Sunday, June 24, 2018

2018 Tour - Day 7 Evening Report

We stopped for lunch after visiting the Swamp - Five Guys, Subway - the usual. Everyone gets $10 when we stop for lunch. Some find cheap eats and pocket the change for later snacks and souvenirs.

We had a couple hour ride to Venice and took time to check into our hotel before an evening concert at Village on the Isle Retirement Community. It was great to get off the bus and have some time to freshen up. One room of our folks had some early excitement when the toilet overflowed. There’s always one for the story books, but things usually go pretty smoothly when we travel and check in. 

We were also greeted by Kelly Bratburd who joined the tour in Venice and by the Shiflett and Vlasic parents who came from Maryland to spend the weekend with us. They let us know that a Red Tide algae was settled on the coast right around Venice, killing fish and affecting air quality, so we decided to forgo our evening plans to watch the sunset on the beach. 

Paul Lopez, our bus driver, heroically maneuvered the bus to our destination thought narrow streets, and we were greeted by the chaplain Don Hillerich. We ate a meal provided by Village on the Isle and then prepared for the concert. We broke the news to everyone about the Red Tide, and they took it well. 

Village on the Isle is a retirement/continuing care facility operated by the Lutheran Church. Some of the audience members arrived a good 40 minutes early to get a seat, causing some of our folks to wonder if we had goofed on the concert start time. The place was packed, and we ran out of programs. 

Our concert featured lots of anthems instead of our full concert format. The audience was most attentive, and several
could be seen mouthing along with familiar words and tapping toes and hands. A funny moment was when Deborah Bowe had to act as a music stand for Cole Taylor as he played his violin. The audience was most appreciative, and they gave us a standing ovation. 

We greeted our audience members and visited for a while. Many residents told about their singing experiences from
high school, church or college and were excited to shake hands and talk with our group. 

Majority of our group returned to the hotel, but a very small contingency went into downtown Venice for ice cream and a short walk. Lots of people chose to swim at the hotel. Several chaperones followed Red Tide reports to create contingency plans for our beach day - lots of excitement building about the beach!!

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