This was our first time being away at Christmas. Between the temps in the 80's with trips to the beach and having our families so far away, no, it really didn't feel like Christmas. We did make the most of it however by hanging our stockings and decorating our "home" with lights, both inside and out. Claudia picked up the perfect little Christmas tree that lit up and sat on our dashboard. After beginning our visit to the area with the Pats game and in spite of the fact that I had a cold or maybe the flu for most of our stay, we headed off to days at Haulover Beach and South Beach, an airboat ride through the Everglades and visits to the Coral Castle and Monkey Island. Claudia was also surprised by the arrival of two folding bikes that Santa brought a few days early which meant that we were able to enjoy some time bike riding. As for Christmas dinner, we enjoyed the company of Jim and Nancy for a potluck dinner at the pavilion. Jim & Nancy arrived on the 15th and stayed with us throughout our visit so we were able to enjoy their company during each of our excursions as well as many impromptu visits around our campsites and the pool. Ed
We waited with anticipation for this game in Miami and it turned out to be a really great game that went down to the final seconds and took place right in front of us. All it needed was a final play by the Pats on 4th and goal but it wasn't to be. We met lots of great fans, both Patriots and Dolphins including a little kid about 7 or 8 who sat next to me and was rooting for his beloved Dolphins. He shared his biggest wish with me that Brady would retire. Watching him celebrate with his dad after the Dolphins pulled off the win took some of the sting out of losing. Thank you Claudia for an absolutely awesome birthday present. Ed
We spent three weeks at the Eden Lake Resort in Naples where the weather was perfect and the people were great. A perfect place for some time in the sun and some poolside reading. Although we didn't do a whole lot of sightseeing in the area, we did hit the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary that was one of the highlights of our time in the area. The sanctuary consisted of a 2 1/2 mile walk through a swamp that contained some of the oldest remaining Cypress trees in the country. We were also able to see all kinds of birds as well as a gator in their own natural habitat. During this period, we were able to enjoy our Thanksgiving dinner at a nice little place named the Stonewood Tavern & Grill. Although we missed our families of course, we took advantage of our time away to appreciate each other and enjoyed a delicious meal, complete with a second "take home" turkey dinner. While in Naples we also found a couple of new dog parks, one with a beach, that Stella was able to enjoy. Claudia made it a point to take her to the Rover Run Park on a regular basis. We also took a couple of side trips out to Marco Island, old historic Naples and to a small village of quaint shops in Matlacha where we enjoyed some fine dining in a seaside shack called Bert's Bar & Grill. It was a great stop and an area that we would definitely return to. Ed & Claudia
Ed and Claudia always dreamed of retiring and travelling the country in their motorhome. They retired in 2013 and this is the continuing story of their adventures on the road.