Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Mary Time in Jupiter

Of our nine Christmases on the road we have spent five with Mary Lou in Jupiter, FL.  We stay at nearby Jonathon Dickinson State Park that is very convenient being only about five miles from Jupiter.  In addition to getting to spend so much time with a good friend, the area has a lot of great restaurants and many other things to do.  Mary had us over the first night for a great meal and an evening of catching up.  
On Saturday we went to the Maltz Jupiter Theatre to see the play Billy Elliot.  It is a great play about a young boy, the son of a coal miner, becoming a ballet dancer amid the turmoil of the UK Miners strike of l984 and 85.  The music was by Elton John.  Interestingly, one of the young characters (Billy's best friend Michael) is a 9th grade Musical Theatre major at Lincoln Park near Pittsburgh.  It was a fun start to our stay.
As you know we love to search out music venues during our travels.  Last year we discovered the Double Roads where the Jupiter Jazz Society has a great jam session every Sunday afternoon.  We went both Sundays we were there.
You never know who will be playing.  We saw this young sax player, Dylan Thomas, last year.  This year he arrived with friends on skate boards.  He has a rock band but also has a great future playing Jazz.
Like I said you never know who will be there or what instrument they will be playing.  I don't know that we have ever seen a violinist playing Jazz.  Very cool!
Another day we went to see the new Star Wars movie.  It was very interesting seeing how all the original characters have aged and how there roles have changed since the beginning of the series.  We saw it in 3-D and recommend seeing it that way if you can. 
This is always a great place to bike, nice and flat.  One day we rode in the park to the top of Hobe Mountain, the highest spot in South Florida at 86 feet above sea level.  There is a great view of Jupiter Island and the park from the top of the "mountain". 
Another day we biked on Jupiter Island to check out how the rich and famous who live there are doing.  Looks like they are doing well enough to buy a two million dollar beach front home to tear down so they can build a new house.
My favorite restaurant here is the Food Shack and now as an added bonus they also have great music.  Every Wednesday it is Pam and Dave who play a great variety of contemporary music.  We had two wonderful evenings of food, music and dancing.
Another great part of travelling the country is all the interesting people we meet.  This is Jennifer and Chris who we invited to sit with us while listening to Pam and Dave at the Food Shack.  After talking to them for a while they related a hilarious story about their wedding in Key West.  They had a huge wedding attended by family and friends and were married by the local priest the hotel had recommended.  Eight months or so later Chris just happened to read an article about a guy who had been convicted for committing fraud all over the place.  It turns out it was the priest who had married them and he was not a priest at all.  Not only had he marry them but many, many other couples.  Needless to say they were blown away and had another ceremony eight months later.  They were a lovely couple and took it all in stride. 
On Christmas Eve we went out for another great meal at Portobella.  This has become a tradition for us.  
Every year that we are here for Christmas I take a swim in the Atlantic.  Growing up in Pittsburgh anyone who went into the water over the holidays became a member of the Polar Bear Club.  I guess this qualifies me:) 
Even Nanc got into the act this year, but only in the pool.
After the swim and some pool time Nanc and Mary cooked Christmas dinner.  As you can see they believe that a bit of wine makes for a better meal.
Mary's neighbors Jack and Mervat arrived in Jupiter Christmas day and joined us for dinner.  We met them here a few years ago and discovered they live on the same street as my brother in Pittsburgh.  Small world.
South Florida Christmas decor.  This was one street in a neighborhood where every house was decorated.
Very neat.
We visited the Loggerhead Marine Life Center the first year we were here to see the turtles.  The center's mission is conservation of the Florida coast with an emphasis on saving sea turtles.  They were returning two turtles, Jax and Dru, into the Atlantic.
The event drew a crowd of over 700 people who lined the beach into the water to cheer for the turtles.  After getting to swim with the turtles in Mexico it was very neat to see this release.
New Year's Eve was our last night in Jupiter and we celebrated the day in style.  Mary's friend Pat joined us for a great dinner at Seasons 52 and then we went to the Kravis Center in Palm Beach to see The Producers, a musical by Mel Brooks.  It was a very funny play and a great way to ring in 2016.

It has become a tradition for us to spend the holidays with Mary Lou when we are in Florida and even though we just left we are already looking forward to our next visit in a couple years.  Mary Lou is a great hostess and we thank her for her hospitality.  As we always say, being able to spend time with friends is one o the greatest things about our lifestyle.

No comments: