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Published: October 15th 2020
Our friend Wanda made these neat baseball masks.
On Friday the 13th of March our Regent cruise from Miami to Barcelona was cancelled and four days later Florida was put into quarantine. And here we are seven months later still dealing with the ramifications of this vicious virus. This has been a very difficult time for everyone, not just in this country but around the whole world.
For us personally, it has been a real eye opener. This is our longest time in one place since 1966. Fortunately, we happen to be in a place that has allowed us to make a smooth transition to the Covid 19 lifestyle. In 2016 we decided to become bi-coastal and purchased a home on the Gulf Coast of Florida. After living on a boat in California for the past 35 years we became landlubbers in Rotonda West.
We have named our place the Tres Palmas Resort. Our house is equipped with a large screened lanai complete with a lovely swimming pool, bbq, ping pong table, hot tub and dining area. We overlook a natural spring pond and adjoin a 165-acre nature preserve and bird sanctuary. Our mini-animal kingdom features alligators, bobcats, armadillos, raccoons, coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, iguanas, snakes, geckos, spiders,
ROTONDA WEST, FLORIDA.
Our home in the Sunshine State proved to be Home Sweet Home for us.
wild boar, tree frogs, tortoises and an occasional cockroach. The avian population makes this a birder’s paradise with every type of tropical bird, plus bald eagles, herons, vultures, owls, mockingbirds, osprey and all the seasonal birds like woodpeckers, robins, jays and doves. The birds of prey help to keep the snake population in check, thank goodness. It has been so much fun to observe the geckos. We can see their whole life cycle played out on our pool screens...the moms and dads and babies. After casual observation it seems that the gecko mating season is year round, 24/7. Lots of romance here in the steamy tropics. While viewing this constant parade of wildlife from the comfort of our caged lanai, we often wonder if these animals think that we are the ones in their zoo.
We latched on to the current gardening craze and planted tomatoes, corn, onions and greens. The tomato crop has been the most successful in spite of the high heat of summer. We spend a lot of time in the pool and also swim in the Gulf of Mexico daily. We do enjoy the warm (hot) weather and the warm Gulf waters where we have
“WHERE EAGLES DARE”
These bald eagles flew in and perched on the Norfolk pine in our backyard.
had frequent encounters with dolphins and manatees. We often rent boats to explore the many offshore barrier islands that line the Intracoastal Waterway here. Hurricanes are a big concern, but so far, we have been lucky as the tropical storms have veered north or west of us. But the season runs until the end of November, so we can’t let our guard down. For recreation we ride bikes on the miles of flat (Florida is really flat) bike paths and play Pickleball daily while practicing safe distancing and sanitizing our sports equipment. There is plenty of time for reading, card playing and baseball watching. Curbside grocery pick-up has been a real convenience as has Chinese take-out and Amazon deliveries. One of our neighbors made masks for us at the outbreak of the virus and there has been no shortage of toilet paper or hand sanitizers.
We really miss our family and friends and wish we could have a more active social life. We love entertaining and hosting house guests. But family reunions, weddings and other important life events have been cancelled or put on hold until better times. Zooming and FaceTime are wonderful but they don’t quite take the
This large gator frequently meanders through our back yard. Just passing by...we hope!
place of hugs. Recently friends Peter and Nancy invited us to attend their Zoom birthday party dinner and dance. A box of gourmet food and all the fixings were sent to us and then a chef from the French Laundry coached all of us through the dinner prep. It was great fun and we got to share the evening with many of our cruising friends. We had planned to drive cross-country to Sausalito this summer and spend several months on our boat “Mana.” But after much thought we have determined that we are better off for the time being staying in our Florida home.
As retirees, we are not faced with many of the issues most people are having to deal with during this pandemic. And we feel very fortunate for that. Kevin and I think that living on boats and ships in close quarters for the past 35 years has enabled us to adapt to this situation more easily. And most importantly, having a wonderful quarantine mate makes it all possible. However, as peripatetic wanderers, we are starting to get itchy feet. The cruise lines are working hard to develop a safe, comfortable and enjoyable onboard experience. Hopefully
PING PONG COURT
Neighbors Donna and Greg trying out our table tennis.
the CDC will allow cruising to start up in the not too distant future. We are tentatively scheduled to host on the Regent Splendor in early February, cruising from Miami to the Eastern Caribbean. The Splendor is the newest and most luxurious vessel in the Regent fleet. As with everything...we’ll see what the future brings and hope for the best.
Isak Dinesen once said "The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea." We’ve got the sweat and the sea parts down and pray for only tears of joy for everyone.
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