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Florida

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An Evening Stroll {Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Dec. 2, 2017}

December 3, 2017

Now that the weather is a lot cooler and much less humid, it’s fun to explore the wetlands again and see what’s going on. I was surprised by how many birds are already there again, building nests and making noise. I’d been itching to get out and have some fun with my camera for a little photo therapy, as I like to call it.

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Picture Perfect Weekly #8 {Girls Weekend}

February 25, 2013

I love to share photos and I love Instagram. I was one happy little blogger when Instagram became available on Android devices. I jumped, no leaped, on that particular social media bandwagon and have developed a love affair/addiction with it. That has not changed with the beginning of the new year. 2013 here I come!

Won’t you please join me once a week by sharing your favorite pictures from your phone and Instagram?

It’s easy – share just one or many of your favorite shots from the week with a small description and link up your post.

Please, paste the badge into your post or sidebar.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and of course, Instagram!

I look forward to seeing your treasured moments!!!

It’s not so easy working on a post while the Oscars are on. I keep getting distracted. Can you blame a gal? Lots of eye candy… Don’t guys just look so fine in a tuxedo? (The Avengers on stage together, in tuxedos… where can I get more of that???) 🙂

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It’s now Monday night and Once Upon a Time is on in the background. It’s late and I’m tuckered out. I had lots of catching up to do today after our girls weekend away. There were loads and loads of laundry to be done, groceries to be bought, kids to be picked up from school and homework to be supervised. Hubby cooked dinner, so I only had clean up and then bath time, and a few lullabies.

The girls and I went on a quick weekend getaway to spend some time with my mom. We love our girl time and I like having my mom’s home cooking which I indulged in way too much!!! After some fun at a local park in Ft. Myers, I went down memory lane during our drive to the European food market. I showed the girls the college I went to, the high school I graduated from, the middle school their aunt went to and the place that once was Cafe de Paris. The restaurant my parents bought and were it all began – our journey, my journey to becoming a US citizen.

(*Click on any image to start a slideshow and see a description of each image.)

BocaFrau



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A farm in suburbia {Heritage Hen Farms}

September 20, 2012

“As for butter versus margarine I trust cows more than chemists.” ~ Joan Gussow 

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

I certainly enjoy some real, raw butter a lot more than some margarine you buy at the store.

Imagine my surprise when hubby told me that there was a place close by where we would be able to get such raw butter. Made fresh. Hubby and the boy had a boys weekend a while back and went to a local restaurant that is self-sustainable. (More on that later.) There, they found out about Heritage Hen Farm. A local farm that sells fresh, raw milk, eggs that are only hours and not weeks old, homemade kefir and raw butter to name a few.

This fellow welcomed us with his loud moos. He’s kind of pretty.

We pulled in through the gate and parked right on the side of the dirt road. Heritage Hen Farm is a family farm in Boynton Beach, Florida. The hens are raised outdoors with the highest welfare standards. The farm is Animal Welfare Approved — check the site to learn more.

While we looked around and waited for the store to officially open this fellow made it known he was not happy to have his snack interrupted. It was funny to see the kids react to his mooing.

Svetlana, the lovely lady who welcomed us, told the kids they could feed the bull if they wanted too. The kids were a bit skittish so hubby took a turn and gave him some banana to munch on.

Middle got over herself and finally managed to get one banana into his mouth.

Seems he was happy with his snack if that lip smacking was any indication.

Waiting for more? I think so…

Here are my city slicker husband and kids with the up close and personal bull. Certainly a bit different than seeing them in pens at the county fair!

And here it is, Très Frèsh, the farm gate store. After we were done feeding the bull and I had snapped enough pictures, I laughingly made a joke about my family not being used to having cows and chickens roam free… but that I had grown up near such things in Germany. So, Svetlana and I got talking and turns out she speaks some German and her aunt who lives in Germany was coming to visit. (Yes, I’ll be back to say “Hello” and get some of that raw yogurt the aunt makes.) 🙂

We bought a gallon of raw milk, a jar of homemade kefir, a dozen egss, only hours old and all different colors. Little One liked the “blue” ones best. We also got a mozzarella cheese making kit but ended up drinking the milk instead of using it! My favorite was the jar of raw honey with a piece of honey comb in it. Little One thoroughly enjoyed the milk, much more so than the normal milk I usually buy.

The chickens were roaming free and clucking around. While we were there a few more people came by to pick up their provisions and you could tell that they had been coming for a while by the easy banter between the owners of the farm and the customers. I am so happy that hubby found this place and we will most certainly go back to get more yummy goodness soon.

For more information check out Heritage Hen Farm’s Facebook page. The about page is very informative and explains the way the farm is run much better than I could.

Do you have farms like this in your area? Leave a comment and let me know!

*Note: This is not a sponsored post. The cow and chickens may have told me to take pictures and write about them but I was not compensated in any way other than with some yummy food which hubby happily paid for!!! 🙂

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Picture Perfect Weekly #20 {My Weekend}

September 16, 2012

I love to share photos and I love Instagram. I was one happy
little blogger when Instagram became available on Android
devices. I jumped, no leaped, on that particular social media
bandwagon and have developed a new love affair/addiction
with it. Because of this love affair I have decided to start my
very own weekly link up called… Picture Perfect Weekly!!!
I would love it if you would join me and share the treasures
you captured with Instagram/phone camera/any other
camera during the past week. I see a lot of fantastic, cute,
funny and happy moments every day.

Share just one or many of your pictures and add a small
description.

Just paste the badge into your post or sidebar and follow
me… quick and simple. You can find me on Facebook,
Twitter and of course, Instagram!

I look forward to seeing your treasured moments!!!

  Friday afternoon found me gazing at this view from the passenger seat of hubby’s car. After my mom arrived at our house and took over the reigns for the weekend, we headed north on Florida’s Turnpike to Orlando. For a weekend filled with fun, good food, great friends and useful information. CFLBlogCon was our reason for a child-free weekend but we combined business with pleasure so to speak!!! 🙂

See this empty car seat? It was a bit strange to be on the road heading to Orlando of all places without nary a child in sight. The ride was quiet, filled with conversation and not a “Mommy he’s poking me!” complaint anywhere to be heard. There was some cussing on hubby’s part as the other drivers on the road where not inclined to follow road rules!!! 😉

After a record 2 1/2 hours we made it and were able to leave the highway behind and head into down town Orlando. I always love seeing these signs… and getting of the highway to see more scenery around me again.

We have been staying at Embassy Suite hotels over the past year or so. It just works out great when travelling with children. Hubby signed up for a rewards program and every time we stay at any of the Hilton Honors hotels we get points. Which can lead to a pleasant surprise like this: Hubby asked for a room on a top floor preferably with a lake view. The hotel sure delivered… we had a room, excuse me, suite on THE top floor, with balcony overlooking Lake Eola in down town Orlando and all without paying a dime extra for the upgrades. Sweet, huh? 🙂

This was the view. Very nice to wake up to in the morning… It is so pretty, with the fountain and the paddle boats, which look like swans, out on the lake.

After checking in and freshening up a bit, we headed out again to meet my friend for dinner. We went to The Ravenous Pig in Winterpark, Florida. Hubby had to make reservations weeks in advance and the place was hopping with people still coming in for dinner when we were getting ready to leave at close to 10 pm at night. The food was phenomenal and we all ate way too much. (More to come on our experience there!)

This rib eye steak dinner for two was our main course. Before it was served a waiter came out and showed us the steak cooked to see if we were happy with it and then he took it back to the kitchen to cut it into more manageable pieces.

Saturday night after a busy day at the conference hubby and I were meeting our friend again to try an Italian restaurant in Winterpark. We were early so we had a cheesy snack and a glass of red wine at the Wine Room. Oh my, what a fantastic place. Another one I will go into more detail at a later time. Let’s just say I’m very happy that I’m starting to enjoy the occasional glass of red wine!

And today, I gazed out the window again as we were heading South on the Turnpike towards home and our three angels after a busy weekend, full of laughter and amazing memories. We even saw a deer run right along side the highway. I was a little worried about the poor thing as there was no fence between the fast moving cars and the grass strip it was running on.

So now it’s your turn to show off your favorite shots of the week! Grab the button on the sidebar and go! 😉

BocaFrau



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Monday Listicles {Tropical Storm Isaac Edition}

August 27, 2012

My Monday Listicles post is totally off topic today. Please, forgive me…

It’s just that there are other things on my mind.

As some of you know I live in mostly sunny South Florida!

It’s usually sunny, except when it’s not.

You know, every once in a while when certain weather conditions like to remind us that it’s not all fun  and games in Florida.

So, this is what we’ve been dealing with the past few days.

Tropical Storm Isaac!

The original forecast called for the feeder bands to start coming in sometime on Sunday afternoon, with the worst of it overnight into dawn Monday and then start subsiding by midday Monday.

Then they changed the forecast saying it should start easing up by Sunday evening and basically be done with it.

Well, turns out the original forecast was right and we got “hammered”(that was actually a news headline) overnight into this morning. It did not let up by midmorning but lasted well into the afternoon.

As I’m writing this it’s still very gloomy and drizzles on and off.

Here is my list of just 10 pictures to show you what my neighborhood looks like right now.

1) This is currently the look of our pool. Hubby posted a status on Facebook: “We finally have the infinity pool we always wanted.”🙂 I haven’t been able to take a picture of our flooded backyard… it’s our very own pond!!!

2) This is the view from my garage. Pretty accurate for what the sky has been like the past few days. I miss the sun.

3) The intersection at the end of my street. I walked Macy our dog and waded through water more than ankle deep. I’ve never seen it flooded this way here.

4) “Our” fishing lake. The street is completely flooded and the lakes on both sides are actually meeting. I did see a few stuck cars.

5) A different view from the same lake. The trees are usually on a nice patch of grass.

6) My girls feet. Some areas are deeper than others. I kept them well away from the deeper ones.

7) Going towards another one of the lakes and our favorite big, shady tree which is up to its trunk underwater as well.

8) Can’t believe they sent out the mail carrier today. Felt bad for him. Not exactly safe driving conditions.

9) Middle and Little One were worried for the baby ducks. They all made it and are safe. These are just two of them… the others ran off when they saw me coming with my big camera.

10) One of my favorite pics (looking on the bright side)… the girls’ floating flip flops!!!

 

All in all it could have been a lot worse. It was more of a rain then a wind event and we never lost power. Which actually surprised me quite a bit. I’ve never seen the neighborhood flooded like this. We are sticking close to home until the water has receded some and it’s safe to be on the roads again.

Keeping my fingers crossed for the people in the Gulf states, especially Louisiana (New Orleans) now and hope everyone stays safe!

 

 

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Life's a beach…

July 27, 2012

Yesterday, the family decided we wanted dinner on the water. One of our favorite places is the Old Key Lime House in Lake Worth, Florida. Traffic was so bad on the highway we decided to stick to local roads and ended up on Atlantic Ave. in Delray Beach. I love to go there… it’s great for a nice dinner out and a walk afterwards to look into shop windows and have an ice cream cone – which we did!

We ended up walking all the way down to the beach about a mile. Oh, the breeze was heavenly and with the sun down it was just glorious. The kids had fun running in and out of the water and digging in the sand. They didn’t want to leave, as usual…

My two big kids posing… Little One ran out of the shot at the last minute! The wall behind them has little spouts and water runs all over it. It looks really pretty and the picture doesn’t do it any justice.

Digging in the sand, fun for kids of any age… one of the only times all three of my kids played together without any arguments.

Middle wrote this in the sand, a great sentiment all of us share!!!

And here is my boy, without making a face or turning away… just his pretty baby blues and freckles. Love him.

Taking a break from all the craziness at home was nice, all of us together, relaxing and taking in the atmosphere.

The bathroom is tiled, waiting for the grout… we had another minor emergency tonight when Middle noticed water stains on the living room ceiling.

Let me tell you, I almost had a heart attack. But all is well, a small leak from the toilet valve (it was removed so they could tile the floor around it) that seeped into the ceiling over night.

Linking up with My time as Mom and MamaTrack.

Essence of Now

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Fly me to the moon… and beyond!

June 11, 2012

Friday morning, the hubby decides to surprise the kids with a trip to Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. It’s only a three hour car ride for us and something we had been wanting to do. The kids had already been home for a week and a half at that point and still had a few more days before camp starts.

So, after making sure the dogs were taken care of (thanks to our fantastic dog sitter) and the house was in decent shape, (I don’t like to leave for a trip unless everything is straightened up and in its place.) we headed up the coast to Melbourne for the night to get a nice early start the next day.

1)

This was the view from our hotel. Glorious. Even if the weather wasn’t at it’s finest. We want to head back there for a little beach vacation at some point.

2)

Saturday morning, (not so) bright and early we headed to Cape Canaveral and on the way drove by Patrick Air Force Base. To my husband’s delight a Boeing E-4 plane was on the base and readily visible from the road. We had to make a U-turn so I could snap some pictures. This plane is an Advanced Airborne Command Post  modified to be used as survivable command post by the National Command Authority; the President for one, if the US were under attack. (Click on the link above for more information!)

3)

Once we got to KSC (Kennedy Space Center), the first order of business was the Rocket Garden, were the historic rockets tell the story of man’s quest for the stars, or in our case, hubby who is well-versed in all things NASA.

I was amazed by the sheer size of the rockets, see Middle daughter in the picture on the bottom right… can you imagine? The top picture is a Saturn I-B rocket, not even the full size and it’s huge.

4)

After the Rocket Garden we decided to head out on the bus tour and visit the LC-39 Observation Gandry (LC stands for launch complex) and the Apollo/ Saturn V Center. On the way we passed the Vehicle Assembly Building, the largest building by volume at the time it was built. The bus driver told us when they pulled the Saturn V rocket out, there were only 6 feet of clearance on the top. Which was nothing compared to the size of this humongous building.

The picture on the top left is of launch pad 39 A. This was one of the pads used for the shuttles.

Top, right is the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building)

Bottom, left is LC-41 used for Atlas rockets, it’s still active.

Bottom, right is LC-39 B which according to hubby was modified for the now defunct Constellation project.

5)

This is the Apollo/Saturn V Center which houses a Saturn V rocket that once was America’s lunar transportation. 27 brave men were secured atop this 363-foot rocket in the Apollo command modules to journey to the moon and back.

I was and still am absolutely awed by the massive (there is no other word for it) size of this rocket. These pictures don’t do it justice at all and to really get the full effect you have to see it for yourselves. I can’t fathom that this beast was needed to get the small, by comparison, command and service module into space and lunar orbit.

The pictures in the middle are from left to right: Service and command module, command module and IU (instrument unit).

6)

This is Apollo launch control, not a mock-up, but the real deal. From these seats the Apollo space craft were launched into space. It was really interesting as they take you through a lift-off sequence and the windows atop rattle and shake and it’s so noisy… really gives you a feeling of what it was like.

7)

This is Apollo 14! Can you see the parachute on the top? And the burn marks? And how tiny it is inside? Can you imagine this command module made it to the moon and back? Isn’t it just so cool? I think so. 🙂

8.)

Like Apollo 14, these space suits were in the Vault Room inside the Apollo/Saturn V Center. I believe the last suit was worn by astronaut Alan Shepard Commander of Apollo 14.  Not all of them were used, some were working models to find out what would and wouldn’t work.

9)

Here now, a few pictures with the family. Top, left: Hubby and kids on the observation gantry with LC-39 A in the background. Top, right: Hubby and the kids in front of Apollo 14. Bottom, right: Hubby and I in front of Apollo 14. And above us the kids trying to move the floating 9-ton Constellation Sphere!

I hope, you enjoyed this trip to Kennedy Space Center, truly a treasure in my mind, along-side my family.

I know, I want to go back, as soon as space shuttle Atlantis is there, and the new 65,000 sq.ft. exhibit about NASA’s shuttle program opens next summer.

This post is a little on the long side, but I took so many pictures and couldn’t decide, so I made collages and a list and now I can join Stasha for Monday Listicles!!! 🙂

P.S. I’d like to thank my darling hubby for his expert knowledge and letting me interrupt his day with the ten million questions I had, regarding this post!!! Thank you!!! 

 

 

 

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They're gone… and follow friday fun

May 17, 2012

I sit here in my blogging space, the lights on low, Eureka on in the background, hubby on the couch,  the kids in bed and my heart just a little sad.

My family was here in Florida, visiting from Germany for the past 10 days. My 73-year-old great-uncle who has never flown,my uncle and aunt who accompanied him here to see us and the life we lead.

They spent their time between our home and my mom’s and we all had so much fun together. We shared so much laughter and told many stories. I loved having them here and only wish it could have been just a little longer. I always feel that way, them leaving here, me leaving there. It never changes.

I cried, when they left, going back to Germany, to their home, not mine anymore. It’s hard when family lives so far and I’m only glad to have my mom and dad here, only a few hours car ride away.

I love my life here and have planted my roots with my own family but still, I miss them. The people I grew up with, share so many memories with and love. No matter what, the love will always be there.

I’m glad, they were here. I’m glad, my great-uncle got to see where and how my mom and I live and how beautiful this place is we now call home. I’m also glad, he got to see the fun times to be had at a Hooter’s. 🙂

Now it’s time to put the sadness away, think of the smiles and laughter and look forward to the next time we’ll see each other, whenever that may be.

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Friday is here and so is Hilary with her Follow Friday Four Fill in Fun at Feeling Beachie. Each week she posts four statements with blanks for us to fill in on our own blogs. If you want to send her some statements she would surely appreciate it and if she chooses yours, you could be co-host. So what are you waiting for? Join us for some fun!

This weeks statements are:

1.       I like to avoid ___ if possible

2.       ___ is a virtue I do not have

3.       Sometimes the _____________ are the ______________

4.       I think that _____________ are the best _____________

My answers:

1. I like to avoid driving into down-town Miami if possible. (It’s crazy down there.)

2. Spontaneity is a virtue I do not have. (I prefer to plan things in advance so that there are no surprises.)

3. Sometimes the unexpected, out of the blue things are the most wonderful things ever to happen.

4. I think that spending time with the people you love, having fun and laughing so hard that you cry are the best times ever spent.

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Follow Friday Four Fill in Fun #62

May 10, 2012

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I’m so excited. It’s Friday again. One day closer to the weekend and time spend with my family that’s visiting from Germany. It’s so good to have them here (well, at my mom’s) but still – close by. My kids adore their great-uncle and love to play and laugh with him. He’s the best. 🙂

But now time for filling in some blanks. Each week Hilary at Feeling Beachie lists for statements on her blog with blanks for us to fill in on our own. This week I get to be her very happy and excited co-host. The last two statements are from me.

Here are this weeks statements :

1.       In the summer ___

2.       I always ____ when I___

3.       Reading ___  makes me ____

4.       I like to live _______ because  _____

And here are my answers:

1. In the summer I swim pretty much each and every day and live in my flip flops.

2. I always eat Twizzlers  when I watch any of the Twilight movies. (Sometimes even when I read the books.)

3. Reading on my Kindle app makes me really happy. I like it because I can read in bed at night without worrying about having lights on. Just recently made that discovery!

4. I like to live here in Florida because of the weather, being close to the ocean and all that nature here has to offer.