Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back from Cleveland

January 22, 2011

Dear Friends and Family,

We arrived home yesterday from the Cleveland Clinic. Although Jaime was originally scheduled for only one day of examinations and testing, he was held over a couple of days for some additional tests. Unfortunately, we did not get the answers we were hoping for. According to Dr. Bruce Lytle, Chairman of the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, the only viable solution to Jaime’s heart problems is open-heart surgery. The hoped-for minimally-invasive valve replacement procedure is not an option since Jaime apparently does not meet the FDA criteria necessary to be accepted in a “trial”. Dr. Lytle met with us for a considerable amount of time and explained that the open-heart procedure would be of minimal risk and that Jaime’s life would be prolonged considerably. Jaime, however, has refused to consider any kind of invasive procedure. I have been with Jaime through his many medical conditions and surgeries and certainly understand why he does not want to subject his body to any further invasive treatments, but I am fervently hoping that he will change his mind or that some new non-invasive treatment will become available in the near future.

Anyway, that is how things stand as of today. Jaime was given a prescription for a medication that will supposedly improve the function of his heart (plus, he will continue with the Lipitor, aspirin and Plavix), and he will continue to see his local cardiologist. Basically, we will be living life one day at a time – and enjoying each one of them to the fullest. We are thankful for the caring and support that we’ve received from all of you, and we will stay in touch.

Love, Jane

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Eve, 2010

As we did last year, Jaime and I spent New Year's Eve at one of our favorite places: Fernandina Beach, Florida! This year, friends Brenda and Phil accompanied us. We enjoyed a steak and shrimp dinner at The Surf, followed by dancing and celeb rating at Slider's Seaside Restaurant. We didn't stay until midnight this year, but we might as well have - there was some serious partying going on at our motel, so we didn't get to sleep until about 4 am!

Update on Jaime's Situation

Hi, all!

Well, it looks like we'll be leaving home on Saturday, January 15 in order to be at the Cleveland Clinic on Monday morning the 17th. After finally getting through to someone at the clinic to discuss the procedure that had been scheduled for February 10, Jaime discovered that the surgery was to be of the open-heart variety, and since Jaime cannot tolerate any further o-h procedures, the clinic has set up an appointment for Jaime on the 17th for the purpose of exploring other alternatives.

Since we'll be driving, we are hoping for a heat wave to melt all the snow that has recently blanketed the North!

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and that 2011 will bring you peace, prosperity and - above all - good HEALTH!!

Love, Jane

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 12, 2010

Wow! I have not been keeping up with my posts. Here are the last three e-mails I sent out regarding Jaime's health. Things are looking up. We'll be heading to Cleveland in February!

DECEMBER 10, 2010
Yay! We just heard from the Cleveland Clinic. Jaime is scheduled for surgery on Thursday, February 10, but he will have to check into the hospital on the 4th so they can put him on an IV when they take him off his Plavix and other meds. Dr. Bruce Lytle, Chairman of the Heart and Vascular Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, will perform the surgery, but he will do a catheterization beforehand so that he'll have an up-to-date look at Jaime's heart and environs. After the catheterization, we will find out what the risks of the surgery will be so that Jaime can make his final decision on whether to go ahead with the procedure or not.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and I'll keep you posted!

Love, Jane

DECEMBER 9, 2010
Dear friends and family,

I apologize for keeping everyone hanging – and I truly appreciate the e-mails and moral support from all of you – but we are still waiting…and waiting…and waiting. The medical secretary to Dr. Bruce Lytle, Chairman of the Heart and Vascular Institute at the Cleveland Clinic, called us on November 26, requesting information on Jaime’s 1993 bypass procedure, which I was happy to forward to her. She said that the doctor was out of the office but would return on the following Wednesday. We have heard nothing since then. In the meantime, Jaime had an appointment this past Monday with his local cardiologist who asked Jaime for the name and phone number of the doctor at the Cleveland Clinic so that he could hopefully expedite matters. But…. we are still waiting! In the meantime, I am happy to report that Jaime’s numbers are good: blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., and the doctor even told Jaime he could resume moderate exercise, including recreational bike riding. Yay! Of course, it’s been too dang cold to ride bikes the past few days, but at least Jaime seems to be making progress, and for this we are thankful!!!

And speaking of being thankful, we enjoyed a lovely Thanksgiving day with good friends Brenda and Phil and look forward to spending more time with them during the upcoming holidays. Since I am now assuming we won’t be heading to Cleveland until early next year, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I will, of course, let you know if we hear anything from Cleveland.


NOVEMBER 21, 2010
Dear friends and family,

Sorry for the long silence, but Jaime and I have been busy trying to figure out our next step. Actually, I was waiting to send an update after we heard from the Cleveland Clinic with a date for the consultation, but so far, no word. We had thought his records were being sent there several weeks ago, but apparently, they were just sent last week. Anyway, following is a note I posted on Facebook a couple weeks ago. Nothing has changed since then.

(November 9, 2010): It appears Jaime’s LVEF (left ventricle evacuation fraction) is not what we thought. The most recent echocardiograms indicate an LVEF of 35% - which is about what it was when Jaime had the first echo in September. This is not good. Apparently, the 50% result (which is considered “normal”) reported when he was in the hospital during his pneumonia bout was in error. So, we are trying to move up our trip to Cleveland to consult with the heart specialists there. In the meantime, Jaime is feeling well (pneumonia is all gone, thank goodness!), and he has been taking short walks – gradually lengthening the distance each day. Jaime is not sure he will go through with any more procedures (if there ARE any – which we won’t know until we get to Cleveland), but his frame of mind is good, and we are making the most of each day. Hopefully, we will know soon when we will be heading north to Ohio. Thank you all, so much, for the messages and support. I apologize for not getting back to you personally, but I hope to soon.

Love, Jane

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010

I've finally figured out a use for my blog - since I haven't posted anything to it in nearly a year! I will use this space to post updates on Jaime's health. After he's been stabilized and things are back to normal (whatever THAT is), I'll get back to posting pictures, etc.

You are welcome to leave comments. We can use all the emotional support we can get!


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Here are the e-mails I've sent out to date:

October 27, 2010

Dear Friends and family,

This past week and a half has been an emotional roller coaster. When Jaime was released from the hospital last week, he had great difficulty sleeping. Lying in bed, he would start choking and felt like he couldn’t draw in enough air. Propping him up with pillows helped, but it was a very worrisome time. By the weekend, Jaime was feeling better, and we began to think his trouble sleeping was possibly due to the residual pneumonia in his system.

On Monday, he saw Dr. Heery (his local cardiologist) who concurred that Jaime’s difficulty breathing was quite probably due to the lingering effects of the pneumonia. With regard to Jaime's heart function, Dr. Heery told us that an echocardiogram taken on October 14 when Jaime was in the hospital indicated an LVEF (left ventrical evacuation fraction) of 55%. (The echocardiogram taken on September 20 when Jaime had his first catheterization showed an LVEF of 35%.) Since any percentage above 50 -55% is considered “good”, Dr. Heery thought perhaps Jaime might not need to have the valve procedure at all! This was the best news we’d heard since this all started! He did mention, however, that if Jaime DID need to have the valve procedure, there were only three places that could do it: the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Harvard) in Massachusetts. Dr. Heery did another echocardiogram and asked Jaime to come back in two weeks.

On Tuesday (yesterday), Jaime and I went to Jacksonville to see Dr. Leon, hoping he would agree with Dr. Heery’s suggestion that Jaime might not need the valve procedure. Dr. Leon (after soundly scolding Jaime for not going directly to the ER last week when he was having breathing problems), concurred – with reservations. Should Jaime decide not to have anything done, his activities would be severely restricted. He would no longer be able to ride his bike or take long walks, for instance. Furthermore, his condition would steadily deteriorate – not necessarily any time soon, however. Jaime’s heart condition, we found out, is a lot more complicated than we initially thought, and any procedure done would be considered extremely high risk. Dr. Leon agreed with Dr. Heery that there are really only three places that could help Jaime. So that Jaime can make his decision with all the necessary information, we have decided to go to the Cleveland Clinic for consultation. Dr. Leon will be contacting an associate there and make the arrangements. In the meantime, he gave Jaime a prescription for a medication that will help the valve function and scheduled him for another appointment in Jacksonville on November 30. I don’t know when we’ll be going to Cleveland but, obviously, it won’t be before December.

So, anyway, this is where we stand as of October 27, 2010. I will probably not be updating this chronicle until after we visit the Cleveland Clinic - unless something new comes up.

In the meantime, we want you all to know how much your support has meant to us throughout this ordeal! Your positive thoughts, prayers, love, suggestions and advice have made a huge difference. Now that Jaime has decided he can start driving again and I’ll actually have a little free time, I hope to be able to start answering the backlog of e-mails!

…’til next time.

Jane & Jaime

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October 18, 2010

Hi, everyone!

Jaime was released from the hospital today. Yay! He'll be on a 5-day oral antibiotic regimen (one 750 mg Levaquin tab per day). I couldn't believe the cost: $182 for 5 pills!!! Yikes! But if they do the job, that's all that counts. Jaime's next appointments are with his local cardiologist and the lung specialist on November 1. By then, we'll know when Jaime will be able to travel to Jacksonville for his consultation with the St. Vincent's cardiologist. And from there we'll be ready - hopefully - to schedule his valve procedure.

Jaime is weak and tired and has pretty much lost his voice. Additionally, he has lost 14 pounds over the past 5 days! I know he wasn't eating the first couple days he was in the hospital - and he was on some pretty heavy-duty diuretics - but still, that is a lot of weight to lose in such a short period of time. Fortunately, his appetite has improved, and I'm hoping he'll regain his strength quickly.

Thanks to all of you for your support. I'll keep you posted as the saga continues to unfold....


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October 16, 2010

Dear friends and family,

I’m sorry I’ve been incommunicado for so long, but Jaime’s health has been a concern of late. His back problems, while still an issue, are waaaaaaaaay on the back burner for the time being. He’d been suffering a malaise for the past several months; then in early September he had a mild cardiac episode. Since it only lasted a few minutes and he felt no after-effects, he ignored it. Three weeks later, he had another one – not so mild. Although I could not convince him to go to the hospital, I did get him in to see his cardiologist the next day (Friday, September 17). The doctor, of course, wanted Jaime admitted to the hospital, but again, Jaime refused. He then said that Jaime needed to have a catheterization to see what the problem was and possibly have a stent (or two) inserted. The only problem with this was that our local hospital is not equipped for open-heart surgery (the back-up option if a stent is not possible), and so they could only do a simple stent. If a more complicated procedure was necessary, they would have to send him to Jacksonville. Since Jaime did not want to have to go through the procedure twice, he opted to go straight to Jacksonville (St. Vincent’s Hospital). Unfortunately, they couldn’t take him until the following Monday, so on Sunday, we drove down to Jacksonville and stayed in a hotel so we wouldn’t have to get up quite so early for his 6:30 am appointment. We were, of course, there in plenty of time to wait three hours!

Before the catheterization, they did some other tests, one of which revealed problems with Jaime’s heart valves. Three of them have fairly major leaks. Dr. Leon (the cardiologist who performed the procedure) did not insert a stent during the catheterization because Jaime’s heart went into fibrillation during the procedure, and they had to apply shock treatment. Afterwards, Dr. Leon called in a heart surgeon to discuss treatment options. Since Jaime cannot have further open heart surgery (as you may recall, he had to have a sternectomy following a horrendous staph infection six years ago), it was decided that they would go ahead and insert a stent in the LAD (lower anterior descending) artery and then send Jaime to the Cleveland Clinic (or another facility capable of performing minimally-invasive heart valve repair/replacement surgery. As you can imagine, there are not a whole lot of hospitals capable of performing this procedure, so Dr. Leon told us he would investigate the possibilities. Another catheterization was performed on Wednesday (September 22) and a stent inserted. Jaime was discharged the following day. A follow-up appointment was made with Dr. Leon for Tuesday, October 12 where his continued treatment would be discussed.

Although Jaime’s chest pains disappeared (thanks to the stent), his shortness of breath was becoming more pronounced – due to the leaky valves. On Saturday, October 9, I was away for the day, playing in a tennis tournament on Jekyll Island. When I got home, Jaime told me he had been running a fever all day and had tried to call his local cardiologist but, since it was the weekend, had not been able to reach him. The doctor handling calls, however, told him to go to ER for a blood culture. Jaime was afraid the stent had become infected. Both the cardiologist and the ER doctors assured him that that was not probable, but lung x-rays revealed the likelihood of pneumonia. He was given an intravenous antibiotic treatment. The ER doctor wanted Jaime admitted to the hospital for continued treatment, but Jaime adamantly refused, so he was given a prescription for oral antibiotics, and we went home. We changed Jaime’s appointment with the Jacksonville cardiologist to Tuesday, October 19.

Unfortunately, by Wednesday, Jaime was in worse shape than he’d been since the start of his treatments, so his local cardiologist referred him to a pulmonary physician who sent him directly to the hospital. He has been receiving proper care now, and we are hoping he will bounce back soon. The bad news is he cannot have the valve procedure until the pneumonia is completely gone – and we were told it could take 4 to 6 weeks. I don’t know how long he’ll be in the hospital, but I am hoping he won’t be discharged until things are completely under control. I do hope, however, that he will be able to see Dr. Leon soon to find out where he will be heading for the valve procedure when he is ready.

I will try to keep you updated, and I apologize for the informality of a “blanket” e-mail, but I have not been spending much time at home the past few days. If you would rather not receive these, please let me know.

Prayers and healing thoughts for Jaime’s speedy recovery will be much appreciated!!!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I have not been keeping up with my blog! I have many more adventures to report and pictures to post but just can't seem to find the time! Hopefully, in 2010 I will get back up to speed. In the meantime, for my faithful followers, I offer a little Christmas gift: this recipe for Peppermint Meltaway cookies! I just made some today after clipping the recipe a couple of weeks ago. These cookies are DY-NO-MITE!!!

Have a wonderful Christmas, y'all!!!


Cookie Ingredients
2 cups (1 lb.) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. peppermint extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup corn starch

Glaze Ingredients
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
¼ tsp. peppermint extract
2 Tbs. milk
2 to 3 drops red food color
candy canes or hard peppermint candy, crushed

Combine butter, powdered sugar and peppermint extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and cornstarch. Beat until well mixed. Cover; refrigerate until firm (30 to 60 minutes.)

Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute, remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Drizzle a little glaze over each cookie and immediately sprinkle with crushed candy. (To make glaze, combine powdered sugar, butter, peppermint extract and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Stir in food color.)

Makes about 8 dozen cookies

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jekyll Island Revisited

September 30, 2009 – It was a lovely day, so Jaime and I decided to head over to Jekyll Island for the afternoon and to have dinner. We were celebrating my birthday which actually occurred on September 11, but since I was leaving early in the morning of September 12 for my trip to the Midwest, we delayed the celebration until I got back.

Here, for the record, is a picture taken on my real birthday. I am having a delightful lunch with my tennis buddies at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. (from left: Doyl, Jane, Susan and Pam)

I would also like to include this picture of a bromeliad that Jaime gave me for my birthday in 1996. When I first got it, it had three flowers. Every year it has produced from two to five flowers, but this year, it had seven!!!

But I digress! Getting back to September 30th, Jaime and I drove over to the south end of the island to one of our favorite spots – the beach at St. Andrews Sound. It appeared that the shrimping season had arrived, since several people were seining for the delicious crustaceans. Note the dolphin in the third picture. He was looking for a handout! I should mention that people commonly hand feed fish to the dolphins at this beach. They are quite tame!

Several other critters were looking for handouts, as well!

This precious little Gulf Fritillary was also eating well that day.

As the day ended, we headed over to Latitude 31, a beautiful restaurant built over the Jekyll River adjacent to the elegant Jekyll Island Club Hotel.

Afterwards, we had coffee on the deck.

…and enjoyed a spectacular sunset – the perfect ending to a perfect day!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Back to my roots

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to the Midwest which included: a visit with my sister-in-law Sharon in Grand Junction, Michigan; a get-together with some of my Sudoku friends in Battle Creek, Michigan; a short but adventure-packed stay in Chicago; a four-day slumber party with my long-time friends Karlith, Carol and Sue in Huntley, Illinois; and a fabulous 50th high school reunion celebration in Crystal Lake, Illinois.

Saturday, September 12 - I landed at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport in the afternoon, picked up my rental car and headed for Michigan where I spent three nights with my sister-in-law Sharon. Although we spent much of the time reminiscing, we also were able to do some packing and sorting, getting Sharon ready for her move to Oklahoma where her daughter Cassandra and family have built a lovely little home for her on their farm.
Sunday, September 13 - While in Michigan, I had a chance to meet with several of my friends from the website: Shiela, Debby and Debby’s daughter Angi from Eastern Michigan, Mary and her sister Sue who drove up from the Chicago area, and Plum and her daughter Starr from Southwest Michigan. The food at Clara’s (a unique restaurant in a restored, historic train station in Battle Creek) was great, and the company was fabulous. The only things missing from this gathering were tiaras and boas. Yikes! What were we thinking? This lapse in judgment just might get us banned from the site!

This beautiful lake, a short walk from Sharon’s house, is one of several lakes in the neighborhood.

Debby, Angi, Mary, Sue, Shiela, Plum and Jane delicately trampling the flowerbed outside Clara’s restaurant.

caption: Although our get-together was short and sweet, Plum’s dessert was definitely TALL and sweet!
Wednesday, September 16 - I drove to Chicago, checked into the Days Inn on Diversey Parkway and set out on foot to “rediscover” the city where I’d spent many happy years.

One of the first things I noticed on my walk, however, was this reminder of why I am so happy to be living in my little subtropical paradise.

Here are a couple of pictures of an apartment building in the Lincoln Park area of the city where I lived for several years.

I was glad to see that “The Four Farthings” bar and grill was still located on the first floor (it opened while I was living here in the mid 60’s)…

…and amazed to see that the little grocery store kitty-corner from the apartment building is still in business and owned by the same family!!!

I’d forgotten how lush and green everything is in the city in the summer/early fall. (I guess it’s because most of my memories of Chicago involve snow and ice!!!)

On my walk, I discovered this adorable little store which I first thought was a bakery…

…the window filled with delectable pastries…

…but then noticed the name of the establishment and realized all these “confections” were actually meat-based meals! The owner of the shop gave me a sample of the meatloaf and mashed potatoes (looked like a cupcake with white frosting), and it was delicious!!

Meandering south towards the Loop, I took this picture from the Lakeshore Drive crossover at North Avenue Beach.

My beloved Lake Michigan…

…put on a show for me, as waves crashed against the breakwater.

HEY, WAIT A MINUTE!!! WHAT TH’ HECK ARE PALM TREES DOING IN CHICAGO????? This picture was taken at the north end of Oak Street Beach, where I spent many a summer lunch hour years ago. (I worked in that building with the antenna on top – when it was known as the Palmolive Building and was the tallest building on North Michigan Avenue! Now, of course, it’s dwarfed by the Hancock and other super high-rises.

The palms, by the way, were planted a few years ago. They're dug up in the fall and apparently stored at the Lincoln Park Conservatory for the winter.

Another pleasant surprise was the “Oak Street Beachstro”, a cute little restaurant where I enjoyed a raspberry daiquiri and a bowl of clam chowder.

Here’s another view of the lake from the “beachstro”…

and another view of the palm trees…
Next on my agenda was the main purpose of my trip: my 50th high school reunion!!!

Thursday, September 17 - After returning my rental car from the first portion of my trip, I met my old childhood buddy Carol at O’Hare airport for our trek to the suburbs. We then picked up my second rental car (don’t ask – it’s complicated!!!) and drove out to Huntley, Illinois to the home of our friend Karlith who was hosting the four-day slumber party! Sue, the fourth member of the “girls’ club” was already at Karlith’s awaiting our arrival. This was the first time in eight years that the four of us had gotten together! By the way, I wish to interject here that Karlith’s hubby Ed deserves to be awarded the Nobel “Peach” Prize for not only putting up with our raucous revelry but also for actually seeming to enjoy our company and taking pictures of us!

Here are the “girls” at breakfast…

Friday, September 18 – On Friday, we drove to Crystal Lake (our old hometown) for a tour. The first photo is at a park that was called Walkup’s Woods when we lived there, then renamed “Veterans’ Acres”. To be honest, I don’t know if that’s still the name, but we, of course, will always refer to it as “Walkup’s Woods”. The pond is where I learned to ice skate. There used to be a warming house with a pot-bellied stove where I spent a lot of time thawing our my frozen toes!

Another place I spent a lot of time was the “El Tovar” movie theater (later modernized and renamed the “Lake” theater. I was very happy to notice on this trip that the theater has been restored to its former glory, as shown in the following picture of the interior.

Later in the day, we participated in the school’s Homecoming Parade, riding the antique fire truck owned by one of our former classmates. I guess my friend Sue, who took this picture, thought the back of my head looked better than the front, and who am I to argue the point?

Instead of attending the homecoming game that evening, we elected to hang out in a local pub with many of our old classmates. It was wonderful getting caught up with everyone!
Saturday, September 18 – THE BIG NIGHT! More than 80 classmates attended the reunion (plus about 50 spouses). This was a great turnout considering there only about 200 members in the class! It should be noted that Crystal Lake was quite a small town “way back then”, so most of us went all through the school system together – from kindergarten through high school.

The reunion committee hung lots of pictures from our childhood on the walls of the banquet facility. Here’s one of Miss Knox’ fourth grade homeroom (that’s me underneath the red arrow).

This was one of the cakes served at the party…

And here is a “formal” picture of the gang: Sue, Karlith, Jane and Carol!
Monday, September 20 – After spending the rest of the weekend sightseeing (the four of us took a drive up to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, on Sunday), we went our separate ways on Monday, vowing that we would not wait so long for another get-together!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

View from the St. Simons Lighthouse – August 29, 2009

Jaime and I had ridden our bikes to the village on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, and we were wandering around the park when the urge to climb our lighthouse hit me.

Mind you, we have lived on the island for five years, and I had not yet done this, so I left my bike in Jaime’s care and literally sprinted up the 129 winding steps. After taking a number of pictures (including some aerial shots of the new swimming pool and miniature golf course), I made my way back down.
Amazingly, I wasn’t even breathing hard after this exertion. Feeling full of myself, I couldn’t help but comment to Jaime how all my tennis playing and bike riding must have contributed to strength and endurance. Well, let me tell you how I felt the next day (actually, the next four days). I could barely walk!!! I never realized there was a whole ‘nother set of thigh muscles lurking beneath the ones I used on a regular basis! Oh well, at least I got some good pictures.

Rattlesnake encounter – August 18, 2009

On a recent day trip to the beach at Fernandina, Jaime and I stopped to take some pictures of an interesting derelict building outside Kingsland, Georgia. When I stepped out of the truck, I almost stepped on the biggest rattlesnake I’ve ever seen!

Fortunately, (for me – not the snake) it was dead. Apparently, it had been run over by a car but managed to slither its way back up the roadbank before expiring. I discovered later, via the internet, that the Eastern diamondback rattler is the largest, most venomous snake in the Americas!

Jaime saved the rattle for a souvenir.

FionaFest 2009 – July 23-26

Land sakes! What have I gotten myself into? What started as a little gathering of fellow Sudokuists to welcome Fiona and family from France to Florida turned into one of the larger Sudokufests to date! Fiona, hubby Eric and children Scott and Carla were to spend nearly a month in Florida (first at DisneyWorld, then a few days at Daytona Beach and then a week or two on Florida’s Gulf Coast (Clearwater and Sarasota). Daytona seemed to be the easiest place to converge, so several of us descended on the area, tiaras and boas at the ready!
Sue and Harry (Oklahoma) and LynnDee (Jacksonville, FL) rented a condo in Ormond Beach; Fiona et famille stayed at a hotel in Daytona; and Kathy (Valrico, FL), Heidi (Kentucky), Mamacita (Pennsylvania), Debby (Michigan) and I rented a beach cottage in Ormond Beach (about 2 miles south of Sue and Harry’s digs). We dubbed ourselves the “cheeky chooks”, and I must say, the weekend was one of the biggest hen parties I ever attended (despite the fact that there were actually two husbands in tow).