Saturday, 15 September 2012

Cruise pictures (in random order)

Clouds over Miami
Goodbye Miami

Sam, Toby, Martyn arrive in SRQ Sep 4th

Toby and Sam as we leave Miami

Miami, Port and Skyline

Great Stirrup Cay Resort Island owned by Norwegian Lines
Last Tender to Boat from Great Stirrup Cay

Elephant towel in Cabin

Piggy towel in Cabin

Norwegian Sky from Tender

Gaudy Resort, Nassau (where we enjoyed the Water Park)

Gospel Choir in Nassau

Brother Martyn as we leave Miami
The fabulous four

Friday, 14 September 2012

Can't help fallin' in love

Our family vacation is winding down.  Martyn, Sam and Toby will return to the U.K. on Monday 17th September

My home will doubtless feel very empty.

But Wendy (Martyn’s wife/Sam’s mother) and Laura (Wendy and Martyn’s daughter/Sam’s sister) will be more than glad to welcome them home.

Even as I write Martyn Sam and Toby are attending an American Football game (Sarasota High School v North Port High School) with my friends Andi and Jonathan Taylor.  Andi and Jonathan’s older son is a Sarasota High School player.

Whilst my family members enjoy the all American experience of a High School Football game, I am relaxing at home with my lovely dog and the two cats.

Earlier today “the boys” wandered over to the home of my friend Ben.  Once there they relaxed in his swimming pool. I am so grateful that Ben has offered such gracious hospitality.

We had hoved off to “Barnacle Bill’s” restaurant for dinner on the second night of this family visit, (5th September 2012).

 Toby and Sam had an instant crush on our waitress Brie (Brianna).

The only fair thing to do was to re-visit “Barnacle Bill’s”, which we did last evening.

Our waitress was Susan, not Brie.

But Brie was in the house.

She eagerly accepted our request for a photo’.

Here she is with Toby and Sam.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

St. Boniface Church from the air, and other thrills

As brother Martyn flew back to SRQ from Massachusetts, Sam, Toby and I had the thrill of a lifetime as we took a one hour helicopter trip out of SRQ airport.

Our flight path took us over my home, east to Myakka State Park (where we flew above the Eagles), and then west to Casey Key..  We then flew up the coast – over Siesta, Bird, St. Armand’s and Longboat Keys -  up as far as the Cortez Bridge, and then back to the airport.

We had a cool, calm and collected pilot.

It was a wonderful trip for the lads  -  and as for me – even though a helicopter ride was not in my bucket list, I grinned from ear to ear for the entire trip.

It was utterly thrilling.

Here are a few pics.  There will be more next week
Toby, Dale our Pilot, and Sam

Toby, jmp and Sam

My home

St. Boniface Church

Manatees off Siesta Key

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A day without my brother Martyn.

With brother Martyn out of town the plan for the morning was for Toby and Sam to kayak (is it O.K. to use “kayak” as a verb?) in our SRQ marina area.

We arrived at the rental hut at 11: 40.  The hours of business were displayed as 11:00ish to 5:00ish.

The owner/manager arrived at 11:50.  He ignored us as he opened up the hut, drank coffee, watered some potted plants, and made phone calls.

At 12:05 I asked him if he was open for business.  He said “I have been here for 15 minutes”. I replied “we have been waiting for 25 minutes”.

This brilliant business man then told me that we were sitting in the wrong place and that we should have been standing next to his hut in order to do business.

I protested very mildly to which he replied “if you don’t like the way I do business you can leave”.

We left.

As a mild consolation prize I told the lads that we could eat at K.F.C or Burger King (even though both places represent a grievous offence to my digestive system).  They chose KFC.  We drove four miles to discover that that particular KFC joint had been shuttered.

So it had to be Burger King.  The lads scoffed chicken strips and fries.  I chose a fish sandwich -  but was distinctly unimpressed with it.

But the good lads enjoyed their meal, and then told me that they wanted no more than to return to my home to “chill”.  It’s good to have teen aged guests who do not need to be entertained.

Good lads!

LATER in the afternoon

I drove Sam and Toby to teen aged heaven “The Mall”, and then I went to a meeting at St. Boniface Church.

After that meeting I returned to the home of my pal Ben, there to relax with him and with our mutual friend Bob, leaving the lads to use a ‘bus to get back home (there’s a novel concept for you).

After their shopping expedition the lads took the ‘bus from the Mall to Ben’s home. They were proud of their purchases

Before I reviewed what they had bought thy splashed around in Ben’s pool for half an hour. They were filled with fun and joy.

Now, at 7:20 p.m. they have taken themselves off to walk to our local supermarket (Lord alone knows what they want to purchase) whilst I am cooking a simple dinner.

MY POINT IS THIS: These are impressive and undemanding young men (both are 16 years old).

I am entirely happy to have them as guests. They “win friends and influence people” wherever they are.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Lots of busy stuff

Lots of busy stuff and joy with my brother Martyn here with his son Sam, and Sam's pal Toby.

So this is another very brief blog entry, with more to come soon.

Here we all are getting ready for a lovely restaurant meal on the Norwegian Sky just out of Nassau in the Bahamas.

Sam, Martyn, Toby, JMP

And like a good neighbour (4)

We had a lovely cruise from Miami, FL to the Bahamas and back, more about that later.

For now  -  to thank my friends  Ron and Charlotte Thompson who took care of Penne at their home  (they and Penne enjoyed this every much), and to my neighbour Barbara who stopped by my home each day to
look in on the cats.

Good friends.

A good neighbour.