Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mystery Trip

Monday, January 4, 2010, we went on a mystery trip. My daughter's in-laws and some of their friends go on mystery trips. The host of any particular trip does all the planning. All they tell the guests is how long they will be gone and what to pack. Dale and Barb Finney were the hosts of this particular mystery trip. We were told to meet them at their house, bring smart casual clothes, and plan to spend the night.

We met Dale and Barb on a cruise we took with Alan and Kay this past year and also spent time with them at A&K's home in PA when we were there. Alan and Kay are Jeni's in-laws and they are like family to us as well. We sure are thankful to them for sharing the rest of their adventurous and interesting family and friends with us.

We started out at Dale & Barb's winter home in Bonita Springs. Kay and Alan arrived about the same time we did and we got to see the community they live in and enjoyed appetizers, drinks and conversation before we all went out to dinner.

Dinner was at the British Open Pub in Naples, Florida. Bill had fish and chips and I had a delicious Shepherd's Pie. We sat out on the patio with heaters going. It was very pleasant though very cool temps had come in and looked as if they were going to stay with us awhile.

Then we were taken to "The Phil" harmonic Center for the Arts in Naples. We saw "American Voices" on the billboard and found out that the entertainers of the night were Andy Cooney (Irish American's Favorite Son) who sang so many favorite Irish songs and his "Danny Boy" left everyone in silence for some long seconds before the applause began. I found I couldn't move because his rendition was so moving!

Larry Gatlin sang a lot of songs I was not familiar with. I was thinking it was Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers which I really like, but he was not as good by himself. They are known for songs like "Broken Lady", "All the Gold in California", 'She Used to Be Somebody's Baby", etc.

Crystal Gayle came on last and she was impressive with her distinctive voice and hair. Her hair would be sweeping the floor if she hadn't had on very high heels. Seeing her live gave rise to new questions about her hair and how she must care for it. I don't see how she keeps from having headaches with that much hair. LOL Thankfully, her singing distracted me from the hair though. She sang "Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue" and many other songs that she is known for and some I did not know. Another of her sisters was on stage with her singing back up and she had the spotlight a few times but I didn't think she was good at all. All the Webb sisters look different. Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, and this new sister I saw on stage that night did not favor IMHO. By the way, Crystal Gayle's name is Brenda Gayle Webb and she was given her stage name by her sister, Loretta, along with her first hit song that was written by Loretta Lynn. The show was very good and I enjoyed seeing these three people that I have never seen on stage before. We all hauled ourselves back into the car for the trip home. We all wanted to travel in the same car so we took Dale and Barb's SUV which meant one of us had to sit in the back where the luggage goes.
That would be Dale. We laughed so much at him. We thought we were going to lose him a few times when Bill would hit a bump. Dale is a character. We always laugh when we are with them. We can be in the most mundane of situations and we will be roaring with laughter before it's over. I love being around people like that. Alan and Kay are also people that are so upbeat and see the positive in every situation. What valuable people to have in your lives, the optimists of the world. These people always bring us up and we feel good just to be alive.

Tuesday morning, Dale was leading a stretch exercise class at the rec center and so we went there to stretch along with Dale. The Farmer's market was setting up outside the rec center when we came out and we had to buy some ugly tomatoes (that's the name!) and other fresh produce and herbs.

We went back to the house where Dale and Barb made us an wonderful breakfast with fresh squeezed orange juice from the oranges on their tree and a casserole that was incredible.

This is our first Mystery Trip and we hope to be on many more with these fun people .I wanted to plan one for the Strawberry Festival but we couldn't work out our schedules for that. I think we will definitely plan one for our mountain house in NC this year some time. There aren't any rules for the Mystery Trip. The hosts have to do all the planning and reservations, etc. The others are along for the ride and you just take turns so that everyone becomes a host. What fun and what marvelous possibilities this opens up for us.

After we left the Finney's, we went down to Immokalee to check out the community of Ave Maria. Bill and I are checking on 55 + communities that we would be interesting in moving to. Ave Maria itself was a nice community but there is NOTHING around it. We drove what seemed like forever inland and then this beautiful place pops up out in the swampland. Oh, well, we have to check them out. We will look into Sun City near here, a community in Sarasota and probably the Villages and one place in Hilton Head. We are just in the thinking, planning stages but we are ready to make a move I think. Dale and Barb are in a mobile home community but we realized we wouldn't be interesting though there are so many beautiful motor home communities in Florida.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Glad you had such a wonderful time on your mystery trip. It sounds like such a fun idea..and it is neat you have a group of people to do something like this. The variety of things you did on this mystery trips makes me smile.

Interesting that Bill and you are considering looking into retirement communities. Now that would be a BIG decision!

I always enjoy your updates.