Tuesday, July 22, 2008

West Palm Beach

Hello from West Palm Beach! It's gorgeous here -- not too hot or humid (like everyone warned me it would be, they were all WRONG) and simply put, BEAUTIFUL. I'm staying at my cousin Vicki's father-in-law's house (he's not here, he only comes a few months out of the year). It's in a gated community, on a golf course, next to a lake. Can it get more perfect? I don't think so!

South Florida is a dream. The beach Vicki and I have been going to is Jupiter Beach and, compared to the beaches in Southern California, there is NOBODY THERE. We drive right up and park the car right on the street. Parking is free. What is that? That doesn't happen where I live. Then there is a little wooden area to walk through (there is a path) and it opens up to the beach. Literally, there are wide open spaces to set up our chairs and towels. Nobody behind us or in front of us, or even next to us for several feet. Unheard of where I live. The water is about 85 degrees and crystal clear. We take the boogie boards and float. My knee feels so good in the water! Great therapy! The only bad thing I have to say is that even with sunscreen my back got so much sun that it's starting to peel :(

There's also a pool in this community, and we bought a frozen Bellini mix and took that down to the pool one night. There was nobody there but we still had a blast. It was raining (in July? For a West Coast girl, that was a novelty!) and we put the lawn chairs under the eaves and drank our frozen Bellinis and watched the rain hit the pool. It was fun!

Yesterday we drove down to Miami, to South Beach. What a different feel that town has! Hip, vibrant, young. Very fun. We ate at the Front Porch Cafe overlooking Ocean Drive and then did some shopping along Collins Avenue. It was super H O T in Miami though, much more so than in West Palm Beach.

We've been to the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach. After going to the finest museums in the world, the one here just doesn't compare. They have one Monet (it actually had palm branches, I had no idea he painted one of those) and one Picasso. And the City Place shopping area in West Palm is nice, too -- we also took a tour of the area, by land and sea. The tour guide said there are three types of money there -- old money, new money, and your money. She pointed out the house the owners of QVC are renovating and said that was an example of 'your money.'

Still have three more days before going home. I'm super relaxed, which is what I needed from this vacation. And when I get home, I have New York City to look forward to -- I love summer!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

*the dress*

This is the Diane von Furstenberg dress I bought. It is gorgeous, 100% silk with no buttons or snaps, just the wrap to tie it shut. I took this picture off her website, I haven't worn it will be going with me to New York City the beginning of August!!


My goodness, I have a lot to catch up on!

Got to Vegas on the 3rd to find my parents had no air conditioning. In Vegas. Ummm...yeah. We scattered to various places until the repair guy could come out and get it fixed. Luckily my dad didn't ruin the compressor by not running the unit even after it stopped working and it was a fairly easy fix.

On the 4th of July my uncle hosted the entire family for a BBQ. So much fun! His girlfriend makes a frozen drink concoction with frozen lemonade, half and half, and vodka -- yum-o! Eventually we moved on to shots of tequila, that was exciting...and I heard old family stories I had never heard before. Love when that happens. The fireworks were fantastic, and Madison finally, finally got to hold her very own sparklers. She LOVED them!! We also bought some poppers. Probably our best 4th of July yet.

Went to Diane von Furstenberg (her shop) while in Vegas. I have been wanting a wrap dress for forever -- or so it seems -- and I finally bit the bullet. On the DvF website, I saw a red and white wrap dress that I loved. When I went into the shop, I told the salesperson which dress I wanted and what size (because they only display one of each dress, the other sizes are kept in the back). She went in the back and found my size. She brought it out and said it was the last one, that the entire company only had three left in my size. It fit perfectly! AND it was on sale for 40% off! So now I own the dress I have been wanting :)

Came back home Monday because I had an appointment to see what was wrong with my knee. I fell the end of May when I was roller skating and it just isn't feeling any better. Went to an ortho specialist on the advice of my regular doctor. Turns out I tore my meniscus (What? Didn't even know I had those!), cartilage between the femur and tibia. The bad news there is it doesn't repair itself because there is no blood flow. I need arthroscopic surgery to repair it. The good news is, because of the insurance company authorizations and how long those take, I'll still be able to go to Florida and New York City before the surgery in about three weeks. WHEW!

...and now I'm getting ready for my Florida trip...I leave next week for 10 days in West Palm Beach!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


My house is coming together. In the past six months I've painted the exterior, installed new carpet in the living room/dining room, bought and installed blinds/Roman shades in the kitchen and living room/dining room, and bought a brand new central air conditioner. For a 1950's ranch house, these are some major improvements! I still have some things on my 'to do' list -- the fence from the driveway to the backyard needs to be shored up, the sprinklers in the front yard need to be redone, and the carpet in the master bedroom needs to be ripped up and wood floors installed. I've also done some purging of things inside the house, remember those bags of things from my closet?

Tomorrow I'm going HOME for the 4th of July weekend. My daughter has never seen fireworks like they have in Las Vegas -- each family lighting them off in the street, in front of their own house. In Riverside, where I live, individual fireworks are illegal. Not in Vegas. Madison has never seen a sparkler. She's 10. It's time. I'm picking her up from summer school at 11:30 and we're hitting the road. If traffic is good, we'll be there by 3:00ish. My uncle is having a BBQ and the entire family will be there. Good times, good times!

We'll be in Vegas until Monday morning. Madison has summer school Monday and I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist about my knee. School starts at 8:00am so we'll leave Vegas by 4:30am and I'll drop Madison off at school. We've done this many times and it works well. She sleeps in the car while I drive. I'll nap once I get back from the ortho doctor. I'm hoping to find out exactly what is going on with my knee -- it's been four weeks since I fell roller skating and I am still in pain. Today I picked up my x-rays so I'm all set.

Took Madison to see the American Girl movie today. It's set during the Depression, and while it presents an idealized view of soup kitchens and hobo camps, it's still worth seeing.