THE NEXT CHAPTER

PUNTA GORDA

We have been in Punta Gorda now for just over two weeks. I have been very lazy when it comes to adding to the blog, but we have been very busy socially so I will use that as the excuse.
We arrived here on Tuesday 13 March around 6.00pm with the car so full of stuff that we probably couldn’t even get a paper clip in. I sat with my knees on my chin for the three hour run from Fort Lauderdale.

THE NEW CAR

We had spent two, half days, with the Boyer family who are the new owners of Anything Goes. We enjoyed the time together, getting to know them and doing our best in the short time available, to explain as many things as possible.

THE NEW OWNERS OF ANYTHING GOES – THE BOYER FAMILY

Pretty much as soon as we arrived at Rob and Sue’ s house we were off to dinner with Steve and Nancy, also Manta owners. That was the beginning of the social whirl we have been caught up in. Since arriving 16 days ago we have been out to 15 different activities. Dinner, drinks parties, outdoor concerts to name a few.

THE LINEHAN’S HOUSE WE ARE CALLING HOME UNTIL MAY

We are enjoying a day of doing nothing much today, although we did go to a mall in Fort Myers to order me some new sunglasses. Tomorrow we have been asked to go sailing with Nancy and Steve, and there is a birthday party tomorrow night for another guy we have recently met. It really is the most social place I have every been to. Most people we have met are boat owners and that has been a common thread.
Last weekend Kristian and Celine flew down. They were due to arrive on Thursday evening at 11.15pm but there was a lightening storm in Montreal which delayed their flight. Finally arrived at 2.00am! We had a bit of a late start on Friday but still managed to pack in plenty. We drove to Boca Grande for a late lunch and a walk on the beach. We had been there several times before on the boat and love it. Then on Saturday we drove to Naples, via the outlet malls at Miromar. We enjoyed yet another great lunch in Naples and had a nice walk out onto the famous Naples Pier. On Sunday we drove to St Petersburg, yet another great lunch! We dropped them at Tampa airport after a quick shopping trip to the International Mall. Peter and I drove back to St Petersburg for drinks and dinner with Patsie and Denise before heading home. A wonderful time, just too short.
Punta Gorda, especially Punta Gorda Isles where we are staying, is just a maze of canals so most people have their boat out the front of their property. Houses are lovely, very open plan designed in a similar way to waterfront homes in Queensland, but there ends the similarity. Typical family homes, four bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, pool etc, 2000sq feet to 3000 sq feet would range between $350k to $700K with condos in a fairly new building with the most amazing pool, club house, tennis courts, full size gym, day spa and much more start at $149k and that is for two bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1700 sq feet! Pretty tempting! I don’t think Florida has seen the bottom of the market yet either.
On 9 April we drive back to Fort Lauderdale to start our cruise to the Caribbean. We are visiting Honeymoon Cay in the Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire and into the Panama Canal as far as Lake Gatun before exiting the canal again with a short stay at Colon. We return to Fort Lauderdale via Cost Rica. We are both looking forward to trip and seeing some of the areas we may have visited had we not sold the boat. We are fortunate to know people in Bonaire and we will be spending the day with them. Sue and Rob, whose house we are living in, may pass us near Cost Rica on their way south to Panama. I am sure we won’t get to see them but they may pick us up on their AIS. I hope to have lots to write about after the cruise and plenty of photos. I will try and be better organized when I get back and update the blog more frequently – don’t hold your breath though!

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