Saturday, March 22, 2008

Fly in; move out

Phoenix, 60 degrees at wake up

I flew in here yesterday to join my bride for one last week in the house built for us. We will sign the papers on Tuesday, we have to do some packing of our critical stuff and then the movers come on Friday. Kathy's car gets picked up on the 31st and we fly "home" on April 1.

The live aboard idea has definitely been shelved for a few years. The economy, coupled with the disappearance of all equity from the Phoenix house has necessitated a change in plans. We have been looking at houses in the Port Charlotte area. There are plenty to chose from and we can still down size our life but still have a nice place. How about the above neighborhood, for less than 200k? That price includes concrete sea walls, concrete pilings, concrete decks, docks and boat lifts. How about that price including a boat? The only good thing about this housing recession is those, like us, who have to sell low can turn around and buy low too.
Click on the picture, for a full screen shot.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Here comes the sun...shoo-bee-doo-bee

click March 15 (3) on the right to see time release sunrise.

I slept with the sliding glass door open all night. The overnight low was 55 and I slept to the sound of the rolling surf. What a way to relax after a physically draining week on the road. These pictures don't even do the true beauty of the Atlantic sunrise justice. The sun was oooh, soooo red as it rose.

I checked out of the hotel at 9AM and asked a street cop where the best breakfast in town was. He sent me to Mary's Restaurant at 17th Street and Virginia Beach Boulevard. It was crowded but I got a booth right away. Chicken fried steak and eggs (big shock, huh). Yummeeeee. The drive to Norfolk International was 20 minutes. I am looking forward to going home to the Gulf.

As I pulled into the airport rental car return, Sirius 70's was playing John Denver's Rocky Mountain High. I have heard it a thousand times before but today I was moved by the opening lyrics:

"He was born in the summer of his 27th year, coming home to a place he'd never been before."

That was me, touching down in Florida, December 3, 2007. Coming home to a place I'd never been before. Wow......I love music.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Distant Shore

Ocean Beach Resort, Virginia Beach, VA high of 78, currently 65

It's 10PM eastern time. My long week is finally over. I have driven nearly 1000 miles in my rental car. I found a very nice suite in a new resort, right on the beach of the Atlantic. I love the sound of the crashing waves. I had a nice fish dinner at Catch 31, a restaurant looking out to the ocean near the above statue of King Neptune. To give you an idea of the size of the sculpture, double click on the picture to blow it up and look at the tourist who climbed it for a photo of her own.

Tomorrow I fly back to the Gulf and home to the condo. I am exhausted and looking forward to some time out.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Crossing the Potomac

Washington DC, 31 degrees at wake up, high of 58

Work, work, work.

Highlight of the day was crossing the Potomac River on the White's Ferry. Very cool.
Looking forward to heading back to SOFL and then to PHX to bring my bride to SOFL.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Richmond, VA high of 58 degrees.

My friend/customer Don and his wife/my former g/f Kathy are now the signed pending owners of our Phoenix house. I can't believe it. THANK GUYS and ENJOY YOUR NEW DIGS!

So now the event we've waited four months for has happened. We won't even have to make the April payment. All we have to do is write a check for about $%&)$)#* dollars and we're free to pursue our new life in south Florida TOGETHER! Do I sound happy? Yeah, I am.

My bride was instrumental in putting this deal together and playing a great hostess to three families vying to occupy the most beautiful home Kahty and I have ever known. (Bitter sweet)
Couple number 2 wanted the house so much, after we declined their offer, they had flowers delivered to my bride at the house with a card begging us to reconsider letting them buy the home. WOW. Touching but maybe they should have saved the flowers and upped the offer.

Back in the game

Newport News, VA 38 degrees at wake up, going to a high of 54

After a brief and eventfull weekend I wake up in Virginia ready to hit the work road. I'm sitting at the yard at 6:15 AM waiting for it to open. The branch manager didn't return my call yesterday asking what time they start, so here I sit. His report isn't looking too good to start. I could be having breakfast at the Hilton Garden instead of sitting outside the landscape yard, in the cold, waiting for the worker bees to show.

There has been substantial developments on the Phoenix house. 3 families have put various bids in, none of which involves selling the house at a profit but as they say, in this market you are lucky to get out with your credit in tact. One of the potential buyers is one of my former Phoenix customers, who coincidentally is married to a woman I used to date some 10 years ago. ???? I know.

The weather here is clear and will be tolerable this afternoon. My flight was good and I sat next to a woman who cruises the seas with her husband on a 42 Grand Banks. I was amazed but I guess as I live and work in coastal areas, I will meet more and more people who boat and cruise. She also keeps a blog on blogspot. I will have to check it out. I am finding more and more I am reading versus TV or radio. My mom the English teacher will be proud, right Mom?

Friday, March 7, 2008

Time Out

Home in Port Charlotte; hit high of 87, currently 70 under tornado watch

Wednesday was spent in Jupiter, Thursday in Delray Beach then a 3 hour tour to the homeland on Port Charlotte. Thursday was a wacky work day. A worker in my company died on duty of a heart attack and I was called out to a golf course to investigate strange behavior from a female mow operator. I think the suspicions were confirmed when, while investigating her riding mower being stuck on a hillside, I witnessed her drive a golf cart right off a hillside, going airborn and splashing into the lake below. No, I'm not kidding. She wasn't injured so that was good. Sorry, but I have to laugh at what I saw. You could work occupational safety for a lifetime and not see that twice.

Wind blowing SW at 15 tonight, gusted earlier to 25. The tornado watch goes until 2 AM. I recouped all day today after a long week on the road. I leave Sunday for MD and VA and that will be an even longer week so I'm taking a much deserved time out today.

There is a sea food festival at Lashley Marina in Punta Gorda tomorrow. Its free admission, so I will try to motivate myself to go. I hate it when I only work and sleep so I need some activity.

One of the ways I pass my time is to read the blog of a guy who retired on a sailboat in 2001 and has been cruising the Gulf, the Atlantic and the Carribean ever since. He is a great inspiration to live life to the fullest. Last week, I emailed him and to my delight he replied. His web site can be found here:

Later this month, a replica of Christopher Columbus' ship the Nina will dock at Punta Gorda for a few weeks. It's a floating nautical museum. I look forward to seeing it.

We had a return visitor to the Phoenix house today. Some guy brought his mother back, with their realtor. Apparently the wife is in California and they are interested in our house. At least that's what their realtor told my bride. Fingers crossed, but I won't be waiting up for the offer sheet tonight.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

On the road in Jupiter; 75 degrees at 6 AM

Tuesday after work I attended a spring training baseball game in Jupiter. The Florida Marlins took on the New York Mets. It was cool to see my old hero Luis Gonzalez, who hit the series winning hit in the 2001 world series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and NY Yankees. It's kind of sad to see Gonzo sitting on the bench instead of left field, where he belongs.

Today, Wednesday, I woke up from a lousy nights sleep and couldn't figure out why I booked my hotel so far away from the branch I am visiting today. It took me 30 minutes to drive to work, when I thought it should be less than 10. After talking to the branch safety officer in Jupiter, it turns out I have my days crossed. I had scheduled myself to be at Delray Beach, which would make geographic sense, but I showed up at Jupiter, where I should be on Thursday. DOH!

Oh well, I will simply see Delray Beach tomorrow, since I'm already at Jupiter. That also means a morning commutte because my hotel tonight is close to Jupiter. Get it??? Forget it. I'm tired and looking forward to Friday and heading back to the Gulf side.

Monday, March 3, 2008

From the Port to the Fort

Palm Beach County, high of 77.

Sunday afternoon I left Port Charlotte and travelled 150 miles east to the Atlantic coast, checking into the Fort Pierce Hampton Inn. I was quite impressed with the room. It was HUGE. I headed out to the Fort Pierce Inlet and Jetty, which is a spot where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Indian River. The locals built a long concrete pier which runs about 200 yards out into the ocean, this is called the Jetty. You can walk to the end and fish or sight see. Very cool.

Monday was spent working in and around Fort Pierce. After work I headed about 60 miles south to Juno Beach and checked into another Hampton Inn. This one was not nearly as impressive but it was still nice.

Tuesday I'll wake at 5AM and be at our West Palm Beach branch at 630 for a days work.