Stuart, Florida was named the friendliest coastal city in the USA by Coastal Living magazine for 2016. Oddly enough, our new home, Venice, Florida was the second friendliest in 2015. We would have to agree with whoever is making those decisions. We're thinking that once the SMILLIES permanently move to Venice it may jump up to first place in 2017!
Arriving at Sunset Bay Marina in Stuart always guarantees a friendly welcome. When we arrived, there were 11 Krogens on our dock and at least that many scattered on other docks throughout the marina. We have met most of the owners and are good friends with quite a few. Besides lots of chit chat on the docks, there are occasional dinners and every Tuesday morning most of us walk into town for breakfast. I don't know about other boat brands, but Krogen owners are always available to help each other and welcome new arrivals when they dock at a marina. If two pass in travel there will be friendly conversations over VHF radios about destinations and plans. Even if you have never met, you will receive a warm Krogonite greeting. This is a feature we discuss with potential buyers that look at Gotta Smile. When someone buys a Krogen, they get a lot more than a great boat. They get a support system, a circle of friendly owners and lots of fun events.
|Gotta Smile decked out with flags from all of the|
islands we visited.
Once in Stuart, we immediately began to prepare the boat for Krogen's Open House. Invitations had been sent to 100's of people that had shown interest in the brand. The show was a big success with an excellent turn out. We had about 30 people look at Gotta Smile. There were lots of favorable comments, but no written offers....
While we wait for a buyer to fall in love with Gotta Smile, we are keeping busy.
The boat continues to look better and better. We had some fiberglass repairs completed and the entire boat was professionally polished. Soon it will look like it just came out of the mold!
|Dinner on Sanibel at Doc Ford's.|
Randy Wayne White is the author of Doc Ford books
that we all read.
John and Gail had rented a house in Sanibel for the month of March. Once the Krogen Open was over we packed a bag and drove across the state for an overnight.
|Once all 10 of us were together the first|
stop was the beach.
Later that week we were on a plane to San Diego. All of our family got together for Spring Break at Jennifer and Ian's new house. A week of nonstop activities left us happy but exhausted. Our grandkids are 10, 8, 8 and 7. They love time together and we hope to keep that relationship strong. A bond that may last long after we are gone.
|Easter morning -- the kids cracked Cascarones on|
each other's heads. Cascarones are real egg shells that
are filled with confetti. I predict that there will be
confetti in the front yard until August!
|JAC's 7th birthday was on Easter Sunday this year.|
|Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institute.|
|The sea horse display is a favorite|
and this dragon sea horse was
|Docile looking sea lions, but don't get too close!|
|The San Diego area has one of the|
largest number of breweries in the
country. Steve came with a list of ones
he wanted to sample. Every day we had
a delicious lunch at a different brewery.
Everyone was happy with good food
and unique brews.
|Lego Land is only 15 minutes from |
Jennifer's house. The amazing statues
are, of course, all made of legos. Besides
walking for miles we rode on most of the
rides. We are all daredevils -- I'll do it if
you do it!
|Hiking the steep and rough terrain of Torrey Pines State Park.|
The kids ran up and down the trails like billy goats. Let's just
say -- I completed the hike. It wasn't pretty, but I finished with
no calls for assistance.
|Enjoying time with my boy!|
|When we decided to go to San Diego's Safari Park, I thought we were going to ride around the park on|
a tram. Oh, NO, it was all walking! Great day, but we could hardly make it back to the cars.
|Circling to land in West Palm. A long day when you|
consider the distance from San Diego to West Palm
with a two hour layover in Philadelphia and crossing
through four time zones!
Gotta smile -- we're lovin the ride!