Monday, July 25, 2011

South Florida con mi familia

This weekend Patricia and I were able to do 2 things we love, hang with family and go to the beach. This weekend was so much fun. On Friday night we left O-town around 6pm after another tough goodbye to Dodger. (Or Dodgey Wodgey as PBG has started calling him) It took awhile to get out of Orlando, but after getting gas and grabbing a snack we hit the turnpike and headed towards Miami. Our trip to Hallandale Beach (Where 1 of Miss Nydia's Sister Maria lives) went by quick. It was just over 3 hours,which
is an easy trip on one red bull. As we pulled into Hallandale Beach we had to stop by Publix for Key Lime Pie for the Main Player Wayne, and we had a quick stop at a walk up liquor store. Check out when this liquor store closes.

They know how to party in South Florida. Maria's house was fun. We were in town for PBG's cousin or "primo" Luisito's b-day so when we arrived Friday evening there was alot of family already there having so much fun. I have to say it is such a blast to be a part of this new family with so much life and culture. And I am sure Wayne enjoys having another Gringo in the familia. We talked with everyone late into the night. This seems to be a staple when hanging with the sisters, late night chats that usually end up in laughter, dancing or both. (No dancing this time)

The next day we all headed to Hollywood Beach. As a newbie to Florida I am on a hunt for my favorite beach in
the state and Hollywood beach is up there. The area we went to had a really neat boardwalk along the beach lined with stores, restaurants and bars. (For reference Hollywood beach is about 15 miles north of the famous South Beach) The sand was so hot. We literally had to run from our shaded beach chairs to the ocean. This was a pretty chilled beach day, go in the ocean, rest in the chair, read an fantasy football article on your phone, you know normal beach day.

That night we stayed in a hotel closer to Fort Lauderdale with Wayne and Nydia. After a few minutes to clean up from the beach and relax we were back on the town to celebrate Luisito's b-day at dinner. We went to a Spanish Tapas restaurant very similar to Ceviche in Orlando. The music was loud, and the food was good. The only down fall is there Coke was no bueno. I actually walked down the street to a small store to buy a can coke. The two white boys (Wayne and myself) had our own date at the head of the table as we shared what can be called nothing more than a meat platter (sausage, steak, weiners and more) It was a good night.

That night in the hotel was perfect. I have never slept so good on a pullout sofa bed, but we were way tired. The next day PBG and I slept I think until 11am. When I told her it was 11am, as if to say let's get up. She rolled back over to go back to sleep. (My lady can sleep) After I ran out to get a Burger King Chicken Sandwich (worst decision of the weekend) we finally took off for Las Olas Blvd. I am told that means "the waves" This is a part of Fort Lauderdale Beach. This beach looks like a Florida beach from a movie. A1A drives right next to the beach with the other side of the street lined with hotels, restaurants shopping and much more. This is obviously the place to be.

After we walked the strip for a few minutes we found a nice patio table to sit down and enjoy the ocean breeze. The name of this place was Cafe del Mar. They had a good musician that kept us entertained. He even played a little country for Wayne. While Patricia was killing some mussels, I was racing Miss Nydia to finish a giant margarita (a race that I lost). It was a great weekend but sitting by the beach with the fam having drinks and just talking was truly a highlight. I am pretty sure Wayne said "There goes my boat" 1,000 times.

Las Olas Blvd was great. I will definitely return. After we left the beach we headed over to Amanda Colon's house for the actual Luisito b-day BBQ. Luis cooked a mean burger and corn on the cob. After we watched the kids play some Kinect dance game it was time to drive back to Orlando.

What a great weekend. After we arrived home I had to pack to head to NYC but not before Dodger could get into some dark chocolate and PBG helped make him throw up. What an eventful day. PBG was great with the Dodge and he is fine.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Blog is back with a 4 month update

Welcome to the newly branded Gray's Blog.

Now that the wedding is 4 months behind us I had to come up with another way to live out my, I mean our lives as a reality show. Since I last posted so much has happened. Here is my attempt of wrapping up the last few months with a nice little bow. I want to also put out this disclaimer. The below order is random and not in the order of importance.

The Dallas Mavericks are the 2011 NBA Champions. (OK Maybe it is a ranking of importance) This year could not get much better. I married Patricia and my favorite sports team finally came together in a dream like fashion to win it all. It was glorious. Patricia and I were able to travel down to Miami and go to Game 2 of the Finals (The most important game. The Mavs were down 15 in the 4th, and came back to win) This Championship might be the biggest sports victory of my life, and we were there for a piece of it. It was so much fun to experience most of the playoffs with my wife. When I went to Vancouver and LA during the playoffs I was bummed to not be able to watch the games with her and her Jason Kidd jersey (we bought her a new Jersey after round 1).

Patricia's new job: (This is actually the most important) Patricia and I have been so blessed in the first few months. Seeing how God blessed Patricia with this great new job was amazing. I won't try to go into too much detail, but PBG is now the Executive Director for a non-profit called Camaraderie Foundation. To find out more go here. I am so proud of PBG. It is so nice to see her excited to go to work everyday (no offense UCF) and passionate about the people she is helping.

New House: (It's not yellow and blue now, this is an old picture, new pictures when I finish my work) For those of you that don't know we have left Park Lake St and moved 1 mile away to "The Grays on Garvin" We have lived here for a couple weeks and it's still coming together. It's been so much fun getting our first house together, moving in together, cleaning, painting, and having friends over to help. For those of you that don't know I love projects! So this new house has been so much fun. I get to go to Home Depot, work in the yard, and use my drill. Just this weekend I leveled the back yard, ripped up some grass, laid mulch for the new flower bed, installed a new porch light, spray painted and hung our mailbox and address numbers (FUN)! The backyard is a bit untamed so Dodger as you can imagine is enjoying the daily adventure. The House is a 2 bedroom 2 bath built in 1928 in Colonialtown North. We are planning on having a small house warming party in a few weeks when the house is in better order. First I have to get some grass, lights, and fire pit in the back yard. (So excited) So stay tuned.

While those are the big ticket items, I wanted to quickly hit on a few other stories.
  • We have a new Bible Study group that meets on Tuesday nights. This has been such a great blessing. I have met some new friends and we are really enjoying our time with all of their 1 year old babies (no mom that does not mean we are ready).
  • For the Anniversary of our 1st date I had a scavenger hunt through Orlando that backtracked some of the fun things we did over the past year, and it ended where we had out 1st kiss. We had dinner, danced and drinks on a public dock on Lake Maitland (at 1 point we thought we were going to get kicked out).
  • We might have a new Dodger (BIG MIGHT). We found a Mini B&W Piebald Dachshund puppy (2 weeks old) at the Orlando Humane Society when we volunteered there for Nice Serve. I will call back on August 1st to check on his status but if we get him his name is "MAVERICK".
  • We just booked our summer vacation. We went back & forth about Chicago or not Chicago. At the last minute we felt Chicago wasn't what we wanted for this trip. We decided on 5 days 4 night in Cancun, Mexico. Here is where we are staying: The Westin Lagunamar
Thanks and hopefully the next post will be about bringing a new puppy home. Cross your fingers.