Thursday, August 19, 2010

My August: Tampa/St.Petersburg, Kidney Stone, Chalupa's Photo Shoot, etc...

Well it's been a long time since I've blogged so here is a long one. We've been busy this month. First, actually still in July, we took Chalupa(Adri's nickname) to Butterfly World. She pretty much slept through the entire trip.

Then we decided to take her for her first swim when she was about six weeks old. She loved the water. I have the pictures to prove it.

August second I had a work trip to Tampa for 2 weeks. The guy that worked up there quit and they were looking for volunteers to work the site. I of course volunteered. They pay me per diem everyday so I can basically eat for free, I don't have to run my ac for two weeks, no dishes, closer to the office, and it's away from South Florida. So who wouldn't want to go? So the week before was really busy preparing to be gone for so long. I, of course, took Natalie and Adriana with me to Tampa. Adri actually did pretty good on the drive up. She slept the whole way up except for when we stopped in Punta Gorda. We fed her and went to change her diaper. It took three diapers to finally get her changed because she kept pooping while we tried to change her. After that she slept the rest of the way until 2 minutes before we got to the hotel.

We stayed in St Petersburg but I worked in Tampa, just 15 minutes away across the bridge. The office was pretty cool. It's got a nice white sand beach behind it and a park next to it. It's in a very wooded area, so wooded that in the next lot you cant even see the big buildings through the forest. A lot of the neighborhoods were like that around there too. Big old homes from the early 1900s with huge live oaks in their yards stretching out across the streets.

So the first day we were there, after work, we went to the St Petersburg Pier. They have a restaurant there called "The Columbia". I always thought it was Colombian food but it's actually Cuban and it's named after the boat the family came over on. The first restaurant opened in Ybor City in 1905. They have really good food there and it's in the top 50 icon restaurants in the states. After we left we went to the store to pick up some stuff and it was thundering really bad. So we were sitting at a stop light and after a bright flash everything went black. I guess the lightning hit the pole next to us because it blew up and half the block lost power.

Tuesday we decided to go check out the first Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. For the white folk it's pronounced E-boar or E-bore, not Yarbor. Back in the day this was the cigar capital of the world. Well this restaurant is even better than the one at the pier, this is the original one from 1905. Even though they are all owned by the same family the food was better at this one. So after dinner we walked around the streets of Ybor City. Around the restaurant is like the "Bourbon Street" of Tampa. At this time of the day the streets were empty, this block gets busy at night. I thought it was a cool area because the buildings are all old, the streets were brick, and they even had a street car.

Thursday is when the fun started. I came home from work in a lot of pain. I actually started not feeling good around noon. So finally around 4:30ish I told Natalie that if it doesn't get any better I'm going to have to go to the hospital. Natalie of course goes into panic mode and doesn't even finish with Adri's bath. We thought it was my appendix at the time so Natalie was driving all Nascar to get to the hospital. And speaking of Nascar, when we finally got there this place was full of the kind of rednecks that make us good rednecks look bad. It took them an hour to finally hook up the IV after they put it in my arm, it took them 90 minutes to get me a CT scan, and worst of all it took them 2 hours to get me medicine. I couldn't lay there and I had to get up and they started yelling at me that I'm messing up my IV. I told them get some some meds then because I am in pain. They of course ignored me. They left me in the room and then came back complaining because I'm not quiet enough while it feels like my back is broken. That's when I got into it with this stupid nurse and told her to get me some meds or I'm sending Natalie to go get my norco. She said she won't let it in the hospital so I told her I'll walk out then because they can't just leave me like that. This nurse really pissed me off. Anyways by the time they got me the meds the pain had passed. How convenient.

So finally I find out that I have a pretty big kidney stone. 8mm to be exact. Up to 5mm will pass on it's own, after that it's questionable. I had about a 15% chance of passing this thing on my own. So they gave me a prescription and sent me home. We finally left there at 9:30 and experienced the fun of trying to find a pharmacy that is open 24 hours in that town. We saw a CVS that said open 24 hours but once we got inside guess what? Yeah, the pharmacy was closed. By the time we finally got home it was after midnight.

The next couple days after that were a blur. I laid around in pain on meds and slept round the clock. Friday and Saturday we didn't even leave the room. Sunday we finally decided to get out and check out a park called Boyd Hill. It's got 3.5 miles of trails and it looks like a really cool park. Well it was hot, the heat index was nearly 110, thunderstorms were close by and I still wasn't feeling so great. Needless to say we only lasted about 20 minutes on the trail. I guess we'll have to go back when it's cooler. We wanted to go to an old Spanish fort up there too, but again, wasn't feeling up to it.

The rest of the week we didn't do all that much but the last night we were there we found a really good restaurant called Red Mesa. I got this steak called Puntas De Filet Mignon. Not only was it something totally original but it was awesome. I liked it so much I made it myself with my new and improved recipe when I got home. It's a filet wrapped in bacon with chipotle sauce, onions, bellpepper, olive oil, and jalepenos. I made my own sauce and it turned out really good.

On the way home we stopped at the Skyway Bridge and took a few pictures. Then we drove down to Ft Meyers and had some food at Sonny's. Adri didn't do so good on the way home. Not even 5 minutes after we got on Alligator Alley she started screaming her head off. It was a fun last 90 minutes of our drive.

The Saturday after we got back we did Adri's two month photo shoot. Then we decided to take Adri to Flamingo Gardens and take some more pictures. We left too late in the day so we got there only 35 minutes before closing. So we didn't have long to walk around but we got a few good pictures. We actually had to run out before closing because when we got there it was hot and sunny but things got ugly really quick and we ran out just before a really bad thunderstorm hit(we got 2.25 inches of rain at my house in 45 minutes).

Then last week was a busy one. The first three days of the week after work I had doctor appointments. Monday I had to go to the doctor and then the hospital for xrays. They found the stone so Tuesday after my follow up appointment I had to go back to the hospital for another xray, a ekg, and they send me to quest for bloodwork. Then on Wednesday I finally got this stone surgically removed. They put me to sleep on bed with this ball that looks like the death star from Star Wars next to it. It has a piece indented just like the death star and that area is full of gel. They blasted me with soundwaves and pulverised the kidney stone. They want me to go back in two weeks for another CT scan to make sure it's gone even though I know it's gone and I've seen the evidence. The surgery went good and the only real side effects were a sore throat and slightly sore hip. I couldn't even eat a bread roll afterwards. After ten minutes of chewing on it, not producing saliva, and unable to swallow, I had to wash it down with a cup of water. I gave up and told Natalie to go get me a pint of Ice Cream.

This last weekend I got back to my yardwork and I'm convinced that my neighbor has put a curse on my machete. First I was cutting back his hedge and a stick hit me in the eye. When I use the gas pruner I wear safety glasses but I wasn't expecting an accident with the machete. So my eye was burning and I couldn't see and I had to ice it for a good 20 minutes.

So then I get back to work and I had to cut down one of my old banana plants. Banana's produce one, some two, bunches of bananas and then you have to cut it down. So I was using the saw on the back side of my machete to cut it down. Banana plants aren't trees, they are herbs and the stock is made of of layers and layers of leaves so it's not that hard to cut. Well normally my hand would go inside of the handle on the machete, if I'm using the blade so if using like that you have to be pretty stupid to get hurt. But since I was using the saw side my hand was on the outside of the handle. My hand slipped and all I remember is my hand feeling really hot. I thought I just bruised it but when I took off my glove there was blood gushing everywhere. So I ran inside and went to the sink to assess the situation. There was blood everywhere so I told Natalie to get me a towel. She didn't know what was going on so she didn't really respond. So I shouted back "get a towel now there is blood everywhere." She came over and saw my finger and started freaking out. She thought I lost my finger. So of course she immediately wants me to go to emergency. I told her to just calm down and let me wait it out a bit, stop the bleeding, and get a better look. So 10-15 minutes later I decided that I would be making my second ER trip in my life in just two weeks. Four and a half hours later I was stitched up (11 stitches) and all better, kind of. I didn't hit the tendons so that's good. Maybe the gloves I was wearing helped keep it from ending up a worse situation. The doctor said I'm lucky to have my finger since a lot of people lose all four fingers with machete accidents here. Of course my accident was different than the normal moron's machete accident since I wasn't swinging the machete and hit myself, I just slipped onto it. Lesson learned, don't use the saw on the machete. Next time I'll use my real saw if I need to saw something and only use the machete when I'm whacking back the bushes.

Anyways here are all my pictures from the month.

Big lunch for a little baby. This was a couple days before we went to Tampa, in July. We met up for lunch at Scrubys.


Butterfly World




Adri wasn't too interested in the really big bugs. They also had beetles and butterflies the size of her head.


Adriana's First Swimming Lesson
Can you see the excitement on her face?





Driving to Tampa. This is when we stopped in Punta Gorda.

Driving over the Skyway Bridge.



Dinner at The Columbia at the Pier. Adri was getting stares from everyone, naturally.


The Columbia in Ybor City


Laying Around The Hotel. I think this was the day after my ER visit. This is what I did for the next three days.

Diaper baby. Her eight week photo shoot, not to be confused with her two month photo shoot.

Attackin that bed



The Park




The Pier



The Skyway Bridge




Flamingo Gardens


It's not me, she hates the hat



Adriana's Two Month Photo Shoot


First Vaccine Shots




Random PicturesNap time

My version of "punta de filet mignon". It was awesome. And no, it's not stirfry.


The Accident