Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2010: 4

  Monday, January 25 , started with a weather front heading our way from the northwest. Cathy went to her exercise class before the rain started. Bill decided to wait until the front passed before doing his 5 mile training run. It rained very hard for about an hour and then cleared up. There were big puddles all over, so Bill decided to wait until afternoon before running. Bill found Cathy headed for the fitness center for another class. Bill finalized his plans for the first meeting with his student, Francisco Gapi. We both went over to the clubhouse so that Cathy could show the Minnie Pearl video to her friends Sondra and Marty. We ate an early lunch and then Bill took off on foot for LVCC at 12:30 PM. Bill arrived at the center at 12:50 PM and headed for Room #7. Francisco had ridden his bike to the meeting and was already there, sitting in the computer lab. Francisco asked if Bill was his tutor and they shook hands and started the meeting in Room #7. Francisco, who is called Gapi by many, was very good at English conversation. He said that he has trouble with groping for words during conversations and finds this a hardship he wants to overcome. He also told Bill that he wants to work on verb tenses. He said that he knows "eat, ate", but not "have eaten". He has trouble reading with comprehension and with writing. He wants to learn how to write personal and business letters. He tries to watch English language TV, but only understands around 20% of what he hears. Francisco has never before had any formal schooling in English. He has 3 children: one in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school. Bill promised to bring in some materials for grammar and reading. Bill gave Francisco a notebook for a journal and encouraged him to use it for questions and other entries. Francisco mentioned that he had a computer that was having problems. Bill said that they could try to get together in the following week some morning to take a look at the problem. Bill also promised to bring in the Naples Daily News for Francisco to read. Bill had selected a modeled reading of our day in Vera Cruz while on our caravan trip to Mexico in 2004. Coincidentally, Francisco came from a small town to the west of Vera Cruz, so when Bill read his selection from his iPhone, Francisco recognized the places he mentioned. They set up a schedule of meeting on Mondays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 1:30 PM in the LVCC. The next meeting was set for Thursday, January 28 at 12:30 PM. Bill returned to the RV about the time that Cathy left for her first meeting with her student at the Golden Gate library. Bill got dressed, put on his iPod and ran for 5 miles. Bill's iPod worked wonderfully, but his GPS watch kept turning the time off and on by itself. Bill figured that he actually ran for a bit over 5 miles at an average pace of 8:18 minutes per mile. Bill really enjoyed running with music for the first time ever. In the past, he had used a Walkman while using a rowing machine and a stationary bike at the fitness center in Shippensburg, PA. Back then, he used a tape of "Boston Third Stage". Part of Bill's playlist for this first run was from his CD of the same music. He also had "Rocky's Theme", "Alleluia", "Eye of the Tiger", and "Chariots of Fire" in his playlist. After Bill returned and stretched, he bought two more albums, "Europe's Final Countdown" and "Cheap Trick's Greatest Hits" and loaded them on his iPod. We went to the bridge for Happy Hour and then to country line dancing from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. We ate a late dinner of tortellini while we watched our dvred episode of "House". The evening was much cooler than it had been for the past few days.

  Tuesday was a bit cool, but very sunny. Cathy went to her exercise class. Bill got his kayaking stuff together and mixed Cytomax for a paddling trip. When Cathy returned, we walked to the LVCC and got a page printed, made some copies, and looked at materials. We decided to try English No Problem, level 3 and checked out copies of the books. We also asked the office staff for two picture dictionaries for English/Spanish. We walked back to the RV. Bill ate a quick lunch of a banana, yogurt, and a Power Bar and launched at around 11 AM for a kayak paddle. Bill wore his wetsuit for about 45 minutes and then stopped and pulled it down to his waist. Bill went down the east side of the Bay and up Haldeman Creek, under Bayshore Road, and under US 41. At that point, navigability on the creek ended and Bill had to turn around. He headed back to the Bay and up the ICW to the northern edge of Dollar Bay. After fighting the wind back to Naples Bay, Bill crossed to the west side and returned that way. The paddle lasted for 4 hours and covered 14.6 miles. Bill would have liked to have paddled faster, but conditions (and maybe some lazy paddling) didn't allow it. After Bill got back, we both worked on lesson plans for our students. Bill's new Garmin 305 watch arrived to replace the flakey 205. Bill went through the setup and put it on the charger. The air cooled, so we dressed warmly and drove to Carrabbas for good meals. Bill had his usual Eggplant Parmesan, but Cathy enjoyed something new: the pork chop dinner, small size. Later, back at the RV, we viewed the episode of "24" that we had dvred on Monday night. We ran the heater off and on during the night.

  Wednesday started in the high 40s, but the sun warmed things nicely. The north wind persisted. Cathy went to her exercise class. Bill got ready and went out on an extended half medley workout: 10K bike (12.3 mph), 10K run (8:23 min/mi), 10K bike (13 mph), 10K run (8:51 min/mi), 10K bike (12.4 mph). Bill's new GPS watch worked well, but the iPod's volume control didn't work after the first 10K run. Later, back in the RV, it started to work again. We ate lunch outside under a beautiful blue sky. Cathy did the laundry, hampered by some out-of-order machines. We had a low-key afternoon and cooked a quinoa and grilled chicken dinner. We viewed the excellent two hour "Lost" summary, dvred from Tuesday night during and after dinner. Then we put on the State of the Union preview on CNN and the State of the Union speech. It was a typically eloquent Obama oration, but Bill kept seeing dollars draining from us as the President talked. Bill had some problems sleeping after taking four Gu packs during his workout.

  Thursday was a beautiful day. Cathy went to her exercise class. Bill was fine tuning his lesson plan when his student Francisco called to say that he had to work all day and couldn't make class. Bill changed his schedule and headed out around 10:00 AM for a tough 18 mile paddle into Rookery Bay. Bill stopped for a quick, in-kayak lunch of two Power Bars. He paddled for 4.5 hours and battled current and some wind on the way back. The temperature reached 83 and the sky was cloudless, so it was a great day on the water. When Bill got back, Cathy was at her meeting with her student. Bill showered and then deployed the awning and straightened up the outside area. Cathy went to a class at the fitness center. We had a pasta dinner and caught up with three dvred Daily Shows.

  Friday was cloudier than was forecast. Cathy went to her exercise class while Bill straightened up around the campsite. When Cathy returned, we drove to Starbucks and Publix to get a few items. We also gassed the XTerra for the day. At 11:15 AM, we parked the XTerra on the grass on North Road and waited for our friends Beth and Bob Findlay to arrive in their rental car from Sanibel Island, where they were staying for a week. When they arrived, we parked them in our space and all loaded into our car to drive to Bayview Park for a picnic lunch near Naples Bay. The temperature was near 80 degrees, so it was comfortable as we ate a nice variety of picnic items. After lunch, we drove to Naples on the Run to pick up Bill's packet for Saturday's 5K race. Then we headed for the Everglades and Turner River Road to view the alligators and anhingas that are omnipresent there. Beth and Bob were duly impressed with the several gators that we saw. Afterward, we drove to Naples to tour the 5th Avenue and 3rd Street shopping areas. We parked on 14th Avenue South and made a visit to Bad Ass Coffee for a pick-me-up. Then we walked to the 12th Avenue fishing pier and walked to the end. Fishing was still off since the cold snap earlier in the month. We walked back to the car and drove past the mansions of Gulf Shore Drive and Port Royal. We saw signs of the posh parties of the Wine Festival Weekend as we toured. Then we drove to the town dock area and finally parked in the downtown garage. We walked into Cambier Park and down 5th Avenue to the very junky Best of Everything store that newly inhabits the street. We showed up at the Mangrove Cafe for our 6:30 PM reservation and were seated in the very crowded and noisy dining room. The food and service were excellent as we have come to expect. The price was right also as the total bill was $92, including tip. We drove back to the RV park and bid adieu to the Findlays at about 8:30 PM. It was a good day of touring with friends.

  Saturday started for Bill at 4:45 AM as he drank Cytomax and ate breakfast in preparation for the Run for the Paws 5K Race. He did a crossword puzzle and read the paper as got ready to run. He walked to the Civil Air Patrol building to pick up his racing chip at a bit before 7:00 AM and then returned to the RV. We both walked out to North Road at a bit after 7:30 AM for the 8:00 AM start. The temperature was close to 70 degrees and it was mostly sunny with a light wind. Bill surprised himself by running his first sub-8 minute mile 5K in several years:

He finished 4th in his age group and was beaten by a couple of (younger) dogs. As a treat, at the end of the race, Bill had two bananas covered with peanut butter. He finished as the 81st finisher overall out of 462 participants. After the race, Bill returned to the RV, but kept his running tights on for recovery. Cathy had to go over to the clubhouse to help setup for the bank for Casino Night. Bill stopped by to see if the crew needed any help, but they were OK. Later in the morning we drove to Mangrove Cafe to see if they had Beth's sweater, but the restaurant was closed. We got caught in a mini traffic jam in the downtown parking garage as we tried to park. Then we drove to Office Max to get a couple of items printed for our tutoring. The wind picked up, so Bill put up the awning. After lunch, we chilled out by sitting outside in the sun for a couple of hours. Our friend Jim called from a very snowy Garden State Parkway as he struggled to get to work in an unforecasted blizzard. Cathy had to show up for Casino Night at 4:30 PM. Bill took a shower and cooked quinoa flakes with dates and walnuts. He topped off the meal with yogurt and walnuts. Bill went over to Casino Night. He bought $10 worth of script and joined a seven card stud poker game for a few hours. He more than doubled his money and bought a bottle of merlot and a basket full of candy at the Casino "store." Bill returned to the RV around 9:30 PM and watched basketball and worked on the Sunday Times crossword. Cathy finally finished her work at about 10:30 PM.

  Sunday promised to be cloudy, cool, and breezy all day. Cathy slept in for a while and Bill finished the Times crossword. About mid-morning we headed to Starbucks and Publix for a shopping trip. After lunch we drove to the Naples Art Museum and spent a couple of hours touring the very interesting galleries, including some recent work by Chiluly. Afterward, we drove over to Barnes and Noble and browsed for a while. On the way back, we stopped at Walmart to pick up two dvds. As soon as we got back to the RV, we played the first one, "The Other Man", a chick flick with a great cast and a somewhat interesting story. We had a quiche for dinner and watched the other dvd, "District 9", produced by Peter Jackson. This was a mildly entertaining, rather weird movie.

        Bill and Cathy