Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tampa, Florida brrrrrrrr

We went to Tampa for 9 days recently and it was cold ! I watched the weather report leading up to the trip...72, 75, 78...perfect! But, a cold front came down from the north while we were there and the temps were in the upper 40s/low 50s during the day and lower 30s at night. So much for laying by the pool !

This was a business trip so there were LOTS of hours. It was a proposal/interview that was to happen waaay back in July but just came up. I got to be with some good friends of mine that I have not seen in a while...Phil Waller, Susan Chanen, Greg Tate, Jim Harris and Bob Parent.

We used a 55" Vizio TV for the interview so, on Sunday when I worked, this is what my workspace looked like.

You can really see details at this size.
On Saturday...the one day that was 74 degrees, Kim and I drove north about 85 miles to a place called The Villages. It's a vast retirement community that we've been thinking about looking into. There are 80,000 people that live there ! They have over 2,000 activities....everything from bocce ball, to softball leagues....two bowling lanes, an entire building full of the latest woodworking equipment, swimming, drawing, etc etc. There are golf carts EVERYWHERE because that's how most of them get around. There are a number of shopping centers cattered to the residents.

So many of the golf carts have been customized....up to $20K for some of these.

Just one of the many shopping centers.
They have parties nightly.
The Villages is loaded with lakes, natural and man made...also over 30 golf courses.
They have a program that you can get Golf For Life....on the executive courses.

On the way back to Tampa we took the back roads to see what the countryside was like.

We heard about this Christmas Store in Clearwater....supposed to be one of the largest in the country...over 100 decorated trees so we went over to see it. On the way over the bridge I had to get near the water (of course).

The entrance is not much to look at but the insides.....!

They had a number of small villages set up with LOTS of miniature items.

They had some terrific life-size animals. Kim fell in love with this goose.
When we got back to the Sacramento airport, Santa was in the area so Kim went up and asked him for a MotorHome ! (We only have a Fifth-Wheel. Motorhomes are 40' long !)

Here's a 1:37 minute video of the inside of the store. It moves a bit fast but the ending is worth it.

Merry Christmas to you all !

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Decorations

We (me, really) decided to go minimal with the outside decorations this year so I've posted some of what we've done so far. Mostly we've decorated the inside of the house...very festive.

This is one of the reasons to not decorate outisde this year.

We have one tree we like to put in our front window for the neighboors....very old fashioned.
 Here are a series of inside photos. We put garland and lights around our large mantle and Kim loves to put our animal collection in amongst the "branches".

And of course....our tree....

We have an outside trellis that does not have anything growing on it now so I decided to make a nice display that looks good during the day also. My lights in the past all look rather dull in the daylight so we wanted something for people to view as they drove by in the day.

These large bulbs are hard to find.

...of course, I had to have some supervision....
 The end result....slippers, PJs, decorations...and college football.

We have a trip planned for Tampa, Florida in December. We'll be sure to take lots of's one Kim took from our hotel room during our last trip in the summer. Yikes !

...hope you enjoy the photos....send us your house decorations photos so we can enjoy them too.

Kim and Steve