Tag Archives: Florida

A Photo

3 Aug

Last April when we were in Florida I took this shot of my little one and I’m pretty in love with it.

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We were in a safari place, taking a river boat tour.

She’s my baby girl.  :)

Family Fun at Lion Country Safari in Florida

19 Apr

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I’m not being paid to write this post.  I felt compelled to share our experience at this amazing place.  We’ve been traveling to Florida for the past several years and basically hitting the same fun spots each time.  But it was while I was chatting with a friend a few weeks back that she told me about this Lion Country Safari….a safari in Florida you ask!? YES!  I don’t know about you, but I won’t be traveling to Africa anytime soon so this is about as close as I’ll get to a real live safari and wow it did not fail to completely wow me.

We headed there on a day when the weather was a bit iffy. You pay a fee per person in your car (you can also rent one there) and we found a coupon on the website.  You are provided with a CD to play as you travel through the safari.  The instructions are to keep windows up at all times.

And wow.  I’ll let my pictures do some of the talking.

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Other than the lions behind the fence all the animals roam freely; those zebras were right in front of the car blocking our path!

A total highlight for me were the giraffes….my favorite animal….they were everywhere and so gorgeous…

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The safari took us about 45 minutes and by the point the kids were done and ready to hit the amusement and water parks!

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There are rides and fun stuff for the kids but also different things like paddle boats that you could take out for a ride.

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And for an additional fee of 5 dollars per ride the kids each rode a camel :)

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is it me or is the camel smiling in this shot?!

is it me or is the camel smiling in this shot?!

My daughter’s highlight of the trip was her chance to feed a giraffe.  I think this is one of the coolest shots I have ever taken.

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I you tell I’d much rather the kids spend time in a place like this than that other place in Florida with all the mice & princesses!

Have you ever been here?

 

 

Feeling Refreshed After A Week in Florida

18 Apr

Yesterday we returned home from our trip to Boca Raton.  We’ve been fortunate to be going there almost annually the past several years around spring break to visit with my in-laws and catch some great sun.  This is their backyard…I mean can you just die?!

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And the beach is usually empty just like that…….we typically have the ocean all to ourselves, just like we like it :)

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When we weren’t at the beach we were in the pool…….or I should really say, the kids and their dad were in the pool, while I lounged and occasionally sat up and took photos!

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The only problem is that I don’t take enough photos!!! :)

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We did a few other fun things which I will detail in another post.

Today is about unpacking…the unfun part about vacations!

 

 

 

 

In Case You Were Wondering….

15 Apr

This is what 4 members of a family of 5 look like at 6:23 a.m. in New York’s JFK airport awaiting a 7:10 a.m. flight to Florida having been awake since 4:21 a.m….

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Fun times :)

Entertaining Kids (and Eating) in Boca Raton, Florida

7 Apr

We just completed our annual trip to Boca Raton for Easter to visit with my in-laws and to enjoy some spring break time away.  I just love it.

First you all know I am such a warm weather loving person and that the beach IS my place of utter peace and harmony.  This is our one yearly getaway so we really all look forward to it and hate when it flies by all too quickly.  And really what was once a really tough travel trip has turned out to be doable now that I have two 7-year-old and one 5 year old…a big difference from two 3 year olds and one 2-year-old!!!

So obviously we spent tons and tons of time at the beach in Boca.  We pretty much had one all to ourselves…

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The next best thing to the beach is the pool!

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As much as the kids love the beach and the pool,  (and literally had to be dragged in by their fair-haired ears each day) they all insist that we visit some of their favorite spots while we are in Boca.

The first one is Gumbo Limbo Nature Center which is right down the road from us.  Kids learn about endangered plants and animals and get to see turtles and other sea creatures.  It is a huge property where we hike around and they love to climb to the top of a structure each year where we try to spot their grandparents home.

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me out of breath!

I have photos of them as babies on these turtles!

I have photos of them as babies on these turtles!

I love it because we can still be outside while visiting Gumbo Limbo and you know I don’t want to step one foot out of that gorgeous Florida sunshine.  Similarly, we can be outside while visiting another spot, Sugar Sand Park. This is a vast park with many amenities.  We explore only a few, like the carousel…

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They all meet the height restrictions this year which means they can go on adult free…happy news for someone like me who tends to get dizzy while standing still!

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There is also a fabulous playground with structures the kids can climb through and areas where they can get can wet.  They love the playground and talk about it throughout the year.

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As if all that isn’t enough, just a few steps away and we enter a FABULOUS children’s museum that’s as great as any we’ve been to…there are two large fully interactive rooms that the kids could literally be entertained in all day long.

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Because this museum satiates our museum needs we’ve never visited but I’ve heard there’s the Boca Raton Children’s Museum as well.

As for eating, oh man, I ate way too much and went way too long without kick boxing!  A few of our favorites include Pizza Time.  You know as New Yorker’s we are very snobby about our pizza, but our visiting Boca tradition is to stop at Pizza Time right after we arrive because the pizza is that good.  There is something about the sauce and the thin crust that has us all loving it (and believe me we are all pizzaed out after eating it two weeks straight during Hurricane Sandy so that’s saying a lot!)

We tried Matteo’s for the first time which was a bit fancy for the kids but they did great.  And, my son has realized his newfound love for fried calamari which he has asked me to pack it for his lunch tomorrow (“Squidward tastes good mom!”) :)

We always go to Duffy’s because it’s very kid friendly and on Wednesdays kids eat free and they have a balloon guy roaming around.

My husband salivates all year for the place we go to the day after we arrive for lunch which is Baja Cafe.  It is the best Mexican food we eat anywhere and we wish we could find a place like this in NY.  Seriously I drool as I type!!!

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On our last night my in-laws sent me and the hubs to dinner without kids to New York Prime.  I’m not a steak eater but my husband enjoyed his and my salmon was great….place was very expensive though…we would have been just as happy going out in flip-flops to Baja Cafe again :).

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Have you ever been to Boca Raton, Florida?  What have I left out?

Mother’s Day Wrap Up

14 May

When you have young children, the best part of Mother’s Day, is the school made cards and gifts.  This year was no different.


I got a big dose of the mom guilt when my daughter wrote “my mom likes it when she is alone”….especially when the sentence was supposed to be filled in with something my daughter perceives that I like about her.

My son’s book included this line…

My mom likes to sleep, cook and go out to dinner and she deserves a vacation.

It’s almost embarrassing!  I never take naps, never get enough sleep, rarely go out to dinner and never go on vacation (except for our yearly Florida trip).  And, I hate cooking!!!

But my son did go on to write….

My mom is the best cooker and hugger and the best seller and maker.

I’ve told you I’m not big on holidays and these forced love ones are a part of it.  Everywhere I went on Sunday I was wished a Happy Mother’s Day.  That’s nice, but, I couldn’t help but think about all the woman who are not moms and are desperate to be…how this day is a stark reminder of that.  I also thought about people dear to me whose mothers have passed away.

However, I did have a nice day with family….and really thought of it as being a day for my mom, who along with my dad, enjoyed seeing the kids frolic in the warm weather.

Oh and earlier in the day moms were invited to my son’s roller hockey “mother’s day classic”.  At the end of the game moms were called into the rink for some love.

See my little blondie giving me good wishes!?

How was your day?

50 Shades of Sh*t

22 Apr

I just completed the first book, Fifty Shades of Grey, of the trilogy by E L James.

Everyone is all abuzz about these books which are being called “mommy porn”.  (Even that phrase is totally annoying.) When we were in Florida I started chatting about it with a woman at the pool and she ended up giving me the book when she finished it.

I’m SO GLAD I DID NOT SPEND MONEY ON THIS TRASH.

The writing  is absolutely awful.

The characters are undeveloped and inconceivable. The dialogue is ridiculous, and the sex scenes try to be steamy but are ultimately yawn inducing.  It’s trying be provocative and shocking but it’s not.

The gorgeous 21 yr old main female character has never had any kind of sexual experience and there is no understanding or explanation as to why.   But then as soon as she starts having sex she is having orgasm after orgasm.

She has this annoying inner dialogue, referring to her “inner goddess”…about 553 times in the book.  She often says “holy cow! holy shit!”  Holy annoying!!!

The main male character gets all in a frenzy when this chick bites her lip…a habit that is referred to about 482 times in the book.

The dialogue (boring, sterile and uninspired) often starts with “Er….”.  Do you ever say “er” when you start to speak?  I didn’t think so.

I haven’t read the other two books and I don’t plan on it.

Have you read it?

Breezy Beach Walking

14 Apr

(Picture heavy post ahead!)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the beach?

Have you ever done a visualization or meditation exercise where you picture yourself in a most peaceful place?  The beach is that place for me.  I love the ocean. I love the beach.  Before children I spent every summer weekend indulging in my peaceful place.

Now, I focus on relishing in our Florida vacations where we stay right on the beach.  We spend most of the day outside but every night after dinner I suggest a beach walk (especially a good thing to do after all the dining out and big meals).

climbing the rocks is a highlight of our walks

The scenery is amazing and I can’t get enough photos!

The beach is usually empty and ripe for shell searching.

It’s these walks that are my most cherished part of our vacation.

What are your simple, favorite vacation pleasures?

Hey We Were In Florida

13 Apr

We just got back from our annual trip to Florida…no not Disney but good old Boca Raton.

The kids were great on the plane, what a difference from past years.  They were so excited to arrive and indulged me by posing in this little set up in the airport while their dad was stuck grabbing our fifty bags.

My in-laws have an amazing, spacious ocean front condo that they reside in for half the year.  The view is so amazing that you don’t even need to leave the apartment to have your breath taken away.


But we really didn’t spend tons of time inside.  We had all sorts of plans to go here and there and see this and that.  Instead we spent 10 days frolicking in the pool and the gorgeous ocean.

The kids loved spending Easter in sunny Florida.  There were lots of other children visiting and one of our local friends (down in Florida at the same time) came out to see us one day too!

Is it even necessary for me to express how depressed I am being back home!!?

And, I haven’t kick-boxed in 2 weeks…I know I am going to be ravaged with pain when I get back to it this weekend!

A Little Grapefruit Before Bed

17 Nov

Our lovely neighbors always bring us citrus fruit from Florida.  My girls begged to have some

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before dinner tonight.

They sucked it down like it was a milkshake…strange to me, being not a fan of grapefruit (unless it’s grapefruit juice, with some Grey Goose and some cranberry juice :) )

Are you ever surprised about what your kids consume?

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