|The Chronicles of
© 2008 Gail Hunter
More about these later:
May Day - So long ago: I don't remember May Day - things have gotten squirrelly - too
many distractions to write (i.e. IRS, visceral adjustments to Moby, etc - but I do know we did
not dance around a May Pole.
A perennial problem has been carrying the bicycles. We bought a clever bike rack that
hangs on the ladder. Clever, until you have two people who are beginning to realize "they
ain't what they used to be." Our friends would say, "Oh, you've noticed that?"
Anyhow, using exceptional ingenuity, they struck on an idea harking
back to the sailing days - block and tackle! So, they visited their old
haunt, The Nautical Trader in Nokomis, a bastion of used, well-salted
paraphernalia. While friends, Joe and Claire Munro no longer own it,
they were pleased to see the manager, Jim Johnson was still there.
We met the new owner (and old customer) Gordon McKeehan. They
found us a used double block for a pittance and away we went to try it
out. More on the saga of the pulley later.
The dining area is a cheerful orangey color, sporting vintage
posters providing an easy "I remember" trip while enjoying
"Coast Toast" - a Munroe rendition of the French variety.
Suzanne is pictured here holding flowers just sent by another
Siesta Key shop, welcoming the Café to the neighborhood.
Nummies to take home with you fill the glass case.
Time for more nostalgia: Rick and Susanne Munroe have recently opened their new
restaurant, The Sun Garden Café on Siesta Key. Susanne's mother, neé Betty Lou Ams,
and I grew up together in Black Rock, CT. It was she who introduced me to Cor in 1995.
High on our list of "have to" was a trip to check it out. It's their fruition of a dream:
Rick has his shiny all-steel baking galley where he turns
out elegant to down-right rustic pastry creations. The
full-service kitchen is adjacent, where a staff of
sous-chefs help Rick when he's in entrée mode.
What is a Garden Café without a garden? Suzanne gives
Cor a rundown of the garden filled with lush greenery and
canopied tables where visitors enjoy their morning coffee
and pastries en plein aire...Ah, Paris! The same ambiance
pervades at lunch too. We were sent home with a fresh
boule of tangy olive bread - slice thick, toast & apply butter.
Before leaving to attend their grandson's graduation in Mandeville, LA, Trubee and Peggy
treated us to a fish fry dinner at Snook Haven on the Myakka River in Venice. Sitting on
the deck was fetching; that is, until the no-see-ems and their more visible brethren began to
attack. A quick retreat to the screened porch allowed us to enjoy
the scenery as well as the jazzy live band. On Thursdays, Snook
Haven features Banjo Afternoon - one of the area's favorite
happenings. Motorcycles gather here on Sundays. It is easy to
find - Exit I-75 at River Road - go south to 1st light, turn left and
follow the shell road to the end. Enjoy!
|The Venice RC Flying Club
An airfield in Sarasota County for Remote Control Aviators. A first class facility east of I-75.
Note: Things have been a little hectic lately. I apologize for not keeping
up with events. We've been in for repairs (door wouldn't open); messing
around with the bicycles; getting set up with Bluetooth; discussing IRS
problems; having company; visiting friends; What a wonderful web we
weave. In the meantime, here are some hints of things to come.
Bob and Norma Sluyter were our next-door neighbors in Bird Bay in 1999. We admired
the radio-controlled electric model airplane he kept in his storage shed-turned work room.
Bob had left for Indiana, but suggested we call his flying friend, Tom Cummings, which we
did. On May 12th we met Tom sitting in his garage with the door open, playing with his
favorite toy - a tiny radio controlled helicopter. He gave us a great demo, then we piled
into the car and drove out to the airfield.
Party, Party - One of our reasons for trying this lifestyle was to visit friends around the
country without imposing on their hospitality. It's been great, although on a few occasions
those we've visited have gone out of their way to entertain us...and we've loved it.
Whenever possible, we've invited them to partake of our relative rusticity - see below:
Under the live oak tree - left to right: Cor, sitting on
Gail's motoguzzi, Pat Kuelper, Dave Davenport, Bob
Kuelper, Carol Davenport.
Dinner at last, served on the colorful sheet given to us
by Leslie Vlontis just for this purpose. Great way to
have lots of tablecloths you can toss in the washer.
|In And Around Venice, Florida
When I first moved to Venice in 1989, I was curious about
"Jacaranda." J... Plaza; J...Boulevard; J...Trace; What's a
Jacaranda? When May came around that following Spring, I
found out. The jacaranda tree bursts forth in a glorious
show of brilliant purple. It's especially startling when one is
in the midst of a cityscape of derelict houses and trash, as
unfortunately happens along I-75. This one is next to the
South Venice Public Library on, fittingly, Jacaranda Blvd.
3. Woodmere is one of two Paw
Parks in Venice. The other is
on the gulf where a section of
the beach is fenced off for
Man's Best Friend.
1. Entry lock - two stage entry into the park.
2. Poodle sees something in the trees; Husky (?) is more interested in us.
4. Wheaton Terrier's owner practices obedience training so I could get
photo of dog next to fire hydrant (touch of humor added to Park.)
|SOLUTION TO THE BIKE RACK PROBLEM:
Cor & Joe wrestle the bikes - testing our new (now abandoned) block and
tackle system. Oh well, we tried. Can't win every time, right?
Cor watches while Scot (RV World service department) puts
finishing touches on our newly mounted bike rack.
Final instructions on fastening and locking
the bikes into place. If we can't work this?
Our service contact,
Lou Brigham, next to
his Harley & side car -
He and his wife have
traveled widely on it.
We have only
good words to say for RV World
in Nokomis, FL. They cared for
us quickly, thoroughly, patiently, and honestly. It
is a professionally run, first class operation. But
we regret needing it. All part of the shakedown.
When neighbor Joe Ballard saw Gail hanging perilously from the top rung of the ladder, he
ran over with his double ladder to help fashion the pulley system. Cor would have done the
high wire work, but he could support me while I couldn't have supported him - ergo, and to wit:
also, he was being heroic as I would have fallen on him.
Perhaps this venture will help us recognize our limitations. But that's no fun. At this point,
our biggest limiter will be the rising cost of gasoline. We've had no trouble finding campsites.
That may be the only benefit. And thank heavens for Passport America - so far, we've
saved 50% at every one. But, on to the bike rack!
|Time out for a family gathering at the North Jetty in Nokomis
Son Bill Hunter
art of the wrap to
his dad at lunch
at their motel on
Eipper, Cor, and
their corn dog at
North Jetty Park.
Mei Mei Hunter
visits with her
Tom explains how ?
works, as the sun
slowly sets over the
Gulf of Mexico - in the
was had by all!
UPDATE TO MAY 17: Now at Jetty Park on Cape Canaveral. Great spot
for watching big ships come and go. We'll have some photos for you soon,
and we'll tell you about our experience with Bluetooth - can't even tell you if
it's good or bad yet. It's different.