane.  I remembered the Genesee River and some of the Rochester area.  I really enjoyed seeing Brockport.  After all these years, I found the apartment building that we lived in so long ago.

Inuksuk Man
We arrived at the CAMP as Pam and Don call it and it was great!  They treated us like family - we enjoyed touring the 1000 Lake Region, hearing Lake Ontario waves right outside the window of the backyard, viewing Pam's fantastic garden, seeing Don's awesome boat that he restored after 13 years and hearing about their family and meeting their friends.  We attended a wonderful 4th of July BBQ on Sunday at the Henderson Harbor Yacht Club and had dinner at a terrific restaurant.  The 3 days went by very fast and before we knew it, it was time to catch our flights.

Garden Yard
What a fabulous vacation we had to Detroit, Canada and upper New York State!  Lots a memories, good times and wonderful friends! 

Bottle Tree - I want one!
Renovated lake home with a cupula that lights up!

Nod to Florida

On the SnakeFoot Trail
Lake Ontario Meets Its Eastern Shore

Wildflowers against rustic fence

Henderson Yacht club on Protected Henderson Harbor

BBQ at Yacht Club

BBQ at Yacht Club

Fog horn at Tibbett Point

One of the Islands

Lunch on the St Lawrence River, Clayton, NY

Boat Going By

Passing Over the St Lawrence River to Wellesley Island

Victorian Homes on Wellesley Island

On Wellesley Island - Note High Water Covers Gas Pump

Friday, June 30, 2017

Two Days in Niagara Falls

Richard and I hadn't been to Niagara Falls in a long, long time.  Since we were in the area, we decided it was time for another visit.  Both of us really enjoy waterfalls and it was time to ride the Maid of the Mist!

Maid of Mist Below Falls
Niagara Falls
We received a 5 hour ride from a club member, Joanne MacPeek, from Haliburton, Canada to Buffalo, New York. Joanne spent most of her adult life here and was a teacher in the local Catholic schools.  She showed us around Buffalo and we were impressed by the beautiful waterfront area.  We enjoyed lunch with her at the Marriott and then she dropped us off at the airport so that we could pick up our rental car. 

Rapids Above Falls

Maid of Mist Below Elevator Tower

On the Maid of the Mist
The Blue Man
Maid of Mist Under Falls
A short time later we checked into our hotel and went down to the falls.  Luckily it was a beautiful late afternoon so we decided it was time for the Maid of the Mist.  We paid our admission and donned our raincoats.  Oh, it was glorious seeing those falls and feeling the spray hit us!  Of course, Richard took lots of pictures.

Whirl Pool Rapids Along Niagara Gorge Rim Trail

The next day we hiked the Niagara Gorge Rim Trail and then  toured of Old Fort Niagara.  It was well worth the trip.  The tour was excellent and there were lots of soldiers playing the part.  We certainly refreshed our school learning of the War of 1812 and enjoyed the firing of the muskets and history of the place.

Swirling Whirl Pool

Old Fort Niagara - Western Bank of Lake Ontario 

British Infantry Solider


British Artillery Solider

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Haliburton Friendship Force Club

We hitched another ride with Sue and Rob for an approximately 4-1/2 hour trip northeast to the lake area of Haliburton.  We arrived at the home of our hosts, Mary Lou & Bob Macklin, who have a gorgeous lake home.  We were housed in the "Bunkie" - Canadian term for the upstairs garage apartment with its own bathroom.  Very nice!   We stayed a week with this wonderful Friendship Force Club (June 21-28).

With our Wonderful Hosts, Bob and Mary Lou at Wintergreen for Welcome Breakfast 

Cottage Road
Bunkie over the garage where we stayed

Great welcome BBQ

Lake below Cottage
The next morning our group was treated to a Welcome Breakfast at Wintergreen.  This place was really cute.  It looked like an old-time cabin in the woods featuring a lavish breakfast with homemade maple and other flavored syrups. 

Sampling syrup flavors with Owner Operator 

Wintergreen Restaurant, Wedding Venue, Maple Syrup Producer and Possum Brotherhood Headquarters 

We traveled to a fish hatchery for a tour, then onto a Sculpture Forest Tour (fantastic sculptures in the woods) and finally, our group of 20 were treated to a Welcome BBQ at the Macklin's cottage.  They have a very active group (about 50 in the club) and it seemed that most of them were there to welcome us.

Fish hatchery Tour

With Jack at the local radio station

Meeting one of the Disc Jockeys
Ice Cream in Haliburton courtesy of Jack

The Curling Club

Before Breakfast at the Legion

Downtown Haliburton

Peterborough Lift Lock on the Trans Severn Waterway, Highest in the World

Canoes and boat dropping down

Hundreds of canoes celebrate Canada's 150 birthday!

Close up of canoes transiting lift lock

Geocaching at Kinark Outdoor Centre, a Camp for Autistic Children & Their Families 

On Friday, we went geo-caching at Kinark's Outdoor Center and were hosted at a lovely salmon dinner at the home of Paul & Jan Mutter.  Saturday's agenda was a trip to Petroglyphs Provincial Park, a Canadian Canoe Museum Tour and for us, the highlight was viewing the canoes transiting the Peterborough Lift Lock, the largest lift lock in the world on the Trent Severin Waterway.  Sunday's highlights were the Camp Wanakita Strawberry Social and a Voyageur Canoe Ride.  Monday incorporated a Visit to the Wolf Center where we saw baby wolves nursing (many of our Canadian friends had never seen this).   We then had a lovely tour and lunch at Abbey Gardens, Tour of Haliburton Wind & Solar company and their Brewery and Tasting Room.  We had a delicious ham dinner that night at the home of members, Joan & Jim Cochlin.  On Tuesday, we toured the town and had a rousing Farewell Dinner at Peppermill Restaurant.  As with Stratford/St.Mary's, it was difficult to say goodbye to these great Canadians! 

Baby Wolves nursing

A GREAT looking group after Sculpture Garden Tour

On the Voyageur 3 Canoe paddling along on a wonderful Sunday afternoon

More Friendship Force Canoers

Richard, Joanne, Sue and Rob enjoy the visit!


Joanne LOVES Canada!