Monday 27 November 2023

Thanksgiving 2023

 Another beautiful Thanksgiving spent at our friend's Joe and Emily house.  Last year Patrick had covid - I did a (negative) test and went on my own - it was nice to be going together again this year.

A big massive rush, but we made it work:

I was in work 9-5 but thankfully my boss agreed I could leave at 4 when I asked him. Patrick picked me up on the dot at 4 and we rushed home where I immediately set about making the dessert I had promised to bring, teddy bears tucked up in bed!

My sisters were teasing me all day and sending me awful photos of baking disasters and considering I had literally 25 minutes to make them, I think they turned out "okay".  Emily thought they were adorable and said "I redeemed myself over the cookie party" incident. Ahahahahahahahahha.  That was last christmas when we had a cookie party and I didn't have time to make any, plus I didn't know how serious of a COOKIE party it was (I thought we were just making an excuse to drink wine) and I bought everyone a Starbucks snowman cookie. Not Acceptable apparently ahahahahahhaa

Speaking of Emily!

Well she just made the beautiful feast of all times. Look at this turkey!!!

For 14 people!

It is Joe's job every year to carve the turkey, and for this he takes out his electric carver and we have a big discussion about the joys of an electric knive versus a regular one.

Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Monday 20 November 2023

Island Life

Friday night we met up for a (good) sushi date.  We have not had GOOD sushi for ages so when Patrick suggested we go to our favourite restaurant Origami, I didn't have to be asked twice.
It was a nice evening so we sat outside.  Plus I had forgot a cardigan/sweater so I didn't fancy sitting in AC for too long.  We reviewed the menu for a little bit - deciding on some new bits and pieces - drinks in hand and order in we sat back and relaxed.  And then, suddenly, the restaurant and indeed the whole island was pitched into blackness!  This sometimes happens - end of the line and all that.  But it had been a while since it happened in then evening time imo.  Ha! Of course our immediate concern was our food but jeez we got so lucky, it must have been just ready when the power went off because it arrived at our table a minute or two later.  We ate it, and enjoyed it, by the light from our bike lights which we had removed and brought in my purse.  How funny is that :)
Just as we got the bill the power came back on which was good because it was getting a bit complicated as they had to write down card and phone numbers etc etc.
Next day I found out the power was out all the way up to Big Pine.  It appears a turkey buzzard attacked a line and electrocuted itself.  Poor bird :(

Photo above was taken after power came back :)

November Rain

So, June is rainy season here in Key West.  But strangely, on Tuesday, we got the craziest rain ever - just like the Monsoon-like rain of June, but add in that it was cold!

It started early around 7am and looked like there was a break forecast around 9 so I figured I would wait and try go in then.  Now, alot of times when I am cycling in rain I wear old clothes and my rain jacket and bring a change in to work for the day.  It is anyone's guess why I did not do that on this day??

Instead, the second Patrick yelled at me there was a break and I should go, I jumped on my bike and off I went.  I was literally down the bottom of our street when it started bucketing, in fact more than bucketing.  At times it was so bad I could not see in front of me.

Anyway, dramatics aside, I made it in to work.  Absolutely soaked.  I was thinking what I might do....put a hotel robe on and throw my clothes in the dryer was one option but not the best I think you would agree.  Imagine sitting in your office in a robe!!!!  Ha! No thank you.  Next thing I was thinking was I'd ask Patrick to send me in clothes but who knows when he would be free to do that...

And then...right in front of the back office I spied a pair of sample housekeeping trousers and some sample bartender shirts.  Beggers can't be choosers.  This is what I spent the day in:

Bahahahahahahahahah!  Two of my Gen Z colleagues told me it was "verging on being on trend".  I think they were just being nice to me, feeling bad I had to wear old yokes for the day.

Monday 13 November 2023

46 is this

While it was my birthday yesterday, it was also our anniversary - 4 years in a flash!
A momentary panic when we thought we had bought the same cards for each other lol!

They are vaguely similar in a way - penguins on the left, birds on the right.
It says The Adventure Continues under the penguins which is cute.  That's the card Patrick bought for me and we had a good laugh about the penguin (him) bossing me what way we were going and dragging me along lol.

Now!  Before I go any further I need to stress that Las Vegas was the present!  In fact, Las Vegas is everything all rolled into one: my birthday, our anniversary aaaaaand Patrick's birthday.  Funnily enought though, we did break the No Presents This Year rule and with our cards we both got each other our favourite chocolate.

We went out on the boat that morning for a little run.  The weather is not great atm and we were thinking we might not even get out but we saw a little window and went for it.


Birthday Popeyes Chicken Sandwich lol

Little afternoon snack of fancy blue cheese on ciabatta bread which we had brought at a market on Thursday night

Then I scooted down to the boat races to say hi to Bill and Feliz on their Chiguana stand.  Bill snapped this photo as a I arrived and I think it is a perfect capture of FORTY SIX.

Afterwards I pottered over to Half Shell Raw Bar where we had a casual but nice little birthday dinner.  They had a new tuna item on the menu and it bigtime, go the thumbs up from us.

And here is my twin at 46 too.  
She is in The Bank in Dublin drinking a glass of prosecco and going by the Jo Malone bag her husband had just brought her to Brown Thomas for a little birthday gift!


Margarita from a can (Tip Top)

I've no idea why these photos look so odd...

Was given a little can of margarita to try out and give my thoughts.
Really easy to make.  Pour on to ice in the shaker and give it a good old shake.

It was delicious. And very, very strong lol. I had to add way more ice to the above pic.

Very nice 8/10


Veterans Day 2023

Lovely time down on Duval Street watching the Veteran's Day Parade with Bill and Feliz

We met them down at Jack Flat's because they wanted to watch the FSU game.  They had got the best table ever right in the window so Patrick slotted straight in lol.

Feliz and I went on to the street to watch the parade.  Where we met our neighbour Lisa (and Corey).

This group are some of the overseas/foreign armies and navies that are based and working together in Key West.

My two favourite veterans :) Army and Coastguard.



 U2 in The Sphere were MAGNIFICENT.

The effects/the sphere was brilliant.  U2 were superb.  Put these two things together: Incredible.

My three favourite songs from the night were as follows...In no particular order:

  • Who's Gonna Ride your Wild Horses
  • With or Without You
  • Ultraviolet

Night before the concert we sauntered up to The Sphere so as we knew the location/route and were all set for the big night!  It was all very exciting.  Proud to be Irish, and from Dublin, I tell you!

Las Vegas

Shout out to American Airlines.  Four flights in total and not one delayed or any issues. 

We're here! 
Check in desk at The Venetian Hotel. Yay she gave us an upgrade to a room with a view. 

We dropped off our bags, ran and grabbed something to eat and met up with Mike & Wendy straight away.

We first went for a walk to The Sphere so as to locate ourselves for the concert the next night to know what time we needed to leave at and the route to take etc.
After that, straight into fun Las Vegas activites - Mike and Patrick signed up for a poker game and Wendy and I circled the casino, chatting, having a drink and playing the odd slot machine for fun.  I showed Wendy my "method" (invented by myself and Katie Bebbington circa 2007) for playing the slot machines...and I kid you not she won $85 on like her 3rd/4th spin.  Crucial to my "method" is that on a big win like that you cash out immediately. She did, and she ended the trip up in dollars: win win.

We headed to bed that night excited to think that the concert was tomorrow night.

Saturday morning! Okay, so ahem, things go a little crazy/Las Vegasy (just a little, honestly) at this point.

Patrick and I woke up really early at about 6am.  I opened the electronic drapes from the bed (lol) and we lay there watching the sun rise over our hotel view. At 7am, Patrick suddenly says, come on, we're in Vegas let's go for breakfast and have drink.  For one split second I am all serious and "oh no, the concert, we said we would go easy beforehand" etc and then come to my senses.  "Yes, feck it, let's do it!" We also talk about how we will go for a nap before the concert "it will be fine"

Of all places, we go to Margaritaville.  A place we would NEVER go to in Key West.  I voted for it mainly for their special offer of a morning $7 margarita.

We had a burrito and bacon.  It was actually really good.  And the beer and margarita was good too!

Reader, do not fear, we DID go for the nap before the concert and everything WAS fine!

The concert was amazing.  Small blog about it here.  U2 have still got it and I am proud to be Irish.

The next morning Wendy and I got up at 7am and went on a small bus tour to the Hoover Dam. 

Thoroughly, thoroughly recommend this.  It is about 45/60 minutes away and some beautiful views along the way too.  Excellent tour guide driver and then excellent government tour guides at the dam.  What a feat of engineering done in the 1930's...I am not sure if a project like this could be executed as well these days. It finished 2 year ahead of schedule!

Patrick and Mike, in the meantime, got together and planned a fancy lunch for themselves.  Ha! They made the mistake of telling us about it when we were just heading back so we were like "hang on for us, hang on for us!"  I am joking.  They had indeed planned a boy's boozy lunch, but they were perfectly fine to hang on for us also.

I had oysters to start, then a tuna burger for my main and baklava for dessert - which Patrick shared with me. I had an espresso martini to drink.

Patrick got a starter of three Greek Spreads (Tzatziki, taramosalata and htipiti) and Pita. For his main he got sea bream pictured above.  He ordered greek yogurt for dessert but mainly ate my baklava :)
To wash all this fare down he actually did the wine pairings so had a greek sparkling wine with his starter and a white wine from Cyprus with the sea bream!

Okay, no more photos :( But let me tell you how we closed down the Las Vegas trip.  We spent Sunday afternoon in Mike and Wendy's room (we both had suites of a nice size with a big sitting area) watching football and following some bets that Mike and Patrick had made.

After that we went and got ready for the evening (and packed for the morning - we had an early flight) and met up at a fun Italian restaurant called Battistas Hole in the Wall. Lively and the most dreamy lasagne, plus some wine and lots of craic.  It was a great evening.  
We walked down the strip and at this point said goodbye to Mike and Wendy :(  
As Wendy summed it up to me in text later that week: "sad it is over, but happy it happened".

Next morning Patrick and I were up at 4am (shudder) for the long haul back to Key West.  But thankfully as noted at the start, all flights were smooth, we both slept a decent amount on them too.  We were home in good time and shape and delighted to see the little cat, who was also delighted to see us.

Las Vegas. Great as always.