Sunday, June 7, 2015

South Florida Non-Vacation

Well yesterday we got back from our non-vacation. I call it that for several reasons only a few of which I'll share here.
First off we had a long day getting out to Florida. A flight from Phoenix to Denver, a six hour layover, another flight to Houston (even though there was a flight from Den to FLL), then a rush in Houston to the flight in Fort Lauderdale. We got up at 2:45 Arizona time that morning and got to Natalie's Mom's house at 12:30 Florida time.
Out of the ten days we were there I spent 6 days at our house working on things and another day working for OneNeck. I decided to work from home on Sunday so I can have more time off for my real vacation. It's a win/win for them and me. They don't have to find someone to reluctantly cover me on Sunday and I get to save ten hours of vacation. I can't wait until my real vacation!
In between all the craziness we had a birthday party for Adri on Saturday, met up with Tim, Riki, and the kids some time last week at Yard House, went to the Everglades for a boat ride, went to Hollywood ( I met up with the family at sunset), and went to Morikami.
One of the highlights of my trip was the mango booty. This two of my trees had some good mango production. I got over 100 pounds off my Valencia Pride, about half that off my Alphonso, and two Edward mangoes. My Nam Doc Mai still isn't producing fruit but it was moved 3-4 times in the first two years. I planted a new member of the family last week, a small Glenn mango, another one of my favorites.
At the Denver Airport. I read some crazy blogs about the secret underground bunker at DIA. One of the blogs was written by a guy that says he doesn't believe in conspiracies but this one is legit. Then he went off about how Obama was at DIA the day a comet missed Earth by 22 miles. Perhaps he was a mile high in the mile high city because that comet missed us by 22 million miles. I highly doubt Obama was there because it's the best bunker in the country. However I did find a reasonable explanation for the bunker.

On our flight to Houston.
Working my butt off all week had to have some way to relax. That bottle of Bermudez is by far the best bottle of rum I have ever had.  It was so good even Natalie liked it and she does not like rum and coke. Added a nice smooth vanilla, spice, oak flavor to my coke. I wish I could get this rum in Phoenix but they only have the cheaper Bermudez and Barcel√≥ that they sell as Dominican Club and Ron Dominicano Columbus. The only high quality Dominican rum we get here is Brugal.
Zach knows the difference between store bought bananas and real bananas. I got about 100 pounds off my banana plants while I was out there. Zach loved them so much he was doing the banana dance.

My backyard before the cleanup. These trees were just tiny sticks when I planted them 3+ years ago. There were so many mangoes you can't even see in this picture. I thought I had them all and then I climbed up in the tree and found a lot more. That is my Valencia Pride mango.

Adri and Tia Fior.

Adri and cousin Bella

I look like the Hunchback Of Norte Dame here. 
Hollywood beach. 
Our day in the Everglades. Natalie's idea of paradise is sitting on a beach. I find it equally relaxing to go out to the Everglades.  
During the boat ride I got bit by something, I think a deer fly. My ear swelled up to twice the normal size and was burning like crazy for a couple hours. Natalie said it felt hot.

Zach doing what he likes to do. During our trip he decided he really likes to walk. Even if it's just back and forth or in circles. And forget about trying to pick him up or hold his hand while he wants to walk. He'd push us away.
Adri with a big gator behind her. They are still in a bad drought right now, allegedly the worse in several years so there were lots of gators. We were nearly running over some with the fan boat and they would jump out from under the boat to the side while we passed by. The good part of the drought is you get to see far more gators. The bad part is they couldn't go down a lot of the trails because they were dry, they couldn't go really fast, and forget about doing tricks like a 360 at 30mph. 

At Morikami. I never thought I'd be a huge fan of a Japanese garden since I like more floral gardens but this is a really nice park. If I didn't have the kids with me I could find a bench and sit there for hours.
Zach loved crawling on the nice St Augustine lawn. It was funny watching him try to crawl downhill because he butt was so far up in the air.

A retake of the same pictures we took of Adri 4 years ago.


Zach has a funny walk. Look how high he lifts that leg up.


One of the best spots to sit and relax. The bamboo rubs together in the wind and makings a creaking noise.

Zach found a branch off the bamboo and had a fun time hitting things with it.




Adri was doing situps for some unknown reason.

The same Buddha that Adri was blowing raspberries on it's belly a few years back. The only thing that would make this picture better is if we took Zach's shirt off and had two Buddhas.

What can I say? I got some crazy kids.

After Morikami we went back to the house to get more mangoes. I picked so many mangoes I had to give some to the neighbors, some to family, as well as the tenants and still managed to fill up a suitcase with 75 pounds of mangoes. While I was talking to the neighbor Adri took off to play without washing her hands and got a nice rash from the mango sap where she touched her face.

My Alphonso Mango tree.
And to end our day we went back to Yard House for Pizza and beer sampling. I'm not a fan of beer but I decided to give it a try. I don't like to limit myself. The stout was by far the worst, so bad I took a sip and gave the rest to my sister in law, the pear cider was the best, UFO white, pale ale, and Sapporo were decent.

A present I brought back for myself. Opened it up last night. Not as good as Bermudez but still an excellent rum. It's rated one of the best in the world and it's obvious why.