Fifth World Art by Robert Neff
ebook - Reconnecting With Life by Robert Neff

ebook: Reconnecting with Life

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When I returned home to support my widowed mother's fight with breast cancer in 2002, I reevaluated my life's journey and direction. Read more...

7 Views of Downtown St. Petersburg


Experience the seven views from walkabout photographer, Robert Neff as they offer unique views of St. Petersburg, Florida. The postcard set or prints make a wonderful gift for the home or office. Read more...

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My Condo Seniors® Go XMAS Shopping

by Robert Neff

Today my Condo Seniors drug me out Chrisas shopping. Actually, this was a treat for me because we went to Tampa's International Plaza. Sure beats the dollar store!

I covered the adventure on Twitter and invite you to enjoy the story that is based upon my experience. While their kids know who I am talking about, my condo seniors want to remain anonymous. Hence, no names are used and this is where my condo seniors said, "Like on Dragnet, but you were probably too young to remember the hit television show."

  1. My Condo Seniors all pile into the Honda Odyssey and I drive us to Tampa International Plaza and said they have me out shopping with them because I need exercise. Huh? Why did they all look down at my belly. Was this rehearsed?
  2. I pulled into the parking lot to find all the handicap parking taken. Well, this is Florida during snowbird season!
  3. Another said, Tampa International Plaza doesn't have enough handicap parking. Need to follow Costco's model.
  4. We drove around for about twenty minutes before we spotted another senior leaving the front entrance. They said follow him!
  5. We parked and before I could blink they were at the front entrance. You try keeping up with them. They do scoot!
  6. First store we hit was Williams Sonoma.
  7. Here, they know all the free sampling spots and are not shy about going back for seconds and thirds.
  8. Williams Sonoma staff has to be fast around these gals and guys! Click to open the picture!
  9. Now they have me modeling aprons and oven mitts to see if they like the color combinations. I think I tried on every apron color! Click to open the picture
  10. Uh-oh, the ladies couldn't pass up the grape-fruity lotion with lavender. They have me smelling everyone's hands.
  11. They spotted the clerk putting out a new sample tray at the counter. They asked me to go get it and bring it to them at the table in the back. Click to open the picture!
  12. The staff washing dishes. Now they are volunteering me to do dishes at Williams Sonoma. Huh?
  13. Wait, they were negotiating for more samples!
  14. They saw staff making free lattes with the Starbucks coffee maker. Staff is going to be a while. Click to open the picture!
  15. Now they are trying the Nespresso machine.
  16. They saw those small sugar packets and stirrers for coffee. I didn't know the ladies purses could hold so many. Doah! Click to open the picture
  17. They asked Williams Sonoma staff if they have an aero latte foamer like Bed Bath & Beyond has because that is what they use.
  18. One of my Condo Seniors wondered off and grabbed a s'mores before Williams Sonoma staff could stop them. Like to see them tell a 90 year old, "No." Click to open the picture
  19. A guy walked by with an ice cream cone. They stopped him to ask which store was giving them away?
  20. After an hour inside Williams Sonoma, they said they were full and ready to go.
  21. We walked by a maternity store and there was a pregnant mannequin.
  22. They said times have changed at Tampa's International Plaza. Then turned to me and said my belly could model for six months pregnant. Now hold on! Click to open the picture!
  23. While we walk by the store windows, they have me managing their XMAS list. I have to take a picture and send it to their kids. Click to open the picture!
  24. We went downstairs and they saw a Porsche with a big bow. They pointed. Ummm, not sure about adding this to their XMAS list. I know their kids.
  25. One of my Condo Seniors caught up with us by following my tweets. Had to have a nifty electric salt pepper shaker gifted wrapped by the nice Williams Sonoma staff!
  26. My Condo Seniors are in ZGallerie. I know better. Luckily, there are comfy chairs outside the store.
  27. They called me in to suggest gifts I should get the ladies in our group. Said that would brighten up their spirits. Why do i feel they were working me?
  28. I countered with, I am not a shopper and not really a gift giver like them. Oops, now that was the wrong thing to say.
  29. One mentioned that Slurpee card I used at 7eleven. Well, that was a XMAS gift. Yuppers, that was a gotcha. They do play hardball.
  30. I know they are trying to show me how to shop and be helpful, but consensus is, "There is no hope."
  31. Next, they took me to The Art of Shaving.
  32. I think they were dropping hints when they said, "No Shavember" was last month. I thought, "Could this be a holiday gift for me?" Click to open the picture!
  33. The manager waited on my Condo Seniors. He would use the paper sample and wave it in the air to dry it. They took it from his hand and passed it around
  34. As the manager reached for another bottle to spritz a sample card, one grabbed the previous bottle. I got spritzed!
  35. They told the manager they used me to test lots of men's cologne for their husbands.
  36. They repeated this pattern and after I had my face covered in different colognes, yet told me to hold out my arms.
  37. As we walked out of the store, they said that I smell like a French whore. Potty mouth!
  38. Now my Condo Seniors found the Apple store to talk to the Genius Bar about their iPads and iPhone.
  39. All the Apple store staff wore red pullovers. Thought my Condo Seniors were going to put antlers on them!
  40. They were watching the kids check them in and were amazed how fast their fingers zipped across the keypads.
  41. They said does everyone who works here have small fingers?
  42. First question for the genius bar was, "Why doesn't their iPhone mail app have a "Delete All" option?" Assistant said Apple didn't design it that way. That didn't go over too well with them.
  43. They said, wait 50 years and see how fast your fingers zip across that keypad!
  44. Then my Condo Seniors said the kids who work at Apple probably don't know how to work an iron and ironing board unless it's an app!
  45. I thought they were going to challenge the kids to an "Iron-off!"
  46. My Condo Seniors are a "Force" to be reckoned with!
  47. Well, they had a great time at Tampa International Plaza. Said sure beats St Pete's dollar stores, but not the prices!
  48. When we arrived back at the condo, they checked their mailbox.
  49. One had seven store magazines in her mail. Threw them all out except for the Bed Bath & Beyond's mailer.
  50. Seems they all had Bed Bath & Beyond flyers with coupons. One said, all plans tomorrow are canceled. Priorities!
  51. They held the elevator as I loaded their bags.
  52. In the elevator, one asked who was cooking at my place tonight and what time are appetizers.
  53. One said they baked biscotti this morning while I was out. That I might want to do dishes before they started dinner.
  54. They all started arriving and went to my wine cooler and said, "You are almost out of wine."
  55. This prompted one to call an emergency wine strategy session for the holidays. They pulled out their iPads to check Wines Til Sold Out for deals and delivery times.
  56. Another said, if we make a special Trader Joe's run for three buck chuck wine, then we need to grab the Honda Odyssey and our driver. They meant me.
  57. After dinner, I made coffee and they used the aero foamer to whip half and half to make lattes. I am not allowed to touch their toy.
  58. As I was doing dishes, I made the mistake of saying, "Can't think of anything that I need at Bed Bath & Beyond." Everyone turned. You could hear a pin drop.
  59. Well, they all came over and poked me. I think this has become a national past time!
By the way, initiation rights to be one of my Condo Seniors encompass a series of tests. One is downloading the smart phone magnifier app and using it at a restaurant. Brutal!
  1. This morning, they headed out in waves to Bed Bath & Beyond armed with coupons. 1st wave reports back with Intel. They are Vets!
  2. They run their shopping adventures like a para-military operation, with precision strikes. Several have covert experience or was that watching Covert Affairs on television?
  3. As they are all out shopping, I opened my email to find a "To Do" list. One item was to empty their trash.
  4. When the first wave left the store, they all used their smart phones to all email me, not just one.
  5. This is how they let me know that I need to meet them downstairs to carry up their bags.
  6. Since this is the first wave to return,  the others are also greeting them to hear about deals.
  7. Sometimes if it looks like the counters are low, they will email or call. This is especially true if there is an unannounced BOGO at Publix.
  8. Now, naps are in order, but only after I put away their groceries. Yes, I do know where everything goes, but they want to make sure I do not open any chocolate treats. They know me!
Next up, will have to write about my Condo Seniors and how they all learned how to make latkes!

Follow along

Follow their adventures on social media with the hashtag #CondoSeniors. I share an on line photo album on Flickr and frequently update this with iPhone pictures.

Pinterest Boards

I have also traveled with these two sisters, 90 and 91, and covered their adventure with a story, Driving The Divas. Stay tuned because more adventures are planned.

Driving The Divas

When we travel, follow along by clicking on the link here or use the hashtag, #DrivingTheDivas.

My Condo Seniors have me trying on aprons and oven mitts at Williams Sonoma to see what colors they want. Doah!Now my #CondoSeniors have me modeling aprons and oven mitts @WilliamsSonoma

Ummm, My Condo Seniors have me managing their XMAS list to give to their kids.
Ummm, My #CondoSeniors have me managing their XMAS list to give to their kids...

My twitter profile is @5wa and had several retweets from Williams Sonoma...they understand social media!

This is how my #CondoSeniors use  Bed Bath & Beyond aerolatte frother to make lattes. This is how my #CondoSeniors use @BedBathBeyond aerolatte frother - make lattes. Well, I do it :)

Here is how my #CondoSeniors have been fattening me up for the Holidays! 4 second video

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