Birds in paradise..

So they say that having a bird “poop” on your head is good luck.  Whomever said that was probably watching and chuckling not trying to clean up the mess.  We were leaving the Islamorada Fish Company after eating a late lunch when I was blessed by a bird. The target zone may have been the top of my head but the landing zone was the side and my shoulder. I hope that the stain comes out of that, guess the color, white shirt. We did enjoy our late lunch/early dinner. It was raining yesterday in South Florida. We sat at one table under their tiki hut and had to move when the rain started to seep through the thatch roof. It seems the roof is scheduled for repair sometime soon.

We were back in Key Largo yesterday to go shooting. Last year DS3 and I shot a few different types of pistols at the indoor range at Kiffney’s Firearms. Last year my DW decided to watch, this year she decided (without much prompting) to give the shooting thing a try. We had an instructor that walked us through using the weapons safely. DS3 and I had different .45 pistols. My DW choose a .22 pistol.  The instructor watched us for a few minutes and left DS3 and I alone to do our thing. He spent about 10 or 15 minutes making sure my DW was comfortable with shooting and loading her weapon.

We had fun. Nobody got hurt and everybody left the building with a smile and some stories to share. DS3’s GF decided not to shoot and watched us through the glass.  I will add a picture of my DW and her pink target. She did quite well.  I posted the picture on Facebook and her friends and co-workers had fun with the picture and her going out shooting with the boys.

Last night in the Northeast there was a big snow storm. The two kids were supposed to fly home today. From looking at the storm and flight cancellations, we decided to change the flight to Thursday to let the greater Philadelphia area have another day to clear the roads.

Keep warm and thanks for reading!

Oh, anybody want to stop by the house and shovel out the driveway?




Vacation Day Five…

Today is Thursday, January 17, 2013. When I last posted we had arrived in Weston, Florida after trashing my min van driving to the airport. Today I got the estimate for the repair, 1500.00. I guess I need to add the cost of the tow to that number. And in response to my brother’s comment that we should invest in a tow truck, I’ve been giving that some serious thought. The car will be repaired and back on the road by the time I return from Florida (I hope).

Today DS3 and I stopped in Key Largo and visited Kiffney’s Firearms to shoot pistols in their indoor pistol range. Neither DS3 or I have ever shot a pistol before. We shot 100 rounds each. We shot the following pistols, .45 Glock, .40 Glock, 9 mm Glock and a 9 mm Smith and Wesson.  Bam and bam until there was nothing but spent shells on the floor. We traded off pistols to have the chance to load and fire all the different weapons. We had fun. My DW watched through the window while we were shooting. She did not want to shoot the pistols. I shot zombies and DS3 shot a terrorist target.

After we returned from Keys (we went to the Keys on Monday, more about that later this week), we had our lacrosse team’s first and only practice. The tournament starts tomorrow. Our first game is at 8 am tomorrow morning. Yikes!

Here are a few pictures from today. There will be many more pictures as the week goes on. Enjoy!



Day 213, Random thoughts from my time in the sun..

I am sitting in the Fort Lauderdale airport. I got here a little early. I had to be out of the room by 10 am and the flight is at 5:50 pm.  I drove around Weston and Davie trying to get a better feel for the area. After making my way to the ocean staying off the interstate, I parked the car and walked the Hollywood Beach “boardwalk” again. I had lunch watching the people walk by. During lunch some (up and coming ?) singer was shooting a video on the beach. After they wrapped up the beach part they moved to the boardwalk to shoot some more. I shot a few pictures with my phone of the goings on. I will post them on the bottom.

Today’s blog will be a catch up from the last week or so.  Here goes, in no particular order:

  • Fishing yesterday day was on the  Lady Pamela III. There were six men and one women on the boat. She arrived to go fishing alone. We caught Kingfish, Triggerfish, Squirrel Fish, Sand Tile fish, Grunts, and other bottom dwelling fish. I had fun. The idea for me was to get outside for the afternoon, mission accomplished.
  • After kayaking in Key Largo I went to the “World Famous Caribbean Club” for a beer while waiting for the sunset. This is a dive. World famous? Maybe in their minds. At one point there were three dogs running in and out the open doors areas and around the bar’s interior. This was a locals place for sure. ** Late edit** While driving home tonight Jimmy Buffett was performing in Miami. He mentioned the Caribbean Club. (Go figure) It is still a dive.
  • My neighbors the second week were odd. They had at least one small child. That was not the odd part. The odd parts was the playing of an Indian chanting, droning music (calling it music is a stretch for me) all hours of the day and night. They played it loud enough that I had to play the tv during the day to drown the noise. And the small child was up and screaming until nearly midnight each night.
  • Steven Spielberg has a huge boat. We saw the boat tied up at the marina yesterday. The pictures from fishing are still in my camera. I will put them up tomorrow when I get home.
  • I had short ribs last night for dinner. I had never had them and now I have eaten them twice in three weeks. I am going to find a recipe and make them myself.
  • Most people in the hot tub at the resort are friendly. Everybody talks, nobody seems to judge. At least not outwardly judge.
  • I went back to the fields where we played lacrosse last weekend and shot this video. It was pretty empty this morning.
  • I stopped to watch an informal high school lacrosse practice in Davie this morning. I drove by and saw the people throwing the ball around so I drove over to the park. They were all young kids. I thought that it may have been people my age (or so) and I was going to get one more chance to play down here.
  • When I went to return the rental car today a women in a Ford Edge cut in front of me in the lane that leads to the rental car return. I figured she must have full coverage. She goes the same way I was going, into the Budget return line. She cuts across three lanes of cars so that she can be in the front row of an empty lane. The ladies checking in the cars ignored her. I laughed all the way into the terminal.
  • It is cold in NJ. I am home again. The trip was for the most part uneventful.
  • DS3 heads back to school tomorrow. I’m glad I got back in time to see him off in the morning.
  • The refrigerator here in NJ has less stuff than the one I left in Florida. Tomorrow will be a food shopping day for sure
  • I saw some teenagers waving signs at an intersection today in Florida. They were part of the Get Out the Vote campaign. See the picture below.


Day 211, I still did not make it to Key West..

It baffles me. Here I am about 180 miles from Key West. I drove 190 miles to and from Scranton in the same day weekend after weekend. Yet I can’t seem to make it all the way to Key West. Only the first hour of the drive is on the interstate, the next three hours are on roads with lower speed limits, traffic and traffic lights. That is probably the reason. Or maybe that is the reason I tell myself.

Today I went to Key Largo. I drove the Card Sound Road for the first time. If you have ever driven into the Keys there is a way to skip the beginning part of US 1. Going on Card Sound Road requires a dollar for the toll and a few extra minutes since the route is less direct. When I got into Key Largo I stopped at Florida Bay Outfitters to discuss renting a kayak for the afternoon. The rate was reasonable, the equipment looked good and the people were friendly. How can you go wrong when the stars are all aligned like that?

I went to lunch then returned to the shop and completed the paperwork and headed out into the bay. When I left the wind was blowing briskly from behind me. I understood that would mean I would be kayaking against that wind on the way home. The open water section of the paddle was a little over a mile. After the open water section was behind me I entered the mangroves. In this video you can see the mangroves and the water, notice the silence (except for me narrating). I finished paddling through the mangroves and headed back towards the dock.

My course back to the dock was directly into the wind. The waves were about 1 foot (no big deal in a boat) with some slight white caps. I got a little spray with each wave that hit the front of the kayak. During part of the ride I was accompanied by a pair of bottle nose dolphins. They swam with me and around me. I have to say it was really neat. I would have shot some pictures but it was too rough out in the middle of the bay.

When I got back to the dock they told me I still had two more hours of rental and that I should go back out and paddle some more. That is what I did. I stayed close to the beach so that the land blocked the wind and reduced the waves. I saw some Tarpon swimming under a dock near a restaurant. The restaurant feeds the Tarpon so they hang out under the dock waiting for dinner.

After finally being done with the kayak, the rental guys said that they had a shower and a changing room. I was excited about that since I was wet from the ride across the bay. The shower turned out to be an outdoor shower with only one water temperature. Hmmm, I must have missed that memo. I took a quick shower, real quick.  After the shower I had a beer and waited for the sunset. There are pictures on the bottom of the sunset.

I had dinner at the restaurant next door. The wings and the beer were good. The calzone was bad. Not really bad, just not what I am accustomed to getting in NJ. Maybe it is the water, maybe the flour or something. I ate the cheese and not much of the dough.

I’m back at the condo in Weston for the night. I have one more full day left in Florida. I am thinking about going fishing tomorrow. I just am not sure where.

Enjoy the pictures,