Chicago Bound… Hopefully

We’re Chicago bound hopefully… I say hopefully because we’ve made it as far as the runway in Detroit and now are parked on the tarmac. My hopes of getting into the city and situated before snowmageddon and Chicago rush hour are starting to dwindle. Ugh! I hate driving in the snow and I hate driving in rush hour traffic.

We had a nice flight from FLL to Detroit. Including some vintage Saved By the Bell episodes. They did make me feel a bit old, but also had me reminiscing about Saturday mornings. Afterwards we had a nice run down (don’t worry mom I walked) the terminal from gate A60 to A9. And now we wait!

While we wait here’s some things I’m looking forward to in Chicago:

  • Getting to hang out with my BFF Jenny
  • Hanging out with our hockey family
  • Watching the beautiful snow fall from the comfort of my hotel bed
  • Catching up on sleep after only getting 4 hours of it last night
  • Giordano’s pizza
  • Lou Malnati’s pizza
  • Thankful that I’m not on keto- see above!
  • Finally exploring the Schaumburg IKEA after driving by it for year. It works out since I need more lingonberry and cloudberry jam
  • And especially hanging out with Goalielocks

Good news is we’re ready for takeoff!!!! Chicago here we come!

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New Years Day and Back to Work

No sooner had I left the office Monday night, then it was New Years day and back to work.  Like right back to work.  It felt more like an abbreviated weekend than a holiday, but we made the best of it.  New Years Eve we headed to my brothers for snacks, games and of course champagne.  We even snuck in some shots of Salmiakki.  My mom made some pickle rolls ups, aka Minnesota Sushi, which brought back some great memories of the holidays of my youth.  I haven’t had them since we moved south of the Mason Dixon thirteen years ago! We rushed home after midnight, so as to try to beat the traffic.

The next morning we were going to head down to Fort Lauderdale for brunch, but that ended up being moved to Boca.  This made is a lot easier for us although I love Fort Lauderdale.   My sister-in-law Brandi and her cooking partner Phil made yet again an amazing meal.  They always partner up on Thanksgiving to make a fantastic dinner, so getting to enjoy twice this year was quite nice.  Fortunately, I didn’t include anything about food in my New Year’s resolutions or I would have broken all of them at brunch!

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After brunch, we headed out to South County Park in Boca to go jet skiing.  There is a nice lake behind the amphitheater that is deceivingly large.   There’s not a ton of room by the docks, which keeps it from getting too crowded.  Fortunately, the weather was absolutely sublime lows 80s and some cloud cover to keep it cool.

Our younger two, Goalielocks and the Mayor, were hooked after their first rides.  Once they got on, they didn’t want to get off the jet skis.  Eventually, they had to get off so other people could ride, but they were keen to get back on the water.   Fortunately, both Grandma and Grandpa got a chance to ride the jet skis.   Both of the boys got to drive the jet skis, which they absolutely loved.  Goalielocks is a little more sensible, while the Mayor’s driving style can only be described as “balls to the wall.” I can already sense how much fun we’re going to have teaching him to drive.

After several hours of jet skis and Cornhole, we headed home to get ready for our inevitable return to work on Wednesday.   Shortly thereafter, the Mayor convinced my husband to make Caribbean jerk chicken with black beans and rice.   The kid ate two full plates.  Unquestionably, he has a hollow leg – or so we thought.

He left dinner to take a shower having been on the lake all day.  After about fifteen minutes, he came back out to the family room and announced “I threw up all over the bathroom and I missed both the sink and the toilet.”  Now that my friends takes talent.   Immediately, the hubby and I got up to check him out.  He insisted he was fine having thrown up only because he ate too much too fast with too much milk.

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After making sure he was fine, we headed to the bathroom.  His assessment was spot on. He had in fact thrown up all over our bathroom effectively missing both the toilet and the sink.   I’m not quite sure what happened, but I was relieved he missed the rugs and the dirty clothes he left strewn about the floor.   Thankfully, he was okay and not harboring some insidious stomach bug.   Since I wasn’t feeling well, he cleaned up the projectile mess.  He’s the real hero!

And just like that in the blink of an eye,  we went to bed and got up for work like nothing had changed……. Our Tuesday holiday was quickly over and it was back to reality.

 

 

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.

Winter is Here

Winter is Here

Brace yourself folks, winter is here!  Even in sunny Florida, winter is here.  That’s right the Sunshine state saw even saw snow today!  Fortunately, the snow was nowhere near South Florida, but even here the mercury has fallen to a chilly 52 degrees.  As the night progresses, the temperatures will continue to fall bottoming out somewhere around 37 degrees.  There’s a slight chance, ever so slight chance, that we may turn on the heat this week.

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Back at work, we’re all getting back into the routine, which feels good.  January is a magical time of new beginnings.  My goal is to hold on to the hopeful feelings January brings well into 2018.  I mean my year is off to a great start with me gaining 1/2 of an inch in height!  Things are definitely looking up.

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Of course, I swore I was going to start behaving this week and being more mindful with my eating habits.  Nonetheless, one of my dear colleagues (PS) brought in some magically delightful and calorie free tasty treat.   Who doesn’t love homemade fudge?  It truly was magical and oh so tasty.  My boys should thank their lucky stars that they actually got some of the fudge.  Fortunately, they got some fudge and they devoured it.  I’m hopeful by the time I get back from work tomorrow the fudge is all gone.  Otherwise, I’ll eat the rest of it.

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Anyway, new year, new me, new you and a clean slate tomorrow. I’ll be back to my healthy eating (no more treats!) habits.  2018 is all about being disciplined in all aspects of life.  In the interim, I’m going to try and not freeze as South Florida plunges into the 30s.  Be prepared for pictures and news stories of South Florida’s deep freeze including the inevitable picture of a catatonic iguana.

Tonight’s song performed by Florida Georgia Line is “Cruise.”

 

Treat

Foggy Friday

It was a foggy Friday as I drove to work this morning.  It was nothing short of miraculous that I saw no accidents during my drive.  Fortunately, by the time I made it to Boca the sun had burnt off most of the fog.  The remainder of my drive was fog free and relatively painless.

Fog forms when there is less than 4 degrees Fahrenheit between the dew point and air temperature.  Given that the temperature was 68 when I left my house this morning, I’d say it was a fairly humid morning.    According this is due to an injection of humidity comes courtesy of winds coming off the Gulf.

Admittedly, I’m not a super fan of humidity, but it does keep your skin moist.  I used to hate how dry and cracked my hands and feet would get during the Minnesota winter.  Here in Florida that’s just not a problem we have!

my world

My World

For tonight’s blog, it’s all about giving you a glimpse in my world through the share your world challenge.  It’s one of the challenges run here in the blogosphere that make for fun and interesting reads while also connecting you to others bloggers.  So here it goes.

If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?   I’m not good at being bad. So no I wouldn’t cheat because know I’d get caught.

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What things in nature do you find most beautiful?  I love the beautiful sunsets that light the Florida sky.  Also a top the items I find to be most beautiful are flowers, the beach, the fjords, mountains and waterfalls.   The Norwegian countryside was beyond beautiful.  Neither pictures nor words can adequately describe its beauty.

Complete this sentence: When I travel I love to…  I love to stay in the neighborhoods and experience the city or country as a local.  Consequently, we stayed in AirBnB’s in both Bergen and Oslo while travelling throughout Norway.  These accommodations were in the neighborhoods away, but not too far from the tourist sights.  In Oslo, our apartment had the cutest nest like area over the kitchen where the younger two boys could sleep.  Fortunately, they loved their little area.  Goalielocks had a similar room when we were in Bergen, which he also loved.  Nevertheless, the point is I want to be immersed in the culture of where ever I have traveled to.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  This week I was heavily inspired by my dear friend Debbie, here family and our friends.  Months of hard work culminated with the Purple Stride event Sunday morning.  After the event, I was looking to see updated fundraising totals on the site and noticed a quote from Debbie. Here’s here quote that as a part of her keynote speech at the 2016 Broward Palm Beach Purple Stride event.

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My first PurpleStride was in 2015. I wanted to complete the 5K as my own personal challenge. Being able to attend my second PurpleStride this year in 2016, was about showing that patients can live, cherish the moments they have in their lives, teach others to celebrate their own lives and to remember the gifts of those lives that are no longer with us.”

Tonight’s song comes to us courtesy of Tom Petty.  Enjoy “Learning to Fly!”

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge – Weather

Its my first time participating in Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge and the topic is weather.  I chose this beautiful picture from Quebec City in 2016.  We were there for Peewee Quebec.  Consequently, on one of our last days in the city, our boys were playing the Islanders in an outdoor scrimmage.  As they played hockey outside, they were blanketed by the freshly fallen snow.  The snowfall was the nice, wet and heavy snow that is perfect for making snowballs and snowmen.

First day of fall

First Day of Fall

Today ushered in the first day of fall, which in Florida was marked by a continuation of horrible heat and humidity.  Admittedly, one of the things I miss most about living in the Midwest is the change of season from summer to fall.  As a child, my parents took us to see the beautiful fall colors along Lake Superior’s North Shore or down the Mississippi and Lake Pepin.  Each drive is a bit different, but equally beautiful.

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First day of fall at Split Rock Lighthouse

When we’d drive down the Mississippi, we would stop to see Maiden Rock.   This is a famous location along Lake Pepin.  It was on this bluff, where according to Dakotah Sioux legend an Indian maiden Wenonah jumped to her death.  She chose to jump rather than marry a man she didn’t love.

 

A short jaunt from Maiden Rock, is Laura Ingalls Wilder’s girlhood home.  As a young girl,  Wilder’s books about growing up on the Prairie were some of my favorites.  For me, it was a real joy to see where she was born.  It is also where one my favorite books take place.  Little House in the Big Woods, her first in the Little House on Prairie series, took place in Pepin, Wisconsin.

Fall-Drives

Sadly, in Florida there’s no fall color aside from the brown leaves on the trees felled by Irma.  The heat and humidity continue to blast like a furnace and my hair hates it.  Oddly, the leaves on our maple tree still change colors randomly throughout the year.  The tree will then randomly drop a leaf or two.  It’s odd, to say the least, to see a leaf change colors in April and not October, but I think I can adjust.

We here in Florida, not so patiently, await the end to the oppressive heat and rainy season.  In the meantime, here’s a wonderful poem by John Keats on Autumn.

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reality

Back to Reality

Today was my first day back at work and back to reality post Irmageddon. Traffic was fantastically light on the turnpike making for a quick commute. Any gains made on the turnpike were quickly given up at my favorite Dunkin’ Donuts where I waited in line with most of Pompano Beach for the better of 20 minutes awaiting my coffee. Clearly, many in South Florida, like myself, has been jonesing for Dunkin’ these past three days.

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Thankfully, I was able to pick up my coffee and head to work. The Turnpike was clear. The traffic lights right around the turnpike, in both Palm Beach and Broward county, were in working order. Once I left my Dunkin’ and headed down Power Line those lights were not functioning. Oh boy, this is a problem.

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South Floridians struggle with traffic laws. Heck they barely obey them during normal conditions. I shouldn’t be surprised that they would disobey them post hurricane. I’ve never lived in a place where people stop at a yield sign, but refuse to stop at stop sign. Moreover, they cannot for the life of them figure out a roundabout. You can imagine the chaos that has ensued since some of the traffic lights are out entirely and others are blinking. Unfortunately, the post-storm confusion this causes often times has deadly consequences.

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Here’s a quick tutorial for my fellow Floridans.  First, If the light you are facing is blinking red, you treat it as a stop sign. Secondly,  If the light you are at is blinking yellow, you treat it as a yield.   Lastly, if the light you are facing is off entirely, treat it as a four way stop. Regardless of the conditions listed above, proceed with caution. Proceed with the assumption that the other drivers on the road will not abide by the rules of the road and protect yourself and your family. I hate driving post-storm because it is patently unsafe.

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Aside from the driving, it felt great to get out of the house and get back to normal.  It stinks being in the house for days.  You start feeling like a caged animal after only a couple of hours and its no fun.  I am hoping that more stoplights will be operational tomorrow making for a safer commute for me and my team.  Thanks to everyone for sending their well wishes and prayers throughout Irmageddon.  We appreciated them very much.

Rainbow

Finding the Rainbow In the Storm

Irma was without a doubt a miserable experience for most of us, but even with Irma it is possible to find the rainbow in the storm.  Major events like this have a tendency to bring the good out in people  Yeah, there were looters in Lauderdale and Miami, but those were isolated incidents and widely condemned.  In fact, part of our hurricane preparation included the possibility that looters could show up at our door.  They haven’t, but had they shown up we were more than ready to neutralize the threat.  This post isn’t about the looters though; its about the finding the rainbow in the storm.

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Here are some of the rainbows I found this weekend:

    1. I got to spend a lot of quality time with my family.  Some of this time included no internet, cell or cable service, so we had to talk to each other.
    2. We have awesome neighbors on our cul-de-sac.  Whenever one of these ugly storms rear their ugly head, our neighborhood man crew mobilizes to shutter all the houses and get the circle storm ready.   For that moment in time, they’re our super heroes.   Additionally, the post prep beers and drinks are definitely a plus.
    3. With Hurricane Matthew missing us, this was really our first storm in our house.  I have to say that I felt safe and secure in these walls even as the winds howled fiercely outside.
    4. We never lost power during the storm.  We did, however, lose power twice this afternoon.  This sudden loss of power on a sunny afternoon prompted me to take my run outside, which was another plus.  I have complete and total sympathy for those that lost power as it is tortuously hot in South Florida today.
    5. I was able to binge watch (uninterrupted) the entire first season of the BBC’s Victoria with Jenna Coleman.
    6. When out preparing for the storm, people were kind and people were helpful.  For a moment, I thought I had been caught up in Irma’s tornado and deposited back in Minnesota.  Alas, I was in South Florida and people were truly being kind and considerate.
    7. Not only were people being kind and considerate, but people were being smart about the storm and preparing accordingly.  We’ve been through several storms down here.  We witnessed with Hurricane Wilma the utter devastation that accompanies a strong storm and ill prepared people.  The aftermath was awful.  This wasn’t going to be the story with Irma.   People were preparing for the worst case scenario while hoping for the best.
    8. When we were finally able to escape the cave today, we had  some fun exploring the neighborhood.  Our poor dogs have been miserable the past couple days as they’ve been cooped up inside.   Athena was living the high life as we walked the neighborhood as she shot footage from the Mayor’s GoPro.

  1. Now that the storm is over and the recovery begin, the same team that helped get you ready for the storm helps you recover from the storm.  Our dad crew was out early this morning removing as much brush and landscaping debris from the driveways and yards they could.  The Hubby left for my bro’s house just south of us to help him remove the large oak from his roof.  He’ll be back tomorrow.
  2. It’s okay to have caramel rolls and mimosa brunch more than once a year and a hurricane party is the perfect excuse.  Of course, there is a downside to all of the hurricane treats. It should be corporate policy to allow leggings and/or yoga pants for at least a week post hurricane.IMG_9931.jpg