Thursday, July 15, 2010


Click on pictures for full screen

Home in Port Charlotte

High of 92, afternoon thunderstorms

I finally had a chance to post some 4th of July holiday weekend photos of my trip to the Michigan and the Great Lakes.  I had the chance to stay with my friends Larry and Sue at their home in Commerce Township and also a couple of days with Tom upon his boat on Lake St. Clair.  Larry and Tom are the brothers of my next door neighbor Kathy.  We became fast friends through their visits to Southwest Florida and I was thrilled at the chance to be their guest.

Above photos are of Larry & Sue's house and the fabulous basement bar Larry built at home.
Not to be outdone, brother Tom has his own Tiki Bar in front of his slip at the lake.  Michigan folks refer to boat slips as "wells."  There's some local knowledge for ya.  Tiki Tom and I closed the joint down every night and spent the days cruising the waters. 

The weather in MI was perfect..highs of 80-85 and overnight lows in the mid 60's.  The water temperature was a crisp 78 but we got used to it quickly.  It was so nice to swim in fresh water again.  The entire marina experience left me longing for our good old days on Lake Pleasant in Arizona.  I hope to bring my Kathy with me next year to share in the Great Lakes fun.

I returned home on the 4th in time for fireworks over Charlotte Harbor.  Ronnie, Carol, Rolando and Kathy all brought me along for a terrific show.  We sat on the banks of the Peace River and watched the entire show a short distance from the staging/launch area.  It was the first time I have ever seen fireworks from the ground up.  The finale was like a war zone.  Very cool.

My Kathy spent her 4th in Atlanta visiting her son, Chad, his wife, Tiffany, and our newest grandchild, Ann Marie.  Everyone is doing fine and the baby is an absolute princess.
In news closer to home, my 14 year old son, Billy, is here for a few weeks.  I had hoped to spend lots of time on the water with him but for some reason he doesn't want to venture out on the water.  I may have spooked him with the tough waves we encountered last summer here.  Nonetheless, it is good to see and have him.

The boat is up and running, now problems now.  I recently had a dead spot in the starter but my neighbor, Ronnie, taught me to hit it with a hammer and bring it back to life.  He said it is likely from a lack of use.  I would love to cure that!

My honey recently encouraged me to buy a new GPS for the boat, as the old one has developed many horizontal lines through the display.  I went low budget (as usual) and picked up a portable model, with a small color screen, and loaded it with Garmin's best map chip featuring the entire US coastline charts.  I tried it out in the house and was very pleased to see it finding satelites from indoors!  My old one has trouble finding satelites from the Gulf.

I recently got in touch with my oldest friend in the world, via Facebook.  Mike T. and I became friends as teenagers on the Phoenix Police Explorers.  Mike will celebrate his 20th year with the PD this year.  He and his wife, Jaci, are planning a trip to visit us in Florida this winter.  Mike has a twin brother, Robert, with whom I am also old friends.  I hope to toast a beer with them during my next trip to AZ, in late August.  I have a meeting in California and will stop over in the Valley of the Sun for a few days after my meeting.  I want to see both of my parents, my kids and grandkids.

A word on the weather.  Hurricane Alex had no effect on our area.  The next named storm may be forming as I write this.  There is a tropical wave of low pressure, 400 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands in Africa.  There is another wave that is huge, but less organized, in the central Caribbean.  The next name on the list for this season is Bonnie.  I am scheduled to be in Puerto Rico the first week of August.  Last I checked, there's no Bonnie on the guest list.
(apologies for Blogger's new photo program. It is not user friendly and I am unable to organize or caption my photos to my liking)  Here's a photo legend:

1 - The Edsel Ford Estate on the shores of Lake St. Clair
2 & 3 - Scenes from the Lake
4 - Tiki Tom (open shirt) and the gang from Belle Maer Marina
5 - Homes on the north channel of Lake St Clair remind me of the Intercoastal Waterway
6, 7, 8 - Larry & Sue's gorgeous home, complete with basement bar

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