Orlando again: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Seaworld and more friends

Our final week in Florida was back in Orlando.  We had originally planned another two weeks there visiting family and friends in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Jacksonville, and Greenville SC as we made our way back home.  But it seemed better to get back home so Marilyn could be spending time with her 102-year-old mother.  As it turned out, that was a good call since we got word as we were driving back that she had taken a turn.  We were able to get Marilyn on a flight to Buffalo from Savannah.  Mom rallied and is stable, interactive and in good spirits.  I continued the drive home.  I spent the first night with Liam and family in Charlotte and the second in Pittsburgh where I am beginning this post.  I will drive to Buffalo Friday morning.  Depending on the situation we will probably be home in Rochester that night.

But back to Orlando.  We spent the week in a resort about 30 minutes outside Orlando and about the same from the Disney World attractions.  It worked out well for us and …

Miami, Wynwood, Coral Gables and Little Havana

After two weeks in North Miami Beach, we packed up the car and headed for four days at the Aloft Hotel in Coral Gables, just off the Miracle Mile.  It was a rainy Saturday morning and we decided to stop by the Wynwood District to see what was happening.  We had seen the district from a tour bus two years ago and I was fascinated by the wall art.  The on and off again rain didn't hamper us nor the hundreds of others who were spending Saturday there.  The walls were even more vibrant than I remembered them.  We spent a couple of hours strolling through the district looking at the walls and shops and watching the people whose number increased as the weather improved.  Wynwood was a warehouse and commercial district which has experienced a transformation.  There are three districts in Wynwood:  Art, Fashion, and Technology.

The Wynwood Walls are what draw people.  They are vibrant and are refreshed and even repainted every December.  The late urban developer Tony Goldman conceived the…

Second Week in North Miami Beach

We began our second week in North Miami Beach with a Weight Watcher weigh in in Hollywood Beach.  Emboldened by our positive results, we immediately made for Delaware chicken Farm & Fish Market.  You read that right.  Chicken farm and fish market.  Since 1951 this family-owned market has been providing the best fish, chicken, and meats in the area.  Marilyn learned about it during a fitness class at the Y here.  We had to wait about ten minutes for a spot to open up in the parking lot where a Hollywood police officer was managing traffic.  This was a late morning weekday, no less.  We brought two large salmon fillets, a pound of sea scallops and 3/4 pound of shrimp.  Five delicious meals.  This is a local favorite.  We were glad we found it.

On Sunday, we drove less than ten minutes down to Miami for Sunday Mass at the Cathedral of St. Mary.  In 1958, 16 counties in South Florida were "detracted" from the Archdiocese of St. Augustine to form the Diocese of Miami.  The V…

First Week in North Miami Beach

 sOur first week here was spent getting to know the area, shopping for food, finding a YMCA, shopping for clothes and exploring the beach and other activities.  Our rental is not much to look at from the outside.  The inside is neat, clean and relatively roomy for a one-bedroom mobile home.  It has a great entertainment center with a 50-inch screen.  I brought our Roku stick from home so we can enjoy all the programs we normally watch.  The wifi signal is fast and strong  There is no landscaping around our unit and not much throughout the neighborhood.  However, the price point was within our budget.  We are only 15 minutes from an extensive public beach and from Aventura Mall, the biggest mall either of us has ever seen.  Also, we are five minutes from a Costco.

We found the closest YMCA in Hallandale Beach about 15 minutes away.  It is brand new and very
user-friendly.  We had some trouble getting access as Y members since we didn't show up as national members.  A friendly staff…

Getting to Orlando

On February 1 we left Rochester to spend seven weeks away from winter in Florida.  The weather in Rochester had been relatively mild for winter and when we left it didn't feel all that wintry.  However, within a week, our decision to flee was vindicated by a winter storm that was predicted to drop 11 inches of snow with temperatures in the single digits.  By that time, we were in Orlando where we enjoyed clear weather in the seventies.

But before that, we spent two days in Centreville VA near Dulles Airport with my brother Tom and his wife Sarah.  It was an easy seven-hour drive there with clear weather and gradually increasing warmth.  We were treated to a delicious dinner on our arrival and enjoyed visiting.  While we had seen them two weeks earlier in Kansas City at our sister Louisa's funeral, we really had not been able to just relax two of our favorite people.

However, the big event of our visit was to watch the Super Bowl with two rabid Chiefs fans.  Sunday morning we …