Another Surprise! Part 2

10 Mar


Judy Wills


After we thanked Bob and Aileen for their part in the subterfuge (their meal was paid for by our girls),


Bob and Aileen

we piled into two cars and headed up to Sanford, Florida for our next adventure of the day.  It took about one hour to reach the port.  The girls had arranged for us to take a trip on the St. Johns River on an old, paddle-wheel boat.  Fred and I have done this trip several trips with the senior adults from our church, and really enjoy it.  There is live entertainment, and lots of information about the boat as well as the river.

The gentleman who sang for our entertainment did a lot of the “oldie” songs – much to the enjoyment of those of us older ones who were on the cruise.  They recognized those having birthdays (including Fred!), and one gentleman who is a WW2 survivor!  Such an honor to see him.

We like to sail with the St. Johns Rivership Company, and their boat is the Barbara-Lee.  I gleaned from their website:

The only authentic sternwheeler sailing the St. Johns River. Measuring 105 feet from stem to stern, the ship was built in 1986 and was extensively refurbished prior to its inaugural St. Johns cruise in 2012.

Featuring ornate wrought iron railings and massive wooden paddle wheels, the five-story rivership accommodates up to 194 guests, making it ideally suited to host events of varying sizes. Plus, all enclosed decks are climate controlled with air conditioning and heating.


Credit Google Search and JP Tours


Credit Google Search and Orlando Magazine


From Google search I found: 

A paddleboat or paddlewheeler is a ship or boat propelled by one or more paddle wheels driven by an engine. Boats with paddle wheels on the sides are also called sidewheelers, while those with a single wheel on the stern are known as sternwheelers.[This boat has dual wheels on the stern, which allows it to turn around in its own length]

In sunny weather, it is a pleasure to go outside and walk around the decks, observing the river and its wildlife. Unfortunately, this day it was overcast and drizzly.  But that’s okay – we enjoyed the cruise anyway.

And then there is lunch!  It is cooked right there on the boat, and served during the cruise.

Credit Google Search and TicketSpice

And the pre-lunch specialty is their famous sticky buns!  Yummmm.


Credit Google Search and Simply Recipes


And of course, there is dessert after.  We had a blast!  And even our 12-year-old grand-twins enjoyed their time there.

Here are a couple of pictures we took on that cruise – on the Barbara-Lee.


Fred and Judy at the table

The whole gang in front of the Barbara-Lee


After that three hour cruise, we went to the resort/condo Tom had reserved and just rested for a few hours.

The rest of the day involved dinner (supper) at Bonefish Grill – one of our favorite places to eat!  Great food…great fellowship…great end to a great day.


Credit Google Search and Twitter


We said our goodbyes to Karen and her family, as they would be leaving the next day, while we were in church.  Janet and her family spent that day at Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, it was a fairly rainy day – but they enjoyed their time, anyway.  They came back to our house that late afternoon and settled in for the remainder of the day and overnight.

We had some time with them on Monday morning, then Fred took them to the airport following lunch.

It was a very short – but wonderful – weekend. And a birthday to remember!! After all, one doesn’t turn 80 years old very often!

We are thankful the girls wanted to do this for their dad.  He loved every minute of it.



JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.


3 Responses to “Another Surprise! Part 2”

  1. Onisha Ellis March 10, 2019 at 8:39 pm #

    Your girls pulled out a big surprise! Definitely a memorable birthday.


  2. divoran09 March 10, 2019 at 5:47 pm #

    very nice


  3. Ready..Set..Enjoy March 10, 2019 at 9:26 am #

    Sounds like a wonderful day, and a special birthday celebration. Happy Birthday.


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