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DAYS AT BURNT STORE MARINA
Yesterday was the Ebel's anniversary, and ours was Oct. 25 when Jim
was heading south and I was home. So we went out together to the
"Perfect Caper" restaurant in Punta Gorda. It was upscale, but there was
a part of the menu that gave a less expensive option: $20 choices with
soup, salad, or appetizer included. Jim and I both had roasted chicken
breast in a red pepper sauce with spinach and mashed potatoes. Sounds
simple, but the seasoning and way it was prepared was the most delicious
meal I've ever had. We had rosemary bread with oil for dipping. Dessert
was gingerbread cake with coffee ice cream. It was a nice evening.
The wind was fierce all day, hitting over 40 MPH and we heard waves on the harbor were up to 5+ feet
from a boater who had come in. The water was being pushed into our basin, and as the tide rose, so did
the water more than usual. The wind blew over my Norfolk pine tree, and there was dirt all over the
cockpit. What a muddy mess! When we got back from dinner, we had 1 inch left before the water would
come over the dock! Jim tied the boat out from both sides, so we floated like a spider in a web. To get
Lily off, we had to untie a line, mark it with tape, and she jumped DOWN from the swim deck to the
dock. Usually the swim deck is 4 feet BELOW the dock here. Water splashed on the docks all night.
Luckily this morning, the water returned to normal and the winds have died down some, but still blowing. A
cold front has moved in, bringing temps in the 60's. I like the chill, so this feels good to me!
Mrs. Claus My new little Norfolk pine Our Christmas tree This is hard to do!
We went to church today at Friendship United Methodist Church. It's a small church with one 10:00
service which is what we wanted. It's situated in a round about neighborhood of homes off the main
highway and surrounded by pines trees. The other 2 churches in the area have much bigger congregations
with 3 services each Sunday. Everyone was very friendly, and the choir sang 6 anthems. There was a lot
of music! We plan to go there for Christmas Eve at 7:00 which is the only service. After church we went
to Burnt Store Cafe for a breakfast sandwich, then on to Fisherman's Village. It's a marina and also a
cute mall with gift shops. I bought a Christmas light necklace that blinks which should be fun to wear this
week and for New Years. I may just wear it for all special occasions! Jim finally got our TV in the salon
to work with the new digital box. Tomorrow we will get the bikes off and start our exercise routine each
day. There are miles and miles to ride around here...all nice and flat and very scenic. There are several
manatees in our basin, but hard to get pictures since they come up for air with their noses, snort, and go
back under. The weather is in the 60s, but will be back to the 70s by Tuesday.
Pictures just sent to us by our friends on "Grand Finale" as we traveled through the Okeechobee
DECEMBER 25 MERRY CHRISTMAS!
We had Christmas lunch with Myra and Robert who live in Cape Coral and invited local traveling boaters
to join them. They are also members of AGLCA and MTOA and saw our posting of us being here at
Burnt Store Marina. It was a beautiful dinner with ham, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, string
beans with onion rings, and beans. It was so nice to be able to spend time with new friends. At 4:00
we went to Porto Bellos for a buffet dinner with Rita and Graham and another couple from their
building who we met last year.
Golden Lily docked on Q doc Graham and Rita
There's a manatee in the foreground
Yesterday, the 26th, we rode our bikes 6 miles for one ride. My bike odometer is set for km's, so I
did 10K. We rode through many little communities of houses. It's amazing how many are tucked away
here on private streets. There aren't many for sale, but when we saw one that had a Take One sheet,
we did just to see the prices and what each home had to offer. There is just about everything here for
any one's needs, from homes close to 1 million to tiny duplex houses and high rise condos. Every tree and
piece of grass is landscaped and kept up perfectly. Our Looper friends on Queen Ann's Revenge are
leaving tomorrow and we were glad we had the chance to spend time with them last evening on their boat
with their friends who now live here.
Today, the 27th, we decided to go to Burnt Store Presbyterian Church. They have 3 services, the first
and third being traditional with large choir and organ, but we thought we'd try the middle one which is
contemporary and "come as you are". It was perfect for us. There were about 100 people, had 16
singers to lead with songs, a band with electronic organ, keyboard, flute, guitar, and drums. We sang
Joy to the World with a different beat, but same tune, all very bouncy. The minister wore a Hawaiian
shirt and walked around the pews as he spoke. They gave us a welcome package of popcorn with a "Thank
you for popping" in, plus a bag of information and a mug. We signed up to go to the Latin dinner on Jan. 6
and then they have small groups that meet after that which we plan to do.
Later in the evening we went to Lulu's for dinner. Rita had coupons for "have one dinner and get one
free". Jim and I both had roasted chicken, garlic sauteed spinach, and sweet baked sweet potato. We
then went to Fisherman's Village and took the boat cruise to see the lights on the canal. It was nice to
have a boat ride where I didn't have to DO ANYTHING! The people who lived along the canals of Punta
Gorda had their houses decorated unbelievably beautiful. My camera didn't really get good shots of the
fantastic light show we had.
Today Jim and I took a ride to the Orange Juice factory in Ft. Myers. I had 8 cups of fresh squeezed
OJ, as they give free samples, plus several pieces of fresh oranges. We bought a bag of navel oranges
and some honey oranges that are the sweetest. We then drove to an RV dealer and Jim checked out a
Dutch Star motor home. It is a 2 year old model, yet brand new and a good price. We like the boat but
would like to take some land trips over the next 2 years in between our boating trips. We'll see!
We have been riding our bikes between 5 and 10 miles each day. Yesterday I did 12 miles. We are
feeling better with the daily exercise. Tonight, New Year's Eve, we went out to dinner with the Ebel's
and 5 other couples to an Italian restaurant. We then were invited by friends to the penthouse of
Harbor Towers where the Ebel's live. We had a gorgeous view of 3 directions from the 8th floor and
saw 4 different firework's display from Punta Gorda. WOW!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Graham and Rita Happy New Year!