Packing for the Perfect Beach Vacation

Packing for the perfect beach vacation is key to a successful tropical vacation. If you forgot certain items, you can end up in tremendous pain. Hello my sunburnt legs! Fortunately, I’ve put together a list of must have items for any successful beach vacation.

  • Copious amounts of waterproof sunscreen that’s at least 50 SPF.
    • I love Sun Bum’s products as they protect well while not causing breakouts. Plus it’s reef safe, which is super important here in Florida.
    • I also love using Coppertone’s Sunscreen Spray. The ease of use is undeniable and it does a great job protecting the skin.
  • Nice beach towels as you can’t rely on the hotel or AirBnB to provide enough. We learned this lesson the hard way at Hawk’s Cay.
  • A nice sun hat to protect your scalp. Nothing sucks more than a severely sun burnt scalp!
  • A high quality cooler, like a Yeti, for a day on the boat or at the beach. Otherwise, your food and drinks will soon be warm.
  • I also like to bring a cooler bag as they take up less room and are the perfect option for carrying snacks.
  • SPF clothing is crucial to protecting your skin especially if you’re out on the water. My SPF shirt protected my upper body. Unfortunately, I didn’t have SPF pants on and my legs paid the price. Lily Pulitzer also offers a full line of SPF protection clothing.
  • What would a day on the boat or at the beach be without some great music. A Bluetooth speaker, like this one from Bose, is the perfect way to bring the party everywhere you go.
  • Snorkel gear!! There’s no better way to explore at the beach than by snorkeling.
  • Naturally, you’ll need something to carry all this awesomeness in and a great beach bag is exactly what you need. I bought an expensive one years ago at Atlantis, but it quickly broke. This year I bought one by Shylero for under $50 off of Amazon. Honestly, it’s amazing for the price. It even comes with a waterproof bag for your phone and wallet. You can check it out here.
  • Another must have is after sun lotion or aloe Vera to help heal and moisturize your skin after a day in the sun.

These are some of the key items to have as you embark on your perfect beach vacation. Some of these items are a matter of convenience, but others are crucial to protecting your health. Now that my fabulous beach vacation is over, l’m making notes of my must haves for next year’s trip. All of which are in the list above. What are your must have beach items?

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I’m now reading Rebecca by Daphne De Maurier.

*I ran 2 miles and walked a mile. It went quite well.

*Did I mention it was vacation time?

*Tonight we’re enjoying ice cream and watching the NHL draft.

*Jake was able to have a nice lunch with Jon and Brandi before they headed for Yellowstone. I’m so jealous.

*For dinner, the hubby made vodka sauce pasta. 

*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.

*Today’s word of the day is curvaceous. After eating too much on vacation, I’m more curvaceous than I’d like.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Today he didn’t pull my arm off or anything like that. I put on his harness, so I’d have more control over him outside. Also, the flies are still here. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos? I was finally able to hang the fly traps. Nobody loves flies.

Boat Day

Monday was our boat day in the Keys. This was the first time we rented a boat and it will not be the last. Initially, our boat day got off to a bit of a rocky start since someone blew up the engine on our boat the previous day. Fortunately, the staff at A1A Watersports was first class and upgraded our boat, threw in some fishing rods and even knocked 14 gallons off our gas charge. We ended up with a Grady dual console boat, which was super nice.


After grabbing the boat, we cruised back to the house to pick up the rest of our group. As we left the canal to head towards the Gulf, there were dolphins swimming in the canal. I was a little nervous as there were dark clouds off on the horizon and some heavy rain in the Gulf. Fortunately, we ended up having perfect weather all day. I love being on the water!


Our first trip was out to the light house and Alligator Reef for some snorkeling. It was incredibly beautiful! As we headed to the location, the seas were pretty calm. Unfortunately, the seas picked up when we dropped anchor near the reef. They started rolling in at 3-4 feet, which wasn’t great for several of our passengers. All of us, except for Captain Hubby hit the water to swim and snorkel. The water was absolutely perfect, however, we had to head back to the house due to sea sickness.


Our second trip of the day had us exploring the islands on the bay side. It was pretty hot out there with little wind, so we ended up pulling up our rods almost as soon we we had put them in. Unfortunately, there was no good way to keep our sweet Ava cool. Thankfully, we hadn’t ventured too far from the house.

Our third trip was a mix of snorkeling and fishing. We had folks fishing on one side of the boat while others swam on the other. The fish, however, were apparently avoiding both sides of our boat as we got only a few bites. Consequently, we moved under the bridge into the Atlantic to see if we could get on some fish. Sadly, not everyone was happy with this move. T was mad at the Captain for not dropping him off at the bridge pylon. Naturally, the Captain had no idea that T was wanting to be dropped off.

Since we forgot to drop him off at the pylon, he decided he would walk to it and climb up it. Of course this was a bad idea given the strength of the current where the Atlantic and Gulf water meet. Not too mention that the barnacles would cut him up as he tried to climb up into the platform. You gotta love teenagers and their ingenuity.

Afterwards, we headed into the Gulf to find the fish. After a couple false starts, the Hubby guided us to the Gopher Cut. Finally, we were on the fish! They were biting as soon as the lines hit the water. In fact, the kids started reeling in some respectable snappers. Unfortunately, the sea sickness started to kick in again as we were anchored. We pulled up anchor and headed back to the house. Thankfully, the sea sickness abated as we started moving again.

Our last trip of the day had us heading back into the open water of the Atlantic. In the afternoon, the seas were significantly calmer. We initially started fishing off the waters of Indian Key, but had no luck. Goalielocks and Captain Hubby decided to head out to a wreck 3.5 miles to the southeast. Truly, we should have started there because the fish were biting like mad. Goalielocks girlfriend put her line in the water and pulled up three snappers almost immediately, I had a similar experience. On her next cast, she pulled up another three snappers. It was awesome! Not to mention it was an absolutely gorgeous location. Next time we’ll start our day at this location.

The boat cost less than $600 for the day and it was well worth every penny. We all carried away some wonderful and funny memories from our adventures on the water. Obviously, the sea sickness sucked and we weren’t properly prepared. Next time I’ll be sure to have Dramamine on hand to help mitigate the sea sickness. Lastly, after the sun and salt water exsiccate my skin, I’m going to be covered head to toe in sunscreen and spf clothing. Long story short if you are in the Keys and considering renting a boat, do it and use A1A Watersports in Islamorada.


As an aside, I think they were so generous to us because we were kind and patient when they told us our boat had broken. In contrast, an asshole form New York pulled an attitude with the entire staff (all of whom were super nice and professional) as soon as he got there. Keep in mind, his boat was there and ready to go immediately. The staff, in my opinion, was way more patient and professional with him than I would have been.

He was still complaining when we brought the boat back. The man was charged for 28 gallons, which was the amount of gas he used. Thankfully, we came off akin to angels due to his poor behavior. In fact, we used 44 gallons of gas, but were only charged for 30. I guess it pays to be nice.

We finished our night with an adults only dinner at Morada Bay’s Pierre. It was quite the contrast to their Beach Cafe, but the food was awesome. The service at Pierre’s is was impeccable. We enjoyed an appetizer of shrimp cocktail and escargot. Both are amazing. For dinner, I had the fish du jour, which was a snapper in browned butter sauce. Lastly, we capped off the dinner with a key lime tart and creme brûlée. I love it!

If you go, check out:

  • A1A Water Sports and Boat Rental in Islamorada had several types of boats, jet skis, fishing equipment and snorkel gear for rent at a great price point.  There service is also fantastic. It’s the perfect place to supply your boat day!
  • Pierre at Morada Bay.  Their price point is high, but so is the quality.  You will love it!  I recommend the escargot, shrimp cocktail, fish du jour and creme brûlée. The views of the sunset are first rate.  

Island Adventure

Our island adventure in Islamorada sadly came to an end yesterday after an incredible weekend in the Keys. I unplugged completely from the blog and all social media. Honestly, it was fantastic. The truth of the matter is I was far too busy having fun and enjoying the company to be bothered with technology. That is the hallmark of a good vacation.

This year we stayed at Su Casa, in Islamorada, which is a private rental I booked on AirBnB. It was absolutely perfect for our large group. We had the main house and the one bedroom apartment. The two bedroom apartment was rented out to a fantastic couple from Sarasota. Additionally, it was on a canal and had a beautiful dock. Allegedly their are crocodiles in the canal, but I wasn’t lucky enough to see one. Honestly, I can’t recommend the property highly enough. It was absolutely the perfect spot for our island adventure!

Speaking of perfect, it’s location was superb. We had quick access to the gulf and ocean from the canal, which was nice when we rented the boat. Also, it was a short walk to Robbie’s where you can feed the tarpon, engage in a number of fun water sports, shop or get a nice drink at the bar. Robbie’s parking lot is always overflowing, so it was nice that we could simply walk there.



Saturday night we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Morada Bay’s Beach Side cafe. The food was wonderful and relatively cheap given the size of our group. We were initially sitting outside, but it quickly became too hot. Fortunately, they were able to accommodate us inside near the bar. I ordered the Key West pink shrimp scampi pasta, which was awesome. For my drink, I had a nice vodka cocktail with watermelons purée and an herbal note. I highly recommend trying it if you ever find yourself there.

Post dinner, we headed next door to the sports store for fishing supplies. While there, Goalielocks, his girlfriend and I checked out the docks. Unbelievably, we saw a manatee eating the remnants of fish thrown into the water after having been cleaned and filleted. As the manatee munched away the fish, three sharks (two black-tips and a Bullsharks) circled the area hoping to get some fish. Needless to say that’s the closest I ever want to be to a Bullsharks.

Sunday morning we grabbed some awesome cafe con leche from Cuban cafe on Plantation Key. We also grabbed some empanadas, pastelitos, and cachitos. After breakfast we headed south to go fishing off a bridge. Last year, we had little success fishing from the bridge, so we were all skeptical. Fortunately, this year the bridge fishing delivered. All of us were on the fish almost immediately. We caught several pork fish, wrasses, and some snappers. After an hour or two, we headed back to the house to get ready for lunch.

Sunday afternoon Hanh and I took the kids on a kayak trip through the mangroves. The Mayor and I shared a double kayak, which worked well. Truly, the scenery was absolutely gorgeous, but of course the kids thought it was boring since we saw no wildlife. I had hoped to see a manatee or a crocodile, but I still enjoyed the beauty of the mangroves even though I didn’t see many animals.

Sunday nights we had an early dinner/late lunch at the house instead of eating out. While we were on the kayak trip, the Hubby and John cooked us dinner. After all, we had worked up an appetite on our kayak trip, so it was perfect timing on their part. The rest of the evening we spent chilling under the tiki hut watching the sunset and hoping to spy a croc. Meanwhile, the kids continued to fish from the dock. Incredibly, Goalielocks caught a nurse shark that evening.

If you go on your own island adventure in Islamorada, be sure to check out:

  • Robbie’s of Islamorada: it’s well worth the hassle of the parking lot, but being able to walk there was priceless. There is so much to do here and yes you should feed the tarpon.
  • Su Casa vacation rentals offered a superior vacation experience in Islamorada. Last year, we stayed at Hawk’s Cay, which wasn’t a great stay.
  • Mrs. G’s, located on Plantation Key, was our go to spot in the Keys for our morning coffee. It’s also an ice cream place, but we only went for the coffee and breakfast pastries.
  • Morado Bay has a casual option in the Beach Cafe and a formal option with Pierre’s on the same beautiful property.

Tracking Elsa

All of Florida is tracking Elsa as she makes her way into the Caribbean. Right now we’re out of the cone of uncertainty, but that only means the center of the storm isn’t going to track over our area. Regardless of where Elsa ends up, our weather will suck Monday and Tuesday. Naturally, the poor weather falls on a Monday we all have off. Obviously, Elsa’s timing sucks.

In between Tracking Elsa updates, I worked for a bit this morning. Unsurprisingly, work was dead. Fortunately, we got to quit early due to the lack of volume. After work, I managed to go for a two-mile run. I didn’t feel like running in the morning, so opted for a post-lunch run. It went well, but my knee/it band was quite stiff at the end.

While I was running and couch surfing, Hubby took the Mayor to practice driving. The Mayor loves to drive and asks several times a day to practice. This is a huge contrast to his older brothers, who never wanted to drive. He’s a good driver and will be more than ready for his license when he turns sixteen. Meanwhile, Goalielocks recuperated from his early morning hockey practice with a nice nap.

After the Hubby finished washing the cars, took a shower, and came out wearing a shirt Jake and I bought him in Helsinki. It’s the first time he’s worn the shirt since we bought it. Undeniably, it brought back great memories of our travels in Finland. One night Jake and I found ourselves, perusing through Stockmann’s Department store off the Esplanade. It’s an incredible store! Jake and I try to buy a shirt every place we go as a unique, but practical souvenir. He bought something at Stockmann’s and I bought a shirt from Marimekko. I can’t wait until we can travel again!!!

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far.

*I ran 2 miles and walked a mile and it felt great!

* I made a new roast recipe in the Instant Pot tonight. I didn’t super love the recipe, but the roast was extremely tender and tasty. Truly, I was pleasantly surprised as the roast wasn’t completely defrosted when I put it in the pot. Now that I know the Instapot does a great job on frozen meat, I won’t be so frantic if I forget to defrost something.

*The family and I have been binge-watching Thirty Rock. It is such a good show.

*I spent my day with the puppies. Maya is feeling great and is super playful with her siblings. We are all relieved and grateful that she rebounded from her illness.

*I’m off to the long weekend and tracking Elsa as she looks to disrupt my long weekend.

*Today’s word of the day is venation. It has to do with insect veins, which is really more than I ever wanted to know about that. 

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos?

Left on the Mountain

Yep, you read that right I was left on the mountain. It all happened at the Farmington Creek Trail just south of Layton. I picked this trail for our Thursday hike because it features: a car cemetery, two waterfalls (including the one you could rappel down to), and a moderate degree of difficulty. Admittedly, I am not fast on my ascent up the trails. Due to the Graves disease, I’m mindful of my maintaining my heart rate and regulating my body temperature. This, of course, is not always easy when hiking. Consequently, my ascent was slow, measured, and littered with water breaks.

On the flip side, the hike for my boys was quite easy. Goalielocks soon pulled away from both the Mayor and me as he ran up the trail. I was jealous at the ease with which he tackled the mountain. In protest, the Mayor sped ahead on his own. Fortunately, when the Mayor got to the first waterfall, he waited for me. On the other hand, I couldn’t find Goalielocks. The challenge became the fork in the trail. Unfortunately, the park service hadn’t clearly marked the trail. Fortuantely, we were able to ask local hikes which way to go. Meanwhile, we had no idea which way Goalielocks had gone at the fork.

I decided to follow the trail to the second waterfall hoping we’d find Goalielocks on the trail. Undeniably, I was nervous that nobody had seen him. At this point, we were so deep into the canyon that we didn’t have cell service. As we continued the trail, the Mayor again took off down the path. Meanwhile, I vacillated between anger, frustration, and awe. As I rounded the bend, I saw a vintage car overtaken by the forest with bullet holes all over. It was quite picturesque. At this point, the Mayor came back to me expressed his discontent with the hike, and headed back to the car.

Now they really annoyed me. Yet, I was determined to see the waterfall. I continued down the path looking for the ropes that would take me down to the base of the waterfall. As I searched the area, I finally got a call from Goalielocks who was at the car waiting. Eventually, I found the ropes that could take me down to the waterfall. However, with unreliable cellphone service and nobody near me, I wasn’t willing to risk a fall or injury by rappelling down to the waterfall. Consequently, I started making my way back to the car where both boys were impatiently waiting for me.

Since I knew they were safe at the car, I was in no hurry to finish my hike. The canyon and trail provided beautiful vista after beautiful vista that I wanted to take it all in. Also, the ascent wore me out as it was a vigorous hike. When I made it back to the first waterfall, I took a seat on a large boulder near the side of the stream and relaxed for a bit. In this spot, the mountain stream and shade cooled the air. It was a magical spot to rest and recover before tackling the sunny part of the descent to the car.

While I was sitting at the waterfall, the Mayor made his way back up the trail in search of water. I had brought my backpack, filled with water bottles and oranges to keep us nourished throughout and after the hike. However, since I was the only one willing to carry it, all of the supplies were with me. Consequently, when he got thirsty he had no choice, but to seek me out. Naturally, he received quite a tongue lashing from me once we met again on the mountain. Soon after we met up with Goalielocks, who had come up the trail looking for me out of concern it was taking too long. Of course, I had been almost four miles deep into the trail, so it wasn’t going to be a quick return.

Goalielocks took a left at the first waterfall, which took him on a significantly shorter trail. Eventually, both of the trails meet up near the second waterfall. However, his trail was overgrown as it approached the waterfall trail. Goalielocks headed back the way he came since he wasn’t sure where the trail led. The hillside where he hiked was filled with vintage cars, known as the car cemetery. On our descent, I learned that he had told his brother where he was going. Unfortunately, the Mayor neglected to tell me this. I was super annoyed with the Mayor at this point. I want to rappel down to the waterfall and I couldn’t because I was alone. Naturally, we spoke at length, on our way back to the Airbnb, about the importance of staying together during hikes.

Despite all the drama on the mountain, this was definitely one of my favorite hikes. The trail affords incredible views of the Great Salt Lake, the valley, the mountains and the canyon. Everywhere you looked, it was absolutely beautiful. Moreover, it was an incredibly peaceful hike as the trail was not crowded. I look forward to hiking this trail again with Jake and my hubby. Hopefully, we’ll get to see some fall colors on the hike and even have the chance to rappel down to the waterfall.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath. This is an interesting book.

*Gentle Flow with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*I went for a mile run. Yesterday, I ran two miles.

*BBG 2.0. week 10 day 5: Abs, cardio and yoga

*It’s tough to be a parent, especially in this environment. I am lamenting the start of a new virtual school year.

*We have two more weeks until we start virtual school.

*This morning we were in cone of uncertainty for TS Laura.

*Goalielocks has his first official practice this evening. The new season has started. Party on!

*This week I have run seven miles so far!

*Today I ordered my first Butcher Box.

*For dinner, we are cooking a HelloFresh meal. I can’t wait to taste it! We are loving HelloFresh.

*I was left on the mountain. I had no trouble surviving the ordeal!

*Recently, I’ve been collecting checks for our team fund.

*I learned a new word today soupcon. This word means a small amount.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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One Happy Mama

I’m one happy mama this morning. Yesterday I finally got to see my son for the first time since BMT graduation in February. Our flights were uneventful and quick. Needless to say, they couldn’t end quickly enough. The anticipation of seeing my boys reunited was killing me.

The reunion took place at Target since we don’t have security passes. It was an amazing and happy as I had envisioned. My boy looks great albeit quite grown up. Seeing them together made we one happy mama. Also, it was mighty convenient since we could pick up some supplies before heading to our AirBnB.

The weather was super hot with an ambient air temperature of 103 degrees. Fortunately, there is no humidity here at all. Consequently, it does not feel as miserable as South Florida. In fact, we got out of dodge just as a hurricane is bearing down on our coast.

Our AirBnB is on the Eastern side of the mountains in a small neighborhood. It’s a basement apartment in a single family home. The place is gorgeous and super nice, however, it was a bit hot last night. Nonetheless, it will serve as a perfect jumping off point for our Utah adventure.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather

*We went to Scrambled for breakfast near the AFB. It was super yummy.

*We visited the AFB and shopped the BX before heading back to his dorm to hang pictures.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*We’re going to go hiking this afternoon

*Today I wonder if anyone ever watched the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

*Today my hubby sent me the best picture of my sweet Anakin.

*We are watching the hurricane from a distance.

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Detroit Weekend

Our Detroit weekend has absolutely epic. We ran into a bit of a snafu getting the rental car, but they were able to upgrade us into a vehicle that could actually fit our luggage and handle the snow. Victory! Our hotel was about twenty minutes west of the airport of of I-94. Fortunately, our hotel was on a golf course overlooking Ford Lake, which made for beautiful vistas.

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The weather when we landed was chilly, but not terrible. Our first game was at Yost Arena one the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. I found the arena to be beautiful, but quite a bit smaller than Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota. Unfortunately, the boys didn’t play their best hockey and we fell to the Gulf Coast Flames. The irony here, of course, was that we flew all the way to Michigan to play another Florida team.

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As we left the arena, the flurries had begun. In the overnight hours, the storm that had battered Minnesota, dropped eight inches of snow in Michigan. The golf course was absolutely beautiful. Growing up there was nothing better than looking out my backdoor and seeing the pristine, newly fallen snow. Saturday morning those memories came back as I gazed out over the freshly fallen snow covering the hotel grounds.

Thankfully, the roads had been cleared by the time we left for the Mayor’s game. Again it didn’t go great, but was a better effort than Friday night. The weather was perfect with temperatures in the 30s all day long. We enjoyed a quick late lunch at the hotel. That evening we were headed into downtown Detroit to see the Florida Panthers take on ten Detroit Redwings.

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So I had a great rental car, but I didn’t want to drive into downtown Detroit. Clearly, it’s on the list of cities I never want to get lost in. Consequently, I opted to ride with the assistant coaches in their large van (aka Frenchy’s bus.). They had window decals made with the Panthers logo and Frenchy’s and they were on fully display. I had to make fun of them both for being dorks except for….

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When we got to downtown and came to a barricade, our driver rolled down the window to ask security where we should go to find parking. The security guard, seeing the logos, waived us through the barricade. Consequently, we parked right in front of the stadium next to the police van. We all swore on all things holy that the can would be towed while we watched the game.

As for the game, there were some shenanigans with a guy from Windsor. That story from our Detroit weekend, however, will take up a full blog post. The boys had a fabulous time and the Cats brought home the W. Now it was crunch time, would the van still be there? Would there be a ticket on the windshield? How much would an Uber be from downtown to our suburban golf course?

We made our way out of the stadium anxiously awaiting our collective fate. The boys raced to where we parked. Alas, victory was ours and the van was still there. A new problem presented itself, however, in that all the pedestrian traffic leaving the stadium was in the alley where we parked.

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I envisioned us sitting there for hours waiting for the pedestrian traffic to clear. We finally caught a quick break in the traffic and we were able to pull out of the parking spot. No sooner had we pulled out of the spot, when the police cruiser parked near us turned on it’s lights. We were accepting in our fate. Obviously, we were about to get a ticket. Or not… Shortly after the cop put his lights on, he escorted us out of the alley and through the roads of Detroit. That’s right folks we had a police escort leaving the stadium!

The boys were over the moon excited as we ere escorted back to I-94 by the police car. Truly, us parents were also over the moon. What an experience to share with our boys and each other! It was so incredible how it all unfolded. Hockey trips can be expensive, but these moments that create incredible shared memories are what it is all about. I’m incredibly lucky to share this experience with my son.

Of course, Sunday brought more hockey and some hockey drama. The Mayor forgetting one skate at the hotel is going to be it’s on post. In the end, our weekend in Michigan was pure magic. As a hockey mom, I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be than with my kids at a hockey tournament. After all, it only last last for a short time.

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On The Road Again

We’re on the road again! The Mayor and I are on a bird headed to Michigan for a weekend of hockey. This will be my first hockey tournament experience in Michigan, so I’m excited to see something new. As we speak, we’re currently cruising at 36,000 feet and I just finished the Downtown Abbey. I know I’m totally late to that party, but the movie was wonderful.

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Meanwhile my Mayor is excited that the landscape will be transformed into a winter wonderland with a big snowstorm tomorrow. I, on the other hand, am not excited to have to drive in a snowstorm. Part of the reason I moved to Florida in the first place was snowstorm avoidance, yet here I am! Hurray!!!

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The weekend is coming and that means another WOT is winding down for Jake. I can’t believe he’ll be starting WOT 6 on Sunday. Next week he’ll take both the written and physical tests that determine if he’ll pass BMT. Please keep him in your prayers as he and his squadron move into this challenging week. I’ll be posting updates of our trip throughout the weekend. To all those traveling this holiday weekend, please stay safe!

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They’re Back From Quebec!

They’re back from Quebec!!! Thankfully, their early departure from Quebec City got them out before the snowfall started. I figured the big storm that hit the Midwest earlier this weekend would hit the Quebec area today. Luckily, we booked super early flights. Even so they were delayed an hour getting out of Montreal.

The later arrival gave me more time at the gym this morning. I feel like I’m fighting a sinus infection. Since I had no fever and no symptoms below the chest, I opted to hit the gym. I put in thirty minutes on the elliptical and was able to do 4.5 miles in that time. Happily, I can report my knees have improved dramatically week over week. Yay!!!!

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After finishing my run on the elliptical, I made it leg day at the gym. My knees feel much better, but I was careful to pick exercises that did not hurt my knee. I would usually do single leg cable kicks on leg day, but that brought too much discomfort to the knees. Consequently, I skipped the exercise.

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After my workout, I headed to the airport to pick up my boys. It was exciting to watch them land and taxi as I was driving down Southern towards the airport. I quickly parked, as quickly as one can when snow birds are involved, in the short term parking and headed into the terminal.  Fortunately, they were quickly off the plane and so were their bags. Yay! The Mayor wanted Wendy’s, but that was a hard no from both of us. Everyone was exited to see them back home especially the puppies.

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Unfortunately, my hubby had the distinct pleasure of getting to work on the broken items list right away. He immediately tackled the garbage disposal and was able to fix it quickly. Thank goodness! Next up was the air condition. I was pretty sure it was the capacitor that crapped out. Turns out I was right!! Thank you YouTube. He’ll pick up the part tomorrow, so by tomorrow night we should be in the business. Woohoo! It’s great to have him home!

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The rest of the afternoon we spent relaxing and baking. I made my first attempt at an “easy Kouign-Amann” recipe. I’ll be devoting a whole post to it tomorrow. I absolutely loved Quebec City. Moreover, I loved Brittany and Saint Malo. In 2011, we spent some time in Brittany and saw where Cartier sailed from when he discovered Quebec and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Breton influence on Quebec is unmistakable.

Speaking of French, I just finished volume one of Proust’s In Search Of Lost Time. While I wait for Amazon to deliver volume two, I’ve started Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. At this point, I’m only ten chapters into the book, but I’m finding it quite enjoyable. I’m off the read, good night my friends!

Last Day in Quebec

It’s the last day in Quebec for our Florida Bulldogs. They spent the morning at the Ice Hotel right outside the city. When we went in 2016, we were lucky enough to get some snow and see a wedding. From the looks of the pictures, it seems they got some snow this year.

If you’ve never been to an ice hotel or ice bar, it’s definitely worth experiencing once. The beauty of drinks at the ice bar/hotel is they’re always perfectly chilled in their glasses made of ice. As for the kids, they love the hotel’s ice slide. Unlike the Ice Bar in Sweden, the Ice Hotel doesn’t require special gear. Rather you simply enjoy the venue in your regular winter wear.

After the Ice Hotel, they headed to the Patro for lunch before heading back to the hotel. They spent their afternoon at a beautiful park up the hill from the hotel Old Quebec. The rink and surrounding area are absolutely beautiful and the ice is pretty nice. Based on the pictures, it looks like they had a great time.

Afterwards they headed to the rink for the other team’s semi-final game. My Mayor did play by play for the first period, but spent the rest of the game hanging with friends. I couldn’t watch the rest of the broadcast since I was driving to pick up Goalielocks from volunteering.

Unfortunately, our other team lost a tough one and got knocked out of the tournament. Post game they went out for pizza. I have so many question about pizza in Quebec based on the restaurant’s sign. I guess it’s not surprise my hubby opted for a calzone instead of pizza.

Meanwhile, we’re still down an A/C unit, freezer and no garbage disposal. I’m sure my hubby can’t wait to get home tomorrow to fix it all. Needless to say, I can’t wait to have my guys back home!