Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2007: 7

  On Wednesday, February 28, after breakfast and some weightlifting, we walked to Publix for some supplies. We ate lunch in the RV. After lunch, we rode our bikes to the east to locate the Starlite Fishing boat which we planned to take on Thursday. On the way back, we stopped at the visitor center for a map and some advice on restaurants. After returning and cleaning up, we walked a couple of miles to the Key Fisheries Restaurant. We enjoyed outside, on the water dining with very fresh fish. This was one of those restaurants with an "order window" where there is a waiting line. To identify our order, we had to pick a movie title. Bill chose " Quo Vadis". It was still a beautifully warm evening when we walked back to the RV park. We slept with the windows open. On Thursday, we did our laundry. Afterward, we walked to a jewelry shop where Cathy left her ring for the diamond setting to be adjusted. We ate lunch in the RV. After lunch, we rode our bikes to the Starlite. It was a very hot and humid day, so "on the water" was just the right place to be. Cathy bought a "rider" ticket for half price; Bill bought the " fishing" ticket and rented one of the rickety boat rods. The regulars were lined up along the stern with fancy equipment and live shrimp, pinfish, and other fancy bait. The few of us that were nonregulars used squid for bait and were relegated to the sides of the boat. After a half hour ride, we arrived at the reef, where the Starlite anchored. A chum bag was hung off of the stern for the benefit of the regulars. In spite of inferior equipment, bait, and fishing position, Bill did pretty well: 2 dozen of the usual Grunts, 5 Porgies, 2 Doctor Fish, and a nice Hog Snapper. We rode home with filets from the Hogfish and the best 3 Porgies. We arrived home at sunset and had a nice fresh fish dinner. Later, we enjoyed a session of "Lost". On Friday, after breakfast, we walked across Route 1 to Crane Point, a museum and wild area with walking trails and a couple of historic homes. We enjoyed the museum and walking around the grounds. Afterward, we walked to Latitudes Restaurant, opposite Sombrero Country Club. We had a very good pizza and enjoyed the air conditioning. After lunch, we walked along the Marina and then walked back to Publix for supplies. Later, we walked across Route 1 to a Blockbuster and rented 2 DVDs. We enjoyed another good fish dinner and watched "RV" during and after dinner. We enjoyed the movie and recognized a couple of the awkward situations from our own RVing. Thankfully, we've never had a "blackwater geyser". We talked with Son Bill and Stacey after dinner. On Saturday, March 3, after Bill sealed a leaky kitchen sink, we decided to rent some dock space for Bill's Yak Board. As we were walking around to the boat ramp with the kayak, one of the park staff took the kayak on his golf cart and drove it to the ramp. Bill finally launched his kayak after hauling it around all winter. He took an hour's paddle along the mangroves at the ocean's shore to the west. The high temperature of the day and the warm water made it a very comfortable trip. While Bill was paddling, Cathy walked to Publix for supplies. After lunch, we rode our bikes to Sombrero Beach where we sat in the shade of a palm tree for a while. We toured all of the streets of the nearby upscale neighborhood on our way back. We picked up some water in Publix on the way back to the RV. We enjoyed the air conditioning for the remainder of the hot afternoon. Bill worked on computer updates. For dinner, we walked to Herbie's Restaurant, where we enjoyed a good dinner of fresh fish. We splurged on a decadent dessert called "Herbie's Bananas", which gave us plenty of energy for the walk back. We viewed "Friends with Money" which was OK for a chick flick. On Sunday morning, we tried to open the windows and turn off the air conditioner, but the no-see-ums were in a murderous mood, so we switched back to encapsulation. When we got going for the day, we rode our bikes to the old Seven Mile Bridge and walked out and back on the bridge. We stopped for lunch at the Seven Mile Grille and had good meals. When we returned to the RV, Bill got his stuff together and went out fishing on the Yak Board using frozen shrimp for bait. He caught 2 small fish: a Blue Runner and a Grunt. We had burgers in the RV for dinner. We viewed "White Countess" - very well done, a great cast and a compelling plot. On Monday, March 5, the day started with a cool wind. Bill ran and Cathy walked out to Sombrero Beach. The sun quickly warmed the day. After lunch, we walked to the nearby jewelry shop to pick up Cathy's ring. We also did a shopping walk to Publix. We had tortellini for dinner and watched "24" later. On Tuesday, we took a bike ride to the end of the bike trail in Grassy Key. It was very windy, but otherwise a very nice day for a bike ride. After lunch, Bill went out in the wind for a kayak paddle where he stayed very close to the shoreline. We viewed the hilarious "Borak" on DVD. On Wednesday morning, we walked to IHOP for breakfast and then picked up a rental PT Cruiser at Enterprise at the Marathon Airport. We were in Key West by 10:00 AM and parked at the parking garage near the Historic Seaport. We wandered around, Bill had a cappuccino at Bad Ass Coffee, and we ate lunch at the Schooner Wharf Bar. We spent the afternoon wandering around and sitting in the shade at Mallory Square, doing the NY Times Crossword Puzzle on the Pocket PC. Cathy had a lengthy conversation with a homeless guy as we sat there. We met Ruth Ann and Harry at Mangoes for a great dinner. We got back to the RV at a bit after 10:00 PM. We were a few minutes late to watch "Lost", so we intended to catch up at Bill and Stacey's next week. On Thursday morning, Cathy did the laundry while Bill did a supermarket run in the rental car. After the shopping, Bill returned the rental at the airport. By the time he got back to the RV, Cathy had finished the laundry. We both walked back to Publix for some more shopping. Bill made an error in judgement and bought some frozen shrimp bait at K-Mart on the way back. After lunch, Bill headed out to fish in his kayak and Cathy took a walk. Bill suffered with disintegrating bait and caught no fish, but was out for a good bit of the afternoon. At one point, 2 big Spotted Eagle Rays came close to the kayak, making Bill a bit nervous. As Bill returned up the canal, a small Dolfin surfaced in front of him. After Bill got back, we watched games from the basketball league tourneys. Bill cooked himself a faux cheesesteak for dinner to match up with Cathy's hamburger. On Friday, we did a walk/run after breakfast. It was hot and humid, but we knew that our days were numbered (5) for being in this climate, so we didn't complain. We got back for lunch. Right after lunch, Bill went out for a windy 2 hour paddle. The breeze made for hard paddling, but felt very refreshing. We talked with Son Bill during the late afternoon. For dinner, we walked to the Barracuda Grill and enjoyed an outstanding, but somewhat pricey dinner. On Saturday, March 10, we walked to the Marathon Seafood Festival. The show cost $7 per person, but was pretty interesting with crafts, boats, and music in addition to food for sale. We walked back via the bait store to pick up some frozen shrimp for Bill to use. We ate lunch in the RV. Bill went out for a couple of hours of fishing. Actually, Bill fed shrimp to some bait-stealing fish. After the fishing paddle, we carried the kayak back to our campsite. Later, we went back to the Barracuda Grill for another great meal. We set the clocks forward before turning in for the night. On Sunday morning, we rode our bikes to the Old Seven Mile Bridge and then walked to Pigeon Key. We saw four Sharks, several Rays, Tarpons, and three Sea Turtles as we walked along. We stopped at Key Fisheries for a good waterside lunch. After we dropped off the bikes, we walked to Publix for a last shopping trip. Then, Bill worked on securing the kayak and bikes to the RV. We ate dinner in the RV. After Bill got a shower, he went out and took care of the tanks and stowing the various hoses. On Monday morning, we exited the campground around 7:10 AM and ate breakfast at a coffee shop right up the road. We enjoyed good visibility in spite of some sporatic rain as we drove up and out of the Keys. We visited three locations in Everglades National Park and saw lots of Alligators. We ate lunch with a view at Flamingo, on the Florida Bay near Cape Sable. Finally, about 2:00 PM, we started to head back north. We drove on the Florida Turnpike once we drove the 40 miles out of the Everglades. We had to detour around 50 miles to Lake Wales to find a campground, where we arrived shortly after 7:00 PM. We found Fox with our TV antenna so that we could view "24". We ate tortellini in the RV for dinner. On Tuesday morning, we let our GPS navigator lead us up U.S. 27 to the Florida Turnpike. We didn't know it at the time but we missed a huge pileup with fatalities on the turnpike right around where we would have camped had we been able to find a campground; a 50 mile stretch of the turnpike was closed in both directions for 9 hours. We stopped at around 2:30 PM at a KOA about 200 miles from Bill and Stacey's house. We found a nice nature trail to walk on. Also, we lucked into both HBO and Showtime on cable TV. We ate in the RV and watched Niagra win the "play-in" game in the NCAA tournament. On Wednesday morning, we broke camp early (but it wasn't bright because of the new daylight savings time schedule) and headed up I75. We arrived at the Publix near Bill and Stacey's house at around 11:00 AM. We shopped a bit and then drove to Bill and Stacey's. We dropped off the RV and went with Stacey to eat lunch at a Cuban Restaurant in Alpharetta. Then we went to Barnes and Noble before picking up Sarah and Billy at daycare. We took them home and spent the afternoon playing with the kids. Cathy made a great dinner of Shrimp Etouffee. We were ready for a real bed again after more than a month.


        Bill and Cathy