What Time Is It?

Happy New Year to all!

My mother is, on a good day in her imagination, 5 feet tall and 80 lbs soaking wet while carrying 10-pound dumbbells in each hand. But at no point during the day is she not thinking about food. It is amazing. In her world, there are only three times of day. There is talking about food time, eating time, and talking about what we ate time.

keepcalmandeatAs Sue told you we went for a drive to Deerfield Beach.  It is about a 20-minute drive (and 20 minutes to park) away from her condo.  We drove over, walked along the beach for about a mile, and then I drove home.  About 5 minutes away from the condo, I mentioned that I was hungry. (It was about 1 p.m.) My mother immediately said, “We should pull over and get something to eat.” I said that I would wait to we got home. My mother leaned forward from the back seat and said to Sue, “Be ready to grab the wheel if he faints from hunger.” Good news is that I made it home without fainting. Whew.

Cocktail snacks

The other food-related challenge is that there appear to be only 8 hours between the start breakfast (around 9:30 a.m.) and the start of dinner (5:30 p.m.). So in order to get three full meals in AND still save time for cocktail hour (with cheese and crackers, nuts etc.) you need to be very careful about timing. As I mentioned above, the day we went to Deerfield Beach, we did not plan well. By the time we arrived home from the outing (1:15) and ate a quick lunch it was already 2 p.m. After cleaning up from lunch, we had time for a quick stroll before we needed to prepare for cocktail hour and then get rolling for dinner.

garlic rolls
The garlic rolls

My mother eats no gluten. On our last night, we went to an Italian restaurant that serves warm rolls at the table.  They have plain and garlic rolls. When the waiter asked which type we wanted (plain, garlic or mixed), I asked for a mix, but my mother overrode the decision by stridently ordering only garlic.  We all looked at each other and thought: there is something wrong here, the one person who won’t eat them made the decision on what the rest of us would eat.  I love you, Mom (or at least please leave me in the will).

Dessert was served in the middle of the night–you know, 7:30.

P.S.: We are both going on a diet when we get home.



A Long 12 Weeks A Comin’

We went to Deerfield Beach: 84 degrees, humidity–hair-frizz level high

Today is our last day in warm, sunny Florida. I’m trying not to think about the 12 weeks of Chicago winter I will endure before we head to Costa Rica. We spent a lot of time strolling in the sun. So nice to be outside without four layers of clothing between me and the air. I’m not a lay-on-the-beach person, but I do enjoy being near the ocean.

IMG_20181227_125231846If you have been reading our blog, you will know that we love a good national park hike. We had planned to go to the Everglades National Park, but our moron in chief messed that up. We still could have gone, but there would have been no services and no way to buy our traditional fridge magnet, so I nixed the trip. Next time. Luckily, you don’t need the Everglades to see the alligators. We went to Green Cay Wetlands instead and I was able to satisfy my longing to see the prehistoric creatures. We joked that they were plastic and there for the tourists because we didn’t see a single one move. I know gators are all over Florida (there was one floating in the water right next to my brother Brian’s wedding), but I still like to get out and see them. Being outside in the sun with a lot of water that’s not a lake is a real treat. Green Cay has1.5 miles of boardwalk-type walkways over constructed wetlands and a nature center. If you’re visiting your favorite snow bird, it’s a good place to spend an hour. We also stopped at Wakodahatchee Wetlands, which was only a 5-minute drive away. The boardwalk loop is .75 miles There wasn’t a huge difference at this time of year, but many storks nest there in the spring. Both parks are part of the Great Florida Birding Trail and are free. Of course, we also saw turtles, frogs, and snakes.

Now all that’s left is the packing and trip home after one last 5:30 dinner. I’m afraid to check the temperature in Chicago, but I know I will be lucky if it is above freezing when we land.