This was originally posted in July 2016 in the BLOG section. This is its new home.
Once we nailed down our anniversary trip destination to Tampa, I went on the hunt for the perfect place to dine and celebrate 10 years.
I probably asked a dozen friends for a restaurant recommendation in Tampa. Every single one enthusiastically shouted Bern's! Every. Single. One.
So, I looked into it. I talked it over with Stu. He and I LOVE A good steak joint. He called and made a reservation for the night of our actual 10th wedding anniversary. The only hitch was that the reservation was for 10:30pm. That's about an hour after our usual bedtime (I know, we are wicked cool.).
As you know by now, Stu and I celebrated our anniversary without the kids. But we definitely behaved like children. It's hard to be a serious grown up when you are riding roller coasters all weekend.
In case you are thinking of following in our footsteps, I've laid out some basic descriptions of the roller coasters we rode. Here, you'll find my opinion and experiences also. Of course, I saved the best for last. I hope this helps.
As you know, Rea is homeschooled. She is a part-time student at Florida Virtual School. And I supplement the rest of her life with educational goodness... At least I try.
Buddy still attends the brick and mortar elementary school down the road. But that will change soon enough. We have plans to pull him out (more on that in a much later post).
Anyway, Rea's school planned a state-wide field trip. These field trips took place in six different cities across the state. We opted for the Orlando one, since Rea's teacher would be there. So, the kids and I got up early on Friday morning and drove to the Orlando Science Center.
As promised, here is the second installment of our trip to Zoo Miami.
I cannot say enough good things about this zoo. The animal enclosures are designed to give the viewing public fairly close access to the animals. This was definitely a unique expeirence.
Rea's birthday is right after Christmas. We like to do something special for her, to celebrate her big days. This year, we went to the Zoo Miami with great friends. It was INCREDIBLE! What a place!
Let me start by saying, if you can, plan two days for this zoo. We walked the nearly the whole park (there were a few spots we skipped) in only one day. Stu checked his phone as we were leaving, it said we walked 8 miles. It was exhausting, and it felt rushed sometimes.
I'd also suggest renting the family bikes. We sprang for the monorail tickets ($4/day/person, for all-day use)... it was a waste. I'd have been happier on the bikes, I think. The monorail was air conditioned, so that was nice.
Rea and I met a friend for lunch the other day. She suggested Newks Eatery in Legacy Place. It's a relatively new joint in Palm Beach Gardens.
I've been a client at Salon LaBrea for several years. I adore it. The hairdressers are all amazing. The place itself is so nice. It's on the first floor of a 3-storey townhouse in Abacoa. I actually found them and became a client when I lived right around the corner... my frame shop used to be in Abacoa, and one day I made an appointment for a Keratin treatment and walked over.
I decided to change things up. In a big way. Call it identity crisis or mid-life crisis (am I too young for that?). Anyway, I emailed my amazing stylist (Christina) and told her I was coming in, and I wanted her to color my hair. I was thinking something crazy, like dark reds or purple.
She probably thought I was crazy, but she humored me. We planned it out ahead of time. And I walked in ready for anything on Saturday morning.
Is it just me, or does it look like I've been carrying around Cousin It on my head?
I had no style in mind... I just knew the hair had to go. But not go so much that I could not put it up. I cannot live without a ponytail or crazy bun in my life.
At the salon, I chose the final color. Christina insisted on a semi-gloss. Since I have never colored my hair before, she said a temporary color would be best. Plus, we could play with the color until we get something I love. Then I can go permanent.
Also, there was the mild fear that Stu would not be quite as ok with it as he told me ahead of time.
Right before this photo, when the color was setting, I was in a chair with no mirror. I could not see what my head looked like. When a girl walked by and said, "Whoa, purple!" I started to panic.
I remained calm by reassuring myself that it is only hair. It's only temporary dye. I can change it.
The panicked nut in me was nail-biting and chanting "Please God, don't let me look like a Troll doll."
I'm so relieved and happy to tell you that I love my color. I don't think it looks Troll-esque. And I love the cut!
Thanks Christina! You rock! I'll see you soon!
Hurricanes. A fact of life for Floridians. The way we behave toward them depends on which part of the state you are talking about.
I live on the east coast. In Palm Beach county. And we have been blessed geographically with the Bahamas off our coast. They typically act as a barrier, protecting our county from the direct path of a monster storm*.
In fact, it has been nearly 11 years since the last direct hit to my town. I will forever remember that late October day... My husband proposed the night before he was deployed for hurricane relief. Good times.
On Sunday, we tried a new (to us) Italian restaurant in Jupiter. Bravo!- in Harbourside.
We loved it.
Sunday was supposed to be a big morning for Stu, so I went on the hunt for an excellent spot to eat. We usually get stuck in our Sunday lunch rut of Chilis or Ale House, but this was an important morning. Both of our parents came up to our church for the morning. Most of the "fancy" food spots in Tequesta and Jupiter are not open for lunch.
Plus, I always look at the children's menu online. My son has an allergy to eggs, and because of that, there are only so many things he will actually eat. Truthfully, I don't know if the pickiness is allergy or age related. Either way, the spots with no kids menus were immediately crossed off the list.
I like Chilis as much as the next person. And the Ale House is ok. But if I have to eat at either one, I'm going to scream. And don't even get me started on the crap food we have had at Outback lately.
I suppose we are in the worst food rut ever. My kids are obsessed with the three restaurants mentioned above. And because of that, we frequent those establishments. Momma needs a break.
We live where you vacation. Here, you'll find some things we locals enjoy.