Friday, April 30, 2010

Chairs, Trees and Vines

I found myself thinking about my new dining room chairs and how I am going to give them a new life when I get back home.  We ate breakfast at a streetside restaurant called The News Cafe and it was the nicest setting.  I instantly loved the chairs that were at each table.  So simple, yet comfortable.

We so enjoyed our breakfast and coffee under the sea grape trees in this lovely cafe.

We have driven down this avenue so many times while staying here and I couldn't get a picture that did it justice until today.  To me it looks more like a scene from a northern boulevard, not a lush, southern tropical one like here in South Beach.

I haven't been able to find out what kind of trees they are, but they have the roughest bark I have seen.  I'm assuming they are very tolerant to the heat and salt air because they grow so large.

Whenever I visit somewhere new I try to visualize what it would be like to live there and pick a place I could imagine myself living in. And I've found my favorite house in the area in which we are staying.  I love how it is engulfed in vines. It seems to be an upstairs and downstairs apartment arrangement and I would love to see the garden I'm sure is hidden behind.  I've been wondering how my new plants have been doing while I've been away.  And I've been missing having a yard to look out on and for the Bostons to play in and the cats to lounge about like cats do.

Even a bustling, exciting, glamorous place like SoBe has it's tranquil spots and it's been nice to find them and catch our breath.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's a Rough Lifestyle Here in SOBE

Things I've learned while visiting the South Beach, Miami Beach area:

The SOBE drinks originated here. SOBE being short for South Beach.  I had no idea!

The drinks really ARE this big, no optical illusion. (Those are "Shark on the Beach" by the way)

It rains here sometimes when you are on vacation:

"The Losers" wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and a good way to pass a rainy afternoon.  The movie was only interrupted twice by fire alarms, flashing lights and directions to exit the building.  I thought it was part of the movie the first time.

We can wake up the next day to beautiful weather and make some new friends:

Sadie and her new buddy, 2 month old Rocco.

There are very large condominiums here:

We can't afford to live in them:

But that's okay because we can enjoy the view.  That's Fisher Island. Oprah, Tom Cruise, Shakira and Julia Roberts have condos over there.  It can only be reached via boat, ferry or helicopter - my how limited their options are. LOL

But Elizabeth Taylor has a house here:

And so does Gloria Estefan:

And Julio Iglesias, who uses his one week out of the year:

If you own a drug (legitimate) company, you can own the most expensive peice of property on "Star" Isand.  $50 Million.  Then you can purchase the lot next door for $15 million for your personal garden and greenhouse.  Sheesh.  Just think of what could be done with that amount of money if not spent on one person's whims.  Pretty, though.

Ocean Drive is a fun place to hang out at night and is prime people watching real estate:

Especially when the MTV show "Jersey Shore" decides to film some "reality" scenes with Snookie and Mike, "The Situation" at the restaurant you have chosen to enjoy a nice quiet dinner in:

Snookie in all her trucker hat, cleavage baring glory:

Although why a show called "Jersey Shore" is filming in Miami Beach is beyond my reasoning.  Ladies and Gentlemen, "The Situation":

I think I will stick to taking pictures of the parrots that fly free here and the pretty palm trees with the moon:

I've taken lots of pictures of the beautiful art deco buildings in the area, both in the daylight and at night.  I am dealing with a dial-up internet connection so picture uploading takes a good bit of time, but I hope to have my next post highlight some of that beautiful architecture.

In the meantime,

Boston Lady out.

Monday, April 26, 2010

My IKEA home, well, at least for a week...

The Boston Lady, Mr. Tennis and the black and whites are taking a week of R & R in the South Beach area of Miami Beach.  We are renting a nice little apartment thats within walking distance to all the great stuff: the beach, shopping, food, people watching areas.

It's a nice refurbished 1920s building that has been made into eight apartments.

From the first walk down the hallway which was pleasantly lighted, I knew we had landed in a good place.

We are in number three on the first floor,

When we first entered the apartment I could tell right away where the owners had done their shopping for furniture, appliances, cabinetry, accessories, right down to the towels and linens.

Those clean lines, black and white color schemes are all to familar to someonewho has been through the IKEA maze.

Oh no, not another IKEA bed. We haven't had good luck with those, but this one is a good one.  Comfy and sturdy. Yep, sturdy. So far....

The bathroom is efficient and modern,

Black and white just like we Boston people like things.  Nice shower too.

The kitchen appeals to the no-nonsense Swede in me.

And this mirror has the Bostons confused, they think it's a doorway.

Ah, there's a reflected Panda, lording over the couch area.

I have a paper light very similar to this at home.  Mine is smaller, but they give off a very nice accent light.

All this austere decorating, although perfect for a beach apartment rental had me yearning for something familiar and cozy. 

 Mr. Tennis and I had to pick up some groceries and found this old, sweet Publix. Perfect.

Oh, and about that people watching?  Well, more about that later.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Uncle Larry

Here are two very young men.  One-year-old Mr. Tennis and his Uncle Larry.  I first met Larry when Mr. T and I first started dating.  He would spend most of his weekends at the lake with Gramps. 

So, this is the picture I usually have in mind when I think of this very special man:

Relaxing in the hammock, strung between two pine trees down by the lake.  If Larry wasn't clearing the yard or out in the boat, you could usually find him here in this tranquil spot with a smile on his face.

Larry passed away just a couple of years ago and we still miss his gentle presence.  All the years I knew him he would say "Hi Ann", shake my hand and look at me with the same crooked smile that his father had.

Happy Birthday Day Uncle Larry!
April 24th

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Harry Potter, You Can Come Pick Up Your Chairs Now...

Today was the day. Today was the day I stopped by the thrift store and they had "my" chairs.  The ones I've been waiting a long time for.  The ones I vowed I wouldn't pay more than $5 a chair for.

I actually went in to see if they had a used litter box to use as a second one for the felines while Mr. Tennis and I have a little vacation in South Florida next week.  So, in I walked clutching a $20 dollar bill, just hoping for a somewhat clean, used covered litter box.  None to be found so I just took a stroll around and there they were.

Six chairs. $35. For all six. I had $20. I was afraid to leave because as we all know if you walk away, they are gone in a minute.  Mr. Tennis was on an appointment so I called my trusty partner-in-crime, CG.  She came flying over clutching another $20 bill and we loaded "my" chairs up into each of our cars.

My blogging friend, Karensue, even showed up there too after I texted her in my excitement.  She's a master thrifter and I knew she'd be proud of me!

Doesn't that just make your head stop hurting?  I didn't realize how busy those "Harry" chairs made my dining area look.  My new friends need some work.  The big questions are:  do I keep the woven seats? Do I do a painting finish on the wood?  If I keep the woven seats (which are in good shape) should I put cushions on top for comfort?

After vacation I will ponder these options.  But right now, my eyes are very restful and I'm waiting for Harry to come pick up his chairs and take them to Hogswart.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stan the Man

You may remember a post I did back in December, about a visit from some greyhounds.  The Writer and Sammy have actually added a member to the Boston Lady's family today!  His name is Stanley and he is a rescued greyhound from the Los Angeles area.

I don't have too many deets yet, but those will be forthcoming.  I just had to honor Stanley's place in the family by having a special post devoted to him.  AND, I have a picture to share:

Okay, I couldn't stop at just one:

Welcome to the family, Stanley.  We're a little crazy, but you'll get used to us!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Random Rainy Sunday Musings in Boston World

Well, Mr. Tennis had to work a "table" at a healthcare event today so I was left to my own devices for a few hours.  Of course, I got nothing accomplished except to reflect back on a pretty nice weekend thanks to my family.

Had a great birthday dinner out with Mr. T, The Maven and Orlando G-ma at my new favorite restaurant in Winter Park, Dexter's.  Delish!

Saturday night Mr. T took me to see Cirque Du Soliel out at Disney Village.

Spectacular is an understatement when describing this experience!  The Fantastic Four had gone compliments of Orlando G-ma about 12 years ago and I never forgot certain elements of that show.  Twelve years later and it is just as exciting and amazing!  Everyone should see one of these shows in their lifetime if they can.

Since it was a late nite out at the Cirque (oh my, how foo-foo that sounds!) I was very lazy and did not get up until about 9:30am.  Made Mr. T some breakfast and sent him on his way.  Threw some sheets in the washing machine, bathed the ungrateful Bostons, took the same ingrates for a walk and then....

I indulged in a silly, scary movie that I had ordered from Netflix.  "The Stepfather". 

 An unfortunate title, because I know many stepdads in my acquaintance who are superb, but of course Hollywood has to make such a relationship sinister. A better title would have been "Friendly Stranger" or "The Guy I Met in the Grocery Store".  Nevertheless I was compelled to watch because I had seen the original and every once in awhile I like a scary, ungory, movie.  Ha, ha, notice I watched it in the light of day.  Unless you are compelled, this is one to be skipped. Not "Full Price Worthy", but fun for a rainy Sunday on my own.

After watching this marginal flick I reflected on a much better murder mystery story that Mr. T and I ordered at the suggestion of The Writer and Sammy.  It was not a work of fiction, but a documentary. Little did I know when we started watching it that it would feature my favorite poster which is prominently displayed in our house.

This lovely poster resides over the four-legged inhabitant's "feeding station", if you will,  in our house.

Since our own black cat, Susie, quite resembles the cat in this poster, it just seemed right to have it overlooking the area where everyone, who is anyone, dines in this house.

But I digress. The documentary we ordered, via Netflix, was "The Staircase". A murder mystery based on real events, complete with footage of conversations with the "alleged" murderer and the subsequent trial.  Not for the delicate constitution, but what a fascinating look into the the legal process and into the mind of an accused murderer.

What is the connection to "susie's" poster you ask?  Well, as I discovered while watching all nine, yes nine, hours of this addictive documentary, "my" poster was at the bottom of said staircase. Chills, people, chills.

My Rainy Sunday ramblings have taken a rather macabre turn and that is unintentional because although it rained today there was a lot to be grateful for.  Mainly that I didn't have to haul the sprinkler out to "set" the new plantings I did this week out front:

Hope they make it!  I transplanted part of the boxwood that lined our half wall into the backyard and filled in the spots with some new plants that I hope will thrive in the morning sun they receive.

Also, while coming and going this busy weekend I spied "Rita The Staghorn Wren"!  She (or her mate) have been stashing my yardwork castoffs in one of our recycling bins!  I was able to capture one of them in the act (take note, when photos are taken under survelliance circumstances they are not of the best quality):

Can you see "Rita" there? Above the black thing, above the orange thing?  How appalling!

Anyway, this is where we discovered "she" was building her nest from pilfered twigs:

But there's more!  After all, The Orlando Magic have made it into the playoffs and Sadie and Mr. Tennis are just SO excited:

THIS is the year we take the national title!!!!  Sadie says so.

I leave you with two final pictures from my rainy Sunday musings:

A beautiful rose bush given to me for my bday by my second son's mom. See here. I am looking for the perfect spot to plant it. This wonderful lady gave me a rose bush each time my mother passed away and then my father.  A more frivilous note:  it was at their NC get-away that I first spied "my" poster - the "susie" one!  Hope I can keep this beautiful rose bush alive.

I want to thank my family for making this a special birthday weekend.  I received a funny, appropriate t-shirt from The Writer - need a picture - that will come.  My beautiful Maven spent the entire day with me and gave me the gift of her company as well as an awesome DVD.  Orlando Gma threw herself into our madness and attended a trendy birthday dinner at Dexter's.  Next time we will make you stay for the band!  I've already told her how I've spent my JC Penney's gift card! Shhh, secrets! Mr. Tennis, as always, made me feel like a queen.  He is so special and I loved my La Nouba evening!  Sammy is promising me a mystery gift of which I have only had a glance. My good friend CC gave me a beautiful hanging flower basket which I will showcase in a later blog when the lighting is better.  I have another good friend, SN, who doesn't even know this blog exists, but might one day, she left a gorgeous flower bouquet for me on my front porch along with good wishes.  My brothers, who are always there for me, gave me phone calls, emails and good wishes.  I appreciate them both very much.  And to Richard, you know I will be using my B & N card to the fullest extent!

I would say Boston Lady out, but when I came in to type this post, I found my blog partner had overstepped her boundaries:

She is clearly trying to take my place, so..... Bumby out.