Thursday, July 28, 2011


So last Sunday, the official "last day" of "vacation" the girls decided they wanted s'mores. Who in their right mind would argue with that, I ask you. So they made a quick trip to the store, because believe it or not, I don't have the ingredients for this in my house. can almost always expect something sweet at my house, but usually not s'mores. Here's another thing you should know, just in case you're reading this from a state that is NOT's freakin' HOT here!! While we're at it, repeat that last phrase and substitute HUMID for HOT and you get the idea. Even in the evenings it's still in the 90s. So standing over the grill roasting a marsh mellow isn't ideal and a bit uncomfortable...but it did the job and the s'mores were pretty tasty!

I'm happy to say I stopped at one.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tampa Vacation Part II

Our stop on Thursday afternoon was at The Florida Aquarium! This was totally worth the money...lots of cool stuff. It has all the fun stuff you'd expect to see at an aquarium plus a totally cool Florida section with fish, birds and reptiles from our area. We saw the CUTEST river otters playing with each other and doing flips and stuff. They were just adorable! We sat in on a "shark talk" and learned more than we thought we would about sharks. We also found out that the aquarium will be featured in an episode during Shark Week coming up soon! (I love Shark Week...check your local listings.)

The two old folks having a rest.

Got a good shot of this bird. It was amazing how close you could get to the animals...just one reach over the divider and you could touch them. Of course, we didn't...not even Joey did! LOL

On Friday morning we went canoeing on the Weeki Watchee River. This was by far the most fun we did the whole trip!! My first time, and I was a little nervous (cold, deep water always makes me a bit anxious). Well, it was only deep in parts, most was shallow enough to see the bottom of the river. This river is spring fed, which means it is clear water and usually stays at a constant temperature of 74 degrees. Burr!!

Here's picture (I didn't take it because I forgot my camera!!!). We saw some wild life too...birds, fish, a very small snake, a turtle and A MANATEE!!! Yes, a manatee swam right past our canoe, he even came up for a breath so we got a real good look at him (ok, could have been a "her", who knows). I was really kicking myself for forgetting the camera. And in case you're wondering...Justine forgot her camera, too. I can't believe it either!!

So Mike, Justine and I were in one canoe and Joey and Veronica, in a second one. Those two were so funny, trying to establish who was in charge, who was supposed to do what...they finally figured it out and it worked out quite well. We parked the canoes a couple times to wade in the water and have a snack. It really was peaceful and beautiful. Not too many other folks on the river, which we can only attribute to it being a weekday. It was quiet and relaxing because the current of the river was at about walking speed, so very comfortable for taking our time. The company we went through for the rental was frills mind you, but polite and efficient (they carried the canoes, put them in the water, helped us in and shoved us off...I didn't even get my feet wet). They were right there to get us at the end (same as above, but in reverse). We'll do this again soon!

That's it! We drove home and upon our arrival Gracie when so nuts I thought she was gonna explode.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tampa Vacation Part I

This week we took a mini-vacation (three days) to Tampa. Mostly to check out a couple colleges for Veronica for next year, but partly because we wanted to get away and have some fun, too

We spotted this tower on the way into Tampa, thought it might be a fun spot for a picnic...but it really was only an abandoned utility tower of some sort, and the park around it wasn't that nice, but it was a good place to stop and stretch our legs.

Justine, of course, found a flower to pick (otherwise known as a weed to you and me).

You know, I brought my camera to take tons of pictures of our trip and really, I only took a few and not even many good ones at that, oh well. This is the fountain in front of the University of Tampa. Veronica wanted to check it out because it has a good Criminology program. It's a private college, small...only 6000 students, but beautiful and provides benefits that only a smaller university can offer (alot of personal attention to the students) BUT it's super expensive.

I did NOT take this photo, it's the back of the administration building. It shows off the beautiful architecture...Russian, Victorian and middle eastern (reminded me of some of the buildings I saw in Spain). The tour was very good, lots of information!

The natives got restless waiting for our tour to begin. This bench is just to the left of the porch in the photo above.

Next stop was the University of South Florida! Can you guess their mascot? This was in total contrast to what we saw yesterday...

It's a public university with a student body of around 45,000! It's huge...and didn't have all the charm of UT. It's also located outside the city, where UT is right in the heart of downtown Tampa. BUT it did have alot to offer and after the initial shock we started to really like it. The dorms are really nice, pretty much only the freshmen (and some sophomores) live on campus. We saw tons of bikes, so apparently that's how most students get around campus. Veronica really liked this one, especially the Honors College which offers a few extra perks and also the small school feel that she's used to with the AICE program at her high school.

She fits right in, don't cha think!

More on the trip tomorrow...

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I finally got pictures of some FOs:

I finished Corrine a while ago, but finally got a photo. This is all garter stitch but done up and down(as opposed to side to side)...super easy and unique way to make a sweater. It's a Knitty pattern so you know what that!

This is my latest cardi. It's the Minimalist Cardigan. My second one...first one I gave to Barb cuz it didn't fit me right (too big in the shoulders). This one I did a size smaller for the back, same size as before for the fronts but made the shoulder seam for the smaller size (hope some of that makes sense to you knitters). It fits GREAT and the yarn Madeline Tosh DK was a total splurge (thanks again Dad). I can't wait to wear this in the fall...or winter, whichever comes first.

Mike was travelling for business in Minnesota and actually went into a yarn shop and got me some sock wonderful is that?! It's St. Seraphina Twinkle Toes in Bubble Gum. He even told the shop worker (some guy in a pony tail no less) that he didn't want any national brand yarn, because I probably already had that, but some local hand dyed sock yarn.

Um...sorry ladies...he's all mine! This is a man who not only is fearless enough to go into a yarn shop but knows what to buy while in there! And if you weren't jealous enough, he also speaks "knit". He knows what gauge is, too.

Pony tail dude threw in a few freebies, too.

Mike said that this guy showed him some thicker sock yarn, even showed him a sock knit up in the thicker yarn (working hard to make the sale, you know). So Mike says, "Um, we don't really need socks that thick down in Florida." The guy says, "Oh yeah, I guess not." LOL!

And on the subject of things NOT related to knitting...Joey got glasses. So here's the conversation between Joey and Justine after the glasses:

Justine: Joey, you look smarter with glasses.

Joey: Now that I can see you, you look dumber.

The usual.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Friendship Fountain

The City of Jacksonville spent $3.1 million to renovate this 45 year old landmark...The Friendship Fountain. So we drove downtown and checked it out. The water changes constantly and at night it's lit up beautifully (so I'm told). This picture was taken from the middle of the Main Street Bridge (walking distance from the fountain for those of you not in Jacksonville).
The brick work around the fountain and the park is very nice. Lots of picnic tables under huge oaks for hanging out and enjoying the beautiful view of the fountain, the St. John's River, downtown and across the river...The Jacksonville Landing.

Behind Justine and Mike are the Main Street Bridge, some of the Jax Skyline and The Landing. (It's the view across the River from the fountain.)

No more MODIS on the Modis building...which technically, isn't the Modis Building any more.

It was such a nice day...a little warm, but very nice.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Charlize the Third

Charlize #3...this time out of Pagewood Farms Denali (colorway Marine Girl).

Today is the start of a four day weekend for me! Lots of running around this morning. Joey needs glasses so I'm taking him to chose a frame and order them. I guess with all the bad-sight genes in the family, it was gonna happen sometime, huh? I'm also picking up race packets for Mike and I. We're going to run in a 4th of July 5K. The race is at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, so with any luck, it'll be cooler and maybe a little cloudy. We've had great thunderstorms the last few days, but we're supposed to dry out for the next few, so we'll see. I'm also picking up a knitting needle from the yarn shop today. I need a size 5, 40 inch for the Camping PI Shawl KAL I'm doing on July 15th. I'm hoping to find an Addi Turbo Lace. We're also going to stop by George's Music Store so Joey can pick up some more picks for his guitar.

Mike suggested a family outing this weekend...possibly tomorrow or Sunday. I'll be sure to post pictures and blog about it. Promise!

Swimming is on the agenda for today, too. I'm hoping all that rain hasn't brought down the temp of the pool too much. I'm such a wimp when it comes to cold water.

Have a great 4th of July! Go see some fireworks!