Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2011: 16

  Monday, May 2, Cathy went to teach her exercise class. Bill went out for a kayak paddle out Gordon Pass and north along the beach for a while. There was a gusty east wind and an incoming tide. The 14 mile trip took 4 hours. It was hot by the time Bill returned. After lunch we went to Starbucks/Publix. Bill had a long talk with one of the regular baristas who does triathlons, ultras, long cycling events, and is trying to qualify for RAAM. Bill worked on catching up on his journal. We received a notice from the IRS with a fine of $2300 for late filing for Computing Doc. Bill was stunned and called IRS. After a long wait on hold, the agent told Bill that the penalty was removed since we had been on time for several years. We breathed a sigh of relief but still don't know how we were late filing our business return. We went to Happy Hour on the bridge and then grilled an Omaha Steaks filet for Cathy and portabello mushrooms for Bill. We viewed part of the very lame "Did You Hear About the Morgans?" on streaming NetFlix.

  Tuesday was another hot day. Bill decided that he would take a rest day and work on getting his online journal up-to-date. We took a 3.5 mile walk before it got too hot and then Cathy took another walk in the heat. Bill worked on his journal and finally caught up. He also signed up for another RV advertising campaign for $149 that will last until the unit is sold. Cathy went out for a few errands as Bill walked to LVCC for his tutoring session with Primo. Cathy called shortly before 4:00 PM to report that she was in the Home Depot parking lot with a car that wouldn't start. Bill suggested calling AAA and then waiting inside of the store to avoid the heat. Cathy called back just at the end of the tutoring session at 4:55 PM to report that the AAA guy said the battery needed to be replaced, but that he didn't have the right one with him. Cathy kept the car running and picked Bill up at LVCC. We drove to NAPA and found that they couldn't install a new battery, but they suggested Rick Johnson's shop further down Radio Road. We went there and soon had a new battery. We had thought that our battery was only two years old, because we had AAA come to start the car back in 2008 (see the entry for December 16) when we had flown back to NJ for the Chrismas Holidays. We had disremembered, since the AAA guy only tried to sell us a battery. We had tortellini for dinner and viewed "Little Fockers" - the great cast is the only redeeming virtue. Bill awoke at 1:28 AM smelling smoke from a wildfire in East Naples.

  Wednesday started with very smoky air. Cathy went to her class. Bill rode his bike for 60 miles. The wind continually shifted while Bill was riding. It finally came from the west and blew the smoke away, making it easier to breathe. After lunch, Bill cleaned and lubed the bike. Then he went to Starbucks and got a free cappuccino from a coupon in the mail. Bill talked with his neice Julie, via FaceBook, about being part of the Detroit Marathon relay. Bill said that he'd like to do half of it. The event is on October 16. Bill challenged the rest of the family to take part. We went to dinner at the Back Street Bar and Grill with Bud and Marty Gross, fellow Rock Creekers. After a good outing, we returned home and viewed "Nothing But the Truth" on streaming NetFlix - very good character study.

  Thursday, Bill and Cathy walked for 2 miles as part of Bill's duathlon training set: 2M run @ 9:39 min/mile, 20M bike @ 16.8 mph, 5K run @ 8:57 min/mile, last mile @ 8:30 min/mile. It was windy and sweaty. Cathy's hip was hurting. After lunch, we went to Starbucks/Publix for some shopping. Bill walked to LVCC to meet with Primo for a tutoring session. We both spent a good bit of time at the bridge for Happy Hour. We viewed "Triage" as we ate pasta/frozen meal for dinner - good movie, well acted.

  Friday, Cathy had her morning class. Bill went out for a 3.5 hour, relaxing kayak paddle down to Gordon Pass and then into the nearby back bay for some bird watching. After returning home and showering, Bill called Weems Insurance and found that we have the increased coverage for our park model and will have a bill for the additional coverage soon. After lunch, we drove to the Sunshine Ace parking lot on Tamiani Trail North. Cathy walked to her retinal appointment. Bill shopped in Ace and in Winn's for several items. Then, Bill went to Starbucks and wandered around, down to 5th Avenue, trying to get a haircut. He called Cathy and found that she wouldn't be out before 4:30 PM, so Bill drove to Shear Paradise to get a haircut. Bill talked with Jan about a kayaking workshop next season and a hands-on computing workshop. Bill went back to the hospital and waited outside until Cathy was finished with her appointment. We grilled burgers for dinner and viewed "Eagle Eye" - very good action movie.

  Saturday started with some on and off rain showers. We decided to start packing our stuff for the trip to Clearwater and home in Delaware. About mid-morning, we went to Starbucks/Publix for some shopping. After lunch, we walked to the Shoe Warehouse, but couldn't find anything of interest there. We did some more packing and then Bill went back to Publix to buy a few items, including a shoe shine kit. When he returned, he shined his shoes for the wedding. Then he cleaned the outside grill and, after it dried, stored it under the house for the summer. We went to a Kentucky Derby party at OB's Cornerstone sports bar near Rattlesnake Hammock and Tamiami Trail. There were 29 Rock Creekers at the event. All Bill could find to eat was cheese pizza. We got home around 8:00 PM and watched a couple of episodes of "30 Rock" on streaming NetFlix.

  Sunday was Mothers Day. Bill started the day with a 10 mile run. It was a beautiful morning for a run and Bill enjoyed it to the max. He thought, "Every run is a gift." He averaged about 9:30 minutes/mile for the 10 miles. Cathy went for a walk about the same time. After lunch, we went out for a nice paddle in the tandem kayak. We cruised for 5.7 miles around the Naples Harbor area. We chilled for the remainder of the afternoon. At 6:45 PM, we picked up our next-door neighbor, Judd Brodie, and drove to the Bayside complex to eat at Roy's. We sat outside on a gorgeous evening and enjoyed a fabulous dinner. When we returned home, we viewed a couple of episodes of "30 Rock."

  Monday, May 10, was another beautiful day. Cathy did her exercise class. Bill went out for a last paddle of the season. He went up Gordon River and explored a canal that he had never traversed before. After returning home, Bill organized the kayaking gear. Cathy went for a last tutoring session with Elda. When Cathy returned, we called Shirley, from Rock Creek, to set up an appointment late Tuesday morning to talk about her looking in on our house during the summer. Bill drove over to the kayak rack area and organized the two kayaks and put them on top of the XTerra. He had to work in the blazing sun and 95 degree heat, but got the job done. We went to Starbucks/Publix for a few items. Later, we went to Happy Hour on the bridge. We had leftover quiche for dinner.

  Tuesday started early for Bill as he went out by 7:30 AM to begin a 80 mile bike ride. He took pit stops after every 20 miles and a lunch spot after 60 miles. He averaged 15.8 mph for the distance. Cathy took a walk for part of the time that Bill was out. Shirley, a Rock Creeker, came over after Bill had completed 40 miles and talked about taking care of our house while we were gone. We went over many details with her and gave her a deposit of $30. Cathy went out to lunch and a movie with several Rock Creek women. After Bill was finished with his ride, he showered and walked to LVCC for his last tutoring session with Primo for the season. Bill and Primo became FaceBook friends as a good way to keep in touch until late October. Cathy and Bill both spent Happy Hour on the bridge. We had pasta for dinner and saw "From Paris with Love" on streaming NetFlix.

  Wednesday, Bill's back hurt too much to exercise. This was a good thing for he had much to do to get ready for our Thursday morning departure. Cathy did her last exercise class of the season. Bill got to work on packing and loading the "Delaware" stuff into the back of the XTerra. Bill dismantled and packed the TiVo as one of the "Delaware" items. After loading the back, Bill cleaned his bike on the rack and then loaded the bike on the back of the XTerra in the new bike bag. He also installed our traveling license plate and the new tow lights. After getting all of that squared away, Bill called Comcast and arranged for an Internet installation on the afternoon of May 19. After lunch, Cathy went with some other Rock Creekers to visit Jerry and Lou Hale. Bill dismantled the Florida Room entertainment center and put the TV and Blu-Ray in the 2nd bedroom. Bill also installed the reflective sheet on the end windows and door of the Florida Room. Our neighbor Judd drove us to Olive Garden for dinner. When we got home, we viewed "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" for the Nth time on our mini-theater system in the living room.

  Thursday, we made preparations to leave Naples for the season. We were on the way to Clearwater Beach for a family wedding and reunion with our kids and six of our grandkids. We took care of all of the house closing chores except for turning off the water under the house. We left shortly before 10:00 AM, dropped a couple of books at the library, and called Shirley from the road to tell her that we forgot to turn off the water. She said that she would take care of it when she returned from a short trip to the Keys. We ate lunch at Woody's on the Manatee River and arrived at the Marriot Suites around 2:00 PM. We checked-in and found our room to be large with a great view. We explored the hotel and surrounding shops. Then, we greeted Alex and family as they arrived from Disney World at around 5:00 PM. We all went to dinner Backwaters on Sand Key and had a good meal with a view. Later, we sat at the pool while the kids swam.

  Friday, we ate breakfast at Maggie Mae's with Alex and family. We visited the Bialas' house and had an informal lunch on the deck. Later we all went to the hotel pool. Bill, Stacey, and family arrived by car from Georgia. Katie and Rachel arrived in a rental car from the airport after a late flight. At 5:00 PM we had a birthday party for Garrett and Son Bill. We had some snacks and cake. Friday night was the rehearsal dinner at Palm Pavillion Beachside Grill in Clearwater Beach. There were some nice presentations and it was a good reunion for all of the relatives.

  Saturday, Bill and Son Bill started the day with the Hog Hustle 5K in Dunedin, FL. Son Bill ran a good race. Bill wasn't happy with his time, but he managed to come in 1/5 in his age group. The two runners didn't hang around because of family committments. [A few days later, Bill got a call from the race director; she said she would mail the award to Bill.] We got back in time for Bill to join Cathy, Katie, and Rachel at her second breakfast. Just before we were ready to leave for Ryan and Becca's wedding at about 1:45 PM, a big storm came up. This caused Clearwater Beach to become grid-locked and we just barely made it to the church before the ceremony. Our granddaughters helped pass out programs. The cocktail hour of the reception was on the veranda behind the Marriott Suites hotel. The day had cleared nicely, so it was very pleasant. The wedding dinner and dancing were in a ballroom on the second floor of the hotel. The band was good for dancing, so their was lots of action on the dance floor. At first, the little kids dominated the action, but later, the adults took over.

  Sunday morning, our family all ate breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant. We had a good crowd of 13 for a hearty meal. Alex and family and Katie and Rachel left during the later morning to catch flights to their homes. Bill and Son Bill rented waverunners for an hour of high-speed fun. Billy rode with Son Bill for a while. We swam in the pool for a while. We had lunch at the poolside grill. The kids went to parents night out while Bill, Cathy, Son Bill, and Stacey joined the remaining relatives at Darlin Marlin Restaurant.

  Monday, May 16, Bill and Son Bill started the day with an hour's run along Gulf View Drive. Later in the morning, we went to Busch Gardens. The crowd was small, so we were able to ride on lots of rides. We ate lunch at a pizza and pasta buffet in the park. Son Bill rode every roller coaster at least once. Bill rode all but one of the coasters. The favorite was the Sheikra with its two vertical drops (videos: 1, 2). Sarah rode two coasters, one of them three times. We all stopped at Bonefish Grill in Belleair for dinner.

  Tuesday was Son Bill's 40th birthday. We ate breakfast in Maggie Mae's. Son Bill had a conference call. The rest of our group went to the beach, where Son Bill joined us later. We went to Busch Garden's Adventure Island water park, with a stop at Subway en route. We were very impressed with the variety of water slides and other water activities available. The day was unseasonably cool, almost cold, and windy, so it was uncomfortable, but there were no crowds. We stopped at Bob and Marianne's house on the way back to the hotel. Son Bill and Stacey went to Island Grill restaurant for dinner. Bill, Cathy, Sarah, and Bill had room service in our room. We entertained and put the kids to bed before Son Bill and Stacey returned. We said our goodbyes since they were leaving very early the next day.

  Wednesday, Bill and Cathy went to breakfast at Maggie Mae's. Later, Bill went for a very short walk and run. Then we packed the XTerra and headed for the Auto-train in Sanford, near Orlando. We found that we were a couple of inches too high for the train and stayed on I4 to I95 and north. Bill ate lunch at a Subway; Cathy ate fiber bars in lieu of a hoagie. We stopped at the La Quinta in Pooler, GA, a frequent stop for us. We ate sushi at a Japanese restaurant in Pooler and went to bed fairly early.

  Thursday, May 19, was our last day On the Road for the first half of 2011. We got up at 5:30 AM, ate breakfast at 6:00 AM, and were on I95 at 6:19 AM. We snacked in the car for lunch and didn't stop except for gas and pit stops. We arrived at our home in Lewes, Delaware at 5:00 PM. In a flurry of activity, we unpacked and organized. Bill took the bike off the back and the tandem kayak off of the top. Bill picked up take-out Grotto Pizza for dinner. We were back home.

Our activities continue here.

        Bill and Cathy