Friday, July 30, 2010


Our Florida adventure is continuing to evolve as is our location, although I think (hope) this new location will be for awhile. So what's up?? Doug just accepted an offer to be the Executive Vice President and CFO of a very cool open source business intelligence software company called Pentaho based in (drum roll please)......Orlando!!! So that means some time next week Gypsies is going to head her pointy end north to a new marina somewhere in the Cocoa/Merritt Island area which will be about a 45 minute commute to Doug's office in Orlando. Best part of the job is Doug can go back to business casual - ie no suits!!!!! Part of jumping right into the fire is that Doug has to be on a plane to San Francisco on Sunday for Pentaho's semi-annual sales meeting Mon-Tues, so Bootser and I will be having wild girls nite out parties back on the boat - heck now we can even spring for wine in a bottle since we have an income again!!! So if anyone is in town......

We are heading out soon to the Apple store to get Doug (a/k/a the gadget guru - he's baaaaack) the new iPad he's been drooling over (and which we had to go look at every single time we passed an Apple store since it came out) - that was the deal, he got the job so now he gets his iPad!!! Tomorrow we will set off by car to Cocoa to look at marinas (we've already narrowed it down to a couple - based on hurricane protection, amenities etc) and to check out our (once again) new hood. From what we can tell Cocoa and Merritt Island are pretty cool places!!! We will be right next to Cape Canaveral and should be able to watch the shuttle launches from the boat (that's what all the marinas advertise anyways), 45 minutes to Disney, Epcot and Universal Studios (home to the awesome Harry Potter rides!!! which I see lots of in our future - heh maybe I'll get a job there....), 10 minutes from Cocoa Beach (yippee - it looks awesome), and even better further away from the disgusting display of Lebron James (aka the loser king) and Dwayne Wade playing together in South Beach! Unfortunately, we'll also be further away from Key West, but I guess we'll just have to make a long weekend of it when we head down there - gee if we have to!!!! And besides, we'll actually have money to take advantage of all this stuff now - not that we won't still be found at Guy Harveys for $1 drafts and at El Alamo for $1 pork sliders!!!!

While we will miss the marina we are in (which has been really awesome with the pool and the beach club), we won't miss Aventura which is about the most boring town I think I've ever been in (no offense to Aventura since the people who live here obviously like it that way....) but for pete's sake, there isn't even a sports bar in town!!!! No joints to hang out in and not much to do other than go to the shi shi mall to hang out with the teen and 20 something yuppies and their plastic looking, rode hard parents......ugh!!! An outing for us in Aventura is going to the public library.... (I've already checked out the library in Cocoa and it looks much bigger and better......) so we're ready for a change!

So it's all good - we're excited about the move, the job, the new opportunities and hopefully a little more happening hood to play in. Of course this means I have to start my job search all over again, but who knows maybe I'll do something wild and crazy.....I've got some fun ideas but we'll just have to see how things pan out. For now, Gypsies is going cruising again and we can't wait to get out on the water, drop some lines off the back to catch mahi and see new places!!!

Congrats Doug!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Land Adventure Continues...

Most of you know how much I really hate doctors....even when I was working and could afford them, I had to be on my last breath before I'd even think of going to see one - besides it was always a virus which they couldn't do anything about so explain to me why I wasted 4 hours in waiting rooms when their only advice was to get some rest - duh!!! I used to spend weeks thinking up excuses of how to postpone even my appointments with my regular physician when there was nothing wrong and she really wasn't all that bad I guess - although I did once tell her that it was nothing personal, I hated all doctors - her included - made for a great relationship! Anyways, long winded way of saying I guess that I've put off for about a year seeing a doctor about my toe that somehow got split open (gremlins on the boat I think because for the life of me I don't remember doing anything to it...) and which has yet to heal. I know, I know....Doug (and Stephanie) has been on my case about it for oh I don't know... a year!

Due to the fact that we're now trying to re-enter what "they" call the real world (although I have my serious doubts) which means squishing my feet that have only seen flip-flops the past two years into witch of the west pointy high heeled shoes (what sadist invented them and then decreed they were high fashion???) to go on interviews, I realized the time had finally come to do the dreaded deed - see a doctor. So I wander into the local urgent care facility surrounded by people hacking up a lung, with gaping head wounds, and puss tubes hanging out of their innards (OK maybe it wasn't that bad...) and after about an hour, I get to see a nurse who after I tell her the issue, just looks at me and says..."you've had this for a YEAR????" OK I get it - maybe I should have come in a little sooner - so sue me. Next I get a very perky doctor maybe a year or two out of med school who again asks incredulously how it is that I haven't dealt with my toe before this...not wanting to be rude and tell her I hate her, I make up some good sounding excuse and ask if she can't just give me some antibiotic to make it go away. BUT NO...she thinks x-rays are needed immediately if not sooner since the infection is likely deep in my bone which may require amputation of the toe....HUH???? Not wanting to tell her she is a quack to her face, I ask for a second opinion and she sends me to a podiatrist.

I finally find one who can see me the same day - I'm thinking right about now that maybe I shouldn't have postponed this visit for a year....Finally, finally I find a halfway sane doctor who has the bedside manner of Shrek but knows what she's doing and doesn't want to be my friend - thank goodness, I don't have to explain to her that I hate her. Half an hour later after a little minor surgery but no x-rays and no amputation (thank you very much), I walk out of the office with a relatively clean bill of health and a prescription for some antibiotics. I should be good as new in a week or so and capable of wearing real shoes - although my desire to do so has not increased at all (I've really come to love flip-flops!) So what's the lesson?? I guess it's that not all doctors are Satan or unqualified quacks (although some definitely are!!!) - anyone reading this in the medical profession should know that they are excluded from this rant and I apologize in advance for offending you if I in fact do. I'm not sure I'll be any quicker to drive on in to a doctor's office in the future but at least I'll be able to strut around the boat in my Jimmy Choos now.........

So what else is new??? Doug finally got our air conditioning working on the boat again after two visits from the "experts" (not so much), two new A/C pumps which he had to take out and put in again, a new part for the strainer which took days to arrive, and a desperation portable A/C unit that has to have the air hose snaked out the back door or all the hot air it puts out overcomes the cool air (huh??? found that out the hard way...)!! We got the portable unit as a stop gap since it's been really, really hot down here in FL (102 degrees? 102 DEGREES?) and Bootsie at almost 24 years old doesn't deserve to swelter in the heat!! But we're good to go now and we can actually get dressed downstairs instead of having to only put our clothes on the second before leaving the boat for our meetings - luckily it's not exactly a full marina at the moment or I think we would have been asked to leave!!!

Since we no longer need to have the door open to run the A/C, we are back to being able to do stuff - yippeee!!! In our attempt to take in what Florida has to offer and get more familiar with our new "home", we drove up to Delray Beach this past weekend for a little exploring. We had passed through the town on Gypsies on our trips up and down the ICW so it was fun to walk over the bridge we had passed under - looked familiar!!!
The ICW from a Different View
What a cute little town - in many ways it reminded us of our former home in Kennebunkport - quaint little shops, restaurants, antique stores (which had a very wide array of eclectic goods ranging from estate sale items to signature Ed Hardy colored bongs...??)
Ed Hardy Signature Bongs
and art galleries all around a main drag!! We walked around Pineapple Grove which is the artist community
The Entrance to Pineapple Grove
and saw fountains and sculptures everywhere.

Like K'port there are some funky old hotels right in town too
The Colony Hotel, Even Named After a Hotel in K'port
and some of the shops even looked familiar (for good reason since three of the stores we passed have locations by the same name in Dock Square in Kennebunkport!!)
The town even has a connection to former President "W" - but I'll let their sign say it all!!
Finally there's a place called Linda Bean's which is owned by a relative of the founders of LL Bean and which serves authentic Maine lobster rolls!!! Who knew we would find K'ports sister southern town??!

But most importantly there are some funky, beachy local joints where you can partake of a cool adult beverage along the way!! Due to the heat, we made several stops in such establishments to replenish our electrolytes - you wouldn't want us to suffer heat stroke would you??
Joe Brown's, Our First Stop
Our final stop turned out to be my favorite place since it was right across from the beach so had a nice breeze, served killer mahi sandwiches and it was happy hour all day long!!! Cold Landsharks anyone??
Now That's a Welcome Sign!
Awwwwww, a Landshark!

Instead of taking the highway back to the boat, we drove along the famous A1A - which runs all the way to Key West although we had to stop ourselves from continuing on down there.... we do miss Key Weird!!! Back on the boat we found Bootser waiting for us, in need of treats and love, but otherwise snoozing and keeping cool in the recently fixed A/C.
"Thanks for Fixing the A/C, Dad!"

We may have some interesting news later on this week so check back to the blog then....we'll keep you all posted!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Land Ho....

For the past couple weeks we have been getting land acclimated again - even though we are still living on the boat, we're tied up to a dock and not moving from port to port, one particular harbor after another, one quaint little beach town after get the idea. Yup - our boat lines are firmly tied off to the cleats at our marina in Aventura, FL other than our brief "adventure" over to A dock to pump out. There's no in-slip pump-out here so our big boat trip the other day was to go around the corner to the face dock at the marina - now with all modesty I must say I handled it like a champ (not just leaving the slip, but docking at the pump-out station (no I didn't take it out causing a royal stink as per Eileen Quinn's song) and then backing Gypsies once again into our designated slip!!!) Pretty pathetic that was our grand boating adventure in the past couple weeks, huh?? Soon....

Fourth of July down here was not the best of weather so our three day boat trip down to Biscayne Bay was put on temporary hold but we spent lots of quality time with the Bootser watching movies, making homemade pizza and lots of popcorn and watching a great firework display from the back of our boat. Can't really complain about the couple days of rain - it's the only bad weather we've really had down here since arriving (if you don't count the 100+ degree, 150% humidity days which are most of them and the daily afternoon thunderstorms that occur pretty regularly between 4-6 pm!!) We actually don't mind the heat and humidity when we can be in shorts and flip-flops or bathing suits, but when you have to dress up in a suit for a networking lunch or a meeting, can I tell you how much it stinks!!

Speaking of which Doug and I are in the fun position of building up our professional networks down here, me in search of the "perfect job" - is there such thing?? - and Doug in his role as a consultant with Tatum. Because we were starting to have meetings and lunches on the same days in different cities, it was starting to be hard to carpool with our one car - unlike in Key West, the scooters really don't work too well at 70 mph on the highways between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm, especially when in a business suit (although they are awesome to get back and forth to the beach club which we do whenever we have a little free time!!!) So....we are now a two car family again - UGH!! Yup - we went out a couple weekends ago and bought me a car - basically a twin of Doug's only white (down here you really want a light colored car and even then getting into it after its been sitting in the sun all day is worse than sliding into a sauna after throwing a gallon of water on the rocks!)

Not to fear - we are not turning into really boring "grounded" people - we've been having fun getting familiar with our new hood which is a pretty cool place. We've even ventured into the Aventura Mall which I have to admit is unbelievable - since when were malls the size of small villages complete with 15 screen movie theaters, more restaurants than most small towns and where it's easier to get lost than it would be in the Everglades. And the mall wildlife is equally as shocking - lesson number one, never go to the mall on a Saturday when all the teenagers in Miami-Dade County are on the prowl with pockets full of cash and bodies full of attitude!! HELP!

Another sign that we are becoming land dwellers again - today I got a library card!! I don't think I've had one of those since I was about 12 but since we're not traveling from port to port anymore (at least for awhile), then I don't have access to those wonderful book exchanges that were so plentiful and which kept me in new books while we were cruising. Not that I've even begun to tap into those two huge crates of books I brought with us when we left Maine and which Doug continually swears over as he has to move around in the lazarette (who knew marinas would have book exchanges??) But I figured, since we plan on being here for awhile, why not take advantage of the library to keep me in new books - Doug's pretty happy too because they also lend movies!!! Besides it makes us feel almost civic.....

So for now, we are enjoying the beach, the pool and all our marina and the beautiful coastline of Florida has to offer - have I mentioned that the ocean here is the absolute perfect temperature? refreshing yet warm enough to lounge around in for hours!!! I think back with much fondness to the frigid waters of Maine where the numbness set in 10 seconds after sticking your big toe in other than those several days in August when the Gulf Stream swung up the eastern seaboard and made the water reach about 62 degrees!! Although we love Maine, think I'll take the water down here!!! This weekend the weather looks good so we plan on casting off Gypsies' lines and heading down to Biscayne Bay for an overnight - we're going to pretend just for the weekend that we are cruising again!!! YIPPEEEEEE!!!!

ps - I'll make sure we have some pictures for the next blog!