Flogging Franklstein

History doesn't repeat itself. You repeat History.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Monday, December 12, 2005

Florida - Part 1 (Finally!)

(Note: I was going to make this one long post. I decided to make it two, since there is a natural break in the vacation.)

Florida. It was a long time coming, but I was finally going to visit my friends Kelly and Todd and their baby daughter Katie in Boca Raton. Todd was also going down for a visit, as he is the one who married them in Key West. (OK – this is going to get ridiculous. There are two people named Todd in this post. And I can’t call them by their first name and last initial because both would be “Todd G”. And I refuse to call one “Denver Todd” and the other “Boca Todd”. So, the Denver Todd will be called “Da Pickl”, and the Boca Todd will be called “DaddyT”, since he is a father.)

If you are going to visit family or friends for Thanksgiving, I highly recommend traveling on Thanksgiving morning. Our flight to Ft. Lauderdale on Frontier left at 8:10 in the morning, with a scheduled arrival time of 1:50 in the afternoon. So, we got up early and Da Pickl’s dad, John drove us to the airport. Once we were dropped off, it took us 10 minutes to get our seats, get through security, and arrive onto the B Concourse. The poor saps who traveled the day before probably spent at least 50 minutes in the same process.

Anyway, a quick yet shitty breakfast at the McDonalds (I only seem to eat at McDonalds when I am on vacation. It is not by choice – it just always ends up that way. I normally avoid the place like the plague.) and we ended up at the smoking lounge for a quick cocktail and smoke or two before we had to be in Concourse A to board our flight. It’s a ritual. We also ordered cokes with lids on them so we could mix our own cocktails before getting on the plane (that is where those shooters of Jack Daniels come in handy.) One shot in my coke, and two in Da Pickl’s, and we were ready to go.

The flight was pretty uneventful, except for one event involving Da Pickl. Da Pickl got chastised for mixing his own cocktails using his (our) own alcohol. Apparently it is against FAA regulations. The stewardess either smelled it on his breath when while he waited outside the lav, or she smelled the empty Diet Pepsi can he threw away right in front of her. At any rate, we were lucky not to get our asses tossed in jail. It is a good thing that Da Pickl is not an asshole, or we would have. From now on, we are going to follow what I initially suggested, which was to buy one cocktail from the flying waitresses in order to hide the further drinking of our own booze the rest of the flight.

DaddyT picked us up from the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. It was a nice, balmy 80 degrees. Da Pickl sat in the front seat, and I got to sit in the back seat, right next to a sleeping baby. A few minutes into the journey, Katie woke up and began looking around. Eventually she turned her head and noticed I was sitting there. She must have been surprised to see me sitting there, because she stared and stared at me, as if asking herself, “Who is this freak?” Then she started crying. I guess she thought I was ugly (which I am.)

Kelly and DaddyT's House Posted by Picasa

Patio Posted by Picasa

Pool and Fence Damage Posted by Picasa

Anyway, after a nice drive along I-95, where I got to see a lot of the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, we arrived. The house smelled just like Thanksgiving. Kelly was in the kitchen cookin' it up. The early football game was on the wide screen. Dave (a friend of Kelly and DaddyT's) was there as well. We settled in, had some snacks, and watched some football. Finally the meal was ready, and with Tivo recording the Bronco game, we sat down to eat. Kelly did a great job with her first Thanksgiving meal. All the traditional food was there, and it tasted awesome.

Kelly and Katie Posted by Picasa

DaddyT Posted by Picasa

Cutie Katie Posted by Picasa

After the cleanup, or some of the cleanup, we finished off watching the Bronco game. Actually, Kelly and I sat out on the patio and watched a bit of it in real-time while the rest of the guys watched the taped version (SHHH – don't tell anyone). Eventually we stopped when the game became tied toward the end. We didn't want to totally spoil it. Some Tivo issues aside (such as the game running over the time limit for the recorder) we got to see the great run by Ron Dayne and the game-winning field goal. WOO HOO!

Afterward, Alex and Diane came over for some poker. I guess everyone has the poker bug now. We played out on the patio – with everyone but me and Da Pickl wearing long sleeves or jackets. Man, these south Floridians are temperature pussies. (OK, I admit to putting on my fleece around 3:00 in the morning. It was getting down to around 62.) Anyway, I sucked at both tournaments – even after we discovered the extra 2 of hearts in one of the Rio decks I brought.

Friday Da Pickl and I went to visit our friend Mike, who moved from Colorado down to Jupiter to work for Florida Power and Light. He was doing well. His new townhouse didn't suffer any hurricane damage. He took us out to lunch and we hit the beach (because you have to hit the beach when you are in South Florida – not a lot of hotties out though. But there was this one who stopped me, commenting on my Yonder Mountain String Band shirt. It turns out she went to CU, but had never seen the band.) Then he took us for some Cuban Coffee (because you have to have Cuban Coffee when you are in South Florida.) It was a good afternoon.

After getting back, it was time to head to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. Kelly, DaddyT, Da Pickl, and I all piled into the car (Katie was being baby sat) and headed out. The place was pretty big, and there were a ton of people there. Florida only allows slots and poker in the casinos, so there were no regular casino games, just row after row of slots, plus the poker room. We waited in line to get on the list to play $1/$2, and headed out to the grouping of restaurants. We decided on a Mexican place, and got on the waiting list. We got off the list quickly, though, because we were fortunate enough to find 4 seats in a row at the outside bar. I don't know why they called it Mexican food, because it was about as Mexican as bread pudding. I ordered some chicken soft tacos, which had no flavor at all. At least I was able to soften up our bartender so we could get stronger drinks. (When the salsa and chips came out, Kelly asked what the flavors were. I said “Hot, medium, and pussy.” The bartender thought that was hilarious.)

When we were done eating, the water show started. It started out with the usual water tricks (similar to the Bellagio). But it got really cool when they used the sheet of water as a screen and began showing “movies”. It was similar to how a rear-projection TV works. They were showing a lot of Seminole traditional dancing and other rituals. Like I said, it was really cool.

Finally we were ready to see if we were close to the beginning of the line to get seated at the poker tables. It appeared our number came up(although we weren't buzzed), but apparently it did not. Something about the letter at the end of the number. Or was it they had put us down for two players instead of four? At any rate, DaddyT was pissed. He talked to the jack-ass, trying to find out our status, didn't get a satisfactory answer, and was told that we were still in line. So, we decided to go to the high bar and wait it out. I got in line at the bar to get me and Da Pickl some drinks. After like a half-hour, I finally got our drinks. Some dude in a muscle shirt and a cowboy had cut in line in front of me. The chick behind the bar must have known him, because he got his drinks right away. I wanted to squeeze his nuts with some channel-locks. And, to make matters worse, as I turned around to take the drinks back, the waitress finally showed up, took Kelly and DaddyT's order, and was back in five minutes. I was beginning to hate the Seminole Hard Rock. After another hour of waiting, we decided to bag the poker and head home.

Saturday, Kelly and DaddyT packed up the baby and took us all to the beach. We didn't actually go on the beach, but we had lunch at a hotel restaurant across from the beach. This time there were plenty of hotties around. I'm glad I had my sunglasses. WE then strolled over to a tiki bar on the beach to have a few more cocktails and chill. It was a nice afternoon.

That night, Kelly, Da Pickl and I were going to meet Mike and his wife Christina for dinner at Brewzzis brew pub in City Place. I was cranky on the way over there because we were lost and the City Center was packed. We finally made it though, and hooked up with Mike, Christina, and a couple whom they know. The food at Brewzzis was really good – and really huge. I had a meatball sandwich, and couldn't finish it. Da Pickl had the beer sampler, which was six 8-ounce beers. (Oh yeah, he had some food too.) It was a nice evening out, but Mike and gang had to leave early. Mike's friend had to go to work (he is an EMT.) While it was nice to meet them, I wonder why Mike brought them if he couldn't drink and he had to leave. Hmmmm.

Mike and Christina Posted by Picasa
The Gang Posted by Picasa

Da Pickl Posted by Picasa

Kelly's Cocktail and Da Pickl's "Sampler" Posted by Picasa

Anyway, we left City Place and went back to the house to chill out for the rest of the evening.


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