While the holiday was simple and relaxing, it was a much-needed one before beginning a new year and continuing my research. Rather than write a million different posts... I just wanted to share how my holiday was and see just what you did on your wonderful break!!
Before all the Christmas celebration began, I ended up in Orlando to celebrate a close friend's birthday. She then explained we were going to City Walk and though I should know more about it, I surely had not a clue what we were going to do. Turns out it is neare Univeral Studios, and at night there are a bunch of clubs around that you can go to. In fact they had a band you could pay like $12 to get, and go in and out of any club. All the places were cool, but then I saw it.... people have told me about the Bob Marley Restaurant and Live Band, but I had no clue it was here. Great surprise. It was a cool atmosphere and I enjoyed it. Though we only spent a short time here, I definitely want to come back for dinner and enjoy the full night entertainment... who wants to come with me???
Every year my mom's display of Christmas decor increases... to the point where we now have 3 Christmas Trees... 1 when you enter the house (my favorite in all white decor and lights), 1 by the kitchen and small dining area, and her very first Christmas Tree on the patio (which apparently is being kicked to the curb next year because she bought a new fancy tree... I am not throwing shade.. but WHY MOMMA WHY???) Anyways... I enjoy the tons of Santas, Jesus in a Manger Displays, Angels and train sets all over my house... especially being able to light up the Christmas Tree and have songs played by talking to Mr. Christmas! (Check out the video below)
In the last maybe 10 years, I think I have spent about 2/3 in America.... so this year was much needed time at home. Our family dinner was yummy as always... especially those ribs and mac and cheese!! AMEN!!! Loved seeing some of my family members!!!
For my older sister's birthday she requested a unique experience... so we took her for Japanese Fondue aka Shabu Shabu. This is where you get a broth boiling at the table, and you cook your own veggies and really thin sliced meat inside. While it wasn't our typical over the top restaurant, I hope she enjoyed the experience... I mean the next best thing would be to go to Japan I think.... you should try it or try another unique cuisine in 2015!!
I know, I know... I already wrote a post about how you can get such good deals too... But.... waking up Christmas day at 5 am really made my holiday that much better. I am saving almost $1000!!! And now I am addicted to finding amazing deals to book and share with you that will be posted at Travel Deals.
I went to karaoke bar at City Place with my friend from high school and while waiting to sing an awful version of "It wasn't me" by Shaggy, we saw the mechanical bull... and you know I had to take a ride... Well, I lasted 1 minute + on the bull but my sister told me they were being nice.. So I will definitely be doing that again... gotta show them I am the boss… RIGHT?? See my bull ride below!
To continue my sister's birthday celebration, we went to a party that happens every year by Black Chiney for Willy Chin's birthday. We went one year when I was home (1 of those 3 times) and it was great. So I was definitely looking forward to it. Well to me it was HORRIBLE!!! Not only did we practically drive all the way to Cuba (Okay it was Homestead, Florida 2 hrs-ish away from where I live in West Palm Beach).... BUT they played regular old American rap/R&B/hip-hop for hours!!! Now, I know you can't play the TUN UP/POPPING music until 3 am, but can I get some old school reggae/old dancehall to enjoy. I could have gone to any old American club to get what they played.... Good thing they had some food though... That Jerk Chicken was ON POINT!!!! #yum #ilovefood
Random Venting: I was SO UPSET!! I went outside for my sandals in the car, and when I came back, they would not let me in.... They said, we told everyone leaving there was no re-entry!!! EXCUSE ME!! Why on earth do I have on this dang bracelet if I can't come back in!! Needless to say everyone was ready to leave after I would not be able to go back in, until a nice guy at the door heard what happened, and let me back in.... I was not going to pay to get back in... sorry Willy Chin I don't even know who you really are...pssh!! (Thanks for listening... I feel better now)
I have been exploring and trying to understand a bit more about the Amish/Mennonite simple way of living. As many of you know, I am all about not just reading but experiencing. Sometimes, a bit of certain cultures find their way into my home especially the yummy foods I learn how to make. I took the opportunity to visit the Amish Community in Pinecraft, Florida (in Sarasota) because they were hosting a grass volleyball tournament to help fund a trip a mission trip to Uganda!! A friend told me about it, so I headed down with my little sister.
Walking to the grass tournament, we saw 4 guys playing a mixture of what looked like volleyball and four square in one... this they called SPIKE BALL!! I, of course, had to find out more and got a chance to play. I may be able to play professional volleyball, but I sucked at Spike Ball!! See for yourself…check out the footage below... I am definitely going to buy spike ball and get better. I need to re-challenge my new friends when I visit Lancaster in the summer. (Check out more about going to Lancaster and other adventures on my 2015 Bucket List)
We decided to check out the Der Dutchman Restaurant recommended by a few people at the tournament as well as online. It was good-ish; I think it was like a soul food type of restaurant, which I was shocked at first. I guess, I didn't really know what to expect… but there it was fried chicken, mash potatoes and gravy, bread rolls, peach cobbler etc. I wasn't completely impressed but it was a taste of it. I of course had to take an iJump photo by the sign.
Guys Play Spike Ball
My Epic Fail Attempt at Spike Ball (learn some rules in the beginning)
While Tampa is not on my places in the world to spend New Year's... I brought in 2015 at Channelside hanging with my little sissy poo. I must say, it wasn't my usual but it was calm and nice. We enjoyed some chocolate covered strawberries and hot chocolate... and welcome 2015 with the fireworks display. I guess sometimes, its okay for an adventure to be simple.
So how did you spend your holiday? How did you bring in the New Year??? I would love to hear more about it!!