Sunday, April 8, 2012
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
|Lonely Bachelor On The Beach with Loyal Dog Tyson: Patrick AFB, FL|
Bonnie and I are still basking in memories of our enjoyable, informative, and productive trip to Florida for one week near the end of March 2012. Both our visit with my sister Barbara and her new husband Bob and my niece Debbie, and our journey across the state to visit my son Doug, worked out great. We flew into Fort Myers on Tuesday evening, and flew out of Orlando on the following Monday afternoon.
We started on the Gulf Coast to visit Barbara and Bob Andersen, and Debbie, all in Tower Pointe in Naples. The Tuesday night we arrived, I was especially pleased that the three of them stayed up to welcome us to Florida. The first evening, where we sat around talking for awhile, set the tone for our entire visit – which was capped by our dinner at Anthony’s Trattoria in Bonita Springs on our final night, Thursday. Good choice! Our waiter was right out of type-casting as an Italian waiter – he felt he had to keep moving quickly, and only near the end of our meal could we talk with him a little.
Debbie allowed us the use of her condo – complete with breakfast sweetrolls, cookies, lake and orchids! We have a photo of the orchid that was growing on a tree right outside Debbie’s patio area. Quite a pleasant surprise for us desert dwellers!
On Wednesday we had lunch in Naples at Brio’s with Mike’s elementary school and high school classmate, Tom and wife Carmen – similar restaurant to Bravo’s in ABQ Uptown. Then that evening, we dined at The Colonnades at Arbor Trace as the guests of Barbara, Bob, and Debbie. The following day, Barbara and Bonnie went to a Fashion Show at The Colonnades and Mike was allowed to use the Wi-Fi in the Library.
The use of Bob Andersen’s trusty Florida map worked well for us, as it got us across Alligator Alley without a single alligator snipping at Bonnie’s ankles. Continuing North got us to my son Doug’s new home on Merritt Island, FL. That drive across the Sunshine State took a little less than five hours, and could probably be done in four. Bonnie had us up and on the road by 6:30 am, and we stopped in Boca Raton for a fun breakfast, arriving at Doug's around 12:30 pm (Bonnie had actually planned for us to leave by 6 am and arrive by noon! Pretty close!).
Now that Doug is again living in the States, I’m hoping we will all see a great deal more of him. We found his new home in Merritt Island (close to Patrick Air Force Base) to be quite inviting – especially after Bonnie did her magic for the 2 ½ days we were out there! His salt water swimming pool is quite inviting, and Bonnie made sure we at least had one dip in it during our stay – see photo for proof. Salt water pools are lower maintenance than the 'standard' chlorine-chemicalled pools, according to HGTV and Doug's Pool Boy "Oscar." For the next couple of weeks, it will be quite filled with Doug's salty friends from Germany.
Bonnie really ‘turned to’ at Doug’s house to prepare at least five of his rooms for his visitors who were expected to arrive shortly after we left. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) we did not take any 'before' photos of Doug's place, so you cannot determine the starting point, only the result of Bonnie's applying the lessons of HGTV to a bachelor pad. You will just have to visit Florida to take a look at Debbie's orchids and Doug's digs! We took several of the 'after' photos so you can get an idea of Doug’s house – you can see his ‘pool room’ through the window from his living room and kitchen area. I always thought a ‘pool room’ was a billiards hall, but I have learned in Florida it is a screen-in outside area for the swimming pool – very nice. One thing that surprised me during this trip to Doug’s newly adopted state is that there were no bugs around – I thought we would be attacked by bugs, but perhaps the geckos keep the population down.
Doug’s dog Tyson turned out to be quite friendly as well – still a puppy at almost two years of age. Doug has set up cameras throughout the house so while Doug is at work, he can keep some tabs on Tyson, make sure he is not destroying the furniture.
|Doug's Powder Room (1/2 bath)|
|Doug's African Room (aka sitting room)|
Thanks to all our family for all their assistance and hospitality – we really had a fun time and are looking forward to our next visit (whenever that might be!).