Saturday, April 16, 2022

Our Home-Stuart and Other Adventures

While I have written a couple posts about our travels since we got back to Stuart, I have not done any about what we have been up to locally. A big reason that we picked Stuart as our new home is there are so many things happening here that we love to do. Number one, there are many great local restaurants offering a variety of food. In 2020 we did not get to check them out but we have made up for that this year. Another thing we love is the many music venues. Several pubs have local musicians and the Lyric Theater has top notch acts. Also the weather, especially in the fall, winter and spring, is fantastic. Of course, there are the beaches just a few minutes away and we have done some short Florida road trips exploring our new state. All the things we like about Stuart was recently confirmed when Southern Living placed it in their top ten places to live. 
Our first road trip was to Orlando to see the Duquesne women's basketball team play FCU. It was a great game even though the Dukes were on the losing side.
Here we are with Washington native and the Dukes head coach Dan Burt. It was nice seeing Dan and seeing a game in person.
Another annual Stuart event is the air show. We don't have to leave home to see the planes as fly really low over our home. By going to the field we got an up close look at many different planes.
The acrobatic planes are always fun to watch. 
Every Sunday the Rockin Riverwalk downtown on the river has a free concert. There is all kinds of music 50 weeks a year. Dotty Kelley is now one of our favorite blues singers.
Another big move was buying a new car. Our CRV had 160,000 miles on the odometer and was towed another 100,000, so it was time. We went just to look and five hours later we drove our new Hyundai Tucson home. I'm now old enough that I have a car that was more expensive than our first house. 
A new car calls for a new road trip. It was back to Orlando with George and Nan to see the Van Gogh immersion show. 
It was a very interesting way to see his art projected on all four walls.
An interesting Van Gogh self portrait. Well worth a visit if you get a chance.
The beaches are great. It is always possible to find a spot with few or no people. There is plenty of parking and unlike other places we looked it is all free.
Another great music venue is Terra Fermata. It is outdoors with old patio furniture seating. This night it was the Treasure Coast Blues Society featuring Dotty Kelley and Joel DaSilva
A little condo project. We collected many things during our twelve years on the road. Nanc made them into a coffee table collage. It brings back wonderful memories everyday.
Sometimes living in a condo complex can get a little weird. In Lexington Lakes there are 22 buildings with a unit 104. One evening as I was closing the door this is what I found. I called the Walmart (they had delivered it) and the security guard. Neither offered a solution. Just as we decided to put the perishables in the fridge a neighbor from the next street showed up to claim her groceries. She was lucky as we were only the sixth unit 104 she went to.  
We did another road trip to the Gulf Coast to spend a couple days with Rick and Denise, Missy and Marty, Dawn and Jed (friends of Rick and Denise).  This is the only picture I took of the people, Missy and Nanc shelling. We did enjoy getting away.
All these folks are friends we met at Betty's RV Park. Kathy and Dave are still on the road while George, Nan, Nanc and I have settled in Stuart. The travelers were here for a week so we got to show them around our new hometown. 
It was Mardi Gras so we had everyone over for a Cajun dinner of shrimp etoufee and a king cake.
All dressed up for a show at the Lyric. The Lyric is a small theater that was renovated during Covid. The first show we saw was Jazz great Branford Marsalis.
We also saw blues singer Ana Popovic. The Lyric is a great venue and there is not a bad seat in the house.
We had our first and only visitors this season from up North. Our friends Mike and Sherri stayed for a few days. We went to the Elliot Museum where George is a docent, so we had a great personal tour. 
The Elliot has a great collection of old cars. They are on a rack kind of like Carvana. You tell the docent which car you want to see and the machine picks it up and brings it down to the turntable for a close look.
There was a special exhibit featuring paintings by the Highway Men. They were Black artists who painted and sold their work along the highways to Florida tourists back in the 50's. At the time they were very inexpensive, but some are now worth thousands.
While these paintings are well known in Florida, they aren't as popular in other places. Since they were bought by tourists there is likely many up north that people have and don't realize their worth.
A walk on the beach with Mike and Sherri. We do enjoy having friends visit and hope things get back to normal so more people will be traveling.
We decided we needed a longer road trip so we went to see our friend Betty in Louisiana. We had not seen her since our 50th anniversary party on the Outer Banks in 2019.
We visited our friend Elda whom we met in Abbeville several years ago. She was doing well, but like all of us looking forward to more normal times.
It was Cajun Jam Session Saturday at Touchet's where we saw many Cajun friends. The accordion player was a young man who is deaf. He was truly amazing.
The group from Betty's in the Horny Corner. 
At Touchet's they have a special tribute to musician Dave who was killed in a tragic accident last winter. He is someone who we always looked forward to hearing when we went to Betty's. RIP our friend. 
Just this week we did a day trip to Sebring to get together with Escapade Directors Duane and Jean, who we worked with at three Escapades. As we always say, getting caught up with friends when traveling is the best. 

Our future plans include another cruise. This one is out of Miami, through the Panama Canal and up the West Coast of Central and North America. It ends in Seattle where we will be spending a few days with our sister-in-law Kazuko and Nanc's sister Judy.  In July we will be heading north, staying six weeks in WashPA. 

Life is Good - Stay Safe - Stay Healthy.