Earlier in May, we headed to the Sunshine State to visit Aaron, Corinn and Dan for some R&R ... at least that is what we originally planned. Aaron & Corinn decided to move to a house before we arrived so we helped them get settled.
It is funny to see your kids enjoying the work they dreaded when growing up.
For instance, if we had asked Aaron to dig out a drainage trench and remove the roots so water would flow away from the house, well we can just imagine the resistance we would have gotten. But look below! And please note the garbage bags lining the street. See how the yard is devoid of grass? Well, those bags -- all 45 of them -- are filled with the leaves that smothered any blade of grass that tried to sprout there.
Hopefully some grass will fill in the bare areas at some point.
The house is really nice with a big back yard for the dog to rummage around in. (There is a bit of grass back there, but its very sparse.)
They have lots of room but now just need the funds to furnish it.
The neighbors seem nice enough. One loaned Aaron his garbage pails to collect leaves! He is also an avid motorhead, so Aaron introduced him to his dad while we were visiting.
It was fun helping "set up house" with them. One thing I wish I had is a lot more money to buy a few things: like some patio furniture for the back deck, maybe a nice swing for the huge back yard; and some furnishings and decor for the inside, like a dining room table or a snazzy kitchenette set. I ached to go shopping at garage sales!
This trip also included an introduction to the newest member of our family, "Jem". She's a little silkie terrier mix that is just adorable! I am afraid we wore the poor pup out with all our walks.
On Dan's side of town, while his place is now a small one-bedroom apartment, it overlooks Lake Howell. He has great view instead of a back yard.
It's hard to believe the wild life he has outside his window. A family of raccoons live in the tree. A white heron-type bird comes to "fish" every morning. Those cute little lizards dart across the paths, up the walls and through any crack they can find. The squirrels are scrawny by comparison to NY squirrels and run rampant in the woods. And the fish actually jump out of the water in the morning!
Once on my daily walk, I spotted this unusual sight through the trees. They turned out to be students from Full Sail working on a project. The one young man just happened to be Dan's neighbor. No they are not walking on water, but are standing a the pier.
This is Dan literally "at work". He is of this age of telecommuting and has his whole office in his livingroom. (Three monitors, yes 3!)
He just has to turn his head to look out the sliding glass doors of his apartment to see the peace and serenity beyond.
He is on the second floor and has a screened porch to which he can open the doors and get fresh air on those few days that the weather is not blazing hot and humid.
The walking path to the beach, pool and boat launch runs along the back of Dan's building. There are some great sights to behold on the way to and from these areas.
I love all the lush green growth on this path. As you come to the end near the pier, you get a Narnia-like feel as you wind out of the forest...
This opens up into the boat launch circle next to the pier.
This apartment complex must be praised for the beautiful landscaping and thoughtful design that went into the creation of this place.
Here is one of Dan's newest acquisitions, his 2010 Mazda M3 hatchback.
It is the second car he had ever owned. His other one served him well for a used car. Dan tried to run it into the ground but the thing never died...that a credit to good old American engineering!