Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sparky's Definitely Feeling Better!

Sarasota, FL      High:  71    Low:   45

Sparky was feeling pretty sparky today....Off to swim exercise class this morning...working with styrofoam bar bells, stretches in the water, stomach crunches, twists, "moguls", "tantrums", "uppercuts", etc.  The volunteer(s) that run the class each morning have cute ways of calling out the exercises. It's a very good workout and deceptive as to how hard you are working your muscles. Sparky really enjoys it. She didn't even let a light rain discourage her from going, although all the way down to the pool on her bike, she was hoping there wasn't going to be a class. It was the kind of dreary gray morning that makes you just want to stay in your jammies and read a book.

Later this morning we headed over to Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota. Lakewood Ranch is an 8500 acre residential/shopping community with lots of housing choices loosely similar to the Villages in Florida, near Wildwood. Lakewood Ranch is a master planned community of seven villages started in 1995, and it is one of the largest certified green communities in the U.S. Over half of the land is devoted to trails, parks and recreational fun. Golf and tennis are big there, they have polo and cricket as well. Since there is a LOT of arts and culture in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, this community attracts lots of interest from all ages of people looking for a home in a better climate--young families, young professionals and of course, retirees.

We really enjoyed walking around the Main Street today. It was very quiet, not at all congested like the Villages are, but plenty of people were enjoying the balmy outdoor air and partly sunny skies today, with the high of 77...Sorry, northern folks, family and friends! You have our sympathy struggling with that ole jet stream dipping down farther than normal! The longer we stay in Florida, the more we forget what winter is like and how cold it must feel back home in Indiana! Eldo loves to tease his daughter in Milford, IN, about the "cold spell" that hit Florida recently...For one day, we had temps in the low sixties. Br-r-r--rr.......LOL! :-)  Not so funny up north.....heh, heh, heh.....

There are cool shops of all kinds around Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, from an artsy bead shop that offers classes, to make- your- own pottery-c'mon in and play shop, to clothing, to just about everything you can think of.
Naples Soap store--loofahs with glycerin soap in them, wonderful scents!
Sparky's bike needed fixing, the gears were out of whack and Eldy had seen a small bike shop on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch. Main Street is loaded with boutiques, all kinds of artsy craft and bead shops, fashion, restaurants and other stuff. We found Village Bikes to be a great bike shop for the repairs we needed to get Sparky rollin' again on her bike. We brought her bike in, asked how much a gear adjustment would cost, and they said about 10-12 dollars depending on what needed to be done. We said, great...and were ready to leave it. BUT--one of the repair guys said, let me take a quick look at it. (They were about two weeks out on repairs). He put it up on the bike stand, worked the gears, fixed the gear cable, tightened it, and at NO CHARGE. WOW! Thanks, guys! He said if Sparky had any more problems, bring it back in and they would get it right once again. A tuneup costs about 55.00 and the service for that was including EVERYTHING--taking the wheels off, truing the tires, lubing, etc. etc. We thought this was a GREAT bike shop and we'd definitely go back whenever we are in the Sarasota area. Good line of accessories, Specialized, Cannondale bikes and more......

After the bike repair and exploring Main Street a bit, we headed to MacAllister's Grill and Tavern for lunch...Lots of Scottish influence in the pub as to decor-it's a "genuine Scottish golf themed restaurant"-lots of golf stuff on the walls, plaid bench seating, Scottish foods on the menu. The people who started this restaurant came from Scotland so there's a little history behind the restaurant...Eldo had fish and chips, Sparky had bang bang chicken and portobello mushrooms, not so Scottish. Delish! Highly recommended.....

This afternoon, Sparky was on a roll....She headed over to the Spin Cycle class offered at Sun 'n' Fun and about died of exhaustion.... (I tried to dissuade her, I truly did, says E.) Sparky is fine, just plumb wore out! Legs are like Jello...It's been two weeks since she last hit spin cycle class....Time for an early bedtime...See you tomorrow.....


  1. Our kids are still a little touchy over the subject of them being in the North and their parents not, when we lived in Puerto Rico.
    It would be mid winter, minus (insert crazy cold temperature) and we'd be chatting on MSN. "Well, I just came in from a swim", never did go over that well. Funny 'bout that.

  2. Great PR from that bike shop, that repair probably will get them some good cheap advertising.

  3. That tune up price is way less than I paid back in Virginia to have mine done when we were there in September. A quick fix for free is fantastic. You sure must be feeling better if you did two exercise classes in one day. Glad to hear it.

  4. I have never heard of a master planned community buy.

    I can smell the soap now...good!

  5. Great Job Jeannie on the two workouts. Starting to sound like me. Very proud of you. Have not heard of Dad on the treadmill yet. Get his butt moving!!! He has no excuse being in nice weather. I could understand if he was in the negitives like we have been but he has NO EXCUSE!!! I will take the teasing about weather as long as her gets moving!!! Dad this is your first warning!!

    That bike shop sounds awesome. I would definalty go see them again if I was you. Looking forward to getting a new bike like you guys ths spring. I want to get out on our trails a lot with Connor this year. Connor even said yesterday he wishes he was back with you guys. He was telling the hygenist all about our trip to see PaPa yesterday. Love you guys and miss you lots.

  6. I've been giving the people at my old job a bit of jabbing myself. It's 2 degrees there in Northeast PA. I tell them I'm cold at 60 degrees, and they just groan :)

  7. I think I'm doing good when I get in just ONE aerobic exercise. Good job Sparky.