Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2010: 14

  Monday, April 19, we drove to Budget Rental in Naples and picked up a Chevy Cobalt rental car. We were on the road by 9:00 AM. We made good time as we drove north on I75 and then east on I10 to I95. We ate lunch in a Pizza Hut in Ocala, FL. We stayed overnight in Pooler, GA. We walked for an hour along the sad-looking strip. We ate dinner in a Mexican restaurant. We watched "House" and "24", with all of the commercials, before turning in for the night.

  Tuesday morning, we arose at 5:30 AM and went to breakfast in the motel. We got on the road by 7:00 AM and headed north on I95. Travel was easy and fast. We ate lunch at a Subway. We went over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel, and stopped for the night in Cape Charles, VA at a nice motel across the highway from StingRay's Restaurant. We drove into Cape Charles and walked for a while. Bill tried a run, but his left knee hurt, so he only ran for a couple of miles. We went to StingRay's for dinner. Later, we watched "Lost" with all of its commercials.

  Wednesday morning, we arose at 6:00 AM. We headed up US 13 and ate breakfast at the Sage Diner a few miles past Exmore, VA. We had a good meal with good service for a reasonable amount of money. We drove to Lewes, DE and parked in the downtown area at around 10:30 AM. We stopped in the bakery for a cappuccino and some lunch to go for Bill. We walked over to the Ernakovich's house and had a chance to talk with Bern for a while. Then, we headed to the ferry terminal. We ate lunch in the terminal and later boarded the 12:45 PM ferry. By the time we arrived in North Cape May, it was raining very hard. We drove to Office Max to print our 2009 return for Cape Bank. We also tried to print some photos, but the guy running the copy center wasn't pretty inept. We headed to the Social Security building on Route 47 and Bill got a verification of SSN for the Bank. Then, we drove to Cape Bank to give them the two documents for our loan application. Finally, we headed home. We found that our electricity was going bonkers with voltage surges and circuit outages. We called a few electricians, but nobody answered. Finally, one of the electricians did pick up and suggested that we call the electric company because it sounded like an outside connection problem. Bill called the electric company and scheduled an emergency visit for the evening. Then, Bill headed to ACME for some shopping. We found that our DirecTV wasn't resumed as it was supposed to be and that our DSL wasn't hooked up either. Bill ate red beans and rice and Cathy ate frozen lasagne. Bill went upstairs and watched three episodes from the first season of "Lost" on DVD. The electric company technician came and cleaned our connections. We were without electricity for about 20 minutes and used candles and a flashlight to see. We both took showers and headed to bed.

  Thursday morning, we breakfasted in our house with our normal meals: oatmeal and toast. As soon as possible, Bill called Verizon to solve the DSL issues and got connected to the Internet. DirecTV was still not working. Bill talked with Paula and Linda. We drove to Office Max and printed directions to the Boathouse Restaurant and some photos of Jim Sosna. We went to Starbucks and then to Linda Keech's house to deliver the printouts and offer our condolences. We arranged to go to lunch with Linda and the girls later in the day and headed home. Bill called DirecTV again and got it working. We met Linda, Leah, and Kelsey at Harborview Restaurant for a late lunch at around 2:30 PM. We had a table with a beautiful view of the Cape May harbor and were able to reminisce about happier days. After lunch, we headed to ACME to shop for a few items. When we got back home, we walked 6 miles to the Canal and back. We had frozen pizza for dinner and watched a few episodes of "Lost" from the first season.

  Friday was the day of the memorial service for Jim Sosna. After breakfast, Bill went to Quest Diagnostics in Rio Grande to get blood drawn for a PSA test. He stopped at Starbucks and gassed up the rental car on the way home. Bill dropped some trash at the Lower Township recycling center. Our daughter Alex joined us for a light lunch and then for the service at the Lighthouse Church and a reception at the Boathouse Restaurant in Wildwood afterward. The service was very uplifting and included a dramatic reading of Bill's tribute to Jim as well as several other tributes. Son Bill and Stacey sent some beautiful flowers. Jim's friends Pat and Marvin hosted a great reception on the water at the Boathouse. A wonderful crabcake dinner was served to all attending. We left at 5:50 PM and took the the 6:00 PM ferry to Lewes and then drove to the Hampton Inn in Emporia, VA, arriving at about 1:00 PM.

  Saturday, we had an easy drive to the open house at the new Merck building in Durham, NC. We made a stop at a Starbucks and then met Tom and Katie, their kids, and Tom's parents and sister at the facility. We had two tours of different areas, the first led by Tom. We enjoyed seeing the state-of-the-art facility. Afterward, we went in three cars to a pizza shop for lunch. Bill, Cathy, Katie, and Rachel went to the Science Museum for a while before heading to Katie and Tom's house in Carrboro, NC. We had Thai take-out for dinner.

  Sunday morning, Bill and Katie had a nice 5K run:

on the Bolen Creek Greenway, starting at the Community Park on Estes in Chapel Hill. We ate lunch at the house and then the non-local Leitch's left. Bill, Katie, and Rachel went to Harris Tweeter, where Bill enjoyed a cappuccino. Back at the house, Tom and Bill worked on getting Bill a cheap set of hybrid pedals and mountain bike shoes for his Rapido. Tom convinced Bill that it would help him keep his leg muscles in balance. We drove to Durham to meet with Matt and Erin (Bill and Cathy's niece) and their son Robert. We ate outside at Mr. Fuji Restaurant in the Brightleaf Square. The food was good and the service poor. When we got back to the house, Bill ordered his pedals and mountain bike shoes from Performance Bike.

  Monday, April 26, we left just after Katie, Tom, and the kids took off for the day. We got on the road a bit before 8:00 AM and headed toward South of the Border on US 15/501. We hit I95 at the border and continued south to I295, I10, and I75. We arrived at the Sleep Inn in Ocala at around 5:30 PM. After cleaning up, we went out to dinner at Carrabbas. We returned to our room in time to view "House" and "24" before turning in.

  Tuesday, we got up at 5:30 AM and went down to breakfast around 6:15 AM. We checked out and were on the road by 7:00 AM. Driving was easy as we did two USA Today crossword puzzles en route to Naples. Cape Bank called while we were still in the car and said that our home equity loan was pre-approved. We arrived at Rock Creek at 10:30 AM. We unpacked the rental car. Bill talked with Linda Keech while unpacking. Bill went to the office to sign in, to check for mail, and to arrange for a meeting with Jan Nebus at 3:00 PM. We dropped the rental car after filling the gas tank and proceeded in the XTerra to River Walk for lunch. Bill had Caesar Salad with blackened grouper and Cathy had coconut grouper fingers. It was beautiful on the water. Bill told Cathy that he kept expecting Jim Sosna to call and said that he thought that Paula probably felt the same way. Bill called Paula as we were waiting for our food and we both talked with her. After lunch, we went to Starbucks and Publix for some items. We talked with Son Bill. At our meeting with Jan, we agreed on the items for the park model and gave her a deposit of $5000. Later in the afternoon, Cathy went for a walk and then to Happy Hour at the bridge. Bill went out for a practice Du:

When he got back and had showered, the sun was almost down. We had leftover quiche for dinner. We viewed Bill Maher from Friday night and "Pacific" from Sunday night. "Lost" didn't get recorded on the DVR because it was an enhanced rerun.

  Wednesday was sunny and warm. Cathy went to the gym for two classes and then did laundry. Bill went out before 8:00 AM for a 5 hour, 18 mile paddle. He intended to go out Gordon Pass, but the inlet looked very rough, so he headed to Rookery Bay instead. When Bill got back, we had lunch inside the RV. Bill called Kevin Sands to set up an appointment at noon on Friday and called Jan to meet with her and Kevin at 1:00 PM. Bill had a sore throat and felt tired after the paddle. We grilled burgers for dinner.

  Thursday was warm and cloudy. Bill went out for an early interval run:

He started with an easy mile, than a mile at 8:30, then an easy mile, then a half mile at 8:00, then an easy half mile, then a half mile at 8:00, then an easy half mile, then a half mile at 8:30, then an easy half mile. It was a good workout of 7 total miles. Meanwhile, Cathy was at the gym and then shopping at Publix. After the run, Bill prepared for tutoring. He ate an early lunch and then walked to LVCC for a tutoring session with Francisco. Bill's pedals and mountain bike shoes arrived, so Bill assembled them and took a short test ride. We went to Happy Hour on the bridge. Later, we had a quinoa and grilled chicken dinner. We watched several "Daily Shows" on DVR and then watched part of "W." on demand. We closed the RV and put on the A/C due to predicted overnight rain.

  Friday, Cathy went to the gym for two classes. Bill went for a 12.4 mile bike ride with the new pedals and shoes. It was breezy and Bill averaged 13.4 mph. We ate an early lunch and met with Kevin Sands and his son Kevin about the porch for our park model. It was hot and humid, but we met outside in the sun anyway. We gave Kevin a check for $3700 as a deposit on the construction of the porch. At 1:00 PM, we all met with Jan. As a group, we went to site #314 and made measurements. We all agreed on the placement of the park model and porch. Also, we agreed on a 10' x 8' front deck with steps in front, so as to leave us parking for 2 cars in front of the park model and extending to the right for 2 additional feet. When Kevin left, Carol Mentz called with an offer of $728,000 from a couple from Washington Crossing, PA. We quickly countered with $776,000, our latest assessment. We walked downtown to Starbucks. The couple came back with $750,000. We faxed Carol at Office Depot our tax card which showed that last year our house was assessed at $952,000. We asked Carol to clarify our position at the assessed value. We stopped at Publix for water and a few other items. We also came up with a list of furniture we were willing to sell with our prices. We arrived at the prices by taking the lower of Bill and Cathy's value estimates for each item. We drove to Bonefish Grill and had Bang-Bang Shrimp outside with drinks. Then, we went inside and sat at the bar for a good dinner.

  Saturday, we drove to Coconut Point in Estero to shop at the Disney Store for a present for Garrett. Then we ate lunch outside at California Pizza. After lunch, Cathy bought a pair of shorts at Dillards. We also bought some greeting cards at Barnes and Noble. We drove down to Naples on the Run so that Bill could pick up his packet for Sunday's Tropicool 5K race. We stopped at NAPA to replace our left fisheye mirror on the XTerra. Stacey called with a suggestion for a birthday present for Son Bill. When we got back to the RV, Bill bought a present online with 2 day shipping. Cathy went for a walk while Bill started the RV and ran the engine for a while. We had pasta for dinner and viewed the movie "Passengers" - good story with interesting plot twists. During the day, Bill received his PSA results from Quest Labs. His number is down to 2, which is in normal range. His "girlie man" pills must have been working.

  Sunday morning started at 4:30 AM for Bill as he prepared for the Tropicool 5K race in the historic district of Naples. He watched CNN's coverage of the unexploded car bomb found in Time Square on Saturday night. The race went well:

Bill had a good first mile, but struggled with the humidity to hang on and finish with a sub-8 minute pace. Bill went to Bad Ass Coffee afterward for a cappuccino. Cathy did a load of laundry in the morning. Bill found a 2008 Freedom Express on sale for $39,000; it only has 8,000 miles on it. We ate lunch in the RV. Then, we walked downtown to Bay Front to the Taste of Collier Festival. The temperature was in the 90s and it was humid. After walking around for a while, we walked over to Cambier Park and lay on our beach towels for a Jazz Band concert. We stopped at Oakes Farm for a couple of items on the way back. Later, we went to dinner at Carrabbas. When we came back, we researched Park Models in the Cape May area and sent a couple of emails. We also emailed Carol Menz with a new idea for a counter offer on our house. We ran the A/C overnight.  

        Bill and Cathy