Winter 2013     (Home)


Before leaving St. Cloud we enjoyed a day with long-time friend Luke at Fantasy in Flight in Polk City, Florida.  The aviation-themed museum included a cute little restaurant, The Compass Rose, which reflects the same characteristics of stylish diners associated with airports during the 1930’s and 1940’s.  The food was good and the atmosphere was fun. 

We enjoyed another evening at the Amway Center in Orlando, where we watched our beloved Indiana Pacers beat the Orlando Magic.  There were several other Pacer fans attending and we had a great evening.

A beautiful Sunday afternoon we attended the Houston Astros preseason game in Kissimmee, losing to the visiting Philadelphia Phillies.  We’ve also found a little time to play Scrabble, enjoying hot tea in the Scrabble mugs we received from Bob’s sister Cynthia, for Christmas.

We are spent a week in Largo, Florida, just north of St. Petersburg.  We attended the 3-day Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where we had great seats in the first turn and were able to see plenty of action.  Unfortunately, our team didn’t do as well as expected, but it was great to see a first-time winner in James Hinchcliffe, and to see Simona deSilvestro do so well.  It should be a very exciting Indy car season!  We also enjoyed a chilly but sunny afternoon at John’s Pass at Maderia Beach, where we strolled the boardwalk, browsed through the shops, had a delicious dinner at The Friendly Fisherman, and watched dolphins frolic in the water.

We are now at Navarre Beach Campground in the Florida panhandle, between Pensacola and Destin.  The campground is right on the beach with a nice pier into the gulf.  The weather has warmed a bit, so we’ve enjoyed sitting on the beach.  It is a nice park with a many amenities.  We plan a little more sightseeing before we continue north, arriving in Indiana in late April.


We spent a beautiful day in early January at Kennedy Space Center.  The weather was perfect as we strolled the outdoor rocket garden and enjoyed the bus ride to the Apollo/Saturn V Center.  On the ride we passed the Vehicle Assembly Building, and the shuttle launch pad, as well as a six feet tall, 39-year old bald eagle nest.  We were able to see a bald eagle and an alligator as well as all the interesting space things.  We enjoyed two IMAX movies, included in our tour.  We ended our day with a delicious meal at Rusty’s in Port Canaveral, where we could watch cruise ships leaving port and dolphins frolicking in the water.

We spent most Sunday afternoons during the NFL season and post season, joining other fans in cheering on our Indianapolis Colts at Sidelines Sports Grill, within walking distance of our RV park.  A much better season for the Colts than anyone expected!

We enjoyed cheering our Indiana Pacers when they visited the Orlando Magic at Amway Center in Orlando.  Although we didn’t win, we had a great time, including an early dinner at Draft, a sports bar across the street from the center.  We look forward to seeing them in Orlando again in March, hopefully with a better outcome!

We spent a nice afternoon at the Warbird Museum in Kissimmee, where we read about WWII and saw several aircraft up close and personal.  We talked with Scott, a volunteer who was working on a winter tune up of the North American P-51 SR Mustang, owned and raced by Thom Richard, who we later met.  We watched the takeoff of 2 Texan T-6 planes for formation flying.  It’s a nice, small museum with very personable staff that was a wealth of information.


Longtime friends, Wayne & Sally spent a day with us before continuing further south to Fort Myers Beach.  Earlier that same week, we learned that Pat, a mutual friend of Kathy & Sally, also from Greenfield, winters in this same park, so she was able to join us for dinner.  It was quite a surprise for Sally and we all had a great visit.


Since arriving in central Florida, we’ve enjoyed lovely weather.  One afternoon we biked to nearby East Lake Tohopekaliga, which has a nice pedestrian trail that meanders past the marina, a restaurant, small beach, and children’s play area.  We enjoyed our picnic lunch while enjoying the weather and scenery. We also have an occasional Sand Crane wander by. They seem to have no fear of humans. They stand amost 4 feet high and will just walk right past you as long as you don't bother them. We also got to watch a Sand Crane mating dance. Most interesting!

East Lake TohoSand Hill CraneSand Hill Cranes

We spent an afternoon wandering the shops of Downtown Disney, including lunch at Portobello Country Italian Trattoria.  We attended the St. Cloud tree-lighting ceremony just after Thanksgiving, and were amazed with the community turnout.  We were entertained by the high school band and choral groups which were both excellent. 

In early December we spent a beautiful day at Epcot, where we not only enjoyed the holiday decorations, but learned about holiday traditions in the various countries.  Since the people working in the country pavilions are from the country it's a great opportunity to learn how people live. Kathy was able to work on her Father Christmas collection with photos from the United Kingdom and France.  We had a delicious evening meal at Chefs de France. There was also a Christmas show by a community group which was extrodinary! Seats were not to be had, but we did watch for some time from the walkway!

Micky and Minnie

We were able to spend 2 days at Sebring International Raceway watching Indy Car practice.  Our great friends from Panther Racing arranged for us to visit their garage area.  When we arrived we found out that our truck was too heavy to go over the bridge into the infield so we had to wait to get someone to take us in. Fortunately Oriol Servia from DRR/Panther Racing came by and gave us a ride in his electric blue Mustang. Thanks Oriol! Unfortunately, the weather was cool and rainy (the only cool weather since we’ve been here!), but it was nice to watch so many cars on the track.  We stayed overnight at the Kenilworth Lodge, a beautiful historic inn built in 1916 and overlooking Lake Jackson. Pictures below: 1st two pictures are of Justin Wilson when he spun out right in front of us at Sebring. 3rd is JR Hildebrand 4th we think is Ryan Hunter Reay. Not sure who was driving #5 and the last picture was inside the Panther portable garage they set up for the test.

Justin Wilson spun out right in front of us on the 2nd day. JR Hildebrand

Bob has enjoyed a the Chess & Games Club in Orlando. He is currently taking lessons from Senior Master Alex Zelner and is working with an elementary school chess club.  Bob also continues to expand and enhance his Chess Lab for Amateurs section of this website showing many of his games, pictures, and tips for amateur chess players.


We returned to Indiana for Christmas, and had a wonderful time with family.  While there we had a blizzard, the second one of our lifetime!  Fortunatly is was not as bad as the Blizzard of 1978! It looked beautiful, but we were fortunate enough to leave the snow behind and return to warm, sunny Florida!  Son Mike and his family were able to come to Indiana this holiday, although delayed a day by the weather.

Patrick, Grace, Abby, ShelbyShelby's Hippo

Cynthia with Helio's bookShelby with the hippo!Grace

Chuck and CynthiaThe McCorkle Family 2013Blizzard of 2013. Blizzard of 2013

Vaughn Family ChristmasVaughn FamilyVaughn Family