Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back from the Keys

Well, we are back from vacation and back to the real world. Here are a few highlights from the trip...

**The food was awesome and I don't think there was ever a time either of us were hungry. A typical day started with a yummy breakfast. Our favorite place was Blue Heaven; we could have eaten here every morning and gotten something different or gotten pineapple pancakes every day (they were awesome!!). During the day we would snack or eat an appetizer for lunch and we would do the same at dinner (maybe a couple of appetizers instead of just one). We were never hungry enough for a full meal - so sad because I am sure there were great items on the dinner menus. One thing I would like to point out is that most of the dining is outside in Key West. They try to make it bearable by having lots of fans and umbrellas but that didn't always help the heat index of 104 with 75% humidity. Brad and I decided that this must be what it feels like to be out and about in Mobile.

Breakfast at Blue Heaven, the first time.

On top of the La Concha Hotel, the tallest building in Key West (6 stories high)

**Because of the heat and humidity water activities are a must. One day we took a snorkel/kayak trip out the reef. It was very relaxing and so much fun seeing all the pretty fish. Kayaking was really neat too. Brad and I were in the kayak together and would have made a kick-butt race team but this was a tour around an island and together we were just too powerful for the guide - so Brad did most of the paddling, or should I say all of the paddling - ha! We spent another day on a private island just relaxing. Our beach chairs were under one of the straw umbrellas. We just need a corona and we could have made a commercial.

A view of the beach at Sunset Key as we leave on the ferry

**Sunsets in Key West are beautiful!! Every evening there is a Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square. There are street performers (like the crazy cat man) to watch and lots of vendors get snacks and souviners from while you are watching the sun set. We actually never made it to the real celebration because the balcony from our room over looked the street perfomers. Our room was the perfect place for a sunset. Well, really second best. The best place to watch the sun set was on a boat. One evening we took one of the sunset cruises and it was magically to watch the sunset into the ocean - just beautiful!




**Driving Highway 1 - we flew into Miami and drove down Highway 1 to Key West. I thought it was going to be a bad drive filled with terrible bridges and it was nothing like that. The longest bridge was 7 miles. That is actually shorter than the bridge we drive every day to work. Also, these bridges were not like the big archy kind (I think of the TN River Bridge). They are flat and straight and there isn't too much too them. I thought we would be able to see a lot of water also but there were too mangrove trees between the road and the water. I am glad I can mark driving to the beginning and end of Highway 1 off my list of things to do.

The beginning and end of Highway 1

**Flying to and from Huntsville - if you are from Huntsville I am sure you have experienced this, but I feel like you always see someone you know at the Huntsville airport. Leaving Huntsville was no different for us. We ran into one of my former coworkers, John Hughes, before our 5 am flight. It was too early to be thinking about a camera so I didn't get a picture. We also almost ran into Brett, Elizabeth, Wheeler and Everett on our way back. Our flight was delayed in Atlanta so we missed them as they were headed to DC to see Momma and Bill.

I guess that wraps our trip. We had a great time in Key West and I would recommend it to anyone. Now it is time to get back to the real world...vacation was fun while it lasted!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Off to the Keys

We are off to the Florida Keys! Actually, we are leaving Monday but we are heading to Huntsville for the weekend so it feels like vacation is already starting - wahoo!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Yay for Long Weekends!

Our 4th of July weekend was wonderful! Our friends, Andrew and Lisa, came down for the long weekend. They got here Thursday just in time for dinner and for a quick monsoon (as soon as they pulled in the driveway, a huge downpour came down). I don’t think I have ever seen it so rainy and windy. We enjoyed dinner at a local pizza place, Cousin Vinny’s.

Side note - I think Daphne is all about some pizza. Cousin Vinny’s is one of the 4 local pizza places, plus there is one in Fairhope and then you have your normal Dominos, Papa Johns and Pizza Hut. I like pizza, so it works for me.

Friday, Lisa and I hit the outlet mall in Foley. We shopped until we dropped, literally. We had a great time just walking around and catching up. While we were shopping, Brad and Andrew hit the links. The high for the day was 97 so a dip in the pool was in order for the guys.

Dinner Friday night, California Dreaming. As the waiter took our picture he said it was "facebook bound". Don't worry, Lisa has already posted it on her facebook page.

After dinner fun - the "sorority pose"

Tree Huggers

Saturday we relaxed by the pool. Some days I love the pool and others, not so much. Saturday was a love day. It was so nice just to float and relax all day long. That night we went to Orange Beach. We thought there would be a terrible wait but, there was no wait whatsoever. It could be that we chose an Italian restaurant on the 4th of July. Before the fireworks we spent some time on the beach taking pictures and just having fun. It was my first time on a public beach. We did our normal thing and left our shoes on the boardwalk. Lisa was a little apprehensive, but I said no one had ever taken our shoes before, why would they start now. I was wrong – someone took Brad’s shoes! Luckily we found them up by the shower, but I definitely learned my lesson and will be keeping my shoes with me.

Cafe Grazie Saturday Night

Andrew and Lisa at the beach

Andrew, Lisa, me and Brad at the beach

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Sweet Summertime

One of the things we like most about where we live is its proximity to the beach. This is our first summer and we figured we would have lots of opportunities to go to the beach and have houseguests who are on their way to the beach. This past weekend we got to have our first summer guests. Matt, Emily, and Ben were on their way to Orange Beach for a pharmacy conference and stayed with us 2 nights before heading to the beach. As always, we had a great time visiting with them!

We spent Saturday hanging out by our pool and just relaxing. Then Sunday it was off to the beach. We all headed for the beach once arrived at Matt and Emily's hotel. Then Brad and Matt went to their conference while me, Emily and Ben headed for the pool.

I don't know if you remember, but last time I saw Ben at the beach he was not a fan of sand. It is amazing how a few months can change that. He now loves the sand and water.

Ben modeling his hat at dinner (The Crab Trap - yum!!)

We love having visitors - anyone else want to come?!?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I am way behind on my posting, but this weekend was too fun to not write about. Saturday, June 13th, we were able to celebrate Ella's 3rd birthday. That Saturday morning was her birthday party with her friends. The party was at one of those places with all the blow-up/inflatable things. The kids had so much fun running around and sliding down the big slides.

Ella blowing out the candles on her cupcake.
Brad with Grayson - Grayson's momma is Mischa, Mischa is Jamie's sister, Jamie and Mischa are Brad's cousins (I hope all of that makes sense!). Mischa and her husband, Ron, could not be there because Mischa was getting ready to deliver their 2nd baby, Sawyer.
After the party we went down to Susie and Jim's house and went out their boat and had dinner. Brad and Matt were the only brave ones to try tubing.
Ella modeling one of her birthday presents - Barbalina dress-up. Isn't she cute!