Month: February 2010

Florida Vacation is officially over for Gaylord Residents Don and Debbie Campbell. No place like home in Gaylord !!

Month long Florida Vacation is officially over – Yesterday Deb and I pulled into the driveway of our little house in Gaylord, Michigan. After being away for a month and seeing so many places and things it sure reminds us we don’t have much compared to so many people who seem to have it all.
It’s hard to believe there are so many rich people in the world . Sure we would have loved that lifestyle too had it happened to us , but it didn’t and we see the positive in everything and we do just fine enjoying our simple little life in a simple little Northern Michigan Town.
Traveling with two elderly parents was an adjustment for us as we are used to getting up very early and traveling hundreds of miles a day , but we adjusted well in the car. Also Florida was cold so it was an adjustment to the furnace being on 80 most of the time so we took frequent walks and enjoyed looking for seashells a lot. We also kept our bedroom window open all the time .
My dads memory is not so good these days so we had to adjust to having few conversations with him the whole vacation which was sad to see he is not the same person we knew for so many years.
Spending a full month with my mom after 40 years went very well too , we had a lot of laughs , that is after we returned each morning with fresh donuts from the corner bakery, ha,ha.
I really was surprised how easy going my mom still is even with the extra worries about my dad and his struggling memory.
Moms memory is still very sharp and she proved it several times as she directed us through the dark backstreets and hectic mainstreets of the busy Florida towns without getting us lost. (:>). Well ?, maybe she did get us lost just once or twice , but it made for another couple funny memories.
We all took turns choosing resturaunts each night for supper so that kept it interesting , one day we were desperate with a major breakdown with the car and we had to choose Hooters for lunch ??
That was very interesting and a very unique memory, ha,ha,.
The food was not that great so we weren’t sure why it was so busy, ha,ha. Just one of those unexpected vacation moments we all have.
Nicole and Bill finally got out of D.C. after delayed flights from snowstorms . We drove to Tampa and picked them up and stopped at St. Petersburg and walked out on the pier to the Resturaunt for lunch. Then we walked a couple miles around town seeing a few signs from the 5K race that happened a few hours earlier without us because of late plane arrivals. But we did pick up our T-shirts and packets so that was good.
We arrived at Anna Maria Island in a super deluxe Condo that looked close to brand new. So we lived the life of luxury for five days .
We also went to Disney Downtown for a afternoon and that was fun and we dined at a Cuban Resturaunt and that was unique.
Clearwater Beach was also on our destinations along with Venus Beach . Nicole had been wanting us to dine at Bonefish Grill in D.C. but we never made it so we finally got to eat at Bonefish in Florida and it was fantastic !! We ended up eating their twice !! YUM !!
We also ate three times at Carrabas Italian Resturaunt , yum !!
The best dessert we had was with Nicole and Bill at Cristinos Coal Oven Pizza !!, They also had a the best Pizza we ever found and they had the best Gelato we ever tasted , WOW !! It was so Creamy !! and good.
We all enjoyed our many walks along the beach looking for seashells and we brough home a good sized bag of them. We could have just bought a bag, but now we have memories of finding each one kinda like finding mushrooms, (:>).
We enjoyed really living it up for five days with Nicole and Bill too.
This was our first time to Florida and we always wanted to go and see what all the hype was about .
As i sit here this morning at the computer cracking fresh Georgia Pecans for breakfast and finding almost 50% of them rotten I realize the weather condtions down south must have caused many of them to be bad in the shell. I craved a big bag of Georgia Pecans all the way to Florida , not as good as I had hoped but still another funny memory everytime I crack another one and it’s rotten too.
It was all fun and this is the longest we have ever been away from home . We will never forget these last four weeks with my folks and the time we spent with Nicole and Bill and all the fun pictures and places we went.
When it’s all said and done there is still No Place Like Home.
Most of all as we pulled in the driveway yesterday Deb and I thanked God for returning us all home safe.
Have a Great Sunday with the ones you love !!

Florida Oranges , a dying fruit says Don Campbell.

Florida Oranges- This picture shows dozens of trailers full of fresh Florida oranges parked at the Tropicana Plant in Bradenton, Florida.
We checked on touring the plant , but no tours are available.
I did talk to two orange grove owners and they said very few Florida oranges actually go into Tropicana for orange juice. They said over 80% of their juice comes from oranges from Brazil. And Brazil’s oranges will grow even more in the next few years. Disease to the orchards has taken it’s toll wiping out hundreds of acres and I was told by the owner that a new bug is now attacking the trees and no -one has a treatment for it yet.
That owner said he is very close to selling his own orchard to a developer who has made him a offer he can’t hardly refuse after a lifetime in the orange business.
Have a great Friday !!!!!!!

The one owner says between developers buying orange groves for condos and disease eliminating more trees within 7 years Florida oranges will be a thing of the past. That is very shocking to hear.
We did enjoy the freshest oranges and the freshest orange and grapefruit juice we ever tasted and it was delicious !!

Florida Cadillac Dealer , 26″ spinner wheels and Don Campbell thinks about mounting some on Deb’s Cadillac, ha,ha.

Spinner Wheels- Deb and I saw a lot of fancy wheels on all kinds and sizes of cars in Florida. I’m sure If I lived there I would have a set of these 26″ spinners on Deb’s Cadillac, ha,ha.
I looked close at another similar car and it was rubbing on the wheel wells when it hit bumps . Reminded me of my first car in High School jacked up with shackles and a set of wide tires on the back that used to rub when it hit bumps. Also one of my Vettes I had wide tires and it rubbed when I hit bumps too.
Seven degrees in Gaylord this morning .
Have a nice Thurs.

Checking out Bar-B-cued ribs in the south , Don Campbell from Gaylord, Michigan

Bar-B-Cue – Todays picture shows me getting ready to try more southern ribs. Out of the five rib places we tried , this place called Rib City Grill was the best. There were a few other places I wanted to try, but Deb wouldn’t let me stop as the places looked to rough . We were surprised to see people with a grill and a car selling bar-b-cue along the roads. I wanted to try some, but Deb said no thanks.
Have a great Wed. !!!!!!!