Archives for category: Vacation

Last week we went to The Grand Cayman Islands for a 6 day, 5 night trip.  Oh wait, it became a 5 day, 4 night trip because some of us (excluding myself) had expired passports and we spent a day getting emergency passports.  Anyhoo, here we are.  We stayed at the Coralstone Club which is a condo type rental.

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We came to visit our friends who were staying next door at The Ritz.  We hopped off the plane and went straight to the beach.

P1080246After several hours at the beach and pool, we went out to dinner at The Calypso Grill.  It was fantastic and we ended the meal with Sticky Toffee pudding.  P1080257

The next day, we spent more time at the beach and then lunch at Karoo before saying goodbye to the Morris family.   Laura is an honorary member.  P1080285

We rented a car and did some exploring.  P1080299

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On Sunday, we drove around the West Bay and went to Dolphin Discovery and I dropped a lot of money to spend 30 minutes with a couple of dolphins.

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He didn’t kiss me back.

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We drove around some more and went offroad in West Bay and watched some kite surfers.  We had a late lunch at Macabuca Tiki Bar for some yummy conch.

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More swimming.P1080327

On Monday, we took a trip to Sting Ray City via a 1 hour boat ride (Sun Ray Tours).  IMG_2196

This was really fun but the waves were pretty rough.   555080_563625363690744_126049824_n

Laura was a total chicken and kept screaming but still managed to kiss one of them.

1456691_563625310357416_1714193899_nThere was a half hour of snorkeling afterwards which was fun but I was getting sick by the end because the seas were so rough.

Our last night, we splurged and went out to the Blue Cilantro and had a great dinner.

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On our last day, we took a quick trip to The Cayman Turtle Farm.  It was ok.  Nothing too exciting.  P1080355

This is a great shot of Laura just before the turtle bit her hand!

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We got to the airport to return our car and we were welcomed by Mr. Rooster.

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He said goodbye in Chicken talk.

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Laura and I went to Wisconsin for 4 days to visit with Suzy at her family’s cottage by the lake.

She picked us up at the airport and we stopped off at Ardy & Eds’ Drive-in for lunch.  They have rollerskating waitresses.  P1070944

They set up the food on your car window.  The food was nothing special but of course, it’s a novelty these days.              IMG_1744

We dropped off our stuff at the cottage and took in the view of the gorgeous Lake Winneconne.

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We picked up some groceries at Piggly Wiggly.

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Back to the lake.
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We also went fishing at the end of the day.  P1070972

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I caught a bunch of fish!   That was the only day that I had any luck even though they were all Sheepshead fish.

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They lit a bunch of fireworks, those pyros.
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We did a lot that first day.  On the following day, Suzy took Laura out to jet ski.
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We went to Culver’s for lunch and had some butter burgers and custard.
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We also stopped at this interesting store called M. Schettl Sales.  They have tons of artsy statues around their property.  P1080016

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We also stopped at the Fleet Farm which has almost everything with emphasis on outdoorsy stuff.  IMG_1805

Look at this fishing aisle!  Only 1 of many.  I could have stayed at this store for days.

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The next 2 days involved more boat riding, jet skiing, fishing and bike riding.  Oh and more ice cream.   It was  a great trip.  Hopefully we will come back again.

Thanks Suzy!

In mid December, Laura got ready for Christmas.  Without any encouragement, she brought her little tree down from the attic and decorated it completely by herself.  It’s a good thing because her mom really had no motivation or Christmas spirit to help out.

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She also put together the gingerbread house.  She is becoming very self sufficient.P1070377

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We also made some Christmas cookies because she wanted to make sure that Santa had some gingerbread cookies when he arrived at our house.  P1070401

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Our humble little tree and presents.  P1070410

Here is my present that Laura made me.  Very pretty.  I love it!P1070412
We were supposed to be down in Philly early in the week but Laura and I got ill and had to delay our plans.  Instead, Laura and I drove down the day after Christmas which was not a very bright idea.   It was horrible.  9 1/2 hours of traffic, snow and sleet.  Laura also vomited in the car! 😦

The good thing is that we made it safely to Hah dah buh gee’s place.  We did a lot of running around and catching up with friends and family.

On Thursday night, we met up with my cousin, his wife and my Aunt and Uncle.  Cousin Steve chose a restaurant in Wilmington DE called Juliana’s Kitchen.   We got both kinds of ceviche and the Jalea Mixta which was all unbelievably delicious.   It was great seeing everyone and spending some time together.

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The next day, Laura and I met up with Esther’s family for a quick visit and a great dinner made by Esther’s dad.P1070440

Saturday, Laura and I met up with Jackson, Simon and Oliver’s family and hung out for a few hours staying toasty by the fire while it snowed outside.P1070462

The Reginator also arrived and we hung out with the family and made a nice rib roast for dinner.  P1070466

Laura got a tattoo kit from her Ymo so she tatted everyone including her granddad.  P1070477

Don’t cross these thugs on the street!P1070482

Sunday, we went to church and then briefly visited Mom’s grave.  It was very cold and wintry. P1070486

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We also dropped in on Zoey and Aaron on New Year’s eve.  Laura continued her tattooing craze. IMG_0748

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We ended up crashing their friends’ New Year’s party which turned out to be very fun.  It has been a while since we have been to a party.

We welcome 2013.  Hopefully, it will be as relaxing and tranquil as this photo of Laura hanging out on the couch.    Happy New Year, everyone.P1070494

Before going to Philly, I picked some tomatoes from my garden.  Aren’t they gorgeous?  I wish they tasted as good as they look.  It’s tomatoey tasting, somewhat acid with lots of seeds.  Not like Jersey tomatoes.  They must inject Jersey tomatoes with sugar or crack or something.  

We left on Thursday night and arrived late into New York to spend the night at Reggie’s.  The next morning, we said hello and goodbye!  We had breakfast and then made our trek to Philly.  It took 4 hours to get from NY to Philly due to Labor day traffic.  Ugh.

I craved Korean food so my dad took us to his favorite Korean restaurant.

Lovely Banchan.

My hot stone bowl of Bibimbop with carmelized rice from the bowl.  Yummy delicious.

Dad ate Bone Marrow soup.  Blech.

And Laura got cold noodle soup: Neng Myun.

We also took a trip to HMart and bought lots of crap.  Dad also got new glasses while Laura slurped on her disgusting Icee.

My grandmother bought this Hanbok for Laura.  It’s gorgeous so we did a little photo shoot.  She even did her own hair.

We also visited my mom’s grave after church on Sunday.  We brought some flowers that my sister left for us.  We miss you, mom.

On Monday, we went bowling with my dad’s bowling group.  We played for 2 hours and my wrist was killing me.  Laura had a good time but both of us played pretty badly.

The rest of our time in Philly was a washout.  Tropical storm Isaac made a visit with ongoing rain for the next few days so there was a lot of tv watching, movies and reading with a little Bingo once in a while.  I did get to read the first 2 books of the Hunger Games to entertain myself.   It was a good trip.  I love seeing my dad.

Now I am back to reality and I am not looking forward to the impending cold of New England.

Laura started school today and Tropical storm Isaac followed us up.  It was pouring rain when I dropped her off.  I’m as depressed as the weather that summer is over.  😦

 

We started our family vacation to Turks and Caicos on Saturday, August 18th.  We arrived in the afternoon and were greeted with a nice tasty rum drink.  

We stayed at the West Bay Club.  The room was great and has a full kitchen.  

We immediately went onto the beach and soaked in the hot sun and the soft sand.  Laura and her dad took a short ride on the sailboat.

This is the sunset off of the porch.  

The vacation essentially comprised of us basking and lounging in the sun and eating out.  We went to a restaurant called Mango Reef.  Most of the restaurants are situated next to the beach.  

I had a curried lobster dish which was just delicious.  

This was an egret who visited us almost every day.

On Sunday, we rented a car and drove around the island.  We ended up looking at this rental place on the other side of the island.  It was vacant so we looked around.  It was gorgeous.

Besides trespassing, we also went to the local grocery store.  Things were REALLY expensive.  1 lb of coffee for $20.  Standard items were 1 1/2 to 2 times what they cost at home.  This is apparently the norm since almost everything is imported.

More beach and sun.  We all got very dark.

On Tuesday, we ate at the Bay Bistro.  Another great restaurant.

We watched the sun set as we ate dinner.

On Wednesday, there were small signs of Hurricane Isaac.  There was a short shower and wind but then it cleared.  

We ate at the Upstairs Restaurant and had some fried Conch and oxtail for dinner.   It was yummy.  Then we sat around for a few hours listening to live music.  

Thursday showed more clouds coming.  I knew that booking during hurricane season was risky.  

Laura and her dad went parasailing!  

Afterwards, we walked on the beach and got hit with showers.  It was awesome walking in the rain on the beach.

We went to Mango Reef again for dinner and then came back for our final night.

Our last sunset from our room. 

On Friday, we took a quick dip in the ocean before heading to the airport.  All in all, it was a great relaxing vacation.  Nothing exciting but we got a chance to really relax and chill out.  The weather overall was fantastic.  Hot and humid but tolerable.  The mosquitoes were out of control though and Laura and I made it a nightly ritual to kill mosquitoes in our room.  We probably killed at least 10 mosquitoes every night!

We also made it out before Hurricane Isaac through so we were lucky.

The family took a trip to New Orleans.  Laura’s dad had a conference so we tagged along.  We arrived on Tuesday afternoon.  This is the lounge at the hotel.  It was rainy and cold on our arrival.   The weather did improve for most of the week!

We got some oysters for dinner on our first night out.

This is Laura riding the trolley on Canal St.  We got a 1 day pass ($3 per person) which includes the buses and the trolley.  Prior to the trolley ride, we took the bus to Walmart because SOMEBODY (oh yeah, that would be me) forgot to pack underwear!  You can’t buy normal underwear in the French Quarters. Don’t judge but we ate lunch at McDonald’s at the Walmart.  Ok, you can judge.  I am ashamed.

In the afternoon, we walked down to the Aquarium.  We took a quick tour of the Baroque Eagle which was docked next to the Aquarium.   Nice ship!

The Aquarium was actually great.  Laura really loved it.

She loved petting the Stingrays.

Ok, her dad did not think this was impressive but the shark is actually a huge display at the entrance and I tried to make it look like Laura’s hand was getting eaten.  You can’t really tell how gigantic this shark really is.  Oh well.

This was Laura’s other favorite part of the aquarium besides the Stingrays.  We must have spent 30 minutes in here.  Feeding canaries.  Seems odd to have at an aquarium but it is definitely a crowd pleaser.

After the Aquarium, we went to the Riverwalk and window shopped.  We got beignets and coffee at the Cafe Du Monde (not the original).  Laura thought it looked gross and then proceeded to eat the whole thing.

Naval ships docked next to the Riverwalk.  Massive.

Relaxing soak after a hard day.  Ummm, excuse me Laura but your mom should be in there!

The next day, we went to the Audubon Zoo.  We got there kind of late and rushed through a lot.  The day was pretty warm.  The zoo was just ok.  Nothing really special.  The Aquarium was better.

On Saturday, we did something that I wanted to do.  We took a culinary tour.  Saturday was rainy but it cleared for the tour.  We started off at Antoine’s and we tried the seafood Gumbo.   It was yummy.  The tour comprised of the history of ethnic influences and origins of the kinds of food in New Orleans with some tasting from various restaurants.

We went to Arnaud’s for shrimp with Remoulade sauce which was good but Laura just licked the sauce off the shrimp.  Then we went to Desire Oyster Bar and Bistro at the Royal Sonesta Hotel and had turtle soup.  We ate it in the patio next to the fountain.  We both loved this and it was probably the best thing we ate on the tour.

We also had Muffaletta, gelato, beef brisket at various other spots and then red beans and rice at our final stop.   There was a cooking demonstration on how to make roux and various kinds of spices to use for cooking.  All in all, I enjoyed it.

We also went on a Jazz cruise on the Natchez Riverboat.  The weather got much colder and windier.  The beginning of the trip was a tour along the Mississippi river which was very interesting but Laura was not too happy.

The captain was very informative about the history but also all the goings on along the river.  Did you know that the Domino Sugar factory is located along the river?  Who knew?

Dinner was buffet style and food was just fair but the music was good and I guess ambience is everything.

It was a good trip overall but I am glad to be home.  I think I need another week to recover.

After leaving New Jersey, Laura and I drove down to my dad’s to spend Christmas with him.  We opened presents on Christmas day and NOT Christmas eve.  Shocking!  I got my dad this warm fuzzy robe and he looked great in it.  My dad is slowly getting better and becoming a little more independent.

Laura opened her gifts.  She got a few videos and some clothes.  Let’s just say she watched her videos for the majority of this trip.  We all went to church together after opening presents and went to mom’s grave.

The day after Christmas, Laura attended Esther’s birthday party.  This party was in her home with a theme!

Lights, camera, ACTION!

The girls were placed in small groups and made short video commercials based on made-up hilarious kids’ toys.  We did a parody on Sky Diving Barbie.  They dressed up and acted out their parts.  Don’t ask me about the mustaches.  Apparently, all the girls like to wear mustaches. Who knew?

We came home and Tornado Reggie came down to spend some Christmas time with us.    See him getting into all the drawers?!

Oh yes, this boy likes to EAT!

We went to Minado for lunch the next day and said farewell to Reggie’s family.  Laura and I stayed another day with my dad and then drove back to Boston on Wednesday.  It’s nice to spend time with the family.