See You Later, Alligator…

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North America » United States » Florida » Kissimmee
May 9th 2022
Published: May 10th 2022
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The time has come. The writing is on the wall…well, on our calendar, anyway. It reads “Leave TP”. Yep….time to pack up and head home to our polebarn in Shongo, NY. Our plan is to depart around the 20th of May. That’s the plan today….but we are flexible…..have to be… can never plan for the unexpected.

Today was a sad day. We had to bid “toot-a-loo” to our dear friends, Sandy & Sam. It was their designated day to “leave TP”. But no so fast…..a snag in their departure process. Of course, Cory and I can relate to this scenario….been there, done that. Sandy….she drives their big rig now….went to start the engine…..and nothing, nada, zip, zero,….CRAP! Uh-oh. Something’s not good here, folks.

🎶🎶If there's something weird

And it don't look good

Who you gonna call?


NOPE! You are going call our hero savior, Art! And just like always, he promptly responds. What a great guy! With his trusty tester in hand, he checks their motor home chassis batteries…..nothing, nada, zip, zero…..they’re dead….CRAP! Never fear, Art is here! He starts his magical work….removing the dead batteries. Once this step is done, he, Cory and Sandy take off for Art’s loyal battery store where they know him as a regular customer. Success! Sandy can purchase two new batteries that are even better than the old ones. Sam and I hold down the fort while they are away. Diane joins us in support. Once the threesome return, Art resumes his methodical, magical work. He’s like a doctor performing a major operation. He uses one instrument tool after another. Soon, the procedure is done. Sandy resumes her position in the driver’s seat and turns the key. We all wait in anticipation. VAROOOOOM! The engine starts right up. The operation by Doc Savage has been successful. We all cheer! High fives all around. Every single one of us who knows Art…and has benefited from his kindness and talent, all say the same thing: “ Thank God for Art….what would we do without him!!!” What a great guy! He has done so much for so many of us….I can’t even begin to tell you much we are in debt to him and how much we appreciate everything he has done…always with such gentle and genuine kindness and willingness just to be helpful. He’s one of a kind….one in a million. We already put in first dibs to take him home with us in our RV but he said Donna won’t go along with that. But why, Donna?? Why?? ….Cause she knows what a treasure she has and she is so right!

With their engine running, their car hooked up and Sam loaded, we all waved farewell as Sandy drove slowly down the roadway and away from Tropical Palms. Safe travels, my friends…..we’ll see you again the Fall.

Slowly, but surely, most of our friends have left Tropical Palms to return to their respective homes. When we ride our golf cart around the park, it feels like Chernobyl. So quiet, so empty. Fortunately, there still are a few of us diehards still here so we don’t feel completely isolated… we did when we both had Covid and had to quarantine ourselves inside our RV. That was cozy! I don’t think I updated you with our Covid state of affairs. You all knew about Bubble Boy having it. Remember, I was singing “Hallelujah” because I tested negative. That was short lived! I had my second booster and the next day, was in a full blown Covid status. Yep….struck down just like Bubble Boy! I started with a sore throat and ended up with head congestion and a plugged ear….never a fever, though. I wasn’t bedridden …..just lazy…..because of that, it has hard tell if I was really sick but my test was positive for Covid. So, Cory and I nursed each other back to health by staying together in the RV for days on end. Our coffee canopy had to be closed for awhile. We were sad. What a relief when we could finally return to normal living and go out into the public again. We were free: free, at last! The coffee canopy reopened. Hooray! Our friends returned.

Before the majority of our friends left, we were happy to join some of them for a tasty lunch at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse. I watched while our friends ordered unlimited soup and salad while I munched away of my calamari. My meal was very good but I was secretly drooling over their huge salads and soups. Cory, being the best person ever, has since taken me back to BJ’s and I ordered the soup and salad… was sooooo good…..just like I figured it would be!

We were happy to take our friends who live right next to us, Theresa and Grant, to Harry’s Restaurant in Lakeland. Theresa is the one who told us about this restaurant and we loved this place. The food has a New Orleans flare to it and is soooo good. It did not disappoint. The food was just as excellent as we remembered…..being with Grant and Theresa was even better, though. After eating, we drove around Lakeland as Theresa and Grant gave us a tour and description of some of the points of interest throughout Lakeland. They lived many years in Lakeland so were the perfect tour guides. It is a beautiful city with so much history.

No matter where we go in this area, there is always something new to explore or check out. Cory and I found the largest White Castle restaurant! It’s new! We went in …..or tried to. The line was like a Disneyworld line….it was unending. We stood outside and slowly, but surely, made our way inside and eventually to the order station. We ordered a special combo that we would split. They gave us a buzzer to use during our wait to be called to the pick up counter. What an assembly line they had in making the thousands of mini hamburgers for all these hungry people. The restaurant was packed! We got our order and sat at one of their inside tables. Our food came in a bag….other folks had ordered 20 or 30 burgers that came in small cardboard suitcases. Wow! They were good….not out of this world….but good. A couple bites and they were gone….they were the sliders of today.

We took a ride down International Drive to Icon Park. This is where they have the huge Ferris Wheel, Wax Museum, Aquarium, restaurants and shops. This is where they have the monster size ride that the 14 year old boy fell out of and plunged to his death. They have the ride shut down. Folks have left various items around the base of it in memory of the fellow. There is a big lawsuit going on now. The boy’s ride seat had been manually adjusted to fit his large size so it looks like there will be major liability on the part of the owners of this ride. Sad.

Cinco de Mayo came on May 5th and so did my birthday! And what a Happy Day I had. First, I ended up giving myself a birthday gift…..sounds selfish, huh? Not really…..hear me out. I kept thinking about my age….geeze, I’m getting right up there…..I’m really getting old. One more birthday and I’ll be 80…..jeepers creepers. I looked at our dependable, trusty wall calendar where I record all events and appointments and anything notable. On May 5th, I had the number 78. Wait a minute…..what?? I asked Cory how old he was….we are the same age. He said “78”. Whaaaaat!! 78!! That means I’m 78….not 79! I just gave myself one whole year of life! Wow! I was happy, happy, happy. I was 78…..but obviously, having one of those special Senior moments….yikes! Art reminded me it’s not your age….that’s just a number….it’s how you feel! Okay…I like that way of looking at it!

We had our morning coffee gathering. We are a small group now…..just Sandy, Art, Cory and me. I could bring Lulu out just for a head count but she isn’t a morning person…..she likes to sleep late. And if she doesn’t get all her beauty rest….she can be cranky. Thoughtful Sandy brought a birthday cake for me to coffee. We all enjoyed a slice of it. It tasted just like a wedding cake….my favorite! Thank you, Sandy. I forgot to take a picture of it cause by the end of the day, we had eaten the whole cake. So just pretend there is a white cake with little red roses on top inside the container I’m showing you. My special birthday moments didn’t end here. Cory drove me to Bar Harbor where I got a yummy lobster roll. I had a free coupon for it which made it even better. After this scrumptious meal, we went to Costco and Cory bought a Power Pack which will come in handy if we need to jump a battery, etc. I love that there is so much celebrating going on on this day…..even if it’s not for me, I can pretend. Haha….Happy Birthday Sandy!

Time to leave…..this blog. My eyes are getting blurry so before you can’t figure out what I’m trying to write, I’ll close for now. We’ll be back, though. Check out the 17 photos.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


10th May 2022

See you later
Safe travels! Say hi to all up north!!!

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