Saturday, May 30, 2015

Bienvenidos a Miami (Welcome to Miami)

View from the condo
Miami in all her glory has been the focus this week. First time back for me since we pulled the trigger on the condo. And what a place it is. For me, quite the intense experience of non stop noise, people, boats, planes. Coming back to Naples feels like a tiny backwater sort of place.

counting cruise ships
Trying hard to get used to elevators out your front door, security key fobs needed everywhere, and underground garage mazes.

Gorgeous pool which I didn't use. Maybe next visit, although I'm not so much the pool sort of person, clearly since I don't use our community pool in Naples either. This one is pretty inviting though...

This is a city that never sleeps, much like New York, and in that regard, we don't match very well. Beddy bye by 9:30 is norm for me. We jumped back up on Tuesday night as a fireworks show started in full force below us. Don't know what the occasion was, but it was fun watching from the balcony.

We are on Brickell Key, a manmade island off downtown Miami. I could see the beautiful bay walk from the condo that goes around the entirety, but not how to get there. Remember this is grand central security land and had to get directions and a reminder I would need that security fob from the concierge. Oh boy, for me directions are challenging and everything here is a bit of a maze. Found it though and well worth the effort.

small little boat Mark estimated 220'
Gorgeous manicured walk and the sea breeze that cools even when its blistering hot. Lots of people out walking or running, or walking their dogs, the only approved activities on said walk. There are dog stations every 100 feet or so with the ubiquitous bags for zee poop, along with you'll be fined sign if you don't use them. Okay fine, but every day a staff member rides around in a cart with little flags to mark where the poop is in the grass, and yet another staff person comes along later to pick up the poop. A statement on how many don't follow the rules and how many you employ to fix it...

Gotcha -working again
While Mark worked, I did more shopping for the condo. It's hard to remember everything you need to function in one shot. So finally able to relax a little, have a glass of wine on the balcony, along with some cooking, Mark's Osso Buco for one. Yum.We had a couple of fun dinners out too, one at Cibo in Coral Gables, and Seaspice downtown Miami River. The beautiful people show up at Seaspice we hear, just not that night. What a crazy food town!

This international major business mecca of mixed everything and people from Mexico, Cuba, and all over Latin America: Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, to name a few. 5.5 million people and majority Spanish speaking. Why, why didn't I take Spanish? Bonjour gets you nowhere here...

Friday, May 22, 2015

Sea turtle nests, beach fun, and summer is upon us

Happy Memorial Day weekend! Hope everyone has fun plans. We will be 92 and steamy, chance of afternoon thunderstorms. Kinda the norm here now.

Much beach action happening. A whole new group has descended on Naples, not giant in numbers but making up for it in enthusiasm. German and Danish phrases wafting on the sea breeze, along with the stylish or should I say startling, men's bikini. My observation is the young and fit are not wearing these - interesting...

We are right in the middle of the nesting season for sea turtles. We saw one of the first taped off when Tiffany and Penny were here and now these are dotted all up and down the beaches. Giant efforts are being made to ensure the hatchelings will have every chance to survive as they are threatened or endangered depending on the type. Two months and the hundred or so eggs will hatch at night and the march is on to the water. It's against the law to disturb the nest, leave lights on after dark, and you're asked to fill in holes in the sand and not leave anything on the beach. I'm rooting for the little guys.

All kinds of water craft a happening, some requiring more effort than others. I have not tried the paddle board but I hear it's a workout.

What a beak Ibis
I will not lie, it is HOT here now. The beach has been great in the morning with a gentle breeze off the water, but after that, blah. And my walks now require taking a sweat towel. It will be a shock to transfer back to high altitude and super dry.

We have 4 weeks until the trek back. Going by so fast now. Still there's a bit of snow happening here and there back Star Mt. way. Amazing!

I go to Miami next week with Mark to see how it's all going. I haven't been back in the condo since we officially signed the papers. Actually truth be told, Mark hasn't even been in it all that much. Lots of business travel. Wild and crazy Miami here I come.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Naples, Miami, and art class

And the Naples/Miami adventure continues. I am mostly aware of where I am at any given moment, but not so sure Mark is. This bouncing back and forth plus travel elsewhere keeps him hopping. Maybe it's the fountain of youth solution everyone's been looking for.

We have five weeks until the mega long drive back to Star Mt. This is ciao baby, for me at least, for the summer. Mark will be back and forth, more Florida than Star Mt for the summer and early fall. I'll just hop a plane and zip on down if the pang of separation hits me.

deck view of cruise ships coming and going
29th floor and that's the Miami River
 pretty pool - empty as it was a cloudy rainy day
I realize I haven't posted any photos of the Miami place. These were taking while zooming around with the realtor in between rain downpours before we decided on this one. What an ordeal this was, too long a story but suffice to say Miami rentals and board associations are not for the faint of heart. It's a lovely place though and quite secure. You couldn't get an illegal toe near the place with the security they have. Apparently a leftover from the Miami worse than most recession and bad types coming in. Gosh, glad we passed muster.

Star Mt. road
Last art class for the summer this week. Love my teacher/friend Patty and the other participants are a talented inspiring group on their own. I plan to hold this inspiration close to keep me painting through the summer.

 I had great fun going to the beach with my art paraphernalia and of course camera. Not too many people and great scenery. My solo umbrella works too! An Amazon quick purchase.

Friday, May 8, 2015

White sand,turquoise waters, and Penny

Fair warning - this post is mostly, almost all, about Miss Penny. And water, lots and lots of water. Wonderful visit with Tiffany and Penny. I did miss Juliet and Chris though! Maybe next time.

Beach action - three visits actually. A best kept secret, Delnor Wiggins state park beach. Penny wasn't sure about the sand and wave action at first. Kinda different than a pool.

Just chillin'

frozen yogurt trip
Penny's pointing at our live in lizard "Big Boy"
Big Boy - he's harmless, honestly
Shhhhh, It has gone quiet here. We can get in anywhere, the roads are not clogged, and the mob of foreign accents and out of state license plates have dissipated into thin air.

success floating
Tried the pool but with less success. We were the only people there and Penny is quite a social being. Moving on...

Serious sand castle making. Although Penny only seemed to want to build,  then step and flatten everything.

Perhaps looking for dolphins, we did see some
First visit to a special donut place, Peace, Love, and Little Donuts. So many choices we had a hard time. Well, Tiffany and I did anyway, Penny did not. Birthday cake, key lime, maple bacon, on and on-  two dozen worth.

And I'll leave you with this. You can't be too young to learn posing....I didn't ask but she delivered.