Thursday, May 13, 2010

Naples, Florida

We are in Naples, Florida at the Naples Grande Beach Resort and life is good! Jim won an award at work and the prize was an all-expenses paid trip to this resort!

We left home early Wednesday morning (42 degrees) and arrived in sunny Florida five hours later (86 degrees!).

We spent Wednesday exploring the facilities and grounds of this resort area and it is soooo beautiful. In the evening there was a welcome reception for the 20 winners of this award and their guests. There are winners from around the country and Canada. The reception was held near one of the pools where the flowering trees and bushes are in full bloom and the gentle breeze kept us cool. We ate dinner at the hotel's steak house and had a great meal.

Today we took a taxi to a local bike store where we had reserved two road bikes for the rest of our stay. We rented really nice Specialized Bikes and were given some good info about good local biking routes, so off we went. We rode north, through Bonita Springs to Fort Myers, where we stopped for cold drinks and a sit-down rest at a local beach. We returned the way we came with an added stop at a state park on the Gulf coast. We rode back to the hotel where there are bike racks in the parking garage. We rode a total of 43 really flat miles! The only hills were where the road went over a bridge! It was a great ride, even though it was pretty hot by the time we got back.

Lunch was poolside and from there we walked the boardwalk to the beach area. Neither of us was interested in spending too much more time in the direct sun, so we took a quick swim in the
Gulf, and then walked back to the hotel pool where we did the water slide a few times. Love the water slide! Jim went for a quick run (because 43 miles on the bike was not enough exercise!) while I napped in the shade by the pool!

Tonight the whole group took a 2 hour dinner cruise out into the Gulf of Mexico. We had a nice meal on the boat and continue to enjoy making new friends with the other award winners. There was a nice sunset but the real eye candy during the cruise was all the multi-million dollar homes along the shoreline! Such opulence! Such extravagance! Living in one of those homes is a lifestyle I cannot even imagine, but it sure was fun to be amazed by these homes.

This trip was advertised as an "all-expenses paid" trip and we have not had to open our wallets for anything. We have been given a very generous daily food allowance as well as an activity allowance. We will use our activity money to rent kayaks and to get massages.

So tomorrow we will do more biking in the morning, to try to get some miles in before it really heats up, and then I am not sure what we will do in the afternoon. Tomorrow night is the awards dinner, where my shawl will make its debut!

Here are two photos. I would include more, but the technology is not working right this evening!

So that is all for now. Hope all is well, wherever you are.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to my mother and mother-in-law! I am one lucky person to have you both in my life. Both my boys remembered me this day and I say "thank you " to both Tucker and Corey. Tucker called from Colorado and we had a nice chat. Jim and I stopped in to see Corey in Syracuse on our way home from Jenny Lake and he fed us lunch, including some warm, delicious, blueberry muffins that he made from scratch!
If you click Corey's photo, you can make it bigger and really see how nicely his mustache is coming in!

So we went to Jenny Lake this weekend to help Gram and GrandDad open camp for the season. Here is a photo story of our weekend. We awoke to a rainy Saturday morning, but during the first break from showers, Jim and GrandDad started the outside work, including putting in the dock.
Because there had been some construction in the camp over the fall and winter, I took down all the curtains in the camp and ran them through the dryer with no heat. It was amazing all the dust that was in the dryer trap after each load. Gram and I worked hard getting bedrooms cleaned.
Liz K. along with Kim and Shaun arrived for a visit in time for lunch. They brought the nice weather with them. Liz is part of our New Year's group at Jenny Lake and was thrilled by seeing the lake unfrozen and greenery all around! She also enjoyed the indoor plumbing!
We took a hike to the outlet where the beavers have been busy.
There were lots of spring flowers in bloom.
Liz was the first one in the lake this season! I'm not sure it really counts when you only get your ankles wet!
But all that hiking was exhausting so we relaxed in the sunshine. They all headed back to Saratoga shortly after this rest.
With the company gone, the rain returned, but we were rewarded with not one rainbow, but if you look closely in the upper right hand corner of this photo, you can see a second rainbow. We didn't see it when I was taking the photo, only later, when we were home looking at the photos on the computer!
We left camp around 9:30 this morning, drove about 1.5 miles until we met this obstacle across the road! Yikes! We had to turn around, return to camp to warm Gram and GrandDad who were leaving shortly, and then take an alternate route!

We came home and are now looking forward to our upcoming Florida trip! Especially since we drove home today through snow!

Hope all is well.