So, March is upon us and we have decided to head home early to see how well or not, the little house survived the harsh winter. Before we go, there is still lots going on. A bunch of us went out to listen to TruGrass, a blue grass band. We heard them a couple of years ago and enjoyed the entertainment and this evening was no different, they were great.
Bill, Tom & I went to a cooking class that demonstrated ‘the how to’ while cooking grass fed beef, home made pesto served with cooked macaroni. Of course, being a commercial establishment, we were not permitted wine for our dinner so we stopped before hand for a few primer cocktails. The teaching kitchen was modern and open so we could all experience what each other was doing. Naturally, the 3 of us had fun and an excellent steak meal. Have no fears, our ladies were out for dinner too.
Saturday brought warm sunshine which urged us to replace the broken panel in our shed. It broke in 2013 and the manufacturer sent us a new one but I didn’t get a round tuit until now. So you ask, how many guys does it take to change a panel in a shed – four you say! Larry, Bill & Tom came by to help out and a good thing too, the roof panel had to be removed and so on. We had it all done inside of an hour and another few minutes admiring our hard work.
Sunday was such a beautiful day, we just had to get the boats wet again before we head north where our kayak won’t see water for a few months. We (Tom & Cheryl and Bill & Ann) put in at the boat launch on highway 98 and paddled through the canals that were left behind from an old campground that was destroyed after a hurricane ripped through this area a few years ago and is now a wet land reserve - Weeks Bay Reserve. After making our way through the canals, we paddled up the Fish River, made a right turn down another canal that wound through some pretty nice homes – all equipped with boat hoists and party rooms. Looks like a busy party area and it must be noisy on the weekends come summer! Once we cleared that canal, we turned down river and back to the launch site. All totalled, we paddled over 3 miles and had a wonderful time. Afterwards, we cooled down at Tom & Cheryl’s for happy hour - their deck faces west so we enjoy the late afternoon sun.
Tuesday was an exciting day. Our friends Larry & Marti – she is a southern belle from Charleston, SC. – hosted a Frogmore Stew for us northerners to enjoy. Our hosts extraordinaire provided everything, even the beer but if you wanted something different, you brought it yourself. Barb & I took dessert and a jug of Vesper Martinis for all. Everyone brought so much that I can’t list it here suffice it to say, no one went home hungry or thirsty!
This was a first time experience for us and it was maybe the highlight of the winter season. This is not a meal that you sit down for and most people do not use knives or forks – one might get hurt reaching for a morsel! Once the boil is done, the contents are drained and then poured out onto a large table covered in paper and anyone hungry, bellies up and digs in. The food was great, the company excellent and of course the beverages capped it all off for a great afternoon of fun.
We’re winding down now but still getting some chores done before we button it up and head out. Jerry came over to show me an easy way to sink long augers into the ground so we could fasten our rig down so it doesn’t end up on someone else’s lot! I manage to get’r washed and the boat washed and bagged for home. Now, this may sound busy but we still had time for a few lunches out – Big Daddy’s of course and we met the ladies at the Sunset Pointe in Fairhope. It is a real nice spot, overlooking the Fairhope Yacht Club and Mobile Bay. It was a wonderful afternoon, sitting out on the back deck with friends having lunch and a few laughs.
On Saturday before we left, we hosted happy hour under our magnolia tree. We had quite a crowd and our friend Dallas came by with his fiddle and played a few songs for us. What a great day and send off for us.
We had a wonderful surprise on Sunday – well, not really a surprise since they emailed that they would be by but a wonderful visit by Canadian friends Ray & Donna (aka Crusty). They were on their way back from Florida and since they were in the area, they thought they would stop by for a brief visit to see where we have all the winter fun. How’s your geography, LA is not really on their way home from Florida so it was more special to see them. After a little tour, we introduced them to the bunch we hang with over lunch at - - you guessed it, Big Daddy’s!
Ok, so I have written maybe too much but this ends with us loading the truck and head’n north to Georgia to check in on our friend Lydia. Our next post will pick us up there…. until then, wishing you well and safe travels wherever you are.
Again, I am slack in posting for our loyal readers. I have no excuses except we have been really busy. We are back home in Ontario now but I will try to bring you up to date on our exciting activities.
I left off on our return back to the Plantation after a fun few days at Ho Hum RV park in Florida and we quickly slid into the groove of things and activities. Barb continues working on some quilt projects and I finally finish washing and waxing the neighbour's rig (I mentioned this task in my last post). Now, as you know, all this work was not done without a little fun. More happy hours on the warm days – even some on cool days but more difficult as all 8 of us get cozy in the host rig.
We even have happy hours at local establishments like this one, The Sunset Point Cafe at the Fly Creek Marina in Fairhope. It is at the base of a small bay on Mobile Bay, looking west over the Fairhope Yacht Club and into the setting sun – a great place for a late afternoon beverage.
We were even out on the water a couple of times this past few weeks. It is wonderful being on the water again. Against our better judgement, we have to kayak on weekends because of the weather – if we didn’t, we might be out! Anyway, we noticed an interesting observation – the more senior boaters do not slow down to reduce their wake for us yet the younger boaters do! Must be the southern upbringing – yes sir, no sir etc!
The ladies decided that just quilting was not all they wanted to accomplish this season and started to design and paint a mini barn quilt for our sites. Tom & I sanded and prime painted the boards and when dry, Barb & Cheryl started painting. At first, they painted together under our awning but the pine pollen drove them inside. Barb was able to complete 1 side of hers before we left and it looks great.
In early March, a few of us went on a Shrimp Boat cruise to learn all about the Shrimping industry. Our day started early to meet the bus and then a drive to Biloxi to a casino to separate us from our money. Barb & I did pretty good and left there with more than we went in with – we’re not buying anything big by the way but at least we were in the black. Then we bellied up to the lunch buffet – need I say I was over served again? So much good food and of course, I had to try everything I wanted to and then couldn’t move without Barb wheeling me around in a wheel barrow!
We all felt better after a long walk on the fishing pier just outside of the casino before we headed over to the Shrimping tour boat. The tour guide demonstrated the shrimp nets, talked about the shrimp season, where the shrimp are and what brings them in or out. He even caught a small one when he brought the net in along with a few other interesting creatures. He handled each one and talked about what he had caught etc. It turned out to be a beautiful day to be out on the water and learning some stuff too.
Now that I am done with being nice to the neighbours, I have built a garden under the Magnolia tree to keep the summer grass cutters away from the lower limbs of the tree. Last summer, a few were damaged by the canopy of the mower. There is no plan to plant this area so we filled it with the same type of gravel we used for the walk way to the shed and it looks great.
This post brings us up to the first week in March and I will post again soon to get us back to Ontario – maybe!