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Miami, FL and first shows of 2014








Vacation is officially over!
As the country experienced extreme cold this week, I was happy to find myself in Miami where it was a 'frigid' 60 degrees :P

I dropped my Aunt off at the airport, and set about finding the train. This can be harder than you may think, because many times there's no address associated with where we're parked. On our advance sheet, an intersection was listed. When I reached that location I was delighted to see the train off to the left, perfectly visible from the road.

Although I'm sure I'll be tired of train life again in a week, it was nice to see the train again after such a long time away. I really do think of it as 'home'! One of the first things I noticed was a new car between cars 30-31. It looks like a 1950s BUDD car, just like our others...but shinier! Very interesting.



Another noticeable thing about this yard: the wildlife.
There are ducks!



Iguanas!!
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(yeah that sucker is like 3ft long)

I'm hoping to get better (closer) iguana pics next week!

I took my bike outside, then unpacked and did two loads of laundry, then restocked my fridge and cleaned the room. All of this took about 5 hours. It's very convenient to have the car with me, as there's no grocery within easy walking/biking distance here. I even gave myself a treat and went to Trader Joe's for a few of my favorite unnecessary food items: fig butter, cranberry juice, ginger, and sprouted wheat bread.

Tim (sax) needed a ride from the airport, so I fetched him and afterward he and Rebecca took my car to the grocery. They VERY generously put gas in my car.

The next day, or the last day before work REALLY started again, it was time for some errands.
A haircut, some fabric for curtains, then back to the train to cook for the week and say hello to everyone returning from their time off :)


Our first day of shows went smoothly, although Slick is once again not with us :( We are all hoping to see him back on the bandstand again soon!! Seth, his sub, is a killer sightreader and is doing an excellent job.
On the second day of shows we had a kiddie show (morning show for school groups). We were all amazed by how many kids showed up...the arena was full! I've never seen so many kids at a morning show!

They were very energetic, singing along to songs they knew and dancing. Their energy gave us energy, so I think it was a very good show. Watch a video clip HERE.

During the split I went back to the train and worked on an art project: new stained glass window clings! The old ones, which I ordered a year ago from Etsy, are starting to fall apart.

I had made the 'lead' frames the day before by tracing the old clings.
Once they dried, it was time to fill in the colors!
Lead frames:



Filling in the colors:


The white paint clears as it dries:


They need to dry for three days. I wonder if they'll look as good as the originals!

On Sunday we had the usual two shows. Afterward I went to dinner with Jameson and his Dad.
For those who don't know or those who've been wondering, yes, Jameson and I are dating!

We ate at Joe's Stone Crab, a restaurant currently celebrating it's 100th anniversary as a privately-owned Miami landmark. A book has even been written on what it's like to be a waiter for this restaurant!
You can't make reservations at Joe's, and the wait was an hour, but we put our names on the list and waited at the bar with some nice mojitos :) Once we were seated, the three of us ordered the Classic, a sort of combo meal that included a zesty coleslaw salad, three pre-cracked stone crab claws with a mild mustard sauce, a hash potato cake, creamed spinach (I SWEAR it had nutmeg in it!), and a fabulous key lime pie for dessert.


(photo courtesy andyhayler.com)

This meal was definitely worth the wait. It was simple, yet delicious and perfectly proportioned. Interesting fact: the stone crab can regrow its claws. Crabs are caught and one claw is harvested from each, then the crabs are returned to the sea. In about a year a new claw grows. Neat!

We have another week of shows in Miami. 2014, here we go!!!


More stuff:

The tigers clawing up a palm tree and eying visitors through the fence:


(photos courtesy Taba)

The view from the arena:

(photo courtesy Alfie)

I might have shared this before but here it is again...the layout of the new Feld building in Ellenton:

(photo courtesy Nicole Feld's Twitter)

Blue Unit's big cat trainer, Alexander Lacey, gets the spotlight on the YouTube channel this week:


And Blue Unit's Pie Car is featured in a local blog (click HERE to read).