Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2006: 8

  We drove to Ft. Myers via Alligator Alley (I75), where we saw many 'gators sunning themselves. We were early so we killed an hour at a Starbucks near Naples where we read the NY Times. We arrived at Shannon's townhouse just before noon. After a tour of Shannon's new digs, we ate a refreshing lunch of fruit and cheese. Shannon's dog Jack was friendly to us; we had heard that he was very discriminating. After lunch we walked 4 miles to the local nature center. En route, we saw an alligator in the canal, deciding whether we were worth the effort of a chase. Bill figured that he wouldn't be the one eaten in a footrace, so he wasn't worried. The alligator decided not to pursue us. We walked around the nature trail at the center and then walked back to Shannon's home. We watched some basketball and then had a great dinner out at Bistro 41. On Sunday morning, we enjoyed an early breakfast with Shannon and then headed north in the RV. We arrived at the Nature's Resort Campground in Homosassa Springs just after lunch. We settled in to our campsite on a river bank and then walked to Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. We found the underwater viewing area just above the spring to be fascinating. We viewed many fish and three manatees as we looked through the windows. We also enjoyed the Manatee presentation. We walked back to the campground and arrived in our rig just in time to see UConn lose to George Mason in the NCAA Tournament. During and after dinner, we watched Villanova self-destruct against the University of Florida. Our campsite was right across the river from a wildlife refuge with many species of birds. Bill enjoyed viewing and photographing birds with his binoculars-cam. On Monday morning, we drove toward Georgia. Ironically, we passed through Gainesville, home of the University of Florida. Bill had attended a UF/FSU football game here back in 1960 when he matriculated at Florida State University for a year of partying. The 'Gators beat Bill's team on that occasion also. We stopped at a very nice RV Park in Perry, GA called Fair Harbor. This campground has free wireless Internet available, so Bill gathered in his email and caught up on the Red Cross website. We walked into Perry, but didn't quite reach the downtown area. Nearby are Plains, the home of Jimmy Carter, and the notorious Andersonville. We will try to return to this area again when we have a couple of days to explore. We left at 9:00 AM on Tuesday and headed to Stacey and Bill's home in Cumming. We arrived at noon. Stacey worked at home for the day, so we saw her immediately, and Bill and Sarah returned home at around 5:00 PM. Sarah immediately showed us her prowess in walking. We enjoyed take-out Thai and Chinese from the Rice Restaurant in Cumming. Sarah got us all up early on a foggy and chilly Wednesday morning. The three Georgia McArthurs headed to work (and play). Cathy and Bill went for a hike on the Laurel Ridge Trail at Lake Lanier. The fog lifted and the day grew warmer as we hiked. Then we drove to Atlanta Bread for lunch. Before heading back, we shopped at Publix. Cathy prepared a good salmon dinner for the four of us plus Stacey and Bill's friend and colleague, Niti. We had wonderful strawberries for dessert. Thursday and Friday we enjoyed the company of Stacey and Sarah while Bill was working. The weather was sunny and warm, Spring was in the air. We took Sarah to the playground at the entrance to the neighborhood where she could swing and play in the grass. We bought Sarah an early birthday present of a Little Tykes swing and slide. The expected assembly time was 20 minutes; we stopped counting when 60 minutes had elapsed. Eventually, we got it assembled and Sarah got to play on it. Our dinner plans for Friday night were changed when the babysitter cancelled due to food poisoning. We opted for Indian take-out. On Saturday, we all went to Babies-R-Us and had Sarah's first year photos taken. She was a real trooper and tried her best to cooperate in an enterprise which she didn't understand fully. We had a cookout on Saturday night and watched NCAA basketball. On Sunday, we headed north in the RV. We drove to Winchester, VA and stayed in the very nice Candy Land Campground there. On Monday, we finished our trip home, arriving around 1:30 PM. This ends our shortened "On the Road" season for 2006. Our adventures continue at

        Bill and Cathy