The Traveling Steve's

Coronavirus Days and Nights

It’s now the beginning of May, so I thought I’d catch up with a quick post. Along with the rest of the world, we’ve been staying at home this month, on coronavirus lockdown. Not much has really changed since the last post; we’re not traveling now, and I’m still wearing my neck brace, and we are enjoying the quiet days at home. Here’s a not so great pic of me with my hair grown out and unshaven. Compare this one to the end of the post where DOS has given me a haircut.

We usually have a weekend ‘Happy Hour’ celebration at one of our neighbor’s driveways or pool area, and last week was our neighbor Karen’s 60th birthday celebration. We had a surprise party for her (in her driveway) arranged by her husband. For her birthday gift we gave her a prized multi-pack set of toilet paper! Believe me, it’s a hard commodity to find these days, and has become the source of many jokes as to how valuable it is! We had a nice celebration at Karen’s for her birthday and some of our neighbors; everyone staying six feet apart per “social distancing” protocols.

This is truly a world-changing moment which we’ve never seen in our lifetime, as we’re not old enough to have lived thru the earlier World Wars much less the 1913 Spanish flu. Today, however it is a different era in time; none of the modern conveniences we take for granted were invented back then, and it’s a much more mobile society now. The internet and mobile phones have allowed many people to work and tele-conference from home in lieu of travel or going to the office, while FaceTime and Zoom is popular with friends and family wanting a face-to-face call. Our Church even has their Sunday service via FaceTime Live, as well as small group meetings via Zoom.

Actually, Steve (DOS) and I are enjoying this time at home now that we’ve adjusted to the lockdown, which who know how long will go on. For us, it’s not only a temporary stop to our travels, but for me a welcome to my early retirement!

After having traveling nearly weekly for years in my work, it’s very nice being at home for an extended period and and not having to get up every day for work or to catch a flight. While I wish I wasn’t still wearing my neck brace so I could do more organizing around the house, we have been planning several home improvement projects which we are planning on implementing soon.

Instead of going out to the grocery store, drug store, Costco etc, DOS now uses Instacart for home delivery. DOS was skeptical before we started, but after his first order he’s turned in to a couch-shopper guru with nearly daily deliveries of something from them, Amazon shipping or others!

We have taken a twice weekly lunch ‘field trip’ during all of this, although unlike earlier this year we can no longer take overnight trips due to the coronavirus lockdown. On Saturday’s we meet our friends Ben and Tom in the parking lot of the Firehouse Subs (Winter Springs), which our friend Tom’s sister and her husband own. We do a call ahead order and chat for a few minutes with Ben and Tom in the parking lot before picking up our takeout order and heading home.

On Thursday’s while the house is being cleaned, we do a longer field trip, just the two of us. One day we picked up lunch at a McDonald’s drive thru and drove out to the Sanford Airport where we picnicked in our car.

We parked in the Naval Air Station Memorial park, which overlooks the runways in the distance, and has a large Navy fighter jet on display outdoors. Orlando Sanford Airport was originally built as a Naval Air Station, although today it is a secondary airport for Orlando, mostly served by Allegiant Airlines and until recently a few international charter flights from the UK. Sanford Airport has quite a bit of history from its Navy days, which you can read here via this Wikipedia link.

After eating in the car, we walked around the park area a bit taking a couple photos of the fighter jet, and reading the various memorial plaques.

Another day we took a ‘picnic’ to Chick-Fil-A’ at our nearby mall. While the mall and indoor food court are closed, Chick-Fil-A’ set up a temporary drive thru tent in the parking lot to take orders, which they would then deliver out to your car. Surprisingly, the food was just as hot as if you had gotten it in the restaurant! Good eating!

Like many other businesses that are modifying their practices due to coronavirus, this one was quite successful. We ate our food in the car of the huge and virtually empty mall parking lot and watched fellow diners doing the same from their cars. Simple fun, but in these days that qualifies as eating out!

Last week we traveled down to Port Canaveral to see if any of the cruise ships were docked there.

While no cruise ships are sailing now (until probably July at the earliest), the ships still have to be serviced for the crew members on them, so they come in, load up with food and fuel, and then sail back out for a while near the coast. We looked at the cruise schedule online, and each day you can see different ships coming and going. Here’s a couple photos of the beautiful Disney Dream we sailed on a few years ago during its inaugural season.

And here is the Dream from a different angle, with the Carnival Magic is on the right side of the photo.

The port has really expanded since the last time we were there several years ago, and now accomodates the mega ships such as the Oasis and Harmony of Seas among others. There is also an Observation Tower attraction that has been added in a park area at the port.

While the Tower wasn’t open when we were there, it looked interesting and something we’d like to visit sometime in the future.

On another day outing, we went to the nearby Lukas Nursery for landscaping ideas. Lukas is a huge outdoor family-owned business which has just about every type of plant, bush or tree you could plant in sub-tropical Florida.

While we didn’t buy anything on this visit, we did get quite a few ideas for the yard. It’s easy to get carried away with buying plants and gardening accessories there, and you need to have a plan for a large renovation projection such as what we will be doing soon.

What I don’t want to happen is the going willy-nilly like I did when I first moved to Florida some 20 years ago, planting small plants, shrubs etc, not realizing how quickly they grew and took over the yard and garden! LOL! Lukas even offers friendly gardening advice and tips via helpful signs as you shop!

And for only the second time since I’ve been wearing this brace since Christmas, DOS gave me another haircut. This time he read the instructions and the meaning of the measurements; our US scale of 1 to 4 had to be converted from metric so he added 3 to each US number; a one was really a 4 and a 4 was really a 7. So this time I got a decent haircut, not a buzz bald cut like last time! LOL!

Actually DOS gave me a good haircut this time. Who knows, maybe we will continue on with this even after coronovirus restrictions are lifted!

So we say enjoy these lazy days and coronavirus nights. They make for great memories, and like good days and bad days, “This too shall pass”.

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