Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2008: 9  

  Saturday, February 23, was hot and humid. Cathy did a load of wash while Bill tried to catch up on computer work. After lunch, we took a kayak paddle down into Naples Bay. When we returned, Bill set up for a fishing paddle and launched back into Rock Creek. While trolling a gold spoon on Gordon River, just north of the first manatee warning sign and near an underwater shell pile that Bill had noticed on other trips, he hooked up a big fish. It was a good fight with the fish pulling the kayak downstream and diving often. Finally, Bill pulled in the exhausted fish, which was a keeper Redfish (Red Drum). The fish was too big for Bill's plastic bags, so he kept it on the hook with the rod racked and squeezed the fish between his booted feet. As Bill paddled back home, the fish slipped out and went up to the front of the kayak. Bill whacked it with the paddle a few times to quiet it down and had to repeat the paddle whacking a few other times en route. Finally, Bill landed at the ramp with the fish. After showing the fish to Cathy, they both headed to the Gazebo to show the fish to the Happy Hour crowd, who were impressed. Then, with Cathy's help, Bill filleted the 27 inch beauty (the slot is 18-24 inches, with one fish allowed to be bigger). We grilled half of the fish with a Thai marinade and cajun spices (with a nod to K. Paul in NOLA). We enjoyed a wonderful meal while we viewed "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" - a very funny Steve Martin film. Later, we watched the latest episode of "Lost", downloaded from iTunes.

  Sunday was another hot and humid day. Cathy walked 3.4 miles on a sore hip while Bill walked 6.8 miles. After lunch we went to see "Juno" to complete our viewing of the movies nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. Cathy liked the movie and cried a bit during it. Bill found some chuckles in the movie, but thought that it strayed too far to the chick flick side. We went to Happy Hour and then dinner at Frascotis. The dinner was OK, but our waiter was too slow.

  Monday was predicted to be clear, in the 80s, and with a light wind. Cathy suggested that we head for the Everglades National Park for biking and kayaking. We loaded the bikes and kayak on the car and drove to the park. We started with a bike ride to Chokoloski, where we ate a good lunch at the grill that used to be a coffee shop. The electricity went out after our meals were heated up. We rode back to the park and met Lila Donovan from our gym in North Cape May riding the other way on the bike path. We lingered for some conversation and found out that she was staying in Fort Pierce and visiting a friend in Chokoloski. We readied the kayak when we got back to the park. We paddled against the wind and current across a mile of open water and then about 0.8 mile of a fast moving mangrove creek. We landed on Sand Fly Key and walked the 0.9 mile loop around the buggy island. We paddled back with the wind and current. It took a while to load the stuff on the car again. We stopped at Starbucks and Publix on the way back to the campground. Cathy thought that she left her credit card at the restaurant the night before, so we stopped there to ask about it. The manager couldn't find her credit card, so when we got back to the RV, Cathy called her credit card company and reported it lost or stolen. Later, she found the card in her shorts; she had brought it with her on the bike ride. Oh well, a new credit card never hurts. Bill unpacked the toys off of the car. We had grilled chicken and veggie burgers for dinner.

  Tuesday morning found us packing for our trip to Marianne and Bob's house in Belleair, FL. We left at around 9:30 AM and spent 3.5 hours on the road. Marianne, Cathy, and Bill went over to Clearwater Beach for lunch at Frenchy's on the Beach. Then we braved the 30 mph south wind as we walked on the beach. We stopped at Publix and Starbucks on the way back. We enjoyed a great vegetable orzo dinner. It stormed overnight.

  Wednesday was cloudy, cold and windy. Marianne went to a morning doctor's appointment. Afterward, we drove into Tampa to the aquarium where we ate lunch and enjoyed the exhibits and shows. Bob joined us for a good seafood dinner at the Bone Fish Grill in Belleair Bluffs.

  Thursday was sunny, cold and windy. Marianne, Cathy, and Bill drove to Sand Key for a very cold and windy walk on the beach. Then, we ate lunch at Keegan's in Indian Rocks Beach. We enjoyed hearty fare which helped on the cold day. We left for Naples at 1:16 PM and made good time until we encountered a traffic jam caused by closed southbound lanes at mile 143 near Fort Myers. We lost 2 hours in the jam and then more time when we detoured via route 80 east and route 29 south. We finally got back to our RV at 7:00 PM. We viewed the weird old movie, "Blue Velvet", during and after dinner.

  Friday started out cool, but got warm later. Bill did a 3.2 mile speed walk during mid-morning. Then, we went to Cathy's last appointment with her Internist, who prescribed a new medication and gave Cathy some roses as a going away present. We stopped at Starbucks and Publix for some shopping and a cappuccino for Bill. After lunch, we went to Wal-Mart to pick up a few items. We couldn't get RV antifreeze, so we drove to West Marine and ordered 4 gallons to be picked up on the following Tuesday. When we got back, we walked for 3.2 miles. We grilled the second filet from the Redfish and watched "Sibling Rivalry", a bit of a chick flick, during and after dinner.

        Bill and Cathy