Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sarasota, FL

(I wrote this post 2 days ago but have not been able to post it due to NO INTERNET - GRRR! We are currently at the rendezvous which starts shortly. More about that later.)

We have been in Sarastoa since Friday. When we left the Everglades, we went to a marina in Naples for 2 nights.

At the Naples marina we were docked next to September Song (Bob and Stephanie) which was great. The first night we ate at the dockside restaurant and the second night we ordered a great pizza which we had with Stephanie and Bob on Rickshaw. During the day Bob helped Rick replace the cable on the winch that we use to hoist the dingy up and down. The old one had started to fray and we were worried that it would break and that we would lose the dingy! They made a good team and it was done in no time.

Here is Bob bringing adult beverages to Rickshaw to have with the pizza. We had planned to stay in Naples for several days but the weather forcast was not looking good for the next few days (high winds and bumpy seas). So, we followed September Song to an anchorage just north of Sanibel island. Many people know

Sanibel and Captiva islands on the west coast for the beautiful beaches and great shelling. We arrived before the winds kicked up too badly and spent two nights there. On the second night Stephanie and Bob invited us over for a wonderful shrimp and garlic dinner. Earlier they docked next to a shrimper and were able to get 12 lbs of shrimp for $30!! A good deal anywhere. I had bought an apple pie in Naples and we polished that off for dessert. It was a very fun evening.

We left early on Friday morning for the long passage up the west coast Intercoastal Waterway. It too us 9 1/2 hours to get here but it was a pleasant cruise. Here are some what we call 'Keysie' house boats outside of Naples. Not a bad way to live.

We wanted to come to Sarasota to visit our friends Bryan and Chris who were from DC and have made a new life in Sarasota. Bryan and Lynnie worked together with IBM many moons ago and have stayed in touch all these years. This is the view from our boat at the marina. A very pretty city.

Bryan picked us up on Saturday and gave us the tour of Sarasota. We seldom get the chance to really see the city that we are docked in. You can only see so much on a bike and we are usually just determined to get to the local grocery store or West Marina for provisions and/or boat parts. Then we spent the night at Bryan and Chris' beautiful home. All of the doors lead to the pool. I could vacation there nicely for several weeks!

They also took us to the much needed liquor store and grocery store. I went back on Sunday for their Oscar party which was a real blast. It was a real treat to catch up with their lives. Sarasota is one of the prettiest cities we have visited in Florida. Bryan sells real estate and kept giving us the sales pitch to move there...maybe someday! Below are Chris fixing an amazing amount of appetizers, Bryan fixing the drinks and Bryan and me in our Oscar 'outfits'. So fun.

Tomorrow we leave the marina and start heading south. The DeFever rendezvous (our make of boat) starts on Friday. There will be 40 or so DeFever boats there and about 130 or so DeFever owners in attendance. This will be our 3rd rendezvous and we are looking forward to seeing everyone again.