Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cocoa Beach 2011 Day 7,8, & 9

Friday April 29, 2011
 We had to get up at three o'clock and get Jewel and the kids' things in the van and leave for the airport in Orlando.  They were flying home to Blissfield at 6:15 on the Spirit airlines.  They will be home in two and one half hours, quite different than our trip down.  We got them at the airport in plenty of time and they were able to check in quickly outside the front doors.  We drove back to Jack's condo and watched the Royal Wedding with Cathy.  This was 6:00 in the morning! 

Prince William and Kate Middleton

By the time it was over, we all needed naps, so we went back to our condo at Ocean Landings and slept until Steve woke us up with mad frantic calls saying he couldn't get in touch with anyone and he needed directions on how to get to either our condo or Jack's.  We told him the best we directions we could and then I texted Cathy telling her Steve was trying to get in touch with her.  None of us have good cell service here.  This was about the time that the launch was scrapped.  We were all so disappointed.  Steve decided to go to Jack's and then they went out to lunch.  We had to check out the next we started packing up the things we wouldn't need and put them in the Van.
Jewel called and said they had arrived home safely and it was 41* in Michigan. 
I repeat...I am not going back to Michigan until it gets warm and stays warm! 
Steve, Cathy, and Gene finally came over to our condo.  Steve said they were going to stay until Monday and hoped to see the launching pf the shuttle then, so we decided to stay too.  We don't have anywhere we need to be. I guess Gene ran around with Steve and Mike when they were teenagers, so they had fun talking about old times.
 Lots of good memories for them.  Cathy and I had gone to the grocery store the day before and bought Strip steak, baked potatoes, and corn-on-the-cob.  We used the outdoor grills and just had a wonderful meal.  Gene's wife, Cindy arrived just as we were cooking the steak.   We ate, talked a little longer and then Steve and Cathy went back to Jack's and Gene and Cindy stayed at our Condo in Destany and Tanner's room.

Saturday, April 30, 2011
We woke up fairly early and finished packing and cleaning out the refrigerator and packed everything in the car.  Gene and Cindy had spent the night and they helped us get things packed up and down to the car.  we went to the Resort office to check out and then get checked into our new room.  This was just a motel executive room much smaller and not near as nice as our condo rooms.  It is one room with a bathroom.  It has two queen size beds, a mini fridge, and a microwave.  It is near the front of the resort...not on the ocean beach, but near the first pool.  Steve and Cathy met us and Gene and Cindy at Denny's for breakfast.  Gene treated us with paying for our meal.  then they had to go pick up some furniture and their dogs and go back to there home in Orlando. 
We went with Cathy and Steve back to Jack, Cathy's twin brother's condo.  We visited there for a while and then Jack told us he wanted to go to a tiki bar on the water called Grills, so we all went together. 
 Some of Jack's buddies from the ship were there and we joined them.  Jack's job is to retrieve things that fall off the shuttle into the ocean,  The other three guys, Mario, Jim, and Joe are the ones that use radar to track the things that fall of the shuttle.  Their radar equipment is so good it could track something as small as a bb falling off the shuttle.  Everyone was drinking except me, Cathy, and Mike.  They were also laughing and joking around quite a bit.

 We all had a few snacks and sat outside at a table with a big umbrella. 

My brother Steve and his wife Cathy below.

My sister-in-law Cathy and her twin brother Jack below.

There were a lot of people there.  There was also live music...great songs.  Everyone was raving about how great the Margarettes were, guess my daughter Jewel should have been here...she loves Margarettes!  Jack remembered the way Mike could hold his beer when they were young and kept trying to buy Mike beers.  Mike used to suck down a whole bottle in  one drink...not many guys can do that...and they shouldn't do is not safe.  But finally Mike sucked down two beers in a row and the other guys were quite impressed.  No one else wanted to even try it.  There was a young guy, named Jim, there  who had had a little too much to drink who was trying to get guys to arm wrestle him...finally Jack did and much to the young' guy's surprise, Jack beat him.

 Then everyone was teasing Jim and telling him that he let an old man 60 years old beat him...pretty soon it was a 70 year old man and then an 80 or 90 year old man.  Jack didn't like the way he was aging.  Even the tables around us were joking and laughing.  Jack kept trying to get me to drink and even though I told him that I just didn't like alcohol, he still bought me drinks.  I just gave them to other people at the table.  Maybe I wasn't acting happy enough but I was having a good time.   As we left a young girl in pink came up to me and said she thought I was pretty awesome to not be drinking and to put up with all those drinking guys.  Young Jim, who was pretty far gone by then, heard her and put his arm around me and said he thought I was pretty awesome too, to put up particularly with him.  Before we left a Cruise ship went by.  I can't wait to go on a cruise again.  I want our whole family to go on one together for my big birthday in 2012.
We were going to get BBQ for dinner and Jack and his buddies decided to follow us.  We went to a place called Slow and Low BBQ.  They had calmed down a little but were still trying to drink, but they just didn't seem to have it in them anymore. The meal was pretty good.  By this time we were all pretty tired and decided to go back to our rooms and rest.  Guess we will get together with the Kelley's tomorrow.  Jack has to go out on the ship again to pick up things that fall away from the shuttle.
Today was my sister Lynne's birthday, so I gave her a phone call.  As I said the cell phone service is not good here and it is even worse in this new room....only one place where you can get enough bars to make a call and you better not move from it.  I found that out quickly.  I usually pace when I talk on the phone and I immediately lost my call and had to dial back.  It was a good day...everyone was happy and had fun!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cocoa Beach Day 4, 5, & 6

Tuesday, April 26,2011
We all got up this morning still very sunburn, so the beach and pool were out while the sun was still strong.  Jewel fixed eggs and ham for breakfast and we watched a little TV.  A show called Top Models or something like that....Jewel and Destany's choice.
Then Jewel and I went to Walmart to look for a Florida Gators hoodie for Dakota.  got a little more meat for the spaghetti and some half price Easter candy.  I found a couple of cute cover-ups there.  We couldn't find the hoodie in Walmart so we went to Merrick Maul. We finally found one in the maul at The Finish Line but it is a 3XL...think Dakota will like that?  I found two nice Gator's shirt for two of the I need one or two more.  When we got back to the condo it was time for the Jungle Animal Safari Show at the Picnic Area.  They had crocodiles, tarantulas, python snakes, a skunk, and a Virginian Opossum.  We touched, held, and took pictures of the animals. All three of the Wells had their picture made with the big python and Tanner had a picture made with a tarantula on his head and neck. Here are some pictures.

 I called Cathy Kelley to see if she was here at the beach yet and she was at Jack's.  We were going for lunch at Friday's and invited Cathy and Jack to join us...they were going to  a restaurant called Grills.  So we decided to meet at the Condo later.  When she called back, they had changed there mind and went to Gregorey's the restaurant connected to our Condos...guess that is one of the best restaurants in the town.  Jewel and kids went back to the Condo and we stopped in the restaurant to visit with Cathy and her twin brother Jack.  They came up to see our condo and then they went to Jack's condo.  We went to the pool and the hot tub. 
It was funny, there were two little girls (8 years old) in the pool that kept coming over to talk to us.  It turns out they were from Milton, Delware.  That is the town my sister Lynne lives in.  There was a singer in the picnic area and we could hear him in the pool/hot tub area....he was pretty good.  We came back up to the rooms and showered and popped some corn for watching the movie.  Jewel brought a DVD Deprived.  It was sad and about killing and hunting Jews.  We made plans to go on a boat trip early tomorrow.  Another Great Day!
Wednesday April 27, 2011
Today we all drug ourselves out of bed around was harder
for some than it was for others.
We had a tour planned to take a pontoon boat on the Banana River and see Manatees, Dolphins, Florida Birds, go to a small island to pick up shells. We got there just in was hard to signs. It was a comfortable ride with just the five of
us and Captain Mike.

We set out at 8:00am and went looking for Manatees.

 It wasn't long before we found them. They were in pods feeding on the floating river grass. Captain Mike said the Banana River bottom was covered with grass. We took pictures but none are real great because the river water was murky and grassy. Also they would flip around and stick their noses up, but we never seemed to be in the right place to get the best shot. We were anchored by a small island that was covered with trees. There were all kinds of birds in the trees there...some nesting. Lots of pelicans were there.

 Down on the ground were two white birds...they are called Ibis. When we got closer we could see that one was tangled up in the trees with fishing line. Captain Mike pulled the boat up close to the island and Tanner and he captured it and brought it to the boat.

Then they worked on getting it untangles from the plastic line...even Mike had to help. At first the bird just laid in the might have a broken wing. After awhile it seemed to get some energy back and he started walking around the boat...trying to escape.

 Once he did get in the water but we easily picked him back up...he is not ready to be on his own yet. Captain Mike called The Wild Endangered Bird Release Program and told them we had picked up an injured bird. I just hope he gets back to his mate on that little Island of trees when he is released.
Then we went off looking for Dolphins and we found them too. We never really got close to them but we took pictures anyway. Maybe we can zoom in on a picture and see them better

 The next stop was a tiny little island with a long sandbar.


 At first it didn't look like there were any good shells, but after looking closer we found some very sweet little conk shells.

The ride was so nice with warm sun and warm breeze. We could have stayed out there for days.

But finally the Captain started heading back to the landing. When we got back on land we got out our money to pay for the trip. The wind ripped a $10 bill out of Jewel's hand and it landed in the water. We all stood there shocked trying to figure out what to do to get it. Destany went over to the edge stuck her foot in the water and used her flip flops to scoop it up. We all cheered and said it was a shame that we didn't have the camera out to get pictures. Jewel said she need change for a five so I got my money out and guess what happened? You guessed money flew in the water too.
Again Destany saved the day with her flip flops. This time I got a picture. We went back to the Condo. Destany wanted to stop at MacDonald’s for breakfast but breakfast time was over. So when we got back to the condo, Jewel made smoothies and biscuits, ham and eggs. After that we went to the pool and laided in sun to get some tan on our legs.

Jewel got too much sun again and got burnt on her legs...I think I got just the right amount and it will turn to tan tomorrow. By now we were all a little tired since we got up so early, so we ate some snacks and took a little nap. Cathy called to check in and I woke up and talked with her a while. We are going to spend time tomorrow together after her twin brother Jack goes out to sea for 4 days. Jewel and I made the spaghetti and it was good.

We watched some kite surfers in front of our condo...boy can they go fast.   

It looks like hard work to me. Then we watched TV, read, texted, and talked on the phone. I talked to Bethany and Maria on the cell phone in the evening.

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Today we went to the Kennedy Space Center....Cathy, Jewel, Destany, and I.  We took some cool pictures with a model Space Shuttle at some souvenir shops along the way.

While we drove there we missed our turn and got to a private gate and asked if we could make a u-turn and get back to our entrance.  The guard said, "Sure".  Cathy said, "Good because we didn't want to be arrested!"  We had a hard time finding a parking place, but....finally we the last row!  We walked up to the entrance gate and got our pictures made in the astronaut suit and that was fun. 

Then we went into a little 3 D display about how the people benefit from things invented by NASA and a saw an iMAX  movie in the round.  That kind of made me dizzy. When we came out we went to the little cart souvenir shop.  We all picked out some souvenirs for ourselves and people back home.  We got astronaut toys , key chains, shuttle models, patches, pins, pencils, hats, and tote bags.  Then we tried to go into the museum.  You had to go on a tour to go in and we didn't want to be there that long, so we didn't go in.
 As we got back to the big astronaut suit, we decided to take pictures again.  No one else was there so we took some with someone in the suit and others in front of the suit.  Destany noticed a photographer taking pictures of us taking pictures.  Later he came over and asked our names and where we were from.  He said our pictures might be in the paper tomorrow. How fun...we all hoped so.

 Soon we found our car and headed for the condo.  We turned left as we came out of the parking lot and all begain talking about what we had enjoyed today.  Pretty soon we came to the private gate house again.  Everyone was stopping and talking to the guard and then driving on, so we did too.  But the guard wouldn't let us drive on when Cathy asked him if we could.  He said, "No you can't!"  Cathy asked why and he said, " Where are you trying to go?"  She said "Cocoa Beach".  Then he said we were going the wrong way. 
We needed to take the turn around again and go back in the direction we were coming from.  We were at the same private gate we went to when we missed our turn upon first arriving at the Space Center!  We still didn't get arrested and we all laughted at our mistake and headed in the right direction.  We went to lunch at Long John Silvers and A&W Rootbeer before we went back to the condo.  When we got back, Jewel and the kids went to the pool and the ocean and the adults visited together.

 At 6:00pm the activities center had an ice cream sundae party.  After that Mike, Cathy, and I went and got pizza and brought it back to everyone.  Everyone but me watched "Idol" on TV and I filled in our vacation journal.  Jewel was leaving tomorrow, so she and the kids had to pack up amd get to bed so they could get some sleep. It was a fun day and a great week!