Let's play catch up! Guess where I've been for 11 days? No, my family didn't send me to the funny farm, although I'm sure John has wanted to on a number of occasions. We just got back from a Florida Vacation! Did you miss me? I'll bet you didn't even notice I was gone for 11 days did you? Even though I was basking in the glorious 85 degree sun and warm tropical water, I tried to keep up with my writing and blogging duties and most everything else...except Tuesdays With Dorie. I'll catch up though, now that I'm back! Oh, I could have baked up a storm where I was. The fully equipped kitchen was totally stocked with everything that a baker could ask for! But, why would I want to get stuck in this beautiful kitchen when I could be in the pool or at the beach?
No matter how gorgeous this kitchen was, I wasn't baking!
I brought my laptop with me so I could write, write, write without any interruptions. I have all these photos from desserts, grilled pizzas, salads, to chicken pot pie, marinated pork tenderloin, etc, etc, etc. I have sooooo many things to post and write about and thought I could do it in 11 days! The day we checked into our gorgeous villa, I turned the laptop on and the AC adapter shorted out on me! What am I gonna do now? My battery life is only 3 hours and I used some of that up on the plane. After 2 days, I gave up and took a ride to Circuit City and bought a new adapter. I was up-and-running in no time. When I got back to the boat, the new one was sitting there in my mailbox! It was free since I have Best Buy's protection plan, so now I have 2!
Operation Baking Gals
Even though I was on vacation, I was able to get a new team started for Round 4 of Operation Baking Gals. If you're interested in baking for the troops, I still have room for more bakers. Email me at email@example.com and we'll do cookies!
Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook Giveaway!
Don't forget, the Junior's Cheesecake Giveaway deadline is Tuesday, October 21st at midnight EST. Here's the link to the post you need to comment on in order to win the book.
Polynesian Isles Resorts
We stayed at the Polynesian Isles time share in Kissimmee, Florida. Compared to living on a sailboat, this was a 1500 square foot mansion to me! Besides the full kitchen, it had 2 bathrooms with an enormous jacuzzi, a HUGE, square king size bed with the most luscious supima cotton sheets, 3 televisions, a washer & dryer that I didn't have to put quarters into, 2 swimming pools, and my favorite thing of all? 4 hots tubs that kept a temperature of 104 degrees, AND they stayed open until midnight so we could sneak out for those late night cocktails! We felt naughty going out that late all by ourselves!
We spent an afternoon at Siesta Key Beach just south of Sarasota. The water is so different on the Gulf Coast. It was crystal clear, so clear, I could see the bottom. The beach sand was absolutely white, just like sugar and deliciously soft under my toes with no seaweed anywhere in sight. I could walk way, way out without going over my head, and that's saying something since I'm not the tallest crayon in the box...or is that the brightest? Oh, never mind! The water temperature had to be about 85! I didn't have a bathing suit with me - I know, stupid me - but I didn't care! I walked right in fully clothed. Of course, fully clothed in Florida means just shorts and a T-shirt! I didn't want to leave. I could have stayed there all day, but we had friends to visit.
The birds were as BIG as John!
Siesta Key Beach ~ the sand was as white and soft as sugar!
New Smyrna Beach
In contrast, we also drove out to New Smyrna Beach on the East Coast. What a disappointing afternoon at the beach! As expected, the water wasn't quite as warm and it was rough with icky seaweed and who-knows-what in the water! The sand - if you want to call it that - was hard on my feet, made up of mostly broken shells and small pebbles. I put my flip-flops back on. It was an accident waiting to happen with one of those sharp broken shells. There was a riptide warning, which in all fairness probably stirred up all that yucky seaweed. We didn't stay there long at all and I only went up to my knees just to say I went in the water! We drove into the artsy-fartsy part of town. Pretty dead at this time of year. I think we were between seasons. There was a little lunch place just before the draw bridge that we stopped at for a quick bite. I ordered a Cuban sandwich that was good, but WAY too small for the $8.75 price tag. John got a HUGE spinach salad that was really good, but still, at $9.00, it was way too much. We shared them both. He had a soda and I had sweet tea. That quick bite cost us $25.00 by the time we left a tip and walked out the door!
My favorite attraction at Universal Studios was THE SIMPSON'S ride. It's all hyped up so when you finally get to the ride, you're really excited. I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't been there yet, but it wasn't a ride at all. It FELT like a ride. It was all visual, like a gigantic IMAX theater that moved. Both of us had to close our eyes at times - John, because he had vertigo and me, because I would have puked! But it was awesome! The special effects were well worth the queasy stomachs!
Don't waste your time on DISASTER. They got that name right. It was a disaster! The digital time clock that said it was a 15 minute wait, ended up being almost an hour. AND, it was totally lame!
THE BLUES BROTHERS came riding in the original Bluesmobile - Jake said he traded the Lincoln in at a police auction. "It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?" Even though they weren't the original Blues Brothers, they were awfully close.
"We're on a mission from God."
TWISTER on the other hand was awesome! It felt real, sounded real and smelled real! They even had a cow flying through the air!
THE CAT IN THE HAT was cute, and the kids will love it, but we thought it a bit childish. Waste of time for us.
MEN IN BLACK was cool too! Just like the movie, it had real-life aliens! The spinning cars had my heart pumping a bit too much, but it was a lot of fun. I would do it all over again!
Family & Friends
We also got to visit with lots of John's family. His BIL had a heart attack and triple by-pass a month ago, his nephew-in-law was in a coma for many months after falling from a tree. He's still in bad shape and fights for his life every day. Emotions are pretty fragile down there right now. Say a prayer for his wife and four kids if you think of it.
We visited friends in Port Charlotte for an afternoon and put a lot of miles on the rental car! It was a bumble-bee yellow Chevy Cobalt and I wanted to keep it and drive it home. Alamo wouldn't let us! Poops!
Bumble-Bee Yellow Chevy Cobalt ~ I want one!
Anyhoo....that's what I was up to those 11 days. And even though you thought I was sitting and writing in my boat at my laptop all this time, I AM WOMAN, and I can multi-task!
I'll leave you with a quote from Elwood, "We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."