Friday, December 30, 2011

Fall 2011

Well fall kicks off one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons. First off it means it might actually cool down a little bit here in S. Florida and the humidity decreases. It's also the start of the holiday season, starting with Halloween.

We had a pretty busy fall this year thanks to Lil Chubs. She is always keeping us busy. One of my favorite things to do is take her around the yard and teach her the names of all the plants and trees. I started doing this in the summer and now she is pretty good at it. She knows mango, lychee, "pa-paya" (she separates the word), star fruit, jack fruit, lemon, banana, sugar cane, bamboo, flowers, berries, and her funniest one is gumbo limbo (formerly  bubmo limbo in Adri talk). Yeah, I've taught my little girl well. She knows what more of the trees and plants are in the yard than most adults would walking around the place.

Now she is getting big enough that she doesn't just know the names of the plants, but she is learning how to water them. Natalie bought her a little water can and Adri was helping me water all the plants one morning. This was the same morning we went to Flamingo Road Nursery for the pumpkin patch.

Here she is watering my new Edward mango tree.

Watering on of my flowers by the canal.

Watering my new Black Gold Jackfruit Tree. Natalie got me this tree for my birthday.

After a hot morning in the yard we took chubs to the pumpkin patch for some pictures. We also did some shopping for fruits and vegetables for the garden while we were there. Adri is still too young for all the candy so she doesn't get to trick or treat yet. So our favorite part of Halloween right now is definitely the pumpkin patch.

Look at that grin. Wonder where she gets it from?

Why does my dad call her bugs?

Adri is in her throwing stage. We told her to stop throwing the pumpkin.

Adri is also in her sniffing stage. She has to give everything the smell check.

After Halloween the next big thing in the family was Natalie's birthday. We went to a park in Miami called Greynold's with the family and it wasn't the best idea. It was a wet fall so there were mosquitoes everywhere and hungry raccoons. I was able to keep the raccoons at bay until sunset and then everyone decided it was time to bail out and go to Natalie's aunt's house.

Adri making the Aubrey face. Reminds me of my niece.
 At the top of the fort. Probably the highest hill in all of Miami.

Our next big event was our three year anniversay. Not going to put this on this blog because it's already on a seperate one. You can read about it here  Key Largo.

And that is it for fall. Next update will be on Christmas.

The Leash

So long before the baby came into the picture Natalie asked me what is with white people putting leashes on their kids. She didn't agree with it. Well after a trip to California and seeing how some kids were acting in Stater Bros. Her mind was changed.
Needless to say we got our little trouble maker a leash. But we did get her a stylish Elmo one and she actually likes it. I like to take walks around the neighborhood as much as possible. We really like going into the neighborhood behind us, "The Oaks". The house right behind our house has really big oaks in the front yard. When walking down that street you can't even see the sky in some parts and it reminds me of the south.

Anyways here are some pictures of one of our Sunday walks around "The Oaks".

Ready to go for a walk and Adri heard an airplane. Here she is yelling "airplane".

 And here is her stylish new leash.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

30th Birthday Weekend

Well this October was my 30th birthday. My twin really wanted me to be there of course but we had a crazy year so it almost didn't happen. My dad decided to buy us tickets though and flew us out for the weekend and my sister and Jeff threw an 80's party.

Adriana loves to fly. She was really excited from the minute we go to the airport. When we finally took off she was laughing up a storm. Aren't kids suppose to be scared? Then when we hit turbulence everyone got the scared look on their faces except for Adri. She thought it was hilarious. During our layovers she kept pointing at all the airplanes. This started her new obsession, which has not gone away, with airplanes. To this day she points at the sky and yells airplane when she hears or sees one. She has since learned to say "airplane, it moves" and she knows that the stars don't move. She also knows Jupiter and Venus but her favorites are still airplanes and helicopters. Even from inside the house she gets excited when she hears an airplane and yells "whoa airplane" and wants to go outside to see it. And it all started with this trip.

I was pretty busy catching up with everyone at our party so I only took one picture on my camera of my sister and a friend from high school. The party was fun and one of my coworkers at the time showed up. He was working at March Air Reserve, one of Cassandra's friends, and just happened to be with Lockheed on the same contract I was on at Homestead. I also got to see one of the only friends I still hang out with from my high school days and some family.

Here is my sister and her friend Regina. I was friends with Regina back in high school.

The day after the party we had my nephew Jeremy's baptism. My sister Cassandra wrote a blog on that. Afterwards we had family time at my sister's house.

On Monday we had a nice family day. We were having a hard time deciding what to do but we finally all agreed on San Diego. I absolutely love San Diego. If I ever had to go back to the commie state of Kalifornia San Diego would be my city of choice. I lived there for 3 years before moving here and I often miss the food, the surf, and the cooler summers. Although I'm not really a fan of the cold in the winter. But anyways that is where we decided to go. And we decided to go to my favorite part of San Diego, La Jolla.

I first found out about La Jolla years ago when surfing. My friend David from Stater Bros and I were going down there to pick up a board he bought online. David was actually the person I started surfing with. We were both at work talking about surfing and decided that we were just going to get boards and start doing it. Well funny thing is David is Mexican and fluent in Spanish but we kept driving back and forth from Oceanside to Tijuana passing up La Jolla. I even read the sign all American and he didn't catch it. We were looking for La Hoya. Haha.. We drove from Oceanside to Tijuana and back probably 3-4 times that day before finally finding La Jolla. When we finally got there the waves were kickin 7 feet due to a storm off baja and I didn't have enough wax on my board. First time on my new board and I slipped and smacked my head pretty good. Anyways, that is my story about how I found La Jolla. Now back to October...

The plan was to go to the tide pools, then to my favorite restaurant in Coronado (Miguel's Cucina) and then head home. We changed our minds when we got to La Jolla so we decided to eat at Jose's for lunch and do the Ruby's on the Oceanside Pier for dinner.

After eating an epically awesome Mexican lunch we went down to the tide pools to play around. We looked for sea anemones and let the kids put their fingers in them and went to look at the seals. Both of my sisters have crazy kids that decided that they were going to swim in the cold water (low 60's). I don't know how they do it. Natalie wouldn't even get in the 77 degree water here last week.

Cassandra being the proud aunt.

Walking up the hill to Jose's

My nephew Ryder with my dad.

I think she was playing peekaboo with my dad.

Adri having an epic fall.

At the tide pools. Had to remove my sandals because it was slippery.

At the tide pools. Behind us is a pier at La Jolla Beach. That is where I first surfed and fell on my board. Further North is the cliffs where there are, no joke, 30,000+ sq foot homes. They look like resorts. One of them actually has a house on the cliff and a private tram that runs 330 feet down the cliff to a fort looking party house on Black's Beach.

At Ruby's in Oceanside. Someone got a hold of the stickers.

It was completely clear when we went into Ruby's to eat. When we came out it was foggy and visibility was horrible. Kinda spooky, I like it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Zoo Miami & Fruit And Spice Park

So in September Natalie found a deal for $5 zoo day. Couldn't pass that up. So we went down to the zoo in Miami with our neighbors. It was raining that morning and it didn't stop until 15 minutes after we got there. You would think the rain would cool it down right? Not. No, it was a hot and muggy day.

The first exhibit we saw was the tortoises. I was telling everyone how dirty those things are. How they like to put on a show (adult show) for people and they have no shame. Natalie shook her head at me thinking I'm crazy. Well a couple minutes later the crowds went running. You could hear kids screaming stuff like "Mommy, the big one is gonna hurt the little one". We got over there and of course, the tortoises are going at it. Adults were laughing, kids were traumatized. And these tortoises didn't put on a quick show like the monkeys do. No, they go at it for ten solid minutes. Of course you could only imagine the comments I heard from some women in the crowd.

After just a couple hours at the zoo we had enough. It was just too hot. So we went to a Peruvian restaurant and had some really good Lomo Saltado. Well, that's what I had at least so that's what matters.

Adri dangling her feet over the lion's cage.

He's gonna hurt her!

The noises they make are hilarious. Adri actually tried to copy it. Haha. At least she didn't know what was going on.

Miami heat



Getting sleepy

And she's out

Yeah so I woke her up to see the Rhinos

Adri proving she is a Dominican baby by dancing at the Peruvian restaurant.

And after food we went to RobertIsHere for some fruit. Took Adri out back and took this picture of her on the tractor.

Our next Saturday trip was the Fruit And Spice Park. Rumor is fruit falls off the trees there and you're allowed to eat anything off the ground. I say rumor because when we were there no fruit was on the ground. So basically we went to look at fruit trees. It did give me the first chance ever to see Jack Fruit growing on trees and it gave Adri a chance to run around and get tired.  We just happened to find out when we got there that it was admission free day and they were also cutting up some fruit for sampling at a table so I got to eat a bunch of Jack Fruit for free.

My little monkey running through the bananas

These are called Jack fruits. They taste like Juicy Fruit gum. It's actually an ingredient in Juicy Fruit gum. It's suppose to taste like a mix of pineapple, mango, banana, and cantaloupe. It's one of my favorite fruits and the largest tree grown fruit in the world. The record is something like 300 pounds  but the average fruits range from 20-80 pounds depending on variety. Natalie got me one for my birthday, it's the Black Gold variety. Hopefully but summer 2013 I'll have a good Jack Fruit crop. They make the best milk shakes. Mix it up with some mango and it's the best shake I've ever had.

$40-$60 per fruit, how much money is growing on this tree?

That's a big Jack Fruit

Big Jack Fruit on a little tree. Just put some cinder blocks under it.

Adri loves to play airplane.