Thursday, 11/24/11 - Nancy and Howard arrived on Wednesday afternoon for a long weekend, Thanksgiving vacation in Miami & Key West, FL. They were lucky to get out of very rainy New Jersey on Wednesday morning and arrived early into the land of sunshine, Miami, FL. They are staying the night at the Westin Diplomatic Hotel, ON THE BEACH, in Hollywood, FL. An absolutely, beautiful and fabulous hotel that I once got to stay at when I was with Nancy. The plan was for me to come over Thursday, Thanksgiving day and hang out at the pool with them for the day...go back and get Will and meet them for dinner and the plan worked exactly like that.
It was an hour drive from the RV park to Hollywood, FL but because it was Thanksgiving the traffic was very light early in the morning. I arrived at my designated time, 9:30 am & not before, I think the email said. Their room was unbelievable, overlooking the ocean with a full outdoor balcony the entire length of their room. It was a 2 room suite on the 20th floor with a fabulous view....and no one wanted to leave. However, after a photo session we headed down to the pool to select our lounges by the pool for "laying out." Because it was early we got 3 right up against the "Plexiglas fence" that allowed you to lay on your deck & see the ocean, it was pretty spectacular.
Now for the best part.....In some of these Westin Hotels they have what I call....the FREE FOOD room, where they serve breakfast foods from 6 to 10 am and then again in the early evening, appetizers...which of course you can make a dinner meal out of, which I have certainly done before. I didn't exactly remember this hotel, that I had stayed there, until the 3 of us went back up to the Free Food room and upon entering the room.....voila, I recognized it immediately, even Nancy told me I commented before, "that this was THE BEST free food room on the Westin circuit. An boy did I remember that when I got in line, it's the only Westin place that serves lox....the stuff they sell for over $12 a half pound or so. We feasted on a wonderful breakfast and I was able to stock up on my favorite....peanut butter in individual servings (you just can't find them anywhere to buy.) After breakfast we headed back to the pool for some sun which unfortunately was in and out all day and the wind was blowing pretty good. Even so, Nancy & Howard agreed it was better than New Jersey and rain!
As it has worked out the last 3 years we have had MY Christmas present opening party at a swimming pool...2009 Santa Cruz/Fresno (?) 2010 Honolulu, HA and 2011 Miami, FL. Now I must say these are presents from Nancy & Howard to ME. Once again they surprised me with another "party at the pool" and I had a fabulous time unwrapping my gifts which were wonderful. Several absolute favorites....my Nick Swisher pictures have been framed, my stocking from Howard, more Mariano & Derek "hand out" pictures, books, and fabulous personalized Christmas Cards. Such fun, but alas, I had to get back to the RV park to take a shower, get dressed so Will & I could meet them for Thanksgiving dinner.
Our reservation was for 4:45 pm at the Chart House Restaurant over looking the yacht harbor on the water in Miami near Coral Gables, FL. The drive was only about 30 minutes from where we are staying and girlfriend, GPS took us right there...no mistakes. Nancy & Howard were already there and we were seated outside on the deck which was lovely. Fortunately, The Chart House, which is a fabulous seafood restaurant, offered a traditional turkey dinner which Will and Howard ordered. Nancy and I had the Mahi Mahi which was wonderful. It was a beautiful, but slightly windy evening and we visited for a very long time then Nancy gave Will his Christmas present....a 2011 World Series hat (always his favorite) a 2011 W.S. windbreaker an a beautiful coin from the mint, of the 2001-11 Remembrance of the World Trade Center. Around 7:30 pm we headed out, us home to the RV and Nancy & Howard were driving down to Key Largo for a night stay and getting up early and heading into Key West for Friday and Saturday. A wonderful Thanksgiving day but we missed being with our Clovis family on this very special day. Much love to all our family and friends and hope that your Thanksgiving Holiday was a good one. Now it's onto December and Christmas!