Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dives 1 - 3 Tiger Tail Lake (Broward County)

Yes, can't you tell I'm excited?

Getting my gear together - had to kick mom way out of the way, so she wouldn't 'help'


1st dive - open water

James and I got up at the unglodly hour of 5:30 am to get ready for the diving class for Spence.  We were at the beach by 6:45 and we parked at one beach parking and the instructor at another down the block.  He finally figured we must have parked somewhere else and found us and by 7:15 we had all decided the beach was too nasty to dive at.

We ended up by Bass Pro shop, where the local college has a training lake and Spence did 3 out of his 4 practice dives today. 

He was tired but very happy and even had a fish swim up to him during the dive.  James was going to take some video, but discovered after the fact that you need to press the power button on the camera in order for it to actually tape.

While Spence was diving, James and I stopped off at Divers Direct and got me a 5mm wetsuit as the one I brought from Calgary was a 3mm not a 5mm - so I'll have to return that to the store for a credit.  James also got Spence some food for after the dive as we ran out of food part way through the dive day.

We got home, had a snack and headed over to Todd & Michelle's.  Todd, Ethan, James & Spence settled in to play video games and Michelle & I headed off to T-Mobile to check out their data plans.  I got a 3GB plan for the ipad and am just waiting for it to turn itself on.  In the meantime, we're all just chillin until it's time for supper - we're planning on popping by the grocery store for some frozen pizza and then some chillin at the hot tub, some TV and then early bedtime because we're diving a wreck tomorrow for Spencer's 4th dive.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday we drove from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale and stopped off at Taco City in Cocoa Beach - one of our favorite spots.  Great lunch and we arrived in Weston, FL just before supper time.

We got into our hotel room at the time share and settled in.  We tried to get internet, but the hotel internet is so bad, we could only get a few bars if we were in one corner of the kitchen - so we got a refund.  The phones don't have a data plan - so we are borrowing Todd & Michelle's when we come on by to their place.

Today was another relax day and we got our stuff from the local dive shop (Gold Coast Scuba) in preparation for diving tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Various birds


Shingle Creek / River


Baby Gator






Jethro - 11' long and hiding from the camera today

Pissed off he has to dry his wings

Another great day today - good start to a vacation :)

James and I got up and headed out for a walk around the grounds and when we got back, got Spence up and headed downstairs for breakfast.

We then packed up and headed to the pool - the water was 81 degrees, but it was warmer outside, so I decided the water was too cold for me.  The boys did a few laps on the lazy river and James practiced with the underwater video camera case we bought for the trip.  We got some hot tub time in and near 11 am, we went back upstairs.

The boys took a break and had lunch while I went off to kayak for 2 hours with a tour guide on the local eco tour of Shingle Creek/River - which is on 550 acres of everglade.  The resort has about 150 acres for resort facilities and the rest is everglades which they take care of, but don't build on.

It was a great 2 hours and when I got back, we all headed back down for another swim.  The boys did another few laps and I chilled by the hot tub.  We watched two gecko's gang up on a cockroach - it was as exciting as watching the bug wars on TV (ok, I might have been cheering out loud for the geckos).

The bug, was on its back and couldn't get back up because the 1st gecko was stalking it and kept it off balance.  As the 1st one is circling the bug (which is almost the same size as this gecko) and 2nd gecko comes along to check out the entertainment and bang - when the other gecko was stalking and waiting, the 2nd one comes up to the bug and grabs it by it's legs or wing or something and scurries off with it, leaving gecko #1 without supper.  They both left the dead cricket next to the cockroach alone - so I figured they like their supper living when they tear into it.

We went back upstairs and ordered Spence supper and James and I headed back out for a walk and supper.  We stopped at the bar and had an appie & drinks - the appie was sub-par and so we decided to eat supper at another restaurant.  We did our walk and ended up back at Primo (the same restaurant as last night).  James had the dish they recommended last night after he had supper - which he said was great and I had a grain and grilled veggie dish that was really good.  I overstuffed on bread - love their homemade artisan bread.  James finished off with canaloni which he said was the best he's ever had.  We also took a chocolate cake back for Spence.

We then went for another walk - to allow me to digest some of the bread and be able to breath comfortably again :)  The walk was great and now it's time to nap :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

James and I got up just before 5pm and Spence up at 5:30.  We were ready to go by 6:30 when Jo'Anne arrived to take us to the airport.

We got to the airport without incident and then had no wait times at all going through check in and customs. 

We waited for our plane at the gate, managed to snag coffee and breakfast while we waited and were in the air on time.

We had a really smooth flight - probably the smoothest I can remember and after almost 5 hours, arrived in Orlando.  We got all our luggage and got upsold to a Cadi SUV for an extra $4 for the 2 weeks.  I had managed to get the rate down from $1,300 to $600 for the two weeks and then they added another $200 to have a 2nd driver - but at least it was still less than the original rate.

We drove to our hotel and decided to have dinner as soon as we checked in.  We went to the Italian restaurant (Primo) which was about as good as Muse in Calgary.  Everything is made in house from scratch and from local producers - really good food.  The prices were about what we pay in  Calgary, but no complaints - both service and food was great.

We all headed upstairs to our room and left Spence playing on the computer while James and I walked around the resort.  It was a good walk and we found the various pools, lake, river, hot tub, kids play area and of course Starbucks :)

I also found a great little apron - I've been looking for a 2nd one for years, so I can start retiring my old one that is now almost as old as I am and starting to really show its age. 

Now it's time to chill and relax until lazy river time tomorrow morning.

Monday, November 07, 2011

We all got up pretty early today as we had our NEXUS appointment at the airport.  All went well and was faster than I thought it would be.

We headed off in separate directions - James off to work and Spence and I off to the hospital to drop off a box of chocolates for the staff that had helped James out before and after the surgery.  Spence and I then headed home to do school and get the house organized.

We did math quiz, spelling quiz, drums, reading and called it a day - Spence vacuumed and I finished getting the bedrooms organized.  Spence then had me helping him look for a disc and his lounge was still a mess, I cleaned that up while he left to go for a movie & dinner with grama.

While they were out, I finished with the fish tank, laundry, kitchen and managed to pull stuff out for supper.  Fries & hot dogs for James and I'm having baked beans with veggie dogs.  I'm getting better because I was starved today - but still cold, so on top of eating everything I could find in the house I drank loads of tea.