February Fling: Part II…

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Did you catch February Fling: Part I? I escaped to sunny Florida to visit my Dad, leaving New England in its semi-wintery state and my home with its recently repaired furnace.

After spending a couple of days enjoying the wildlife of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and walking along the beach near Dad’s condo in Naples, I decided to visit the Naples Zoo. There, I took a short boat ride to their “Primate Islands”, caught the keepers feeding the alligators, and enjoyed watching others feed the giraffes. While the sun warmed me and the occasional bird sighting made it a pleasant trip, I came to the conclusion that I really don’t like zoos — too many caged, bored-looking animals. I’d say “sad animals”, too, but I don’t know if that’s true or if it’s just me projecting my own feelings on them. Anyway, here are a few shots from the zoo (click on any photo and view them as a slideshow):

After the zoo, I went back to the condo for lunch and a quick check-in with Dad. Then, I was off to Naples Botanical Garden.

A beautiful orchid display greeted me just inside the gates:

Walking the paved paths, surrounded by stunning flowers and foliage, I couldn’t help smiling to myself (and to anyone I passed).

In among their varied garden displays were awesomely intricate LEGO sculptures — an added bonus! Much better than the zoo, in my humble opinion. 🙂

In addition to these outings, I managed to accompany Dad to a couple of medical appointments, go out to lunch with him, watch a movie with him, and walk down to the beach once, too. Then, it was time to fly back home.

Back  home, I dragged my suitcase in the front door and was immediately struck by how chilly I was. Must be because I just came home from Florida…I thought. But, no, the thermostat in the living room registered 59 degrees. No heat!

Luckily, the temperature outside was fairly mild, but the forecast for the next few days was for colder weather. I left my suitcase in the front hall and called the same heating company that “fixed” the furnace before I left. They were able to come by, proclaim the first thermocouple burned out, replace it with a heavy duty one, conclude that they couldn’t get the pilot to stay lit, and declare that I needed a new gas valve, if not a whole new furnace. Sigh!

The furnace is twenty six years old, after all. Maybe that would be the smarter choice. A new gas valve for my old furnace would take three to five business days to ship…so no heat for the weekend! A new furnace could be installed in a day or two. How convenient! I told them I’d discuss the options with my husband and give them a call.

As soon as they left, I got a few recommendations from a Townie Business Referral Facebook page and made a phone call. Don K., from a local heating company, showed up, rebuilt the pilot, got my furnace running again, conceded that we should replace the gas valve, offered to do it for less than the first company’s quote, and didn’t charge me for his help! Whew!

So, exhausted, but warm, I dragged my suitcase upstairs to my bedroom and left the unpacking for the next day. 🙂


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