Living by the Atlantic Ocean means there are tentacles reaching out in many directions.
Today found us wandering around Loggerhead Marinelife Center, where those tentacles seem to touch the community in a variety of ways.
Even today, a day after school started in the Palm Beaches (our little plan to visit after school started to avoid the crowds did not totally pan out), the place was buzzing with children. However, like us, there were many adults on hand strolling through the indoor and outdoor exhibits.
The entrance fee is, there isn't one. But, donations are accepted (please donate) and we discovered that all money received by this 501 (c) 3 (not-for-profit) organization stays within the organization for their many programs.
Although I hope to do a Podcast or two to discuss the environmentally important efforts being done by this organization, today, I want to focus on a more frivlious thing I enjoyed while there. Keep in mind that all dollars taken in, go for the causes, okay?
Step with me into their wonderful gift shop, because it is a nice, and welcoming area of the center.
They seem to have items and prices for everyone, and the lay-out is excellent.
Naturally, there are shirts, books, stuffed animals -- all the usual stuff kids enjoy.
The beauty for me, they also have a generous section devoted more to adult tastes.
Personally, I lingered over the jewelry and came away with two pieces: Lovely necklaces and the total came to almost $25.
As Gerry was hovering nearby, I spent less time than normal in the shop, but as it is close to us, I will return. Alone.
All around, I give high-marks to the quality and quantity of the Loggerhead Marinelife Gift Shop. The staff was friendly, and it did not seem like a typical "souvenir" place with inexpensive-looking trinkets.
Now, if there were scads of children and adults in the gift shop it would be a bit challenging to take your time perusing the goodies, but today I had plenty of room and time to make my selections. The only difficulty was deciding.
An added bonus to my gift shop saga?
You can live anywhere and virtually shop their wares. Just go to their Website and click the link at the top that says...yes...SHOP!
I tell you this is a win-win situation.
You get to have some terrific items.
They get your dollars for terrific work being done.
Get busy and SHOP for the turtles, the sea life, the ocean...well, just do it!
It's the rainy season in South Florida. Problem is, although rain has been near us, we have missed most of it. But, this morning, Sunday, it is cloudy and misty, which makes me moody, in a good way.
Sunday Brunch at our usual place (we are big on usual places) brought news that our absolute favorite, long-time server is leaving. We are pleased for her, but not for us. Change is good, right? Sure, but not only are we losing this ray of Sunday morning sunshine, the place has a new head chef and our food was seriously lacking for the first time.
See how it works-literal rain was sent-then figurative rain. There was one ray of sunshine still streaming in...the Mimosas and Bellinis were delicious, and 99 cents.
When things change at a favorite haunt, we always take it as a sign it is time to move on. Seeking new
haunts can be a challenge, fraught with danger (not really, but I love to be dramatic).
The thing is, good food, service, location and prices are not so easy to discover. But, searching can be fun.
The operative word here is...can.
School starts in Palm Beach County on August 15th-tomorrow. It is HOT. Very. Every year I harp on the same old thing. What is wrong with starting the day after Labor Day, like back in my day?
Well, I pity the kids. But, the parents are probably celebrating.
Selfish me, I am, too. I mean, come ON, let's be honest here. When the kids file back into those sacred halls of learning, filing into the stores of retail gets a little bit more peaceful.
August has arrived. It is HOT in the Palm Beaches and I just heard July broke the record for least amount of rain.
It's the rainy season, people. I WANT RAIN!
Of course, I am careful about what I wish for as a tropical, or more serious storm could suddenly swirl and twirl around this little peninsula. Still, I have missed the rain.
Speaking of swirling and twirling, politics are heating up and we are in the home stretch.
I will leave it there.
Our dog grooming place had the nerve to close down for a couple of months, and The Lady Reggie could use some sprucing up.
Yes, I have Bed Head shampoo for dogs, but when I bathe her it looks like it...and that's not saying much.
Bought a batch of brownies at Costco yesterday. They are round in shape which makes them seem more gourmet. It's the simple things.
Went to Burger Fi in Jupiter. I got bottled water and my companions got milk shakes and custard concoctions. No food. It was too hot.
I rarely (like never) watch daytime television, but I flipped on the final hour of the Today Show this morning to catch Kathy Lee and Regis. Hoda, they said, is in Rio to cover the Olympics. It seemed as though KL and Reege were having a good time. Probably better than Hoda. Sorry, I just can not get jazzed about the Olympics.
There are very serious topics I could discuss on this very hot Monday in North Palm Beach.
You know, there is all the new drama between Taylor and Kanye (they are making a career of their idiocy).
Today Cleveland is filled with...I won't even finish this sentence.
So, Monday in the Palm Beaches is a day of...what?
Thinking of the song, Heat Wave, perhaps?
I know I am. because even in the sub-tropical climate of South Florida, we are currently having excessive heat. How do we know? We know. There is a difference, believe me.
But, even though I just did it, talking about the weather ranks at the top of the list of most boring things to talk about.
So, what about this random Monday?
Forget the actual heat, let's break it down to something else that is a burning hot topic (keep in mind that it is all relative).
When in the name of Joan Collins, did padded shoulders creep back into style, or did they?
Don't get me wrong, I love those crazy things, but I thought when they were tossed into the burn bin back in the day, they would not be returning to our shoulders until all the other 80's fashion (and music) returned.
Have we returned to all the greatness that was the style (and music) of the '80's?
Welcomed by me, but here is really why I bring this up.
I recently purchased a tiny black jacket (too large to be an official shrug) with tiny rhinestone embellishments. I adore it, and wear it a lot.
But, here's the shock of that little bit of fabric. It came with substantial shoulder pads.
Indeed, I know in the scheme of the universe, who gives a tiny rhinestone?
Still, I am curious. What does it mean? Are they creeping back into the mainstream, or was this piece pulled from some back-back-back room and stuck on a rack?
It's not like I was at a vintage shop (although I do love certain vintage styles).
End of my padded shoulders saga?
It remains a mystery, but I removed the little puffs of foam and tossed in a non-burn bin.
I am ruthless when it comes to fashion.
Now, should we kick-start more yapping about the latest Taylor-Kanye flap?
No. Not ever.
We have entered the Dog Days of Summer. Whatever that really means.
Well, whatever it means, when you live in the Palm Beaches of Southern Florida in July, one thing it means is fancy-pants (and plain-pants) restaurants offer special menu prices.
Usually, it means a set price, set menu and a set time to sit yourself down at the table.
When you live here, you also know to call Palm Beach...The Island.
Yes, THE Island. But, that's another blog post.
Anyway, the other day, we drifted ourselves (this sounds like we were in a boat, but no) on over to Charley's Crab on The Island for a little lunch.
To be honest, we were unaware they even had a "Summer Menu" offering; we just like the place. But, they did, and we liked what we saw.
Let's break it all down.
We opted to start with the chilled Gazpacho -- delicious; the crusted whitefish, which was perfection, accompanied by green beans that were so undercooked, I looked for the vine, just to make sure they had, indeed, been picked from it, and risotto.
For dessert, I opted for Key Lime pie, and that was a good choice. It is among the best in the area.
As it was lunch, and we have some decorum, we both ordered regular iced tea.
The price? $25 per person.
Now, this is all great, but there's more.
Let me back it up, and begin at the beginning.
Great service. No complaints here. The guy could not have been nicer, and he has a thankless job in this heat and humidity.
I don't want to complain about her, but I must. She was the sort that has such a low-key personality, there is none. At all. Blank stare. Blank face. Blank.
She mumbled something about did we have reservations? No. It was a random weekday for lunch, but it would not have killed us to make some.
The place was almost empty, and as the Girl With The Empty Eyes (GWTEE), continued to grill us, another staffer waited with menus to seat us.
GWTEE did not immediately release us to the other staffer, but detained us for further questioning.
Um, two. The two standing in front of you.
What is your phone number?
Now, this is where it got awkward.
Phone number to call us later on to chat?
My consort in dining out is a super-patient type. But, at this unnecessary query, even he hesitated with a look that said...well, you can imagine.
Listen, if the joint is jumpin' and they need a phone number to signal you to shuffle your stylish shoes to a table, no prob.
When the place is empty?
Seems pointless, and quite irritating.
The thing is though, the GWTEE seemed genuinely clueless, in a fog, still asleep, something.
A continutation of the Hostess. Not the greatest. Her attitude toward us was, indifferent at best. Just seemed very bored with the entire scenario.
Oh, she appeared annoyed that we were locals and already a member of the Landry's Club (where you get points for eating at places). Very poor service from her.
Very positive was that we got the best table in the house, in our opinion.
The view of the Atlantic always saves the day at Charley's, no matter what else transpires.
Yes, after all these years, Charley's Crab remains a favorite with us.
The food has never let us down, and on this occasion the Manager did make a special effort to make us feel welcome. So kudos to him for that kindness.
So, during these Dog Days, which has nothing to do with actual dogs in case you didn't know, having Summer Menu offerings is a fun way to hop and skip (yes, we do) around the Palm Beaches and dine the day away.
Charley's (Landry's) did send us a follow-up survey to see how our visit went. I scored them high, because it is about the food. But, my comments were quite honest. Will they even read it? Doubtful. I gave them a high number score, and no one really reads the comments, do they?
Now, back to the Dog Days.
I was messing with you at the top, I do know what it means. Sort of.
It has everything to do with the Dog Star, Sirius, and its position in the heavens.
Let me just say, here's to Sirius and all the heavenly Summer Menus all over the Palm Beaches during these hot and humid weeks. Call it what you will.
Tuesday Hot Talk...and when I say hot, I mean it in the true sense of the word. It's July in South Florida, okay?
First, today is Amazon Prime Day, people. What did it mean for us? Discounted chew sticks for our dog. That's a pretty big deal around here, but this whole Prime Day thing?
I don't need no stinkin' day for Amazon scrollin', credit card clickin' and shippin'.
As a bonafide night-owl, I mostly buy stuff on Amazon in the wee hours of the morning.
Yeah, G never knows what will be showing up at our door.
Everyday is Amazon Prime Day (or eBay) around our domicile.
Did you know the 2016 Emmy nominations will be announced on Thursday?
Only if you are a Hollywoodie (in the biz).
It is being predicted, Game of Thrones will be nominated, and isn't that just grand? Maybe, but I have no idea.
I am probably the only one in the universe who has never seen a single episode. Furthermore, I see no reason to bother with it in the future.
As for the other potential nominees, I do hope some from, Better Call Saul are on the ballots. We will know soon enough.
Basically, all of it seems pretty boring this year, but at this point in July, I am just waiting for the release of, Absolutely Fabulously. Why? Because fun with Patsy and Eddy (if you don't know the show, look it up) is never boring. Even in July.
More importantly, let's be grateful that Matt Damon will be returning for another Jason Bourne. Come ON, you know this is big!
Kids (and when I say kids, I mean adults) it is almost time to get your Fabulous on. Absolutely!
Indeed, after an absence from the scene for four years, those self-involved, booze and drug-infused BFF's,
Patsy (played by Joanna Lumley) and Edina (nickname, Eddy, played by Jennifer Saunders, who is also one of the creators) ship their bits-of-stuff, in the form of the big-screen movie, Absolutely Fabulous, across the Pond (you know the one I'm talking about) and into select US theaters on July 22.
If you don't know this show, no worries, let me tell you they and it are...Absolutely Fabulously.
So, let's break it down a bit.
This BBC comedy began its original run from 1992 to 1996. It was revived in 2001, and ended in 2004. There was an anniversary special later on, because why not?
But, enough of the history. Let's talk about summer 2016 and the AbFab (oh, you must call it that if you want to be as cool as Pats and Eddy) movie, opening soon. Well, I just hope our little slice of sand will be among the selected cities.
Although it is doing well, very well, in Great Britain (well, don't they need a little humour at this particular time?), who knows how well it will do in the Colonies.
Us (lower cases)?
British humour is our favorite. But, is it for all the Yanks?
Will Patsy and Edina and their vapid behaviour (see, I keep doing it) translate to the big screen in middle-America's fly-over states? Will it translate anywhere on this continent to any significant degree?
Remains to be seen, but even if it is does not live up to my expectations, I am in.
If you aren't terribly familiar with the antics of these two zany and insanely shallow women, let me leave you with a quote from the show.
Eddy: "We'll go on public transport, Pats."
Patsy: "Are you mad? I've got nothing to wear on Public Transport."
Oh, yes mate, I'm in. Bring on the FABULOUS, darling!
Heavens-to-Betsy, people, we are speaking of the cornball script called, Forrest Gump, which hit the screens 22 years ago. Seems like yesterday, right? Whatever do you call the birthday/anniversary of a film?
Who knows, but this film should be measured in dog-years, because while viewing this in the theater back in 1994, every moment felt like an hour. So, let's go with that, and say this flick is 154 years old.
Sorry (not really, because I stick to my convictions, even when quite unpopular), but this cringe-worthy movie made me cringe with impatience.
By the end, my brain was so saturated with Tom Hanks fake-drawling, non-sensical quotes, my ears were ready for enormous cotton balls, and padded ear-muffs.
Don't even get me started on how this compilation of soap-opera-ish scenes absolutely ripped the Oscar from the clutches of the rightful winner that year, Shawshank Redemption.
My Mama always told me to silence myself if I could not say something nice (I am paraphrasing her exact words)...she tried her best to get that across to me. She kind of failed, but if she had been here to watch this movie, I believe she would have had plenty to say about him quoting his Mama.
So, here's me being nice:
Happy 22 years of Forrest Gump dumbness. Tom, and Sally and Robin...you deserved better.
See? I never QUITE get there, do I?
When the Girls get together -- Marge, Chris and me -- you can never predict where the conversation will go. Here we are discussing the merits of cocktails and table dancing. See what I mean?
To set the mood, here's a little background music:
Having dinner with gracious people is sometimes more, or at least just as, important as the food and ambiance.
But, I will get to that.
In the early evening hours last Saturday, we headed north on US 1 to dine with a group of six (including us).
Seated around a round table at the noisy, but very attractive restaurant, Kee Grill, I gazed around and deemed the place-comfortable and inviting.
This being our first time, we appreciated being able to take advantage of the Summer Specials.
Translation: Get there early to get in on fixed price menu offering.
I won't call it Early Bird, because I detest that label.
Still, it is an early dinner, any way you slice it.
Early was fine with us, mainly because the others sharing our table are good at laughter and conversation-at must for us.
Now, back to the food and service.
Even though it is not "Season" in the Palm Beaches, the joint was jumpin'. No worries, as one of our dinner companions had been nice enough to make reservations a few days ahead. We appreciated her for doing that for the group.
While it was busy, the service was fine. Our server was a young man named, Myles, I think. He did an adequate job. No complaints.
It is not complicated if you order from the Summer Menu, which we did. All of us.
You may choose from eight entree selections. With each you get Caesar or House Salad.
House wines are $5 by the glass; the choices are limited, but they have both reds and whites.
Gerry opted for a White Zinfandel, while I ordered a Prosecco from the main wine menu for $12.
We both selected the Sweet Potato Crusted Snapper for the main fare. It was delicious, and a very generous portion. Very.
The accompanying dishes, of which you get two, include several potato and vegetable dishes or pasta.
We both opted for Spinach Maria and potatoes.
Here's the thing -- you get all this for the bargain price of $19.99 (excluding beverages).
Here's the better thing: It is all delicious, and although the place was crowded, it did not seem as though they were trying to turn our table. Of course, sometimes when you have a table for six or more, they don't need the table as quickly.
So, back to our dinner companions being gracious.
There is a really good story about, what I will call, "The Great Faux-Hair Incident at Kee."
In a nutshell, my black elastic ponytail band (the thing that holds up a pony) was also one of those covered with fake hair. This is an accessory that just dresses up an ordinary black elastic band.
Yeah, it flew off and hit a person at the table beside us. In all fairness to my ponytail-band-cover ... those tables are CLOSE together, okay?
If the staff at Kee observed this craziness, they kept mum, and the people at the neighboring table handed over the fluffy hair. I probably would have trashed it had I been them. Kind of restores my faith in humankind.
But, take my word for it, this could have caused them and our companions supreme embarrassment. It probably did, but they all put on a good face.
As for us?
Next time I will anchor it down more securely, or maybe not -- I enjoy being edgy.
We have, mostly, given up being embarrassed about our shenanigans, because it serves no purpose and we are always up for a good, zany story.
Historically, 99.9 percent of our zany stories are about me. It's just the way it is, and we have no problem with it. Acceptance is our motto!
Bottom line: Kee Grill was great.
My faux-ponytail-hair is a great story!
Will these same folks ever dine with us again?