I’m officially en route to Turks and Caicos for Momcation 3.0. This trip has been three years in the making and couldn’t have come a moment too soon. To say I need some rest and relaxation would be an absolute understatement. For the next five days, there will be no fucks given about anything as I soak up the sun in paradise with some of my favorite people!
Monday, Monday…. What a song and what a day. As my boss adroitly reminded us all in our noon meeting, we were now the farthest possible from a new Monday morning. Ah, it’s the little things in life. Work was still a bit slow, but I managed to be pretty productive. I’m going to call today a big win. There are some changes coming, which was expected given the state of the business and the lack of seasonal employees.
Happily, I was finally able to work out for the first time since I jacked up my finger and foot. It felt great, but I’m sure I’ll feel this leg day tomorrow. Moreover, it will be interesting to see how my run goes tomorrow since I haven’t run in a few weeks. There’s always a bit of a falloff when you take some time off running. Hopefully, the fall off isn’t too far.
On a brighter note, (see what I did there?) my sunburn is still red, but not quite as painful today. Fortunately, we have plenty of after sun care lotion. Obviously, I’ll be absolutely coated with sunscreen when I’m in Turks later this month. Did I mention I can’t wait for Momcation? The last few month have been an absolute shitstorm of a hell scape. I’d write about it here, but you might get confused and think I started writing fiction. Anyway, a few days with good friends in paradise will serve me well. And now this Monday, Monday is about to come to an end.
We really enjoyed our time in beautiful Savannah last weekend. In fact, I found myself wishing we had another day to spend exploring the town. Originally, we were going to drive straight to Charleston. However, when the tournament booked our hotel Saturday through Monday, we decided to spend Friday in Savannah.
Instead of getting a hotel room, we booked an AirBnB to share with our friends. We got a two bedroom apartment in downtown Savannah. It was an absolutely gorgeous apartment in a great location. I loved that the AirBnB put us in the middle of old Savannah. We are a mere two blocks off the river. Our street was also lined with several great options for coffee, food and drinks. The location was perfect.
If you go to Savannah, you have to check out the Riverside. It’s lined with shops, restaurants and bar. Moreover, the views of the sun setting over the river with the backdrop of the suspension bridge are absolutely stunning. Their are some street vendors making palm flowers and singing, but they’re not overly intrusive. At the east end of the strip, you’ll find the City Market. It’s super cute and has a lot of local vendors, which are always fun to support.
Of course, I really enjoyed my stops in the candy stores. In particular, I bought some tasty truffles and a rather large peanut butter cup from the Savannah Candy Company. This store offers a smorgasbord of tasty morsels from candy to popcorn and ice cream. Truly, it has something for everyone. However, they’re famous for their pralines and saltwater taffy. All of the candy is reasonably priced.
My favorite part of Savannah, outside of the candy stores of course, is walking the city. The architecture is stunning. It has the colonial feeling of Boston with a Georgia climate, which isn’t a bad combination in January. I love the green spaces in the squares that dote Savannah’s downtown. They’re absolutely beautiful.
If you go to beautiful Savannah, stay in downtown close to the river. There are several hotels in the area as well as AirBnBs. We had to pay for street parking at our AirBnB, but the cost was minimal. Our friends who woke up after 8:00 am Saturday and hadn’t fed the market, received what we thought was a citation. However, upon closer inspection, we discovered it was only a warning. Talk about southern hospitality! In short, Savannah is definitely a must see city.
Utah day one was a big success despite the lack of sleep the night before. Fortunately, our flights out West were smooth sailing. Thank you Delta! Once we got into SLC, I went to get the rental car set before my parents flight landed. Luckily, the logistics we planned worked out perfectly.
I ordered pizza to be delivered to Jake’s apartment as we drove North to Ogden. Since it was around 2:00 by the time we got to Ogden, it was still too early to check into our AirBnB. Thanks to Uber Eats and good timing, our pizza got to Jake’s about a minute after we arrived. Speaking of Jake’s place, it’s absolutely perfect for him. It’s a really nice place.
After hanging out at Jake’s for a bit, we headed over to our AirBnB. The place is just over 3 miles north east of Jake’s place, which is perfect. Thankfully, the AirBnB is as perfect in person as it looked on the website. Moreover, the owners decked it out completely with everything you could need and more. I love the place!
We spent the evening at home, I had groceries delivered via Shipt. Afterwards, we headed to Smith’s to buy meats for dinner. The house has a nice gas grill, which we were more than happy to use. For dinner, we had burger, brats and Luke’s grilled potatoes. It was really nice to be able to eat outside under the stars without sweating off my weight in water.
Today is Mel’s birthday, so we’ll be celebrating her all day as we acclimate to the altitude. We’re hoping to the mountains behind us tomorrow morning before heading to Antelope Island for family pictures in the evening. Hopefully, this time we’ll actually see some Antelope on the island! Utah day one was a success. I love Utah!
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.
Vacation planning for families is no joke. With a trip like that you can’t just plan things willy-nilly. When planning a big family trip, especially overseas, a lot of careful planning and consideration must go into it. We took over two years to plan the Norway trip given the cost, length of travel and number of people going. My brother took point on the itinerary booking the Norway in a Nutshell tour. Meanwhile, we booked a car and mirrored their stops.
Renting a car in Norway was fairly easy and was reasonably priced through Hertz when booked with our AAA discount. Driving in Norway was fairly easy and straight forward. The roads were significantly narrower and full of roundabouts. In stark contrast to South Florida, Norwegian drivers were adept at the roundabouts and very congenial drivers. I didn’t hear a horn once. Norwegians are serious about their speed limits with speed cameras littering their road ways. Thank God for Waze and its speed trap warnings. Waze and Apple Maps worked perfectly in Norway.
Food is ridiculously expensive in Norway no matter which route you take. MacDonald’s set us back $60 in Bergen and that was fast food. The lodging, however, was reasonably priced. Hotels were nice as they often came with a complimentary breakfast that was quite impressive. Our hotel in Trondheim, the Radisson Blu, had one of the most incredible hotel breakfasts I had ever seen. The Air BnB’s worked perfectly for our family in Oslo and Bergen. It was great to stay in the neighborhoods of these cities and away from the tourists. Near our Air BnB in Bergen there was a great local coffee shop that had the most incredible coffee and treats.
As I look to our next big trip, a couple of things I will keep in mind. First, under no circumstance will I accept a compact car at the rental counter- no way, no how. Secondly, the car was nice as it gave us a great opportunity to see the Norwegian countryside and cities, but it was slow going. Next time, I think we will look to combine car, train and boat to see more of the country. Thirdly, I will take out a second mortgage to cover the cost of food. Lastly, when abroad it is not necessary to eat enough pastries to make up for the last two carb free years. #lessonlearned