Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Visiting in Ormond Beach, FL

Above is Charlene's house newly painted.
One of our favorite places to visit, especially in the winter, is Ormond Beach, FL. The main reason we come is to see Bob's sister, Charlene, the one in the red top in the picture below. She is a very gracious host, and we love visiting her. She and Bob can talk all day long about many topics including family and nostalgia. It just so happens she also lives in a very nice area of Florida, about a block away from the Atlantic Ocean with very nice beaches, and about half a block from the intracoastal waterway. The temperatures are usually in the 60's or 70's, and it's sunny a lot of the time. It is NOT hard to handle.

One of the first events was the Christmas boat parade at a local yaht club. We almost didn't get to go because we were on a waiting list, but through perserverance we did get to go. You pay a nominal fee and get a buffet and entertainment. Then after dark the decorated boats sail by the yaht club where the event is held, and you get to see all the neat decorated boats. It is really a fun activity. It's actually a parade where the floats actually float. :) Here we are at the party.

Sandy is on the left and Charlene is on the right.

This was a gift I received from Charlene. It was in front of our bedroom when we arrived. I wonder why she gave me a swan? It's a planter so I'll get to plant a beautiful plant in it when I get home. Meanwhile it is there to make me smile every day. I love it.

Then we went to Puerto Rico. See an earlier post for details about our trip to Puerto Rico to see my Uncle Chuck who lives there.

When we got back, we went to a BLISS party which was a Christmas party sponsored by a sort of Chamber of Commerce organization. It was held at the Hilton, and all the food and the entertainment was free. It's a really nice way to thank the community for giving business to the local establishments and a good way to advertise what facilities they have there. Charlene's good friend and neighbor, and ours, Sandy, joined us for the party. Also another couple joined us, John and Joy. We ate well and enjoyed the DJ music and did a lot of people watching. They also give out a lot of door prizes, but we didn't win any. Joy did win some decorations, but she was the only one at our table who won anything. But that was OK. Unfortunately I forgot my camera so there are not pictures.

One thing we like to do is go to the Farmers' and Flea Market in Daytona. It is huge, and you can get fresh produce, As Seen ON TV products, and a vast variety of "stuff". At the entrance on the day that we went, there was a violinist playing for tips, and he was selling his CD's. I couldn't resist. We listened for a while, and then I bought one of his CD's, and I've been enjoying playing them. Here he is.

Here is the entrance, at least one of them.

At the market we ate at a Thai restaurant and I had the most delicious chicken curry dish I've ever had. I complimented them describing their food as exemplary. We went back last Sun. to enjoy the same dish. I could eat that often. MMMmmmm good. Here's what it looked like.

We took our Wii with us so we have had fun with that. Charlene has even been enjoying it. Here is Bob playing one of the games. Does he look like a mature man?

We took a bike ride to Flagler Beach and ate at this nice seafood restaurant with a great view of the ocean. You can't really beat that. Good food too.

The day before Christmas we took a really long walk along the beach in Dayton which is just down the road from Charlene's house. Notice the white stuff. That would be sand, not SNOW!!!

Santa's elves playing in the ocean before having to make deliveries.

For Christmas we invited Charlene's friend, Sandy. We toasted the special occasion.

Then we ate heartily. There was lots of food and especially a lot of pie. That's OK with me.

Bob gave a little magic show while I cleaned up a little in the kitchen. Then we introduced Sandy to the wii. We all took turns playing different games. It was really fun.

With Charlene and Sandy, yesterday, we went to a seminar at an Outback Steak House, and afterwards they fed us a delicious meal. Bob and I chose a steak dinner and a veggie pasta meal, and we shared it with each other. It was really good. Then they gave us a nice piece of cheese cake. Mmmm good.

Afterwards Bob and I went to see the movie, "It's Complicated." It is another great Meryl Streep movie. I love her movies.

Today we went to the movie to see "Avatar" in 3D. It was a great movie, but we didn't get to see the end. About 1 1/2 hours into the movie the emergency flashing lights went on and they announce that we had to exit the theater because of a problem with the building. So we all went out and after they discovered it was just a lot of smoke from the pop corn popper they let us all back in. We sat in the theater waiting for a while, and then someone came in and started handing out free movie passes. Great. Then after a little while they started up the movie, but from the very beginning because I guess they couldn't start it from where they left off. So then they announce that if we chose we could leave and get another free movie pass for another time. Well we had gone to the movie at 11:50 and it was after 2:00 and we were hungry so we opted to leave and get 2 more free passes. So now we have 4 free movie passes. Bob said he didn't have to see the end of that movie even though he enjoyed the movie. So if someone would tell us the ending then we can go to 2 different movies that we want to see. It seems there are quite a few good movies out right now. I'd still like to see "Up in the Air" and the Mandela movie among others. Anyway it was a very different movie experience today.

Now we're at Panera for a meal and to catch up on email, facebook, and updating the blog.

Merry Christmas to all and Happy New Year to everyone. NO SNOW HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Visiting Uncle Scott and Aunt Hadie along with Bob's Cousin, Linda

We were very pleased that we were invited to join Uncle Scott and Aunt Hadie and her sister, Dibbel for Thanksgiving dinner in Burgaw, NC. The only catch was that Bob had to carve the turkey. First he had to figure out how to put the electric knife together. Once he did that, he was ready to carve.

Thanks to Dibbel, we had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. She made everyone feel welcomed and fed them well.

Good table converstation afterwards.

Uncle Scott resting after a great meal.
Aunt Hadie and sister Gibbel.

We visited Hadie's other sister's family in South Pines, NC near Pinehurst where Bob's cousin, Linda lives. Mildred, Hadie's sister, invited us Friday to eat a delicious meal with their Thanksgiving left overs. We also invited Linda to meet the relatives.
One interesting note about Mildred's family is that they produce musical shows down in Myrtle Beach and they had just done the Christmas show the week before we were there, and Linda actually attended it. Very talented people.
I'm not sure if I remember everyone's names. Next to Bob is one of Midred's daughters and next to her is one of her sons. The Official guy is a son in law.

Sitting is Mildred's husband. Sitting is Linda and standing is my Uncle Scott. It turned out that Linda and Hadie's relatives had common friends and experiences so that was nice.

Bob and Hadie
Hadie and Mildred, the great cook. Mildred has had some very interesting experiences, especially with her trips to Washington, DC.

Another one of Mildred's daughters.

We stayed a couple of days with Linda before we said good bye to her. Thanks for a nice visit, Linda.

Then we drove back to Burgaw to visit my Uncle Scott and Aunt Hadie some more. We had some unexpected hospital time for Scott, but it all turned out OK. But the important thing is that we were able to share their 34 th wedding anniversary. We drove down to Myrtle Beach and ate an anniversary meal. Here they are looking like they belong to one another. Right?

Goo Goo Eyes.
Then they treated us to a really fantastic Christmas show at the Carolina Opray. That was spectacular. Thanks for a great evening and may you have many more anniversaries.

Visiting Nancy and Eric New Brunswick, NJ

Here we are at Nancy's and Eric's cozy apt. in New Brunswick. It's a two bedroom, two bathroom, with two levels. They have a lot of stuff to fill it up. It works.

This is looking into the kitchen where Eric spent a lot of his time over the weekend making plum pudding for his family for Christmas in Williamsburg. I guess it's a family recipe and tradition so he is carrying it on. He also made coffee cakes and an egg casserole and invited friends over for brunch that Sunday. MMM was it all delicious.

The recipe for plum pudding.

The ingredients all mixed together.

Putting it all in special pans.

The happy results.

The brunch is ready.

We're ready. Mmmm good.