We Finally Figured Out Our Problem

Well, it’s the start of our final week here at the “Winter Home of Neil and Connie Laubenthal”. After 2 weeks of really brutally hot weather…almost like mid summer…it’s cooled off a bit with nights in the 50s and days in the 70s to lower 80s. At least until Wednesday when the highs are going to start to get into the 80s to near 90 by the weekend.

We’ve about finished up our maintenance and other stuff we needed to get done…it’s been  reduced to a checklist of things to do this week day by day so we don’t forget anything. Filed our taxes and coordinated with our financial folks up in Virginia on some of that stuff and Neil at least is starting to get hitch itch after 5 months of sitting still.

We happened across a note on the web earlier in the weekend and figured out what our problem has been all of these years. We’ve got Chionophobia…you can read all about it here. Chionophobia is the fear of snow. Speaking of snow…the snowbird migration north is in full force now…the park is clearing out with 5-10 rigs leaving daily…this is good because it definitely improves the wifi speed. Neil went down to Costco on Friday to get some more meat as we were out and in the 9 miles south on I-75 to the store and the 9 miles back saw at least a dozen fully loaded RVs heading north with plates from places like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Canada. Our friend Jeff headed back to Tennessee on Saturday and tweeted Connie Saturday evening that he had to disconnect his water supply when he stopped overnight in southern Georgia because the forecast was for an overnight freeze while we were still pretty warm down here…although it has cooled off some from the upper 80s to 90s the past couple of weeks and for the weekend and the next couple of days it’s lows in the 50s and highs in the 70s to lower 80s. It’s back to hot by Thursday though…although the long range forecast for next week in Jacksonville (our first stop when we leave on Monday after Easter) is for highs in the 70s.

Here’s a few images Neil borrowed from the web…no decent photos to be published today as we’ve been pretty busy on chores and such.

Saw this gold Mercedes over in Miami when we were visiting our friend Pad a few weeks back.

Gold Mercedes

This is a photo of a Wild African Duwalley…he’s the meanest animal in the jungle except this one has been domesticated What makes him so mean you ask? Well, as the old description of the species goes…he’s got a head on one end and a head on the other end. To the inevitable question of “If he’s got a head on one end and a head on the other end, how does it poop?” the answer is “He don’t…that what makes him so mean.”

 

Wild African Duwalley

Here’s an Ibex out for lunch…it’s about a thousand feet down where he’s standing.

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And some bad parking karma.

24 Bad Parkers Who Got A Swift Visit From Karma Wildmmo 16

Cyas.

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E6 Continues to Mature

After his first flight the other day…note, I’m going to start calling it as a he rather than an it even though at this point we have no idea whether it’s really a he or she. Based on size, Neil thinks E6 is more likely female than male as he’s just about the same size as Harriet is…but that’s just an educated guess.

After his first flight earlier in the week E6 continues to flex, stretch, and increase his flying capability…Harriet is spending most of the day away from the nest eating for herself and bringing a meal to E6 usually daily. E6 has been continuing to fly around the nest site pasture, over to the trees by the church and pond and back as well as flying to different locations around the nest tree.

The intruder eagles are still hanging around although Neil didn’t see any of them this morning. There is a total of 4 hanging around…two adults, one sub adult and on😊e juvenile. I’m pretty sure you don’t know the difference between those various definitions so here they are:

Juvenile is when the bird has developed the first plumage (feathers) that allow flight…as differentiated from nestlings which still have the downy birth feathers and fledglings which are growing flight plumage…the fledgling turns into a juvenile when the flight feathers are complete.

Sub adult is a bird that has some or all of the adult plumage (e.g., the white head feathers on a bald eagle) but is sexually mature. 

Adult has both complete adult plumage and is sexually mature although not necessarily sexually active.

Immature is a broader category that covers everything from just fledged juveniles through sub adults…any bird that is not sexually mature with complete adult plumage is immature. Adult plumage happens before sexual maturity.

So now ya’ll are what we call experts😊

Anyway…Neil ran down this morning and got a few shots of E6 hanging around…he’s 89 days old today. Neil saw neither Harriet or any of the intruders but had a short discussion with his fellow eagle watcher who seems the most knowledgeable…at this point E6 should remain at the nest with his parents for another 5-6 weeks which means that Ozzie may be released a week or 10 days before E6 leaves. Harriet will be teaching him the rudiments of scavenging for food over the next weeks and perhaps a little hunting training but fishing is mostly learned on the job and usually takes until the juvenile is about 2 years old before it’s fully competent at fishing. Until then he’ll subsist mostly on road kill and slow small mammals or snakes. In addition to E6 he got a nice shot of a small brownish bird which we haven’t been able to identify with Peterson’s yet. 

Ozzie was on the news again lat night…he’s eating fine and has his broken clavicle wrapped. At this point the folks at CROW who are treating him think he will fully recover with about 3 weeks with the splint and another 2 or 3 weeks in their enclosed flight rehab aviary. Here’s a link to the SW Florida Eagle Cam Facebook page where ya’ll can get some more photos and info on his recovery.

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After that he came home and we had leftover stir fry (yum) for lunch and we’re off to the Elks for Tacos for dinner.

Cyas.

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E6 Fledges The Nest

Good news today!!

Although Ozzie is still recovering from his broken clavicle we are happy to report that E6, the remaining eaglet from this year’s hatching…fledged the nest (i.e., took his first flight) yesterday at 9:17AM at 86 days old which is just about average.

Here’s a link to a video of the first flight…E6 flew a hundred yards or so to another tree and came back to the nest about 20 minutes later. BTW, the name E6 comes from it being the 6th egg that hatched…there have been 2 in each year since 2012

E6 Fledge First Flight

Once it gets a little more confidence in it’s ability to maneuver and land successfully Harriet and E6 will likely leave the nest for a few days to start E6’s hunting lessons. Given the distance to the river and hunting grounds they’ll likely roost near them for a couple of days while it watched momma hunt and once it can easily fly to the river and back they’ll return to the nest for another 5 or 6 weeks before E6 departs the nest permanently. Hopefully Ozzie will be healed, rehab complete, and released before that happens.

 

Cyas.

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Eagles and Disturbing News

Well, as promised Neil went down on Wednesday AM and got some pictures of the eagles (well, one of the adults and the eaglet E6 at least) but there’s good news and bad news about that.

The good news is that E6 is 83 days old or so as of today and is getting pretty close to fledging the nest…i.e., taking his first flight. As you can see from the photos below…he’s doing lots of hover flying over the nest and is able to jump/fly/hover short distances to get to different perches on and around the nest area.

The bad news is that Ozzie has been injured and is currently at a rehab facility on Sanibel Island about 30 miles away with a broken left clavicle.

When Neil arrived early yesterday morning he could see Harriet sitting above the nest looking around pretty regularly rather than just roosting. E6 was in the nest sitting up and also looking around but Ozzie was nowhere in sight. At first he thought that Ozzie was out hunting but one of the other watchers at the nesting site said that Ozzie hadn’t been at the nest since around noontime the previous day and that Harriet hadn’t left the nest since the previous day…which means that E6 hadn’t eaten since the previous day. A little later on another watcher showed up and reported that an injured eagle had been picked up from a back yard near the railroad about a mile away rom the nest on the other side of the river. This sounded sort of ominous but there was no real news beyond that.

Neil took some more shots of Harriet and E6 and then headed home as our friends Tom and Pam Hanneke from back in the navy days were visiting southern Florida for baseball training camps and knew we were down here…so we got together and went to the Ragged Ass Saloon for lunch. After lunch we went off to Bingo at the Elks and in between Neil checked out the various web sites…the eagle cam site, the Florida Wildlife site and by this morning the reports were pretty conclusive that the injured bird was Ozzie as it has a missing left talon like he does and the photos matched  up. Combine that, the relative closeness to the nest of the injury pickup and Ozzie’s lack of presence at the nest and things seem pretty conclusive. By this evening the news had confirmed that it is Ozzie and he’s currently undergoing treatment at CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) on Sanibel.

Ozzie’s current status is that he has a broken left clavicle that is wrapped and set. He’s eating reasonably well and is alert so it appears that other than the broken wing he’s alright. The prognosis is that he’ll spend 3 weeks or so healing up and then a little more time for rehab to strengthen his flight muscles before being released. While it’s possible that his injury might prevent release if he can no longer fly…that doesn’t appear likely at this point so it looks like he was lucky.

What happened is anybody’s guess…he was found near the railroad tracks across the river and almost in someone’s back yard. It’s unlikely he collided with a train as that would have been likely fatal but there are several other possibilities. He was near one of their hunting areas near the river…so he could have collided with an Osprey if he was trying to steal it’s fish…or he could have been stooping on some small furry creature on the ground and hit a tree branch or wire…there’s no way to really tell other than from the injury…which appears to be just a blunt trauma to the forward edge of the shoulder/wing. There’s no open wound so it looks like he just ran into something.

Anyway…here’s some shots we took yesterday…Harriet looking around worriedly and a bunch of them of E6 hover flying over the nest. We’ll keep an eye out and hopefully get some shots of E6 in flight before we leave.

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E6 is able to spend 15-20 seconds at a time hovering over the nest so he’s working hard on strengthening his flight muscles. Looking forward to him fledging…and we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Ozzie makes a complete recovery from his injury. I suppose Harriet is wondering where he’s gotten to…as you know eagles mate for life but I have no idea what they do if their mate just disappears. I suppose eventually she would mate with another male as she’s still of breeding age but she and E6 will be around the nest area until at least the middle of May by the time she finishes teaching him how to hunt and such. Hopefully Ozzie will be released by then and I’m sure they’ll bring him back near the nest for release so he can find his way home.

Cyas.

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Happy Pi Day

Yup…we’re actually still alive…haven’t posted in 11 days but that’s just because we haven’t been doing anything. Connie has been working her full 40 hours per two week period the last 6 weeks or so trying to get all of her students…she’s dealing with 3 classes at once…into assigned slots as well as twisting arms of the various affiliates to provide her some spots to send them to. Add to that the fact that almost none of the current students pay the slightest attention to deadlines, what they’re supposed to do, or any of the emails she sends out with instructions and she’s pretty frustrated with them.

Anyway…because of that and the heat we haven’t done anything. Mass on Sunday, choir practice and Bingo on Tuesday, Bingo on Thursday and that’s about it.

Speaking of heat…and I know that those of you up in the cold north (which this month would be pretty much anything north of about Jacksonville) don’t want to hear about it…it’s been brutally hot the past 10 days. Our two previous winters here at Seminole we only need the A/C on maybe 4 or 5 days total each year and never more than 2 in a row. This year we’re up to almost 2 full weeks with the windows closed and the A/C on as it’s been in the upper 80s to low 90s along with humidity and no breeze. Turrible I’m tellin’ ya.

We did get over to Palm Beach last week one day to visit Connie’s mom and dad at the cemetery for awhile…then headed down to see our friend from college Pat who is still living in Miami. She’s from Boston but never went home after college and retired awhile back. She spends summers up there and winters down here and just recently bought a house after 30something years of living in an apartment. We had lunch and a nice visit with her catching up with all the news and such. One of Neil’s Navy buddies from when he was stationed at the Naval Security Group up in DC is down here this month visiting all of the baseball spring training sites…we’re going to get together with Tom and his wife Pam one day next week.

In line with the subject…I want to wish you all a very happy Pi Day. This however…is a Super Pi Day as it’s 3.14.15 and for the geeks amongst ya we celebrated it at 9:26.:53 this morning and got ourselves up to the first 10 digits overall. Tonight we’re headed off to the Elks as we got an invite to the volunteer appreciation dinner. Neil’s not sure what we are being rewarded for…Connie has sold bingo cards 4 or 5 times this winter and Neil has hauled a half dozen or so kegs of brew from the walk in fridge in the back out to the bar area for Marlene (and always gets a free brew for doing so…which he figured was more than enough)…but he’s a bit of a cynic and thinks they’re trying to encourage good behavior so we’ll volunteer for more stuff. In any event…open bar and prime rib dinner means we’re going.

We got all of our tax paperwork finally…the investment reports and the Laubenthal Land and Timber Company K1 were the last ones as they usually are and we’ve got our taxes (fed and VA) ready to go. Still have to go online and do the AL one but we can’t do that until we finalize and submit the federal one. We’re getting a few bucks back…but the estimated tax payments we made all last year pretty much covered it. We have to do the estimated payments as our investments end up making us more taxable income than our pensions do…not because we’re brilliant investors but because we’ve been doing it for 40 years…and there isn’t any withholding on the investment stuff. So we guess every year at how much extra to submit quarterly so we don’t have to pay any penalties.

Alex is continuing to get bigger and show more personality…Connie really liked this shot we got the other day

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Other than that…we’re pretty much starting to finish up our winter’s work here in Fort Myers. Neil did a bunch of outside work underneath the house this past week and needs to get on the roof and scrub the slide protectors (little awnings that go over the tops of the slides when they’re out to keep leaves off of the top of them and hence out of the inside when we pull the slides in) as they’ve got a lot of brown gunk on them from the tree leaves since November when we arrived. He’s also gotta get back underneath and check the torque on some of our bolts…but needs to go buy a deep wall socket first as the bolts are sticking too far out of the nut to get the normal sized socket he has onto them.

He’s got a few more items on the maintenance list as well…just needs a couple of serious work days to finish them up and is planning on trying to get in at least 2 of those next week…but with the heat and stuff ya never know. He’s gotta bite the bullet pretty quick though…only 3 more weeks to go before we head out for the summer. I’ll try to get him to run down and get a few more shots of the eagles and eaglet this week too…the baby is getting pretty close to fledging so maybe he can get a decent shot of it rather than just the head sticking up.

Cyas.

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Nuttin’ Much Goin’ On

The title says it all but I figured ya’ll might be wondering if we were surviving down here. Seems like everywhere north of say Jacksonville is pretty much frozen…got some pics from Neil’s sister MJ up i Knoxville and they even had snow up there. However…it’s been in the upper 80s down here the past 3 days and we’re closed up with the A/C running…bummer as we would actually prefer the windows open for the breeze but with the heat and humidity it’s almost like midsummer this week.

Our door lock is still broken but at least the parts are or order…Gordon finally figured out what to buy and the repair status page has gone from nothing to awaiting parts. It’s more of a pain than anything else as we have to keep locking the deadbolt to keep the door shut.

We ordered and received a new bed cover for BAT…it’s a Truxedo Lo Pro QT and while not entirely secure as it’s a soft roll up type cover…it won’t damage the bottom of the bedroom and will keep honest people honest at best and at worst whatever is in the bed of the truck will be out of sight/out of mind. One big reason to have it is that it will keep the bed mostly dry…this will prevent having a lake in the back of the truck every time it rains. It also will improve the fuel mileage about 10% which will be a big improvement over the summer as we will have BAT as our only vehicle from the time we leave Midlothian in late May through September when we arrive back on the east coast after our Alaska sojourn. Being dry it will allow us to toss whatever we have stored in the back seat into the bed when we want to double up and only drive one vehicle with our friends Bill and Linda on the trip north. I’ll post a couple shots of it once Neil gets it installed tomorrow…he’s got that to handle as well as replacing the zinc anode in our water heater and vacuuming all of the old zinc anode pieces out of the bottom of it…he borrowed a wet vac from the park to help with this.

We also got in a replacement check valve for our leaking water pump…Neil’s gotta figure out how much of a pain in the tush that will be to install…hopefully he can just install the parts in place and not have to remove and reinstall the pump completely.

Other than that it’s been work/bingo/campfire/potluck/etc…the typical RV park for the winter stuff. Connie is really going to be glad when this class of phlebotomists finishes up…they have been such a pain to her with not doing paperwork, making special requests and the last minute and other things that toss a wrench into her plans that both she and Neil will be glad when they’re done.

I ran across this on one of our forums the other day…it’s entitled “The Top 10 List of Things That Might Indicate You Live in and RV Full Time”…even though there are way more than 10 of them.

1) Your GPS is your best friend!

2) You NEVER know where items are in the grocery store. (except in Wal-Mart that is mostly always laid out the same way)

3) You dump your own sewage and it is no big deal.

4) Your family has to ask you where you are when they call.

5) You keep both winter and summer wardrobes because you don’t know where you will end up. (our solution…what are winter clothes?)

6) You know what snowbirds are and have seen them in their natural habitat.

7) Your HOME has wheels.

8) You blog so that YOU will remember where you have been!

9) You look in your pantry and see that you have cereal from New Jersey, pasta from Texas, canned goods from Alabama and crackers from California.

10) You are always the new guy in town

11) You know where to find the best, most reliable internet.

12) You own very little and are proud of that!

13) You follow the warm weather.

14) You hang pictures and decoration on the wall with velcro.

15) You don’t own any figurines or other cutesy stuff that sits on countertops.

16) You have slept in a Wal-Mart parking lot

17) You meet up with a family in Virginia that you met in California!

18) Your kids remember friends by what state they met them in!

19) You grocery shop every three days because your refrigerator is so small. 

20) You have been to more museums, aquariums, national parks, monuments and zoos than you can remember.

21) You have ever “pulled chocks”.

22) You look confused when someone asks you “where are you from?” (Connie only…Neil knows he’s from Alabama and will always be from there…Connie thinks she’s from Virginia or sometin’)

23) You get your mail 2-3 months late regularly from your mail forwarding service.

24) You have witnessed your toilet “burping” at you.

25) You crave adventure and can not wait to see what is around the next corner!

26) Gas Buddy is one of your favorite apps.

27) You feel joy when you walk into a really “clean” Laundromat

28) You’re newly updated list of your top 5 restaurants are in 5 different states

29) Yelp is your “go to” app for finding restaurants, grocery stores, hair stylists etc. in each new location

30) You’ve forgotten how to use any yard tools!!

31) You try to use a foot pedal on a normal toilet.

32) You see a trash container in front of a house and realize that you don’t have to remember when “trash day” is anymore!

34) When you can’t remember which state you got that great bacon double cheeseburger, but you know it was about 1247 miles ago (it was actually in Astoria, OR…best cheezeburga evah).

36) You wake up and have to hunt for the receipt from the park office to figure out where you are.

37) You know what a slave pump is and how to start it.

38) You found the greatest storage space for that small item you won’t need until you’ve forgotten where the storage space is!

 

On careful count…we meet 30 out of 38 of these.

I also ran across this photo on the web the other day…have you ever wondered what a cashew in the wild looks like? It’s the little cashew shaped thing that is sticking out of each of the little cashew fruits in the photo.

Cashew in the Wild

Kinda weird that they live outside the fruit and basically have no shell around them…ain’t it.

That’s about it for now…Neil did computer club with Tom today and we’re off to Bingo and Beer as soon as Connie gets home from choir practice.

And a couple of funny bar signs I snagged from the Internet as well.

No great story

Alcohol and Calculus

Perfect Martini

Todays Special 1 for 2

Numb your problems

DrinkTripleSeeDouble

Cyas.

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Rum Distillery and Camera Testing

We didn’t do much so far this week as we spent the first couple of days resting from all the rally activities last week. We did head off to Bingo at the Elks on Tuesday and Neil paid his dues for the next year…they’re not due until April 1 but the secretary is collecting them and processing them as she goes rather than leave a big pile for the end.

The weather this week has been pretty windy and only in the upper 60s to low 70s all week with lows in the 40’s and tonight it’s getting down to the mid 30s. I don’t know who ordered the arctic blast down here to Florida…but it needs to go away. Granted…it ain’t as bad as it is a little farther north…pretty much anything north of say Jacksonville is frozen into a bit sheet of ice and snow.

Today we went down to the clubhouse at 1000 for donuts and coffee…and are meeting up there at noon for a rum distillery tour combined with lunch. After that we’ll have leftover venison from what Neil grilled Monday night then Connie will have to bundle up like Nanook of the North to go down to Bingo. I’ll post some pictures of the rum tour later.

Neil also got some new software this week…he’s been using an application from Apple named Aperture to process his photographs…it was their professional level editing and management program. It competed with the other big kid on the block…Adobe Lightroom from the same folks that publish Photoshop. Aperture has been getting further and further behind in Lightroom in features (we’re still at version 3 after almost 3 years while Lightroom went from 3 to 4 to 5 and now up to 5.7) and a few months back Apple announced end of life and support for Aperture…in favor of a brand new application to be named Photos. We were guardedly hopeful that it would be a decent replacement…but the beta version is out and it’s been really dumbed down with almost none of the features that serious shooters want. The new app integrates really well with the iOS versions that run on iPhones and iPads…but the advanced amateur/professional market isn’t that significant numbers wise and Apple made a business decision to aim the new product at the Facebook/Instagram/Twitter crowd rather than people that really wanted to have good photos.

So…this week we bit the bullet and went for the Adobe Photographer’s bundle which combines Lightroom and the latest version of Photoshop (we are about 3 or 4 version back there as well) for 9.99 a month. We’re going to keep Aperture around for working with our older already processed photos but will do all new ones in Lightroom…with a decision to be made later on whether to import all the old stuff or not.

All this of course…means a whole new learning curve to perfect a workflow for going from raw photos out of the camera to finished output ready for the blog…nothing hard about any of that but Neil has an awful lot of muscle memory and memorized key equivalents to rapidly select tools and such that he’ll have to reproduce.

In our last post I put up a photo of a Snowy Egret with partially grown in breeding plumage…and happened to come across this shot on Ugly Hedgehog (a photo forum Neil frequents) that shows what breeding plumage looks like when it’s fully grown in. It’s a Great Egret instead of a Snowy…but the plumage is pretty similar for both. He borrowed this photo from there and credit goes to the original photographer whose name he didn’t get and he couldn’t find it again to get the name…apologies to the original owner. It’s a beautiful sight…isn’t it…and one can easily see why hundreds of thousands of these birds were killed back in the 1800s and early 1900s to provide decoration for ladies hats.

Great Egret Breeding

He’s also been testing out some new settings on his camera to improve the ability to get tack sharp focus on bird photos…mostly a matter of adjusting how the auto focus mechanism works and getting the new steps impressed on his muscle memory again. Here’s a shot of an immature anhinga that was swimming over at the beach the other day about 30 yards away.

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Here’s a shot of the same bird as he flew towards this feeding spot…Neil deliberately slowed this one down and panned the camera to get a sense of motion in it.

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Here’s his first test edit using Lightroom instead of Aperture…it’s two different edits of the same photo. The first one was previously published and was processed with Aperture; the second one is from Lightroom. The third one is just posted as a test at a 900 pixel wide dimension to see how it looks. I think the Lightroom processed one is better than the Aperture one is…

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After coffee and donuts we headed off to the local rum distillery…Wicked Dolphin Rum. They use sugar and molasses from Florida; all their ingredients are grown out by Lake Okeechobee. The distillery itself is pretty small…as is it’s annual output and barrel storage areas. They’re not trying for mass production but make the rum in 500 gallon batches of mash so they end up with about 180 or so gallons of 180 proof of rum per week. Everything is aged in once used bourbon barrels and most of their output is sold after aging one year as white rum…although it’s actually got a little brownish tinge to it. They’re aging some for 3 years that will be sold as dark rum but the first production batches of that won’t be ready for another 3 or 4 months.

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The distillery itself…this is about 2/3 of the floor area of the entire distillery end of the operation. Behind the camera is the ingredient storage area and to the right is the bottling line.

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Our guide Chris in the barrel storage room where we tasted some rum that was aged in once used bourbon barrels that were reused for whiskey then reused again for the rum. Pretty tasty stuff.

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Once in the tasting room proper…the emcee took our picture for their Facebook page so we took her picture for our blog:-)

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We came home with what they call their Rumshine…it’s packaged in mason jars like Moonshine would be and we got some that is flavored with blueberries.

We had lunch on the way home from the tour…stopped at Bubbas on the bus (well, a class A RV used for a bus by the park)…the distillery gave us coupons for a free Wicked Dolphin drink but all the restaurant would honor it for was this punch concoction that had no flavor at all and practically no rum. We also had pretty lousy food…Bubba’s has gone down considerably in quality since we ate there a couple years back so we won’t be going back again.

Lunch wasn’t over until 1530 and the bus driver broke just about every traffic law on the books either on the way there or the way back…so we skipped dinner and just had a snack then Connie headed off to Bingo. She got home about 2030 and by that time it was down to about 40 degrees…and she couldn’t get the door open. She was stuck outside and Neil was inside taking the door apart trying to figure out how to get her in. After an hour or so of tinkering she had to go back into the employee section of the park to hunt up Gordon the RV tech…her favorite thing to do. He was down at the office so then she had to drive down there and eventually about 2200 we got Gordon here and after crawling in the emergency escape window he got the door open. The latching mechanism is broke…which is what Neil suspected…and Gordon has parts on order to fix it. Connie was really unhappy about it…cold and having to make phone calls and bang on doors to find Gordon’s RV back in the employee area.

Friday Neil got the emergency window correctly reinstalled with her help then after she worked awhile we headed off to Sarasota for a concert. We got stuck in traffic that we weren’t expecting and got to our restaurant reservation about 30 minutes late…but we had called ahead and let them know so they held our table. After a great dinner at Duval’s Fresh. Local. Seafood.…served up by our waiter Misha who was excellent, gave us great advice on the various menu selections, and went above and beyond to not only fix us up a box for Connie’s leftover Lobsta Mac’n’Cheese but also fixed us up with ice so it would keep in the cooler until we got home…we headed off to the concert hall. We had a single Jameson (that was actually about a quadruple shot) that we shared in the lobby beforehand while talking to the bassoonist who was out for show and tell…then had a great concert of Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony followed by Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. After that we picked up bottle of water for the drive home and got home and to bed a little after midnight. Great dinner, great concert…but a little far for our taste for a post concert drive home.

Over the week we got a few more pictures of the little guy Alex…here’s a few but more are on our site at http://laubenthal.smugmug.com…the little guy is really starting to get some personality.

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Finally…a funny one for ya.

Auburn Greatest team

Cold wipes

Cyas.

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