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January 2012 Begins

I just awoke from a long winter's nap, minus the winter. Still warm, however, predictions for colder weather are here. I'm titling this post using 2012 mostly because I want to start getting used to it immediately!

Just looking at the volume of people enjoying the pool at both the Marriott
and the Ritz
would make one think it was summer, and truthfully it was pretty darn warm. I wore a sleeveless dress on my birthday which has happened before but is always surprising when it happens again.

Arriving just before our scheduled 3:00 check in we walked into their beautifully decorated lobby,
only to be told that the room was not ready. Because we are early-to-bed types, my plan was to take a nap in our room allowing us to possibly stay awake until midnight. Instead we roamed around the property, both at the Ritz and the Marriott, marveling at the beauty.
After a drink at the poolside bar, we finally had our room and what a room it was! Before we went up I convinced Bruce to let me re-shoot the hand picture which did not turn out nearly as well as our previous one, mostly because it was so darn sunny!
 Opening the door this is what we saw:
a big suite! The bedroom was gigantic,
as was the bathroom which I did not photograph for some reason. You'll have to trust me when I say it was, and still is, for that matter, as large as one of the bedrooms at our house! Showering the next morning, I thought it was some kind of new design, no step in for the shower, however, Bruce thinks it is a handicapped room, perhaps accounting for the large size. At any rate, lovely.

After a short nap by Mr. Bruce, we spiffed up and walked over to the Ritz arriving at 6:30. They offered either an early seating beginning at 5:30, or one at 9:00. You can imagine we chose the former. The room was lovely with impeccable service and food.
The ambient lighting made for some serious photographic challenges! Bruce is choosing his courses,
settling on just the opposite of what I ordered. I noticed that in a very 2011 move, they offered vegetarian choices at each course, although the price seems a little steep for Saffron Scented Quinoa.

The table to Bruce's left turned over while we were there, with the next couple bringing their daughter who was more content to read than converse.
I must admit that although they knew it was my birthday they did not put a candle in my dessert.
On the other hand, they did put a flower on top...

After dinner we walked back to the Marriott which for me was no mean feat considering I was wearing heels, somewhat of a rarity these days! It was all so very lovely, what with multiple decorated Christmas trees, an event on the lawn between the properties and all the gorgeous outdoor lighting.
Although there was dancing and music in the lobby bar, which is big in case you're wondering, all of the tables were full by the time we arrived. Lots of children were claiming seats which seemed kind of silly. From what I've just read in the paper, Adele's song, "Rolling in the Deep" was the number one song of 2011. Apparently the band knows this with the female vocalist doing her best imitation.

Up to our room and off to sleep before midnight. Nothing unusual there. The gigantic fireworks display woke me;  pulling the curtains aside I was mesmerized for a time. Loud, very, very loud!

I am someone who always wears a watch. In fact, watches are a bit of a passion of mine. I did not wear a watch with my fancy dress, thus I did not know that the bedside clock was off by an hour. This, I learned, when I got up in the morning, thinking it was 8:30 and I'd probably had enough sleep. Bummer. Because of our early rising, we were off to Gatorland, which is quite near the hotel. Before we left I took this with a phone application called Instamatic which not only allows you to share your photo but turn it into something it really is not.
I do love Gatorland, even more so when they offer the Florida discount admission rate of $10. Although Bruce was only going to extend my birthday celebration, we both had a good time watching the animals. I've never understood why alligators will keep this pose for quite some time.
I'm still looking for a great rooster picture but because of the brilliant sunshine, this was not the day to make it happen.
We only stayed for like two hours then headed home with a stop off at Publix. In a crazy twist of fate, Bruce called David to tell him he thought he saw a professional wrestler. As we made our way to the check out what should we see but......
Always so weird to see your children randomly out in public! They were shopping for a bar-b-que by the pool after working out together. Being an identical twin means you always have a best friend.

Before we left for our little excursion Angela arrived with birthday gifts just in time to see our FaceTime with Matt and Tom.  British humor followed. I opened this in front of the computer for viewing on both sides of the Atlantic:
So cute and bone china no less! As well she brought roses which are beautiful. Messing around with yet another phone application called, snapseed, I shot this after we took down all the decorations yesterday afternoon.
Because of the editing you really can't tell that, although they are all beautiful, there are three that are this amazing coral red. Another day for that. So, the house is back to normal, and the tree was picked up by the garbage men an hour ago. Another beautiful Christmas has come and gone. Time to mow the lawn before our visit this afternoon with Bruce's brother Cris and the gang. Mowing the lawn on January 2? Only in Florida my friends, only in Florida.

I hope you've enjoyed our little trip, I know I did.

Until we meet again,
Gail
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