Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2010: 20

  Monday, October 25, Bill was up at 5:00 AM. He thought about kayaking, but there was too much to do with the new house. After breakfast, Bill set up the home theater in the Florida room. Cathy vacuumed and Bill Swiffered the whole place. We drove to Oakes Farm and Starbucks/Publix to get a few items. When we got back, Kevin Sands arrived to give us the keys to the Florida room, to check on the few issues that we had, and to receive his final payment. Kevin arranged for Dan, his plumber and electrician, to come over on Thursday morning to caulk the utility room shower, adjust a fan, tighten an outlet, and install three fans in the unit. After Kevin left, we ate lunch and then went to Home Depot, Michael's, and Target to pick up some more items needed for the house. Not long after we returned, the furniture truck arrived with the items we bought on Sunday. We were pleased with the new furniture and how it fit into the unit and the Florida room. Bill grabbed a quick shower to get ready for the arrival of Jean and Tom Reilly, who came at 6:00 PM. We all went to Grouper and Chips for dinner. Jean and Tom said goodbye until January and we headed in to watch the rest of "Leaves of Grass" on the new theater in the Florida room. Cathy took a shower before seeing the end of the movie; Bill thought the film was weird, but quite good.

  Tuesday started for Bill at 5:00 AM. He did two crossword puzzles, one from the Naples Daily News and the other on the NY Times website. He went out early for a warm and humid 5 mile run:

Bill was happy with his split times due to the hot conditions. Afterward, Bill dropped Cathy at the Naples Medical Plaza for her eye appointment at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Meanwhile, the Comcast cable guy was connecting us under the house. When he left, we had basic cable for both TVs, one through the TiVo. Bill ordered a floor to ceiling bike rack for the utility room. When Cathy called, Bill picked her up and brought her home for lunch. Bill went to the office and talked with Jan. She said to wait about 3 weeks to contact Chariot about any deficiencies in the house. We drove to Home Depot for ant spray and shelves for the utility room. Then, we went to Office Max for a computer desk, 2 folding chairs, and a bookcase. The computer desk was on sale for $99, but we got an additional 30% off by accepting one without a box and without assembly instructions. We stopped at Starbucks to fortify Bill for the assembly chore. When we returned home, Bill sprayed for ants around the perimeter of the house. Then, Cathy went to Happy Hour while Bill tried to assemble the desk. After he dropped a screw into a vent, gone forever, Bill drove back to Office Max to take photos of an assembled desk, and to Sunshine Ace Hardware to spend a lot of time trying to get the screw he thought he dropped in the vent. It turned out that he bought 3 variations of the wrong screw. When Bill got home, he showered and cooked quinoa for his dinner. Cathy had a frozen meal. We viewed "The Invention of Lying" - quirky, great cast, kind of dumb. The Florida room was fairly chaotic when we went to bed, with the desk partly assembled, and the bookcase still boxed.

  Wednesday, Bill was up at 5:00 AM. He took a lot of recycling items, especially cardboard, out to the curb for pickup by the park. After breakfast, he did the crossword puzzle in the paper. Then he resumed the assembly of the desk, aided by his photos and occasionally by Cathy. He had to use one wrong screw, but got the desk assembled. Then, he and Cathy assembled the bookcase. When the trash was removed and the room straightened up, it looked mighty good! Bill took some photos of the room for FaceBook. By this time, it was getting to be late morning and the tide was too low for Bill to launch his kayak. We walked to the office to pay for our rent and for the extra water for our washing machine @ $10 per month. Then we drove to Home Depot for some hooks and some gardening supplies. We headed over to Starbucks/Publix for a good bit of shopping afterward. On the way home we dumped a load of trash in the park's dumpster. After lunch, the weather looked somewhat threatening, so Bill decided not to go out in the kayak. Two Century Link guys came by in a truck to make sure that we were DSL ready at the box behind the house. Cathy called Jerry and Lou, our former neighbors at Rock Creek and invited them over. When they arrived, Cathy called Ward and Mo, our current neighbors at Rock Creek, and invited them over. We all enjoyed a nice afternoon of conversation. It was nice to have a place big enough to be able to entertain people. After our visitors left, Bill drove to Home Depot to buy felt pads for the bottom of our furniture. He applied the pads while
Cathy made a quiche for dinner. We viewed "The Good Guy" during and after dinner - Chick Flick. We both took showers later in the evening. Our 2.5 gallon water heater is amazing.

  Thursday, Bill slept until 5:30 AM. He did a crossword in the paper after breakfast. After the sun came up, Bill put on his fuel belt with the iPhone in a pocket, and his wireless headset. He did a 5 mile run:

Although he was very sweaty, the run felt good. When Bill got back, we planted some flowering plants around the power box at the edge of our site. Then, Bill swiffered the whole house and scrubbed the toilets. Cathy went out for a walk along the airport. Bill researched the Amtrak Autotrain and found that we couldn't have the kayak on top. He thought that we would leave the manta here and buy a Cobra Eliminator for the racing scene in Delaware. After researching the details of the Auto Train, we decided that it wasn't cost effective, but Bill still liked his kayak plan. Shortly after noon, Dan Carroll, who works with Kevin Sands, came over to fix a couple of items and to install 3 fans inside our unit. He came with 2 helpers. They adjusted the fans on the porch so that they wouldn't rub as they spun, tightened an outlet on the porch, and caulked the shower in the utility room. After they left, we drove to Lowes to buy two chairs and a table for our front deck. We also stopped at Home Depot to return 3 fan extenders that we didn't need. Finally, we stopped at Starbucks. When we got home, we unpacked and set up the deck furniture and shot a walk-through video. Bill took a shower and then cooked quinoa for his dinner. Cathy had a frozen meal. We viewed "Happy Endings" - confusing story line with some good moments.

  Friday started at 4:45 AM for Bill. He did his crossword puzzle after breakfast and then paid the online bills. He finally got out for a kayak paddle, a 6 mile tour of upper Naples Bay. He barely beat the low water back into the landing. He took a shower in the utility room and discovered a bad leak coming from under the shower. The linoleum was lifting from it. Bill called Dan Carroll and arranged for him to come over around noon on Monday. After lunch, Bill made a run to the recycling center on Enterprise Road. Bill also filled the car with gas and stopped at Starbucks. We went to Happy Hour on the bridge and then enjoyed a pasta dinner as we watched the beautiful film "Baraka."

  Saturday morning found Bill in bed until almost 6:00 AM. We took our time getting packed and ate an early lunch. We left at about 11:45 AM and took the Tamiami Trail to South Beach. We parked at the Aqua Hotel, checked-in, and used valet parking. It was a hot and humid afternoon, just what one should expect in Miami Beach. We got settled in our room and then headed out for a walk along Ocean Avenue toward the south end. We stopped for coffee and a snack for Cathy, who hadn't had lunch. We continued down to South Pointe Park and found the finish line for Sunday's Halloween Half Marathon. Then, we sat along the waterfront of the inlet and watched the boats go in and out. We walked back to the hotel, where Bill took a shower and we watched a bit of football. Around 6:00 PM, we walked to Lincoln Road and ate dinner at an excellent Italian Restaurant: Tiramisu. Bill enjoyed a couple of pasta dishes while Cathy had an outstanding seafood risotto. We had a great time people watching from our sidewalk table. There were many people in costume and a live band played music nearby. The night was balmy as we headed back to the hotel. We asked the desk clerk if Bill could have some coffee available at around 4:00 AM and she said that she would leave a note for the overnight clerk. We watched a bit of TV before heading to bed on very comfortable mattresses.

  Sunday was Halloween, and Bill was up at 4:05 AM. He got dressed in racing gear, got his two bagels and marmalade and went down to the front desk to see if any coffee was available. It wasn't. So Bill trudged back upstairs and ate in the room. He finished his preparations and left the room at about 4:55 AM for his four mile walk to Jungle Island, where the race was to start at 7:00 AM. As Bill walked through South Beach, there were many people still out from the night before, many in costume. There were also a lot of police cars around. The walk over the MacArthur Causeway was beautiful. The Carnival Valor slowly finished a cruise very close by. Bill saw a jogger up on the top deck. Bill was the only participant who chose to walk to the start. Many took cabs and others took the shuttle buses. When Bill arrived on site, he checked his headlight and tank top in a gear bag, found a porta-potty, and did a warm-up run. A tropical cloudburst had people heading for shelter at about 6:30 AM. Bill hung out under a palm tree. It rained for about five minutes. There were many participants in costume, including a couple dressed as baby and mother with umbilical cord connecting them. Bill used his iPhone and wireless headset for the race and only knew that the race started from his watch and the movement of the crowd. The course was an interesting one, using the MacArthur Causeway, the paths at South Pointe and other parks along the shore, and the narrow boardwalk. Bill made a serious mistake with his hydration. First of all, he hadn't had his usual two cups of coffee. Then, he only drank five ounces of G2 at the five mile mark. He was carrying about 20 ounces of G2. It was very warm and humid during the run. The temperature was 82 degrees at 4:00 AM and warmed up from there. Bill slowed at the seven mile mark and struggled the rest of the way. He finished in two hours flat:

Bill started to re-hydrate right after finishing. Cathy was there at the finish. Bill asked Cathy to pick up his first place award at Nikki Beach while he walked back to the hotel to get a shower. Bill met Cathy on the way back down to Nikki Beach and we stopped in a Starbucks for coffee and snacks. Afterward, we went back to the hotel. We noticed that all of our luggage had been rifled, but nothing was taken. Thankfully, Bill had stored his wallet in the safe and was carrying everything else of value with him. We checked out and got our car from valet parking. We were back on the road heading for Naples shortly after noon. We stopped at Turner River Road and the Fakahatchee Strand on the way back. We also stopped at Starbucks/Publix to pick up a few items. When we stopped for gas at a 7/11, Bill bought and drank a couple of bottles of Vitamin Water. Bill checked the results of the race and found that he not only finished 1st of 5 in his age group, but also beat every other runner aged 60 or over. He was 187th out of 1092 finishers. That made him feel better about his disappointing time in the race. We chilled out for the remainder of the afternoon. Later, we drove to 5th Avenue and ate outside at Sushi Thai. It was a balmy evening and very enjoyable to watch all of the kids in costumes come by. Bill watched about half of "Animal House" before heading to bed.


        Bill and Cathy