February 14 – Punta Gorda, Florida


Easy ride (89 miles) to our next stop – now to wait for Josh and Leah to arrive. Not going to sit around and wait – there seems to be a lot here to do.

Sun n Shade RV Park seems to be a nice park – though the reviews are poor if it rains (perhaps area floods and water has nowhere to drain – right now it is warm and dry). Roads are paved and lot size is decent. No wifi except by purchasing time (we’ll skip that) but SAT is great. Snowbird park and the list of activities is long, but no pickle ball.

Off to McDonald’s for free wifi. It’s Valentine’s Day and no sense going home – a treat for Brenda and we headed over to Fat Point Brewery and enjoyed not one but two brews on the patio. Met a nice couple who just settled into a local RV park for their permanent home. Enjoyed the conversation. Also enjoyed a Mediterran Pizza that was pretty good. Then home for a romantic movie to celebrate the day – When Harry Met Sally – good night!img_2854

Wednesday Brenda is off shopping. Not a whole lot today, finishing plans for Alaska. When Brenda did get home I rode the bike down US 41 (65 mph highway) and headed for town. After 5-1/2 miles found the trail that heads into town. Made a total of 13 miles when I returned home. Need to get more aggressive in the riding.

Josh and Leah texted coordinates and they are getting closer – hope to see them tomorrow tonight.

Thursday over to McDonalds for their free wifi.

Finally got in touch with a mobile RV repair service to look at our AC. Needed a new board (like a computer) and it has been ordered under warranty – remember back in October we had a new AC unit installed.

Did our first pizza on the grill (this grill) for lunch. Turned out really well.img_2865

Drove the bike to the trail head and rode it 14 miles round trip into town and down by the water front.

Josh and Leah finally texted that they had anchored in Punta Gorda. We met at Harpoon’s Harrys for dinner. It was great discussing their first 5 days aboard the Peacemaker and all the “things” they have learned. They were amazed how early they went to bed as parts of the trip were exhausting. Then they dingyed back to their boat which is anchored off shore.

Friday Brenda is off to a quilt show and I get to watch the home front.

Today Josh is getting his dog, Brewster back. He wanted the day to help the dog get acclimated to living on the boat, so we stayed away and was busy at home.

I spent part of the day making reservations for our portion of the Alaska trip on a ferry – and they are official –I am now committed to visiting Alaska.

Saturday took the bike to Fisherman’s Village – can’t believe how many people visit this shopping complex – parking is like Christmas time at the Galleria – you ride around waiting for someone to leave. Rode the bike across the Peace River Bridge and on the Harbor Trail and the Linear Park Trail. Nice ride but only 12 miles. Did see the Tiki Bar and a Pickle Ball court with many people playing.

Met up with Josh and Leah and her parents for drinks and dinner in the evening.
Sunday was a first – first time I skipped church to go for a boat ride. We met at noon at the pubic dingy dock (PC Yacht Club) and dingyed out to the Peacemaker.

Before setting sail, Josh and Leah had the boat christening – even with a bottle of champagne and a blessing for the winds. Neat experience.

Headed west out of the Peace River by motor and finally got past the small boats and they lifted sail. Had a great ride out about 3 hours and then we returned safely.

I even got to steer the boat and evaluate the winds to determine direction and to keep the boat moving forward. It was a challenge and an enjoyable journey.

Returned to shore and had dinner with the crew at Manatee’s Pizza – great food – I had the Stromboli.

Monday morning did get to wash the car – months since I have done that. Brenda was sewing and I headed back out to the Bay to venture out on another sailboat ride. Went with Bob and Kay and Josh and Leah. Not a lot of wind and we spent more time motoring than sailing. We did get Josh’s fishing pole ready and he tossed it out to try some trolling – no fish this trip.

I will have to say for the short amount of time that Josh and Leah have been sailing they have done an excellent job of captaining the Peacemaker.

Let J&L&B&K go out to dinner alone as Bob and Kay were leaving the next morning and I wanted to let them have some time together as they won’t see the kids for a while.

I went home and Brenda and I went to Bingo – good crowd and had good cards but was always one number short – oh it’s the fun of playing that counts not how many times you win – though we do like to win – the coverall was $101.

Tuesday I had set up a lunch with Mike D (see previous blog) and Josh and Leah. He dives and boats and thought he could answer any questions they might have and he said he was interested in their adventure as he was following “awildwaypoint”. Great lunch and discussion at the Ice House.

Then took Josh and Leah for their final shopping trip to get a few things that they still needed and then we went back to the coach for an afternoon drink. I will have to say that the past month and a half that I was able to spend with Josh and Leah was wonderful. It has been so long since we have spent quality time together. I know we didn’t do a lot of exciting things but I was glad I could help them begin their adventure. We said our goodbyes.

Brenda returned them to their boat and did her final shopping.

Wednesday was dog doctor day. We left at 7:30 AM to return to the vet in St. Petersburg – long drive. Good thing we got an early start as traffic was bad and we had rain – much needed rain. Hansel is doing well, they took blood and will evaluate the dosage level and let us know if he is at the right dosage or more or less. Hansel has been doing really well except he has gained weight because the medicine has slowed down his metabolism.

Had to stop at Mazzaro’s for lunch – never again go there at lunch time – it was so crowded and not enjoyable, though the meatball sandwich was wonderful.

Home at last and nothing to do – happy hour with a beer. No AC repair yet.

Thursday is off to Ochopee and a visit to the Everglades.

Categories: Uncategorized

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