Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Friday, January 11, 2019

Good Bye Lion Country...Hello Jonathan Dickinson


Monday December 24- We have been invited to a Christmas Eve, late lunch or early dinner, which ever you prefer. We took care of the pups before leaving for that. We are going to the Jupiter area. Todd and Lori from Generation Church included us in there holiday meal. We had to leave our place at 12:30. We made it to there place and met her parents and family. They had planned and were preparing a wonderful meal. It was a wonderful time and the meal was super good. After eating we got to see a few magic card tricks performed by one of the guests. So much fun.   





The reason the meal was kind of at a weird time was because after  eating Lori needed  to be at the church to help set up for the festivities tonight. We went to help as well. They have really gone all out this year. They are having the service outside under the stars. They needed to build a stage and all that goes with it outside. They also had lots of other things to enjoy, especially for the kids. They had a live nativity, snow, Santa, and much more. Lots of people put in lots of time and effort for this.








 They had a few technical difficulties but it was a big evening finishing up with a candle lighting. We always did this at our home church in Iowa and is one of my favorite parts of the service. We aren't with our family at this time of year which makes it hard but we really felt included in our church family here in Jupiter.


After the service we made it back home safe and got to talk to the kids and grand kids. Our boys got together today and exchanged gifts. They also got to open there Christmas pajamas from Grammy and Papa. They sent us a picture of them in there new pj's...



Tuesday December 25- Merry Christmas everyone......This day for us is a long day. First we gave the doggies there stockings to look inside. They had a fun time. 














             





                                        
Then we wait to hear from the kids. First we got to hear and see Ashton and Hailey open some gifts. They were super excited this year. It is so fun to watch so much joy escape from them. It warms my heart.





















They are getting older now so they are happy with other things now, like shoes....it runs in there family, this shoe thing. Then they got one more surprise, Ashton opened and read that they would be going to Hawaii next December as a family. Mom and Dad have gone a couple times but this time they will all go together. Both the kids were super excited to learn that. They will be flying for the first time too.

Next it was time to see how the newest kiddo enjoyed her Christmas. Miss Maddyn seems to be picking up the skill of opening gifts fairly well now. She likes everything about the process of gift opening. The paper, the box and the gift. She was a hoot to watch as well.






















The kids seem to have a great day. We had a long day. I went up to the pool for a little time in the afternoon. The day just seemed to go on forever.

Wednesday December 26- I knew what I wasn't going to do today...go to town. I decided to get the laundry caught up. I also decided to take down the Christmas decorations. We have to leave on the 1st. That is when I usually do it. I did some cleaning out. I called some family to wish them a Merry Christmas. We are kind of finishing up stuff here and starting to plan on the move.

Thursday December 27- Big plan today....the ice maker is froze up so...time to defrost. Jeff got out the cooler so I could unload the freezer. It's not my favorite thing to do. I also wonder if the freezer will work after I get it defrosted. Then there's always the question if the ice maker will work.. it did. We got the girls walked around the loop a couple times. I did a little sewing on the new quilt I started. The quilting thing is slow. Whenever I start a new project it takes a while to get it going. The wind started picking up so Jeff and I took down the sun shade, and rolled in the awning. Maren and Jeffrey came over for a happy hour but the weather changed, we got some rain so inside we came.


Friday December 28- We had a lunch date today with Wanda, the campground host from the second loop in Pleasant Creek. She has a home near here. We had made plans to meet her at Benny's On The Beach. We had never been there before, she had. She warned us about the parking, you have to pay and it is a bit pricey. She also let us know there would probably be a wait. We met her in the parking lot and we walked to the restaurant. It is right on the water and the weather could have been better. The wind was wicked and nonstop.  We put our name in and found a seat to wait. We were sitting outside until rain started falling or should I say blowing in. We took cover in the bar area until our table was ready. They were right on with the time....45 minutes.




They took us inside and upstairs to our table. The first thing I noticed was that there was 5 or 6 empty tables...what!!!! After we sat down they didn't fill those table up right away either. I thought that was strange since there are people waiting. We had a nice time visiting with Wanda. It was a bit slow getting our food and the service was just ok. Jeff and I had looked at the menu a head of time, cause Wanda told us it was kind of expensive. We shared a turkey club sandwich and boy am I glad we did. It was huge and brought to us with the wrong kind of bread...rye not white. Wasn't going to send that back. We had only paid for 2 hours worth of parking that was just about done.


We packed up the leftovers and made our way to the parking lot. We said our good byes to Wanda, telling her we would see here in the spring. Then we headed back to the park, the traffic was a bit heavy. We did make one stop at a music store Jeff had been wanting to see. It has live music quite often and a bar and coffee shop. It was really quite unique. We will go back next year when we are here to listen to music next time.


Saturday December 29- It was a warm one today. We put the sun shade back up today. It is fairly easy to do. I went to the pool today with my floating chair. It is a bit more crowded because the kids are out of school so family's are getting out to camp. Our friends Jeffrey and Maren came down for a happy hour and they brought supper with them this time. We had a great meal. Lasagna, salad and hot bread. It was really a nice meal. We also had nice conversation, we never run out of stuff to talk about.

Sunday December 30- We decided to stay in town and go to Newsound Church. It was a wonderful message given by a guest speaker. This is a wonderful, friendly church. You walk in the door and feel very comfortable. After church we came home. Spent some time at the pool again. We are also starting to pick up some of our stuff. Pulling out of here on Tuesday. We talked to Ken and Mary today. They are volunteers we work with at Jonathan Dickinson. They have arrived and wanted to know when we were coming.

Monday December 31- Packing up stuff today for sure. We also went out to fill up the car. We stopped at Trader Joe's to get some things. They fill up your propane here so Jeff wanted to take care of that.  Seth and Ashton are on there way to South Bend, Indiana. They have tickets for the winter classic at Notre Dame Stadium. They let us know when they arrived safe. The park is having a pot luck supper tonight but we decided to have our friends over for tacos instead. We had a fun evening but we did not make it to midnight. We want to take off fairly early because our site is available now.


Tuesday January 1- Happy New Year everyone. It's a brand new year and we will be starting it off in Jonathan Dickinson State Park. We got an early start. We had a few things to pack up. We were on the road at 8:30. It took us about an hour to get here. We had a change to our site, first we thought we would be on site V-1 like last year but now we are on site V-9. It is the last site in the volunteer row. It is a very sunny spot but it is more private. With less traffic our dogs won't be barking quite as much. We got in the site and started setting up some things. We wanted to be done so we could watch the Iowa Hawkeye's in the Outback Bowl. We also wanted to watch the Winter Classic. Our son Seth and grandson Ashton are there watching it. The Hawkeyes won, The Blackhawks weren't as lucky.






Wednesday January 2- We weren't actually on the schedule to work today but we went ahead and got started. It was a super busy day. We had lots of campers leaving today. We also had to get everything situated like we like it. The shower houses and sites looked really good this year. We also got treated to a beauty of a sunrise today.






 The day went by really fast. We got all of our duties done for the day. We both were tired, we haven't been working for quite a while. We will have to get in to the swing of things.


Thursday January 3- Another day of work and today went way smoother than yesterday. I even managed to get my laundry done while working. We ran into some campers that we have met here from last year. After work I volunteered to make the dreaded WalMart run. It was super busy getting there and the store was a mad house too. When I escaped the store I went to get in the car and had this joker park next to me...like this.


I got out of my spot and made my way back to the park. Jeff and I didn't feel like making supper so we cleaned up and went to Burger Fi for a burger and fries.




Our dinner was great and hit the spot. We also walked around the area and enjoyed the scenery. The Christmas lights were still up.





















Friday January 4- We have started our 4 days off today. We walked Miss Ruby this morning after witnessing a beauty of a sunrise.....




We drove in to town to look at the Lazy Boy store, we are still hoping we could get lucky and actually find something in stock that would work for us. Well it wasn't going to happen here, today. Then we found the Blaze Pizza that is here in the area. Well it was king of a mess going on. It wasn't anything like the one in Wellington. The way they are managed and run makes a huge difference. This one needed some help. To make my experience better, they lost my pizza. I think they gave my away but I think they gave me someone else. Well our next stop was the mall, Jeff wanted to get some more coffee. I went to Bath and Body to do some shopping. The afternoon we spent here at the campground. Then we got cleaned up and headed in to town. First we went to The Square Grouper to listen to some music.





Next we moved next door the U Tiki, we met Kip and Amanda there for drinks and dinner.






















We had a wonderful time, the food, service and company was great. It was a fun night for sure.



Saturday January 5- We got a little rain last night. This morning we walked Ruby around the loops. It was a really nice day so we were sitting outside with our coffee when a couple went by on there bikes. Ruby went crazy in her play pen. They ended up stopping and asking questions about full time rving. Well we had quite a nice talk. They live close to here so hopefully we will get together before we have to leave. We were planning to ride our bikes to Blue Point and listen to some music. The wind just kept getting stronger. So we took the car. We found a table and got a drink. We had quite the view. This is our first time here and both of us loved it. Next time we will try there food. This place is right on the inter coastal. So lots of boats to watch. They have a pool in the middle of the place. The stage was set up to the side. The music started at 2...he was slow to start but turned out to be quite good. We will be back for sure.
























It was really windy but the people there put up a wind block which helped so much. They were also preparing for the evening with heaters. The service was really good and the food looked good but I'll have to fill you in on that later.


Sunday January 6- We are on the calendar to greet at the church. Left a little early so I could go by Jupiter Doughnuts and get a couple. Then to church. Amanda met us there. The service was awesome and I left feeling blessed. I got a call from Seth this morning. He and Hailey are on there way to Des Moines to Hailey's first meet of the season. He sent videos for us to watch and kept up with the scores she received on each apparatus. She was really nervous he said but each time her scores went up. I could see improvement from when we were there. She ended up 2nd in vault, 3rd in floor and 5th overall. She also qualified for state in her first meet. Last year she didn't qualify until her last meet. So proud of her and all her hard work.





Well that's another 2 weeks in the books. So far we love our new site and our volunteer job is going great. Did I mention the weather has been awesome.....




































Sunday, January 6, 2019

Waiting for the Holidays....

Monday December 10- I got busy this morning with more baking. I made some sugar cookie dough to chill and a batch of cookies. I only have so much space so I have to be strategic. We got invited to the Jonathan Dickinson Christmas party so I went and got a couple white elephant gift, well the stuff to make them gifts. I looked up some ideas on line. When I got back I put the gifts together then made more cookies.





















Well I put the gifts away and got busy with supper. I did get another batch of cookies baked.

Tuesday December 11- Was going to finish up my baking today but instead we went to a movie. We took the long way because we needed to found a BP. Jeff recieved a BP gas card and we have always used them before but this time we are having a hard time finding BP's. On our way we also discovered a Trader Joe's so that was a bonus. We had some time before the show so Jeff went to Best Buy and I went to Old Navy and got some new Christmas pj's. Then on to the movie. We both agree that we really like this movie theater. It is clean, has a special price on Tuesday's, and they have great popcorn. We saw the movie Instant Family and both of us loved it. It was better than we thought which is always a good surprise. When we got home I made pecan tassies and melting moment cookies. Tomorrow I will bake and frost the sugar cookies and call it done.

Wednesday December 12- Today I didn't waste any time getting started. I had to roll, cut and bake the sugar cookies. Then let them cool so I could frost and let them dry before making trays up. 



After finishing all that I took the rest of the day off. Ruby and I went for a bike ride. I heard from my sister and a friend so I guess the Christmas ornaments arrived. Now I just need the gifts for the kids to get there.

Thursday December 13- A very lazy day today. We just hung around here. We got stuff together, cleaned up, loaded up and headed over to Jonathan Dickinson. We had to leave plenty early because we are traveling during rush hour. We gave ourselves an hour and a half and used every minute to get there.  They had lots of folks there. We didn't know most of them because they volunteer the shift before ours. They provided the food and beverages and we brought desserts and there was lots of them. Then they had the white elephant gift exchange. There were like a 100 people there so that was a bit of a mess. Lots of people left. So many people that not many gifts were stolen and it still took forever. It was a fun night visiting with those we knew and  meeting new people too.

























The drive home was a lot easier than the one there. Everyone was home and off the turnpike.

Friday December 14-It's a warm one today. Walked the dogs and did some laundry in the morning. Then we went up to the pool for a while. They have a really nice pool that's heated. The place isn't even that crowded, so the pool is almost empty. Jeff made fish for supper, the fish we caught in the Keys. I'm not sure any of that fish will make it back to Iowa.

Saturday December 15- We didn't have anything planned today. We were inside and both of us can't stand looking at our couch. It is just disintegrating. So the plan was to go and look at furniture stores today. I think we looked at 4 furniture stores and ........nothing. At most of them they didn't even have any idea if they had something for us. Good news is we found a pizza place to try. It is called Blaze Pizza. We didn't really know what we were doing but both of us loved this place. They have one size pizza. There are 3 choices of crusts. Then you build your own, like at Subway. They are quick too. The pizza was great and the prices were too. We are going back for sure. We shared the pizza, next time we will get our own.


Sunday December 16- We went back over to Jupiter to go to church. This time we went to the 2nd service. It was wonderful. After we had breakfast and drove to Stuart. They are having an outdoor concert on there River Walk. The weather was perfect. We started out sitting on the bleachers in front of the stage. It was so loud that we moved up and over in the grassy area. We found a lady that was willing to share her picnic table. It was much better there. It was a Doors tribute band. They are not my favorite group, but it was a great venue with vendors that had lots of snacks to purchase.






We had a nice time and figured out how it works here. They have bands every Sunday and you can bring your chairs, coolers, food and pets...that is a win win.....

Monday December 17- Started the day off with a little cleaning. I also had to give Miss Ruby a trim. I don't know if I will ever get to groom here fully. I just trimmed her hair around her head. I like how fluffy she is so for now I'll keep her hair long. Jeff  finished detailing his truck. I'm still trying to put together this new quilt. I"m not happy with the pattern I've picked. Our friends and neighbors, Maren and Jeffrey made it back after a trip. They went to run errands and we ended up with a baked chicken from Cosco. So supper was chicken. I also got to give them there cookies I made them. Our supper was super.



Tuesday December 18- My best friend is having surgery today, getting an ankle replacement. I waited to hear how it went. We went to run errands this morning. First Jeff had to send his Garmin watch back. It broke so he called them and they sent him a new one. When it arrived Jeff was to mail the old one back. He wanted to get it back because until it arrives they have put the price of the new one on his charge card. When they receive the old watch....no charge for the new one. Pretty good incentive to mail it back. While we were out we stopped at the Trader Joe's we spotted last time we were over here. It wasn't even crowded. Something that is unusual during the holidays. When we arrived home we decided to take the dogs to the doggy park. The poor things are always on leash. So away we went. Jeff brought Belle's frisbee. Both of the girls went crazy, they had fun. Then another dog arrived and so we had to lease Belle back up. She does not like other strange dogs that much.







It didn't take long to wear them out with all that running. We headed back, then we spent some time up at the pool. Jeff and I not the dogs. Again hardly anybody there, its wonderful. I miss my swimming pool I had at home so this is nice. Our friends Jeffrey and Maren came over for happy hour. We got to hear about there trip back to see her father.

Wednesday December 19- Today we had planned to take down the awning and shade screen outside. We have had it tied down and it made for a nice area to sit outside without all the sun. but big wind and storms are coming. We hung around here most of the day. Then we decided to go back to that pizza place we liked with Jeffrey and Maren. We waited until 6ish to leave thinking rush hour traffic would be settling down. Well that was wrong. I don't think it was just rush hour, I think it was Christmas shopping traffic. Well we made it and our pizza was superb. We had a fun evening and the traffic on the way back was just as bad. HO HO HO...

Thursday December 20- Big Day today. We are heading over to Lion Country Safari to watch the chimps open there Christmas presents. I'm so excited. They opened at 9:30 so we left here at 9:15. We got there and there was cars in line to get in. I was getting nervous, I wanted to make sure I got a good seat. The chimp thing started at 10:30. I made Jeff hurry through the drive through safari, we can do that after. We found where you park and they had chairs set up. We got a front row seat. We had some concern with the weather, well the wind. As we waited the wind picked up. They have the chimps on 3 islands that are connected by bridges. They had all of them on one island while they set up for the party. You could tell they were excited to get at it. When they were ready they connected the bridge which was so funny because those chimps lined up like kids in a classroom to get over.
We were ready to watch. 

lined up to cross the bridge






The chimps enjoyed the frozen milk and popcorn a lot. It was like watching kids at Christmas, they would open the gift, toss it aside and go on to the next one. We had a great time. I took so many pictures, too many to post. Then we finished up the drive through part, parked and went in to walk around and enjoy that. I wanted to go feed the giraffes. We headed that way. When we arrived we got to watch one giraffe do some painting. Can't say I've ever witnessed that before. Lucky us. Then I got to feed some. I love doing that.
























Before we left I even got a selfie with this smiling giraffe...what are the chances?
Next we moved on to the birds, had to go feed them as well. The wind was really wicked and the birds weren't as friendly as last year. We found some that wanted to eat.























We stopped for a bite to eat before doing some exploring. We finished up in here and got back in the car to go back and enjoy the drive through part. Here are some of the animals we got to see.









Oh what a wonderful day. We really can't say enough about this park. We love it because it's not super busy. It is also reasonable and clean. So much fun for families. They even have a splash pad and putt putt golf. They have some little rides for kids and a petting zoo. We will be back...

Friday December 21- It was suppose to cool off today but it was later showing up. We just stayed around here. I got the laundry caught up and we got to watch all kinds of weather changes. We had warm and sunshine. We had cloudy and rain, followed by wind. Oh and then the temps started dropping. I did get to enjoy my brand new shirt....


Saturday December 22- It got a little chilly last night. The monkeys next door are making a lot of noise this morning. I think they must of heard the chimps got gifts and they didn't. I went to the pool today but not to get in the water. The sun was warm and the wind stopped so it was really nice. I put together 7 rows of my new quilt today. I'm still not super happy with this one but we will see. I called my friend to see how she is doing after the surgery. She is doing better. Our friends came over for happy hour. That's when the temps started dropping. Came in and made supper.







Sunday December 23- Happy Anniversary to us 41 years. We got ready to go to church but instead of driving to Jupiter we stayed here in Wellington. We visited a new church called Newsound. It was close. They have been around almost a year and are using a school. They had lots of people greeting you as you arrived. The worship was great and so was the message. They are doing a great job. They really have lots to do every Sunday to get ready for services, they are doing a great job. We got home and I worked on putting together 7 more rows. We got ready to go out for dinner. First we met up with friends at our place. Then we went up to see Santa at the park. He and Mrs. Claus were there first to see the pups in the park then the kids. We went up right at 5 to get in and out. It was quite the set up...not sure how impressed Miss Ruby was.





After our visit with Santa we got in the car to got out for dinner. We went to Outback again. We got a table after just a few minutes. We had a wonderful dinner and great company. When we walked out of the place they had people lined up to get in. Good thing we like to eat early.





Our time at this park is coming to and end. We both can't believe how fast the time has passed. We really enjoy this park and the area around it. Planning on coming back next year.....Bring on the Holidays.....