Hope in Florida-How much FUN we had!

We checked in on Sunday evening, we were taken to our condominium, and then we returned to where we checked in, at the Ocean Walk Clubhouse.  After our first supper together, all twelve families were told of the schedule for the week.

We returned to our condo, and on the table were so many generous gifts!  It was overwhelming, the generosity of all of the donors.

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Monday

All activities began at 10 a.m., with the exception of one.  So we woke up on Monday morning, and together, Rob and I ate breakfast.  Then we headed to the beach.

The weather was perfect as we sat on the beach, meeting and talking with our new friends.

Love, love, love walking together on the beach holding hands.

In New Smyrna Beach, vehicles can drive on the beach!  After the tide goes out, the vehicles drive down a ramp and park on the beach, where the families then spend their days on the beach.  It’s definitely a weird site, seeing vehicles parked on the beach!

While we were spending time on the beach, we specifically sought out Tina and Jay, a couple from Southern Illinois.  After hearing the previous evening that there are no further treatments for Tina, I felt a nudge to talk with her.

Tina and Jay are down to earth people.  Jay works at a grain elevator operation.  Tina has no hair, and shakes a great deal.  But she is a beautiful woman.

We had lunch on the beach, Subway subs.  After lunch, we headed back to the condo for a nap.

Supper that night was a taco bar at a restaurant on the water.  The boats moored in the marina there were definitely way out of our price range!  Beautiful, exquisite vessels though.

Tuesday

Tuesday had to be our funniest and fun day, in a warped sense of humor way!

We all arrived at Paddleboard New Smyrna Beach, a company that donates the use of kayaks and paddleboards to the families.  All of this takes place in a twenty-foot deep lagoon, away from waves, and boats, and people.

We visited with others while we waited for the excited kids to go out into the water first.  After a while, we walked down to the dock.

There is still a lot of hurricane damage from both hurricanes that went through Florida this year.  One point of damage was the ladder attached to the dock, so you could easily climb out of the water if necessary.

Rob climbed into a tandem kayak, and says “come on honey, let’s try this”.  I wanted to try the paddleboard, but why not, I’ll go together with the hubs.

I haven’t been on my knees in almost three years.  With the rod in my femur, and bad knees, it is very hard for me to bend down, or get on my knees.

Well, I had to get on my knees to get into the kayak.  It was NOT easy! But, I made it into the kayak.

I hear “you have to stay centered” – remember, I’ve never been in a kayak before!

We were pushed away from the dock, and…

FLOOP! Over we went!

I came up out of the water, and the hubs grabbed me around the waist.

He would NOT let me go.  I think he really didn’t want me to drown!  Such a nice guy – because truly, I am worth more dead than alive…!

Think back to what I said earlier – hurricane damage – no ladder – uh oh.

Then we realized … Rob lost his glasses.

Prescription glasses.  Clip-on sunglasses.  New glasses just purchased in March.  $614.00.  Twenty-foot lagoon.

Gone.

Rob got out of the water and onto the dock.  Long arms, long legs allows him to do that.

The owner of the place jumped on a paddleboard and came up to me, where I was treading water.

He had me grab the paddleboard, and while he went backwards off one side into the water, I flipped up onto the other side of the paddleboard.

I laid on that paddleboard, and said “nap time!”

I was pushed over to the dock, where I got off the paddleboard and onto the dock.  Again, on my knees.  What a workout that day!

After the excitement, we made our way back to sitting out in the sun with the other families, and dried off.

The group of families and VolunStars

I did a quick search for the nearest LensCrafters, then called Eye & Vision Clinics in Luxemburg to have Rob’s prescription faxed to LensCrafters in Daytona Beach.

Our lunch that day was from Chick-Fil-A, as well as a treat provided by Kona Ice.  Kona Ice is a shaved Hawaiian ice, which then you choose your flavor.  Banana, strawberry, grape, pina colada, etc.  We also tried an addition to the Kona Ice, recommended by Doris, one of the Directors from LPHOH:  marshmallow!  It was so good!

We played a little game of ‘hillbilly’ by putting orange peels instead of our teeth.

After lunch, away we went to Daytona Beach!

LensCrafters received the fax of Rob’s prescription.  With our AARP discount, the glasses would have been $450.  Oooof! I asked if we could get the price down under $300.  A few clicks, and an “I can do that”, and our price came down to $252.18.  I didn’t want to spend all of our vacation money in one place!

While we waited for the glasses to be made, we drove around and saw the raceway.  That place is huge!

After all of the excitement of the day, I was tired, and my body was telling me a huge NO to moving.

We missed supper and an all-women barbershop chorus concert that night.  But our VolunStar brought supper – meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and salad – to us at our condo.

Our VolunStar, Rhonda

The rest of the week was just as much fun, check back tomorrow!

Love to you all ~ Erika

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