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Scotland 100219

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Scotland 100219

Tuesday 10/1/19 — fly to Edinburgh

-UA118 ORD->EDI Edinburgh 6:15pm to 7:50am
-Went to Polaris club, real 1st class

Wednesday 10/2/19 — Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle


-Very bumpy final 3rd of flight
-Slept pretty good
-Lost/then found my mobile phone in the seats
-Hotel Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian
-Super friendly limo driver met us. Surprised with how much luggage we had. tip-20
-Weather was 50-60s, clear skys
-Got to hotel by 9am. Our room wasn’t ready. Waited and napped in special waiting area
-Got our room by noon. 20 tip. Went out with Ian and Leslie to Edinburgh castle
–Long walk uphill
–bought tickets
–excellent tour guide. 5-tip Sort of like tower of London
–afternoon tea at Castle Hill restaurant, Redcoat Cafe
–slow difficult walk down the hill. I was hurting. We got a taxi back to hotel
-Cathie called ML to fix CMA card
-I took nap
-Dinner at Angel Share gastropub. Really good. Beer and Scotch

Thursday 10/3/19 — Royal Mile, Holyroodhouse Palace

St Giles Cathedral

Palace of Holyroodhouse

-Slept really well. Got up at 8am, breakfast in hotel at 9am.
-Early morning cool, high 40s, probably got to 55. Initially clear skys, then clouds rolled in after 12:00
-Took a cab to the Royal Mile.
-Walked over to St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Old Town
-We walked the rest of the Royal Mile down to the Scottish Parliament building
-We went for a tour in Queens Galery across the street. We saw a special exhibition on Royal roots in Russia.
-Then we walked next door to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s residence in Edinburgh
-We had tea at the The Café at the Palace of Holyroodhouse
-We then took a cab to Kinloch Anderson and bought me some tie Scottish ties
-Then we took an Uber to the Scottish National Gallery
–Featuring the work of Nicolas Poussin
-We then walked back to the hotel, but passing in front of the castle going through the beautiful Princes Street Gardens
-We only had 30 minutes to get ready for dinner
-We went to a Michelin star rated restaurant called The Kitchin
–We had the premium tasting menu with the premium wine pairings. Really good. We stayed for 4 hours. Wonderful!!
-Started raining
-Took a cab back to the hotel. I think I paid for two $15 cab rides, plus an Uber
-Back to the room by 11pm

Friday 10/4/19 — Royal Scotsman, Alnwick Castle

Railmap of our Royal Scotsman Tour

Alnwick Castle, Royal Scotsman

Alnwick Castle

-Went out to get more cash. Not sure how much we need for tips and things
-Checked out of Caledonian at 11am
-Had troubles with the taxis but got there in time
-Nice waiting area, we met Jerry
-He walked us to the train in Waverley Station
-A nice bag piper lead us onto the Royal Scotsman train. Really cool.
-We sat in the observation car, being serviced lots of drinks, waiting to be taken to our cabin (Car 2H)
-We met Fred, train manager
-Met nice people from Nashville, Russian travel agents and people from Louisiana
-Spa staff signed up Cathie for appointments
-Road on the train for a couple of hours then got off at Alnmouth Station
-Took a coach to Alnwick Castle
–Excellent afternoon tea at 4pm
–Excellent tour of castle — very historic
–Harry Potter and Downton Abbey were there.
-Coach back to train
-Dinner at 8, White Fish then Venison. 3 different wines. Excellent!
Skipped this, went to bed at 10pm. Nice turn down service.
-Local entertainment by local musicians in Observation Car

Saturday 10/5/19 — Royal Scotsman Derentwater, Keswick, Hutton-in-the-Forest

Derwentwater Lake

Derwentwater Lake

Derwentwater Lake

Derwentwater Lake

Hutton-in-the Forest

Hutton-in-the Forest

Hutton-in-the Forest

-Slept surprisingly well. Breakfast at 8:00
-Travel in train for awhile, disembark in Penrith at 8:37. Took a coach for 3 destinations
-Private launch on Derentwater
–Big beautiful lake (called a water)
-Market Day at Keswick
–Beautiful nearby town with a very well laid out Saturday market
–lots of dogs!!
–Had tea at the cafe of a hotel, The Skiddaw Hotel
–Bought little things at the Boots pharmacy
–back on the bus at 12:45
-Took the coach to a country home called Hutton-in-the-Forest
–Lunch with the owners, the Fletcher Vane’s
–We sat next to the No 1 daughter Miranda
–she helped with meal preparation and cleaning
–The docent Elizabeth gave us a wonderful tour of the house
–WWII bomber landing strip with sheep
–delightful walk through the gardens
-return to train at 5:30
-napped until 6:45
-Dinner at 8pm.
-Met pediatrician event special effects expert
-9:30 entertainment
–two young gentlemen. Violin and accordion. traditional Scottish songs
–They wrote for Outlander
–talked again with Russian travel agents

Sunday 10/6/19 — Royal Scotsman Wemyss Bay, Isle of Bute, Mount Stuart

Mount Suart Mount Suart Mount Suart Mount Suart

-Slept late
-wokeup to lots of rain
-Cathie had spa appointment at 8:15am
-Brunch 9:00-11:30
-The morning was spent traveling to Wemyss Bay
-Walked to the beautiful train/ferry station
-Ferry Crossing to Isle of Bute
—Visit Mount Stuart, Victorian Gothic house
—Afternoon tea
—Tour of House, Mary and Jim
—Archivist – Lensey — really interesting
-Ferry back to Wemyss Bay to get back on trains at 5:35
-Formal dinner at 8pm
-Entertainment at 9:30pm — duo who played classic Scottish songs: fiddle and guitar
-Dance on the platform
-bed time at midnight

Monday 10/7/19 — Britannia, train to Keith

Britannia Britannia

-Train goes est toward Edinburgh
-leave train at 9:26am, Tour the Royal Yacht Britannia w/lunch
–8 of us with a new guide, Sandy
–Nice lengthy self guided tour
–Nice lunch on the boat.
–Cool, windy, cloudy, no rain
-Friends from the weekend tour leave us. Only 8 of us stay. Several new people will join us at 1:30pm
-Train north cross Firth of Forth (really old bridge)
-Kingdom of Fife
-East coast Kingdom of Fife, arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen
-Afternoon tea for me; spa for Cathie
-Afternoon nap for both of us.
-Finally reaches Keith. Dinner with new guests, great entertainers.

Tuesday 10/8/19 — Royal Scotsman Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle Cawdor Castle Cawdor Castle Cawdor Castle Cawdor Castle

-Departing Keith going west along Moray Firth to Inverness
-Late breakfast
–At noon (should have been 10:45am) disembark at Inverness for visit to Cawdor Castle.
–White table cloth and wine Lunch at Castle, really good
–Bought blanket, got nice guide book
–Fiona replaces Jerry as host
–rainy but not bad
–fancy black sheep with 4 horns
–castle built around original tree
–Return to train at 3:00pm
-Trains goes west toward Strathcarron
-Loch Luichart and Torridon mountains
-Through Achnasheen to Luib summit and Achnashellach Forest
-back down to Strathcarron. through Attadale, Stromeferry and Duncraig
-Return to train in Kyle of Lochalsh
-Formal Dinner, nice, but no entertainment
-Met Les, the Whiskey guy. We are going on a tour with him on Thursday

Wednesday 10/11/19 — Ballindailoch Castle

Ballindalloch Castle Ballindalloch Castle Ballindalloch Castle Ballindalloch Castle Ballindalloch Castle Ballindalloch Castle, Royal Scotsman

-Train leaves Kyle of Lochalsh at 7am
-Whisky tasting at 10:45am!
-Lunch on train at noon
-At Carrbridge, visit Ballindailoch Castle. (Speyside whisky region)
-Aviemore station
-at 1pm Ballindalloch Castle
–saw Guy Macpherson-Grant, personal tour
–tea and gift shop
–Walled Garden. Castle Rose
–Dove Cove
–Cattle, Shetland Ponies, Llamas, Border Collie, sheep
-6pm return to train at Boat of Garten
-Informal dinner
-Lecturer told the story of the great Scotish battle

Thursday 10/12/19 — Rothiemurchus Estate, Tullibardine Whisky Distillery

Rothiemurchus Rothiemurchus Tullibardine Tullibardine Tullibardine

-Coach to Rothiemurchus Estate in Cairngorms National Park.
-clay pigeon-shooting
–3 stations, 6 shots per station, I got about 50%
–clear blue skys, perfect weather, cool.
–tea in the estate house
–owner told us dark history of the highlands and how broadband is bring people back
-Return to the train in Kinguissie
-Lunch then ride to Tullibardine Whisky Distillery
–rainy, more than we’ve had any day
–excellent young tour guide, told us stories of superstitions about angel share
-Rejoin the train in Perth and go to Dundee, final night
-Gave envelope to Alex
-Started saying good byes to staff and new friends
-Formal dinner, w/lively Scottish piano and guitar

Friday 10/13/19 — return to Edinburgh

-Go from Dundee, cross Tay Bridge into Kingdom of Fife
-Stop at Edinburgh
-Jewelery from Goodwins Antiques
-Gifts for home at Debenhams
-Then End
-Hotel The Balmoral
–Dinner at the Bistro

Saturday 10/14/19 — fly home, early

-Same limo driver picked us up at 3:30am
-UA9926 EDI->BRU 6:06am to 8:40am
–Only one row of business class travelers
-UA973 BRU->ORD 11am to 12:55pmCT
–connecting gate was only a few gates away
–slept 4 hours, watched Apollo 11 movie
-Tried mobile passport — not worth it. No faster
-home by 3pm.

Cubs vs Brewers 090119

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Cubs vs Brewers 090119

At the last minute, we decided to attend a Sunday afternoon Cubs game. We left really early and found a great parking spot two blocks North of Wrigley Field. We arrived so early that the gates weren’t open yet. We went shopping and got me a nice Cubs jersey.

When we got in and got to our seats, we were delighted to see batting practice. Along the first base dugout, there were a skinny line of VIPs on the field watching. It was fun and reminded me of my childhood coming to see the Cubs with my father.

At 12:30, a formal recognition ceremony for Lee Smith was held on the field at home plate.  Lee Smith was just inducted into the hall of fame and the Cubs did an excellent job recognizing him.  They made a plaque, a photo/painting and a flag with Lee Smith’s name on it, to be flown on Wrigley field right next to Bill Williams and Ernie Banks’s flags.  Lots of Cubs alumni attended.  Lee Smith and his whole family were very happy!!

The game was good.  The Cubs were losing 1-0 up until the ninth inning when the Brewers 40 HR slugger Yelich hit a 3 run home run.  Box Score.

We had great seats between home plate and the start of the Brewers dugout.  A foul ball landed nearby, but the netting was really good and stopped most other foul balls.

Visit Mike in Baltimore

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Visit Mike in Baltimore

Cathie was in Maryland on business and we decided to extend her business trip into our first chance to meet with Mike and Liane since they moved to Baltimore.

Cathie drove from Laurel to Baltimore to meet with Mike at the Four Seasons located at the Inner Harbor area; they had drinks on the rooftop restaurant, called the ByGone.  Liz and I flew into DCA and drove to Baltimore in time to meet Mike, Liane and Cathie at the Charleston Restaurant, nearby.

Mike's Birthday Dinner

The restaurant is super fancy! The chef designed a 5 course dinner for us. Mike picked a Châteauneuf-du-Pape wine. And to add the final touch to a super dinner, the valet attendant drove the car from the restaurant to the Four Seasons — so I didn’t have to drive.

We ended Friday evening by having drinks at the neighboring Loch Bar.  We gave Mike the special gift of a blanket with his face printed on the side.  Paying homage to other wonky things he has had custom made with his face on it.

On Saturday, we met Liane at 10:30 and went for a walk through Fells Point.  This was an area featured in Samantha Browns travel show.  We had brunch at the Sagamore Pendry Hotel. The hotel is situated on the former Rec-Pier built in the early 1900s.

From there, we went to Mike and Liane’s old apartment building, got her car and drove to the hotel they are staying at on the grounds of Johns Hopkins University.

Union Craft Brewing

We picked up the dogs and drove to an outside bar called Union Craft Brewing — It  welcomes dogs! It was a nice place to visit, but Pamb and Gus needed to be kept close because they are sometimes a little too friendly with other dogs. We spent the afternoon there, then went back to the hotel.

Orioles baseball Orioles baseball

We took naps, then went to a Baltimore Orioles game at beautiful Camden Yards. We had great seats on Row 7 right behind home plate.  Our usher Pat was really nice to us. The game was fun to watch, with the Os beating the Blue Jay’s 6-4. Box Score. 

After the game, we took a taxi back to the hotel. Liane then took an Uber back to her place. Cathie, Liz and I had a some drinks again at the nearby Loch Bar.  We had breakfast at the ByGone the next morning, then drove to Washington DC.

The mall was crowded with little to no parking. So we drove to really neat museum called Dumbarton Oaks Research Library. Liz was really happy to find some important books for her research. It was a beautiful place to visit in the historic Georgetown area.

After that we drove to airport and flew back to home on a 1:45pm flight.  Luckily we were able to get Cathie an upgraded seat!!



Match Day in Columbia 3/15/19

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Match Day in Columbia 3/15/19

Match Day

Match Day

After 3 and a half years of medical school and over 10 interviews with different hospitals, Mike learned where he is going to start his medical residency: Johns Hopkins!  The process is formally done across the country all at the same time and date.  At noon, on 3/15, all of the medical student opened their match letters.  Then each student got up in front of the room and shared with their class mates where they are going.  This traditional ceremony is very emotional and welcomes family members to join.

Match Day

On match day morning, we attended a tail gate party, then we all met at “The Zone” — a large sky box at the football stadium.  Then we went to the River Rat with the rest of the class to celebrate.  For dinner we went to Hall’s Chop House for dinner with Colin’s family.  What a great day.  We are so proud.

Halls Chop House

The next day, we had brunch at Cafe Strudel then went to Congaree National Park and walked the dogs on the very nice boardwalk trail. For dinner we went to the bowling alley / restaurant called the Grand.  Then we went to the nearby ice cream shop: Sweet Cream.


Mike had to leave early Sunday morning for his volunteer work in Mexico at the boarder near McAllen, TX. Faith Ministry We had brunch at Motor Supply then we had a relaxing afternoon at Steel Hands, listening to music with the dogs.


Brussels 2/9/19

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Brussels 2/9/19

Brussels 2/9/19 – 2/12/19

Friday 2/8

-Limo to airport, checked bags, no duffle bag, just blue roller
-UA972 ORD->BRU 5:55pmCT to 8:50amCET
–Liz’s birthday
–Mike flew from Columbia, met us at BRU
–Bin flew from JFK, landed at BRU same time as us

Saturday 2/9

Grand Place

-Mini van driver met us at BRU and took us to Hotel
-Hotel Amigo, one block from Grande Place
–Front desk and bell staff very warmly welcomed us
–help getting luggage to room
–Cathie and I had Executive room, again. Room 444. Really big, comfortable. Big luxe bathroom.
–All three of our rooms were ready right away.
-walked over to Grande Place, had breakfast at Le Roy D’Espagne
–We always go here first.
–I started with an omlette, but then ended up with beer and frites

Taverne du Passage

-We then walked thru the Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert
-Then over to the St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral
-Then, in the heavy rain, we walked up the hill to the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique
–We’ve been here before, it is nice to be back

Cornelis de Vos. Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts

–I went straight for the Bruegels
–we had drinks in the cafe — Tabl’o
-We walked back to the hotel, rainy
-I took a one hour nap
-Dinner at ‘T Kelderke restaurant in the Grande Place
–Great dinner, but their credit card machine
-We stopped at Elisabeth chocolate shoppes (3 of them!)
-Evening drinks in the hotel lounge

Sunday 2/10

-We slept late, had breakfast at 10am. A little late, but still ok
-We took taxis to the Comic Book Museum


–I enjoyed looking for the Tintin exhibit (his 90th anniversary,
–Liz liked the Quebec General Store
–We had long lunch at the Brasserie Horta at the museum
-We walked over to a Comic Book Store near Central Station, Slumberland Tome 1
-Then for some reason, we stopped for an hour or so at the BrewDog Pub nearby.
-We luckily found a minivan at a taxi stand, and took it to the Filigranes Bookstore
–I bought a french language book and greeting cards. Rainy, again
–We were right next to the Metro station, so we took it (2 stops) to Central Station
-Then we walked to the Grande Place and did some shopping

Brew Dog

-Our really nice concierge booked us a table at the Taverne du Passage
–crowded, lost of local diners, good food
-Bought more chocolates from Elisabeth
-Evening drinks at the hotel

Monday 2/11

-Finally, a morning without rain! It was cool
-We had breakfast, the staff recognized us

2be Brewpub Dijver Canal Provincial Palace Rozenhoedkaai

-We took the train to Brugge
–9:20 to 10:30am
–We walked around, saw the sites.
–Bin and Mike climbed to the top of the tower
–We went to FNAC and bought more cards; art supplies
–The historic square was beautiful!
Museum Stadhuis
–Cheese and beer at the 2be bar — fun, on the water, outside
–2pm lunch at Tom Pouce restaurant
-Concierge got us a table at the nearby La Roue D’Or for dinner, again local, crowded and different
-Bought souvenirs and Chocolates. New Favorite: Mary Chocolates

Tuesday 2/12

-Breakfast at 7. Staff recognized us again
-same mini-van to the airport at 8am
-Bell staff helpful again with luggage
-Bin’s flight was delayed 3 hours
-We got upgraded to Premium Plus. New sub-business class, but nicer seating area.
-We made our connection in Dulles ok. Customs was light. The United Club was lightly attended
-We got home with fresh snow on the ground, but otherwise on time
-Mike and Bin both got home fine.
-Each time we had drinks, we toasted Liz: Happy Birthday!


Brew Dog

Captiva for New Years — 123018

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Captiva for New Years — 123018

Sunday 12/30/18

-SW flight from Midway at 7:30am. UA flights all booked
-Limo pickup at 5pm
-Taylor taking care of cats, starting new job soon.
-flight only slightly delayed. The day before was snowy, slushy
-Delays at Hertz. Really low inventory. We were lucky to get our mini van. Thanks to Melissa
-Mike and Liane landed shortly after us. Melissa helped them get their car
-Quick stop at Starbucks
-The mini van was full of people but we stopped to get groceries  at Jerry’s anyway
-We got to Southseas. the room wasn’t ready, but they told us to go to our room anyway
-Warm weather, maybe 85. Perfectly clear
-Lands End 1666
–It looked like the previous guest had just left.
–Dirty dishes everywhere.
–Christmas tree, wrapping paper, decorations, garbage everywhere
–We cleaned out the refrigerator, put our perishables in and put the rest of our stuff in a corner and waited for the cleaning crew to come
–We went to the shoeprint pool and ate crackers
–At 5pm, there were 4 people in the condo cleaning.
–I tipped the main person and thanked her “Merci beaucoup” I heard her say seize soixante-six on the phone earlier.
-Dinner at Mucky Duck. Didn’t get served until 9pm. Really busy
–Bacon shrimp on the patio before hand

Dressing up for New Years

Mad Hatter

Monday 12/31/18 — New Years Eve: Kayak, Golf, Beach and Mad Hatter

-Kayaking at Tween water
Adventure Sea Kayak and SUP

–Melaya was our guide. 7 of us
–new boat wreck, new burned-out boat
–mangrove trail
–slight breeze, Roosevelt channel only
–out at 9am, back by 10:30am
–fun, easy paddle
-Headed to the beach by 11am
–I drove and then walked back. I really miss the bikes
–setup Liane with my mobile hot spot
–crowded beach but well staffed
-Mike and I left to go golfing
–1:40pm tee time
–warm, high 70s. very breezy
–crowded but no waiting
–Met Mom and the beach and gave her her hiking poles
–back to the condo by 3:45
-Sat around for awhile
-Got ready by 5pm, took pictures then went to Mad Hatters
-Mad Hatters
–arrived at 5:30pm, just in time
–table for 7 nicely layed out on the right edge of the dinning room, at the window
–Sunset was 5:42pm. Clear sky, nice orange colors
–6 course fixed price menu
–Champagne, 3 bottles of wine and after dinner drinks… we had lots of fun!
–excellent food. I had the fillet
–Done by 8:30
-Stopped by Captiva Provisions to get more champagne
-Watched TV, played games until midnight
-We watched CNN; Times Square rockin eve, switched to local news?!
-At midnight, we could see the fireworks show from Sanibel and Pine Island from our roof top patio
-We went to bed right afterwards; the kids stayed up until 1am
-Happy New Year!!

Dressing up for New Years

Tuesday 1/1/19

-I got up by 8:30. Most others were up by 10am
-Cathie and cleaned as best we could before the cleaning person arrived
-Clear sky, slight breeze, about mid 70s; maybe 80s by mid afternoon
-Hug out at the shoe print pool until noon
-Took Liane to the main pool for a going away lunch at the Pointe. Crowded but approachable
-Walked over to the Marina and there were several baby manatees with a couple (3?) adults.
-From there, Liane went back to the condo and drove herself to the airport for a 5:30pm flight.
-The rest of us walked over to the beach.
-We spent all afternoon at the beach, back at the condo by 5:30… just before sunset
-We rested a little, then headed out to Lazy Flamingo.
–I was crowded, we had to wait outside, but that was ok
–Ohio State Rose Bowl Game was on TV
–Disney was overfull and had to turn away people
-Liane got back ok, her flight was delayed by an hour
-We then went to Bubble Room,
–Dessert: nothing has changed. Key Lime pie still good
–Tunnel of Love pictures.
-Scoops and Slices: They were closed but still let us in
-I had a tough night. This time it was not mosquito bites

Lazy Flamingo

Bubble Room, Tunnel of Love

Wednesday 1/2/19

-I got up at 6am, slowly feeling better
-Kayaking at 8:30
-Weather: clear skies, slight breeze, low 70s
–Launched at 8:45, going South along Roosevelt Channel
–calm waters, low tide, clear sky
–shallow, stayed in the channel
–Headed down to Blind Pass
–People fishing; we saw dolphin, close up!
–stopped just short of the bridge
–Turned around and heading North along the far side of Buck Key
–Turned into mangrove trail. Timothea took lots of pictures with her good camera
–Head a bald eagle
–Saw two Ibis’s
–Headed back to Tween Waters in after 3 hours!!
–We also saw: Osprey, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Yellow Crown Night Heron, Ibis, Pelicans
-Headed back to Condo
-Went to the pool
-Mike and I went golfing at 1:10.
–Light wind, clear sky, lots of crows
–good pace of play, we kept up with the group ahead and the group behind only waited a little for us
–Mike hit a few greens and has really improved his ball striking ability. Very cool.
-Headed back to the condo
-Met everyone at the pool until 4:15
-Ding Darling
–We got there at 4:45.
–Two great spots to see White Pelicans
–The second spot included Roseate Spoonbills and Tricolored Heron.
–Timothea got to attached her camera to my 500mm and 300mm lens
–Also saw a green heron, Snowy Egret, and Little Blues
–RIght at Sunset, the Little Blues all flew away?!
-Drove to Sanibel, had dinner at Matsaluna
–Everyone did art work.
–I had vegetables for dinner
–We learned that there was a power outage on Captiva. Power was restored just as we drove up.
-Stopped at Jerry’s to restock
-Stopped at CVS to get cold medicine.
-Great day!!!!

Sunset at Ding Darling Roseate Spoonbill Roseate Spoonbill White Pelican Little Blue



Thursday 1/3/19

-Wake up at 7am, slept better
-Clear sky, slight breeze, mid 70s
-Kayaking at 8:30
–Normal setup, but Mike on a standup paddle board
–Paddled against the wind and tide and went South along Roosevelt Channel… a little bit of work
–First birds were seen down by the Southern tip of Buck Key
–Headed North along the far side of Buck Key
–Much easier: with the wind, with the current
–We saw dolphin, White Pelicans, Yellow Crowned Night Herons, and
–6 Osprey were flying with one eagle. The eagle was flying by it self and quickly it was swarmed by Osprey
–no direct attacks
–At Northern tip, we saw an eagle hiding in the trees
–Only 2 hours on the water
-Headed back to the condo
-Had lunch at condo
-Mike and I golfed at 1:10pm
–Mike played really well!
-Everyone else went to the beach. No bike riding for Cathie
-Back by 2:45.
-Left for Ding Darling at 3:15
-Ding Darling
–Earlier than yesterday, saw the birds before sunset
–Mostly the same birds: White Pelicans, Roseatte Spoonbills, Tricolor, Redish Egret
–Timothea borrowed my 18-200mm
-Dinner a Sunset grill at 5:30; sunset at 5:43pm. Nice! Good food.
-Watched Blackhawks game, they lost in OT against Boston


Kayaking Buck Key Kayaking Buck Key Kayaking Buck Key Kayaking Buck Key Liz, Nora, Timothea Mangrove Trail Pelicans Green Heron

Friday 1/4/19

-I slept the best of all nights
-Woke up to fog, with some rain; pretty breezy — not quite windy
-Called kayak people: We are waiting for the fog to burn off
-Kayaked starting at 10am
–Very windy, out of the SouthEast
–We paddled with the current to the North of Buck Key
–Looped through the Mangrove Trail.
–And were swooshed back to Tween waters by high winds and tide
–Sort of amusement park ride, fun, but almost a wash out.
–Clear skys
–Mike was on a stand up paddle board
-Back to the Condo and hung out at the beach for a while
-Mike did front flips into the big waves
-He caught a 2:15pm limo to the airport and was in Charlotte roughly on time
-Cathie and I went golfing at 2:40.
–Really slow, we skipped 1 and 2 and started on the 3rd hole
–I lost a couple of balls to the wind
–Otherwise, nice last day of golfing
-Took clubs straight to the shipping place. Jammed extra stuff into the golf bag
-Wine and cheese snacks.
-Dinner at RC Otters at 7pm
-Star Wars on TV

Saturday — 1/5/19

-Clear skys, 68, windy
-Kayaked at 8:45am
–Just kayaked to the north tip of Buck Key
–We witnessed a pelican feeding frenzy.
–A school of fish was passing through and 10 brown and 4 white pelicans were dive bombing for fish
–The flew right over us, into us!
–We also saw 3 osprey, 6 cormorant and 2 dolphins
–A brown pelican caught a big fish. 4 white pelicans surrounded it and tried to make it cough up the fish
–One Osprey caught a fish, and a couple of white pelicans chased it trying to get the osprey to drop its fish
-Done by 11am, but two miles of paddling
–Said good bye to the staff

Blackhawks Vs Montreal 120918

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Blackhawks Vs Montreal 120918

Blackhawks vs CanadiensMike, his medical school colleague Collin, Cathie and I went to see the Blackhawks play against the Canadiens.  While the Hawks lost, it was a really good game and we had great seats in the Club level.  Let’s Go Hawks !

ESPN Box Score. 

Grandma B-Day 1202018

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Grandma B-Day 1202018

For Grandma’s birthday, we celebrated (with Mike and Liz) at Maggianos in Naperville.  Happy Birthday!




Thanksgiving 112218

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Thanksgiving 112218




For the first time (ever), we hosted Thankgiving at Morton’s in Naperville.  We had a corner of the private party area to ourselves.  We had excellent food and service.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Captiva 10/27/18 – 11/2/18

Posted by on 9:56 pm in Bike/Kayak Trips, family, travel | 0 comments

Captiva 10/27/18 – 11/2/18

Saturday 10/27/18 — Fly to Ft Myers, Dinner at Lazy

-UA742, upgraded, departed an hour or so late. Crack engine, switched plans
-Only half our luggage made it to RSW. We waited at the airport for the next flight
-Watched Purdue / Mich St game, comp’d lunch
-Checked into Lands End 1626 at about 3pm. Sharing condo with Ian and Leslie
-Luggage getting really heavy.
-Room has view of Red Fish Pass and 6th tee
-It was windy and warm, partly cloudy with late afternoon light reflecting nicely off the birds
-Big, big waves. Surprisingly big.
-Cocktail hour, as normal
-Lazy Flamingo at 7pm. Not too crowded
-To bed by 9pm

Little Blue Heron

Sunday 10/28/18

-Slept in late, about 9:30
-Cool, windy. Not good for kayaking
-Ian taking pictures with his new camera
-I took a bunch of really nice osprey pictures at the condo
-Cathie went to the hot tub
-Lunch in the Condo
-Golf at 2-4pm
–Lots of birds
–Very windy, coolish
-Ding Darling
–Went there and it was nearly high tide, we had low expectations
–Lots of birds! Roseate Spoonbills, White Pelicans, Little Blue Heron
–Mangrove Cookcoo!
–Stopped 3 full times, lots of other people
–500mm lens, and Ian’s new camera
-Sunset Grill restaurant — not busy
-Back to the condo by 9pm

White Pelicans

Monday 10/29/18

-Ian and I worked on photos from Ding Darling
-AM at the pool. Hot tub. Family from Germany
-Lunch at Condo
-Golf at 2pm.
-Captiva Cruises sunset. Elliot was our host. Catches sharks for research job
-Dinner at Keylime Bistro. Liked the piano player

Jack and Cathie

Tuesday 10/30/18

-Very calm weather, no clouds, no wind, 70 degrees
-8:45am Kayaking
-Paddle around Buck Key
–Brian was happy that we were back. Red Tide hurt their business.
–Down Roosevelt channel, with the tidal current
–Back up Pine Island Sound on the far side, against the tidal current
–Half way up, Ian and Leslie joined us
–Cathie and I finished after 2.5 hours
–Ian and Leslie finished probably an hour later following the crab pot lines further North
–Brian’s Granddaughter and friend took care of us.
–Lots of Yellow-Crown Night herons
–Dolphin, Bald Eagle, no Manetee
–Rays, crabs
-Light lunch at condo
-I had an important work call at 2pm
-Golf at 4:30pm
–calm, clear sky, some wind, not crowded
–Had fun, again
-Cocktail hour on patio
-Dinner at Mucky Duck


Wednesday 10/31/18

-Kayaked with Sunny Island Adventures
–I called Brian and his staff was taking out a tour group
–This is the service affiliated with the T-Dock at South Seas
–Lots of tree trimming, kinda annoying
–Good, hard, paddle to Chadwick’s Bayou and Marina Villas docking area
–Boats were sit on tops with too short paddles. Had to “canoe” them. Slow
–Usual wildlife: visited sand bar with lots of birds
–Out for 2 hours
-Then golf at 2:30, then dinner
-Dinner at Mad Hatter


Cayo Costa State Park

Thursday 11/1/18

-Captiva Cruise ride to Cayo Casta State Park
–We stayed at the beach for 4 hours, beautiful
–Ian brought a sunshield/tent for us
–I bought a beach chair.
–We found nice shells, the water was nice, and the sky was clear
–Wilson’s Plover/Ruddy Turnstone and Snowy plovers visited us
–Nice boat ride: going up using the Gulf route because it was calm, going back Intercoastal waterway.
-Dinner at Doc Fords — Just Ian and Me. Cathie needed to stay at the condo to relax
-7pm call
-Stayed up Late, sore legs

Friday 11/2/18

-Breezy, warm day
-Kayaked with Brian.
–Tide coming in, wind from South, choppy waters
–Went around North side of Buck Key
–Waves too big, back tracked and went through mangrove tunnel
–Headed South along Roosevelt Channel
–Turned around halfway down, too windy
–Landed back at Tween Waters after 1:45.
–Saw manatee, fewer birds
-Pack and Ship, arranged for golf clubs return home
-Golf at 2:30
-Cocktail Hour
-Power outage
-Drove to Sanibel for dinner: Island Cow, good but too much food
-Power back on, back at condo to pack
-Leg still hurts, very itchy

Cayo Costa State Park

Mangrove Trail