Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Little Miss Magic

Introducing the one and only...Annie the Wonder Springer!
 After loosing Riley, we began to apply for rescued Springers.  I lost track of just how many I applied for, but we didn't get chosen because we had a cat, or we were too far away, and in some cases, we just never heard a  response.  We considered other rescues and other breeds, and that was all well and good, until we'd see a picture of a Springer.   With no success in rescue, when David showed me the picture of a litter of Springers about 4 hours away from us, I couldn't help but say yes.
 We picked by her picture, but then made the trip to meet her in person and make sure she was the one.
 She wasn't old enough to come home with us, so we returned home, enjoyed our vacation, and this past weekend, drove back to fetch our pup.
 It was so nice to get pictures from the breeder while we waited!
 Annie was a little less than thrilled when we drove away, taking her from her home and siblings.  Some ear piercing howling took place, until she began to settle in with us for the long drive home.
 By the time we were closer to home, she'd began to accept her fate and settled down.
 I think now acceptance is bordering on bonding.  She's happy to see us when she wakes up, but can still break out that howl if we have the audacity to leave her in a room by herself, or heaven forbid - her crate.
 She's just the sweetest ball of fur - with the sharpest teeth!  We're trying to teach her that we are not her toys, but sometimes she forgets, as my dad found out while puppy-sitting today. :)
I'm looking forward to having some time over the holidays to work with her, but even more, to snuggle her.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Until We Meet Again

I can't believe it, but we've come to the last day of our trip.  We managed to gather everyone together for a group picture.  You may not believe that we're in Key West, based on the long sleeves and covered legs in this picture.  The rain and wind from yesterday blew in a cold front.  The coolness made it a little easier to leave.
 Thanks to all these folks, it was a wonderful and memorable trip.

 Mom even said that riding the tricycle was her favorite thing about the trip!
 A nice lady offered to take our picture with the mile 0 sign, so we couldn't resist.
 We enjoyed one last coastal lunch - crab cakes, shrimp tacos, and lobster rolls - before heading to the airport.  I'm always sad to leave Key West, but I know we'll be back!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Rain Rain Go Away...Or Not

 We had pretty spectacular, if hot, weather for almost all of our trip.  Our last full day though started out rainy and windy.  We'd had plans to view the lighted boat parade by boat, but it was canceled due to the forecast.  That could have made for a bummer of a day, but not when you're with this crew!  We started out the day entertaining ourselves with a hundred (or so) rubber balls and an ice bucket. 
 When that got old and the rain let up, we took advantage of the ponchos the hotel offered and set out.  I think of the picture above as "it takes a village."  That's Kevin and David attempting to figure out how to cinch down my poncho hood.
 Krista and Kendall were even brave enough to ride their bikes in the rain.
On our way to Hog's Breath, we stopped by the sign for the end of US 1 for the required tourist pictures.  
 Also on the way, stopping by the Green Parrot seemed like a good idea.

Hog's Breath turned out to be full - we decided that a Harley themed cruise ship must be in town.  Rather than wait an hour, we headed on to another place for lunch.  Two Friends turned out to be a great option!
It had mostly quit raining, but remained gray the rest of the day.  
 That only meant that we had the whole Viva Saloon courtyard to ourselves.  Don't mind my crooked hat - it was that way in pretty much every picture.  I began to wonder if my hat was fine but my head was crooked.
 We had a great rainy day!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

10 Years of Wedded Bliss

On Friday, we celebrated our 10 year anniversary!  It sounds trite, but it really does seem like the 10 years have flown by.  I can't think of a better way or place to celebrate than in our favorite place with some of our favorite people!

Todd's fowl relationship made great strides while we were there.  From being slightly horrified by the pigeons on our first day to hand feeding the chickens less than a week later!

After a tour of the island on the Conch Tour Train, our fearless leaders in orange got us to West Marine and then Sandy's for delicious Cuban sandwiches for lunch.
In keeping with the fowl theme, part of our group spent some time at the Green Parrot Bar - one of the oldest bars in Key West.  
 Another stop by Captain Tony's for Pirate Punch and ski ball - what a great combination!  Todd, if you can find a way to get a ski ball machine in your garage, I'll provide the Pirate Punch.

We watched a beautiful sunset at Mallory Square, then returned to Caroline's for an anniversary dinner.  We ended the evening the way we ended most evenings on our trip - sitting around the pool visiting.  Todd had everyone sign one of the ornaments that we had as wedding favors 10 years ago.  It will have a special place on our tree every year!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Beach Time

I really wanted some beach time before the forecasted rain came, so part of our group rode back to Fort Zach on Thursday morning.  I love spending the day hanging out in the hammock, listening to the ocean.

 After the beach, we met more of the group for lunch at Garbo's Grill.  I'd read a lot about it on Facebook and wanted to try it.  There aren't many different options on the menu, but they're very very good at what they do.  Dad and I had the Korean beef tacos, which were delicious!
We made a few more stops that day, but I don't seem to have pictures. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Last Mango in Paris

 Each morning, we enjoyed breakfast with the resident rooster and chickens at the hotel.  Turns out that they really like Cheerios!
 Six of our group set out for Stock Island.  Dad, Kevin, Todd, and I kayaked, while Mom and David hung out on the shore and waited patiently.
 We loved paddling through the mangroves.
 And we were only lost for a little while.
 Paddling (and being lost) made us hungry, so we went to Hogfish Bar and Grill for lunch, where I had possibly my favorite meal of the trip - an overstuffed Maine lobster roll.  Makes me hungry again just seeing the picture!

 We walked around the harbor, finding great ideas, like this tiki hut with a motor.  Wouldn't that be fun out on the lake?!
 I think I could live in this tiny house if it meant living in the Keys.
 Once we returned, it was about time for Krista and Kendall to arrive.  We played a little cornhole while we waited to head out again.  Mom and Todd won this round!
David and I insisted that the Key West experience wasn't complete without a stop by Captain Tony's.  It's a great dark cool bar that was in a Jimmy Buffett song - AND they have ski ball!
 We have heard that if you get a quarter in the fish's mouth, you get a free beer.  No one was successful, so we didn't get to test out that theory.
Back at Mallory Square, the sun set on another wonderful Key West day.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Havana Daydreaming

I've said I wouldn't do it again, but on our second full day in Key West, I found myself climbing the 88 steps to the top of the lighthouse.  I arrived at the top huffing, puffing, and sweating.  David has been to the top, but wisely stayed on the ground.  See him down there in blue?

 Once we'd enjoyed the views from the top, we returned to the ground to see the Banyon tree.  A museum volunteer told us that before the hurricane, you wouldn't be able to see through the canopy.  It's much less dense now, but still beautiful.

After the lighthouse, we hopped on our bikes and headed to B.O.'s Fish Wagon for lunch.  B.O.'s looks like it was assembled by a hurricane, and appears to be no worse for the wear.
After lunch we walked over to the Key West bight area to check out the Christmas trees and boats.

 By the time we rode back, we were ready for a lazy poolside afternoon, complete with frozen mojitos and cell phone viewing. ;)

 Once we were revived, we biked out to Fort Zach to see the sunset from a less populated place.
I think Todd is dreaming of sailboats.
 This didn't turn out to be the best picture, but I still love it!

The sun put on a great show as it set on another day of fun in Key West.