Monday 29 July 2019

Boat day!

Yesterday was an awesome day.  Friends G&K kindly invited us for a day of chilling out on their lovely boat.  We set off from the marina and went to Stock Island, where we pulled up at the Perry Hotel, and docked for a spot of lunch.  I had fish tacos which were lovely.

Once we had some sustenance in us we set off towards Woman Key where we pulled up on a sand bar and chilled out in 3ft of water chatting and having a few drinks.  The time flew and without us knowing it suddenly was 7pm - we had all guessed/estimated it was 5.45pm approx. so it was a big surprise to realize the actual time.  Time flies when you are having fun.  We zipped on home with the sun setting behind us.  A few photos below. Yes the water was that clear!

Saturday 27 July 2019

Back pain in Paradise

I woke up Thursday with an awful pain in my lower back which got worse throughout the day.  Thursday night was even worse, I couldn't sleep with the pain and spent the night doing a combination of pacing the floor or shifting in the bed with pillows and cushions under my knees and back etc.

I jumped in the pool before work and that seemed to loosen things up a bit - I swam some lengths of front crawl with my mask and snorkel so as to be extra efficient! Lol. And I then headed off for work stopping at CVS on the way.

In CVS, I bought these heat wraps and some acetaminophen painkillers and am happy to report that they made an immediate impact.

I used the heat wraps all day yesterday and then last night and thanks be to the Universe I slept the night through pain free. Today I haven't used any further wraps and have had just one tablet so far.  I am hopeful that another good night tonight and that is it over with.

So strange though, came out of the blue.  I am hoping that it was just down to something small/silly like sleeping in the wrong position or something.  Am also hoping it is not a sign of age and this is it going forward ugh!! To be honest it is probably due to me not stretching enough, and sitting too much.  I sure do miss my bikram yoga sometimes.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Something chocolatey, something new

How about this for a nice gift?! Butler's Chocolates from Ireland.  So delicious!

And then something I bought for myself! Look at this cute little tray that was the bargain price of $1.99 in Wynn Dixie.  I spotted it while doing grocery shopping this week and I just adore it.

Look at it!

Sunday 21 July 2019


I bought her a fun little gift from Coach.  Don't you just love the yellow color of the leather?! I had the yellow ribbon at home and I used it for giftwrap.  I don't want to show off but I if I say so myself I do have a talent for tieing bows. Lol.

The gift itself is a little travel purse which has three cute little bottles inside.  I guess the three bottles are for filling with shampoo, conditioner and body wash.  But my friend and I reckon they are much better for travelling with, when filled with the ingredients for aperol spritz.

Then today I was up nice and early and headed to the beach. It was a lovely way to spend my day off...  A day at the beach is a day well spent in my book!  

Actually, I didn't spend a whole day at the beach.  Just a couple of hours.  I didn't want to over do it in the sun.  I am off tomorrow at 3pm and I am going to bring my bikini in and go again to the beach for an hour on the way home.  Work on my tan slowly...

Lucky for me the beach bar was showing the British Open and I saw Shane Lowry play his last two holes and lift the Claret Jug.  I am proud of him, and proud to be Irish!

After the beach and the golf I went for a little spin down to Books & Books. I did a little browsing and bought myself a new book too.

Today was a great day.

Saturday 20 July 2019

Hemingway in Key West

A little summary of my last few days here in Paradise.  No photos I am afraid...I am feeling lethargic about the whole uploading process.

Things are good! Town is busy - the Hemingway Days celebration is on - a celebration of the life and legacy of Ernest Hemingway.  It is 120 years since he was born.

Today I went down to Duval Street and watched the Running of The Bulls with the 155 Ernest Hemingway look-alike competition participants.  Yesterday I nearly ran over one of the 155 look-alikes while on my bike.   Lol.  Ok so not quite.  He was coming out of Starbucks, I was pulling up outside and we had a bit of a laugh.  He was a good natured Hemingway :)

Tuesday 16 July 2019

There is nothing like getting a surprise gift of flowers

I came home yesterday to a lovely surprise of a beautiful bouquet of brightly coloured flowers.  The last time I was given flowers here in Key West I had to do a mad scramble to find something to arrange them in (there was no vase in the house).  Literally a week later I saw and bought a vase in a garage sale for 50cents.  The joke was that ever since I bought the vase there had been no more flowers :)

It was beyond lovely to be given these. Very thoughtful gift...

A picture paints a thousand words, so here's two for you! Aren't they just beautiful!

Sunday 14 July 2019

Night fishing

All set for night fishing! Night fishing!! Something I'd never done before.
Got my fishing earrings on! Cooler of beer, & other beverages, packed. Sub from Miami Grill bought (how cute is their furniture?!).
Long story short, when we arrived at Garrison Bight we found out that the Captain had cancelled the trip. 8ft waves out there...
Oh well Disappointing of course. But safety first.
Drinking from a cooler in the tiki hut now which is a fun fall back lol 😁😁

Thursday 11 July 2019

Suggestions on a postcard please

So, if you know me, you will know how much I enjoy making cocktails.  One thing I do miss from Ireland is all my (vintage) barware and cocktail equipment.

Today, I had watermelon in the fridge which was about to go off/be thrown in the trash and it got me thinking what kind of cocktail I could make with it.  

I had the old reliable of vodka and limes in the fridge too, which meant I just had to buy some coconut water.

I pulsed the watermelon until it was liquid. It was pale pink and foamy and felt too smoothie like which was not what I was going for...

I came up with the plan of straining it through a coffee filter.  And this worked! I was left with a nice red liquid similar to the finished product which is pictured at the end of this post.
At this point I divided it into two portions - one for cocktail making, one which would be virgin watermelon juice.  Very lucky I did this!!! Because...then THIS happened!

I mixed the watermelon juice, limes, vodka and coconut water and BLENDED it again.  It ended up a pale pink smoothie type mix which then settled into the above.  

After 5 minutes further it had settled into THIS.
Learn from my mistake!  No blending at the point above.

So I took the remaining "virgin" juice and simply mixed the ingredients together...

...and this was the result. 
How cute are my garnishes?!

And a straw just perfects it!

So what do I call this cocktail?  Suggestions on a postcard!

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Raw bar and Smoked bar(beque)

Sunday started by watching soccer - USA women's team winning the World Cup.
I really am not much of a soccer fan (not much of any ball sports really) but for the big events I will make an exception.  

Afterwards it was off to Fort Zachary Taylor beach for SNORKELLING which was AWESOME!

We were pretty hungry by the time we got Half Shell Raw bar for Happy Hour so we had to Order All the Fudz in the Whole World. It was a pretty awesome meal and we relaxed over a few beverages afterwards.

And then on Monday night I took my cowboy boots out for a spin to a new bar in town - for some blues and barbeque.

Ribs, Mac and Cheese were fab!  And it is a great bar for live music - nice big sound from a cool blues band.  Will be back to The Dirty Pig back for sure!

Sunday 7 July 2019

Boat day!

I normally work Saturdays (I work Tues-Sat) but because of vacation cover I ended up working Mon-Friday this week.  Which meant I could go out with friends on their boat on Saturday, hooray!!!

Preparations for the day started by getting some sustenance in via the most fab Cuban sandwich ever!

Imagine, that all my time in Key West I have never gone "sand barring"

Such a fun day, floating around, drinking beers and cocktails, talking and having the craic with friends.  Doesn't get better than that.

Barbecue Tales Part 15 - crab claws - giant ones! (Pretty much a picture blog post only fyi!)


Comedy scene in Key West

Pictured below are Marta and I at our THIRD outing IN A ROW to the Comedy Club at the Bottle Cap bar on Friday night.

The late great Maeve Binchy used to give advice to aspiring writers.  As a form of discipline you should either tell everyone you are writing a book or tell no one you are writing it (and just do it).  It's a bit like how I started this blog 7 years ago or so.  I had been humming and hawing over doing it (aka procrastinating) then one night over a load of drinks, on a wonderful weekend away in Wexford with friends, I grandly pronounced at 2am I was starting a blog.  So that was that, I couldn't handle people asking me about the blog so I just went and did it.  And amn't I glad I did so now?!

For the record.  
I am inching closer and closer to getting up and doing a 5 minute piece at the Locals/Amateur night on Wednesday nights.  Just the once.  To try it out and to be able to say I did it. 
Watch this space.

Update (Nov 19 2019):
Check out Monkey in Paradise blog

4th of July 2019

July 4th was wonderful!

I was in work at 7am wearing my stars and stripes outfit which was a lot of fun.  My boss organized some traditional American fare of hot dogs and fixings for us all which was also a lot of fun and very nice of him.

Then that evening we met up with friends for a tailgate party and watching the fireworks down at White Street pier.  Hey guess what, it too was a lot of fun! And the fireworks were amazing, I've seen nothing like them ever in Ireland before.

Happy Birthday America!

Wednesday 3 July 2019

Canada Day!

Ugh I'm behind in my blogging.  So what that means is the next few posts are all about catching up, quantity versus quality if you will.  My apologies in advance.

First up is Canada Day! If you recall we hosted a St Patrick's Day back in March, so only fair that Canada Day gets a celebration too.
And what a celebration it was!  We had two Canadian themed ice buffets where we had food and drink - labatts was the order of the day and people sure got excited when they saw it.  I served Falling Water cocktails which are fast becoming the Amy & Patrick signature cocktail here in Paradise.  They just work - cool and refreshing vodka cucumber drink - perfect for the hottttt temperatures of Southern Florida.

I should also mention the food and drink brought by people.  A friend made and brought Nanaimo bars and they were amazing!!! (They kind of reminded me of Swedish Daim cake interestingly enough).  Plus "Canadian" horchata made with Tim Horton coffee and Canadian Club whiskey, how fun!

We also had a giant Canadian flag in the tiki hut and Canadian sports shirts draped around the garden for decoration and ambience.  Further adding ambience was the music playlist, Canadian artists alone, and everyone had fun shouting out requests and discussing music and people who no one realized were actually Canadian.  No Justin Bieber, I'm not looking at you!!!  Not you either Celine Dion.  Nobody shouted requests for those pair. Ha!

The pool of course was the big hit and no one was shy about getting in, and staying in for the evening.  All in all it was a great night and great demonstrated by all the "lost property" I found the next day and am in the process of returning :) Thanks to everyone who came!  You are the best!
For posterity, here is Yours Truly before the start of the party.  I'm pretty much wearing the same outfit as I wore to the St Patrick's Day party but instead of the green bikini under the cover up, I am wearing a red and white striped bikini purchased on Duval Street.

I will not bore you with the red bikini search and debacle, let's just say it involves Amazon Prime, some very bad sizing and two returns.  Ugh.  I hate shopping.  Do you know that?? Have I ever mentioned before how much shopping bores me?