Sunday Funday

After months of endless hockey weekends, it was a Sunday funday for us down in Fort Lauderdale. We started our day off with a mimosa filled breakfast at the Pelican Grand. It was absolutely delicious and you couldn’t find a better view if you tried. We had several mimosas and killed a bottle of prosecco.

Post breakfast the kids headed to the beach and we polished off the wine and paid the bill. The Pelican Grand has an awesome veranda with super nice chairs where you can face the ocean and continue to drink. After breakfast, I switched to water since my stomach is still not super fantastic. The view is absolutely incredible.

One of my friends lives near the Pelican Grand, so she decides to walk over with her puppy. In anticipation of meeting WL, I headed down to the beach to see what he kids were doing. Fortunately, there were no rip currents at our beach and good waves for the kids to play in. Frankly, the water is too cold to swim in, but I might be spoiled.

Goalielocks and I started to meander down the beach in anticipation of meeting up with WL & E. I should say that the weather was absolutely amazing today. We met up with WL & E, which was fun. My boys loved meeting both of them, but especially that precious puppy E.

Afterwards we headed back to the resort, I went back to my seat while the kids headed to the lazy river. The resort has a great pool and lazy river. All of our kids, had a blast in the lazy river while we hung out on the veranda. Honestly, it was the perfect way to spend first Sunday after hockey season.

We finished out our day in Lauderdale by heading back to the marina, so the kids could fish. Unfortunately, there was no bait. This didn’t, however, stop the boys. They started catching their own bait, cutting it up and rigging their poles. We watched from the comfort of RL’s awesome sailboat. Now we’re back home, a bit burnt, and tired, but feeling relaxed and happy after a wonderful day.

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Restful Weekend

It’s been a restful weekend for us, which is just what the doctored ordered. I’m still not feeling well, which sucks. However, Goalielocks’ headaches are no longer omnipresent and have lessened in severity. Hallelujah!! This was pretty amazing news today!

If you’ve ever been concussed or had a child concussed, you’re probably familiar with the waiting game. It truly feels like the headaches and symptoms have lasted forever while you’re in the middle of it. In contrast, as you/they start feeling better, you realize it’s only been a week.

Meanwhile, in our aquarium the coral has really taken off. All of our fish like to congregate near it. It’s truly beautiful and I cannot wait to see it grow. The sunlight has helped proliferate the algae growing on the back glass. Consequently, we added two snails into the aquarium. One will help keep the substrate clean, while the other will help clean up the glass. We also added another coral frag to the tank.

As we head back into our work week, Goalielocks will be headed back into school for the first time in over a week. I had hoped he would have been able to work on homework last week, but both hubby and the Mayor forgot to pick it up.

Lastly, congratulations to the Stoneman Douglas hockey team for winning the Florida state high school tournament. Both of my older boys have played with many of these kids over the years. Not only did they win, but they all brought their medals back for the memorial at their high school. Each player put their medal on one of the crosses. They’re incredible!

Marjory Stoneman Douglas hockey team wins state championship

Finally

Finally

Tonight we’ll finally put to rest the year that was 2017. In many respects, 2017 was a brilliantly evolutionary year. While in others it was a devastating year that often brought us to our knees.

2017 started off with the loss of a beloved employee, followed by the loss of a beloved employee’s son. In March, we lost a dear friend, who was family to us. Unequivocally, the loss of our beloved friends and co-workers was tough to stomach. Death is never easy, but losing people young is particularly cruel.

In loss, there was a beauty. We carry forward the many memories and lessons that those beautiful souls imprinted on our hearts. I look forward to running again, so I can see the yellow butterfly that greets me as I make it to Debbie’s neighborhood. This is just before I hit the mile mark. Consequently, I’m struggling find my legs, my will and my strength. Miraculously, the butterfly greets me and encourages me on every run.

To say I learned a lot from Debbie would be an understatement. One lesson I’ll always carry with me is to live fully. In fact, she was a huge inspiration in us going to Norway. It was an expensive trip, but it was worth every penny and more. There is no greater gift we can give our loved ones than the gift of time and experiences together. To this day, if you ask my boys, they’d move to Norway in a heartbeat.

2017 was very much a transition year for our family with Jake graduating high school and the Mayor transitioning to Middle School. We also sent Jake to Italy with school while the Mayor went to DC with safety patrol. There were a lot of big life changes for us last spring. Albeit the boys handled these transitions beautifully. Mamma bear may have struggled a bit, but that’s life and completely normal.

Now as we wind down the clock on 2017, Jake has a semester of college under his belt. The Mayor has acclimated beautifully to Middle school while Goalielocks is slaying his last year of Middle School. 2017 was a year of transitions, loss, beauty, experience and love.

As I look back on 2017, I remember the moments spent with those I love. The marquis moments of my kids’ lives and our incredible time in Norway. Lastly, we will always carry the the beautiful people we lost in 2017 in our hearts and minds.

To celebrate the New Year, we’re headed back down to Lauderdale to hang out at the marina. My younger two boys will spend their evening fishing with friends as we relax on the boat with our friends. It’s a boy mom life for me and one I wouldn’t change for the world.

Tonight’s song performed by the Beatles is “In My Life.”

Almost there

Almost there

We’re almost there.. Almost to the end of the year and the grand beginning of a new one. I started my day at Burn with circuit burn and aerial yoga. My leg tolerated both reasonably well with only the mountain climbers causing discomfort. Fortunately, I was able to modify the move to accommodate the injury.

Meanwhile, the Mayor was one an adventurous sleepover on a sail boat in Fort Lauderdale. I have to say I had many amazing sleepovers in my day, but never one a sailboat. Clearly, he’s having a great day based on the photos our friends have sent.

The Mayor and his teammate E have spent their day fishing in the marina. Fortunately, they’ve had a pretty productive day and have caught some nice fish. In fact, the Mayor even caught a nice sized Crevalle Jack!

Now the sun is starting to set and we’re making our way down to the marina. Unfortunately, it’s a bit colder than we’re used to, so we’ve got our hoodies, jackets and some blankets to keep us warm. I’m rocking my new BCBG linen pants with my not so sexy flats (thank you tendinitis.)

As we drive south, Goalielocks is playing the music. He loves his country, but he also loves Tupac’s “Hit ‘Em Up,” which is an awesome song. It definitely brings me back to my school days and the old East Coast West Coast feud. Admittedly, the song is laced with profanities and violence, but at least it’s not insipid like “Gucci Gang.”

Tonight’s song performed by Tupac is “California Love.”

Adventure on the Fjord

.My brother’s cabin in Flam came with its own boat and a prime location on the fjord.  It truly doesn’t get much better than the view from their living room or kitchen table of their cabin.  Our boys and their cousins love life on the water, so they were intent on the dads taking them out on the boat.  We were ready for our adventure on the fjord.

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The first journey on the boat, my entire family and my brother’s family hopped in eager for our adventure on the Fjord.  It had been raining that day, but the rain had abated as we boarded the boat.   No sooner had we pushed out to sea, when the winds began whipping and the rain restarted.

Unfortunately, it was clear the boat’s engine hadn’t been used in sometime.  As my brother struggled to get the engine started, hubby rowed us back towards the cabin.  The wind whips down the mountains into the valley on to the fjord with a lot of velocity, so we were quickly moving towards the very large cruise ship Costa Magica.  Luke was rowing as hard as he could, but the wind was that fierce.

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The engine did not want to start, so we were getting worried.  If we didn’t get the engine started quickly, we would hit the Costa Magica or end up in the cold waters of the Aurlandsfjord.  The very idea of going into the not so shallow (the fjord is 3,900 ft deep)  and very cold waters of the fjord made it a little nerve wracking.  As we worried,  waited and hopped for the engine to start, the engine finally started.

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My brother and hubby switched places.  After several more tense minutes, the engine finally started.  We headed safely away from the Costa Magica and out on the Fjord.  The rain and wind abated as the engine finally started.  The irony was not lost on the two men that had been rowing through the wind.

Hubby drove us out towards Aurland, but not too far from shore.   We were able to see the goats and the Viking burial grounds.  We got a close of up of a beautiful waterfall that falls several thousand feet,  goes under E16 and into the Fjord.   Despite the hairy start to our trip, our evening on the boat in  Flam turned out magical and memory filled. Undoubtedly, I was quite relieved when we were back on solid ground.

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Fishing on the Fjord at Night

Last night we enjoyed some burgers and hot dogs on the grill at Justin and Monisha’s cabin, which was a nice change of pace from eating in restaurants.   It was the perfect meal before they headed out fishing.  One food that sticks out in Norway is the hot dog.  Unlike their American counterparts, they’re not laden with nitrates or added chemicals.   I’m not a huge fan of hot dogs, but they are amazing.

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Post dinner, the boys went back on the boat to cruise and fish the Aurlandsfjord.  Their happy place is definitely on the water with a fishing pole in hand.   They cruised around the fjord seeing the goats that had previously been on a rocky beach climbing high up the rocky cliffs lining the fjord.   The boys found some luck near where the waterfalls ones pouring under E16, the bike path and into the fjord.  Colin caught two more trout although neither were big enough to catch.

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This boat trip had much calmer seas and better weather.  There was barely a cloud in the sky and even when they came back after 22:00, the sun was still shining brightly.

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Catch of the Day

Our boys were thrilled they could fish as soon as we got to Laerdal.   Immediately, they were able to go fish on the fjord.  They started off their fishing adventure by walking through the cold water of the fjord on a narrow rock bar.  They had no luck in the shallow water.  We found a little inlet in the fjord where the water was calmer, deeper and closer to shore.  Here using only rooster tail lures both Goalielocks and the Mayor were able to catch their first sea trout.

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The Mayor’s was too small to keep, but Goalielocks’ fish was large enough to keep and also didn’t survive its re-entry to the water.  Since we had a nice fresh catch from the fjord, we cooked it up for dinner along with Norwegian meatballs with kjottkakesaus, jasmine rice, and corn.

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My hats of to my hubby the chef as the meal was more than edible, it was delicious.  We bribed Goalielocks and the Mayor since they are picky eaters.  We bribed them with the promise of an after dinner fishing session.   Dinner went well and they were quickly back on the fjord fishing.   What’s cool here in Norway is that fishing on the fjord is free.  If we wanted to fish the rivers for salmon or trout, we would have to get a special license from the government and potentially from the owner of that particular section of river.

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While the younger two and dad fished, Jake and I explored the town on foot.  We enjoyed a beautiful walk near the fjord and down the Laerdal River, where we’re hoping to run sometime tomorrow.

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Savage Beast

We took a trip to the Glades this evening so I could test out my camera before our big trip.  If you’ve never been to the Everglades before, it is hard to imagine what it looks like.  It doesn’t look like a swamp.  It’s a peaceful, beautiful, slow moving river teaming with wildlife.

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The most savage beast of the glades is the American Alligator.  Fishing here comes with the added challenge of having to reel in the fish before the gators can steal it.  The big gators will often sit below the fishing dock waiting for someone to reel one in and then they’ll pounce.  Tonight we saw several large alligators in the water, which was great.   Additionally, we also saw several baby gators hanging close to shore in the weeds hiding from the larger gators and other predators.

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The Mayor had a lot of luck fishing for blue gill and tilapia with worms.  Goalielocks was fishing for bass, but the bass were not biting.  He had a near miss with a gator and gar.  Gars are a pain in the butt to catch as they’ve got very sharp teeth (and a lot of them) and they’re hard to get off the line.   The gnats were out in full force, so we only stayed out for about an hour and I got plenty of practice with the new camera.