Sunday, 1 April 2007

A Great Weekend!

Mary and Bill at Rotten Ralph's

The four of us in Bill and Mary's lanai with the help of Mr. Tripod

Three alligators

Wild pig and babies and a great egret

Betty and Garth were leaving to head back to Toronto today so we left them on their own and headed north on I-75 stopping at the Venice Rookery as had been suggested by friends of Gordon’s that we met up with in Louisiana. There were a lot of birds in the rookery but too far away for my camera. We drove through Venice and took some photos then got back on I-75. We arrived on Anna Maria Island mid afternoon and were greeted by Gordon’s former employer and long time friend, Bill and his significant other, Mary. We had a nice afternoon chatting, then Bill took us for a drive around the islands and then out for dinner at a restaurant called Rotten Ralphs. We all had grouper – Mary and Bill had it fried, I had it blackened and Gordon had it grilled. It was all very good.

This morning Bill again took us out for breakfast at a little restaurant close to him called Minnie’s Beach Café. He also told us that there is no Minnie involved, neither is the café on the beach. It’s a very busy little place and we were lucky we got there when we did as people started to line up just after we arrived.

After we got back to their place, the guys wanted to talk techie stuff so Mary and I walked over to a little flea market they were having very close to the house. One lady had a lot of furniture painted with the one-stroke painting method (which I do but am not very good at). She had some really nice pieces – card tables, little vanities, telephone tables and all sorts of items at really reasonable prices. No room!

We left Bill and Mary shortly before noon and as we were going south on I-75 decided to stop at the Myakka River State Park. I know RVer friends, Linda and Howard of stayed there last year and seemed to enjoy it. There are two campgrounds but a lot of trees. There were very few sites that we could get into let alone see the satellites. As far as wildlife, we saw lots of alligators, most of them quite far away, thank goodness. We also saw lots of birds, again mostly far away and a wild pig with three babies. I also saw a water snake of some kind – YUK! After spending about three hours at the park we headed home arriving around 5:00 p.m.

Below are our expenses for March. Overall we did quite well since campgrounds and fuel are more expensive in Florida than in Texas. Since I was with my sister for three weeks the Misc total is rather high as we did some shopping. We’ve also been to quite a few parks and eaten out a bit so our entertainment is probably higher than usual. All in all I’m quite happy with our total for this month.

March Expenses

Campground including electric - $772.35

Groceries/Wine/Spritis - $454.79

Laundry - $15.75

Entertainment/Parking/Restaurants - $143.51

Truck Fuel - $370.02

Propane - $0.00

Repairs RV/Truck - $18.14 (getting RV tire fixed)

Internet/TV/Cell/Insurance (Fixed Expenses) - $372.55

Medical/Dental - $0.00

Gifts - $0.00

Misc - $327.56

Total $2474.67

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