Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Webster Flea Market

While we didn't get as early a start as we wanted to, we decided to go to the Webster flea market in, where else, Webster, FL. It was about a half hour from our campground. When we got there I felt like I was in the parking lot of Willowbrook Mall at Christmas time. There was no where to park and people were rude. We found a gentleman who was leaving as soon as his wife finished her shopping, so we waited patiently in that aisle. While we were waiting, another couple came along and said they were leaving and we could have their space. Great! On went the blinker. A FL car then pulled up from the opposite direction and put their blinker on for the same spot. So much for "southern hospitality", it was more like southern hostility. (Must be a transplant from the north. LOL) She was not about to let us have the spot, so I graciously got out of my car to insure we would get it. We had been there for almost 45 minutes looking for a parking space. After spewing some vulgarities from her car, she decided to leave and look for another spot, which she found in the next row.

Now onto the good part...this flea market is HUGE! It is the largest and oldest flea market in Florida. So big that it is impossible to see everything in one day. It sits on 40 acres of land. There were vendors everywhere. Fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods. New items of every kind and old "junk". T-shirts, hand painted dresses, you name it, they had it. The good part about getting there later is that prices were dropping. We didn't buy anything at first, just walked and looked around. Around noon time, we decided to take a break and have some lunch. We got some huge hamburgers and a couple of drinks. Sat down at a picnic table and enjoyed our burgers. It was fun discussing the weather up north with some people who were from upstate NY.

Continuing on our quest to conquer this flea market, we found an orchid stand. He had just dropped the price from $3 an orchid plant to $2. I told Len, we should really get one for his mom. She loves orchids. The only problem is so do our cats. Where would we keep them. Would they make the trip back north, knowing that we wouldn't see her until Mother's Day. My arguement was it's only $2, so we bought two of them. If they die, we buy her another gift. So far they are still alive. While we're in Florida, I'm keeping them outside. At this point we were both getting tired, so we started to head back toward our car. On the way back is where the money started to get spent. After all, I just couldn't pass up fresh canteloupe, string beans, broccolli tops, Florida sweet onions for one dollar each. And let's not forget the croissants and baked goods either. All in all, it was a good day for walking around and taking in the sweet aromas of the food vendors.

Thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas' Trails...until next time.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Fill of Frogs Legs

It’s been a great week. Last weekend we stayed at our friends, Donna and Pete, again. Saturday, Donna took us to Homosassa Springs State Park. What a beautiful place. We took the courtesy tram to the entrance and returned via the boat ride. It was a nice boardwalk trail peppered with park benches. As we walked thru, we saw all sorts of animals native to Florida. All, except Lu the hippo. He was “grandfathered in” because he’s been there so long. It was a cool day, so the animals were very active which was nice to see. The pink flamingo’s even put on a parade for us, walking single file along the stream.

Monday, we left Donna’s and made the short trip to Wildwood, Fl to stay for a few weeks at Three Flags RV Resort. It is one of the resort parks in our contract where we can stay for three weeks for free. They have about 200 sites, a nice pool, game room, laundry facilities (for Len to use). A nice quiet park which we like. The sites are large, level and mostly pull-thru’s so we don’t have to worry about backing into a site.

While we were here, we drove up to “The Villages”. The best I can describe this place is an all-in-one place to live. There are numerous “villages” all connected. They have food stores, banks, clothing stores, restaurants, fast food, churches, medical facilities, etc. all via roads specifically for golf carts. When driving around, you are sharing the road with cars, golf carts (decked out nicer than some cars I’ve seen), and tri-cycles. At major intersections where golf carts are not allowed, they have tunnels. It’s pretty cool if you ask me. We stopped at a self- serve frozen yogurt place there called High Five Your Life. When you go inside they have cups or waffle cones to choose from, then you choose which flavor or flavors of frozen yogurt you want. The nice part is if you’re not a big fan of ice cream/frozen yogurt you only add a little to your cup. Then you have toppings of all sorts. And they had outdoor seating. We made our sundae’s and went outside to enjoy them.

Friday night, we went to an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet at The Speckled Butter Bean. Like I’ve said before, we left the “diner state” and are enjoying the “buffet state”. While in Orlando, we went to a lot of buffets but really enjoyed The Golden Coral the most. Well, we found a better buffet. This place has excellent home made food, even the mashed potatoes. I especially enjoyed the frogs legs and baked striped bass. Yes, frogs legs do taste like chicken with a lot less meat on the legs. On Wednesday’s their breakfast buffet is buy one, get one half price, so for about $7.50, guess where we’re going?

Enjoy the slide show and thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails…until next time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chrissys visit

It’s been awhile since my last post, so let me bring you up to speed. While Lenny and I are fully enjoying our new lifestyle, it has had its adjustments. One major adjustment has been missing our daughter. I think I have had more of an issue with this than Lenny, or maybe he just doesn’t express it as much. Well, anyway, it got to the point that we called her to find out when she could get off of work and then bought her a train ticket so she could spend a week with us. That week went way too fast, but we did a lot and enjoyed her company immensely. She arrived last Monday shortly after noon. We were all hungry so we took her to Cici’s Pizza for $2.99/per person all you can eat lunch. While their pizza does not compare with Bruno’s back in Clifton, the price was right and they have a dessert pizza to die for. It has a custard topping with a white drizzle. You would think you were eating a Boston Crème donut without the chocolate.

Tuesday, we drove into Orlando to enjoy the Titanic Experience. If you ever have the opportunity to see this display, DO IT! Chrissy loved the movie Titanic and we thought she would enjoy this. She did. The tour lasted about an hour and our guide was very funny, until we got to the serious part. He was a very good actor. We were given two tickets, one to give to our guide and one with the name of a passenger/worker written on it. At the end of the tour, the names of everyone on the ship was written on the walls. You could then check your ticket to see if you survived. The two tickets Lenny and I had both perished that fateful night. The name on Chrissys ticket however had survived, Mrs. John Jacob Astor.

Wednesday, we just hung around the campground and at the pool.

Chrissy waving hi

I think Thursday was the highlight of Chrissys week. We were able to purchase discount tickets to Seaworld thru the NJEA. We got there around noon time and closed the park at 7pm. The killer whale show was pretty tame. The trainers were dressed in black and white wet suits and they never entered the water. It was more slide shows on the screen than whales doing tricks. The cutest part was seeing the baby orca, born in Oct., swimming with her mother. Our daredevil daughter had to go on at least one roller coaster and she chose Kraken. It was an hour wait, but we finally saw her pulling out of the station and riding that thrill coaster. We were able to see the Dolphin show which was spectacular. Lots of interaction between the dolphins and trainers. It was a long day and on the way home we stopped at the Fiesta Mexican Buffet on Rt. 192. In my opinion, it was not worth the price. The selection was not that great especially for the price.

Friday was recouping day. It was a beautiful day to just hang out…but then we got bored so after dinner we went to play mini-golf. That was a lot of fun.

Saturday, we had company. My niece and her husband live in Northern Florida and they decided to come down and visit with Chrissy on her last day here. It was great to finally meet Carl and it was good to see Brittany again. The “kids” decided to drive to Orlando and do some shopping. When they came back they enjoyed some time in the pool and hot tub. Before long, it was time for them to drive home.

Sunday was the worst day of all. First, we had to say farewell to our daughter as she boarded her train home. The week had gone by way too fast. I told her I wouldn’t cry, but I lied. I wish I could have that week back, but I know that time marches on and she wanted to go back home just as much as she wanted to stay and be spoiled by mom and dad. Second, I received a phone call later that day from my girl friends husband. Karen and I have been friends for over 30 years. She had been battling cancer for many years and was in the final stages. I was able to visit with her before we left and told her I would see her next time I was in NJ, around May. Next time now will be when we are walking streets of gold. Steve told me that on Friday she told him she was tired of fighting and wanted to go home. On Saturday, around 9pm with family and friends surrounding her, she was ushered into heaven, free of pain and finally healed. She has crossed that river and fought the good fight.

It was a bittersweet week, but thanks for traveling along with us on The Thomas’ Trails…until next time.