Looking ahead a little - what's in store!

Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
Trip End Dec 31, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Saturday, January 2, 2010

  It's the start of the new year, so of course, we've started a new blog, in keeping with the pattern developed over the last four years of our full-time lifestyle.  As was the case last year, our travels will be limited again in 2010, as we're still trying to make up for lost retirement funds (and still hoping for a significant upturn in the market one of these days/months/years!).  
  We've started the new year off pretty quietly, shared a standing rib roast with Pat and Herb on New Year's Day, and Greg had a new experience...he's now a recorded vocal "artist"!  Pat is an excellent musician (you've probably seen many pictures of her here throughout the years, often playing her guitar and singing at jams around the area); and with the help of a small but powerful digital recording 'studio" set up, she's been keeping many of our friends (us included) entertained with her productions of favorite folk, bluegrass, and country songs.  Yesterday, she got Greg to record one of our favorite old Kenny Rogers songs:  "The Gambler" - and we all were impressed with how good Greg's voice sounded (even outside of the shower!).  If we can figure out how, we may even put a link to his recording in here sometime!
  Looking ahead, we're excited about a few of the things we've got coming up.  On Tuesday, we'll get the home on the road for a little trip further south...stopping first at our Thousand Trails Park in Wauchula, Florida (about an hour and half from here), and then moving to a County Park in the Ft. Lauderdale area (another 3 1/2 hours south and east), where we'll be meeting up with Greg's old friends Joe and Sherry, who are flying in from the Topeka, Kansas area.  We're hoping the weather warms up for them, as these 30 degree nights are getting very old very fast for those of us who expect Florida sunshine to equate warmth!
  After a couple of days in the Ft. Lauderdale area, we'll head back up to the Orlando area, where we'll check into our Thousand Trails Orlando Park (actually in Clermont).  We just found out the other day that my former college room-mate, SueAnn  and her husband, Sonny (who we met up with in New Hampshire in 2008), is going to be staying in a condo 2 miles away from us, so we'll get a chance to visit with them, I'm sure!
   One of the highlights of this year, I'm sure, will be coming up the next week, when our 9-year-old Grandson, Zach, flies in from Denver to spend 5 days with us..  We're going to take him to Disney World, Epcot, and possibly (if we can still walk!) to the Kennedy Space Center.  Again, we'll be keeping our fingers crossed for good weather.
    Around the third week of January, we'll head back up here to our spot on Lone Cedar Ranch (Pat's Place), and Greg will probably be doing a little handy man work for the owner of a ranch down the road, while rose takes a qick flying trip back to Michigan to visit her Mom for a few days. In early February, Pat's stepson, and our old friend, Larry, will be heading down this way from Upstate NY, and things are never dull when he's around.  Over the next month and a half, his son and other half, and his daughter and her other half will also come down (there's a second house here on the property, which we are parked behind, which serves as headquarters for the "the clan" when they're down here).  Their arrival on the property always signals plenty of eating, drinking, and for them, the beginning of the enduro motorcycle racing season. 
   Speaking of racing (aren't we usually?) before we know it, the Nascar racing season will begin again - starting in early February with Race Weeks, leading up to the Daytona 500 on February 15th.  We won't go to that - it's too expensive and too crowded, but Greg is hoping to attend the Twin 150s (the Thursday before the 500), if we can find some affordable tickets for him
   Also in mid-February, my old friend and business partner, Myrna, will be arriving from Minnesota, and we're really looking forward to a day on the beach with Myrna and our other friends from Rose's Incentive Industry days, Norma Jean and Gus, who will be in the Clearwater Beach area, which is where we all plan to meet and party!
   On the last day of February, friends Lynn and Neill and Lynn's Mum Marion from Belfast, Northern Ireland, will be arriving in Orlando, so we'll park at our Thousand Trails Orlando preserve for a week of good "craic" (for those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, that means good conversations/visits).   We haven't seen Lynn and Neill since they came to visit us in our home in Loma Linda, Califoria, early in 2002; and I think the last time we saw Marion was when we met up with her and husband Norman (who's staying home this trip, darnit!) down here in Orlando in the winter of 2000 or 2001. 
   Another friend, Tim Douglas, who we met through Rose's Cousin Amy  a couple of years ago, and with whom we caught up when he was on stage in The Berkshires in June '08, will be out this way to visit his parents in March, so we'll look forward to a quick visit with him at that time, too!  (One of our reasons for choosing to stay in Florida for the winter, rather than Texas or the Carolinas, was the fact that so many of our friends and family members choose Florida for their winter escapes, and it's turned out to be the case this year, as we've already been able to enjoy visits with a number of folks who came down here - and you can see that we've got several more planned!)  We'll probably catch a few of Spring Training Baseball games, too - maybe Keri will make it down here again to cheer for the Red Sox!
   Once we get hints of Spring, sometime in April, we'll start heading north, possibly stopping in South Carolina to see Cousins Janet and Bob; and then in North Carolina to visit Cousin Adele and Uncle Tony.  A new stop for us might be near Raleigh, where Pat's Cousin Jeff and his wife Carol live - we got to know them pretty well when they were staying at Pat's place last month.  Our plans are to take on the work-camping roles again this coming summer, close to Mom and Jill again.  And we just got word that Rose's Second Cousin Yvonne is going to retire later this year, and she plans to come across the pond from her home in England to explore the Great Lakes Area - it will be such fun to meet her for the first time in person and to have a chance to show her around the part of the country that her "Aunty Ursie" (my Grandma Mills) came to when she left Cornwall, England in 1926. 
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