Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
1. POP'S SUNSET GRILL
Has the BEST Fried Mac 'N Cheese ever.
2. COASTERS ON THE INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY
Has the NEXT BEST Mac and Cheese with BIG noodles and a crispy bacon-bit topping.
3. SHARKY'S ON THE PIER
Rated third on the list...not the best Mac and Cheese in town but it has a PIER. I love going out to the pier! Birds fly right through and we like to see people fish.
Please comment on my review,
For yesterday's boating day, it was a brisk 60-something on the water but the sun was shining and we had a wonderful day in the open air. Today we're heading south to Gasparilla Island for a day on the sand. It'll be 70-72 degrees so we'll be able to take off our Viking stocking caps.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
For some reason, the guys are nuts about banyans and we always need our pictures taken in them. On Saturday (Family Day at the Ringling Museum), we visited the circus museums, the mansion, the gardens, and the galleries. High point of the day was the art gallery that contained craft projects for the boys--they made Venetian stuff: gondolas, masks, gothic chairs, and gold boxes. Last stop was the gift shop where they consumed a circus cannon that shoots someone out and a crafts book filled with Ancient Egyptian things.
Lesson for the Day: If you stay too long in the banyans, they'll grow right around you.
Friday, December 25, 2009
We took a video with lots of action but the Jerdee computer wouldn't take it on...so we've produced a still of us saying "Merry Christmas" in our Santa hats and gloves designed perfectly for texting. Consider yourselves texted.
Mr. Jump-Around Activity Man (Blake) and
Hunter, the Calm One
These guys are still playing along with Santa...they've just ransacked their stockings...lots of games to play in the next few days.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Hunter punches the holes in the cover and signature before they're stitched together.
Hunter uses a bone folder to crease the signature of 12 pages.
Hunter's rough draft about Dragon.
Blake's book about an imaginary shark who befriended him.
Blake decorates the cover with stick-on shells.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
The Tropic Star, built to resemble the African Queen, awaits our departure.
Riding the Tropic Star was an easygoing deal...these antsy boys could move from bench to bench because the crowds aboard were thin, thanks to the stew of storms going on further up the northern coast that caused cool weather in the south.
Merry Christmas from Cabbage Key Inn where Hunter and Blake dined on the storied "cheeseburger in paradise" amidst walls plastered with dollar bills.
After lunch, the Tropic Star took us to Cayo Costa State Park where we could enjoy the beach. This picture illustrates the Shark Tooth Walk. You walk along the beach in this hooked position, searching the sands for small black teeth. Today the guys picked up 24.
Last Stop: The Sandy Hook restaurant for a seaside dinner of mac & cheese.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Blake has written his book already, printed it out at Fed Ex and is now punching the holes in preparation for stitching the signature together. Covers too.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Kim and Adam always take a trip to some corner of the state of Iowa in October. This year we went southeast. On our way home we went out of our way to stop by the setting for Grant Wood's American Gothic painting. Unfortunately the visitor's center was closed at the time, so no pitchfork. Of course we both look a little too cheery for the part.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Below you see Dave being asked about how much fun he was having. Next they moved to the kids that are just behind the camera guy in a very large snow fort. No dull moments here.
We are all home and not going anywhere for a while. Hmmm... I wonder what we have in the kitchen. They are measuring somewhere around 16" of snow at this time. If we can get it up to 17" we break a record set in 1888. It is so exciting to be making history.
Last night, in the middle of this picture you would have seen Dave and a couple neighbor guys pushing a Trans Am that a high school kid foolishly tried to drive down our street, a UPS truck that had wandered off the main road and got stuck, and finally lots of lights flashing as someone had a very serious accident. It looked like they ran off the road into a tree. We don't know the details yet, but an ambulance did take someone away. Pretty good action for a small side street on a Tues night.
The boys got up at 7 am asking if they could go out and shovel snow. There are 35-60 mph wind gusts and -15 wind chills so we said no. Hopefully, they will still want to dig in later.
Adam and Kim. Any excitement on your side of town?
We worked on the lanai floor to make more living space and a bigger place for the guys to do their morning exercises.
After a 3-hour session of cutting down our forest of bamboo (we had extended chain saw help from our lawn maintenance couple, Bill and Sue), we treated ourselves to lunch at Pop's where the queen egret rules the roost.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Becky and Al here on the sunny side of Venice, Florida. We've been checking out Sharky's from time to time (that's where these pictures come from)...thinking about how company's coming...we're looking forward to many of you visiting us this winter when the snow and ice and darkness get to be too much...or, even if you aren't trying to escape the winter doldrums...
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Where is Amy? Saving up her energy. The first mall opens at midnight!
Monday, November 23, 2009
|So I (Adam)finished off the running season with the exciting Living History Farms Cross Country Race (though the season isn't done, but what is a running season anyway, stay tuned for the big one coming up). It has been over 20 years since I last ran this race and it has changed a lot. This time I wasn't a high school cross country runner with the flu. Also, I vaguely remember climbing fences and maybe crossing a creek on some stepping stones, but that's as wild as it got. Here is this year's course map. Nowadays it's known for drawing people from all over the country (maybe even other countries), many of whom dress up in costumes and don't actually run.|
Adam finishing the race.
|I kept my costume to a minimum, you might recognize the shirt from The Office. Dwight Schrute wore a similar one in the 5K Fun Run For The Cure.|
|The run is billed as the largest cross country race in the U.S. with over 7000 register racers. I made the mistake of starting at the end of the huge crowd so I spent most of my time passing walkers and "non-racers".|
It was a really foggy day making for a cold, wet race. Oh, and did I mention it was 40 degrees out? It really was a messy experience with 8-creek crossings where the water was at least knee high (see the video below). We don't have any pictures of me in the back part of the course, but here are some pictures from the Des Moines Register. It really was a fun time, but I just wish I could have run the whole thing, in the end I believe I walked about half a mile just for the bottlenecks.
I didn't make this video but it shows you a great example of the experience, you might get motion sickness from watching it.
Here is a video of one of the creek crossings.
Landon's on his way home from Ireland. He was invited to sit in the cockpit of the Aer Lingus plane.
Blake is in shape for the season. As a sophomore on the Varsity team, he's had 12 wins and 5 losses. He gets better as the season moves...
It's Hunter. Getting polished up for the prom. His dad is making the finishing touches. Hunter and his date. I don...
Landon and I did the decorating after his art class at the Des Moines Art Center. Instead of putting 50 candles on a cake, we put 50 act...