On our first day, we drove from Orlando to Lakeland to see our friend Mary Jo, who left Seattle to be closer to one of her sons. She used to sing in choir with us and housesat for us often when we traveled. We miss her a lot! (And boy, does the humidity do a number on one's hair. Yikes!)
That night we enjoyed a lovely sunset on St. Pete's Beach. We also had fun bird watching the next morning before we headed to Bonita Springs to visit Dick's high school friends, the Matthews.
After a fun evening with Dave and Barbara, we drove even further south to Naples where we spent several days with my sister and her husband
The place where Jane and Ted were staying was right across the street from an adult literacy program. I didn't get to go inside, but Dick took this photo for old times' sake.
In no time at all it was time for us to begin our trek back to Orlando, but first we stopped in Sarasota to see our cousin Bambi and her husband. We spent several hours reminiscing about our family, especially Uncle Howie, who passed away on the 8th at the age of 93. He will be missed! Aunt Phyllis is now the only one left of that generation.
After bidding Jane and Ted and Dwight and Bambi farewell, we headed back to St. Pete's Beach instead of Miami because the weather report was better there. We took a couple of long walks on the beach before returning to Orlando.
That pink building in the distance is a very old hotel and a well-known landmark.
Somehow Dick managed to catch all my favorite beach birds in this one photo. I just love those terns who surely must spend hours arranging their feathers! (We also visited the Corkscrew Sanctuary with Jane and Ted, but I'm saving that for another post.)
Before returning to Seattle, we also spent an afternoon and evening with my blogging friend Dee and her husband Steve. We had such a great time though that we failed to take any pictures. We met Dee at her favorite yarnshop (Sip and Knit) before driving a long ways to Dee's house and a fun evening with her and Steve at a local barbecue spot. Check out Dee's blog to see what she surprised me with.
After spending several hours in the Chicago airport on the way home with these three, we hopped another plane back to Seattle and you guessed it, RAIN!