Don't know why I haven't posted anything for awhile. Thanksgiving dinner was absolutely wonderful - Randy's kitchen provided a fabulous meal for about 90 people. And Sunday we drove to Jensen Beach. It was beautiful, although the surf was pretty strong and the beach was narrow. According to the lifeguard, it's been windier than usual, which accounts for the waves, which accounts for the disappearing sand. But it's normally somewhat breezy at that particular coast, and the sand usually gets re-deposited after awhile, so he wasn't too worried about it. He gave us a good recommendation for lunch - King Neptune in the nearby town of Salerno. We ordered fresh conch appetizers and a Rueben Grouper sandwich; it was all excellent, and now I know I like conch if it's prepared right. Then the waitress there gave us a good recommendation to Tausha's Seafood Market. And nearby that is a great bakery. Three great shops in one area! Too bad the whole place is almost 60 miles away, but it's nice to know where some of the good stuff is.
Can’t beat this retirement! Randy spends a lot time either working in the restaurant or thinking about working in the restaurant. Which, of course, is his idea of fun - it’s not easy, but he is wonderful at it. His first dinner was a success and now he’s planing an amazing Thanksgiving dinner for even more people.
My idea of fun is sleeping late, visiting with neighbors, sitting in the hot tub, cooling off in the pool, learning new card games and occasionally getting into the workout room. Fortunately that pretty much sums up my day! And it’s WARM here - actually it’s downright hot! Sometimes I can’t believe how much I love this.
Now I’ve started hosting a Tea Party on Thursday. Fortunately for the guests, Randy’s kitchen provided the treats today; a perfectly English menu of tiny scones with raspberry jam, a light sponge cake, and, of course, cucumber sandwiches. It was a lovely tea, and I am looking forward to the next one.
Been having fun since we got here. Sunday was a great day; went to church, had a great lunch at the church pot-luck, went home for a nap, took a line-dancing class, and then relaxed in the hot-tub. Retirement is hard to beat!
But Randy had been keeping busy; there has been a change of plans here and Randy is now in charge of the RV Park’s kitchen. The owers want to move from a clubhouse kitchen towards a fine-dining restaurant, which is right up Randy’s alley. So now he spends all his time in the kitchen, organizing, planning and preping. Tomorrow is his first dinner, for about 28 people. He's busy, but enjoying being in the kitchen so much.
We are settled in here in Okeechobee (which I, unfortunately, tend to pronounce as Ochee-Ko-Bee) and so far we really like it. The RV park is beautiful, spotlessly clean and well landscaped. We are at the edge of town, near hotels and McDonald’s, but the area is surprisingly rural - across the fence from our 5-star RV resort is a field of cows. But the cows don’t bother anyone and some beautiful cranes usually share the field with them.
The town is small; they say there are about 6,000 people here but it doesn’t look like that many to me. Unfortunately it has succumbed to the blight of fast food restaurants and Walmart. I know we haven’t been everywhere yet, but so far we haven’t found a nice dinner restaurant. But the sun is shining and it looks like there are a lot of biking and fishing possibilities, and we really like the people here. A couple of the guys in the park taught us a card game called Hand and Food. It’s played with FIVE decks; each hand has 13 cards and when you play out all of those, you have to pick up another hand (called a Foot) of 13 more cards. Lots of fun, even though Randy and his card partner won not only every game, but every hand. Must be beginner’s luck - I’ll get him next time!
We already took one side trip to the nearby town of Stewart. It’s a small, pretty tourist town on the eastern edge of Florida. Florida tends to get cloudy in the afternoon and the last of the hurricane season is blowing itself out, so the water was really choppy. We got in a good walk, around town and under the bridge with traffic going overhead.
Looking forward to really exploring this part of Florida!
The day after visiting Cade's Cove, Ron and Sharon drove us over to see Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. The area is full of beautiful fall colors, tourist shops and a surprising number of pancake restaurants. We stopped at the Christmas store, which was so big that I almost got lost in it. And I didn’t particularly care if I got found - I love all that Christmas stuff! But eventually they did find me, and we drove up to Ober Gatlinburg, a skiing destination high in the mountains. It was full of surprises; besides the ski lift they have a water slide, a maze, an indoors Carousel and an ice rink. But the best thing was the view across the Smoky Mountains.
On the way back through town we stopped at Corky’s. Corky’s is our favorite Memphis restaurant for dry-rub ribs, and we were a bit concerned that they would not be as good here. But they were almost as good, and as bonus, they were “all you can eat”. Guess they didn’t know how many ribs Randy can eat…
Wednesday, after 2 wonderful days with Ron and Sharon, we had to get on the road again. No sightseeing this time, just driving. Got as far as Cecil, Georgia before we stopped for the night. We’ve stopped there before, back in August. It’s not close to anything interesting that we know of, but it’s on the way and it’s open late.
The next day Randy drove the rest of the way to Okeechobee, and in the afternoon we set up in the site that we hope will be home for the next few months. The RV park is beautiful and the people are really nice. The season hasn’t quite started yet so right now there are just a few people here; most of the workers and a few of the seasonal lot owners. Monday evening everyone got together for a costume party in the clubhouse. Besides being fun, it was an nice chance to get to know our neighbors.