Bill and Cathy McArthur on the Road 2011: 7

  Monday, February 21, was another in a long string of beautiful days. We arose at 4:00 AM with Son Bill, put on some coffee and bid them adieu as they left at 4:40 AM. We ate a quick breakfast and then went into intense cleaning mode as we wiped, vacuumed, swiffered, and scrubbed the whole place from top to bottom. Cathy had a couple of exercise classes. Bill went out for a 3.5 hour, 14 mile paddle out into the Gulf. There were lots of boats on the water on this Presidents Day, but they were mostly behaving themselves. Cathy had a doctor appointment during late morning and stopped at the store on the way back. During mid-afternoon, Bill went to Starbucks and then to the medical plaza to pick up our friend Marty Gross, who was at her speech therapist. When Bill returned, Chris and Jim Devine had arrived for the week. We all headed over to the wine and cheese party in the campground. Bill entered into the first "horse" race and came in last as usual. At dusk, we drove to Sue and Jack's rental condo to meet with them and Jay and Marge Keeley, who were staying with Sue and Jack. We had pizza for dinner. Afterward, we were joined by the Beatty's friends Dick and Pattie Wells, who entertained the group with their boisterous fun. We left at 9:45 PM and headed home for bed.

  Tuesday was one of Bill's duathlon workout days. Cathy went off on several errands. Bill did one of his training sessions:

1M walk, 1M speed walk, 5K run @ 9:07 min/mi, 40M bike @ 15.2 mph, 5M run @ 9:28 min/mi; hot sun, 80 degrees, humid, couldn't be better.

When Bill finished around 1:00 PM, after 5 hours, he was very sweaty for his post-workout stretching. Meanwhile, Jim and Chris had gone over to Sue and Jack's place for lunch, to be followed by golfing. Bill took a much-needed shower and then he and Cathy ate lunch. Afterward, Bill headed to Starbucks and then to Publix to pick up some bagels. He walked to LVCC to meet with Primo for a tutoring session. Cathy prepared an awesome baked haddock dinner for the gang of eight. We enjoyed the meal and each other's company until almost 10:00 PM, when we called it a night.

  Wednesday was an off day for exercise, although Cathy did get to an exercise class in the morning. Bill went to Publix to buy provisions for the kayak/camping trip to 10,000 Islands. Tom and Jean Reilly came over at 12:45 PM to pick up Bill and Cathy. Jim and Chris went to Sue and Jack's condo. We all met at the "Sweet Liberty" catamaran for a tour of Naples Bay and a short sail on the Gulf (videos: 1,2,3). It was a nice ride which started out in the hot sun and ended up in the cool fog. After the trip, Cathy and Bill returned home. We went to the bridge to celebrate our neighbor Joan's 80th birthday and then on to the clubhouse for the computing workshop. We went to a sushi dinner at Sushi Thai Too on 5th Avenue.

  Thursday, Bill went to Mardi Gras practice with Cathy in the airport long-term parking lot. The group's dance number looked very polished. Bill texted Primo and emailed LVCC that he couldn't make the tutoring session in the afternoon and would be away the next week. We all gathered at Jack and Sue's condo and then drove to Corey Billie's airboat rides on Tamiami Trail before the Everglades City turnoff. We made a 2:30 PM reservation and then drove to Smallwood's Store in Chokoloski. From there, we went to the Depot Restaurant in Everglades City for lunch. We drove back to the airboat ride and loaded a boat with driver Robbie for a wild hour of riding at speeds up to 33 mph through the Everglades (videos: 1,2,3,4). After the ride, we drove back to Naples. We all reconvened at Sue and Jack's condo for a great lasagne dinner with special guests Dickie and Patty Wells.

  Friday was the day some of Bill's runner friends from NJ were embarking on a 100 mile run in a gale. Bill had intended to run for 10 miles, but decided to push it to 13.1 in honor of the Animal Camp, the organizers of the event. Bill ran at an easy pace and was surprised at his results in the sunny, warm, humid weather:

Cathy and the other folks did some morning workouts and then went shopping before a golf game. Bill and Cathy chilled out for the afternoon. Later, Bill went to Starbucks/Publix. Then, we all met at Jack and Sue's and went to the Boathouse for dinner. The service was really bad and slow, but the food was good.

  Saturday we drove over to Jack and Sue's condo in two cars, after Jim and Chris packed theirs. We all drove to First Watch on Banyan Boulevard and put our name in. We gazed at the water of Doctors Bay and chatted as we waited for a table. Finally, we were seated inside with a good water view. We enjoyed a great breakfast and conversation. Afterward, we said our goodbyes. Bill and Cathy headed to Publix for a few items. When we got home, Bill cleaned the bathrooms. Then, we chilled out for a while. At 3:30 PM, we carried our costumes and makeup over to our old neighborhood to get ready for the Mardi Gras Parade in Rock Creek. Everyone looked very good. The weather for the parade was excellent and the crowd was appreciative. Our "Thriller" group was a big hit and won first prize in our category. Cathy and Bill didn't stay too long at the party, but headed home to get cleaned up. Bill had put Vasoline and dirt in his hair and we both were covered with makeup. Long showers did the job to take us back to normal. We headed out to dinner and found it hard to find a restaurant that wasn't overcrowded. We stopped at Carrabbas and Olive Garden before parking near 5th Avenue and walking down to Altin's, where we enjoyed a good dinner outside.

  Sunday, Bill was up shortly after 5:00 AM. He started getting his gear ready for the kayak/camping trip of the week following. After packing and putting the kayak on top, we had lunch. Then we walked downtown for the Naples Art Festival. We really liked one of the ceramics kiosks. We stopped at a children's store and Starbucks and then walked back. We stopped by Bud and Marty Gross's RV on the way home. Bill took a long shower in preparation of a few days without hot or fresh water for bathing. We had pasta for dinner and then went to couples dancing.

Note: Bill goes into Internet silence mode for the next 5 days, with the possible exception of a FaceBook posting sometime during the week.

Bill's kayak/camping trip to the 10,000 Islands and the Everglades is reported on here.


        Bill and Cathy