Day 1 – February 24th:
I flew into Florida this morning. I got here around 10:00am. You can read more about that in Part One and Part Two of my Welcome to Florida entries. Today’s photography at Raintree was for their Raintree Players Show. It was a variety/talent type show put on by the residents here at Raintree. I had a great time not only photographing the event, but also watching the event. Some of these people are incredibly talented! The show lasted a couple of hours and it included a lot of laughing! The pictures from the event can be seen on the Raintree website here: Raintree Players Show
Day 2 – February 25th:
Nothing overly exciting today. I took some pictures of some of the residents playing card games. There was a long table set up for a euchre tournament that seemed to be pretty popular. I still have no idea how to play euchre. I’m getting up there in age, so it’s probably about time I learn the ins and outs. There were also other card games going on at several other tables. I’m not sure what the other games being played were, but I’m assuming one of them was Bridge. Some of the pictures can be seen on the Raintree website here: Raintree Game Night
Day 3 – February 26th:
Shuffleboard and horseshoes this morning. It’s always a good time when watching these guys participate in activities like this. It reminds you what good sportsmanship is all about. Something that is sometimes lacking in the younger generations. We could definitely learn a thing or two from our elders.
This evening activities included bingo. Something some of these people here take incredibly seriously. And I can see why; there’s money up for grabs!
Day 4 – February 27th:
No pictures today. All is quiet around here. I did get a chance to head out to the beach though. Read about that here: Dinner, the beach, a pirate, and his booty.
Day 5 – February 28th:
Again, not much going on today. There are several daily activities taking place, but nothing overly exciting and picture worthy.
Day 6 – March 1st:
A lot of pictures were taken today. First thing this morning I picked Chiara up from the airport and we went and ate breakfast. After breakfast we headed to Eagle Landing for some pictures that Chiara’s grandpa wanted me to get. There are a couple of baby eagles in a nest there, so we stopped by to see them and snap a few pictures. This evening was the Cookie & Amos concert LIVE from Raintree! Always a pleasure listening to those two sing and interact with each other. Spreading the Word through song and fellowship. A wonderful end to the evening.
Day 7 – March 2nd:
No pictures today. Just a lot of SoFlo exploration.
Day 8 – March 3rd:
Again, no pictures today. I did have a few other adventures though!
Day 9 – March 4th:
Today was a great day! Chiara asked me if I would like anything from Panera for breakfast. After telling her I had never eaten there, for any meal, and hearing her tell me how amazing it was, I finally caved and had her pick something up for me. I’m glad I caved to her peer pressure because it was a rather tasty sandwich. Anyway, today was the annual Raintree Carnival. The carnival is always a good time. This year it was a bit chilly, but at least it wasn’t rainy like it was last year.
Day 10 – March 5th:
No pictures here at Raintree today.
Day 11 – March 6th:
Tonight was the Barn Dance here at Raintree. I got to help Chiara and her mom set everything up beforehand, so that was kind of nice so I knew how to tackle the photography ahead of time. I like it when I get a chance to see whatever venue I’ll be shooting before the actual shoot takes place.
Day 12 – March 7th:
There wasn’t much going on here at Raintree today. The one notable activity was the troop mailing. The residents here gather items to send to the US troops stationed overseas. Then, twice a year, residents get together and package the items that have been collected so they can be mailed to them. I had the pleasure of witnessing one of these troop mailings during my stay here this time. What a wonderful showing of love!
Day 13 – March 8th:
No pictures today. Chiara had to fly home today, so that puts an end to our adventures together this time around. I’m hoping we get a chance to do it again soon!
Day 14 – March 9th:
Today was the car show here at Raintree. It couldn’t have been a better day for it either. Beautiful weather, beautiful cars, and beautiful people. I had never seen a glass top Ford before, and there were two of them here at the show today! They had hotdogs and music at the show as well. Overall it was a great turnout!
Day 15 – March 10th:
Today is my last full day here at Raintree. I shot some images from around the park today. They have redone their sign out front, so I got a few images of that which I’ll be putting together some HDR images in Photomatix. They also had an anniversary celebration. There were four couples from the park who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year. What an amazing accomplishment. Interesting fact, they were all high school sweethearts!
Day 16 – March 11th:
I fly home today, so there probably won’t be much in the way of pictures being taken here at Raintree. This is always the bittersweet part of my trips here. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Raintree, and I’d like to thank the Paddacks for being such gracious hosts, as always. I’d also like to thank Chiara for keeping me company during part of my stay here in sunny Florida. (The weather got REALLY nice once you went home!) I’ve got a few things to take care of at home, but I am already anticipating my return trip to Florida.