Florida Strong

Spoiler: We survived Irma here in Miami. 🙂

It’s been quite a week of preparation, impact, and recuperation. My State, city, town, local businesses, family, friends, and neighbors did a marvelous job keeping things in order. I’m sure there are gaps everywhere but I’m shocked with how orderly things went. 

Before the storm, we rushed to get gas (which everyone managed to find, even if an hour or longer wait), had food, filled up with water, gave advice, protected our homes and that of loved ones, and braced ourselves for the Big One. 

And then we waited for Irma to arrive… and nearly ate all our damn hurricane food prior to her arrival. (Side note, just about everything non-perishable is unhealthy or can be easily consumed in mass quantities. Yes, I’m talking Nutella and gummy snacks.)

Then, the storm did all sorts of tricks and confused every meteorologist and person tracking it. Miami avoided direct impact but the Florida Keys were hit hard. Captain, my boyfriend, lives in the Keys but hunkered down with us. He stored his boat further north as he wanted to make sure it was protected since that’s his livelihood. No boat = no dinero. 

We were hit with major wind and rain. In some ways, it was beautiful to watch. It was scary to hear the wind howling and sad to see our trees ripped out of the ground but something about the sheer strength of nature and watching the grass and trees blow was fascinating. 


We built Legos, played cards and games, ate, talked by candlelight, tried contacting loved ones, took a few brave steps outside during the storm, ate some more, napped, and practiced patience. It’s the most still any of us have been in quite some time.

My children are not used to living without electricity. It was an incredible wake up call for them to function without light or AC. We were conservative with water and plumbing use, and had to be creative with ways we entertained ourselves. (They’re not complete brats; you do start to get serious cabin fever locked in your house for days.)


Once the storm was over and we assessed our damage (which luckily was little), it was great to walk our area and talk with neighbors. We told stories, even compared to our experience with Hurricane Andrew, shared tools, helped each other clean up, and were just very grateful for coming out of this relatively unscathed. 

My ex, Grayheart, was very supportive and helpful with the kids and sharing time with them. He popped by a few (too many) times but I could tell he was very lonely. Makes me feel bad for him at times. 

I took the kids yesterday for a “safari” drive around town to go check on family. We pointed out damage to familiar places and took a few pictures. It was humbling.

We are incredibly lucky. The Keys were hit bad and people are missing. Naples and much of the west coast here is flooded. Over 6 million people in FL without power. Georgia and South Carolina are getting hit now. Much of Cuba is destroyed because it took the direct impact meant for us. Barbuda uninhabitable. The beautiful BVI ripped up with few ways to communicate with the rest of the world. It could have been bad for us. I’m very aware and am using that knowledge to make my kids aware and responsible for helping our community and others impacted by this. 

We appreciate all the love and volunteer efforts sent to us from around the country and world. We will pay it forward. ❤️

Captain was finally allowed access to the Keys this morning. I am waiting to hear what’s left of his place. Crossing fingers for not-so-bad news!

I’m sorry for the lengthy post… just started blabbing on. 🙂

Sending everyone much love. xo

Athena

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Date Night with my Daughter and Ellie Goulding

I took my 7 yr old daughter to her first concert this past weekend! We saw Ellie Goulding perform on the Delirium Tour.

This is an album we love to jam to and when I heard she was coming to Miami, I immediately bought us tickets! 

Here’s some of the fun from the night. Loved Ellie’s performance and loved the quality time with my lil gal! We danced the entire time we were there! 

My sweet girl was pretty tired by the last few songs. After a long day of school and the chaos of the concert, 10 pm was just too late for her. She fell asleep as soon as we got in the car. 


Such a fun night! One of the best and most meaningful adventures I’ve had with my daughter. ❤️

xo

Miami Half Marathon Complete!

I did the Miami Half Marathon this morning and am so happy! 

6:00 AM Start time!

 

I hadn’t trained as rigorously as my half last year in Disney so I’m really glad I made it!  I ran with a girlfriend of mine who does 3:1 intervals. We completed the 13.1 miles in 2 hrs 30 min. This was my first time trying interval running and I enjoyed it. We skipped some of the walks towards to make up for lost time at the beginning of the race.

It was a beautiful run- a bit windy – as the weather was perfect. Very chilly for us at 45F but I am not complaining! Certainly better than the blizzard that’s hit the Northeast! 

Got to see the sunrise over the bay and cruiseships

 

I feel like I can now consider myself a runner. I have three long distance races under my belt and am going to keep on!   

Who says you can’t be better after divorce? 💪🏽

Happy Sunday! 👑

XO

Athena 

Winter is White!

I hail from Miami.

Where it is hot.

And green.

And muggy.

And rainy.

Often. 😒

Our seasons range from crazy stupid hot to annoying hot to hot to nice cool breeze then a just-kidding-that-coolness-wasn’t-going-to-last warm.

Where am I going with this?

It is winter and other places around the country/world are actually getting snow.

I wanted a white Christmas this year.

Captain and I discussed getting away for a trip right before Christmas and easily settled on Colorado. A few things fell in place and off to Steamboat Springs we went!

And it was ah-mazing!!!

The drive from Denver to Steamboat was incredible. Pictures do not do the Rocky Mountains justice. Fellow blogger Grandfather Sky warned me to prepare to be in awe of it. He was absolutely correct. 

The mountains were soooo picturesque…they looked fake!  

Then we get into the town of Steamboat. And it was just perfection. People were friendly, the town was quaint, the snow was powdery and gleaming white and there were a number of incredibly fun things to do.  

Catholic Church I came across

  

 
And several fun food and craft beer options if you knew where to go. 

Craft beer and my first ever taste of beef jerky. Not my fave.

      

   
So what does a hot weathered gal like me do in a wintry weathered location like this?

We might have checked out a dispensary for gummy bears. 

Very interesting place!

  
And tried the hot springs at Strawberry Park… 

Pic is from Explore Steamboat since we went at night and didn’t take pics.

 

And went skiing…

Only pic we took b/c I was a terrible skier!

Some fishing perhaps… 

Can’t remember if this is a brown trout or a rainbow trout!

 
Shopping!  Horseback riding in the snow?  

It snowed the entire ride!

 

Definitely hot cocoa by the fireplace. 

Hotel lobby

 
Even after all that fun, we didn’t get to do everything we’d hoped for. I would have loved to have gone snow-mobiling or tubing or had a sleigh ride to dinner… But I’ll have to leave that to next time.

So although I left Christmas eve, I feel like I got the white Christmas I was looking for. It was a wonderful getaway with Captain and really got me in the holiday spirit. 

Colorado, you “rock!”

❤️

Athena 

Five Photo & Story Challenge:  Florida Living – Photo/Story #4

My buddy, Rob of The V-Pub invited me to a 5 day challenge to join the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”. 

Colors.  Blue sky.  Peace. Tranquility. Clouds. Sparkling water.  Brightness.  

A wonderful reminder as to why I live in South Florida.  

Get lost in the ocean with me!

I now nominate my newly minted blonde girlfriend of “Becoming Me.” She is constantly impressing me with her strength during her separation and dedication to her children. Check her out!

Last Week in Rewind – Getting Funky, Dating & Full Moon Parties

I’m a bit behind blogging lately.  I think working, kids, illnesses, trying to maintain a social life and actually dating is starting to catch up to me!  Once I put the kids to bed, I’m so tired I can’t even keep my eyes open to be able to jump on a computer.

Here’s my attempt at catching you all up on the highlights of last week.  It was a fun week. 🙂

Wednesday Captain asked me out to dinner and drove his little cute bum up to see me.  I was a little bit worried that maybe the second date wouldn’t go quite as perfectly as the first one.

Well, no sophomore slumps here!  First thing he said when he picked me up was “Damn, I forgot just how beautiful you were.”  (Pick me up off the floor, y’all.)   That started it all off right!  We had drinks at a bar and then dinner at a gastropub by the name of Barley & Swine.  Great drinks + great food + great conversation + sexy man + fabulous goodbye makeout session = Perfect night for me.  I can’t say enough good things at this point.  I’m enjoying this early dating phase where everything is perfect!

Thursday Grayheart was on travel last weekend for work so my typical “Friday Night Fun” turned into “Thursday Night Fun!”  (Side note… Can’t you kinda already see why my marriage was so challenging with his travel?)

My girlfriend, Jazz, and I decided to spend our night of fun and debauchery at a club in Little Havana (in Miami) known as “Hoy Como Ayer.”  They had a live band called “Spam All Stars” that plays a mean Afro-Cuban/Latin funk infused with hip hop and salsa.  Totally awesome!  It was my first time seeing them and they rock!  We danced and had a blast.

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Saturday – I had my THIRD date with Captain.  This time I went to the Keys to visit him.  He’d been wanting to take me to something called a “Full Moon Party” that occurs once a month.  Luck had it that it fell this particular weekend. He had a most romantic evening planned for us…

A few bottles of Moët & Chandon and fruit were waiting for me when I arrived.  We drank our bubbly while sitting on his deck overlooking the water.  He then took us to our dinner reservation at a fabulous restaurant where we shared food and great stories.  The next stop was the Full Moon Party on the beach.  VIP treatment, fireworks, performers, drinks, dancing… it was SO much fun!  I, also, met all his best friends.  We all got along really well and you can rest assured that I wiggled my bottom to show off that I was an old pro on the dance floor.

So, how did we end the night, you ask?  More champagne and a most memorable evening at his house.  Screw my year of celibacy.  OH. MY. GAWD.  HOW. DID. I. GET. SO. LUCKY?

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I’m still in a haze over last week.   It was just ah-mazing.  Seriously.  Pinch me, I’m dreaming.

Last Week’s Mantra:  I am on such a high right now.  ENJOY THE NOW!!!

Dating in Miami – Thrillist Article

A friend forwarded this article to me about dating in Miami. Sad but so much is true. So true it’s actually funny!

Favorite might be:

You never really know what your date does for work

There’s a reason Miamians never ask “what do you do?” You’ll get an aneurism trying to figure out how a girl pays for a two-bedroom apartment in South Beach working one night a week as a “promo girl.” And when a guy says “I run some businesses,” you really don’t want to think too hard about that either.

Click here.

Enjoy!