By 7:00 AM there was a tapping on our door and there was John, ready to drag a willing Dan off to the gym for a morning workout. They both enjoyed the time away from us women folks and the sweaty male bonding thing.
That task done, Dan and I set out to pick up our weekend Enterprise car ($10.00 a day for 3 days) then to look for our Christmas presents for each other. We decided that we both wanted bicycles and thought this might be a good place to look for them. First store had nothing that fit our needs but the second store, Ringling Bicycles on Manatee Avenue, had just the right bike for each of us. Dan’s needed a bit of tweaking but they set right to work at making the necessary adjustments and we took off exploring while they accomplished this.
John had told us of Robinson Preserve, a wild life refuge with walking trails, bike paths and kayaking waterways. We followed the paths, climbed up the observation tower and took in the breathtaking views around us. We saw egrets, herons, osprey, the newly migrated white pelicans, a horseshoe crab, a raccoon swimming across the waterway and hundreds of churning mullets swimming in the waters. What a beautiful park.
|THE OBSERVATION TOWER|
|WE MADE IT TO THE TOP!|
|WHAT A VIEW!|
|I HAD NEVER SEEN A RACCOON SWIMMING BEFORE THIS.|
|HUNDREDS OF MULLET WERE TEAMING JUST UNDER THE WATER'S SURFACE|
Once our bikes were ready to be picked up we swapped out our little rental with John’s van and managed to get them both back to Quest. We took a quick ride over the Cortez Bridge to Bradenton Beach then lugged our new purchased onto the Quest.
|OUR NEW WHEELS|
Tonight’s dinner was at a smashing little Thai restaurant where John, Joann, Debbie (their daughter) Dan and I managed to finish off quite a feast of great Thai food. We hadn’t seen Debbie for years and it was really fun visiting with this lovely grown-up woman.
|JOHN, JOANN, DEBBIE, JUDY AND DAN EATING, YET AGAIN|
|THE MOON IS JUST TO PEEKING AROUND THE LEFT OF OUR CHRISTMAS STAR|