The period between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day is a time when singletons are reminded of their single status in society. Driving to the airport last Friday, multiple radio stations playing Christmas tunes and the streets draped in green, red and gold reminded me of my stature in society - a singleton. Destined to live a life alone, with no children nor husband/boyfriend to share it. *sigh*
And my mood changed upon landing in Ft. Lauderdale. Not only was the sun welcoming into its radiant arms but the temperature was about 30 degrees warmer than Tallahassee. Luck was on my side as my economy car rental was upgraded to a black, 2006 Mustang (two-day rental for $44 - not too bad!). My friend Penny had a 1960-something car in high school and I never understood her attachment to the vehicle until I got behind the wheel and put on the gas up I-95 - feeling the giddy-up of the engine - but the power and control.
A morning of Christmas shopping was followed by a much-needed pedicure and manicure at a random strip-mall. For 28 bucks, I got the pampering I needed - who needs those stuffy, upscale, overpriced spas?
I treated myself to a stay at Lake Worth's Mango Inn Bed & Breakfast where I immediately nestled into the bed and snuggled under the down duvet (note: down equals heaven) for a brief nap. The evening was spent with Kathy and her family: husband Matt-A, and parents Carol and Dan and a (literal) boat-load of sushi and sashimi at Boca Raton's Bluefin Sushi Thai Grill.
And the next day - what I've been waited months for - "Sushi 101" at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. Guests at the B&B seemed a bit envious of the day's plans and asked me about it this morning. Kathy, Carol and I had an awesome time - learning how to make a California roll, a rainbow roll and hand roll. No matter how the pieces turned out, they were still tasty. We spent the early afternoon walking the gardens, evoking memories of last year's trip to Japan.
The rest of the day was consumed with shopping, including dropping some dough at the Festival Flea Market (I'm a flea market-junkie and this one is pretty good - I especially like the encouragement of eating a "pickle-on-a-stick" while shopping) and other places - to complete the Christmas shopping. The evening wrapped up with dinner Cuban-style at Don Ramon Restaurant in West Palm Beach. Thankfully, this Cuban cuisine is NOTHING like what I was fed in Havana two years ago. The mojo chicken and rice pudding rock! I enjoyed spending time with Kathy's family (and her, too). They are good souls.
Stepping out of the airport, I was welcomed home by the kiss of cool, Tallahassee air and realized my fantasy weekend was over.
Enjoy some of my images of the weekend:
Sushi 101 - The Final Product
Sushi 101 - Sushi Chef Jenn
Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Mango Inn ~ Lake Worth, Fla