Friday, March 6, 2009

How The Other Half Lives - Naples Condo Visit

Hi all -- Dianne here.  We took a brief "vacation" from our vacation, and drove to Naples to visit our dear friends Jay and Nancy,
 who were down for a brief visit to their beautiful  condominium on Vanderbilt Beach in Naples.  The four of us have been friends for about 39 years, and were in each others' weddings back in the summer of 1972.  Some friendships just endure forever, and this is one of them. I asked permission to use my favorite photo of them, taken in front of our first home in Pendleton in the early 1970s.   I told Nancy that for the sake of fairness, I would also include an old photo of Roger and I as well, so we could all show the changes over the years.   The photo of Roger and I was taken in his mother's kitchen when we were dating. 

We always knew Jay would be very successful, back to the days when he was business manager at Sigma Nu fraternity at Purdue University.  Some people are just born with all the traits needed to succeed, and Jay is one of them.  (Roger here...  I have very distinct memories of Jay traveling to the General Telephone offices in Lafayette to dispute the phone charges from the fraternity - every- single - month.) Add in Nancy's common sense and business smarts, and you have an unbeatable combination. 

  Roger and Jay were fraternity brothers at Purdue.  Nancy and I worked together.  Nancy had dated Jay since high school, and they fixed Roger and I up on a blind date (because we were both short!).   Anyway, it's worked out rather well, don't you think?  

Roger here....  Taking everyone back in time ....  The weekend that I met Dianne was after a fraternity brother's wedding in Chicago.  After the wedding two of my "brothers" and I made our way back to Frankfort, Indiana.  Jeff had a girlfriend at the time.  Jay was dating Nancy.  Which left me with nothing to do.  (Thank heaven for Nancy.)   I had never been on  a blind date before.  When I met Dianne in Jay's parents' living room, I thought ALL RIGHT!  I could not believe how beautiful she was.  I soon learned that she was beautiful on the inside, as well.

We spent three relaxing days with beautiful ocean views.   Instead of a campground, our friends get to sit on their private lanai (complete with outdoor grill)
 and watch the sunset over the Gulf of Mexico right from their condo.
   The condo is beautifully decorated, and the elevator opens up right into their foyer!   It is so lovely that I just have to include a few photos of it.

To illustrate what good friends they are, I knew if I asked her, Nancy would let me bring all my dirty laundry with me to use her washer and dryer while we were there!  So, there we came, like a couple of college kids coming home with all our dirty laundry!!   Those of you who wait lurking around to snatch up an empty washing machine at a campground realize what a luxury this was.   I felt very smug this morning as I walked the dogs past the campground washing machine, knowing I wouldn't have to use it.  

We took a side trip to the local Costco to use our $400+ rebate for using our Costco American Express card for most of our purchases throughout the year.  We pay it off every month, and the rebate really adds up at the end of the year.  We stocked up on consumables that we use while camping in the RV:  paper plates, cups, Brita filters, printer ink, coffee, cat litter, etc. etc. etc.   Nancy surprised Roger with a delicious Costco birthday cake so that we could celebrate his upcoming (March 8) birthday together.  Then, when we left on Wednesday, Nancy gave us all their unused grocery items and leftovers (including birthday cake!!), since they would be flying home to Indiana the next day.  Between our Costco purchases, clean laundry, clothes, and freebie food items, we barely had room in our little car
 for the dogs when we picked them up from the boarding facility! 

I bought a book through Amazon "Google Blogger for Dummies."  It has helped me spruce up the blog a bit.  In addition to the photo behind the title, it showed me how to link to the photos of our house for sale.  While at the condo, we received a call that we had another showing for our house!  That makes three so far this winter, when we only had two all last spring and summer.  Hope springs eternal that we might actually sell it and be able to plan our adventures for next fall and winter.  I include the link, because you never know when somebody might know somebody who might know somebody who is looking!!  Check it out at the right sidebar if you're at all interested or know someone who might be.

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