Our destination today was Punta Gorda. We arranged last night to pick up Mara and Michael at 9 AM and stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and something to eat. As a result we slept in a bit and did not make coffee or have breakfast. I stopped at the Shell Station to top off the fuel tank and then pulled into the DD next door. Coffee and food in hand we headed to downtown Arcadia on FL-70 and then headed south on US-17 to Punta Gorda.
Mara had researched things to see and do and entered them into the “Map My Plans” app on her iPad. The app can arrange them in the best order (shortest driving distance) to visit. Our first stop was an historic train station from 1928 that is now a local history museum. It was closed on Sunday’s, but we got to see the outside. Our next stop was an open air arts and crafts market near the Convention Center. We saw this market last month, when we visited the Woodcarvers Expo at the Convention Center, and it was there again today so we stopped. Mara bought some earrings and Linda bought an apron. There was also a husband-wife guitar group playing some very interesting original music that seemed to be of derivative Spanish influence. They were selling CDs, and I am always tempted to buy one from groups like this as I would likely never find them anywhere else again. But I didn’t.
From the arts and crafts market we drove to the farmers’ market. We also visited this market in January and really liked it. The same vendors were there so we were able to buy some more Miatake mushrooms and some Sweet Hot pickles. Linda also bought a selection of fruits and vegetables.
From the farmers market we drove to Ponce de Leon Park and visited the Peace River Wildlife Refuge. This was also our second visit to this facility, which has an interesting collection of injured birds who are at least living out their lives in comfort and safety.
After our visit to the refuge we drove to an alligator preserve but it was closed. We back-tracked a short distance to the Muscle Car Museum. Though not free, we paid the nominal admission charge and spent a couple hours examining a very large and very nice collection of Chevy cars and trucks. Among others they had a couple of 1957 Belairs and a couple of 1967 Cameros.
Neither of us are particularly nostalgic about our youth, or any other part of our past for that matter, but I had a 1957 Belair my last three years in high school (in the late 60s) that I customized. It was not a muscle car but it was candy apple red and it was mine. Linda’s first car after she graduated from high school and started working was a 1967 Camero. It was a white convertible with a red interior and a 327 cubic inch V8 under the hood. It had an automatic transmission, and was not a muscle car, but it was powerful and we took it to from St. Louis, Missouri to Colorado and back on our two-week camping honeymoon right after we got married.
We discussed finding a restaurant in Punta Gorda for linner but Mara and Linda did not turn up anything promising. I set the GPS and started back to our RV resort. In less than an hour we were back and dropped Mara and Michael at her rig before returning to ours.
Back at the coach we turned on our Verizon Mi-Fi and checked our e-mail. Gary had sent the first draft of the April 2016 issue of Bus Conversion Magazine for me to proofread. I went through my featured bus article on Ronnie and Diann Mewbourn’s 1969 Model 07 Eagle conversion and started annotating corrections. I will need to go through it again with the original open for comparison but I was too tired to do that today.
For dinner Linda sautéed the Miatake mushrooms in EVOO with garlic, onion, and Egri Merlot. She also cooked a spaghetti squash, set out some black grapes, and poured out the remainder of the Merlot, which was left over from last night’s dinner. This was only the second time we have had Miatake mushrooms and it is difficult to describe in words how exquisitely good they are in terms of taste, texture, sight, and smell. We agreed that they were the best mushrooms we have ever had.
After dinner I connected the Sony a99v-DSLT to my computer and off-loaded the 105 pictures I took today. I looked through them quickly but did not see anything that I thought would make a good postcard for Madeline. My computer seemed to be working again so I backed up photos, blog posts, BCM files, and other files to our NAS. I tried to access the Backup and Security components in Windows 10 and it appeared they had been restored to proper operation. I checked for updates and the system said it was up-to-date. ES|ET Smart Security is still telling me I have 17 updates and most of them appear to be drivers related to the computer hardware and low level system functions. I need to contact ES|ET and ask them about what this actually means and how to resolve it.
We were going to walk over after dinner and visit with Mara and Michael but all four of us were tired and took a pass. We watched Father Brown on PBS, the Simpsons and something else on FOX, and then Downton Abbey on PBS. Linda headed off to bed after Downton Abbey and I watched the end of CSI: Cyber.