Where The Heck Has Waldo Been (Part I)

Hello all!!  Goodness . . . It’s been almost a year since we had our last K.A.R.E update . . . Sorry about that.  Many follow us on Facebook but for many others it may seem like we drove off the face of the earth.  So I will try and get y’all up to date on our travels.

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Actually when I wrote our last blog we had just arrived at Gulf Waters RV Resort in Ft. Myers Beach, FL where we winter each year.  Our ’16-’17 winter season was a lot of fun . . . I guess so much fun that I kind of got out of practice of the blog writing 🙁 .   It was great seeing all our “Gulf Waters Family” again and meeting many more new “GW Snow Birds”.  At GW there is always something going on . . . the Tiki Bar, many activities at the Club House, Pickle Ball, Friday bike rides, the Tiki Bar, Pool parties, Many “Tom’s Breakfasts”, evenings at the VFW next door, Hump Nights with food and music, Birthday parties, the Tiki Bar, many dinners around town with GW family, Holiday parties, many cookouts at someone’s site or other, many trips to the beach.  Never a dull moment (unless you want to make one just to recoup) . . . and Oh . . . did I mention the Tiki Bar??

Here are some pics of our ’16-’17 winter season at Gulf Waters.

Of course one of the first things I do when we get back to FMB (Ft. Myers Beach) is resume my walks on the beach.

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We got to GW earlier than planned (Mid Oct.) so the first party was a Halloween party  . . . just some of the get-ups.

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Halloween was followed shortly by the first “Welcome Back” Grill night.  Not too many folk back yet being it was only early November.

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Thanksgiving came quickly and then it was on to Christmas.  By now more than 3/4 of the GW family had returned.  A first for us in FMB was to watch the Christmas Boat Parade.  We went to dinner with good friends from GW to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille and had a great table next to the water for the parade.  Here are just a few of the boats.

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We also had our annual visit from good friends David, Stephanie and Benjamin.  We went to dinner at Nervous Nellies on the beach and had a great visit.  Can’t wait till they come again this year!

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After Christmas is my birthday (Dec 30).  Lisa asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday  . . . . naturally . . . go fishin’ 🙂 .  One friend we met here in Ft Myers lives on a canal off the Caloosahatchee River so off we went (Bob, Keith and myself) to Robbie’s.  We fished right in his backyard.

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Robbie has a Pot-bellied Pig Ziggy.  Ziggy cruised around the backyard helping us fish all afternoon.

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We never did catch anything even though we were there all afternoon.  Finally it was time to head home back to GW.  I had wondered why Lisa sent me off fishing all day and why we stayed so long at Robbie’s when we weren’t catching anything (???).  When we got back to GW the boys took me straight to the Tiki Bar  . . . There was Doc sitting in his normal spot so I didn’t give it much thought.  Lisa came over to me and said “come with me”   . . . puzzled I followed.  It wasn’t until she was opening the door to the club house that I realized what was up . . . Yep . . . a surprise birthday party . . . well I was surprised!!!!  Lisa’s cousin Debbie and her fiancée Keith were here for vacation and joined us for the fun.  Debbie loves to do Karaoke and convinced Lisa to get up and sing with her . . . Little did Debbie know she was unleashing a new passion within Lisa (more on that later 🙂 ).

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Had a great time and Thank you Lisa and all my Gulf Waters family!!!

Well last party of ’16 and 1st party of ’17 was New Years Eve.  It was a full house . . . by now most all the GW Snowbirds were back.  Everybody brought snacks to share at their table . . . and of course the Tiki Bar was open. Steve (one of our GW family) provided music (along with a little help).    Everyone had a great time and we all welcomed in 2017 with a Bang!!

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Well now that I have brought y’all through 2016 let’s get on with 2017 🙂  There were many more events and parties through the rest of the season at GW.  At one of the “Pool Parties” there was Karaoke . . . Lisa was now overcoming her stage fright and decided to get up and give it a whirl without the support of cousin Debbie . . . and a new Gulf Waters star was born 🙂

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Another GW tradition is the Mardi Gras “Fat Tuesday” parade.  Many dressed up golf carts and cars along with “wild and Kooky” get-ups.

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One new addition to the Mardi Gras parade this year was the “Waters Witches”.

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These fine “Ladies” spent a few mornings before the parade practicing the “Waters Witches” dance routine  . . . Fine job “Ladies” 🙂    And we can’t forget the “Witchest” “Lady” of them all . . .

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Oh Look  . . .  there goes Capt. Ron and his First Mate . . .

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A fun time was had by all!!!

In March we had a visit from a good friend and former colleague Kris.  She was vacationing in Ft Myers and came by for a toast 🙂  Naturally we all went up to the Tiki Bar.

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It was great seeing Kris . . .always look forward to her visits.

Oh did I mention Lisa now likes to Karaoke ???  Here she is at Bonita Bill’s one night.

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One of the last events at GW is Erv’s  birthday party.  Every year Joe and Melinda hold a big bash for Erv.  This year Joe had heard Lisa sing at a pool party and wanted to her to be the singer at Erv’s party. . . unfortunately both Lisa and I were sick and couldn’t attend.  We watched from across the street while everyone had a great time!!!  Joe always provides the beer for the bash . . . here is the only picture I got . . . before the party started.

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One of the full-time residents of Gulf Waters is Capt. Ron.  He stays here at GW in his class A motor home but also has a 50ft Sea Ray Motor Yacht which he keeps docked in Cape Coral.  He charters it through the year.  We were invited for a day cruise to Doc Ford’s in FMB one Sunday.

Lisa and First Mate Katherine catching some morning rays as we head out through the canals.

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The “Last Mate” watching the bow as we go.

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Lisa and the “Last Mate” taking in the sun as we head out into the Gulf heading to Ft. Myers Beach.

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Capt. Ron at the helm.

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Capt. Ron joins us up on deck . . . OMG . . . Who’s driving the boat???  He showed me a small hand held remote that he uses to steer and control the boat.  I need one of those for “Waldo” 🙂

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After a nice morning cruise we arrived at Doc Ford’s just in time for lunch.

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We sat out on the dock and had cocktails and a great lunch.

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After lunch there was dancing and more ray catching while listening to the band from atop the deck.

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Another GW couple (Debbie and Rick) joined us as we enjoyed the band for the afternoon (sorry no pics of Debbie and Rick 🙁 )  Even the local wildlife was enjoying the music.

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Finally it was time to head back out to the Gulf and Cape Coral.

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On the way back to Cape Coral we took a side jaunt out towards Sanibel Island to try and find some dolphins.  Capt. Ron knows his stuff and within 20 minutes we found a pod of dolphins playing about 50 yrds out.  Capt. Ron revved up the dual 600+ hp diesels to create a good wake and sure enough in a matter of a couple of minutes we had the dolphins jumping the wake right behind us.

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We had them jumping on both sides of the boat for more than 5 minutes . . . That was very cool!!!!   Well after that we headed back to the dock.  We had a very fun time with Capt. Ron, his First Mate Katherine, Debbie and Rick . . . Thank you very much . . . can’t wait to do it again this season!!!

We had originally planned on only staying at Gulf Waters until May 1.  But being we had spent the last 3+ years on the road seeing much of our great country and most of 2016 traveling close to 10,000 miles from Florida through the south and the southwest to California.  Las Vegas, Oklahoma to Minnesota to Lake Superior and back to Ft. Myers Beach.  We decided to extend our time in FL through most of the summer and only travel a few months this year.

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By mid to late May pretty much everybody had gone back North or hit the road for summer adventures.  We were now a few of the only ones left at GW except for a few year round folk, summer vacationers and week-enders.  The Tiki Bar was closed but we did make almost daily trips to the pool with our own cooler.  We pretty much had the pool to ourselves 🙂

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By the 4th of July a few of the GW family were here for a short time.  We took the opportunity to have a 4th of July cookout.  Artie and Bronna supplied the hot dogs and Artie did a fine job at the grill.  Not a big crowd like “In Season” but we may have had 20-25 people to help celebrate.

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And of course there was Karaoke  . . .  Lil’ Lisa and Sterling Steve 🙂

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Well, finally after over 9 months in Ft. Myers Beach it was time for a vacation 🙂 .  We needed to get the wheels on the bus going round and round . . . not good just sitting in one place 🙂 .  So we said goodbye to all our neighbors . . .

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Took one more trip to the beach to Mango Rita’s for Karaoke with “The 80’s Lady” . . . Oh did I mention Lisa likes to Karaoke now ?? ( don’t judge her singing  by the lady on the left . . . she was “The 80’s Lady” mother 🙂 ).

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So there you have Where the Heck has Waldo Been Part I . . . stayed tuned for the follow up Where the Heck has Waldo Been Part II when we actually hit the road again coming VERY Soon . . . Already working on it . . . I had to split up Where the Heck has Waldo Been into 2 parts because it was getting too big 🙂

11 Replies to “Where The Heck Has Waldo Been (Part I)”

  1. Oh man!! I was down at FMB over Thanksgiving last year!! My family rented a house there. We won’t be back this year because my parents bought a place in Panama City Beach up in the panhandle.
    Pictures look awesome Bruce!

  2. In the Happy New Year photo are those sleeves on your shirt or is it just an optical illusion—your head on someone else’s shirt?
    You are livin’ the life—good for you!
    Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Hi Bruce,
    great to hear what you did and also great to see that you get regular visits from old colleagues. If I ever come back to the US, I will check with you where you are and if possible will visit you as well.
    Take care, Annette

  4. Fun seeing a glimpse of your (non) Minnesota life. When you come back to Minn. I want to do Karaoke with Lisa. Been doing it with Dave Borscheit. Think it would be much more fun with Lisa.

    If we weren’t so in love with our Grandchildren, we might try to take off to your southern wonderland for a few weeks in the winter. We did make it as far as Orange Beach last year. (pan handle) We went to Alabama to see my baby sister. We spent two nice days on the beach and the third day was from hell. Cold north wind, ugh!

    Fishing was great last summer. Walleyes in Silver Lake. My bro in law and I took four limits in four days. We ate Walleye for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Did you ever catch anything fishing down there?

    Deer season on right now. Been out the last couple days near Rockford. Dave B. got a buck. I shot at one but got a bunch of fur on the corn stalks. No blood. She ran off. Want a bigger one, preferably a buck like last year.

    Deb and I are doing 2 and 3 days a week with the grandchildren. It’s a lot of work, but we love it. Old Ford 500 starting to get expensive. Runs good yet, needs $1000 worth of shocks. Yep, special shocks in rear. Not bad though, got 170,000 miles on her. Took her to Mich. last summer and got over 30 mpg. I can live with that.

    Thanks for the Blog. Great to see everything is going great for you. Often think of your Mark Twain quote but my life immediately gets boring so I put it out of my mind. It’s for lucky people. (you lucky bastards) 🙂 Love you both. Take care.

    1. Great to hear from guys!!! Sure would be nice to see you guys down here this winter but we understand. Yep, cars will be cars . . . always did like that 500. Even our Focus . . . just spent $600 on it today . . . brakes battery etc. Haven’t caught any fish yet but still trying. Good Luck with getting your Buck . . . Say Hi to Dave!!!

  5. So glad to hear from you and to see you are both doing well. Love seeing how you enjoy your days. You are so lucky to be able to enjoy this beautiful country. Travel safe and thank you for the update!

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