Christmas week in South Florida – Breezy Hill RV Resort

On Saturday Dec 19, we left Peace River in Wauchula around 10am; Acey’s mileage 69,772.0 and Thor’s 76,684 as we left for Breezy Hill RV Resort in Pompano Beach, FL. We drove around the eastern side of Lake Okeechobee and saw this set of locks connecting the St Lucie Canal to the lake – allowing boats to traverse the state.

We arrived at the RV park just after 1pm, had lunch and got things set up. Chuck and Chris flew in from Baton Rouge and Nashville respectively. We met up with them and Linda’s brother Rob at 3 Sons Brewery, conveniently located just across from the boy’s hotel. Here’s Rob relaxing, knowing he is off work for 36 days!

We went to Rob’s place for dinner. He barbecued some tasty chicken and we had a nice evening there.

Rob has a beautiful blue and gold macaw, Marlin, who is 39 years old.

Sunday we zoomed for Sunday School as we continue to look into Genesis and then worshipped virtually with Stephens Valley Church. Rob picked up the boys from their hotel, we had lunch at Acey and visited a while – Linda made pizzas for dinner – and we watched a 007 movie. No one took photos!

Monday we drove up to Boca Raton and toured past all the different places Jim and Linda had lived in Boca; Jim’s family moved there in 1969, and Linda’s in 1972. We stopped in at the bike shop that was Magnuson Cyclery from 1973 – 1985 where the main product line was Schwinn bicycles. At different times, Rob, Linda and Ted worked for their parents there. Jim helped out when the store first opened and a few times before Christmas as well. The store also sold sailboats for a while. Here is the store the way it looked back in 1973.

And here’s Linda and Rob outside the store today!!

Linda’s father owned the store until 1990 when he sold it to the Dukes. Coincidentally, Tom and Pauline Duke, who still own the store today, came by and Linda finally had the opportunity to meet them!

Rob has lived in the area since the family moved there, and he worked at the store for Tom. Rob worked with Yohan – who still works at the store – they became good friends.

Rob and Yohan vacationed together a few times – they had some epic bicycling trips! Here they are with Ted and Nancy on Larch Mountain back in 2000.

On Tuesday, we picked up the boys and they rented bikes so the four of us could all ride on the Hollywood boardwalk.

We stopped for lunch at a beachfront brewery.

This place had an overload of Christmas inflatables with Jesus looking over them.

The boardwalk was not terribly crowded on this beautiful day,

Later, we stopped in to visit Linda’s former boss Harry Lennon – he hired Linda right after college graduation, having called the career center at the University of Florida – Linda did bookkeeping for 3 companies under his direction. It was a great position where Linda worked for 3 years, until we moved to Nashville. It was good to see him after all these years!

On our way back to Acey, we drove by The Deauville in Pompano Beach, where Linda’s Nana lived for many years with her sister “Auntie”. They moved there not too long before hurricane Cleo came thru in 1964. Linda has lots of great memories from visiting Nana and Auntie – and then her family moved to nearby Boca!

Here is one of my favorite photos of Chuck & Nana from 1985 – sitting out front of her place and wearing the same stripes!

Wednesday we went on an Airboat ride at the Everglades Holiday Park.

One of the first things we saw when we got to the park was this peacock who had absolutely no interest in fanning his feathers for us.

Another beautiful day in South Florida. There were several airboats running tours. They normally would seat as many as 40, but with Covid restrictions, they are only taking a maximum of 20 passengers.

We were told our airboat had 2 500-HP Cadillac engines – they were very loud and powerful at high speed! There were 17 passengers on our boat.

Having lived in Florida for many years, Jim & Linda had never toured the Everglades. There are several canals running in all directions.

We saw a few ORANGE iguanas in the trees – the captain told us that they are males “looking for love”! She said there would be green (females) nearby, but I didn’t spot one.

There were lots of lily pads – but since the boat had no propellers in the water, we could ride right over and thru them.

This gator was hiding well – and looks like it is smiling!

Those are SOME teeth! Yikes!

Another gator was swimming and we got pretty close to it!

Rob took this photo of us – we survived the close encounters with gators! Our Airboat captain has a whole lot of info about the everglades tour on her website:

After the airboat tour, we went to a Gator Show!

This guy seems fearless and put on a good show!

He showed us the teeth – “open wide!”

And put the gator’s snout under his chin

And did it again with the gator’s mouth open – yikes!!

There were several gators in the enclosure and he uses a different one for each show so he doesn’t stress the alligator. They seemed rather docile – but there’s no way I’d go in there with them!

We stopped at Tarpon River Brewing for some tasty craft brews

Linda enjoyed “It’s Always Sunny” – a nitro stout

And later, we had dinner at the American Icon Brewery where Rob had a “Peach Bum” a sour Berliner Weisse.

Chuck had an “American Hero” New England Pale Ale

Thursday we went to the Palm Beach Zoo! Linda has always loved visiting Zoos – this one had many endangered species and it was a great day to be outside looking at God’s diverse creatures!

Nene geese, found only in Hawaii, are the official bird of the state of Hawaii. They are becoming very rare. This pair is brother and sister- seems that doesn’t help matters…

The zookeeper told us they keep an egg in the nest and puncture it so it will not hatch; this in theory will keep the female from stressing out trying to lay eggs.

A pretty black swan was enjoying the pond

Many ibis were also hanging out all around the pond area.

This blue billed duck was colorful!.

There were a few varieties of ducks at the pond. Jim’s mother donated some ducks to this zoo many years ago when it was called Dreher Park Zoo – the zookeeper said these redhead ducks were about 30 years old, so they could have been her ducks! We had no idea ducks live that long! And not sure what type of ducks she donated…

Lots of flamingos were displaying themselves; the zoo has both American and Chilean Flamingoes.

Its fun to watch how they get into some odd positions!

Many turtles were scattered around the pond as well.

Our national bird – the majestic Bald Eagle.

It seemed to be feeding time at the zoo and we saw many animals being fed as we walked around. This eagle enjoyed devouring the mouse it was given.

This cougar was on the prowl – snarling at us!

Here kitty kitty…

A Florida panther was watching us from a ledge over our heads!

You have to be quick to catch an otter swimming! They are FAST!

This otter took a brief break from swimming to pose for Rob!

This White Alligator looks a bit deformed because of the way it was laying with its head out of the water; it was probably close to 12 feet long! This is NOT an albino alligator as it does not have red eyes. The white alligator in the wild is critically endangered.

These 2 blue and gold macaws look an awful lot like Rob’s bird Marlin! Beautiful!

Military Macaws are just a bit smaller and have lots of green plumage.

Caiman have a slightly different head shape than alligators and crocodiles

These large cranes had a small red spot on the front of their heads

Emu is such a short name for a big bird like this!

There were 2 species of Giant Tortoise at this zoo.

This Sloth was hanging around watching the zoo visitors

At first we were thinking this was a toucan, but no – its a rhinoceros hornbill.

This Laughing Kookaburra was quietly perched as we came by.

This cuddly looking Koala looked like it was napping – or pretending to anyway

Apparently it was nap time for the Fennec Fox

Its a monkey, its a raccoon – no its a ring-tailed lemur!

Their cousins, the colorful Red-ruffed Lemur were very active

I’m sure the zookeeper is hoping the lemurs don’t bite the hand that feeds them!

More sleepy animals; these Servals were not much bigger than a large house cat, so I am suspecting they are young kittens. They grow to be 30-40 pounds.

This black bear was napping, but woke up to say hey!

Rob took this excellent photo of this gorgeous jaguar. It was interesting to note that the local Jaguar dealer sponsors the exhibit!

Tapirs are certainly not one of the more attractive animals.

Giant anteaters sport a very unique appearance

This zoo visitor was really strutting his stuff! Did you know when it gets really cold that iguanas fall out of the trees?

maybe it was chasing after this green iguana?

The spider monkey must have been moving fast – its a bit blurry

The tigers were all cat-napping as we finished our visit to this wonderful zoo.

We got back to Acey in time join the Christmas Eve service at Stephens Valley Church on YouTube.

On Christmas Day, we spent the day at Rob’s place. For breakfast, Jim made pancakes and Rob fixed sausages. We saw the news of the terrible explosion in downtown Nashville early this morning. An RV parked in front of the AT&T Data Center was blown up. The explosion incapacitated 911 service for a large regional area; phone and internet service were interrupted outside of Middle Tennessee; AT&T reported that 1,166 Zip Codes in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois and Missouri were affected by the explosion. Fortunately, only 3 people have been reported injured, and no deaths (other than the bomber). 40 some businesses and several homes were destroyed. What a senseless act on this special day.

Rob set up Marlin’s swing on the back patio. It was another beautiful day to be outside, and Marlin enjoyed the swing!

Chris noticed a rooftop visitor. Apparently iguanas and pythons are getting out of control in Florida.

It was a restful Christmas Day for the family. Jim fixed a spiral sliced ham, mashed rutabaga, scalloped potatoes and sweet potatoes for dinner, and we had cranberry pudding with hard sauce for dessert.

We are grateful for the gift of Jesus Christ whose birth we celebrate this day. And thankful for the salvation we have thru His blood. Its amazing that most of the world comes to a standstill this day; most businesses are closed and families gather together. Yet many do not accept this free gift offered to us by our Heavenly Father.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ~ John 3:16

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it
 with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this
.”  –Isaiah 9:6-7 (ESV)

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

On Saturday, Chris flew back to Nashville. The Nashville airport offered free wifi so folks could use their cell phones and computers. Cell communication was still iffy there, but was restored by Sunday afternoon. Chuck had rented a car and headed down to Key West – he will fly back to Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

Jim and Linda went back to Rob’s after lunch to visit and sat on the patio again. Marlin was just a-swangin’! We had Christmas dinner leftovers for dinner and watched some football games.

Sunday we were able to Zoom for Sunday School – seems that AT&T has restored services for most areas already. We also worshiped with our church by YouTube. It is really wonderful this can happen with so many staying home again with virus numbers on the rise.

After lunch, we drove up to west Boca and rode our bikes in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Reserve. There were a few bicyclists and a few walkers – another nice day to be outside.

This guy was carrying his dog on his back! Later, he let the dog run alongside.

The everglades were on one side of the trail, and a canal on the other. A 3-mile portion that we rode was on top of a concrete spillway of sorts.

We rode out 6 1/2 miles before we turned around. The gravel path was well kept and easy to ride on. We saw a few lizards and birds – and a wild hog! But no gators, fortunately!

Monday morning we left about 8:30 to return to Peace River in Wauchula.


3 thoughts on “Christmas week in South Florida – Breezy Hill RV Resort”

  1. Hi Linda, great captions, especially on the animals. What a great start on your first job, doing the books for 3 companies. Looking forward to reading more of your continuing adventures. Ted

  2. That was such an awesome time! You have no idea how much that meant to me. I’ve been to some of the places before but it is truly never the same experience. I always look forward to visiting with the family but having them here at my home, well besides not having to travel it’s nice to enjoy the area, weather, go visit other past and present places, friends, associates around here, share the good times together.

    1. It was a great time for sure! You were a great host taking us around and suggesting places to see! We neeed to go back again – loved bike riding along the canal in West Boca and the airboat was fantastic – so many gators and iguanas.

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