Winter Destinations

BRRR!!! Baby It’s Cold Outside

North Siders who retired to the Fort Wayne area have experienced record-breaking cold temperatures that reached -20o this winter. The next week it reached record-breaking high temperatures of 50o.   This temperature fluctuation reminded me of the saying “Don’t like the weather in Indiana, wait a few minutes and it will change.”

When sitting in my living room watching the snow cover the ground and temperature drop and then rise, I began thinking of exploring a warmer climate next year.  But where? It then occurred to me why not ask North Side classmates where they winter and why.

I am sending out a challenge to classmates who have ventured to a warmer climate each year.  Where do you winter and why?   Please send your responses to me at, and I will post it on the 1963 North Side webpage.  Next year, you may be surprised to meet new neighbors and connect with past friends and classmates who have decided to join you in your favorite winter spot.

Patty Lewton Horoho, Email:

Susan Wuthrich James:

Hi Patty,

Until we sold our home last year we spent 6 months every winter (Nov. 1 - May 1) for 13 years in Punta Gorda Fl.  Granted it is not on a beach it is on Charlotte Harbor, but if you are a boater, an artist, need fun neighbors who walk and bike and have classic cars and big hearts it is ideal.  The population is about 17000 and swells to 22000 during the winter, but there are many full time residents.

There are no chain or fast food restaurants allowed within the city limits except Dunkin Donuts........quite a line on Sunday mornings at the drive up.

 There are block parties and art shows.  There is an absolutely wonderful dog park and the town is very pet friendly.  The art center is in expensive to join and wonderful to take lessons in any media you can imagine, plus has a huge juried art show on the harbor every year.  This town has just the right blend of sophistication and hominess.  There is a beach on the harbor and a huge playground for the kids, plus a funky old Florida pier called Fisherman’s Village with salt water taffy, beach clothes, charter fishing opportunities, and 2 boats that give morning and evening cruises with the dolphins.  Loved it and hated to leave.

Susan (Wuthrich) James

Marilyn Comer Rafter:

North Siders would love Naples, FL. 

As I write this I am sitting in a condo in beautiful Naples.  I first started coming here probably 15 years ago when I stayed in my nephew's condo.  It is in a very friendly community of condos with great landscaping and a gorgeous pool.  In Naples you must go to Naples pier, watch the sunset over the water, try some of the wonderful restaurants, enjoy the great shops and certainly go to the beach.  

I come for a month or two perhaps in February and March or March and first part of April.  March weather is the best!

Give it a try but do bring your wallet.....Naples is not cheap, but then, I doubt that anywhere in Florida is,  I also love some of the other areas so if you are in Florida in February and/or March, you are in the right place!

From Peter Frank:

After 40 years of high elevation of Leadville Colorado, I retired from Law Enforcement and move to the paradise of KANSAS. Yes Kansas. We bought a little acreage about 20 miles east of Wichita and 5 miles east of Augusta up on a hill where we have a great view on the back side of our property. We're 10 miles from a large lake for boating and camping. Now unlike Colorado, I'm able to play out side, work in the yard, ride the HD motor cycles, play on my two tractors and being in the country I'm able to keep my target practice up. Not as much fun as Disney Land, but having fun.

Hate to say it, in many ways I do miss Fort Wayne. A lot of very good memories and some great people that I knew. On a couple visits back, I can't believe how big FT Wayne has grown. I get lost.


Hi to all

enjoy reading all the updates both good and bad.


Peter C Frank


We go almost every winter to the big island in Hawaii and stay on Kona side. Several years we have gone for a whole month, usually most of February and either end of Jan, or beginning of March.

We always stay at the Kona Reef condominiums. Above is a picture of the area.   If you go in winter, have to book almost one year in advance unless only staying for a few days.

You wouldn’t regret it.


Dave Green

Hello up north !

Here's where the Klepper's winter ! Why we think is self explanatory.  FAMILY! 

For christmas of 1974 we went to Bonita Springs & Naples to spend the holiday with family living there. Since then they moved further south to Okeechobee & Lake Worth. As the boys aged we continued to spend almost yearly vacations in the sunshine state. We came in a popup camper then a trailer and occasionally stayed at her sister's house in Lake Worth.  In 2001 we came down to Lake Worth for one (1) month (January) with a toybox living quarters trailer to haul our Harley's and ride them. As of 2014 we came down with our travel trailer for ten (10) days at Thanksgiving. The following year we came down for two (2) months (January to February). We have continued our winters since in Okeechobee where Charrie's aunt & brother live year round. Each year coming down earlier and staying longer. Now Charrie's sister moved to Palm City which is closer to us yet. However we now live our winters in Okeechobee, Florida in our travel trailer from early January until middle to late April ! 

Have a great day,

Bob & Charrie