Monday, April 14, 2014

Last family stop before starting our slow trek westward


April 8-11, 2013
Southern Oaks RV Park
Summerfield, Florida



We had four intentions in choosing to stop at this Passport America park near The Villages: to see family friends who live across the street from the park, to say adios to my oldest brother who lives in Dunnellon—about 20 minutes away, to go kayaking in the Chassohowitzka River—about an hour away, and to dance on the square at Lake Sumter Landing during their daily happy hour and live music event. We accomplished all but one: it rained the two days we reserved for kayaking.

With stormy weather the first two days, we took the opportunity to finish our taxes and submit them on-line. I also got back into my knitting project which is quite ambitious, a linen-stitch scarf which requires casting on 450 stitches. (The scarf is knit lengthwise.).  This is what I am hoping the finished project will look like. Sure am missing Karen, my knitting teacher at Holiday Cove, and my friend Jean who could help me learn to "unknit" when I make mistakes.



Day three was sunny so we took advantage of the brighter weather by making a short trip to The Villages. We enjoyed a walk around Lake Sumter then settled in on the square for their nightly happy hour.  The music turned out to be just okay—good songs by a one-man band, but the dancing was great. We joined in on a few favorite songs, but especially enjoyed watching the line dancers and other enthusiastic couples on the square.





The couple in the photo above were quite a kick to watch—especially the man. Gotta love her boots too.  The only way to fully appreciate these two is with a short video.


video
Old timers in the Village Square at Lake Sumter Landing
 entertain the crowd with their moves


Our last day in the area was a full one. We had a great visit with my oldest brother, Bob, first visiting him in his element at the National Parachute Test Center that he runs and then going to lunch at the classic old Florida Blue Gator on the Withlacoochee River in Dunnellon. 






He told me he never had a photo of the two of us, so this is for you Robert.



That same night we had my parents’ close friends, Will and Sharon Leino, over for dinner. They are from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan but spend their winters in a Dell Webb community right across from where we were staying in the motorhome. Sharon was very close to my mom; listening to her reminisce about their special times together bring me joy. Will lost his vision quite a few years ago, but thanks to Sharon and his guide dog, Lily, from the Southeastern Guide Dog school, he gets along quite well. Not the best photo, but the only one I managed to take.



That wraps up our stop near The Villages.  Our next destination has become an annual favorite: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park near Destin in the Panhandle. We are ready for our spring travel adventures to begin.

15 comments:

  1. Beautiful photo of you two!

    How nice to keep in close contact with your parents' friends.

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    1. One of the interesting parts about these friends is they all traveled together from northern Michigan to Acapulco in my parents' 31' Pace Arrow motorhome in the 70s. They can truly appreciate our lifestyle.

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  2. I know you are both sad and excited to leave your family there in Florida. I'm jealous...we haven't been dancing in years!

    I hope the weather is great for your Topsail stay. What a beautiful first stop to begin your trek west.
    Be safe and enjoy!

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    1. The weather has been mixed but we are still enjoying our stay here in this jewel of a state park.

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  3. I love the line dancers. I love to line dance. I'd say the gal in the boots and her guy still have the moves. Glad to see they aren't afraid to get out and shake it. You're never too old. Really nice picture of you and your brother. And gorgeous water lily. Safe travels onward!

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    1. I haven't line danced in years, but Vic is really into it. Funny to see him jump up and I sit out. And, no, you are never too old.

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  4. What a great time with your family before you head west again:) Love the photo of you and your brother. That video was a hoot!! They can move. Keeps them young:) Great boots!!!!

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    1. Glad the video put a smile on your face too. I keep telling Vic we need to join the Elks because so many of them have dances.

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  5. That couple still have the moves ... but what, no pics of you guys on the dance floor?

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    1. I promise to post some when we are in Louisiana. Maybe even a video--except you know I will be critiquing myself mercilessly.

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  6. Watching that couple dance is better than dancing with the stars! I love her boots and his enthusiasm. The photo of you and your brother is great.

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    1. Thanks, Nan. I was inspired by their enthusiasm as you could tell they were perfectly happy when they were on the dance floor.

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  7. So what do they do with the parachutes that fail at the test center? And how do they choose the lucky person to try out the parachutes in the first place? ;c)

    With my luck, I'd never get a parachute that would open...

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    1. Paul, I could tell you many stories about my brother and his NPTC. He used to do training films for what to do if you had a malfunction where he wore as many as four chutes that he cut away. Now he has been working for years on gps guided parachute drops (e.g., emergency relief packages). He also was hired once by Miller Brewing Company to drop a vintage truck from a helicopter by parachute for a contest at an airshow. Let's just say the Major is a colorful character.

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  8. I enjoyed watching the couple line dancing, they do have the kicks, how about you?I thought it was you on the cement dancing floor with Vic.
    Like you I do like to reconnect with family and friends, they are precious.

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