Thursday, March 30, 2023

Lunch Florida Style


Some days are a bit out of the routine and that is a good thing.  On Tuesday, I skipped my weekly golf tee time and joined my volunteer group for lunch at a spot new to me, but a place I have wanted to go to for awhile.  

But, before lunch, because I am lucky to live in a place on the water where it’s easy to do, I killed some time, by sitting at the Venice Jetty and watching the dolphins play and the active surf splash onto the rocks.  Lovely and peaceful are the only words.

Lunch was at the cafe at The Venice Art Center in a beautiful flower filled courtyard.  There was a fountain, surrounded by bistro tables and the menu had the perfect lunch offerings.  Interesting sandwiches and salads with homemade focaccia bread.  Wine was on the menu, but I did not partake this time.  Next time I will for sure.  

I love to discover new places and while I do love my favorite beach restaurants in my fun little corner of Florida, there are so many other interesting spots to try.  I always say, love where you live.  And I do.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

March So Far


March is going by very fast with visits from my daughters as highlights, but also a lot of day to day busyness. This weeks given me a bit of down time and I even snuck in a walk on the beach.  It is so wonderful to have Red Tide gone for now and the weather is picture perfect. The beach was very busy with spring breakers enjoying the sunshine, blue skies and turquoise water. Venice Beach is usually not a tourist hot spot, like Siesta Key, but the parking lot was full and I needed to park a block away.  The locals like me prefer things a bit quieter, but in a few weeks, it will be back to normal and quick in and out visits to the beach will be available again.  

The spring holidays are always fun and we went out to dinner for St. Patricks Day with some friends.  It was one of our favorite seafood restaurants, but to get in the holiday spirit, Shepard’s Pie and Corned Beef and Cabbage were on the menu.  I think I spotted green beer being served too, but I enjoyed a cucumber and mint martini that was also green.  Easter is so close as well, and we have plans to drive to my mother in law’s home just north of us and go out rather than cook.  I’m happy to keep it simple since it is just the three of us.

And, speaking of green, we are so excited for our Michigan State Spartans and their trip to the March Madness Sweet Sixteen.  They play Kansas State tonight in NYC and we will be gathering with about 25 other MSU friends to cheer them on.  It worked on Sunday and I think the good luck charm was the delicious chocolate Sparty cake my friend made.  We will be in the same location at a friend’s clubhouse and I plan to sit in the exact same seat, so I don’t disturb the mojo lol.  

Happy Thursday and Go Green!

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Appletini (Green Cocktail for St. Patrick’s Day)


St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and we are an Irish house.  So, in addition to wearing green, it is also fun to try a green cocktail. I hosted a Euchre party at my house last night and I included a few festive green touches.

The cocktail I decided to serve was an old school martini that used to be on every drink menu, but you don’t see too often anymore.  I made a classic Sour Apple Appletini and its green color is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.  I made a pitcher in advance by using equivalent measurements, but here is the recipe for one cocktail.

2 ounces Apple Pucker liquor

1 ounce vodka (I used Tito’s)

3 ounces apple juice

Juice from 1/2 lemon

Add all ingredients to a ice filled martini shaker.  Shake well and strain into a pretty martini glass.  Enjoy!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

A Visit and Red Tide


Megan, my older daughter came to visit last week and we had beautiful, warm sunshiny weather, so we used the pool a lot.  Unfortunately, we are dealing with Red Tide here on the gulf coast and it is the worst I have seen it.  It is usually a summertime event, but because of all the run off and overflow from Hurricane Ian it is affecting spring break.

If you don’t know about Red Tide, it is basically a respiratory irritant.  Sometimes you might feel a tickle in your throat, but when it is bad you cough and cough.  My daughter likes to walk the beaches, but there was no way that was happening this past weekend.  There is also a lot of dead fish, so the smell is unpleasant too.  It does come and go with each day depending on the wind direction, so north or east winds are what we hope for.

Inland is fine, so we were able to find things too do, just not our usual activities on the water.  When people come to visit, I like to take them to the places with pretty water views and tropical vibes, so I really had to think about a different style of restaurant with indoor dining.  

As usual, it was a much needed catch up and I loved having her here.  We walked a lot and even managed to sneak in some water shots despite the coughing.  Not the beach trip she had hoped for, but still lots of Florida sunshine.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Arizona Adventure


It was our 40th anniversary in November and after much discussion on taking a trip to celebrate, we decided on an active one.  Last week, we traveled to Scottsdale and Sedona and as you can see from the photos, it was everything we had hoped for and more.

We hiked in both the Sonoran Desert in Scottsdale and the famous red rocks of Sedona. We drove a two person ATV through the Tonto National Forest and came away covered in mud. We stayed at a lovely resort just north of Scottsdale called The Boulders and loved our private casita with a fireplace.  Since the weather was chiller than expected, the warm fires were welcome and very cozy.  The resort was beautifully landscaped, had bars and restaurants on site and was a great base for our adventures.  The resort bar, complete with comfortable chairs in front of a fire, became our favorite spot at the end of the day.

I googled restaurants with the best views and found a lovely spot for dinner one night in Rio Verde.  We also had a great Mexican lunch in Sedona with perhaps the best margarita of the trip - and I do enjoy a margarita tour.

We have been to Scottsdale before, but on golf trips, so this was very different.  Also, after our tropical Florida life,  the landscape with cactus and mountains in our views was a big change and so fun.  

When you have been married for 40 years and together since college, you have a lot of good memories.  This trip is now added to that list.

Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, martinis, yoga, lilly

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