Monday, June 18, 2012

Vacation Week Recap

Last week was our vacation week. I was supposed to go north and visit the family, but plans changed due to money. So we decided to do things in the state. We had a few adventures.

Saturday we just drove south. We ate at the Northgate Diner in Ocala again. The boys at a ton of Biscuits and Gravy. It was a very inexpensive meal with lots of good food. The people are so nice. It seems like most everyone who goes there are regulars.

Then we went to some thrift stores. The nephew is all about thrifting so I get to do more of it now. He managed to find the “hipster” knitted hat he’s been looking for. He also found a bunch of different kinds of dice for his collection he recently started. Of course the nephew and husband found more things than I did. They seem to have that ability. We keep buying games. Saturday it was a game of chess that tells how to move the pieces. The husband is learning so he can play the nephew. I found a card game called Sting. From the makers of UNO it is dubbed “Rummy gone wild.” I think it  could have been even simpler. We played a couple games and ended up playing our own way.

The husband found more poker chips. To add to his interesting finds I think he found the deal of the day… 6 old bowling pins for $20. Now he wants to get 4 more so he can play at home. We ended up using yet another Groupon for bowling at a place that is very close to the house. He ended up talking to the guy working there and he may hook him up with some pins. The husband is always getting hooked up. It must be all that charm. The bowling pins are very cool and well worn. He tried to look up how old they were and thinks they are older than 1998.

We ate again at Cody’s, just a different location. It was pouring rain by then and we were just happy to get up out of that. We ate at the location in The Villages – the HUGE retirement community in north central Florida. I felt like we were too young to be there. Also it is like being in a Disney World community… cute store fronts and everything is clean. They ride their golf carts everywhere. It is very surreal. I thought I was in The Truman Show.

We played a couple games at the bowling alley Sunday after a day of cleaning the house. Cleaning stops for no vacation (especially if you are at home). The husband and nephew creamed me in bowling of course. I did get one strike. Yeah me! We also learned that every Sunday they have $1 games of bowling. Also I learned that the nephew agrees with me, we want to own a pair of bowling shoes.

Monday night we went to my first baseball game. Subway was giving away a deal if you bought a family pack meal thingy you got a voucher for the Jacksonville Sun’s baseball game. We got it the other week and figured we would use it on our staycation. For the fourth person we brought the father in law. We all went out for pizza for dinner first. I got in one thrift store before hand. The nephew used his last few bucks on a board game filled with dice. I found a home 8 track player that I just had to get. More than I usually would spend at a thrift store, but it was an interesting find. The home 8 track player we bought months ago stopped playing the 8 tracks. When the husband took it apart to fix it he found that it had been water logged. He said it wasn’t worth fixing. So of course I find another one.
I looked up the Toyo model I found online and cannot find anything that looks like it. It is a split system and everything works. I am so excited. The thrift store even threw in free 8 tracks. They had two boxes full. I had some of them and others weren’t my kind of music. I ended up with 6 tapes for FREE.

When we took the 8 track player home it did work. The husband says it needs a new drive belt. I found where you can buy them online. Sweet! Both speakers work and it is quite loud. I told the husband it should only play old music. 

Toyo 8 track & am/fm radio

I also found an Ink Blotz game. It cracks me up. It reminds me of the Rorschach test at work. That is based on a German children’s game where they look at ink blots. The husband was holding them up and getting us to guess what we saw. The object of the game is to match the other player’s guesses. It is gonna be a hard game.

We made our way to the Baseball Grounds at Jacksonville. We got there way too early, but got a good parking spot. There were all sorts of people. A lot of families. It rained off and on. We ended up one of maybe 5 families/groups sitting in the voucher/cheapest bleachers. If we go again we are definitely paying for the seats under the roof. We had fun watching the game. The husband distracted me half way through when he decided we should go on the casino boat that was advertised between innings. The father in-law and nephew jumped on that idea. The in-laws 51st anniversary is coming up. I guess we are going out to sea to gamble. The prices were not bad either.

We managed not to get soaked or struck by lightning. We spent way too much on drinks since they don’t allow you to bring in outside food or drink. It was fun though. Now the boys are playing with the Wii baseball and bowling more often. I find reality better than the virtual.

Jacksonville Suns vs Jackson Generals


Some intermission type game

Yup, the Suns lost that night

Tuesday we were bums. I slept in until 10 am – something unheard of in my home with dogs who feel I must awake early to let them outside. 

Wednesday I had an appointment in the afternoon. Then we went to Dave & Busters. I killed on the trivia game and won a bunch of tickets. We played a little of everything. As usual I go to play games and we end up collecting tickets. The nephew got a Domo stuffed "doll" and the husband got a huge pen. 

Thursday we went to Tampa. I found a half price Groupon for The Florida Aquarium (I know, I didn't know they had a state aquarium). We took the nephew and the father in-law. It was a smaller aquarium, but nice. There were a ton of kids groups. Some kids would point out things to me. It was cute. We took pictures of everything. We were big kids. I even touched a starfish. The father in-law touched the sting rays. 

This is the owl's expression when the husband is trying to get in close for a picture with his phone's camera (Mr Instagram). 


Rock lobster

The father in-law trying to make friends with the fish. 

After the aquarium we went to the Yuengling Brewery. We have talked about going for a while now. I figured since we were in Tamps we should check it out. There were a bunch of people on the tour. The brewery is in what used to be a Schlitz brewery. It was about 1950s or so. The building was awesome. They took us through the process of making beer. I loved the lab. It reminded me of when I was in science class. There were a ton of beakers and containers. Then we saw the assembly line. It looked like the beginning of Laverne & Shirley with the bottles going through. At the end you get  a couple free samples. I don;t drink beer, but the boys do. They got to try types they hadn't tried before. I got a Yuengling magnet. It was my only magnet all week of travels.

We hit one thrift I thought sounded good from the bunch that came up on my phone. It was a Hospice thrift store, which are usually nice. This one was too ritzy for us and too expensive. We found nothing. We ended up eating at a Pub & Grill we found. Our other choice was closed. At least we tried something different. The boys got free beer there too since a beer rep was in the pub giving away free samples. They scored a lot of free beer that day.

Friday I didn't feel good. I think the pub food poisoned me. I even took a nap, which is not like me. The nephew went to hang with his friends for the weekend. 

Saturday the husband and I went grocery shopping. We had free lunch with the in-laws from when the mother in-law complained about the poor food at Arby's. Come to find out they are closing that location. I tell the mother in-law she complains and they shut places down (this is not the first time and she is very picky). That location always seemed sad and pathetic. The customers and staff tended to look like they wanted to commit haricari. We also heard about how her stove caught on fire. She was innocently boiling potatoes and it just went into flames. Now they have to go through the insurance company to get a new one. 

Not actual fire, just a dramatization.

Sunday we spent fathers day with the in-laws. They cooked burgers on the grill since there is no stove. The husband watched the Nascar race while I did research for my presentation at work. I changed my topic to guilt since that topic kept coming up with me the last few weeks. 

Today I went back to work. Everything was slow today - computers, people. Then I started feeling bad again. I went home sick. I think it was the fire extinguisher potatoes. Ok, I am sure the mother in-law did not give us potato salad sprayed with a fire extinguisher. It just sounds more dramatic that way.


  1. I love those photos :)
    this post is amazing!!

  2. Thanks! I am trying to use my own photos more in the blog.