January 2008

Good news is we got to use Lucy’s air-miles for tickets to Key West thus saving us LOTS of money and time. We had the “boys” head off to Key West without us and our plan was to meet them there. Bad news is to get these “free” tickets we had to take the 5:45am flight out of Washington National. (Yes, I know it is now named Regan National but, I can’t let go of the original name) Lucky for us my brother Norm is a night owl and with some sweet talking he agreed to take Lucy and I to the airport. That meant we had to be at his house at 3:15 to arrive at the airport early enough to clear all security measures. Drive was uneventful to the airport and Norm said it was even easier on his return trip. Thanks Norm!

Had a good time being cheerful to the airport employees that were not as happy as we were to be up and moving at 4am. Cute little security guy at the airport checked my ticket but wouldn’t frisk me. <EG> Got a big smile out of him at the request though which seemed to brighten his morning. Grumpy workers abounded but we didn’t let that get us down.

First flight to Charlotte went off without a hitch, it was then off to Orlando. We had a full flight but we were lucky enough to sit next to a family and we got the 17 year old son. Lucy and I had a ball teasing and quizzing him. Bet he was glad to finally get off the plane. His parents seemed to enjoy us taunting him. At last we climbed, yes climbed, aboard the tiny plane that took us into Key West. Really got a kick out of Ray wanting to know what airline we were flying. Ha! If you have ever been to Key West you would know that the airport is tiny like the aircraft that fly in here. I told him just look for our big smiles!

Our first stop was to the bathroom at the airport to shed some layers of clothes. It was 78 upon our arrival. Second stop was to my favorite restaurant in Key West, El Siboney.

We are all checked into the campground and awnings are out. We went to sunset lounge on our first night to share the beautiful sunsets with our fellow campers. Have I told you guys how much I like it here. So far we have played dominoes at game night. Made a quick run to the beach, rode the bikes around and got lots of waves and hugs from people we know that were already set up and in place.

Lucy is having fits with her email and I have spent more time that one would think necessary to untangle it. Her service provider SUCKS and is the root of the problem. Of course they never think it is them… but I digress.

Sunday the 27th We assisted with the Key West half shell marathon as we did last year. We had fun giving back a little to a community that we enjoy so much. Bad news is somehow either Ray or I managed to lock the step in the closed position. Ray not being a slow mover stepped right out into nothingness on his way over to wake up Mike at 0430. Mike said that he heard him hit the deck. It really is amazing that he did nothing more that wrench his knee. He still managed to get downtown to pick up the water and tables to set up for the Race.

It is now Thursday and he is back to riding his bike and not complaining too much. Lucy and I are off to a craft class this afternoon. Other than that life is laid back and we have no big plans. Update. Class was packed. We put our names on the list for next week. This is to make a fused glass necklace. Looked very cool.


Ray and Mike are going to the Everglades! Both are excited about the “Man Trip” Lucy and I will fly into Key West to meet them two weeks later. I can hardly wait to hear the stories of what mischief they get into. Will post the good ones here for you all to read. Mike is packing his motorhome and Lucy is cooking up stuff for them to take along. After a year of taking care of most of the cooking for us; I am confident that Ray is very capable of taking care of his nutrition needs.

All is all there is excitement in the air.

Just in from Ray –

Report on the ‘man’ trip.

Mike and I left home Tuesday about 10am and met at the VA/NC border. Trip the first day was uneventful and we spent our first night north of the South Carolina Border at a Passport America campground that should have been closed years ago. No problem, though, because it was cold and we just had a little supper and went to bed.

Early start Wednesday. Got off to a bad start because we had been on the road only about 10-15 miles when one of the bicycles fell off the carrier and I drug it for, I am not sure how long, and I ruined the front tire and wheel, but no other damage. Will have to get it replaced before we get to Key West. After that we had a good day just keeping ahead of the rain and snow and stopped early in GA for a good nights rest and a good meal. There was topless bar across the street and we debated whether to go over and have a beer, but my reasoning convinced Mike that we really didn’t want to spend 6-7 dollars on a beer just to see a couple of middle age women serve the drinks with no tops on.

I should have listened to Marty

Got started about 9am on Thursday. We were going to get about halfway down the state of Florida, but just happened to see an advertisement for St. Augustine and since Mike had never been there we decided to stop and pulled in about noon got setup and took the city tour. There was so much to see there that we decided to spend Friday and actually walk around and see the sights.

So much for now. We are getting ready to head downtown St. Augustine. More Later…

…Well we are back from our day of sightseeing. The trip to the Castillo de San Marcos was a real eye opener. The oldest fort in the U.S. was all that we expected and more. We stopped and had a cup of coffee and pastry in the tourist area and in general had a good time. Early afternoon came and we were cold and decided to head back to the ‘Rigs’ for a little toddy and nap. All in all the visit to St. Augustine was a real success. Tomorrow it is off to the Everglades.

Last comments on “The Man Trip”


Trip to Key West was uneventful. Only one hitch in the trip down. Mike wanted to stop at a Burger King and I pulled off the road and turned into one of the narrowest street I have seen in the US. I was thinking I was back in Italy where a small car will barely go down the street without rubbing one each side. After I got back on the road decision was made to keep going until we could find a place to pull off the road and make a sandwich for ourselves.

We pulled in to Key West and Mike went off to find the American Legion Post 28 and I pulled into the NAS campground for the night.

We picked up the wives the next day (Saturday the 26th) and the ‘Man Trip’ was over. Now we have someone to tell us what to do every minute of the day. Sure was nice to be able to make our own decisions for 2 weeks.

Next entry will be titled the “Key West Vacation”.



What a great year I have had.  I finally managed to change jobs to work in the Desktop Customer Support field.  I have tried for the last three years to make this happen but have been unable to move because of retirements and hiring freezes. 

I have been working in my new field for three months now.  In a casual conversation on how I liked my new job and how was Ray taking my renewed commitment to work until 2010.  I replied that he was supportive but not thrilled; he was going to miss me accompanying him to Key West this winter.  Well…. my new boss asked how long would I like to be gone.  Me, being smart, replied that 30 days would be great.  Suprise Suprise I as granted 30 days leave without pay!!    Now some of you may not think that is a good deal, getting time off without pay.  I am lucky enough that we are able to forgo the paycheck to save my earned leave for use this summer.

Wooo Hoooo!!!!