Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Our month in Punta Gorda, Florida–December 2017

0 miles/hours traveled

Laishley Park Municipal Marina, Punta Gorda, FL

PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (112)We feel almost like locals now; It’s Jan 1st and we’ve spent one month here at Laishley Park Municipal Marina,not traveling on the boat. I’m not sure where the time went, but I know we have been busy. We know the dockhands by name; who works what day and the staff at the ice cream shop knows us by name. Ha, probably not a good sign.

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PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (88)Several Loopers were here already when we arrived; Donna Mae & Craic. Riley lives aboard Craic; Cally enjoyed several walks with him. They went swimming once, but Riley had more fun pouncing on Cally than swimming and Cally did not like being dunked. So, we let them play fetch in the water separately. PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (89)PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (91)

Louie onboard Glass Slipper with James & Stacey walked up from another Marina to hang with Cally, too!

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PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (117)The two parks being SO CLOSE to the boat are wearing Cally out!!

Most, consistent exercise she has had since we left home in April. She has several local friends she sees and plays with in the morning. They been absent over Christmas/New Years, hoping they are back soon.

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One of the many statues around the parks.

Below is in remembrance of Hurricane Charley that devastated this area

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Below is the tiny beach Cally where Cally can swim.PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (101)

The parks have various events; below is a stage being set up for a Christmas Eve show. The park was completely packed with folks and the band was quite good!

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Some of the local birds that hang out on the docks

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The Harbor Walk goes a couple miles from Fishermans Village Marina (Fishville) past Gilchrist Park, past Hurricane Charlie's, past the Tiki Bar, past our marina to Laishley Park around the Condo buildings and on north. It is a very nice wide concrete walking/biking path at the waters edge. Cally and I have enjoyed it!!

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The path goes around the Tiki Bar on the outside edge by the water!

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One of the first To Do’s was the installation of a new AC (heat pump) unit. We have 2 on the boat and decided to replace the one that services the master berth & supplements the salon; which has its own.

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After 2 days of hard work, the new AC was installed. a couple more days to tidy up things. New unit is quieter than the original!! Winner, winner!!

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Our present to ourselves this years was a Spa Day for the boat … clean, detail and full wax job by All Kleen Boats.

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Eight guys worked all day and worked hard. Dante, the owner, stopped by several times to check on progress and redirect a few efforts.

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Takes a lot of electric cords for all the polishing!

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While the boat was being detailed and waxed, we avoided the noise by hanging out in the marina lounge for the day

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Poor, poor Cally, she wasn’t allowed on the furniture in the Sailors Room.

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Our good buddies Steve & Debbie on Gypsies Palace arrived on the 17th. No sooner were they here than there was a toast to The Loop with shooters …

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They were called “little beers” and were GOOD!!

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Gypsies went out for a sunset cruise; we stayed on dock as we had friends in town from Miami and went out to dinner while they were gone.

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PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (64)Frank & Susan drove all the way from Miami to come hang out with us for a bit. Lunch out at an Irish Pub, dinner out here at the marina PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (63)restaurant and then lunch out again the next day. They stayed at the Four Points Sheraton which is across the highway overlooking the marina.

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A good time was had by all; we SO enjoyed their visit and miss them dearly.

PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (16)With the boat all clean and spiffed up, we didn’t want to hang lights or decorate SO we enjoyed the lights and decorations around the marina. It’s been quite festive!!

Above was our Christmas Tree … it was on a Christmas card Frank & Susan gave us!!! Below are some of the Christmas decorations around the marina.

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Christmas Day, we treated ourselves to a breakfast out. I thought it would be so easy to find a Champagne Brunch … not so much. We ended up at the Sheraton for a breakfast buffet, filled ourselves and went back to the boat. I enjoyed not cooking or cleaning up for breakfast.

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Curious how Cally gets on and off the boat?? This is our preferred method and it works great here at Laishley with the floating concrete docks.

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We have met so many people this past year in our travels. Below are Fred & Robin who stopped by the boat, I just love the smile on her face!!

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There’s Lab Partners …

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We have met new friends, Ethan & Tammi PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (65)on Liberty. They are just beginning their Loop and have an Australian Shepherd onboard named Blue. Cally and Blue are good walking buddies, neither is going to win a race, neither walks too far (i.e. not miles and miles) and both walk less in the heat of the day.

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Sunrise and sunset are hard to capture here; there is a lot of stuff in the way; bridges, power lines, boats, buildings, etc. We watched the December super moon with Tim & Patti (Craic) onboard Donna Mae (Derek and Lorrie) with docktails. The moon was stunning, but power lines crossed it while rising. Once it was above the lines … it wasn’t so super anymore. So, no pics. Sad smile

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The Tiki Bar, part of the Sheraton, added a new 150 seat Tiki Hut; it was fun to see it go up and it went up in 4 days. Those guys rocked!

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Not every day is prefect weather … though the weather has been spectacular here, not every day is perfect. There have been several foggy mornings I was glad we were not planning on traveling this day.

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My brother & sister-in-law (Mike and Julie Hipp) have a condo on the Gulf of Mexico in Long Boat Key with stunning views!!PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (5)I drove over to see them and their place on the 30th and they drove over to the marina to see us and the boat on the 31st. PuntaGorda 6Dec31 (9)Mike lives in Wes Des Moines, Iowa, so we don’t get to see each other often. This was a great treat for me!!

PuntaGorda DecAlso (2)We celebrated the New Year Looper style … ice cream and good conversation with 3 Looper boats (us, Ethan & Tammi/Liberty and Gail & Bob/The Good Life) and in bed by 9:30pm. Heck, the fireworks woke us up at 12:15 am when they went off at a marina south of here.

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Good bye 2017, good night all.

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Hello, 2018 … not a pretty or even warm day. NOT complaining, everywhere north of here is much, much, much colder.

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