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A Cold Snap to Remember!
Posted by Tina on Saturday, January 16, 2010 - 01:29 PM
(716 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " It was as bad as predicted- the Gulf of Mexico temperature dropped to 48 degrees and the temperatures last Monday and Tuesday morning reached 29 degrees! I wore my winter coat to school for a full week and my winter gloves. The windows in my classroom leaked air so badly that the temperature was 50 degrees by the windows in my classrom.....
It finally made the low 70's yesterday so the Big Chill of January 2010 is now a memory. The snook in our normally warm waters and tropical fish farms in Tampa and South Florida took a major hit but this is the way of nature. Nature's plan works in the long duration but seems often cruel in the moment.... At least those chubby manatees set their GPS for the warm waters of Florida Power and Light and made it through this ordeal! Though in some ways this is not the best maneuver for these gentle mammals.After several nights in the garage our orchids are back out in the lanai. We are not placing them out in the yard just in case OLD MAN WINTER decides to pay another long visit!"

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South Tahoe- A Winter Wonderland
Posted by Tina on Saturday, January 09, 2010 - 01:40 AM
(434 Reads)
Land Travel Tina writes " We began our trip heading to Sarasota to pick up Dave and Lori. Lori and her mom Edna served a delicious Christmas meal when we arrived and afterwards we enjoyed a nice visit at her parents lovely home which is situated in a quiet area with plenty of trees and nature. My kind of place! We still had about 50 or so miles to the Tampa Airport - hoping for no traffic issues- and to our delight everything went well.
Flying on Christmas Day you would think would be quiet but surprisingly the US Airways flights we booked were full in Tampa and Phoenix! We stayed at a very nice Best Western by the airport in Reno and on Dec. 26th we shuttled by bus to South Lake at Stateline, Nevada. Our condo on Kingbury Grade was about 5 miles from the casinos and Lake Tahoe. The location on Quaking Aspen Rd. was just over a thousand feet above the lake ( elevation at Lake Tahoe is 6500ft.)and provided a scenic view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Carson Valley. Every morning at sunrise I would open my eyes and feast on the glorious beauty of the distant mountains as well as the majestic pines that stood beyond our balcony. Each day it flurried -one morning the pines were like a picture post card - dusted with snow like a sugar coated donut.
Dan literally skiied the entire Heavenly Mountain- his skill level is a high level blue.
Dave has advanced as well and is now skiing blue runs. Lori ,unlike me in Beckenridge, hung in there and made it through the difficult fist timer skiing experience. After the 3 days of skiing was completed we then took the Gondola at Heavenly Village up to the Adventure Park and snowtubed. The next day we headed to the Humboldt- Toyaibe National Forest and snowmobiled through the beautiful snowy countryside.
Lori taught me how to play Craps and we had fun winning( some of the time) both in the Tahoe casinos and the beautiful Peppermill Casino in Reno. We had perfect weather during our trip and no travel issues. However, since we have been back home we have had 2 nights below 35 degrees and in the next 3 nights we are expecting 2 nights at 31 degrees. Looks like I brought home some of that winter wonderland- all except the snow!!!"

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Posted by Tina on Thursday, January 07, 2010 - 01:12 AM
(417 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " I was prepared for some freezing temperatures and even the 20's in Tahoe but upon returning from our Christmas vacation I would never have guessed a full week of 30's and 40's in SW Florida ! According to the meteorologists it has been 80 years since Florida has had this long of a cold snap! The highs the last 3 days has been in the 50's!
As soon as school dismissed for the holidays Dad,Dan, and I headed over to Miami to visit Paul , Gloria, our adorable grandchildren, and Gloria's family. It was brisk but very comfortable and great weather for outdoor birthday parties . I tagged along with Gloria, Alexa, and Paul Andrew and enjoyed seeing all the little sweethearts at play. We also watched video of Alexa and Paul Andrew in their school Christmas performances. Alexa amazed us with her stage presence, singing and then bowing with obvious delight! Paul Andrew was such a patient fella- he stayed put in his chair without a fuss and only once did he began to slide down in his chair .... Can only imagine what he was thinking through the whole performance!
It was wonderful getting together with Gloria's family - we made the trip over early before Christmas since December 25th we would be heading to Lake Tahoe with Dan, Dave, and Lori. Alexa and Paul Andrew will be ready for a winter wonderland trip in the years to come and hopefully Grandma will still be in snowtubing shape... That's another story!"

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Thanksgiving 2009
Posted by Tina on Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 01:45 AM
(728 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " It was again a very cool Thanksgiving in Estero- the temperatures plunged to the high 40's at night and low 70's for the day's high. Great weather for baking! We enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner with Dan, Paul, Gloria,Alexa, Paul Andrew, and Mary and Charlie.
Lori and Dave arrived the next day with still plenty of food for all. Lots of leftovers!!!
All of us did varying amounts of shopping. Paul and Gloria hit the big sales at midnight at Miramer Outlets. Alexa helped prepare the sweet potato pie and painted wooden Christmas ornaments just like Paul did 30 years ago. I have to say her hand was steady for a 3 year old! Paul Andrew and her had a blast in the Bounce Castle and gave Dan and Dave a workout lifting them up and over the sides! Grandpa definitely made the perfect choice buying this for them.
Paul and Gloria headed up Saturday for the Gator- Seminole game ,leaving Alexa and Paul Andrew with us.They actually tuckered out earlier with us- could it be that bounce castle does have a magic charm in it after all?
Thank you Lord for all your blessings and for all our family and friends ...."

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Ozark Mountains , Big Cedar Wilderness Club
Posted by Tina on Tuesday, December 08, 2009 - 01:06 AM
(700 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " The Ozarks of Arkansas and Missouri are truly hidden treasures! On October 29th we flew up to Little Rock, Arkansas to begin our week long adventure. The Ozark Mountains are more like big hills, knee high to the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, but captivate with their own special charm. Up and down with gentle curves the quiet countryside road beckons and makes for a lovely drive. On our first day traveling north on Route 7 the skies cleared and the glorious autumn leaves of gold sprinkled with red here and there covered the hillsides. What beauty to behold...
Our first stop was Petit Jean State Park- no thanks to Maggie Magellan -our GPS voice tells me to turn on this driveway width dirt road. I prevailed and waited for a sign on the road and ignored that female voice spewing out from the dash! The Cedar Falls were spectacular thanks to the tremendous rain that soaked Arkansas the day we arrived. Our first night in the Ozarks was in the Buffalo National River location-first national river designation in the USA. Our cabin at the Buffalo River was a dream - we even had three deer outside our cabin at dusk! The next morning we drove 5 minutes from our cabin and saw several elk that are part of a herd of 400 that started with 100 elk brought over from Colorado in the 1980's! Was not expecting to see wild bull elk on this trip! We hiked the Lost Valley trail and I was in seventh heaven walking among the golden trees, high dolomite cliffs, flowing streams,
and the Eden Falls.
The next four nights we stayed at the Big Cedar Wilderness Club. Rustic elegance with a beautiful stone fireplace and lavish cabin decor our cabin was absolutely beautiful! The restaurants on sight are historical buildings-again all beautifully decorated and the food was scrumptious.
Yes, the Ozarks in autumn are a quiet place to relax and will be calling me again...

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