January 21, 2015

January 21, 2015  Day 61 South for Winter
Legacy Harbour Marina
Ft. Myers, FL

It has been two and a half weeks since we have updated the blog! That’s what happens when we are around friends. We have been incredibly busy and are having the best of times! 

We crossed Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River in two days with Pazza Bella and Harmony, stopping overnight at Moore Haven. The days were long and we had to go through five locks, but we did fine. We arrived in Ft. Myers on Wednesday, January 7. We came for the Gold Looper Reunion and extended our stay here for three weeks.  We got settled in our slip on the B Dock and then walked to a seafood restaurant with ten other Loopers. 

Joyce walked to the Farmers Market the next morning and came back with good fruits and vegetables!  On Friday morning we joined several others for breakfast at First Watch, a restaurant open for just breakfast and lunch. Great choice!  We accepted Ross and Laura’s offer to use their car for a day, so Bill dropped Joyce off at a hair and nail appointment at a delightful salon on a houseboat at Ft. Myers Yacht basin! Bill ran errands to get things like engine oil and oil filters while Joyce was getting pampered.  Then we drove to Walmart after lunch to refill prescriptions. We spent a delightful evening at Ross and Laura’s lovely home and had a delicious Italian dinner that Ross expertly prepared.  Anita and Don, Loopers (Limelight) joined us also to complete the evening. Ross and Laura are one of many couples we know who have made Ft. Myers their home after completing the Loop.

On Saturday, Skip and Barb (Moor Stuff) came to visit and then took us back to their pretty condo on a golf course.  We had a great visit and a very nice dinner at their yacht club, complete with a perfect view.  They also just moved to Ft. Myers recently!  By now, Joyce started getting big ideas about where to relocate after we are finished boating in a couple of years.  The condo lifestyle in Ft. Myers seems like a perfect answer!

On Sunday, several of the ladies got together in the boaters lounge for an afternoon of a fun game of cards, Shanghai Rummy!  On Monday, Tom and Linda arrived on their boat, Raydiance. It was so good to see them again!  As soon as they got settled, they came with us to join several other Gold Loopers for a trolley ride downtown where we had lunch.  We all decided to walk back. Just as we left the restaurant we had a call from Shannon & Richard who had just arrived on Esmeralda. We did part of the Down East Loop with them. They were docked at a nearby marina and saw us on AIS! We walked over there for a nice visit!  We had Tom and Linda over for dinner that evening and then watched the BCS football game, delighted with the Buckeyes’ win!  The Gold Looper Reunion was a two day event on Jan. 14-15 with over 125 attending! Several of us gathered for the social hour before the dinner and it was so exciting to see people here that we had not seen in two years.  We did not even know some of them were coming. The next two days were non-stop talking! We enjoyed the catered dinners too!

On Friday, we walked back downtown to have lunch with 18 other Loopers at Ford’s Garage, a popular restaurant with huge burgers!  That evening we went to dinner at Cristof’s on McGregor with Tom and Linda, (Raydiance) and Eddy and Linda (Spiritus).  We never seemed to stop eating!!  Since Tom had a rental car, we all decided to make a stop at Publix after dinner.

We had to relocate to the A dock on Saturday morning since the slip owner was returning to the slip we were in initially. Several Loopers had to change dockage during their stay here. We were ok with that – it meant we could stay longer! We enjoyed dinner on board Raydiance that evening. The guys beat Linda and Joyce in a fun game of Mexican Dominoes!

On Sunday, Jan 18, Bill’s brother Bob and friend Debbie arrived for lunch on our boat. Then we took another nice walk with them along the waterfront and downtown.  We watched an unbelievable Packer game later that afternoon and then went back to Raydiance to watch Downton Abbey with them. 

We said goodbye to Tom and Linda Monday morning and helped with their lines as they departed.  Two hours later, Brooks and Sarah (Our Time) picked us up and drove us to their beautiful condo in Cape Coral. We had a very nice lunch in their home and then walked around the marina and the boutique shops that are part of their condo development. We topped that off with gelato for a perfect afternoon!  They are another Gold Looper couple who has relocated here! Yes, definitely a pattern….

Actually, we have not been partying the whole time! Bill installed a new VHS radio on the fly bridge to replace one that started working intermittently.  We also met with vendors on the boat to replace the carpet on the sundeck and flybridge (being delivered as I write!) It was good to get the old carpet up and thoroughly clean those floors!  We are also having some of the isinglass replaced on the bridge and look forward to having it delivered soon.  Joyce has been busy making bread in the new bread maker Bill gave her for Christmas. We are eating all too well. Two more Loopers are now buying bread makers! 

We will post more in a few days before we depart on January 28.