Saturday, May 07, 2022

50 Years of Ernesto

Mi Neto turned 50 years old the other day!!! Whaaaaaa???? 
I knew I had to put something special together.  Because 50.
He had an idea to go to Spain for a European JuJitsu tournament and I was 100% on board with that idea.
But unfortunately childcare is hard to come by these days. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
He decided to join a tournament in Atlanta, which surprise, surprise, he won GOLD!  

 
I am so proud of him.   He is dedicated. He practices jujitsu 5 days a week and has for the last 4 years. He is also a competition junkie and has flown all over the country to bust out his skillz in tournaments. 
All but once, he walks out with the gold metal. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
 
Ernesto doesn't need much in the way of gifts, but we did wrap up some Chaco flip flops and a new family game called NINE, that we have yet to break out.  Its a golf card game and I've heard it is fun.  Here the kids are opening his presents.  Yes, we are still in that phase.
I had the idea of a "50 years of Ernesto" video, and knew that would be the best gift I could give.  It was so fun to put together. 
I started with baby pictures.  A lot of them Ernesto's mom sent me.  I continued on with young boy to teenage to young man to college to marriage to father to jujitsu champion.   All of these baby pics didn't make it into the video (which is posted at the bottom of this page) but they are too cute not to share. 
sadgfa


I requested that people in Ernesto's life (past and present) send me a little video clip with a message for him and they started pouring in...he has a lot of people that love him.  
I dropped all of the video clips into iMovie with all the pictures. 
It turned out so awesome....if I do say so myself! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Cinco de Mayo fell on a Thursday.  Ernesto actually had a lighting job that day.  He also didn't want any kind of party as he was competing 2 days later. He was actually watching everything that he ate/drank to make sure his weight was in check.  I knew that I had a great present with the video, but I was unsure what to do for him that day with all his restrictions.

Our friends Virginia and Rodney came over for Tostadas and cupcakes.  That is when I played the finished video.  Of course he loved it! 
Please enjoy below!
Happy Birthday mi amorrrrrrrrr!  You look sooooooooo good at 50! I love you mucho!

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Annual Weeki Wachee Trip 2022

If you have been tagging along this 'ol blog for long enough, you know about a unique spot in Florida called Weeki Wachee.  My parents do their snowbirding there and as we have done every year, we drove down for a visit!
They rented their "usual" cabin on the river. The price has gone up over the years and I was sad when my dad said "this will probably be our last year renting here." 😭😭 The long time owner sold the house last year (for a whopping $540k) It's a RUSTIC cabin, but the location is πŸ’―.
The view doesn't get old here, it is such a peaceful place.
Anyhoo, the new owner raised the price and changed out the living room furniture for some OLD uncomfortable stuff.  They were there 4 weeks and weren't able to sit without their butts hurting.  My dad finally ordered this chair on Amazon to put in the living room for the rest of their stay. LOL

There was a bit of a cool weather spell the weekend we went (it went down to 20 in Atlanta) and we did get one night/morning of rain, but you know Florida....the sun always comes out at some point and it was warm enough for these guys to get in the water. 
Mateo only lasted about 30 minutes, but Marcelo and Paloma were in and out for HOURS!  Pretending, laughing, splashing!  They were the best playmates.  Just reminded me how much I hate electronics 
(we did not bring on the trip) and love my kids outdoors. (We need that Airstream Neto!)

I took this short video of them playing in the water and their laughter is just music to my ears! 

These guys even wanted to enjoy their dinner together outside.  There is a lot of teasing and fighting that goes on with them regularly, so the closeness I see between them makes my heart so happy.
Los hermanos had their moments of closeness too. 

We brought the kids' bikes and they cruised around the neighbourhood a lot.  The first day we swung by the house we rented last year on Bear Trail and we found two of the friendliest kitties.  
Well, they needed to be visited a couple times a day, so all bike rides had a purpose.
Palomas purpose was petting the cats and picking flowers. She is a 'stop and pick the roses' kind of girl, and I love that about her.
The kitties weren't the only wildlife.  

Yeah....did you catch that? ...on the last photo??  It's an ALLIGATOR!!! WHAAAAA???  It almost looked fake because it was sitting so still.
We have been coming here for years and although it IS Florida, since we had never seen one... they did not exist here.  Isn't that how it works?   My kids were frolicking in the water and the next day I see this?? 
😳😳
Now I will say that we had paddled off the river into dark water canals to see this "little" guy, but nonetheless, I was disturbed by the sighting. 
Why did I have to see that and not some manatees?
We did a lot of kayaking

These days, the boys were on their own kayaks (although a smaller size) and they were moving right along.  One time heading UP the river I threw Marcelo a rope so he could sit back and relax.
Paloma either rode on the double or slept sat with one of us on a single. 

I think we have this same "asleep in the kayak" picture with each of the kids.  Kayaking is soooo relaxing!
GAMES GAMES GAMES! We played a lot of games!
My mom and dad introduced us to a new game!  We actually played it more than Pegs and Jokers, which has been the family favorite for the last 4 years.   
Its called Rummikub and I LOVE it!  Have you ever heard of it?  It's a classic I guess.
I used to play Rummy with cards so it was easy to catch on.  You make "runs" of same numbers and straights and can then take tiles from other runs until you play all of your tiles. It was so fun!  Mateo picked it up quickly, as he does all board/card games.  My parents ordered this one on amazon for $24 and the next day found a vintage set at goodwill (from 1985) for $3.  haha. They gave me that oneπŸ’œ I do love vintage after all.
Speaking of Goodwill, my mom and I always find a reason we NEED to go  (other that we love thrifting). This years' reason was.....Marcelo came to Florida with no shoes. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚   We HAD to go.  I got him a pair of Nike sneakers in great shape for $1.50.   It was raining that morning anyway so it worked out.  We also did a little painting. I gave my mom and couple choices and the hummingbird won. 


Other activities included people watching on the dock, and puzzling.  My mom has completed 10+ puzzles  during their 8 weeks in Florida. I would definitely call her a puzzle master. 
She whipped up this 300 piece-r in one day with a little help from Paloma.  We brought this one home with us.  I love the colors, and duh, birds! For me, 300 is a manageable amount of pieces. 
Ernesto was inspired and started his own puzzle out on the dock. 
Completed by dusk!  

It was such a great trip and just long enough that we didn't drive my parents crazy. (I think!) LOL
We had to get the annual family shot on the dock too.  I HOPE this won't be the last one! 

There was no school Friday and we took the kids out of school Monday for the drive home.  Three full days felt like a great vacation and totally worth the 7 hour drive.  Just a couple movies and a nap away!
What?? Who doesn't start off a long road trip by giving their kids chips and candy?!?!  πŸ™„

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