In December there was the annual Sunday School Christmas party for Jay’s class and there were good food and games. This was the month that Jay also traveled Pittsburgh to be with his uncle Don who was in the hospital and not doing well. Jay was glad to be able to visit with him and his son David, though Uncle Don passed away within a week of Jay‘s visit. Christmas day was spent with Joyce and her family, and it was hosted by Karrie King, Michael Kernohan‘s fiancé. Again it was good time and fun games.
Jay and Joyce flew in to Jamaica on November 4 and spent five nights there at the Jewel Dunn‘s River Falls Resort. Had a super time. Zip-lining. Dunn’s River Falls climbing and swimming at the Blue Hole. Riding the Jamaican bobsled run. Horseback riding in the Caribbean waters. Enjoying the all inclusive resort where our room was upgraded to ocean front with a magnificent view of the property in the Caribbean. Also had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner with Joyce’s children including Michael and his fiancée and Michelle and her family. For the dinner, the grocery store made a small error in the order which set our eating time back an hour, but the store made up for it by giving us a cheese tray and a spinach dip tray ... and this gave Jay and Joyce time to play some parlor games, which were fun.
Among some of the activities of this month was driving up to Gatlinburg for about four days to enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains to include Cades Cove, hiking to Laurel Falls, riding the lift up to the Gatlinburg overview, enjoying all types of Gatlinburg cuisine, and sampling the local moonshine. Our friend Lu Thompson joined us for this fun time.
The month started with a super great visit up to be with Robert and his family as we enjoyed ourselves at Callaway Gardens to include zip lining, swimming, the aqua park, the antique car show, the balloon fest, miniature golf, and other good family fun. Jay and Joyce also took a seven day cruise in the Eastern Caribbean on the Royal Caribbean ship Harmony of the Seas. We visited Nassau, St. Thomas, and Saint Martin, and had a lot of fun or on the way. This included some very good snorkeling, a couple of great beach days, and an excursion around St Martin for water fun. Of course, the shipboard activities and dining were just great, also.
This was a big month for Savanah – and her family, of course. Savanah began college at Southeastern University in Lakeland. She is rooming withy a softball friend from her high school.
The beginning of the month found Jay and Joyce moving into the home they are renting. The house is in a nice neighborhood, a small community of about 35 homes. Jay and Joyce decided that, for now, they will go with a house perhaps larger than they need, and so their current home has a swimming pool and four bedrooms. No, moving is not fun. They did get a couple of days at Disney for fun at Epcot and few days in Orlando to be there for a close friend having a kidney transplant. The large event for Anne and Rusty was the birth of their third child: Carson James, born on the 31st. Sandra, Sydney, and Savanah were there to help out.
Most of this moth was taken up getting ready to move, though there were a few day of Orlando theme part fun.
May was still house hunting. Eventually Jay and Joyce settled on a nice rental property in Brandon, just eight minutes from Jay’s Sablewood Drive home and five minutes from the home of Joyce’s daughter Michelle. Both Jay and Joyce began pre-move activities of deciding what to move and - especially in Jay’s case - what to dispose of ... a hard process, both emotionally and physically. But with all this they managed to work in a couple of trips to Disney, one to Animal Kingdom with Robert and his family. Also, Savanah graduated from Seffner Christian Academy on May 25th - Congratulations!!!
Jay and Joyce were married Saturday, April 7, at Fellowship Baptist Church near Thonotosassa, about 12 miles north of Brandon ... Joyce’s home church. Afterwards there was a reception at The Shrimp Boat Restaurant in Brandon. Jay and Joyce spent their wedding night at the Bilmar on St Pete Beach and departed Monday for Cancun, where they stayed at the Omni Resort and enjoyed the beach, the hotel amenities, and some excursions that involved zip lining, ATV riding, and snorkeling. They returned late on a Friday and departed early Saturday for a wedding in Greenville, SC, on Sunday. They did a small tour of the town and enjoyed the wedding, the reception, and a visit to a local park. Following the wedding they drove to Savannah where they stayed in a wonderful B&B and got a chance to tour the city and also visit nearby Tybee Island. The month ended with a second honeymoon trip, this one to Club Med Sandpiper at Port St Lucie, FL. There they enjoyed the resort and its many activities including a tennis lesson, a golf lesson, a volleyball lesson, playing miniature golf, sailing where Jay managed to turn the boat over and dump his new bride into the water. There were also nightly shows, swimming, and a side trip to a nearby Atlantic Ocean beach.
We visited the Strawberry Festival in Plant City, traveled with Robert’s Family and Sandra’s family to a Spring Training baseball game in Plant City, watched Savanah play varsity softball for Seffner Christian Academy, watched Seth play JV ball for SCA, watched Daylin play rec league soccer, watched Sydney player league softball, and watched Braden play rec league baseball. Whew, that’s a lot of sports. But fun. We also learned that Savanah was accepted into Southeastern University in Lakeland, and that her fall roommate will be a friend from her softball team. Great. Jay and Joyce prepared for their upcoming marriage by pre-marital counseling and house hunting.
Had a great visit to New Orleans where Anne and Rusty were excellent hosts in getting us out to a number of the Mardi Grad parades so we could have fun, eat treats, and load up on beads and other trinkets. This was also the month that I proposed to Joyce Pollicina. Joyce and I had been seeing each other for around 18 months and we came to love each other. For Joyce there will never be another Fred and for me there will never be another Bonnie, but we are sure that Fred and Bonnie would want us to be together. Nanny also came in for a visit at the end of the month and we visited Epcot and Circus du Soleil.
One of the Tampa highlights this month is the Gasparilla Pirate Festival. This includes a large parade and a host of related community events held almost every year since 1904 that celebrate the apocryphal legend of José Gaspar (also known as Gasparilla), a mythical Spanish pirate who supposedly operated in Southwest Florida in the early 1800s. While anyone can find a spot along Bay Shore Drive to watch the parade, there are sections of reserved seating and that is what Jay and Joyce decided to pay for. The money was worth it; no crowds to fight, right up close to the parade, in an excellent position to catch more beads and trinkets that you know what to do with ... and did I mention private porta potties? You wouldn't want to see or - worse - have to use some of the public ones after a day's use. We dressed up and had great fun. It was neat that a lot of people came up to us, evidently thinking that we were part of the parade staff.