Rainy day in Islamorada

I started this morning on the back deck looking out over the channel with a cup of joe and knee deep in Divergent. Then it started to drizzle and then it poured. My ideal morning had to be taken inside and we decided to head to breakfast. The hotel were staying in, which I found out was on hotel impossible, provides two vouchers for breakfast at the restaurant next door. It’s a small restaurant and our choices were limited, but it was satisfactory and had good coffee.

The rain stopped soon enough and we headed out to check out some of the sights in Islamorada. First stop was the Rain Barrel Artisans Village, a little group of local artists selling artwork, sculptures, jewelry and some souvenirs. The owners of the little shops were excited to talk to us and hear where we were from. There were a lot of cool things, some expensive some cheap. We ended up walking out with turtles made from shells, a ring, 4 air plants and seashells to match. I was really excited about the air plants because it is my gift for my sisters as well as my new desk plant. They are really simple little plants that you only mist to keep alive. We stopped at one other little shop very similar where I found a Florida Keys coffee mug (making me a huge tourist) and some little pieces of coral.

Next stop was at Robbie’s Marina. There are lots of things to do from jet skiing to paddle boarding and I had heard a lot of goods things about it. The weather still wasn’t ideal so we walked through the shops and headed over to watch people feed the tarpon. I wasn’t keen on the idea of feeding dead fish to other fish for $3 so we paid the $1 a person to go see them. I thought it was a little ridiculous that it cost money just to look, but these fish were HUGE. Some of them had to be 6-7 feet long and one thing is for sure I would not want to be in the water where those creepy things were. It was a little of a disappointment not to be able to do the paddle boarding, but I hope to do it in Key West.

A quick stop at Anne’s Beach to see the sand crabs, salamanders and hermit crabs in their natural habitat and then back to the hotel. My mom was starving so picked a random place on the way back and decided to stop for some fresh fruit. We stopped at Midway Cafe and my mom was in love. She said this was her favorite place we’ve been to so far and if we were staying longer, she would absolutely come back. We had some fresh fruit to split and watched the cars go by.

On our way back the clouds cleared around 3 and we were able to sit by the pool to get a little sun. We got ready for dinner and headed to see the big mermaid at Lorelei’s. This place was pretty cool and with the right weather would be a great time. We sat right down at the beach, ordered a mango daiquiri and our food and waited. We watched the sun go down through an overcast sky and listened to Harry French, the entertainment for the night, and waited. We didn’t get our food for over 40 minutes and barely saw our server. The food was good and in the right atmosphere we would have been more willing to wait, but we were cold, tired and sober. If I could do it again I would come back with friends and stay awhile for drinks.

All in all, Islamorada was a fun little island to relax on and enjoy the island life.

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Adios Miami, Hello Key Largo

This morning’s adventures began with a second trip to the Art Deco district of Miami. I felt like we had missed out on a lot of the buildings since it was so crowded and almost undriveable, so we set our sights on Ocean Drive yet again. It was definitely worth it to go back and see the architecture, however we definitely needed a tour guide. I’ve decided I need to make my way back to Miami someday and take on Miami with a local.

After Miami, we made the drive to the first island, Key Largo. I was more than excited to finally set foot on the Florida Keys. We spent only a couple of hours in Key Largo in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. The history behind the name was definitely impressive. John Pennekamp helped to preserve the coral reefs and start the state park itself. Seeing all the mangrove trees and walking the boardwalks was pretty cool. A kayaking tour through them would definitely had been worth it. Although, since we brought our own snorkel gear with us, we set out for cannon beach to check out some coral reefs. It was quite comical seeing my mom attempting to swim around, breathing through a snorkel. My mom is one of ode women who barely gets her feet wet and heaven forbid her hair.

As far as the actual coral reefs and things we saw I have to admit, it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting. Seeing the cannons from the shipwreck was neat and apparently there was an anchor out there as well, but there was an overwhelming about of people trying to see the same thing and they didn’t warn you about the sudden drop off right in the middle. I was not ready for it at all and it honestly just caused me to have overwhelming anxiety of open water and the idea of what’s down there I couldn’t even put my face in the water. This coming from an extremely experienced swimmer with years of practice. We didn’t see the bright colors I’ve seen in other snorkel excursions like St. Thomas, Dominica and St. kitts. That was a little disappointing it being a coral reef park, but we still had a great time.

After some well deserved time on the beach, we jumped back in the car and headed to Islamorada. The hotel we are staying in seems really nice so far. I’ll have to check in and see if I think that still after two nights stay. The channel it sits on is definitely cool and we’ve seen more wild life here than we did all day at the state park. There’s little jellyfish swimming around, lots of fish, mad pelicans just floating down the channel. Dinner at the Island Grill was excellent and we got to spend some time hanging on the back porch looking out over the lit up channel. Tomorrow is a big day with lots of adventures that hopefully won’t be held up by the storm that’s supposed to come through. Wish us luck!

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First stop, Miami

20140316-232029.jpgMy travels began this morning around 6:30, getting up to head to the airport for our flight to Miami. I had never been this far south in Florida, but I was so excited to leave the 20 degree weather at home and head for the sunshine state. My mom got a little uneasy on the plane, but overall we had a great flight to Miami. Seeing all the palm trees as soon as I landed was amazing and finally made this trip feel real. The Miami roadways were a bit confusing and caused a little tension among the two of us, but we made it to our hotel in Sunny Isles.

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After a trip to Publix for some snacks, we headed to the pool. I did not expect all the “elderly” with tans 5 shades darker than mine or the amount of energy they had. They were absolutely hilarious and were having a ball. I was slightly envious of their ability to dance and sing to the music, when I don’t feel like I had the energy to move from my lounge chair after my day of travel. They were great, all of them, whoever they are.

Our little glimpse of Miami from I-95 wasn’t enough for me, so we headed to South Beach. It was a little more of a trip than I anticipated. When booking our hotel, I thought I had booked it much closer to the city center, but it was quite the haul. We headed for the Art Deco district to check out some cool architecture and found ourselves in almost stand still traffic in the heart of South Beach. People told me it was extravagant in Miami, but I wasn’t ready quite ready for the throngs of people with barely there outfits. Some people were dressed to the nines in their South Beach best, while other wore barely their bikinis and speedos.

Amongst the people we did get to see some of the buildings, but I mostly noticed the high end stores and quarter of million dollar cars. I have a love for fine things, especially cars. The abundance of Maseratis, Bentleys, and even a Phantom made my mouth water. Although I don’t care for them very much, it was still really cool to see the Kardashian’s newest Dash store right on Collins. Our frustration with traffic and parking being $50 made us drive right through to about 65th street to a little Cuban restaurant called Sazon Cuban Cuisine name it was excellent. My Cuban club was a little different, but good however my moms shredded pork sandwich was delicious. It made me very jealous. We stopped in to Moises Venezuelan bakery for dessert and headed back to the car. We ended our night with a moonlight walk on the beach that was lit up by a very very bright moon. Tomorrow our adventure continues on the first island of the keys in Key Largo. Until then.

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Driving down Collins into the Art Deco district
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Cuban Club from Sazon
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Dash Miami

Run Whirlwind Run- Seeing The Naked and Famous live

20140311-112904.jpgI have nothing, but rave reviews The Naked and Famous concert at the Cleveland House of Blues last night.   I had listened to a few songs from the opening band, Gemini Club, but they were fabulous live. They really got the crowd going for a Monday night and definitely made me a fan. I’m sure they gained quite a few new fans from last nights concert. They were a great opener for TNAF.

The Naked and Famous had an amazing set. Their live performance was one of the best I have ever seen and they sounded unbelievable. The relationship between lead singer, Alisa Xayalith & Guitar player/co-lead singer, Thom Powers, made the performance that much better. The charisma that the two of them had made the performance very real and unstaged. Not to mention Xayalith is the cutest little singer and really helped the crowd connect to the band and vice versa. The overall charisma between the band members was great and made the performance that much better to watch. They are all extremely talented, which was quite apparent in their musical ability. As a huge Kings of Leon fan, I couldn’t help, but think that the bass player, David Beadle, looked like a young Caleb Followill. The entire set was great and I can honestly say I don’t think they missed one song that I really wanted to hear.

This was my first concert at the HOB and I will most definitely be attending more. Seeing bands like Naked and Famous before they really make it big was great and Naked and Famous will definitely be a big name one day. Hopefully when they do make it big they will make a return to Cleveland for another outstanding performance.

I know I’m nothing, but an amateur photographer with an Iphone, but here are some of the pictures from last night.

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Alisa Xayalith & Thom Powers

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I swear he looks just like Caleb Followill

 

 

 

Live your life, find your happiness

Live your life, find your happiness

One of the things I frequently find myself doing as I am becoming my own adult is doing things that I think will please my parents, family or even society. I found this quote today and it made me think that there are so many things that decide our lives for us. We are constantly trying to prove something to someone when we should be living the life we want to live and for ourselves only.

The photo was taken in one of my favorite places on earth on a piece of my grandpa’s land in rural Ohio

Frozen in Cleveland

This has been such a long Cleveland winter, one like I can’t remember. We’ve had so many cold days and snow on the ground for over a month. My mom, an elementary school teacher, has had 10 snow days and I have had 2 in the corporate world. This winter has been cold and snowy and somewhat miserable, but what I saw this weekend was by far one of the coolest winter things ever.

A colleague and I went down to the river in Rocky River to see it all frozen over and it was unbelievably cool. The ice had all broken up in chunks and compacted into one area under the bridge and it was a remarkable sight. Some of the ice was at least 8 inches think In spots. A couple that was at the bridge said they had been there the day before and said the ice was one complete sheet all smooth just 12 hours before. I’ve never seen anything like that in the 22 years I’ve lived in Cleveland.

I like many others am very ready for the winter to be over with and to move onto some warm spring weather!

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The river and all the ice chunks clumped together

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