John and Sandy's RV Adventure Journal

December 2010 Journal

December
31  
Today we are taking it easy.  We took a walk around the lake and then headed up to Big Pine for some groceries.  We are heading over to the KOA for New Years Eve.  Howard Livingston and Mile Marker 24 Band are playing there tonight.  We know from last year we had to get to the KOA early.  John and I walked over at 530pm.  We saw Mark there and grabbed 3 tables.  We put some stuff on another.  Around 6pm people started really arriving and tables were getting hard to hold.  Craig, Debbie, Matty and Gary showed up so we grabbed the 4th table and we were good.  The place started getting packed.  Howard took the stage at 830pm.  By now, we had 4 tables and about 16 people near the stage and another 3 tables and 15-20 people outside by the pool.  We had a great time and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  We have a video of Howard and MM 24.
30   Finally!  The weather is warming up.  We had coffee outside on the verandah while watching our nature channel.  We were reading the paper and found out December 2010 is the coldest recorded for the Florida Keys since records have been kept.  Even though it was cold, it was still pretty good!!  Now it’s getting back to normal.  Highs in the mid 70’s and lows in the mid 60’s.  To celebrate, we headed out for some bridge fishing.  We ended up with 8 keeper mangrove snappers.  We caught a bunch more, but not keepers.  After cleaning the fish and dinner, we headed over to the clubhouse for karaoke night.  Roy and Judy have a setup they call Kamping Karaoke.  We had quite a crowd and had a great time.  See the video of Craig singing My Ding-a-Ling.
29   Today is a laid back day.  We did lots of reading and then John was antsy and had to go check his bait trap.  It worked out really well.  He re-baited it and set it up so we can check it again tomorrow.  After a nice steak and shrimp dinner, we headed down to the clubhouse for our outdoor Conch Republic Drive-In Movie.  Tonight’s features are “The Other Guys” with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.  Our second feature is “Resident Evil: Afterlife”.   

28  
Once again it’s beautifully sunny, but very windy and cold.  Today should be the last day, and then back in the 70’s with light breezes.  We headed out to get some chum and place our bait trap to catch some bait.  We did some reading and then headed over to Looe Key Tiki Bar for taco Tuesday.  Gary, Matty, Frisbee, Karen, Ron and their family were all there.  We had some tacos, drinks and then the band jam session started.  We stayed for a while, and then headed to KOA.  Yankee Jack is there tonight.  We saw Sally, Greg, Tammy and others.  We did lots of dancing.

27   This morning is cold and windy.  Yea, yea, I know.  Cold.  Yes, its only 53 degrees and windy.  In the Conch Republic, that’s cold.  Anyway, by Wednesday we should be back up in the 70’s and sunny again.  Whoa, that was a mean winter cold snap.   We headed to the RV store to pick up a bulb for the cow.  We saw Marty fishing on the bridge and on the way back we stopped to see how he was doing.  He was nailing them.  We got back and John got the bug.  He had to get out fishing.  Me, no way, it was windy and cold on the bridge.  So John headed out and I stayed at the cow and did some reading and practiced my harmonica.  John did very well, he got his limit and more.  We had chicken and fish for dinner and then watched the movie “Despicable Me”.  Craig loaned it to us from his movie library.

26  
Today is Sunday, but no Sunday party today.  But, there is football.  We are hanging around the cow and enjoying a football Sunday.

25  
Merry Christmas!!  We got up and the cats were excited about looking in their stockings and opening their presents.  Santa and Santa Cat stopped by last night.  It’s a bright sunny and warm day.  We headed over to the clubhouse around 2pm for our Christmas Day Potluck.  The campground is cooking turkeys and ham and everyone is bringing a dish.  Of course we had lots of great food.  After dinner, John played some horseshoes.  I headed back to get a sweater and refill the cooler.  I never made it back out.  Karaoke started at the clubhouse and John sang a couple songs.  I was happy just relaxing.  We had a safe and Merry Christmas and hope all our family and friends did as well.
24   Today we are hanging around the cow.  We headed over to George and Darlene’s for a Christmas Eve get together.  There were quite a few people there.  Their son, Dustin is a chef and he made most of the appetizers which were all great.  We played some Wii games and then it was time to go.  We still have another party.  Lazy Lakes has a Christmas Eve party.  Duane and Liz are Dj’ing.  We did lots of dancing and singing.  The party broke up around 1am because everyone had to get back to their cows.  Santa is coming tonight!!!
23   Coffee on the verandah this morning.  Had to get some domestic chores done.  We went to the KOA for happy hour.  Danny was bartending and we saw Dale over there.  After a while, we headed out and stopped at our friends, Carlos and Mark place.  They have a new addition to the family, chickapoo.  A little baby chicken.  We visited with them and then headed back to the cow.
 22   This morning John wanted to go fishing early and I wanted to sleep in.  So off he went at 7am.  He saw hundreds of fish and caught one keeper.  But most of them stole his bait today.  When he got back he wanted more bait, so we drove over to catch some more.  We got quite a few.  In one location we saw over a dozen 10-20 inch barracudas.  We got back, had lunch, relaxed and did some reading.  Tonight is movie night and the feature movie is “The Town” our second movie is “Hot Tub Time Machine”.  The Town was an excellent movie.  Hot Tub Time Machine is a comedy and we enjoyed it.

21  
Happy Winter.  I am working on our journal, pics and website this morning.  We took a walk around the lake and visited with friends at the clubhouse.  I made sausage pasta for the potluck tonight.  More and more people are arriving and attending the functions.  That means more and more great food.  After dinner, we joined in a couple joker games.  We learned this last year.  It’s a game played with marbles and cards on wooden boards.  Tonight we had 6 at our table, 2 teams of 3.  After a few games, we headed back to the cow.  Debbie and Craig were having a fire and music.  There was a crowd over there, so we regrouped and headed there for a while. 

20  
Today is a domestic day.  John is making salsa, I wrapped some Christmas gifts and we are heading to pick up a few groceries.  The bloodmobile was there and we checked and today we can give blood again.  So we did.  If you not giving blood regularly, you should consider it.  It helps someone in need and it’s like a mini physical each time.  Most blood drives you can check back and get your cholesterol results also.
Tonight we are staying around the cow.  I started my sauce for the sausage pasta I’m making for tomorrow nights pasta potluck.  We watched the Bears and Vikings go at it outside up in Minneapolis.  BEARS WON!!!
Then we set our alarm clock.  YES we had to set the alarm to get us up at 215am.  We got the coffee on and we were out the door in a few minutes with our thermos and headed to the point.  Tonight is the total lunar eclipse.  The peak is at 317am.  We found a dark spot at the point and watched the eclipse.  I got a few pictures, but there really hard at night.  This is the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere since 1638.  So we had to do it, and were glad we did.  We did see Mike outside also checking it out.
19   This morning Steve decided to head up to Miami to see his brother Mark and family.  We drove up to Big Pine to drop him off.  Since we were up and out early, we stopped at Big Pine Restaurant for breakfast.  There was a huge Iguana right outside the window from our table.  We made a stop at the flea market for salsa supplies for John and a quick grocery stop.  When we got back we hung around the cow and watched some football.  Today is our Sunday party.  Adrienne is playing today.  She is a solo guitarist.  Bo, the guitarist that plays with Dave Aaron accompanied her today.  We enjoyed great friends, music, food and of course, beer.
18   Another warm morning.  I got caught up on our photos, journal and website.  Then we headed to Key West.  Steve has never been to the wharf area or Mallory Square for sunset.  It was overcast and rain showers were all around us.  We walked around the wharf area and stopped at schooner wharf to listen to Michael McCloud.  Just as we got there he took a break, so we continued on.  We walked around then Steve needed to find the post office for international stamps.  John and I met him at Hogs Breath.  Barry Cuda was playing piano and had another musician accompany on trumpet. It’s time to head to Mallory Square for sunset and to watch the performers.
After a beautiful sunset we moseyed on over to Ricks Bar to see Yo Adrian.  We ran into George and Darlene then Ray and Bonnie.  We met some new friends during the show.  After Yo Adrian we walked over to the Bull to meet up with Linda and Joe and to see the Dave Aaron band.  When we got there Sally Foster was playing.  We saw her during fantasy fest.  She’s crazy so we fit right in.  We did a lot of dancing and had a great time.  Ray and Bonnie also showed up at the Bull.  Dave and the band started at 10pm.  He was also great and we had a great time.  We stayed until around midnight then it was time to head home.  Steve was our designated driver and we gave Linda and Joe a ride home.
17   While I slept in, John and Steve headed out to get bait.  They were on a mission.  The weather is much warmer this morning and the wind is down.  I thought they would do good catching bait.  NOT!  They got one bait which ended up getting away.  Oh well.  We have frozen bait and some baits in our bucket so off we went.  I got some undersized mangroves and groupers.  John and Steve got their limit of 5 mangroves each.  We got them cleaned up then cooked them up on the grill.  After dinner Craig and Debbie was having a fire with music, so we headed over there for a while.
16   After coffee and reading the paper, I sent John and Steve off on the other side of the burned out bridge for a 9 mile hike.  I headed to Big Pine Key to finish up my Christmas shopping.  Perfect timing.  Just as I got back, they were back at the pick up point.  It was time for happy hour at KOA, so we headed over there.  Dale and Chuck moseyed over for a couple.  When we got back we were going to head up to the clubhouse for pool and darts, but never made it.  Craig and Debbie got back from pool and had a fire.  They invited us over, but the three of us were done and just grounded ourselves to the cow.

   15   The winds are down and the temps are getting warmer.  I am working on photos, journal and our website this morning, John is working on the internet and Steve is working on postcards.  We took a nice walk around the lake and found out at the clubhouse that Marty was cooking fish for lunch and Chuck had soup.  So we got back and headed to catch some bait.  Nothing!  Because it’s so cold and windy the fish are hiding.  We got back and had a great soup and snapper lunch at the clubhouse.  Even though it’s cold and windy, we still have bait we have previously caught, so were heading over to the bridge to try our luck.  After about an hour, I had enough.  No fish, cold, windy.  I left the boys and headed back to the cow for a little while.  When I got back, they had ended up with 3 mangrove snappers.  John cleaned them up and we had dinner from the crockpot and saved the fish to make fish dip.  We headed over to the clubhouse for movie night.  Tonight it is record cold of 49 so the movie is inside.  Tonight’s features are “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts and “Porkey’s”.  As always, we had a good time at the movies.
14   This morning is sunny but cold!  We all sat inside for coffee today.  We got our little projects done and headed down to Key West.  Our friend, Steve has never been down here yet so we are on a discovery mission.  We parked at the Eco Discovery Center and went in to check it out.  We got there just in time for the film they show all about the Flora and Fauna of the Florida Keys.  After the movie we looked around a bit and then walked over to Ft Zachary Taylor State Park.  We toured the Fort and then walked over to the Southernmost Point.
Since Christmas is coming, they have the Southernmost Point decorated with the Southernmost Christmas Tree.  We headed to Duval St and made a stop at 801 Bourbon for a break and a cocktail.  Samantha the dog came in and was also thirsty, she jumped on a barstool and the bartender gave her a drink of water.  She came up by us to check out what we were drinking.  Now we continued down Duval and stopped at the La Concha Hotel.  We went up to the roof.  This is a great place to look over Key West.  We stayed on Duval and headed to Rick’s.  Alphonso was playing and Rick was behind the bar.  We met some people on vacation from Tennessee and I did a little dancing with them.
It’s time for us to head back to our campground.  Steve needed to bond with Big Red, so we let him drive.  We hurried up to regroup, got our Split pea soup that’s been cooking in the crockpot and headed to the clubhouse.  Tonight is a soup and salad potluck.  Like all potlucks, everything was great and we all ate too much.  It is getting cold, so we decided to head back to the cow and we even powered up our furnace.
13   Very windy and cool.  John and Steve had coffee on the patio and read the paper.  I started the split pea soup in the crockpot for tomorrow’s potluck.  After breakfast, we took a walk around the lake.  Then John and Steve headed to the burned out bridge.  It’s a 6.6 mile roundtrip walk.  I worked on updating our journal, website and photos.  When they got back, we headed up to Big Pine Key and to the Blue Hole.  We were searching for the iguanas, key deer and gators, but didn’t see any.  After a hike on the nature trail, we made a stop at No Name Pub for pizza.  Our next stop was the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge Information Center.  This is in the Winn Dixie shopping area.  We also saw roosters and chickens in the parking lot.  Then we headed over to Breezy Pines Campground to look for Key Deer.  We saw a couple bucks and they gave us a show.  We decided to stay around the cow tonight.
12   Nice warm and sunny morning.  We read the paper outside on the patio.  We hung around the cow and watched some of the 1st football games.  Then we headed out to Big Pine Key to pick up our friend Steve.  He is coming to visit.  His bus got in and we headed back to the campground.  Today is our Sunday party.  We headed over to the clubhouse around 4pm and The Dave Aaron Band was just getting started.  We took a walk around park to show Steve.  We watched the beautiful sunset and had a few drinks and snacks.  We did some dancing and enjoyed the evening.  Before we knew it, the band was done and we were heading back to the cow.  Not so fast, our neighbors, Craig and Debbie were having a backyard party after our Sunday party.  Craig had the CD player out for Name that Tune and Frisbee was over with some old rattan furniture cutting it up and using it as firewood.  There was quite a crowd.  The temperature was still warm, but the wind was starting to blow.
11   Today is domestic day.  We got our projects done and decided to ground ourselves to the cow tonight.

10  
This morning is sunny and much warmer.  John is reading the paper with the cats outside and I’m working on getting tickets for John Prine in February.  I made split pea soup in the crockpot.  We saw Fred, Judy and Debbie and they said they were heading to Boondocks, then Coconuts for happy hour and a hair cut.  That sounded good to us, so we got organized and headed to Coconuts on Big Pine Key for happy hour and to meet up with Fred, Judy, Debbie and Craig. 
9   This morning is cold, windy and rainy.  We will be glad when this front passes and it’s back sunny and warm.  Our normal high for this time of year is 79 degrees.  That’s ok; today we will have a cow reading day.  I made sweet and sour pork in the crockpot.  We took a walk around the lake.  It was windy and drizzling a little. 

8  
We are again having coffee and reading the paper inside.  It’s sunny and pretty outside, but still windy and cold.  We took our walk around the lake and visited with people at the clubhouse.  Marty was cooking up fish and Chuck had made cornbread, so we had lunch up there.  John wanted to go catch some bait.  So off we went.  John threw the net and then baited the trap and put it in.  While we waited, we did some reading and John went adventuring around.  We got our bait and headed back.  After dinner we headed over to the clubhouse.  Tonight is movie night.  The feature is the new “Robin Hood” movie with Russell Crowe.  It’s cold tonight by keys standards only the low 50’s so after one feature, we were all done.
7   This morning is cold and windy, so we didn’t sit outside.  Today we are hanging around the cow.  We took a walk around the lake.  We stopped at the clubhouse and Linda and Donna were there having lunch.  We had a couple pieces of pizza and then walked over to the KOA Bridge to check out how fishing was.  Marty and Martin were fishing hand had 7 mangrove snappers.  It was sunny, but windy and cold on the bridge.  We walked back to the cow and practiced Texas Holdem.  Tonight is our first Texas Holdem night.  After dinner, we went to the clubhouse.  We only have 5 playing.  It’s a 10.00 buy in.  We played 3 games. 1st game, Betty won, Karen 2nd, Sandy 3rd and John 4th.  2nd game, Karen won, Sandy 2nd, Betty 3rd and John 4th.  3rd game, Betty won, John 2nd, Sandy 3rd and Karen 4th.  We had a good time.  Once more people get here the games will get larger.

6  
It’s a nice bright sunny morning, but windy and a little cool.  We had coffee outside on our patio, and then I’m behind on updating our journal, photos and website.  So I did some work on that.  We headed up to Big Pine for some groceries.  After dinner, we walked over to KOA for happy hour and bingo.  We had quite a group from Lazy Lakes there.  John won 1 game of Bingo.  Debbie and Craig gave us a ride home.

5  
Nice bright and sunny morning.  We took our walk around the lake and then hung out at the cow and watched some football.  We headed over to the clubhouse around 4pm for our Sunday Party.  Today Ray West and his band are playing.  We had a good group with lots of great music and watched a little of the 2nd game of football.  The clubhouse area is a great place for a party.  There are indoor, outdoor tiki areas by the pool.   
4   This morning we did some reading around the cow and took our walk.  We checked the tides and they were right, so John headed off to catch some bait.  We headed out to the KOA bridge for some fishing.  We caught lots of undersized grouper and snapper.  John got 2 keeper mangrove snappers and I had a big tarpon on my line but it broke before we could get it up on the bridge.  We got back and cleaned the fish, had dinner and then headed over to Craig and Debbie’s.  They had lots of good music playing and a fire going.  For the keys, it is a cool evening.  We had some cocktails and Craig got us going on “Name that Tune”.  Another rough day!
3   This morning was a cool morning for the keys.  Around 62 degrees.  We did some reading at the cow and worked on some domestic stuff.  We took our walk around the lake.  We headed over to Mangrove Mama for happy hour.  We had mentioned it to Ray and Carol and saw them on the way.  The four of us had some appetizers, cocktails and chatted for a while.  They had a guitarist singer start in the outside tiki area.  Ray and Carol were getting ready to head back and we decided to stay a while longer.  Just then, Frisbee showed up.  So the three of us moved outside and listened to music with a few more cocktails.

2  
We have a cold front that came though.  Today’s high will only make it to around 70 and the low around 61.  Beautiful and sunny.  We had coffee then took a walk around lake.  We visited with friends at the clubhouse.  In the afternoon we had some joker games with Chuck and Marty.  We made a cocktail and took another walk around lake.  We had a relaxing evening in the cow.

This morning we hung around the cow.  We headed over to the clubhouse for lunch again.  Chuck made ham and bean soup with homemade cornbread.  Afterwards, we headed into Key West.  I needed a haircut and we wanted to start our Christmas shopping.  We don’t buy a lot because the RV won’t move if we have too much stuff.  We got back, had dinner.  Once again already cooking in the crockpot and headed over to the clubhouse for movie night.  The stars are out and it’s perfectly clear, but a little chilly, so I had sweats and a sweater on.  It was around 65 degrees.  I know, I know, but we are wimps now and that’s ok.  Tonight’s features were – Nicholas Cage in “Sorcerers Apprentice” and Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in “The Long Long Trailer”.  Another rough day!!