and Cathy McArthur on
the Road 2009:
Monday, March 23, found us back to our campground routine. Bill got up at 6:25 AM and went out to buy the papers. Cathy went to her exercise class. We both went out for a walk/run where Bill ran for 5K. We we returned to the RV, we talked with Jim Sosna, still freezing back in the North. We drove to Starbucks and Publix for some shopping. After lunch, Bill went out in a pretty strong east wind for a 10 mile kayak paddle. He hugged the eastern shore of Naples Bay and explored the interesting Haldeman Creek. He paddled under Shadowlawn Road and up to US 41, where the creek was choked by mangroves. We had an early dinner and went to line dancing at the clubhouse. Afterward, we viewed the "Lost" episode that we had missed on iTunes.
Tuesday was a beautifully warm day. We decided to drive to Sanibel Island to visit the Ding Darling wildlife refuge. The traffic picked up as we neared the Sanibel causeway and continued as we toured the island. We parked at the refuge visitors center and hiked up the refuge road. We saw a couple of interesting things: a reddish egret and an otter; however, there were not many birds or animals to see there. We drove on to Captiva Island and ate lunch at the Blue Flash Grill which had a better view than food. We were low on gas and found the only gas station on the island. The price at $1.99 per gallon was less than the nearby mainland stations. We were in a mini traffic jam for a while as we exited the island. We stopped at Starbucks and Publix on the way back to the RV. Cathy played bridge at the clubhouse. Later, we viewed "24" on iTunes.
Wednesday was a very breezy day. In spite of a small craft warning, Bill accompanied our neighbor Bud and a couple of other fishermen 17 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico. The wind started out from the east and changed to the southeast as the day went on. The boat bounced around at anchor in the 3 to 5 foot seas. We caught fish, but they were mostly Grunts. As the waves increased in size, we pulled anchor and headed in at 9-10 mph. It took us almost 2 hours to get back to Gordon Pass. We still had time to fish, so we headed to Rookery Bay and anchored near the mangroves. We caught a bunch of big sharks and a few other species. We were sheltered from the wind and enjoyed the clear sky and temperature in the 80s. Finally, we cruised back up Naples Bay. Bill got back at about 5:00 PM. We viewed our DVRed copy of "24" and turned in early.
Thursday was another nice day. Cathy started out with a couple of loads of laundry while Bill caught up with his computer journaling. We went out for a walk/run where Bill ran for 5K. After lunch, Bill worked on the Internet information for the Coombs/Douglass Memorial Bay Run and set up the registration online at Active.com. We drove to Bealls to get Bill a pair of trousers for the Philharmonic concert that night. Bill only had shorts and jeans along for the season in Naples. Bill got a pair of white ducks. Afterward, we shopped at Starbucks and Publix. Back at the RV, we got dressed and drove to pick up Jack and Sue Beatty. We ate a light dinner at BrickTops Restaurant in the Water Shops in North Naples. We loved the food, service, and ambience. Following dinner, we walked over to the Philharmonic Hall and attended the introduction to the night's concert. We remained in our seats for a great concert, culminating with Beethoven's Fifth Symphony (Da Da Da Dum). When we got back to the RV, we viewed Villanova's crushing defeat of Duke in the NCAA basketball tournament. We actually stayed up past midnight!
Friday's weather was mid-80s, clear, and very windy. Cathy went to her exercise class. Bill went out at around 10:30 AM for a very windy 6 mile kayak paddle on the Gordon River. Because of the wind and an imminent new moon, the water level in the river and Rock Creek was extremely high. After lunch, we walked to the beach via Starbucks. We lay on the beach for an hour and then headed back via Oakes Farm for some groceries. We stopped in at Bud and Marty's RV before getting to our own site. We grilled pork and veggie burgers for dinner and watched NCAA basketball as we ate. We watched the early games and then viewed our DVRed "Lost" episode. We watched some of the late games before heading to bed.
Saturday was Villanova's day around our RV. It was a hot and humid day which reminded us of the weather in Key West. We got off to a late start for a walk/run where Bill ran for 5 sweaty miles. After lunch we searched for the Bed Bath and Beyond, at the corner of Airport Road and Pine Ridge in Naples, to buy a pillowtop mattress pad for home. We visited all four of the corners at the intersection and tried to find our quest at Target before calling the store and locating it. The advertised address on the Internet and on our GPS is incorrect. We bought the mattress pad and drove to Publix for some shopping. We skipped Starbucks because Bill got a cappuccino at Target earlier. We started watching NCAA basketball with the UConn/Missouri game during late afternoon. We grilled chicken and vegetables for dinner while we watched the Villanova/Pitt game. Villanova prevailed and everything was right in the universe.
Sunday was a rare rainy day. We had a brief downpour at about 3 AM which caused Bill to close all of the windows and vents and put the AC fan on. Later, after we had finished the Times crossword, the rain was continuous for a few hours. Finally, Cathy got out for a walk at about 4:00 PM, but Bill rested his achilles tendon and watched NCAA basketball. Toward the end of the second game, we drove to Bonefish Grill and enjoyed dinner at a high table while we watched the end of the basketball game and saw Tiger Woods win a golf tournament. When we got back, we watched a pleasant movie, "Nim's Island."