Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You Can Call Me Captain....

Well maybe not quite yet but I did pass my Captain's license exam on Monday night - yipppppeeee!!! Now I just have to put together the application, letters of recommendation (any volunteers as to my character? no jokes please!) and take that drug test again....yes, I'm pretty sure I'll pass (know that there were those of you out there thinking it!) and then hopefully it will be official soon!!! We'll be a two Captain family since Doug got his last year - C squared - which is kind of ironic since we aren't cruising at the moment but settling into the work-a-day world (NEVER!!!) .

We've been having lots of fun down here on Merritt Island - the other weekend was absolutely gorgeous. While our friends back in New England are talking about closing up their pools, cold nights around bonfires and where'd the summer go, down here we are saying this time of year is SWEET!!!! It's still big-time beach weather but lots of the humidity of the summer has gone - now we're just enjoying the 80ish weather and with the absence of hurricanes impacting FL this year (knock loudly on wood!), we are thoroughly enjoying our decision to hang out down here post cruise!

We hit Cocoa Beach last Saturday with our books, beach chairs, boogie boards and brewskis to soak up some of that wonderful FL sun and ride some waves. Not sure if there are always waves on Cocoa Beach (it does claim to be the surfing capital of FL and sports the mother of all surfing stores in the 24 hour Ron Jon surf shop) or if it's just the progression of off-shore hurricanes which have kept us boogie boarders in huge waves and smiles. Down here the water is so beautiful too that you can actually spend time playing in the waves without your feet instantly becoming numb as they do in Maine - trust me, we still went swimming up there but each incursion into the water was short and painful!! Down here the water is so gorgeous, it's almost tough to get out....until the icy cold beverage calls out to you from your lounge chair!!! Really they do that down here - just another thing we like!

Sunday it was off to Universal Studios again for us - now for someone who was never an "amusement park person," I have to admit that Universal and Islands of Adventure are really, really cool!!! I think the last time I was at a park was in high school when we all hit Whalom Park with it's 3 rides!!! We were psyched to get in a day at the park after all the kids are back at school but where it is still warm enough to want to experience all the water rides. Mission Accomplished!!! (and we actually even mean it....not to mention a sore subject!) We waltzed into the Park which was much less crowded than over the summer and breezed right over to see Harry - we rode the forbidden journey ride twice and had a butterbeer before we saw any kind of lines at all!! Then it was off to the water rides - the Dudley Dooright Riprock Falls had always had a wait of at least an hour or more (can you say NOT!!!) but on Sunday there was no line at all!! What an awesome ride - close to my favorite but man do you get wet!!! We went from riding the Falls to the Bilge Rat ride across the way where you get equally as wet about 4 or 5 times - loving every moment of it! Finally it was time to dry out a little....no sarcastic comments please. We hit the Jurassic Park ride and then dropped into the Hogs Head for a cool brew out on the sunny deck overlooking the park - way cool!! Finally on our way out of the park we had to try the Spiderman ride which we'd heard about and it rocked -so we'll be back!! Finally we headed to Universal to hit the Men in Black ride which Doug loves and then it was on to a sports bar to watch the Pats beat up on Cincinnati - got to tell you it was a near perfect day (see below)!!!

The only thing that didn't go according to plan was when a fellow park-goer stepped on my toe and caused major blood loss. OK - some background. I had a hurt right big toe for about a year and finally went to a doctor when we were in Aventura who gave me some drugs and healed it without having to amputate (but that's old news). A couple weeks ago I was heading down the stairs to our room without turning on a light, slipped and came down on my left big toe causing a major bloody blowout. OK not the smartest thing I've ever done....but then again, not the dumbest either I guess... Well - it was just starting to get better when we went on the Falls ride - Doug and I sat in the two seats in the back which left three seats in the front. Two women joined us and of course ignored the front seat, choosing the two right in front of us - I pulled back my feet to make sure they could get in but lo and behold doesn't the larger of the two (of course) step full force on my recovering toe (not my foot, not the side of my foot, not my little toe but full on the big toe!!!!) It of course popped like a watermelon as blood started squirting and my eyes started watering - nothing to do but sit and grin as by then we were strapped in and our ride was moving!! Do I seriously have the biggest toes ever??? What is it about them that seems to attract pain?? Do they look incomplete without a red sheen to them? Seriously!!! So anyway - once again no close toed shoes - I'm back to flip flops. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to the gym later this week when the swelling goes down!!

We kicked off this weekend at happy hour over at the Cocoa Beach pier - what a way to watch the sunset - $6 pitchers and a $3 plate of bbq ribs - yum!!!!
Saturday morning was filled with boat chores for Doug while I studied for my exam but by about noon we were done - all work and no play.....Off we went to scope out local sports bars for the Patriots game on Sunday and we found a great one - Beef O'Bradys!!!! It's named after our quarterback Tom terrific, the tv's were plentiful, the food was great and the beer was cold - works for me. Next we were off to the Brevard Zoo - what a great place for a small county zoo!!!! We walked around exhibits representing Africa, South America and Australian all afternoon scoping out jaguars,
cheetahs, giraffes, impalas,
Giraffe and Impala
a white rhinoceros,
and warty pigs!!
As much as it was really cool to see such magnificent animals, I have to admit, I love the little monkeys!!!
They are so cute - we saw squirrel monkeys,
pygmy marmosets
and lots of other cute little guys - some even had babies on their backs that were just tiny - I love their little faces!! And of course there were all kinds of amazing birds
Crested Caracara
Sandhill Crane
both in exhibits but also in the wild from different kinds of macaws (including a hyacinth macaw that could seriously talk to you in a conversation!!!!)
Hyacinth Macaw
Blue and Gold Macaw
Scarlett Macaws
to the roseate spoonbills and flamingos who are so cool

to bald eagles,
herons and all kinds of crazy looking guys!!!
There was even an open air aviary complete with flying foxes
and beautiful exotic birds - you are warned on entering to watch your heads (for any number of reasons!!!)

Before leaving we visited the petting zoo where Doug got up close and personal with the alpacas and pygmy goats
- we let the armidillos to themselves!! What an awesome little zoo to have in our backyard - there are so many treasures around here that make it so fun to explore.

Sunday was more studying, boat chores and then a wonderful football watching extravaganza all afternoon and evening - the only bummer was the Patriots failure to show up for the second half of their game against the much hated Jets!! Anybody, anybody but the Jets!!!! Think it may be a long season with our young defense! Other than that, we had a wonderful afternoon of being lounge lizards - much needed in anticipation of the exam on Monday night. But now that's over - have I said yipppppeeeee!!!! Next up - maybe there will be movement on the job front this week - don't want to jinx things but lots of activity and lots of cool stuff happening!! Keep you all posted!!


  1. Way, way, WAY COOL!!!!! It's good that you two have all the cool places scouted out before all of us "cruisers" descend on you in November. Sorry about the toe. OUCH!! Oh, and of course the Patriots. I'm sure the toe hurt worse.