Monthly Archives: October 2004

South Beach Extravaganza Pt. 2

Ahh, the cookies were really good. We are headed to Trunk-or-Treat at the church, but wanted to finish up on our trip to the promised land. South Florida.

Micki on our street where our hotel was. It was an awesome neighborhood and great place to stay.

After a perfect date night, we headed out to Lincoln Ave for some night life. Did some shopping, looked at some shops, and headed home to our love nest. One thing we thought was pretty interesting about the area was that everyone has a little yippy dog. Everyone. They brought them into the stores with them, some sat at the tables with their peculiar owners at resteraunts, and there were public dog dishes of water everywhere for any dog to drink. We felt out of place because we didn’t have some little hairless yippy dog with us. Lisa Marie would not fit in. Too big and too hairy.

This guy was too cute to pass up a pic. Plus he was smiling. He’s a large dog by Floridian standards..

Saturday we started off with a trip to the beach. This was Micki’s sole reason for Florida. All she wanted was the sun. It was funny because we went over and grabbed a couple of lounge chairs and almost sat down on them when a “cabana boy” came up and promptly told us they are $7 a day EACH to use! We told him he could keep them and layed out on our towels. We stayed for an hour or so, then headed to our parking garage to drive to Ft. Lauderdale to the Swap Shop. It is the most incredible place. Hundreds of acres of shopping. An indoor Circus. Outdoor Carnival. 13 screen drive in theatres. And deals to beat the band. We got our gifts for friends, found Samba, my favorite fragrance from our honeymoon, and a couple of cute dresses for Mick. Decided to hit the beach in Ft. Lauderdale. Saw a wedding on the beach. By the time we got parking and headed one block, the heavens opened up. We ran back. Major downpour. No beach. Then drove home on A1A. Fun drive. Got dinner at an Italian Resteraunt by our hotel. Great stuff. Authentic Italian. Everyone that worked there was Italian and spoke it. Romantic night.

Sunday we slept in. It was gonna be beach day. Went to the beach. I pulled out the stops and rented the loungers. Soaked up the sun. Played in the ocean. It was really fun. So relaxing. Slept a bit. Got drinks right there on the beach from the vendors. Then once Micki noticed I was turning Lobster Red, we decided to head out. Back to the hotel to change, shower, and prepare for the big night. Drove back to Ft. Lauderdale and took a dinner cruise on the Jungle Queen!

Just before our voyage! We had some old ladies take our pic to preserve the memory!

The Jungle Queen is a ferry boat that takes about an hour and goes through the canals and channels of Ft. Lauderdale’s high end Millionaire’s Row of houses. They are extravagent and expensive. And it was fun to experience. As the tour winds up, we docked at a private island for a bbq dinner. After dinner was a live variety show. There was a comedy guy (not too funny), a ventrilaquist (very funny), and a magician/comic. Fun show. We bought a couple of more presents and saw some exotic animals before we went back. The sun was setting. It was beautiful. Cool breeze. Perfect. Quiet ride home, and drive back.

Here’s a web gallery of our trip. Not too many pics cause it was just the two of us, but enough to get a feel for what a great time we had.

Monday we packed up and did some last minute gift shopping, went to an antique show, and a quick trip to the beach. We ate at Jerry’s Famous deli the night before on Ocean Drive and 14th. Cool place. GREAT food. 24 hrs. Fun. Had breakfast Monday at a French resteraunt on the ocean. Awesome. Then headed back to the airport to return the car and fly home. This time, we traveled without a hitch. Sad but excited to come home. I love it here. And missed Grace.

Let me be clear on this. We’ve been married ten years, and this was one of the best times I’ve shared with Micki. It was not magical. Not busy. Not rushed. No agendas. No expectations. We just relaxed, took each moment as it came, and reveled in the fact that we were alone, together, and had ZERO tasks. What a breath of fresh air. What an incredible way to spend together. How awesome a season to share. We’ve been through quite a lot in the past 10 years. Enough probably for several lifetimes. But through commitment to eachother, faithfulness to eachother, and Jesus as our core, the Glue that holds it all, we have made it to this landmark. We’ve encountered some pretty incredible people that have walked with us though some times where we’ve needed it. People like some of you reading this. Thanks.

What a glorious journey. To share with friends. And to celebrate with my blushing bride. My treasure.

South Beach Extravaganza

Blogger is finally working, and I am not really in the zone, but I gotta tell ya about one of the best times in my whole life. Three days in South Florida with just my wife and me. I was in the zone last night, but Blogger wasn’t working. So on a crazy Wednesday late, I’m recapping an incredible time.

We headed out Thursday night after work. Grace stayed at Clevengers. We got to Detroit, got checked in, and waited. Our flight was a connection to Atlanta then onto Miami. However, FAA delayed our flight departure and we left nearly an hour late. They said it may have been Air Force One, but couldn’t confirm why the delay. So we left D-town at after 8pm. Arrived in Atlanta at 10:45. Our flight from ATL to Miami was departing at 10:55 and was closed. We were stuck in Atlanta. Our choices were to catch a flight to Ft. Lauderdale that would have us arriving at 1:15AM, and catching a cab for the 30 min ride to Miami to get the rental car. Or we could get a hotel in Atlanta and catch the first flight out to Miami in the morning. We chose to stay. Had to pay for our own hotel, and Delta gave us a crusty overnight bag as a “gift”. We made lemonade out of lemons and had fun. We really didn’t care where we were. We were together alone. It was fun.

We arrived late in the Morning Friday to get our rental car and headed to the hotel. The Creek. In South Beach. North side. Up on Collins by 22nd St. We were excited to get there, and scared out of our minds when we looked in the room. It looked like a dirty prison. Really. Nasty. We went back and asked for a different room. The second one had mold on the walls and a tiger-striped bed spread with the words “The World is Yours” painted on the wall. Big Lots furniture. Bad News.

I called John Strodtbeck back in Spring Arbor to find me a hotel and book it. He found us the Clay Hotel. Right in the heart of South Beach. Washington and 14th. We drove to the place. Looked at the room. Converted hostile. Not a chain, but clean and inexpensive. We took it. And headed back to ditch the Creek, or as Micki called it, the Creeper. She was going to be a good sport and said we could stay there, but I told her I appreciated the gesture, but didn’t think staying in a dirty room where the hotel room next door was a converted DJ club would probably not work for me or us.

We checked into our hotel and then had lunch on at a resteraunt on our street. Then unpacked and walked around. Fun. That evening, our anniversary, we cleaned up and got dressed up for our special night. We went to another resteraunt in our neighborhood. Across the street from us was a club where Cher was appearing for a Kerry/Edwards rally. We watched for her all night long. Had a great meal with a great waiter. Told him it was our 10th anniversary, and he brought over a Hispanic singer with his guitar. Sang us “Stand By Me”. Serenaded. It was really cool. I gave Micki a card, and we shared some special time. Then the whole staff came out and sang Happy Anniversary. Gave us free cake. With the rough start to our trip, this was one of those perfect moments. One of the best nights. Everything was perfect. Magical. We didn’t see Cher, because her Hummer Limo blocked her out, but Mick chased it down and took a picture.

Whooa. Mick just made fresh chocolate chip cookies. For those of you who have ever had them, you know when they are fresh, they are delightful. Gotta jet. Miami update #2 will have to come your way tomorrow. Plus I will have a Web gallery to bood. Not too many pics cause it was just the two of us, but we sure had a good time.

Western Homecoming 2004

This past weekend, we had the opportunity to go to Western High School’s homecoming. It was a miserable night, weather-wise. It was rainy and very cold. But that couldn’t stop the fun from happening. My cell group was finally going to homecoming as seniors. Yeah! I probably wouldn’t have even wandered out to the football game if it wouldn’t have been that both Cara and Bekah Brown were on the court. I snuck in to the school to get a few photos with the girls before they were announced at half time. It was a privilege to be there with their families taking pictures and exchanging hugs. It wasn’t until it was time to go outside that it actually hit me. These girls are seniors!!! Wow!

We went outside and stood in the cold rain for what seemed like a terribly long time. Jason and Grace were good sports about it. I knew they didn’t want to be there. At half time the team was down by so many points it was embarassing. But the halftime presentation of the court was fun. Bekah Brown was crowned the queen. She was very excited. The rest of us were excited just to be leaving.

After that I went over to Sara’s house to take pictures of the girls getting ready. That was even more fun! I loved being there to help them put on their jewelry and finish up their hair. They all looked terrific. It was also nice to be with the parents to tell them what great girls they have. Because they really do have great girls. I feel blessed to know them.

Check out the Homecoming web gallery for a quick look at the fun.