Sunday, December 26, 2004

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

We hope you all had a great Christmas holiday.

Our Christmas was great - we had a fantastic time alternating between the pool and the beach. Look below for our 2004 Christmas photo taken at the beach (that's the back of our trailer with bikes you see).

Santa was able to find our trailer and since we don't have a chimney he used his special 'Santa Key' and entered through the door. He left both Tomas & Victoria each a Thomas the Tank Engine trains. Tomas received Henry the big green express engine while Victoria received Lady of the magical railroad. (Well, Toria wanted a phone but she already has 2 (3 if she can find our cell phone) so Santa formed plan B and found she also wanted 'her' train.

Toria also received her first bike - a purple 2-wheeler with training wheels and streamers! Tomas also received a Rescue Helicopter & a dragon (with chains - he says I must add that the dragon has chains - like the dragon on Shrek).

We enjoyed a buffet Christmas dinner & key lime margarita with key lime pie at the Lazy Lizard pub (the family-friendly pub at the campground).

In other news - we had a good time in the Florida Keys. We spent a couple of days in Key West visiting Ernest Hemingways house, climbing 88 steps up (& down) the lighthouse and visiting the southernmost point in the continental US (see photo below). I know my last blog promised more photos but the rest of our Florida keys time was quite hectic. We had to ensure that we relaxed by the pool and the children (aka 'fish') spent their required 4 hours/day in the pool so besides the 2 in this blog I don't have any other photos added yet but I hope to before the New Year.

We're leaving tomorrow (Dec. 27) for Naples. We plan to spend New Year's in Sarasota, Fl before heading to Walt Disney World for January 3.

Happy Holidays,

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Key West

Hello from the most southernly point in the United States! Margaritaville - here we are! (We're here until Dec. 27, 2004 & we have internet again - hooray!)

We had a nice time in Miami and did all the Miami Beach and Art Deco tours that Miami requires. We drove past Star Island where Gloria Estefan, Rosie O'Donnell, & Shaquille O'Neal live & Fisher Island where Oprah has a home (who, suprisingly, still hasn't asked me to appear on her show about living your wildest dream - maybe she's waiting until we get home?).

Miami had a cold snap (expected low of 45F (around +7C) when we were there and they had an emergency weather bulletin on the TV describing to people how to dress in layers. SERIOUSLY!

We visited the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami where we were able to drive a diesel engine locomotive in the engineer's cab. Todd alleges that we did it for our mini-engineer Tomas but it also brought out the engineer in Todd & he may be thinking of a career change. Yes, even I admit it was really neat being up there, chugging down the line, & pulling the WHOOO WHOOO horn.

The highlight of Miami was the Miami Zoo where we watched them feed the tigers, orangutans, giraffes & giant tortoises. That was really neat.

Well, Todd is back and he wants his turn at the computer so I will sign off. Hopefully we'll post some photos and update the website in the next few days.

Happy Holidays! Carmen.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Gentlemen(&ladies), start your engines...

Hi everyone! We have just returned from visiting the Daytona International Speedway where we had a tour of where they race the Daytona 500. We watched the IMAX NASCAR movie and when it was done I asked Tomas & Toria if they wanted to drive fast when they were older. And both my wonderfully cautious children said 'No'.

We're currently staying at a wonderful RV Park next to Cape Canaveral, Florida and had hoped to see the launching of a Delta 4 Heavy Rocket but it has been scrubbed each day for the past 3 days - it is now scheduled for tomorrow (Monday - Dec. 13) but we're off to Miami. Todd has never been there but I tease him that after years of his watching Miami Vice he should have no problems getting around!

We have not had Internet in quite awhile and are now at the library using (gasp!) dial-up. To sum up our travels. We had a fantastic time in Charleston and enjoyed the town and seeing the historic sites and old plantations. We spent 4 days there before heading to Savannah, Georgia . In Savannah we were not too impressed with the surronding area but found historic Savannah to be the most beautiful of all towns we've been too. It was truly spectacular.

Yesterday, we put up our Christmas tree and a few of our favourite decorations that we'd brought from home but I must say - it is hard to get into the Christmas spirit when your surronded by palm trees. We have been to see Santa - Toria was not too happy to see him but Tomas had no problem letting Santa know that he would like a train and Toria would like a phone (never mind she received one for her birthday - Dec. 4 - she'd like another one. Apparently, she would like one for each ear?!) I'll post the Santa photo when we find Wi-Fi again.

[Note to my mom - mom, you told me I couldn't talk about the weather in my blogs anymore so I'll just have to tell you a story - In Savannah, it was so hot and humid that our smoke detector went off at 2:30 in the morning. Apparently, this is not uncommon.]

Take Care,

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Been roughing it...

We have been totally roughing it in our RV this past week. Our Internet has been broken!! Horror!! (The RV Park's wireless service provider's satellite was broken). We've been totally lost - we haven't been able to research other campgrounds and cities/towns to stay or visit, find things to do here in Myrtle Beach, find a kids store that sells double umbrella strollers, research golf courses, and the list goes on. We even had to resort to a ... gasp... phone book but it didn't correlate an address to a map or provide evaluations & recommendations. We were a mess. [We tried an internet donut cafe but kids, donuts & computers don't mix. Actually, that is not true - the clerk said that our kids were the best behaved he had seen. We didn't go back there because it was an hour away.] Anyway, we are back online tonight.

In other news - we've been having a fantastic time in Myrtle Beach. Todd's been golfing 4 times, we've been riding bikes, going for walks, building campfires and enjoying the good things in life. FYI... my kids love campfires and marshmallows but don't try and mix these two. Apparently, marshmallows are best eaten raw.

Do you know that when I talk of 'Boxing Day' Americans have no idea what I'm talking about? Everything is Black Friday shopping - the day after Thanksgiving. Nothing about Boxing Day shopping - the day after Christmas. It's like a foreign language. Speaking of foreign languages- we are so totally in the south. "Yes Ma'am. No Ma'am." Everyone says ma'am. If someone called me Ma'am at home - I'd think they were talking to my 84-year old grandma. Seriously though, what would you think, ma'am?

Oh - and Black Friday shopping was a zoo. I am proud to say that we did participate in the madness (when in Rome) but we didn't go until 5pm that night when they had police directing traffic OUT of the mall.

Just as our internet's satellite was crashing back to earth last week - we updated our website with many new photos. I know the website is still a little cluttered & hard to find things - but I was pretty sure that if I didn't get some photos of the grandkids up there for the grandparents that they were going to write us out of the will. Hence, the photos are up, we're still in the will, & I added a site map.

Happy December Everyone