Tampa Sunday..

We went to Davis Island in Tampa to look at houses and eat breakfast. We had eaten at our hotel the previous days and wanted something “better”  We ate at an Irish Restaurant on Davis Island. We ate outside at a picnic table. My meal was slightly interrupted when the children that had been eating decided to play Frisbee in the parking lot. They could have used more adult supervision since the Frisbee hit me in the back of my head while I was eating.  I don’t think the parents even knew. Hum and smile, throw it back and keep eating.

The homes in the area start at 775 k and go up. This is a pretty exclusive area and near Tampa General Hospital. I would image that a fair number of the doctors and administrators live there.  But, we can dream, and dream we did. By the way, the most recent lottery tickets were a total bust!

We drove north after eating and touring Davis Island with our final destination being Crystal River, Florida. We were told about an excellent fish market and seafood restaurant. We did not have anything planned and we had a nice new rental car, so we went for it. The toll road had a plaza every 10 to 12 miles (60 mile drive). Maybe they could charge a little more and not make us stop so frequently.

While driving we looked on Trip Advisor (my DW, not me, I was driving) and discovered that the restaurant got bad reviews. We stopped by anyway and found the fish market closed and a line at the door to the restaurant. The top rated seafood restaurant was just up the road so we changed plans. The top rated seafood restaurant was in a mall food court. Really! We went in and walked past and kept going. They need to vet these reviews a little better. We did get some ice cream before leaving the mall.  On the way back to Tampa we purchased a Sun Pass for the car. Sun Pass is like EZ Pass in the north-east. You pre-pay the tolls and can drive through the toll plaza without stopping.

Sunday evening found us back in Tampa for outdoor yoga. Hixon Park in downtown Tampa is where they have a free yoga class on Sunday evening. The park has a terraced area that the students can lay their mats on and the instructor is at the bottom. This was really cool. Check this off as another great, free, outdoor yoga venue.

Here is a Drop Box link to all the yoga pictures.

I will post a few down below.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!



Tampa Saturday..

The current (one of the) joke around our home is to say to the other person “How about we go to the Farmer’s Market in Ybor City on Saturday?” This is a good line to make the other person smile if they are having a particularly bad day.  Just don’t over use it! So you can guess that the Saturday when we were in Tampa we went to the Farmer’s Market in Ybor City. It is like most farmer’s markets, except that this one is in Florida.

We headed out of our room into the fog (second day in a row) and headed across Tampa to Ybor City. Ybor City is the Cuban and Latin quarter of Tampa. They used to have factories producing cigars in Ybor City. Then most of the industry left and the area went to hell. Over the last ten or 20 years the area has been revitalized.

This particular Saturday also was the Annul Ybor City Flan Festival. In addition to the farmer’s market they closed the streets and the food vendors and such came out to hawk their wares. We happened upon the Flan Festival last year. This year we planned to be in Tampa the same weekend as the Flan Festival. What is Flan?  Here is a Wiki link that should explain it.  We skipped the flan but we collected beads and some of the local foods.  It rained for about ten minutes. Typical Florida weather, the rain starts and stops whenever.

Here is a link to the Drop Box folder containing all the pictures from Ybor City.

Here are a few highlights from the morning

Thanks for reading




Florida road trip..

Monday’s adventure was a road trip here in Florida. DS3’s GF has family in Florida that she does not get to see very often. After some discussion over the weekend, it was decided that we would meet her Aunt Maureen and Jeff for lunch in Clewiston, Fl. Clewiston bills itself as the “Sweetest Town in the USA” (or something like that), since they are in the middle of the area where the primary crop is sugar cane.

We drove west and north from Weston and met them at Roland Martin’s Marina where they have a real nice tiki hut set up on the dock overlooking the marina. In the distance you can see the locks to Lake Okeechobee.  The food was good. They probably could have put a few more gator bites in my appetizer, but the rest of the lunch was good.  We took pictures, of course. The GF enjoyed visiting with her Aunt and we got to hear some interesting stories. It seems that the aunt and her boyfriend are/were avid motorcycle riders having each ridden more than 250,000 miles. Just the thought of that makes my butt sore.

After we left them we drove up on the dike and looked off towards the lake and took some pictures. Then we went east towards the ocean in search of ice cream. Who would have thought finding ice cream in Florida would be a project? We stopped in Wellington, Florida at a Cold Stone Creamery. Yum and Yum!

After our ice cream stop we continued east until we arrived at the Atlantic Ocean. We found a public beach in Lantana and parked and walked in the water for a short while. And we took pictures.  (Seeing the theme yet?) We picked up A1A South in Lake Worth and drove south to Hillsborough admiring the houses and the views (both east towards the ocean and west towards the sunset). After crossing the Hillsborough Inlet we turned west and went back to Weston. One huge circle.

The drive was long but we got see some more of Florida that we had never seen. And the money in the Palm Beach County along the ocean as evidenced by the mansions on the water, must be incredible.

Enjoy the pictures and thanks for reading.




The revolving kitchen or front door…

Revolving doors, it seems like this past week we had quite a few visitors at home.  Friday I had two visits from DS1. His job sent him towards LBI first thing and then back again around lunch time. He stopped by for “the best breakfast” in the past week. We had pork roll and eggs. If you have been following along, I work from home on Fridays. He was back for lunch as well. It was nice to see him and share two meals. Half way through lunch he mentioned that he was still full from breakfast. Five minutes later he was up getting some more lunch. The cheese noodles were a hit (along with the leftover Coney Island hot dogs).

Friday night DS3 came home for the weekend. He wanted to visit with some of his high school friends for the weekend. We (DW and I) saw him for part of Friday evening and for a few hours on Saturday. He and his friends came by the house and had a fire in the backyard Saturday night. Sunday morning he  went back to school.  One walks out the door and the next walks in the door. A slightly empty nest last week. This week, no visitors so far.

DS2 and I are going to Chicago on October 26 for a graduate open house at the Columbia College of Chicago. They have a Masters program in music composition for tv, film and theatre. I have never been to Chicago.  Well, that is not true, we once stopped in Chicago flying from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. Yep, think about that trip.  I have been doing some research on the school. If anyone reading this knows about the school, drop me line. I am also looking for suggestions for breakfast, dinner and a hotel either near the school (South Loop) or near Midway Airport.

At home, yoga rules the roost. Monday is hot yoga, Tuesday is adult school yoga, Wednesday is gentle yoga and Thursday is restorative yoga. Friday we drink beer.  Weekends we avoid working on the hot tub and watch some football.

Sunday I rode my bike for the first time since the beginning of August. This coming weekend we (the Weatherman and I) are scheduled to ride in Pa. I needed to work out some of the rust (in my legs). The ride went well.  We also picked late season tomatoes from the garden and made four cups of salsa, yum!

Enjoy the rest of the week.


DS1's 25 th birthday back in July

DS1’s 25 th birthday back in July

SMP Farms..

Maybe the title should be “A Tale of Two Gardens”.  Last Saturday, my DW and I traveled to Annapolis, MD for a professional lacrosse game.  Wes stopped by SMP Farms to visit DS1 at work. He has been working at this job since last spring and we had never visited his work place. He works about 50 miles away from home. The GPS took us over the river and through the woods since we opted to avoid toll roads. I wanted to see what the route that he drives each day is like. I don’t think I would want to drive that route everyday. I would suck up and pay the tolls and set the cruise control. His route has too many lights and 45/50 mph zones for my taste.

There are of course pictures from our visit. I will add a few at the bottom and a link to the Drop Box folder so you can see them all.  The farm/nursery is huge. I really had no idea how large the business was. We were both quite impressed. DS1 met us when we drove in and gave us an hour plus walking tour of the farm. We met the owner. He was a lot younger than we expected. I thanked him for keeping DS1 employed. I have a habit of thanking the children’s employers when I meet them.  We also met several of his co-workers.

We watched DS1 do his Saturday job which is being a salesperson to the plant needy populace. We also watched him drive the tractor using it to load a tree into the back of a pick up truck. DS1 shared some business wisdom with us on Saturday. He told us if the potential customer arrived in a pick up truck, the chances of closing the sale were much greater than somebody showing up in their car looking to “kick the tires”  We picked out a couple of Day lilies and a Sago Palm Tree to take home.  DS1 got the honor of delivering them to our home and planting them Sunday afternoon. The Sago Palm was not planted since it can not take the New Jersey winters.

Here are a few pictures from the farm.  Enjoy!  And thanks for reading!

The two gardens? Her (DW) has the flower garden. Him (me) has the food garden. Saturday’s visit was a flower garden visit.




Post 460, a departure from the norm..

As a consistent reader of this blog, or a first time reader of this blog, two of the mostly off-limit subjects are religion and politics.  I don’t usually discuss my political views, but I occasionally discuss my religious views. Tonight I will share a few short words about politics and leave it at that.

The headline on MSN this morning  was that the unemployment rate had dropped last month. Now the rate equals the rate when the current president took office. Progress? Then the article went on to say that “they” also adjusted the employment numbers for July and August to show more people finding work. Hmm.. The fox guarding the hen-house, perhaps? Maybe the new numbers are actually correct. Maybe the pundits that gave the win in the first debate to the challenger should give this news some thought? This, in my opinion, is just election year politics. What are the real employment numbers? That would be anyones guess.

As I tweeted today, Magic, pure election year magic. Employment on the rise, feel happy and re-elect the president. They wouldn’t manipulate the number? No way. For the record, as I have stated in the past, I usually vote Republican. My DW usually votes Democratic. So, we cancel each other out on election day. It just seems pretty fishy that the employment numbers are suddenly getting better AND that the numbers reported in July and August were wrong.  I’m just saying. Enough politics for tonight.

Today was a WFH Friday.DS1 stopped by while making deliveries for a bite and the use of the bathroom. Tonight he got out of work at a decent time and joined us for dinner at a local restaurant. It is kinda nice to be able to share a meal and a cocktail with your children. They were real small once.  We (he and I) ordered a beer, my DW had an Angry Orchid cider. Then he ordered a Makers Mark (bourbon) on the rocks.  I figured, what the heck, and had one as well.  We ate and talk, nothing too deep. We found out that his boss is thinking about sending him with the truck and a helper, to Arizona in January to dig up and bring back some Yucca cactuses. The truck pictured below would be his chariot.  Yikes!

Tonight’s pictures are of DS1 visiting today for lunch. A farm boy and his truck. Enjoy!


Another great use for a library..

Tuesday night yoga started up again tonight. Tuesday night yoga is offered by the local high school under the auspices of the adult school. My DW and I attended last year for three sessions. Two sessions in the Fall and one session in the Spring. The yoga class is held in the library at the local high school. Our Fall session looks to have four students including my DW and I. Everyone in the class (students and teacher) attended the Fall session last year.

Centered? Not yet. It was real nice to get back to yoga. I think it will take a few weeks before the mind starts listening. My body picked up mostly where it left off.  Turning my mind off for that hour is going to take a little more practice. I’m pretty sure I can get back there.  I think the teacher took it easy on us since this was the first session.

Here are some random thoughts or news from the last two days:

  • Ron White, the comedian has a new video out. You can buy it online for 5 dollars. We bought it two weeks ago on a pre-order for 4.20. We watched the video tonight. If you are a fan, get your hands on this video. It is pretty funny.
  • Monday nigh lacrosse did not go well. As good as last week went, this week did not go well. No shots, no goals, not many balls caught. Yuck! Back to the drawing board.
  • Parents weekend in Scranton is this week. We will be in the neighborhood for most of the weekend.  Both schools have quite the schedule of activities.  We will attend some, and skip some.  It will be nice to see our two younger children.
  • Younger children, if you want anything from home, now is the time to email your parents. DS2, I got your email today.
  • I went to a poll worker training class this afternoon. I am a poll worker in our county. The county decided that everyone that is working this election needs to go through a retraining program. Boring..  I was probably one of the youngest attendees today.
  • Yesterday was my sister’s birthday. She has now made it into the 50 + club. Welcome to the team.
  • Monday night dinner was meatloaf, Tuesday night dinner was ham steak. (Thought you might want to know)

Tonight’s picture comes from when DS1 was out in Ohio for a friends wedding. DS1 in all the way on the right hand side. Enjoy!




One day off from the A/C..

The weather here in New Jersey was pleasant today. The humidity was decent and the temperatures got into the mid 80’s. We turned the a/c off this morning after what seems like a two-week straight run of hazy, hot and humid weather. The humid stuff is forecast to return tomorrow.  DS1 brought home the work truck tonight. I posted the picture of this truck last week. I will include it again at the bottom. He parked the truck in the driveway since the town does not allow overnight truck parking on the street. It is pretty comical to see this huge truck in the driveway with… farmer plates. I did not know that the State of NJ issued Farmer Plates. They must, there are a set on the truck in the driveway. He drove the truck home since he was making a delivery to a local landscaper.

Ds2 is working the closing shift tonight. He is counting the days to returning to school. DS3 worked the day shift at the B & B Department store today. He said work was slow. Tonight he and  his girl friend are at Kelly’s in Barnegat Light for dinner. He asked about the restaurant I told him “the food is ok, the prices are ok, the table service is slow. And, you will probably have to wait for a table” He said that was just fine. I guess waiting with your honey is a good thing. 

My DW worked a full day then had to go back for three more hours. This is her call week. I was busy today. Tomorrow I am working from home because I have a doctor’s appointment in the morning about my calf. It still hurts. Not that I am complaining (maybe a little), just every now and then it hurts a little bit more. 

I got caught up on my Falling Skies episodes tonight. I missed two weeks during the Olympics. Not that I watched the Olympics, I just missed watching my show. I don’t watch much tv during the summer.  Dinner tonight was a COSTCO chicken.  I was cooking tonight and had not defrosted anything this morning. The COSTCO is 5 minutes away.  Easy in and out. The best part, the only thing I bought was the chicken. I resisted the urge to buy the jumbo bag, box of something to help fill my cart.

Tomorrow night, all things being equal, we are going to the Tuckahoe Inn to see Scott Kirby.  I may miss posting due to having too much fun! (I hope)

Tonight’s picture is of the truck that is in my driveway. Enjoy!


Calorie equivalent?..

Late night posting here in New Jersey. Today being Thursday, we (DS3 and I) have just returned from playing lacrosse in Manalapan.  We had a good group of guys tonight. There were enough players to field two full teams with about 5 substitutes on each side. And, we had two goalies!  Me, no hits, no runs, no errors (as they say in baseball). I did run around a lots and I worked up a good sweat.

Tonight there is no good rum in the house. I finished it last night and failed to replenish the stock during the day. I will remedy the problem tomorrow. I decided to have a Klondike Bar in place of the rum. My thought was equivalent calories?  I did  a little web research shows that 80 proof hard liquor has 100 calories per ounce. If I have two ounces that would be 200 calories. The Klondike Bar (as near I can tell) has 240 calories. So, not exactly equivalent. But I did run around chasing younger lacrosse players for 90 minutes. That should count for something.

I am off to bed. The picture of the day is of DS1. He posted this on Facebook today. He told me later in the day that he was spraying pesticides today. I’m not exactly sure I am happy with that. I would not want him to grow an extra thumb. Enjoy!


LimeGuy goes Blueberry picking..

I have been blueberry picking here in South Jersey for at least 20 years. Not every year, but most years. I blogged last July about blueberry picking with DS3. We picked 33 lbs of blueberries is about 2 hours. This year we went back to the same farm and they were closed. I was stumped. I could have called them, but we are in the middle of the picking season, how could they be closed? The sign said that they were closed until July 9. Are they on a cruise or what?  I got on the internet on my phone and found another u-pick blueberry farm about 15 minutes away.

We drove to the alternate blueberry farm. It was on the same route that we travel each Monday night to play lacrosse. The farm has a few important signs for visitors. The first sign said that one adult could accompany two children. The farm is a working farm, not a playground.  Hmm, ok. The second sign told the pickers (us) that we could eat some berries while we picked but if we “grazed like a cow” we would be asked to leave. I did not notice any “cow catchers” while we were working in the fields.  In my time a cow catcher might be found on the front of a train to push the errant cows off the train tracks. Modern times I guess.

We climbed on the farm wagon which in the fall would take us pumpkin picking and sat down. We had our buckets that we tied around our waist and our big bucket to hold our treasures (picked blueberries in this instance). I looked around and was surprised to see that of the twenty or so people going blueberry picking, 15 or so of them were Japanese. I have been picking for 20 plus years and can’t say that I have ever seen a Japanese person, nor 15 of them, blueberry picking. Maybe they had a structured tour. The children had the pasty white skin that come from too much video game playing and not enough time outside.

The biggest disappointment of the day was that the berries at this farm were small. The berries were for the most part plentiful, but the size was lacking. Last year in two hours we picked 33 lbs. This year in two hours we picked 10 lbs.  And we worked for that 10 lbs. I will go back to last years farm when they re-open. Hopefully their berries this year will be as nice as last year. We gave some to DS3’s girlfriends family, froze most of them and left about a cup or so fresh to snack on.  The temperature in the field, easily 90 degrees.

Here are two pictures and a video from today’s adventure. I’m not really happy with the quality of the video. I’m not sure why the quality is like it is. Enjoy!



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