JP, Rachel and Eleanor arrived at Palm Beach airport on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 12:40 pm. They had a relatively uneventful direct flight from Chicago. The plane was not full and most rows had an empty middle seat. Of course their row had a third person in it. After some minor grumbling the lady moved her seat and gave them the whole row.
The weather upon arrival was perfect. It was 82°f and sunny. After lunch, a tour of the condo grounds and a nap we all went swimming. Water temperature in the pool was 88°f. Very nice. Eleanor enjoyed splashing around and climbing the wide pool steps.
Rachel, Eleanor and Priscilla
We cooked dinner in the condo and sat at our dining room table for the first time ever. I have been perfecting my recipe for the drink Cosmopolitan. Rachel and Priscilla were pleased with the result.
On Sunday morning I went for my daily hour long walk over the Sewall’s Point bridge. I see many of the same people walking over the bridge each day. On Wednesdays there is a group of twenty or so new moms that get together and push their baby carriages over the bridge. They are jogging and racing each other over and back. It is a competition as much as it is exercise. Fortunately they are on the south side of the bridge and I am on the north side so I am not at risk of getting run over by a baby stroller.
After breakfast we all went for a walk to look at the homes along the river. The landscaping is very tropical and all that implies.
The Florida Black Snake we saw is non-venomous
My brother Bill and his wife Joanne just bought a condo in Sebastian near Vero Beach. They gave us the bistro table and chairs that came with their condo. They want a larger table and four high rise chairs for their lanai. The railing on their lanai is at eye level when sitting in regular height chairs which obscures their view. They want higher chairs so they can easily look out onto their lovely pond and garden view.
Thank you Bill and Joanne
JP, Rachel and Eleanor are the first of many family and friends that will visit us in Stuart this winter. Our renovations are complete enough to make the condo very livable. The guest room mattress and box spring arrived last week along with the complete bedroom set. The painting is complete in the guest bedroom and bathroom, hallway, second bathroom and lanai. We donated all of our cast iron patio furniture to the Restore. They picked it up.
The guest room is complete
We have been in our condo for 30 days. The time has flown by. Dan and Iris arrived from Lake Bluff two weeks ago and we have already been out to dinner with them four times. Our condo association held a welcome back party last Saturday night. We attended and met a few more of our neighbors. We tend to meet most of our neighbors at the swimming pool. It is more one on one with the opportunity to chat. We met Jim who is a retired Chicago police officer. He is our security liaison with the Stuart police department. Brian is a retired priest from New Brunswick, Canada. His sister is visiting with him for a week.
JP and I went fishing on the Lady Stuart. It had been blowy for several days and the boat did not go out. There was much pent up demand for fishing so the boat was full. Dan the Angler-phile (aka Beachcomber Dan) joined us.
Lady Stuart is docked at the Marriot Resort on Hutchinson Island
JP landed the first fish – Lane Snapper
Angler-phile Dan also put fish in the boat
Alison, Oscar and Jackson arrived on Friday, January 27. It has been our intention to have the whole family together in Stuart so the cousins can get to know each other. I love it when a plan comes together. The weather did not completely cooperate but it has been a very fun weekend of togetherness.
Rachel, JP, Eleanor, Alison, Oscar, Jackson, Priscilla and John
Vacationing with the grandparents is fun but very tiring
In February we are looking forward to visits from my cousin Scott and his wife Selena and friends Jeff and Stacy Logan. In March Priscilla and I will sail to Cuba with Gabe and Angela on Pilar. Pilar is the sailboat we cruised to Key West and the Dry Tortugas in October. This will be a 3-4 week cruise from Miami to Havana and around the northwest and south coasts of Cuba that will culminate in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We have been working with a company called Cuba-Cruise. They have arranged for our Cuban and US visas and for the required approvals to get US insurance for Pilar. This should provide lots of good experiences for my next blog.
Vessel Passage to Cuba
1. U.S. Treasury OFAC General License.
2. U.S. Department of Commerce Temporary Export General License
3. U.S. Coast Guard Permit to enter Cuban Territorial Waters
4. Verify Vessel insurance (or trip binder) that covers Cuba navigation
5. Provide U.S. Visa affidavits for guests and crew.
Items to be addressed on the Cuban side:
1. Cuban Visas
2. Mandatory Cuban health insurance
3. Declarations to Cuba Customs & Immigration
4. Cuban cruising permits protocol
5. Cuban divemasters and fishing guidearrangements
6. Marina reservations
7. Tour guides and tour itinerary (that meet US Visa requirements)