63rd Florida State
Square & Round Dance Convention
PEN & GWEN’S ADVENTURES
Chapter 10
 

“Oh my gosh!  Oh my gosh!    Pen—do you realize that the Convention is almost here?????
In only a couple of weeks!
I still can’t believe we made it all the way back to Florida from the South Pole
in time for all the fabulous festivities of another great super State Convention.
And “IT” has all been planned around a PENGUIN THEME by lots of very clever “people” disguised as “penguins”.
How intriguing is that?
 
Seems everyone has been following our great adventures and travels.
And we have done so many memorable things from our first stop at the Cape of Good Hope in Africa
and then on up the coastline to Madagascar for a wonderful visit with my cousins, Rico, Skipper, Private and of course funny Kowalski.
And since we talked up the convention so much while there they are planning to be at the convention also.
Kowalski, I know, will be heading straight for the dangle dance hall, he sure loves a fun time.
And how could I ever forget the “most beautiful place on earth”, the Taj Mahal.
Then it was on to Tahiti, Bora Bora, Christmas and New Years in Hawaii.
And how exciting it was to ride the rising and falling water in the locks of the Panama Canal.
Whew, we sure have been on a whirlwind of a trip.
And here we are getting ready for the biggest adventure of it all the actual Convention itself.
How smart it was of you to get advance reservations at the Imperial Swan Hotel & Suites.
I understand there just may be a very few more rooms available at the square dancers’ rate of $59.00 per night.
Camp sites have been filling up fast but you need to check with Paul and Marilyn Scott about that.
(904-264-9392 or mjanescott@bellsouth.net).
Remember there is limited dry camping on the Convention grounds itself.” Gwen said excitedly.
 
Pen and Gwen want to remind all of you readers about the Trail-End Dance on Thursday, March 23rd at the Strawberry Square Dance Hall in Plant City.
Early rounds are from 7:30 to 8:00 PM with Joanne Helton along with Chuck Ryall’s.
Then Jack Lewis and Bill Chesnut will take over the mike mixing mainstream and plus square dancing with the rounds for the rest of the evening.
They have been going through their repertoire’s to be sure they have the best toe tapping songs to set the pace for the whole weekend of dancing fun.
Cost for this terrific evening is just a donation towards the 2017 Convention expenses.
 
The Strawberry Square Hall is also the home of the Florida Square Dancers' Hall of Fame.
Take time to read of some of our often “unsung hero’s” of the square dancing community, you just might be amazed!
Will your name be added at some future date????  You just never know.  
 
The Convention itself actually starts the next morning, Friday March 24th at 10 AM sharp
when the first caller announces “needle down”  B U T  if you really want to help and get a head start on all the fun - be at the hall around 8:30 AM to help decorate.
Decorating is another whole new adventure – you ought to try it!!!
The registration window will open around 9:30 AM and so the fun will begin.
If you would like to see exactly what is happening and when please log onto www.floridasquaredance.com
for a complete schedule of the who, what, when, and where everything will be happening.
The 5th  “W” is for “WHY“ and that’s “just for fun!”
 
There are two (2) great raffles being offered so be sure to make a beeline for the Convention table
to get your tickets for either $500 CASH being given away on Saturday evening or an original beautiful hand made quilt throw.
Be sure to check it out, it is so gorgeous.
Tickets for each item are only $2.00 for one but for $5.00 you get 7 chances and another great thing
you DO NOT have to be present to win
 
Besides all the wonderful mainstream/plus dancing there is again a DBD Hall and an Advance Hall
and for you eager to learn round dancers be sure to check out the teaches of Curt and Tammy Worlock.
They are fabulous teachers and oh so graceful on the floor.
Ever try Hot Hash?
Well you should with Whit Brown and Rod Barngrover.
Just see if you can keep up with them!   Bet you can’t!!!!
 
This year there are 8 different vendors waiting for you to check them out,
like Sew-Em-Up Fashions with their beautiful one of a kind dance outfits,
or check out the purses or dance shoe vendors or jewelry or Tee Shirts.
So many interesting items are being offered you won’t want to miss out on any of their great bargains.
 
Penrod and Gwendolen have had so much fun sharing their adventures with all of you readers
that they are inviting you to come visit them at the 2017 Convention table
and to meet their new little one who will, hopefully, arrive in time for the Convention.
They leave you with this reminder for now:
 
DANCE  TO  THE  BEAT  WITH  HAPPY  FEET
 
Judy Anderson -  Narrator
 
PS:  Pen and Gwen have decided to stay in Florida after this convention
and return to live at  Sea World where they were living before they made a wrong turn on that dark night back in May of last year.
Remember at the Kick-Off little Shannon Penguin lead them back to the South Pole with her trusty GPS?
Well, Gwen really wanted to attend this years convention so when she met up with Pen,
also square dancer, they decided to make an adventure of their journey back to Florida and here they are now.
Kowalski, Skipper, Rico and Private have decided to return to their Colony in Madagascar.

PEN & GWEN’S TRAVELS
Chapter 9
 

Because both Pen and Guin each have a sweet tooth they have gained some weight during the holidays
mostly because Guin made several great tasting candies from recipes found in the 2017 Convention Cook Book
“What Should I Bring To The Dance”.

Here are just a couple examples of their favorites: peanut butter fudge*, chocolate marshmallow bark*,
and a favorite – crock pot candy*.
Much to Pens chagrin Guin found some lesser calorie treats, also in
the cook book, that he found to be equally as delicious, such as diet weight watcher knox blocks**
and a weight watchers easy dessert**, yummy.

While casually going through the cook book Guin found a page of “Helpful Hints” which intrigued her,
such as “after working with garlic, rub your hands vigorously on your stainless steel sink for 30 seconds before washing them,
it will remove the garlic odor”.  Also “use salt to wash your hands after working with onions for the same reason”.
 
Then in the back of the Cook Book there is a collection of interesting “Fun Facts” about Penguins, example:
“Despite their lack of visible ears, penguins have excellent hearing and rely on distinct calls to identify their mate and chicks when returning to the crowded breeding grounds”.
 
At lunch one day our penguin duo met with Randy and Carol Poole about the hotel registration and the convention registrations.
They found out  from Randy that rooms are filling up rather quickly now at the Imperial Swan Hotel and Suites (Host Hotel – 863-647-3000)
and he did encourage those who have not called to do so soon and to be sure to ask for “square dancers rate” of $59.00 per night.
Likewise, Carol said although she still as entrance ribbons, now is the time to purchase them while they are still only $27.00 per person
and not wait until they arrive at the convention center when they will be $30.00 per person.
(There is a registration form elsewhere on this website for your convenience).
Carol also added her “PS” to this bysaying "You can cancel as late as March 24th to receive a full refund."
 
Everyone is looking forward to the great decorations the committees are working hard on
from cute table decorations to unique individual room decorations
to the fabulous way the main hall will be transformed into something “wintery” befitting our Penguin friends.
Keith and Angie Olds have always come up with some unbelievable center stage adornments.
Remember the Pirate Ship from a couple years ago?  And the Candy Train last year with moving wheels?
What will they come up with this year???  Pen and Guin will be the first to check it out, you can bet on that.
 
Be on the lookout for Penguins, disguised as people, selling raffle tickets for some really super nice door prizes.
First of all, there will be a $500.00 CASH PRIZE and who couldn’t use a little extra cash?
Winner need not be present to win.
Then another nice door prize is a beautiful hand made “Throw Quilt” designed especially for this convention.
Again, the winner need not  be present to win.
 
Pen has been sneaking some peaks over the shoulders of Jack Lewis and Bill Chesnut, the caller co-chairmen,
and have learned they have some really unique and clever ideas to keep everybody excited about square dancing.
And likewise, Guin has been lurking around behind Joanne and Ken Helton with their co-chairmen, Chuck and Mary Ryall,
and has learned the round dance program will have a very full and diverse schedule.
Activities in the Fun Hall are taking shape now, too.
This truly will be a chance to - - -
 
DANCE  TO  THE  BEAT  WITH  HAPPY  FEET
Come join us
 
Judy Anderson, Narrator
 
Foot Notes:

*Recipes for Peanut Butter Fudge, page 10
Chocolate Marshmallow Bark, page 168
Crock Pot Candy, page 54
 
**Recipes for Weight Watchers Knox Blocks, page 110
Weight Watchers Easy Dessert, page 174

PEN & GWEN’S TRAVELS
Chapter 8
 

It was time to move on towards Florida, Pen and Guin’s final destination,
after a wonderful Christmas Holiday and having a fabulous New Years Eve Celebration in Hawaii!
So it was plop plop and into the water they went, heading towards Florida and the Convention.
After riding the ups and downs of the Panama Canal Locks they finally left the Pacific Ocean
and in the Gulf of Mexico and were headed towards the shore of Florida.
Pen, our navigator, was hoping they would land in Tampa Bay – and they did.
 
After the long journey from Hawaii to Florida, Guin decided to make something really special for their first evening ashore.
Grabbing her trusty “What Should I Bring To The Dance” Cook Book she decided that since there were fresh mango’s available,
she would make one of her (and Pen’s) favorite recipes – Mango Bread* and serve it with another favorite, Cocktail Meatballs**./
Then for desert she decided on Grandma’s Rice Pudding***.
It seems that everything taste better now that they were back in Florida.
 
Since Pen and Guin have landed they headed straight towards Lakeland,
they decided they really had time to help a little with the preparations.
They contacted several committee chairmen to find out where best they be of help.
First contacted was Carol Poole, registration chairman, who said that sales were going pretty smoothly and still has a few entrance ribbons.
But she also related that she could use a little help in the registration booth during the day if anyone would like to help her.
Contact 386-734-5295 or email: rpoole19@cfl.rr.com to volunteer.
 
And here’s Pen’s favorite committee as he is good at giving out “yellow rocks” – Hospitality!
Anita Taylor needs more people interested in being greeters at both hall entrances.
Contact her at 904-272-6551.
BUT the most important commitment they could make would be to be at the Convention Center at 8:30 AM on Friday morning, March 24th
to help decorate the many halls being used.
 
Guin checked with the Imperial Swan Hotel & Suites (our HOST hotel) and found out there are some square dancers rooms still available.
In the mean time Pen was trying to find out about camping arrangements on the Convention Center grounds.
Here’s what he learned about camping on the grounds.
It will be $35.00 a day dry camping and they can accommodate up to 20 rigs.
Contact Paul and Marilyn Scott, Camping Chairmen, if you need more information.
Call them at 904-264-9392 or email them: mjanescott@bellsouth.net.
 
They just found out that the “Fun Hall” will be the most exciting place to be again this year, and on both nights, too.
There will be “Hot Hash” again with Whit and Rod who are planning to keep everyone really moving fast and furious,
maybe even exhausting the real die-hards.
And “Dangle Dances” – always a favorite place to be even if you don’t seriously collect dangles.
Then on Saturday afternoon there will be the “Last Square Standing”.
This is becoming a very challenging and very interesting activity, so grab a square of your friends and try this out.
Of course, there will be the usual Advance Dancing, DBD Dancing
and lots and lots of Round Dancing from Phase II to Phase IV teaches with possibly even a Phase V.
And a couple of halls will just be continuous round dancing, no teaches.
 
Of course, Pen and Guin always like to visit the Vendors.
Pen enjoys browsing around Susie-Q’s table to see what’s new there.

She always has something intriguing to tempt you while Guin,
who seems to be always in the “need” for something new to wear,
can be found at the Sew-Em-Up Fashions Vendor.
Several other vendors will be there to entice you too.
 
Since the Fire Tablet 8 was given away at the Fall Fun Fest in Bartow,
Guin has learned of two new “money makers” to help defray the expenses of this convention.
One is a fabulous $500.00 CASH Prize to be given on Saturday evening
and the other is a beautifully designed hand made quilt being raffled off also on Saturday.
 
It’s very plain to see that this will be one of the best State Square Dance Conventions
with so many wonderful adventures awaiting for everyone who attends.
Our little Penguin Friends, Pen and Guin, have had a great time sharing their adventures with you
and they hope to see you there from the Thursday nights Trail-End Dance
at the Strawberry Square Hall in Plant City on through the weekend of great dancing and planned entertainment.
Be sure to see the 2018 Conventions Kick-Off on Saturday evening.
See what is be planned for next year by Lewis and Linda Wassserman, the General Chairmen.

 

“REMEMBER TO DANCE TO THE BEAT WITH HAPPY FEET”

Judy Anderson
Narrator

 

Footnotes:

*Recipe for Mango Bread, Page 66
** Recipe for Cocktail Meatballs, Page 152
*** Recipe for Grandma’s Rice Pudding, Page 156

 

PEN & GWEN’S TRAVELS
Chapter 7
 

With one last look at the Taj Mahal our adventurous penguins slipped into the Yamuna River
and slowly made their way back down to the Indian Ocean and on towards their next destination.
Since Pen was so good at planning their trip so far, Gwen trusted him to continue the planning BUT he likes to keep secrets.
However, after much teasing and conjolling Pen finally revealed that they were heading towards Tahiti and Bora Bora in particular.
This thrilled Gwen as Paul Gauguin, one of her favorite artists, spent his last years on the island, also there is a museum there in his honor.
Early on it seems Gauguin had heard that the “most beautiful native” women in the world lived there so he went to find out – he never returned.
 
Being tired after traveling such a long distance Gwen decided to make some quickie snacks to munch on before retiring.
She chose the Taco Fondue*and the Five Cup Salad**, very delicious.
Our penguin duo spent several relaxing days on Bora Bora before heading out for a longer stay in Hawaii for the Christmas Holiday.
Pen had promised they could spend Christmas there doing all the tourist types of things.
They watched the surfers ride those huge waves even tagging along behind them.  After all penguins are terrific surfers.
They snuck into a Hawaiian Luau one evening to watch the Hula girls and guys do their special kind of dancing and twirling those sticks of fire.
And they got their first taste of Poi – not to Gwen’s liking but she just had to try it, all the while a whole pig was roasting, buried in a sand pit.
 Then they just lounged around on several of the many beautiful beaches and watched the Islanders version of Santa arriving and gift giving.
 
Gwen had been keeping in touch with several people working on the convention
so she was not too surprised to hear from Jack Lewis and Joanne Helton reminding them they must be back for the actual start of the Convention
the Trail End Dance -  at the Strawberry Square’s Hall in Plant City on Thursday night, March 23rd.
So to attend all 3 nights of dancing, you will need to have reservations at the Imperial Swan Hotel & Suites for 3 nights.
They reminded Gwen the phone number was 863-647-3000 and to ask for the “Square Dancers Rate”.
It’s only $59.00 (plus tax) per night.   And breakfast is included.
And they were reminded too that if you still need an entrance ribbon, look elsewhere in this book for a Registration Form.
Then just do what it says: fill it out and send your check to Carol Poole, her address is listed there, also. 
 
Pen & Gwen, our traveling Penguins, are planning to be in Florida somewhere sometime shortly after the start of the New Year.
By then a lot of the scheduling and activity planning will be completed so they will have many more exciting things to pass along in their next adventure saga.

 

Judy Anderson
Narrator

 

Footnotes:

Recipes from Cook Book:
* Taco Fondue Page 16
** Five Cup Salad Page 46 

PEN & GWEN’S TRAVELS
Chapter 6
 

It was mid-morning by the time our two adventurous penguins were actually saying their tearful but happy good-byes
to all their friends in Madagascar and actually setting off on their way to the March 24th, 2017 starting date for the Florida State Convention.
They had so many miles to travel and things to see and do before dance time.
And Pen had promised Gwen a side trip to the “most beautiful place on Earth”,
a promise he planned to keep so having set the trusty GPS for the Yamuna River, they were off swimming very fast towards that destination.
It was way after dark when they did arrive at Pen’s pre-planned stop over so they just decided to rest
and have light supper of Mango Salsa* with Avocado Hummus* and spend the night by a lovely refreshing pool.

 

Pen was awakened at daylight by the shriek and shrill noises of Gwen anxious voice just yelling for Pen to get up----get up----get up!!!

“Look!!  Just look at what is at the other end of this pool!

Oh My!  I can’t believe this beautiful place!  Did you ever-----“, her voice trailed off as tears filled her eyes and ran down her cheeks.

She was looking at the Taj Mahal in Agre, India.

This huge ivory-white mausoleum with its four minarets was so pristine and so awe inspiring that they toured the whole place in almost complete silence.

They learned of the wonderful never ending love the Emperor had for his wife that inspired the building of this monument to her.**

At nightfall as they were returning to their sleeping area Gwen had to agree that the Taj Mahal is truly “the most beautiful place on Earth”.

 
Being very tired from the adventures of the day before, Gwen settled for Salami Rollups*** for breakfast before starting off again for the Convention.

While Gwen finished packing her “What Should I Bring To The Dance” cook book,

Pen was reading from a note received from Paul and Marilyn Scott, the Camper Chairmen,

stating that due to this still being snowbird season most campgrounds fill up quickly.
They said Lakeland Sun RV (863-687-6146) has about 20 sites available but will not hold them for us dancers.

As long as the campers tell them they are with the “square dancers group” and are going to the convention they will honor the $20.00 per night fee though.

People have already started to make their reservations.

There are other campgrounds in Lakeland however our square dancers have only used these two.

The other one is Sanlan RV Park (863-665-1726).

Their rates are higher HOWEVER their website saying they are under construction and have no prices showing at this time.

There will be some parking at the Convention Center but all the particulars are not available at this time.

We will find out more at the Fall Fun Fest in Bartow, November 11th & 12th, the note said.

 

Another note received, this time from Empress Penguin Elsa and Emperor Ray

was also a reminder they will also be at the Fall Fun Fest with copies of the Cook Book mentioned in all these stories,

along with lots of other money maker items.

The Fire HD 8 Tablet, 8” HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB will be given away at this dance, too.

 

Then the following week-end, November 18th & 19th, the Emperor and Empress Penguin will be in Jacksonville for that Fall Festival, too.

 

Wonder where Pen and Gwen will end up for the Holidays-------????
 

Judy Anderson
Narrator

 

Footnotes:

* Recipes on pages: 56 & 144
**  Taj Mahal Info, check the web:   Taj Mahal, Agre, India-History
***  Recipe on page 112

PEN & GWEN’S TRAVELS
Chapter 5
 

Poor Gwen, always the worrier, was really beginning to fret when she realized that so,
so many friends did not know the State Convention dates had been changed to March 24th and 25th,
that these dates are for all day Friday starting with “needle down” at 10 AM and also the same time on Saturday the 25th.
But she did have to smile too just thinking that now the customary Snow Birds would still be in Florida and now would be available to attend – hooray - no more excuses!!!

 

Then Gwen became concerned about the Trail-In Dance held every year on Thursday night prior to the State Convention
but her worry was soon unfounded as there are no exceptions in this department either.
It is still being held the Thursday night before the convention, the 23rd.
And it’s still being held at the Strawberry Square Dance Hall in Plant City.
She also found out the callers this year will be the co-caller chairmen Jack Lewis and Bill Chesnut,
with early rounds, starting at 7:00 PM, cued by co-chairmen Joanne & Ken Helton with Chuck & Mary Ryall.
Gwen got out her social calendar to make all these changes in ink-------
she does not want to miss out on a single chance to square dance and round dance too.
Especially since she and Pen are traveling so far to attend.  

 

It was mid-afternoon when Pen finally caught up with Gwen.
Seems he and “the boys”, (Rico, Kowalski, Skipper and Private) had gone out to sea to find the big pink octopus that had been plaguing them ever since the movie.
He found Gwen with the ladies all sitting around giggling and laughing and
looking at the “What Should I Bring To The Dance” cook book which also was Gwen’s photo album.
Seems each page has a picture of someone from either their home Colony in Antarctica or pictures of their new friends in Madagascar.

 

“Oh look, Pen – here is a picture of you playing a pirate with a parrot on your shoulder and everything.
And one of you caught napping in a sombrero and of you shoveling snow, wow remember that stuff?
Now here’s a cute one of me with a little bow on my head just learning to waddle.
And one of “the boys” too.  Isn’t Private just the cutest?”, Gwen commented with gales of laughter from all the gals.
Several of the gals wanted a cook book/photo album of their own but since Gwen does not carry them,
she suggested they could order them from Empress Elsa Penguin (Huddleston) for only $10.00.
Phone 954-484-4553 or if they should see her and the Emperor at the different dances they’ll have some with them.

 

Always hungry, Pen got to thinking about the sombrero picture and suggested having a Mexican Fiesta night.
Gwen checked her trusty cook book and found a Burrito Casserole*, a Mexican Salad* and Black Bean & Salsa Dip*.
“Can’t get too much more than those for Mexican.” she thought.
And since pecans grow in Madagascar she decided to make some Sugar & Cinnamon Spiced Pecans* to munch on later.  Yummy!

 

Later in the evening as Pen and Gwen were strolling by the ocean before turning in for the evening,
they decided they really should be swimming on their way as they still have a long, long way to travel to get to Florida.
Pen said he had already planned their next stop and it is to be a surprise for Gwen.
He would tell her nothing more even though she teased and nagged, he just smiled.
All he did tell her is that they would be swimming up the Yamuna River to the most beautiful place on earth.
Now Gwen was really curious and anxious, so much so she had all her gear packed and ready for travel even before she went to bed on her sand dune.
No reading the “Fire HD 8 Tablet” tonight!!!

 

Judy Anderson
Narrator

 

Footnotes:
Recipes on pages: 118, 119, 96 and 6

PEN & GWEN’S TRAVELS
Chapter 4
 

“Come on you two.  Time to rise and shine!
I’ve made some Cheesy Muffin Puffs* you guys like so much” Gwen said with a big smile.
Slowly Pen and Rico ambled over to the sand pile that Gwen had set up for breakfast.
Gwen notice that Rico was not his usual cheery self and inquired “why” only to be told that he missed Kowalski and Skipper
and yes, he even missed little Private - even though he was usually a pain in the neck.
After very little discussion it was decided they really should swim on to Madagascar if Pen and Gwen wanted to be in Florida by the March 24th**
Convention date while still taking time for a short visit with their cousins.

 

Soon Gwen heard Pen call out - “Everybody ready?  Then let’s get started”.
So they jumped into the Western Indian Ocean for the short swim up the coast to Madagascar.
Upon arriving in the city of Manakara on the eastern side of Madagascar where their cousins lived,
they were surprised to find not only Skipper, Kowalski and little Private there to greet them but the whole Colony.
After a big evening feast of Crescent Pizza Stocking’s***, Dirt Cake*** and Party Punch*** everyone settled in for a good old catching up time of families and their adventures.
Gwen, while talking to her many cousins, did not see too many entrance ribbons being worn and asked the “why” question.
Seems most of the penguins had not received word on how to purchase ribbons in advance.
Being really flabbergasted, Gwen had Pen get registration forms**** from their traveling gear.
She handed them out while explaining the “how-to” get advance entrance ribbons.
She explained “just fill out the form**** then make their check for $30.00 for each ribbon wanted, payable to the “63rd FSDC”
and mail to Randy & Carol Poole, 1541 Lakeside Drive, DeLand, FL 32720.
(No overseas postage needed, of course).
Or if they want additional information they only had to call 386-734-5295 or e-mail: cpoole19@cfl.rr.com.
“ Carol’s the ready lady with the ready answers.” Gwen said.

 

Pen was talking to Kowalski and Skipper about the host hotel where he and Gwen would be staying at the convention,
mentioning he already had made reservations as a surprise for Gwen.
Skipper asked about the Imperial Swan Hotel & Suites to which Pen replied “Their rates are only $59.00 plus tax per night but you must tell them you are with the square dancers.
This price includes a free breakfast each morning and that each room has a microwave and refrigerator included.
But you must hurry because none of the other hotels are lowering their prices for this square dancing weekend.
Here’s the number to call for reservations:  863-647-3000, don’t delay too long AND we can use their pool, too!”

 

Rico borrowed Gwen’s Fire HD 8 Tablet upon retiring to his designated spot on the beach
and with a yawn he promised her he would purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win the one being given away
by Emperor and Empress Penguin, at the Fall Fun Fest in Bartow, November 12th.
“Several helper penguins have those yellow raffle tickets to sell” Gwen remarked.  “Just look for one of them!”

Judy Anderson
Narrator

 
Footnotes:
*Recipe: Cheesy Muffin Puffs found page 64 “What Should I Bring To The Dance” Cook Book  
**New Convention Dates March 24th and 25th, 2017
***Recipes: found on pages 200, 30, & 98
****Registration form can be found elsewhere in Bow & Swing

 

F Y I:
Emperor Ray and Empress Elsa Penguin (Huddleston) will be making appearances at the following weekend dances:
Fall Fun Fest in Bartow, November 11th & 12th, West Coast Area
and the Fall Festival in Jacksonville Beach, November 18th & 19th, North East Area.
Come say “Hello” and help support the 2017 Florida State Convention. 

PEN & GWEN’S TRAVELS
Chapter 3
With their GPS all programmed, Pen and Gwen are off swimming towards their final destination of the 63rd Florida State Convention.
They are really hoping to arrive by Thursday March 23rd, in time for the Trail-In Dance on that date.
If things go as planned, they will!
One of their first planned stops is in the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of Africa.
After they landed Pen was curious as Gwen pulled out her trusty “What Should I Bring To The Dance” Cook Book.
Pen, always hungry, asked “What’s on the menu for tonight.
What yummy specialty are you planning?”
“You’ll see”, Gwen replied.
Gwen quickly turned to page 152 for that famous Cocktail Meatballs recipe and got started.
When almost finished mixing Pen heard Gwen groan loudly “No Catsup!!!
Can’t believe I forgot the catsup”!
It was then she heard a small voice behind her saying “If you’ll share, I have some catsup.”
Turning quickly around there stood Rico, her cousin from Madagascar.
Of course they shared.
It seems that Rico had made a special trip to try to find Pen and Gwen to inform them of the changes
of the Convention Host Hotel to the IMPERIAL SWAN HOTEL & SUITES.
“Imperial Swan Hotel & Suites”, Rico explains “are offering the square dancers a very special rate of $59.00 per night
which includes a free breakfast each morning and I did some checking with them, too.
They have recently renovated and are now offering rooms with 2 twin beds or 2 double beds or one with a king bed.
Also, EACH room does have a microwave AND a refrigerator, something most other hotels don’t offer.
Here’s the phone number you’ll need to make reservations
I strongly urge you make early reservations too as there are so many other things going on in Lakeland in March,
that is why the other hotels are NOT lowering their rates at all.
Call 863-647-3000 and remember to ask for the “square dancers rate”!”
After eating and talking late into the evening, Gwen pulled out her “Fire HD 8 Tablet” and settled in to read before retiring for the night.
Rico was intrigued by the tablet and asked many questions.
Gwen explained it has an 8” HD Display with Wi-Fi and 8 GB.
And that Emperor Elsa Penguin is offering to raffle one off
with the drawing for it being at the Fall Fun Fest Dance in Bartow on Saturday, November 12, 2016.
She explained that there are several other helper penguins all around who have bright yellow tickets to sell, 1 ticket for $2.00 or 7 for $5.
As Rico was settling down on the soft sand to sleep, he again complimented Gwen on the great dinner she had prepared.
Gwen, ever grateful for the kind remark, commented “you know, Rico, that Cook Book is also for sale again.
We had to replenish our supply when we ran out at the 2016 Convention.
They are still only $12.00 and will be available at most dances now.
Just check for them.
They are all about what snacks and goodies to bring to dances.
Square Dancers really love to eat, you know.”
 
Judy Anderson
Narrator
THE ON-GOING SAGA
PEN & GWEN’S TRAVELS
Chapter  2
 
Pen and Gwen have started to make their plans for the long journey back to Southern Florida from the South Pole,
hoping to arrive in time for the 63rd Florida State Convention in 2017.
Things were running pretty smoothly gathering supplies they thought they would need for the trip.
They were really smart when they decided to borrow the GPS “thingy” from Shannon Penguin.
You remember her---she was the brave young penguin who volunteered to lead
ALL the lost Sea World penguins back to the South Pole at the Kick-Off last May.
And she did a great job.
Never once did they get lost nor did they encounter any nasty wild beast or turbulent weather,
so Pen and Gwen felt sure they would be safe in borrowing her GPS. 
 
As Pen and Gwen were about ready to leave, by way of Madagascar where they had cousins they wanted to visit,
when Gwen found out from one of the Penguinette’s that
the convention had changed the dates and now would be dancing earlier than anticipated.
They found out the dates had been changed to March 24 & 25, 2017.
That’s 2 months earlier than they expected, well - - - what to do?
Nothing to do but get the show on the road or rather “on the ocean” ASAP.
Gwen really starts packing what she thought they needed for the long trip.
One of the things she packed was her new “What Should I Bring to the Dance” cook book.
When questioned why a cook book, Gwen’s smug reply was – “you just never know when you might need a quick snack to munch on”.
This is the cook book that Terri Little and Elsa Huddleston, one of the Emperor Penguins, planned and sold at this last convention.
When Pen protested she just reminded him of the delicious Chocolate Chip Shortbread recipe, (page 84),
that was one of his favorites, also the Carrot Dog recipe (page 170) another yummy favorite.
 
Finally ready to leave they decided to take one last dip in the Antarctic Ocean with their friends.
Penguin George Knapp was there at the time.
He thought it just too cute to see Gwen gingerly sticking her toe in the icy cold water so much so
(it’s Winter down there you know) that he took a picture and painted it.
That picture is now the logo for the 2017 Convention.
Pen just stood there laughing as he held her hand.
 
Hoping to catch the early out going tide, Pen and Gwen said their hasty good-byes and were off swimming towards Madagascar.
Their plans being to spend some time resting and visiting with cousins Rico and Skipper.
Kowalski and maybe little Private if they were around.
Then plunging back into the ocean for the long trip to the United States and finally South Florida.
 
Judy Anderson
Narrator
THE BEGINNING SAGA
Chapter 1
 
Let me tell you how these two unlikely Penguins met.
You see it all started when the Colony was stranded in South Florida after making a wrong turn while strolling around at Sea World one evening after dark.
They found themselves outside the park with no way to get back inside.
There was no moonlight that night so it was very dark.
Fearing the worst they finally asked if someone would lead them back to the South Pole where penguins really do belong.
If you remember at the Kick-Off in Lakeland a brave penguin came forward and offered lead them back to the South Pole.
The penguins were ever so grateful.
 
In that big picture, that is being raffled off, you will see all of the penguins following their fearless leader down a small hill enroute to the South Pole.
If you look about sixth penguins up you will see one of the penguins glancing further up the hill
where he spots a forlorn little girl penguin looking very sad and scared.
If you look again you will notice she is the one standing to one side looking down.
He leaves his place in line and goes up the hill where he introduces himself to her and tries to console her.
He says “Hello, my name is Penrod but my friends just call me Pen.
And your name is?”
She answers him shyly “My name is Gwendolyn and my friends call me Gwen.”
 
“Why are you so sad?”  Pen asks.
“I miss South Florida; I really would like to go back.
There is going to be another Big Square Dance Convention in 2017 in Lakeland that I would really like to attend.” Says Gwen
“That sure sounds like fun.  And I am a square dancer too.
Maybe we could travel back there together.” Pen replies.
 
So they start their journey back to Lakeland together and their adventures begin. 
 
Judy Anderson
Narrator

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