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All Things EARTH... part 2

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Anita, I'm glad your trip went well and you didn't let fear stop you.  ❤️ the support your husband gave you.

 

We want to get Kayaks next year.  Do you recommend sit on top or sit inside?  I've seen pros and cons to both.  We have only done calm waters, but also have a major river near us (Susquehanna).

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pacruise...Like you say...there are pros and cons to both. We didn't do a whole lot of research into the debate prior to purchase because our experience let us know that we simply preferred sit on tops. On our own, for sure, we would not be doing anything that would involve rapids or fast moving water. I think the inside types are more for that type of kayaking. I like to toodle around...I'm more about spending the day on the water and going here and there...taking photos...following paddle trails...looking at the clouds. DH likes to fish...so also not necessary to have the sit inside.

 

IDK how tall you are...or your DH...but the sit inside kayaks can be very restrictive...which is probably good for more control...but that style was not comfortable for DH at 6'1". I didn't appreciate it either. I like to be able to adjust my sitting position...move my legs around...rock back this way or that...prop my feet up on the edges...drag them in the water. Once, I scooted forward on my kayak and was able to pretty much lay down with my feet dangling in the water (on a different trip...on a lake). So, for our purposes and what we like to do...sit on tops all the way.

 

From what Margaret wrote...I think she has a sit inside? Maybe she can chime in as well?

 

It all depends on how you want to use your kayaks. I would suggest renting both types to see what you like...if you can find both to rent. Also, think about where they will "live". Margaret has a lake house...I imagine that she has hers there...we have to transport ours...so that's a consideration too in how long of a kayak you can purchase.

 

One of the biggest things I remember as a purchase consideration was the tracking ability of the kayaks...that is, how well the kayak goes straight, which sounds so funny because how hard can that be? But seriously, there are kayak hull shapes that are better and worse.

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We have a sit in Kayak . It is a two seater . It is basically the chevy of kayaks . We use it to tool around the canals on the bay .It has a storage compartment which is useful . We bought it many years ago .We don't have to transport it since we live on the bay .

Edited by Sailor_Sally

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I believe Anita covered some of the pros and cons of the two kayak styles, but I can chime in with our experiences. I was satisfied easily but DH had a harder time getting what he wanted (more about that). I'm 5'6 and I have a 10ft sit-in kayak. Because we share the lake with power boats, I wanted something that would be stable when hitting the wakes of the larger boats, which it weathers just fine. It's perfect when we have kids over, they feel safe and they love it. I keep it in the basement so it doesn't fill with spiders, so the #1 important factor to me was that I could carry it myself and go out whenever I want to. It weighs about 40lbs, which I can just manage to lift enough to get out the door and across the stone pathway, and then I drag it on the grass to the water. Even though it is possible to transport on the roof of our not-so-big car, I could never lift it up there myself. I have traveled with it twice to another lake with my 5'0 girlfriend whose small SUV can fit two on the roof, and the two of us could put both our kayaks up there easily ourselves. I went to a proper camping/fishing type place to buy it, it is a Wilderness Systems. This was way before they had cheap ones at Costco. 🙂

 

DH is 6'3" and not as limber as me, and he had difficulty getting in and out of the sit-ins with his long legs, so he opted for a 12' sit-on. He needed a high weight limit so his is much heavier, slower in the water, and not as maneuverable as mine. He also has the Christopher Reeve problem -- big heavy muscles on top and a high center of gravity -- so it felt very tippy to him and he did roll off a few times. Plus the molded part where your legs go was too short for him so his knees were bent more than they should be, which affects the efficiency of your paddling. Mine has adjustable foot rests so you can use your legs and torso properly, which is good to keep you from tiring too fast. However, his is the favorite of my smallest niece because it's so easy to use (anyone can clamber on and go) and of my largest friend who can't fit into the compartment of the other style.

 

He ended up buying another kayak, a 12' Sun Dolphin that he ordered from Walmart. It had a sort of apron at the front of the opening that he cut out to make it easier to get his legs in, and he is much happier now with that one.  Because he bought one way over his needed weight limit, it's much more stable for him, and he thinks it tracks better. He can stretch his legs out all the way too. And he stays drier, which is good when we're out in cool weather. I think you experience more splashing on the sit-on models. Since he got this one, it is much easier to get him to go out with me, and he enjoys it much more so he'll stay out longer.

 

The most important thing Anita said was that it all depends on how you want to use your kayaks. We don't need to carry gear, we are generally out for an hour or two at a time, and we tend to paddle along the shore line and around the islands, into the places where most power boats can't go. We scare the frogs and admire the wild swans and all that stuff. It's all good. 🙂

 

We have a friend who hand-built a wooden kayak and painted it with Native American designs, a really beautiful boat. It's so smooth, almost like skating across the water. So fast, so straight. Like going from a Volkswagen to a dragster. I didn't want to give it back! I believe this is where price comes into play... better tracking = more speed for less effort, more money = better design.

 

 

 

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We’ve considered kayaks, many times & have decided that we’ll stick with our inflatable paddleboards. We have so few places to really use a kayak (or a Paddleboard) that’s it’s silly to spend the money. We’ll just rent if we feel we need to kayak. Of course with my foot, if I get too tired paddleboarding I just sit down & become a kayak. I do have a kayak dual ended paddle that I strap on my board when the water is really rough. Melody 

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14 hours ago, MJC said:

I think you experience more splashing on the sit-on models...we tend to paddle along the shore line and around the islands, into the places where most power boats can't go.

 

I would agree with the more splashing on the sit-on models. I don't think sit in kayaks have scupper holes? These are drainage plugs that allow any accumulated water on top of the kayak to drain out. Our kayaks have the plugs in the seat and the foot rest. The seat ones mean that almost immediately, you end up with a wet bottom. You can put plugs into these holes, and we did on the seat, but the trade off is that if there is water accumulating on top of your kayak...it doesn't drain.

 

Our models are technically fishing models...they came with two fishing pole holders and a modeled area in the back that can hold a 5-gallon bucket or a milk crate. These things are popular with the fishing crowd for holding gear and/or bait, etc. Having the sit on tops does mean that it is a bit easier to access your gear during the day while out on the water. Kayaking is a destination type thing for us to do...generally, we have a bit of a drive so we want to go out for more than 1-2 hours. It's more like we want to go out...bring food...take breaks...then paddle some more.

 

We also generally stick to the edges and the places that the power boats can't go. It's a bit nerve wrecking to be out on open water...you feel pretty small in those kayaks and you are hoping that the boats can see you! Our paddles have bright chartreuse paddle ends.

 

Our kayaks are 50 pounds each and I can move them around by myself with some effort, but there is no way I can lift them on top of the 4Runner alone. I need to lift the back end, DH the front, and then we skooch the kayaks forward as needed...as they are hanging off the back a bit so I can get them up there.

 

Wow Margaret, I would love to try out a wooden kayak...sounds amazing. 

 

I didn't realize your paddle boards were inflatable Melody. We first bought inflatable kayaks...they didn't track well at all. And because they were sit in style they were really hard to keep clean. But they were a good bridge that helped us figure out how much we all enjoyed kayaking...and let us have 3 kayaks for a while. DS liked it okay...but didn't love so we figured when we bought our "real" ones that we could just rent one for DS if he wanted to go in the future.

 

Our kayaks are 10'4" long.

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OK...I wasn't sure how interested everyone would be in our camping trip pictures...but who doesn't love pretty pictures right? And all this talk of kayaking...

 

So...our paddle was less than a mile...I think closer to one half mile...so not too bad...but the water was moving and the wind was blowing and it was a bit of work to get to the camp site. Definitely felt like an achievement to get there! It can be expensive to get outfitted for this type of camping...it's more akin to backpacking than car camping. You need to have space saving things and also things that aren't too heavy. Added bonus...you have to decide what you need to protect from water.

 

We had invested in a small dry bag earlier in the summer and a BIG one for this trip. The small one had the material parts of the tent. The poles were packed separately. The big one had our sleeping bags and clothes. We also packed in a tub that was splash/rain proof for water (probably couldn't submerge) where we had food packed in ziplock bags and all other things in there in ziplock bags. Everything else was covered in contractor grade plastic bags...2.0 MIL thickness. So firewood, sleeping pads, things in my dry hatch.

 

Everything stayed dry. Woohoo!

 

I think I'm going to start a blog writing about our camping adventures...almost like a journal...more details about our thoughts and  opinions on what we do, how successful it was, what we would do differently, etc. So here, I'll try to stick with things that are more generally interesting...

 

We slept okay the first night. There were a LOT of bird sounds! And some of them are hilarious. It was a bit warm...and our 3-season sleeping bags were still overkill...and I have issues with the restrictive nature of a sleeping bag...so a bit challenging. But listening to the roar of the surf was incredible...a part of me didn't want to sleep because I was enjoying listening to the sounds of the night so much.

 

This was also the first time ever that DH and I have slept in a tent without a rain fly. Our tent has a screened window at the roof...so the clouds cleared and the night was clear and we could actually lie there and see the stars from the tent. Wonderful.

 

It was easy to wake early...but just to be sure, DH set his alarm so that he could get to that early morning before the sunrise fishing. I wasn't going back to sleep...and I quickly realized that the most comfortable seat possible was on my kayak...so I finished heating my own hot water for tea...and got out on my kayak to take pictures and enjoy the sunrise.

 

From the shore...first light:

 

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On the water...the sun is just starting to peak above the clouds...

 

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Looking in the opposite direction...the sky is so much lighter than it would seem to be. I saw the way DH was perfectly under the cloud streaks above...this also give more perspective on how wide the water was around us:

 

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Meanwhile...looking back toward the sun directly...the golden light looks more like sunset than sunrise. If you can see them...there are two birds in this photo...one in the sky and and one in the silhouette of the land...

 

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DH's silhouette against the rising sun...classic fisherman...

 

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Thanks everyone for the input 🙂 We would mostly be doing calm lakes, maybe try the river (based on others it sounds calm where we live).  I'm 5'4 (DD is too) and DH is 6' with DS on the way to passing him.  We would likely only get 2 but take turns with the kids if they come with or rent for them.  We have mostly used sit-on top but I think in Canada we used a sit inside.  

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Our inflatable paddleboards are commercial grade & same length as Anita’s kayak. They track very well. Melody 

Edited by awhfy

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Well, I had my oral surgery yesterday. It was not a party 😢. Dentist found a chunk of cement the size of your pinky fingernail that had eaten away the bone in my upper jaw!  He dug the cement out (that was a real party) & put in 2 bone grafts on either side to hope it’ll bond. I’m on liquids (without straws) & go back next week to get the stitches (not sure how many, but lots) out. Mega antibiotics & painkillers. I figure it’s worth about 10-15 lbs. Melody

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Anita,

I've enjoyed reading about your kayak trip. I like how you post more words and explanations than photos. I on the other hand, do the opposite, I post more photos than words.  In person though, I can talk the leg off a wooden woman 😁 I can totally relate to being frozen by anxiety 😞

 

Melody, You're a tough cookie! Keep on the upward mend.

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Anita, your trip sounds so fun.  I am inland quite a ways.  I'm not really near water, so I don't really have experience in kayaking, paddleboards and the like.  We are not too far from Skaneateles Lake, but that area doesn't have much public access, and we get too busy to do things like this, it seems.  We are even closer to Onondaga Lake, but I have no desire to sail on it.  They have been working diligently to clean it up, but it doesn't seem ready yet.

 

Your pictures are wonderful!  When I was driving home last night, the sunset was so, so pretty.  I wish I an ideal place to pull over, but I did not.  I really wanted to see if I could get a picture.  There is something about sunrises and sunsets that I find very...grounding?  At least, that is the word that comes to mind for me.  I get a great sense of peace, and recentering.  

 

I took a little time off from work today, and I finally got my haircut.  I didn't get it cut the way I planned, but it is alright.  My hair grows fast, so I don't worry if I don't love it.  I never change my hair drastically enough to panic or anything like that.  

 

The funny thing is, I was thinking I have a long weekend, and I could get off to a fun start.  I could get a few things done, and I'd be home when my husband got out of work.  My mind is thinking about fun things like dinner, a movie maybe playing some board games.  Maybe tomorrow or Sunday, we could do something fun.  And....I could go see Krysyn!  Then I got to thinking I should paint the mud room on Monday.

 

Well, my husband is working an event tonight, so after work, he reports for his overtime and won't be home until around 10.  Tomorrow we are going to the gym.  We are seeing Krysyn on Sunday, and I might still paint Monday, so we will see how everything goes.  Every so often I get a little bit stir crazy and just want to get out and do something.  

 

Oh, and it snowed.  Not a lot, but it is awfully cold for this early in November.  It looks pretty.

 

I got my fish last week.  My algae eater is named Harold, and my dalmation mollies are Laverne and Shirley.  I name everything, even my car has a name.(Red)

 

I decided to order that coat that came in a few nice earth colors.  It is wool, but I was hoping the lining and wearing a scarf would be sufficient and, it appears it will work.  I love the coat.  I was so perplexed on what color to get.  I was pretty focused on mustard, because it seemed to be a little different, and I loved it.  They had a color called dark camel, but the picture didn't match the name at all, and it seemed rather cool, although a good neutral choice.  Eventually, I settled on the red one because...it's red.  I love red.  IRL, I would describe the color as a red orange, spice color.  It is really pretty, and I'm glad I decided to give it a try.  It was on sale, and I had some rewards to use so it was a good deal as well.  I'll post a picture very soon.

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Melody, I hope you feel better!  I really don't know much about implants, but between the expense and the pain, it sounds really rough.  

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Almost forgot!  Here is the coat.  The color is a bit darker than this.  It is really nice.  It looks odd on the hanger, but it is really nice.

 

20191108_162626.jpg

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I think I have mentioned to you all that my husband and I sometimes have date lunches, as we like to call them.  We went to lunch today at a favorite spot called Kelley's.  One of the things I have noticed about us going to lunch is that we will pick something that fits what kind of food we are in the mood for, but also, our mood in general.

 

When we go to the Dinosaur BBQ, for example, it seems like we talk a mile a minute.  We are catching up on everything.  When we go to Kelley's, we talk a lot too, but it is planning. There is just something about going there where I find myself reaching in my purse, and grabbing some paper and a pen.

 

Today was no different.  We knew our next stop was going to be Lowe's, because we are purchasing new doors for the house, and plan to have them installed sometime before the end of the year.  So we were just double checking our numbers on how many door handles and hinges we needed, as we were looking for a particular finish and style to go with the door.

 

After that, my husband switched gears to Boston.  We decided we would go in May next year instead of June.  We were reviewing the schedule, and picking dates.  Wee were talking about if we wanted to go to one game or two, how long we wanted to stay. Then my husband says....

 

"we should go to a spring training game in Florida in March.  Wanna go?"  So I explained I wasn't sure about the budget, but that I would love to be able to go.    After more back and forth, we realized that we can do this.  And we should do this.  So suddenly, I have plans for next year!  Fort Myers to go to Jet Blue Park in March, Boston in May, and a cruise in November.  I'm so happy.  

 

Now that we have tickets, I need to book the hotel in Boston.  We are going to stay at the same place, so that is easy.  We just need to finalize how many days we will be there total.  With Fort Myers though, this is all new to me!

 

Has anyone been there?  What are your suggestions?  I am figuring hotels will be kind of pricey, and that we will definitely need to rent a car.  It's kind of funny, because in Boston, we don't drive at all once we get to the hotel.  We walk or take the train everywhere.  I know that Florida isn't really designed like that, so I have some figuring out to do.  

 

I do hope to nail down where we are staying quickly, so that I can continue to plan all this out. 

 

We made another stop on the way home to purchase a hanging box to hold my World Series commemorative  bat, and we will hang that up tomorrow.  All in all, it was an expensive day, lol.

 

Sally, how are you feeling?

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Melody...just OMG. I hope you are feeling better and recovering quickly. 

 

Great coat Laurie. Looks like you! Super fun to have the plans on the horizon. I know that I love having plans on the horizon. So exciting! I haven't been to Fort Meyers but IIRC Melody has been there A LOT...and wasn't she thinking of moving there? Or at least of having a seasonal house? I'm sure that she will chime in with help.

 

So DH's work's health coverage has these things that we can do to get them to add $$$ to our HSA. One of these things is to do Health Coaching...but new this year is the fact that we can do these Online Courses so that we don't have to have these every 6-weeks phone calls that aren't really all that helpful. There were many choices available but the one titled "Be Happy" resonated and so that's the one I am doing. You can power through the course or take it at your own pace. I've decided to put forth the effort to do the things the course is asking for...I can see in the discussions sections that some people are just going through the motions to get the $$$ reward. 

 

I'm enjoying the course. I did the first 3 of 9 lessons and at that point we are focusing in on 5 action items related to 5 topics that are supposed to help you increase your set point for your happiness level. These first lessons go into taking about happiness and how people basically have a "normal" level of happiness which, crazy enough is 50% related to genetics...however, there IS a way that everyone can increase their "normal" or set point level of happiness by various means. Our 5 to focus on are 1. Savoring (the new way of thinking of being in the moment...because as a topic you can also "savor" past happinesses, and future happinesses, as well as "living in the moment" or the other current buzzword...being "mindful". 2. Gratitude 3. Optimism 4. Kindness 5. Forgiveness.

 

So my action item for Savoring was to focus in on savoring my present moment at least 10 times in one day. I was supposed to take a photo with my phone that would illustrate the moment I was savoring.

 

So let me tell you...I spent all of today looking for a moment to savor. It was like being on hyper alert to find the good in my day. It really did increase my enjoyment of today. I focused on positive things and doing positive things.

 

So we ended up in Melbourne FL today which is a coastal town. We were already half way there with our morning activity. And I was like...I want to see the ocean. Because for all we did our kayaking in the lagoon last weekend...and even heard the surf...we didn't actually go SEE the surf. It was lunch time and I was like, I want to be ocean side eating lunch. So that's what we did.

 

We found this off the wall place where the upstairs was a bar, no children allowed...and the deck on one side of the building had bar stools with a wooden "countertop" that was on the rail of the deck...looking directly at the ocean and on the beach. Here's my beer on the "countertop" with the view...and then just the view...

 

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And that is why when DH said...I could look for a job here or there or that place...I said, Florida. Great day today in FL. High of 76. I wore long sleeves today...and sitting in the shade with the shore side wind...I was very happy to have my long sleeves and long capris on. There were several cold ladies putting on their hoodies or even having to go inside the bar because it was THAT chilly today. AWESOME. Fall in Florida.

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On 11/8/2019 at 11:18 AM, awhfy said:

Well, I had my oral surgery yesterday. It was not a party 😢. Dentist found a chunk of cement the size of your pinky fingernail that had eaten away the bone in my upper jaw!  He dug the cement out (that was a real party) & put in 2 bone grafts on either side to hope it’ll bond. I’m on liquids (without straws) & go back next week to get the stitches (not sure how many, but lots) out. Mega antibiotics & painkillers. I figure it’s worth about 10-15 lbs. Melody

That sounds awful 😞 Praying all the meds do their jobs and you heal quickly.

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Laurie , Thanks for asking . I am fine . It was the weirdest pneumonia . Basically the only symptom I had was feeling sluggish and a cough mostly at night . The cough is gone but I am still a little sluggish but I am exercising every day to help that .For Fort Meyers you need a car . You can fly into Fort Meyers directly . There is Fort Meyers and Fort Meyers Beach .March is the end of season so hopefully it should not be sky high .Beach front hotels will still be expensive .Melody knows the area better than me.

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Looking online Jet Blue Stadium is close to the airport so the hotels should not be too crazy . There is also a huge outlet mall close to that area . It is a distance to the beach .

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Ft Myers for spring training!  Yes!!!  Fly into Ft Myers (Jet Blue or Southwest). Several hotels close to ball park (we like the Hampton Inn, good breakfast). If you want actually on the beach we like the old Outrigger Hotel, but it’s way down on Ft Myers Beach, almost into Bonita Springs (about 45 minutes to an hour in traffic from ballpark). I’d stay at Hampton Inn, not much to see there (walking distance to Walmart), but much closer to ballpark. Don’t wait to get your ballgame tickets, they sell out every game (early). There isn’t a bad seat in the park (big hats & lots of sunscreen). Definitely need a car (traffic is awful with all the snowbirds). Plan on a day to drive out to Sanibel Island ($6 toll). Best shelling ever, try for sunset dinner at Mucky Duck on Sanibel (be sure to tell them it’s your first time there & that you’d like a window seat). One of our favorite restaurants is right at the pier of aft Myers Beach. The seafood stuffed tomato is my favorite.  I can go on and on...Melody

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I am glad you are feeling better, Sally. I know you have been working on cleaning through things and getting ready to downsize.  Sometimes, I think when we are busy, it is easier for things to creep up on us.  

 

For this particular trip, I am not really focused on the beach, although it would be a great thing if we were able.  The ability to go someplace warmer than Syracuse in March is great, plus it gives us something to look forward to in the winter.  We likely will only be there about 3 full days, and then two days will be used for traveling back and forth by plane.  It's a quick winter getaway, focused on just having fun.

 

I did see some good prices for hotels, but it looked like rooms were going quickly so I told my husband we need to nail down when we are leaving and coming back, and then I'll make reservations and secure flights.

 

It is 40 today, but it has been in the 20s for a few days now.  While it isn't snowing, and a little bit warmer, my husband wanted to get some yardwork done.  After that, we are heading to see my grandson, which I look forward to!!  I am off tomorrow, and while I plan to do some work online from home, I am not going into the office.  Sometimes, you just have to try and shut all that off.  It is hard to do, because there is a lot of pressure.  I do find that the ability to work from home lets me focus more.  I don't mean to be misleading though - when I say work from home, I mean in addition to about 45 hours at the office.  Tomorrow, the bank is closed so rather than go into the office, I can work whenever from my laptop.

 

I've been looking for new everyday dinnerware, and I'm leaning towards Fiestaware.  While not cheap, Macy's currently has it on sale better than I could find it on Amazon, Kohls or Penneys.  Plus, I use Ebates so I will get 10% back if I order today.  I like the variety of color, and being able to get certain things they way I want.  

 

For example, I can get a dinner plate, salad plate and bowl for a certain price, without adding in a bunch of mugs that I don't want.  Then I can order the lunch plate as well, as we like having that size available as well.  They have a few serving bowls, which I could use too.  Those are cheapest at JCP.  The color I am looking at is scarlet.  For a while, you could get a ton of colors, but when you buy them one piece at a time, the price goes up a lot. Scarlet works great in my kitchen because my Kitchenaid mixer and my cannister set are all red.  The dark olive color caught my eye, but as I was just mentioning, it seems like you can only get them individually and price really soars when you do that.  

 

There are three of us at home, and my younger daughter has a boyfriend.  She is always going somewhere - she is very active and social.  I thought about getting a set of 4, or maybe 6, but then opted for 8.  On a Sunday, I could have 4 more adults eating with us depending on the day, so I want to have enough.  It is interesting how it can be just me one day during the week, and 6 adults on a Sunday, lol.  

 

Anita, I love hearing about your weekend adventures.  Melbourne isn't far from Cape Canaveral, and we have taken a few cruises from there so we have passed through the Melbourne area a few times.  it looks like a nice area.  I love that you are getting out and about and exploring where you live.  Your pictures are wonderful.

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Laurie , I have scarlet fiestaware .I have had it for years . It really holds up well . I have an  8 piece set .I always mean to get some more larger bowls but I haven't yet . Maybe when Beall's puts them on sale .

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Melody, do you stay at the Hampton Inn that is near the airport, or Colonial Boulevard?  They aren't far from the park, and we realize that we will be driving to and from anyway.  I am making sure I can get reservations that can be cancelled, just in case.  Brian's sister lives in Florida.  While I am not certain where, she says she is an hour and 20 minute drive away.  While that isn't ideal, it may be something we opt for.  She is back and forth regularly, so she said if she is in NY, she will just give us her keys.  If not, we can stay with her.   I am on the fence, as I know she has a smallish apartment there.  I really don't want to intrude for 3 nights.

 

I figure we will fly down on Wednesday, the game is Thursday, then we have Friday to explore, and then head back Saturday morning.  It truly is a short getaway, but we are very excited.

 

Frontier had some very cheap flights, but we have heard that they cancel frequently, and don't have new flights available.  We really don't want that.  While I don't love American Airlines, they are about $500.00 cheaper than Jet Blue.  We can live with that.  It's too bad, because I really love Jet Blue but the cost is so high lately.  If I opt for the 5AM flights, I can save money but it is still going to be over $300.00 more.  

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Actually, looking further, there are a lot of Hampton Inns in the area!  My choice is always something where we can walk out, and walk a few blocks to a nice place to eat, but it isn't a requirement since we will be renting a car.  

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