Friday, December 19, 2008

Bliss Party

Every month the businesses in the area hold what's called a Bliss Party and they invite the public. They hold the event at a variety of locations so that people can become aware of different businesses in the area. They provide free food, free entertainment, and give out prizes. This month's December Bliss Party was last night and we went. We included Bob, Charlene, Sandi, John, and Joy. John and Joy are friends of Charlene and Sandi. It was a gala affair. I say that because everyone was dressed to kill (well almost everyone), and it was held at the Hilton. When we got there we got a card to take around to different places at the Hilton and they punched your card. When you were finished, you got to see all the neat areas of the Hilton and then you put your card in the box from which they drew names for prizes at the end of the evening. We didn't win anything, but that's all right. Oh, Sandi won a candle. They had music and dancing and great food. Some of the food included veggies and dip, cheese, mini egg rolls, mini quiches, other finger foods, a couple of kinds of pasta, and desserts, cheesecake, pumpkin pie, fudge like cookies, etc. You did not leave hungry!!! Here are some pictures to give you an idea of what it was like.

From left to right, John, Joy, Charlene, Lucy, Sandi.

Gambling Boat Cruise

Bob and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather in Florida and went on a free cruise on a gambling boat. I went strictly for the boat ride, but Bob did do a little gambling. He probably wished he didn't because while down in the gambling part of the boat he got really seasick. I'm usually the one that gets sick, but I have learned if I stay outside with a nice breeze in my face and I look at the horizon and/or other sights, like dolphins and submarines, I can usually avoid getting sick, and it worked for me that day. We also met a really nice couple from Louisville, Kentucky, Dale and Sandy. Dale went off to gamble the whole time, but Sandy and I stayed outside almost the whole time and visited and enjoyed all the sites. And I got to hear all about her adventures she and Dale have had running marathons in every state of our country. I was very impressed. Here are some pictures to prove we're having lots of fun in Florida.

Gambling part of boat. Not my favorite and I guess not Bob's favorite.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Ormond Beach, FL

After our visit with Uncle Scott and Aunt Hadie we arrived in Ormond Beach, FL to enjoy a visit with Bob's sister, Charlene. Sometimes Bob and I do things together, sometimes we do things with Charlene, and sometimes we do things with Charlene and her good friend (and ours), Sandy, a neighbor across the street. The weather here is great. It is going to be close to 80 here for the next few days and we've been hearing it's below zero in IA. I don't miss that at all. Here are some pictures of only some of our adventures so far.
We had a picnic here, but this is the view we have all the time. Charlene only lives a couple of blocks from the beach. Cool. Huh?

Do we look hungry? We are. Bob and Sandy (left) and Charlene (right) are upset because our free event did not include a free lunch.

We visited a really nice garden area where people have weddings and special events. It was beautiful.

This is my future swimming pool and spa. I found it at this garden complex. Since it is a place for weddings, they have an elaborate place for the wedding party to stay, and it included this indoor endless swimming pool and spa. I could handle that.

Charlene and Sandy at a hospital event. This was the entrance. Notice the beautiful flowers blooming in December.

This is an example of a Christmas boat parade. We went to two of them. It's really neat how they decorate their boats and then float down the intercoastal waterway. Very pretty.
Hope everyone is well and enjoying the Christmas season. Although it's great being here, I also feel a little homesick for friends and family. But I know I'll be seeing everyone again after the new year. Retirement and being snowbirds is pretty great though.

Saying Good-bye to Iowa Friends

Just before we left Iowa, Bob visited with his daughters and I was able to contact Pat and Chris for a farewell visit near Ft. Dodge to have a nice meal and delicious apple pie at a nearby apple orchard. It might be a future GROUP meeting. Sorry the rest of the GROUP couldn't be there. I think Marilyn was off to San ANtonio and Polly and Gina were way too far and/or busy. But we know you were there in spirit.

House From the MOvie, The Secret Life of Bees

According to Hadie, this house (which is located near their house in Burgaw, NC) is the house where the main characters lived for the film, The Secret LIfe of Bees. We have seen the movie so it was fun to be there. It was a pretty good film. We enjoyed it.

Aunt Rosemary in Amarillo, TX

On our way to Albuquerque, Bob and I decided to make a visit with Aunt Rosemary in Amarillo, TX. Last time we visited we did not take pictures, but this time we did. We had a great visit both times. She is quite a lady and has many interesting stories to tell about her life and about her and Daddy. And she spry with a great memory at the age of 94!!!!! Wow.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Albuquerque Visit in November

Susie requested that I add something about our trip to Albuquerque for Rachel's baptism. We had a great visit and it was very touching to be part of such an important event. Here are some pictures.

Susie and the Wii.

Pictures of House Updated

Livingroom from dining room. Notice the fancy furniture.

Built ins in livingroom. Notice all the junk. Maybe I'll make it look nice someday.

Not the greatest picture of dining room from livingroom, but might give an idea of what it looks like.

The kitchen has new flooring, but that's about it. We'll address the walls, ceiling and countertop when we return in the spring/summer.

Downstairs bedroom/den.

Swan display case off of downstairs bedroom/den.

View of stairway.

Upstairs Hallway looking east.

Upstairs looking west.

Upstairs West bedroom.

Upstairs East bedroom.
Upstairs middle/main bedroom.