and Cathy McArthur on
the Road 2009: 6
Sunday, February 15,
began with heavy fog again. Bill found it strange to awake and eat breakfast by himself. He did part of the Sunday Times crossword and then rode his bike to Bad Ass Coffee. It was a beautiful day once the fog burned off. After returning, Bill finished the crossword. Then, he pulled out all of the camping gear and checked it out. Everything seemed OK. Bill called Rachel and sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Tom and Jean came over with Jean's sister and family and had a quick tour of our RV. They are thinking about taking a cross-country tour this summer. Bill had peanut butter/banana rollups for lunch. Then, he got his kayaking gear together and went for a 3.5 hour paddle down the west side of Naples Bay to the inside of Gordon Pass. There were tons of boats out there, but they were under the weekend and holiday no speeding rule, so it was no problem to paddle near the shore. By the time Bill got back, it was after 5:00 PM. Bill got a shower, dumped the tanks, and turned on HBO. He had peanut butter and Wheat Thins for dinner. He topped off the meal with two peanut butter Power Bars. He hoped that there was no Salmonella in any of his meals. Cathy spent the day in Ft. Myers, at sister-in-law Shannon's.
Monday was a very warm day. Bill ate a normal breakfast, straightened the RV, did the Times crossword, and went out for a 5 mile run. By the time he got back to the RV, Cathy, JoAnn, Shannon, and Charlie were there. Bill quickly changed and the group headed out for a tour of Naples for JoAnn. After the tour, we drove to the Isle of Capri Fish House for lunch on the water. Next, we drove into Marco Island and, on the way out, did a quick drive through of the small town Goodland. We continued on to Turner River Road and looked at the alligators and swimming anhingas. We drove to Everglades City and made a brief stop at the National Park Office, where Bill bought a marine chart of the 10,000 Islands area. We drove to the end of the road and visited Smallwood's Store in Chokoloskie. On the way out of town, we stopped for coffee at our usual coffee shop. We got back to our RV shortly after 4:30 PM. The others left for Fort Myers while Bill went over to the campground wine and cheese party for a short time. Later, Bill returned to the RV and showered and cooked dinner. After viewing "Platoon" again, Bill started to read "Shadow Country", a re-integrated trilogy about the area around Chokoloskie.
Tuesday morning was chilly. Bill realized that he was out of coffee and had forgotten to buy some, so he ate breakfast without caffeine. After doing the Times crossword, he called Cathy and arranged to arrive in Fort Myers after lunch. Bill researched free security software from Comcast and found this link. Bill rode his bike to Bad Ass Coffee. Afterward, he drove toward Camping World at around 10:15 AM. He discovered that "Camping" should be "RV", because there isn't much in the way of real camping gear in the store. Bill picked up a #921 light bulb for our RV and 4 gallons of RV antifreeze for the end of the season. A clerk told him to go to "Pro Bass World" about 11 miles south, so that's what Bill did. Bill was able to get all of the supplies that he needed in that fishing/hunting/camping Mecca. Next, Bill found a Starbucks for more coffee and a reduced-fat muffin for lunch. On the way to Shannon's, Bill stopped at the same gas station as Saturday evening. This time, the gas hose kept spewing after the tank was full. Bill managed to shut the hose off after a bit of a struggle with a stuck piece in the handle assembly. When Bill arrived at Shannon's, he washed off his feet and sandals and splashed a bucket of water on the side of the XTerra to get rid of the gasoline. Bill spent a couple of hours trying to rid Shannon's computer of the remnants of PC-illin. He talked with technical support from Comcast, McAfee, and Trend Micro, but the Vista operating system prevented him from finishing the job. Another hour would have allowed him to complete the mission. Cathy and Bill drove JoAnn to the airport on their way back to Naples. We went to Publix for some shopping and then to a very crowded Carrabbas for dinner, where we ate at the bar. After we put all of our stuff away back at the RV and took showers, Bill studied the charts of the Everglades until bedtime.
Wednesday morning was chilly again. Cathy went to her exercise class. Bill worked on some programming for JSSKA, his kayaking association. Cathy did laundry later in the morning. Bill's new Keen sandals arrived. By lunchtime, the day had become warm and humid. After lunch, we went for a walk/run where Bill ran for 5K. During mid-afternoon, we drove to Wal-Mart for some items. Then we stopped at Starbucks on the way back to the RV. After dinner, we attended the euchre game in the clubhouse. When we returned, we viewed our DVRed "Lost."
Thursday morning was warmer. Bill launched about 10:00 AM for a three hour, 9.5 mile paddle down Naples Bay. There were a lot of very large boats moving fast and throwing big wakes. Bill didn't do much fishing as he worked to handle the rough water. It was windy but very warm and a good trip. After Bill ate lunch and took a shower, we went to Starbucks and Publix for some general shopping and to buy supplies for Bill's kayak/camping trip the following week. We stopped at Walgreen Drugs to buy Albolene for Cathy to remove her clown makeup from the upcoming Mardi Gras parade. The family bible from Bill's brother Bob arrived. We went to the first part of Happy Hour and then went to dinner at Bonefish Grill with Tom and Jean Reilly. We had a great time at an outdoor table.
Friday was sunny, chilly, and windy. At 8:30 AM, we joined two other couples, Tom and Jean and Greg and Carol, in renting a boat at the Port O Call Marina across from Tin City. We left at 9:00 AM and motored to Marco Island. It was a beautiful day, but too windy for real comfort. Bill and Tom helped to navigate using a couple of charts and Bill's GPS. Greg did a good job at the helm. When we got back to Naples Bay, we motored up into Port Royal to see how the rich were doing. They seemed to be doing OK. After returning the boat, we ate lunch at the Boat House Restaurant near the town pier. When we got back to the RV, we just chilled out for the remainder of the afternoon. After dinner we viewed "Multiplicity" on DVD - an oldie, but goodie.
Saturday started in the mid-40s, but went up to around 77 degrees by mid-afternoon. We went out for a walk/run with Bill running for 5K. Afterward, Bill went over to his kayak and cleaned out the inside with paper towels. He was surprised and happy to find it bone dry inside. Bill brought a NASCAR chair, his tent, sleeping bag, and air mattress over to the kayak and found that all of it loaded comfortably in the bow hatch. He unloaded and stripped the kayak, readying it for transport to Everglades City on Monday. After lunch, we walked with Jean and Tom to the Naples Art Show in Cambier Park. The many displays were impressive. We stopped by Starbucks for coffee and then walked back through the show on our way back to the campground. We stopped at Oakes Farm for a few items en route. We grilled burgers for dinner and watched "The Big Lebowski" during dinner. Afterward, we viewed our DVRed copy of "24".
Sunday was a chamber of commerce day in Naples. Bill spent the morning getting all of his gear sorted and stowed in bags. He recruited Tom Reilly to help put the empty kayak on top of the XTerra. We had a bit of a late lunch waiting for Bill to finish up. After lunch, we walked to the beach at 5th Avenue. We lay on the beach for about an hour. There were hordes of people on 5th Avenue and on the beach. It must be partly a Spring Break crowd, partly an Art Show crowd, partly a late February/early March crowd, and partly a golf tournament crowd due to a big tournament at Treviso Bay, a community without homes built yet. After we returned, we went to Starbucks and Publix. We headed back for shower and changing and then headed out looking for a restaurant that we could walk into. We found that we could walk into Carrabbas and sit right down at the counter. We enjoyed our dinner as always. We settled in for Oscar watching.