Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vacation. Show all posts

June 12, 2019

Jungle Queen and Water Taxi



The peaceful life by the water in Florida.

(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 7, 2019

Panorama: Ocean and Beach

Thought this was pretty cool...

Panorama of Ocean and Beach.

Made it look the the ocean is in between the beach.

Love the "special effect."

Feels a little like Moshes who led the Israelites through the (Red) Sea.

Anyway, nice to get away a little and see life through a different lens. ;-)

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach! 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 5, 2019

Swimming In Florida

In lovely Florida.

Hit the swimming pool.

About to do my laps.

I got my gear and ready to rock and roll.

Please G-d, we'll spend the Jewish holiday of Shavuot (commemorating when we got the Torah) together here as a family.

What more can I ask.

Happy and grateful. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dossy Blumenthal)
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December 27, 2018

Happy Holidays!

I just had to share this photo. 

Took this in South Florida this week. 

These two guys from Sweden sitting at the pool wearing these Christmas tree hats. 

This was just too great to pass up. 

As I took the photo, one guy gave me the thumbs up and this was just perfect. 

I don't know about you, but they cheered me up even when it seems that the world is otherwise going crazy--in so many ways.

- Politics
- Divisiveness
- Hate
- Fighting
- Injustices
- Suffering

But at the end of the day, it's about the people--and G-d gives us the power to do good and make happy (or vice versa). 

This one made me happy!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 25, 2018

See You Later Florida

Love coming to Florida. 

Not a far flight.

Sun shines bright.

Water is blue. 

Birds, fish, and animals like a zoo. 

Nature is peaceful.

Shopping is plentiful. 

Activities day and night.

Swimming makes me feel right. 

Go to the beach.

Eat a peach.

Florida is the place to be.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 24, 2018

Longing For The Slow and Happy Bungalow Days

So I used to hear from my wife about when she was young and went to the bungalow colony in the Catskill Mountains.

And today, I heard from a wonderful young Ukrainian woman whose family does the equivalent in the mountains there in the summer. 

When I listen to the stories, it sounds so good to get away with your family and friends for the summer to the countryside. 

Just live simply in a cabin, stay up late by the campfire singing songs, get up lazily in the morning, and during the day play sports, go fishing, and swim in the lake. 

I can't imagine talking 3 months a year and actually being able to do this...so natural, so carefree, so back to living!

Yes as kids, we went to camp, but it's not the same as living communally like this in such freedom and fun. 

Honestly, listening to the stories about this, left me amazingly jealous!

Perhaps, it's a lesson about life these days...we're adults, we're responsible, we have to earn a living and take care of the bills and all of life's responsibilities. 

But maybe, just maybe, there is something--a lot--to be said for letting loose a little, and just being with your loved ones, and living, really living again. 

Why do we have to wait until we're old...too old to work anymore...and maybe too old to appreciate life as life was meant to be.  

We can't run from our responsibilities but isn't it worth looking for ways in life to enjoy more than a long weekend or a week vacation.

Life is too short to let it get away from us. 

Balancing the contributions of our hard labor with the enjoyment of family, friends, and fun...those are the memories that last a lifetime and beyond. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 30, 2017

@Sawgrass Mills Mall










Thought these alligators were pretty cute at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Florida. 

Sawgrass with over 300 stores and outlets is the 10th largest mall in America. 

And much of it is very upscale--apparently, the economy is very good for some people.

By the time, we got out of there, my head was spinning with sampling the stores and merchandise.

It was a delightful retreat to pass some nice outdoor eateries by the Colonnade with these creative and colorful alligators. 

Remember most of this place was built on Everglades swamp, so there are plenty of real alligators to go around. 

My favorites from these:

#4 - Forever Glades

#7 - The colorful blue, pink, and orange gator.

#9 - Relax and Rejoice

What are yours?

Not sure, why I took #1--the watermelon alligator--in the other direction, but it adds effect and I hope you enjoyed these. ;-)

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 28, 2017

Turkish Lights




Just wanted to share these beautiful Turkish lights that I found in Hollywood, Florida. 

We had a delicious lunch at L'Chaim Asian Cuisine and Steak House--the honey chicken was to die for--OMG, it was like candy!

Afterwards, we walked about the shopping strip there and came across this store with these amazing lights. 

It was a hookah (not hookers!) store which I am completely not interested in, having never smoked a cigarette or anything my entire life--true!

But these light were gorgeous. 

I took these pictures and was even tempted to buy one--loved the colors and happiness of them. 

Held off for now, too many nice things, especially since we then followed up with a day trip to Sawgrass Mills today--what an unbelievably huge shopping and outlet mall.

I know it must definitely be time to head home soon, because the shopping experience down here is wearing me down--just kidding, but it's definitely a paradise not only for the beach, but for the shopping fun as well. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 2, 2017

Butterflies, Birds, and Flowers





















(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal @Butterfly World)
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June 13, 2016

Walking The Pink Carpet

Only in Starbucks Florida...

Does Buddy the bird sing and dance inside the shop next to the coffee drinkers.

Here, my wife was doing some writing for the Federal Communicators Network.

And she is very serious about her writing--and don't bug her when she's into it.

But Buddy was a different story...

He proudly walked right over the iPad pink keyboard.

And then headed for another circuit around the table.

Picking up keys, ripping up the New York Times, hanging upside down, and playing with everyone who was only too happy to pay him attention.

When I asked Buddy if he liked Starbucks coffee, he started bopping up and down like crazy--it was hilarious.

As to my wife's computer and writing, this was about the only thing that she would allow to disturb her. 

I was surprised she didn't eat the bothersome bird, but even she had to laugh at his gall to step into her virtual world of writing, brands, and social media. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 8, 2016

Jet Bluing Around



(Source Video: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 17, 2016

613 The Perfect Trip

So the sightings continue today of the mystical and holy 613 (number of commandments in the Torah).

Check out the cost of this vacation trip to Yellowstone National Park.

It's not $599 or $699 like you would usually see these things advertised for. 

Instead the family adventure starts at $613!!!

Too many times now, too frequent, and in too many different places to be just random or chance. 

Someone is trying to tell us something.

Hopefully, it is a sign for blessings for mankind. ;-)

(Source Photo: Ellen Weiner)
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December 24, 2015

Type A-nus

So it's the first full day of vacation in Florida.

And as it goes, you transition from the busy everyday world of work and chores to a more relaxing vacation mode...Ahhhh!

As I'm still transitioning, my wife says to me, "Stop your type A-ness."

Then we look at each other and start cracking up, because it sounds like she says "Type A-nus."

Okay 7-year olds, stop the silliness.

But maybe she is right, we need to pull our heads out of our asses, and look up at the sky, savor the warm sunshine on our faces, take a breath of fresh beautiful air, and just chill!

A-ness, or A-nus--either way, stop it and live free. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 23, 2015

Popcorn Delight

So we made it to Florida, but the plane ride was horrible.

Spent an hour and a half on the tarmac waiting to take off because of "low clouds."

Is that for real?  

It was raining outside and the damp air and smell on the plane was sickening.

But we made it, and in Florida, it's always happy and nice--air was warm, the sun was out, and the people were in holiday party spirits. 

Headed straight to the pool and had a great swim--pushed myself even though still woosy from the turbulent flight.

We had a nice dinner and then stopped in this store with amazing popcorn--covered in caramel drizzle and milk chocolate. 

Only in Florida (these were no Cracker Jacks)!

The lady gave me a sample and I passed it off to my daughter and wife--oops, the one with the big chocolate gob fell on the floor.

Then we passed this tattoo place and watched this guy in the widow getting a huge tattoo on his calf of this fantastical women's face. The lady proprietor tried to convince us to come in--ah, no thanks. 

Next was a bottle of wine for the night and back to the hotel. 

Looking forward to more adventures this week. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 9, 2015

It Doesn't Get Better Than This



This video was composed and produced by one of my very talented colleagues, David Ausman (2015). 

I was really impressed by the skill and creativity of this music video as well as the vivid portrayal of a fantasy vacation to Havana, Cuba. 

He recorded it in his own voice and used Garageband and his digital piano to jazz it up. 

When I asked him how he got the idea for this, he said that his associates overhead and told him a friendly conversation they overhead that went like this:

"Bob: Bill! I haven't see you in ages. How have you been?

Bill: Bob, you old sob! How ya doing?

Bob: I'm doing great, especially since I'm no longer posted in [edited out].

Bill: I know, I know. So how are you liking it back home?

Bob: (pointing his finger at Bill) It doesn't get better than this!

Bill: (pointing back) Yeah, it doesn't get better than this!"

Now that he shared this funny story with me, I also can't stop thinking about some fantasy fun trip somewhere. 

And most important that when we appreciate everyone and everything we have in our lives then "It [truly] doesn't get better than this!" ;-)
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August 17, 2015

PARROT Does Amazing Impromptu DANCE


Rebecca was so brave and such a great sport with this parrot doing this crazy dance on her head by the beach. 

(Narrated and videoed by Andy Blumenthal)
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December 29, 2014

Iced Pool BUT Hot Tub

So I learned this vacation that some people really seem to enjoy temperature extremes.

These folks on the left are in the outdoor steaming hot tub.

However, see the pool next to them on the right--it's nearly completely frozen over (and it would be except for a fireplace at the other end of the pool deck)!

The temperature outside a frosty 19 degrees fahrenheit.

Yes, for those who know me...I keep the air conditioner on in the Winter (true).

But even I didn't bare it all in Santa Fe in December--at least not yet! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 19, 2014

It's Friday

It's Friday.

You worked hard all week.

And you deserve a little break.

Relax, sit down, read a good book, be a bit of a pig (but not too much).

Enjoy...the weekend is starting. 

Also, thank G-d for helping you make it through.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 7, 2013

Life, Cartoonish And Not

Strange day, starting with these cartoon characters standing on the street waving to everyone.

And they say texting while driving is distracting -- what's this?

Some other weird things:

- At a food store, saw an argument between an Asian customer and a Spanish-speaking cashier--they were arguing over something as silly as an orange juice, but what made this especially comical was because of the language barrier, each was getting more and more frustrated, until they both sort of gave up, and the customer storming out saying he was never going there again. 

- At the rehabilitation facility, spoke to a couple where the husband--age 88--was there "unexpectedly" for the last two months after a relatively minor surgery. The wife--age 79 (married 60 years)--was visiting him every day. She said that they had never been really sick before, and that when he got out, they were going to visit their other condo in Florida and resume their regular, favorite hobby of ballroom dancing. 

- A nurse assistant, from Sierra Leone, told me how he had escaped the bloody civil war there that left 50,000 people dead.  He described how the rebels would overrun the villages killing everyone as he pointed his finger saying "boom, boom" and making slashing movements as if holding a knife or machete--and that many from his family were murdered. He described how he had escaped to neighboring Guinea and from there called his uncle in America who helped get him here, but the price was that he had to leave his family--a wife and two children behind. He said in the last 11 years, he was able to visit them only once in 2008 for a couple of weeks, and at the end of this month, he was finally able to go back to bring them to America. 

I wondered how very different our lives are--and how some people suffer with war, poverty, illness, and loss, while others are vacationing and dancing into their 90's. I'm not judging or implying anyone as good or bad--especially since all these people seemed very nice--but these events reminded me of a Jewish saying about the conundrum of the seeming righteous people that suffer and the wicked that prosper--and that only G-d is The Judge, who knows who is really righteous and wicked, what they really deserve, and that some people get rewarded in this world, while others in the world to come. 

Either way, I hope G-d has mercy on us, so we don't suffer, and have much more happy dancing times and less to none illness, poverty, and fighting. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 29, 2013

Like That Scarf

After having lunch with good friends, we're doing the Black Friday thing today.

Found this awesome scarf on Las Olas. 

It is handmade and made up of this individual squares of beautiful fabric. 

The store also had these gorgeous ties in a similar design. 

Prices for the scarf was something like $395.

I admired, but wasn't insane enough to buy. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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