South Beach

This past week I enjoyed one of my final family vacations. My parents and I travelled to see my brother, who moved to South Beach, Florida. He has been there since August. He’s the AM manager for a fancy restaurant in a resort hotel, The James Royal Palm. My parents booked a room in his hotel and booked flights for them and myself.

View from 16th floor elevator area at sunset.

View from 16th floor elevator area at sunset.

The room was much much fancier than any room either myself of my parents have ever stayed in. They were given a discount by my brother but the room was still quite expensive. They also had their room bumped up to a very nice one on the 16th floor. My brother had a nice food plater for all of us and very fancy whisky he bought for my dad waiting there. Our favorite thing about the room was the view from the window, which was also the first thing you saw when you walked in.

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View of their actual room. The bright white color is the beach shinning through.

View of their actual room. The bright white color is the beach(seen above) shinning through.

My parents and I enjoyed ourselves while my brother worked the first few days we were there. We biked around and hung out at the beach, seeing him at dinner and for a couple hours before he fell asleep. His job has him scheduled 10 hours a day 5 days a week, but he works far more than that. I think he works around 70 hours most weeks.

From talking with him it was apparent that his job is his life right now. This was something that concerned both myself but more so my parents. He seemed to be enjoy life overall but it was difficult to get him out of work mode and have him talk about other things. It makes sense considering when we were there he went into work one of the two days he had off that week.

But we did get him away and enjoyed kayaking in a marshland in the keys and enjoyed more dinners with him. It’s always nice to be with your family and enjoy time with them. They are the people who have shaped you into who you are. It’s funny realizing habits I’ve develop because of habits they have. Overall my trip was great. I enjoyed the calm relaxation that south beach has to offer. I ignored most of the crazy people who live and vacation there. And I enjoyed time with my family.

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And maybe we’ll get the joy of one more family vacation, my brother is hoping to move into a new hotel his company is building in LA. We’ll get to have the experience of a lifetime – going to two cities we never wished to go to.

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Winter Solstice And NYC

The longest night of the year, December 20th. Sunset in NYC was at 4:35 pm, sunrise was at 7:16 pm, 14 hours and 41 minutes of darkness. With the winter solstice, and possible day of the end of the world (end of Mayan calendar) happening at 7:12 am.

Here’s a play by play of how we survived the last night:
4:30 – Caught up with Cider, Malibu joined us around 6
7:00 – Dinner
7:30 – More conversing
8:30 – Malibu tried to go to sleep
9:00 – Bananagrams!
10:15 – More desires to sleep
10:30 – Hot chocolate for all!
10:45 – Youtube, Memes, Gifs, and more youtube
2:15 – Attempted sleep
2:45 – Pushups Malibu/Cider/Yeti 1.) 17/15/21 2.)25/20/26 3.) 30/14/27
3:15 – Hummus and vegetable meal
3:30 – Watched “Girls” from the maker of Tiny Furniture
3:50 – Watched Kumare, an excellent movie
5:30 – Played Malibu’s game, Cosmic Wimpout
6:00 – Final struggle with sleep
6:30 – We finally left the house despite the rain, to go to the edge of the Hudson


A delicious dinner made by Cider


Malibu’s gift to Cider, beeswax candles, helped keep us up all night


Malibu was the dominator throughout the night


How we spend most of the night


10 minutes before the apocalypse, still keeping up positive spirits


I wasn’t nearly as happy just before the apocalypse


The end looked imminent

Lessons learned:
-lack of light causes extreme tiredness
-Youtube isn’t an enjoyable way to stay up, but it does work (mainly because of the lighting)
-Not going outside drives you crazy!

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After sleeping for 4 hours we woke up, bumped around the house, talked to Majesty and then we went on a bike ride to NYC. The ride totaled 24 miles.

We started in Dobbs Ferry, quickly making it to a bike path. The path was excellent and scenic, it brought us through Yonkers and finally into the Bronx. When we entered the Bronx the trail ended and was a muddy path. We had to walk at times, especially when we got closer to the city. Cider and I began to get paranoid, worried that there might be someone else out there. The last few miles were stressful but finally we got out of the path and made it to a road in the Bronx.

Our energy wained but we pushed on. It was exhausting to see that we were on block 200, needing to go all the way to 42nd. Towards the end we were hardly able to pedal, pedaling just enough so we would keep going forward. The four hours of sleep certainly didn’t help either.

We finally made it to Grand Central, tired, hungry and ready for bed.

My final day in NYC we hung out with Juju, but not before some fun:

We broke down on the side of the Saw Hill Parkway. We got towed back to a mechanic a couple blocks from the house and then Juju just decided to visit us instead. I joined her, her brother and her brothers friends for a showing of the Hobbit for Juju’s brother birthday. Afterwards Cider and Malibu joined us for food, drinks and stand up comedy. Most of the people were horrible, but it led for an interesting end to our very interesting weekend.

Vacation


I got 5 days off from work, so I decided to clean up some unfinished business and have my self a good time in good old State College. Here’s an overview of what I’ve done so far and what I’ve got planned:

Thursday
-4:00pm Enter State College
-5:30pm Have dinner with my parents and Aunt and Uncle
-8:00pm Watch ultimate frisbee being played by the State College Ultimate League
-9:00pm Hung out with Guaca and her friends
-11:15pm Biked home to my parent’s house stopping to dumpster NW to pick up some fruit on the way

Friday
-9:30am Ate breakfast with my parents and Aunt and Uncle
-11:30am Biked around with Savages
–Saw his restored prairies as well as some woods.
-4:30pm Hung out with Savage’s friend Elmo, elmo is known to some through the xc team at State College High. He went to art school in Detroit and learned how to make very nice furniture and explained the process to us
-5:30pm Went to people’s choice, bought expensive food and lemonade
-7:00pm Went to Savage’s parent’s house saw his excellent garden and met Mother there
-8:00pm Walked through Arts Fest when it was closing
-8:30pm Ate dinner at Herwigs, a delicious Austrian restaurant
-10:00pm Hung out at the cabin with Elmo, Savages and Mother.
-12:15pm Biked home

Saturday
-9:30am Woke up and ate breakfast, said goodbye to relatives
-11:00am Went over to Sparks St to finally move all my bike stuff out
-11:30am Savages and Mother joined me in the clean up, taking lots of bike parts
-2:00pm Took a break and ventured through the chaos of downtown to eat at Chipotle, Mother’s treat!
-4:00pm Mother left and Savages and I finished cleaning the place up
-6:30pm I left to go eat dinner at Rey Azteca
-8:30pm After getting home I just stayed in
-11:15pm Sleep

Sunday(so far)
-8:00am Wake up, start laundry, eat, blog

Future plans:
-Dumpster dive apartments
-Dumpster dive at GW and one of the other Ws
-Hang out with Savages and Mother
-Check out inside of GW
-Buy cheaper groceries
-Get car inspected
-Buy clothing at GW
-Buy socks/underwear to increase time in between laundry days

More details to come as well as pictures!

Casbah mini reunion

Stay tune for updates and pictures of our mini-reunion.

There should be some up soon, until then enjoy your weekend.

The first two are us deciding which is a better piece of art for the mantle piece area of the cabin. The original painting of a mountain landscape or the TJ Max picture of trees at sunset.



Conclusion, Yeti, Malibu, Savages, the majority, for the original art below:






New Years festivites 2012: State College

Most of the Casbah crew was reunited for New Years 2012, with Majesty, Ilex, Savages, Mother, Cider, Malibu, Kp, Andris and myself. We hung out and caught up. Cider and Malibu told stories of NY, and their adventures surviving in a small apartment outside of NYC. Majesty talked of his upcoming journey in the desert. And others talked of their current and upcoming journeys.

After that we went to the Casbah where we built a fire structure for our wax bomb. We put down wood first, then a pallet followed by brick pavers. This provided for an excellent base for the fire, leaving the casbah yard unscathed.

We were able to set off a great 3 story explosion, and we left Jesus permanently scarred. Jesus’s head and neck have collapsed in and he doesn’t look like he’ll survive much longer. We still had half of the wax left, and were trying to set off another explosion when a guest joined us.

That guest was the police, he came and asked us to stop what we were doing. That is when we were all screaming “do it,” Ilex was splashing water into the wax, and Majesty was holding Jesus over the fire. He was called by a neighbor complaining about the fire, and “had to tell us to stop.” He said most people don’t know you can’t have fires in the borough unless you have a “special chimney pit.” He was very nice and just asked us to put out the fire. He seemed irritated that he even had to be there, stating that he didn’t know why people complained about fires and parties shortly after new years.

We put out the fire, and he thanked us. Then he had to leave because he got a call for a domestic abuse situation. We wished him luck and left shortly afterwards. We came back to the cabin, and not longer after we went to bed. But not before we got some great pictures, and Malibu promised to post the video he took of the wax bomb.

New Years 2012

Winter Solstice

It’s 6:30 am and I haven’t slept yet. I’m getting really tired and I’m fighting hundred pound weights to keep my eyes open. In my opinion winter solstice is the best holiday. But every year I forget how difficult it is to stay up all night.

Right now I am dozing in and out of consciousness, but it never lasts longer than a few seconds. It puts me in a dazed state, and makes it very hard to write this blog entry. This is how the final hours of winter solstice always are. But for the lucky few who stay awake through the whole night, they will know that they are helping the sun come up.

Besides my tiredness this year went great. We ate dinner at India Pavilion, we wandered around downtown, we dumpster dived, we ran around like idiots, we almost got in trouble for criminal mischief by the police, we watched procatinator for at least an hour, and we pushed a tire up a hill a few times, watching it roll down.

We also did a much better job staying up than normal. I would guess that 3 people were able to stay up all night this year. The best showing yet.

Here’s some pictures from the Holiday: