Friday, January 13, 2017

Wandering With The Wrights

When I wrote my last blog it was New Year's Eve and I was tired - thought about not writing that night but wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year so hurried and worked on it and sent it out.  That would all be fine except that I forgot to mention one of the highlights of our trip back to Illinois for Christmas.  As many of you know we lived next door to my cousin Lauri and family for 21 years before going into traveling full time (one of the hardest parts of our decision to live this life was to giving up being neighbors with the Zenner's).  We have spent Christmas Eve with Lauri, Shaun, Kayla and Garrett for most of those years.  Last year when we were in AZ on Christmas Eve we really missed that tradition.  So this year we were back and celebrated Christmas Eve together again as a family.  My mom was also able to join us as she has frequently.  Thank you Zenner's for another awesome Christmas Eve with some of the people we love most in the world!!

Another thing I had intended to mention was how much it cost to have Teddy in the hotel with us.  One place was $50 for one night!!!

In 2016 we visited 10 states and traveled a little less than 5,000 miles in the motorhome.

We left Georgia on January 2nd and headed for Florida - a state we had never traveled to in our motorhome.
We spent 3 nights in Bushnell where our friends Nancy & Jeff that we spent Thanksgiving with were.  The night we pulled in she had dinner already for all of us - those are good friends!

It was then a short drive to Punta Gorda to Peter & Becky Wright's house for 5 wonderful days.  You can see our coach parked right next to the house.  On the drive to Punta Gorda we exited I-75 and it was a sharp exit ramp - as we swung around one of the bay doors on the lower part of the motorhome flew open.  Jerry pulled over to the side with no problems and shut the door (mustn't have been latched tightly) just as we were going to pull away a policewoman pulled up behind us and asked if we needed any help.  We thanked her and told her we were fine and just leaving and she went and stopped traffic for us to make it easier to merge onto the highway - so kind.

We loved having a wonderfully warm pool right outside our door.

On Friday the 6th, my 70th birthday,  Becky and I went and got manicures and pedicures

In the afternoon we enjoyed the pool
Jerry with our Teddy and Dorothy Wright with Lulu.  Dorothy turned 100 last May and is a remarkable woman. 
Peter, Becky, Jerry, myself, Teddy and Becky's mother

Thanks to all the Wright's in my life I had a wonderful 70th birthday
I am not much of a fish lover but decided to give swordfish a try - it was delicious.  Never to old to learn.
The next day we tried to go to the movie and see  Hidden Figures - it was raining out and the rest of the county had the same idea so we decided to go visit Solomon's Castle instead (we did see the moved a few days later and it was excellent).
The castle was built by Howard Solomon an internationally renowned artist.  It is decorated with over 80 interpretive stained glass windows and countless metal sculptures all created my Mr. Solomon.

Jerry in front of the entrance of the castle.

He also built the Boat in the Moat Restaurant that is run by his daughter.
We could have spent days there looking at everything this man created.
Lulu also got a hair cut 
and a manicure

After 5 days we moved to Wauchula for a week.  Yesterday we drove to Lake Wales, FL and visited Bok Tower Gardens

This is the entrance and over the door it says
"Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it."
 The gardens are a National Historic Landmark.  Mr. Bok created this gardens and gave it as a gift to the American people.  The garden was designed by Frederick Olmsted, Jr.  He also paid to have a Singing Tower with tile mosaics, animal carvings, custom ironwork and daily carillon concerts.

The Singing Tower
You can sit outside and watch a live monitor and view the man playing the carillon inside of the "Singing Tower"
Brass door into the Singing Tower.  Mr. Bok is buried in the lawn in-front of the door.

The marble is beautiful

This is a small building called the Window by the Pond.  You go inside and sit on benches and look 

out of a window at whatever wildlife is present.

This is a cool clock - you stand on whatever month it is and your shadow tells you the time.

Relaxing on one of the many benches just enjoying the beauty.

The weather was perfect and we spent a very enjoyable day at Bok Tower Gardens