Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Sunday, 24 May 2015

USA Trip: Taking Nathaniel to his paternal roots. Part 3 - Palm Beach Florida & New Jersey

Following from Part 2...

​After our lovely visit in Boston we boarded the plane for Palm Beach Florida. Armed with a gigantic burrito​ from a place in the airport for the trip. I had never had a burrito before and the Thai flavoured 'Bangkok Burrito' I procured in the airport did not disappoint. It was fresh, flavourfully tasty and very fulfilling. YUM. (Really not the easiest meal to eat with one hand over a sleeping baby though!!)
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​The flight was uneventful and soon we were in the always balmy state of Florida. ​

Oh but first some interesting notes about travelling via air/airport security in the US with a baby:
You can forgo being scanned by the body scanner at the airport security. You just go through the usual walk-through scanner, but then you and the baby have to have a thorough pat-down. You are allowed to keep wearing the baby if the baby is in a carrier. If in a pram you have to pick baby up and carry him.

The usual restrictions about liquids and food do not apply to babies and you can take bottles of juice, breast milk, formula and pureed food along with you. But it will be tested extensively. You may not touch the bag while they are working with it. They will find and retrieve anything pasty or liquid and take it out. They then pop it in a  scanner (must be some kind of spectrometer or something) to test it's composition, and then also open it and waft a paper tester (like litmus paper) over it to test the 'fumes'. If your stuff is cleared you get it back and can take it and carry on with it....

Anyway, once we were in Palm Beach, we wasted no time getting a taxi and heading over to Grandpa Lou aka Papa (A's father)'s house where we would be staying for the next leg of our journey.

Grandpa Lou is getting on in age and does not have much of his sight left, so this was one of the main reasons we made the trip, so Nathaniel and him could meet and get to see and know each other. They took to each other immediately and both were full of smiles getting to know each other. We sweet to see.
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We got ourselves settled in and then had a light dinner together while we got caught up. Lou then surprised me with a very sweet and thoughtful birthday cake, for my birthday which had just passed. I was so touched! So we shared that for dessert and then headed to bed for an early night.
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The next morning (Tuesday) I went for a run along the very pretty 'island' Lou lives on. We spent the next 2 days visiting with Grandpa and his lovely assistant Sue who comes in every day to help him with whatever he needs help with, including driving him around and running errands for and with him. We also got to join them on their regular lunch date one day. Which was both fun and funny. It's basically a group of between 4-10 old men who meet every week day at the same place over lunch time and eat and have a chin wag about all and everything. We also did some shopping, including find a new cool running stroller for Nathaniel.

On the Wednesday we had cocktails with Lou and 2 set of longstanding family friends, The MacNamaras and Jim & Diane. After that we all went out for dinner at Lantana Pizza. Where we had a huge and delicious pizza. We chose the 'medium' one between Andrew and I and the 2 of us ate it for 2 meals! There are 2 larger sizes than that. Pizzas in America are HUGE.
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On the way home form the dinner we noticed the street was FULL of cars many of them pretty fancy, and there seemed to be a huge party happening at one house. We remarked on this to the MacNamaras who live on the opposite end of the street. They said, 'Oh that's Vanilla Ice's house'. Say what? Turns out Vanilla Ice (yes of 80's 'Ice Ice Baby' fame). Stop. Collaborate and Listen... 

Anyway it turns out Vanilla Ice has a reality TV show now where he buys a crappy house, does it up all flashy and then flips it. It is called 'The Vanilla Ice Project'. Anyway his last 2 projects have been in Palm Beach and this second one was in Lou's street! The project and filming had just wrapped and so they were holding a 'wrap party'. Wow. 

We of course immediately decided to go take a look so walked down the street (with baby and all), and despite the 'no trespassing' signs, totally gate-crashed the party.
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We took a good look around - and bumped into the MacNamaras there doing the same LOL - helped ourselves to some wine (which was cheap and horrible I might add), and checked out the house. Some of it was pretty gaudy, some tacky, and some parts of it actually pretty nice. Vanilla Ice was posing and people were fawning over him. I thought he looked pretty stupid in a massively over-sized suit. I expected him to be cooler more interesting and more fun. Frankly he seems pretty lame and dorky, and also a tad self-important. When we left he was posing on a Bentley Motor Cycle outside, and there were 2 Rolls Royces parked in the drive too. So that was interesting and rather unexpected.
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The next afternoon we drove up to Boca Ratan. We paid a visit to the Morikame Japanese Gardens, which were really beautiful and tranquil. 
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After that we went to visit more family that live out that way, Linda and family. We were having a lovely visit with them and enjoying evening snacks and drinks. When I stupidly out Nathaniel down to play on the floor - he'd spent most of the day cooped up and constrained and I wanted to let him move around a little - he got crawling around and then approached the Schnauzer dog (which we had been warned was old and cranky) who snarled and snapped and managed to  make contact with poor little Nathaniel. I was right there with him, but it happened so fast, suddenly and unexpectedly (although like I said I SHOULD have been more careful). I grabbed him up and away from the dog, he was screaming and when I looked there was blood! :( I wasn't sure how bad it was and was actually thinking we'd need to get him to a doctor. But I stayed calm, and saw the blood was by his lip, and just got ice and pressed the area with his burp cloth wrapped around ice. I then breastfed him as soon as I could and we put Neosporin antibiotic ointment all over the area. I managed to get the bleeding stopped quite fast and he calmed down very quickly. 

Although the dog had managed to scratch him from his eye to his moth and there was a small puncture wound on his lip, I could see it was not serious and no stitches were needed. He has also had his tetanus shots (in the DTAP vax) so there was not much more to do. I felt terrible though. Poor baby. The dog owners were of course distraught about it too. I take the blame though as I should have asked them to take the dog out before I put Nathaniel down...
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That was our last night in Florida. Next morning, Friday, we spent some last time with Grandpa Lou and then had to head back to the airport, this time heading to Newark in New Jersey.
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A's good friends Cliff & Jill were waiting for us when we arrived in New Jersey. We were met with great excitement and hugs and squeals. Most of it directed at Nathaniel of course. We are just his entourage and staff it seems ;) Cliff and Jill took us back to their home in the county of Essex New Jersey. Also a beautiful neighbourhood, looking really stunning in the spring. 

We had  a lovely BBQ evening with them and their daughter Rachel and were all thoroughly soiled with many gifts and much attention.
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​​On Saturday morning I went out for a run to explore the neighbourhood. Wow, it is filled with beautiful huge house and stunning gardens. It's a very pretty place. It was an awesome run. 

Many of the neighbourhoods/homes look like this:

After a shower and change and bagel breakfast we all got packed up and ready to go spend the day in NYC!

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