Tag Archives: Jacksonville

Merry Christmas!

It’s been a nice, but somewhat busy few days here around Casa Poolman.

Most of Mrs. Poolman’s family came up from Jacksonville to visit over the weekend. This included both sisters, a brother-in-law, a niece a great-niece and a large boxer. Only two nephews and a girlfriend were otherwise occupied. We ate a lot, drank a lot and talked a lot. We had not all gotten together since sometime last summer, so it was a nice visit. Niece Ansley was down in the dumps because her husband is in the middle of a nine-month deployment on board a guided missile destroyer in the Persian Gulf. She was able to have a video conversation with him via her new smart phone. Not too shabby.

The gang headed home on Monday. Mrs. P and I went to Christmas Eve Mass at 6 pm. Some of my CCD children were the narrators for the Christmas Pageant which was part of the Mass. They did a great job. I’m proud of them.

Last week, I mentioned one of my students whose mother is somewhat frustrating. The problem is that she never can seem to get her son where he is supposed to be and when he is supposed to be there. This child desperately wanted to be a part of the pageant, but “Mom” couldn’t seem get him to any of the rehearsals, even those that were held during our regular class sessions. Unfortunately, the child is dependent on the Mom to get him where he needs to go. We can’t get too angry at the child, but the mother is another issue. He did show up for the first of our two programs during the regular CCD time slot last Wednesday and we allowed him to read. “Mom” promised me she would have him there for the Christmas Eve Mass. All the other kids were there by 5:30 as directed.  Jack was a no-show. My co-teacher, Sherry, and I were steaming, but we had a Plan B for the rest of the team. Then, at 5:55 pm, just as we were ready to walk the kids from the school to the church for Mass, young Jack came running up. Sherry and I shared some not-very-Christmas-like thoughts about “Mom.”

Christmas Day was fairly low key. Our children and their “sig-others” spent the first part of the day with the other sides of their families. They came over here around five o’clock for a Christmas dinner and opening presents.

Mrs. P is working today and tomorrow. I was pretty-much a slug today. Leftovers for dinner. Not to bad.

 

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“Jersey Boys” and Bahama Breeze make a great evening!

We had a busy and very good weekend.

Mrs. Poolman and I headed down to Jacksonville for a quick overnight with her sister and brother-in-law, Bonnie and Rick, and to see the touring production of “Jersey Boys.” It was a lot of fun. Another couple, friends of Bonnie and Rick’s, also joined us. We started the evening with dinner at Jacksonville’s new “Bahama Breeze” restaurant. That is well on my want to becoming my favorite restaurant chain. It was really good! I had the grilled chicken with cilantro crema. Oh my! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

I spent most of the dinner getting up and checking the Florida-Louisville “Elite Eight” game in the bar. Unfortunately, the Gators blew an 11 point lead in the last seven minutes to lose out on a trip to the Final Four. It was the only downer of the evening.

I have wanted to see the “Jersey Boys” for several years and have been on the look-out to find a touring group that would come close to Savannah. The show follows the story of the musical group, the Four Seasons (Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, etc.) I’ve been a Four Seasons fan since I was in high school. The production mixes drama scenes with many of the groups musical numbers. The music starts off a little slow as the show tells the story of the group’s early years. However, once they got their first hit in “Sherry,” their careers and the production took off.

This show is all about the music. The actor / singers did an excellent job. The actor who played Frankie Valli stole the show with his solo of “Can’t take my eyes off of you.”

If you like the music and have a chance to see the show, it’s definitely worth the price of a ticket.

Children, movies and a holiday week coming to an end

The rest of our holiday-vacation week has gone fairly well. Mrs. Poolman and I have been kept busy entertaining an easily bored, and somewhat difficult-to-please 11-year old.

On Thursday, we visited the Georgia Railroad Museum (aka: The Roundhouse Museum.)

The turntable at the Georgia Railroad Museum

A friend of ours is the curator there and we thought it would be a good outing. I enjoyed it. Mrs. P was neutral. Christine the Younger liked the short train ride, although the complained about being uncomfortable in the tight seat most of the time. Sigh.

After the train museum, we took her to a movie, “We Bought a Zoo!” The movie wasn’t at all what I expected. Instead of a silly, children’s comedy (Think Kevin James.), it was a pretty decent flick, based on a true story. At times, the movie had a few too many story lines running simultaneously, but I would still give it a strong recommendation, especially for someone looking for a PG rating for kids and “tweens.”

Actually, the evening before, we rented another movie that turned out better than expected – “Letters to Juliet.” It was a cute, feel-good movie that was entertaining. It won’t be up for any Academy Awards, but it was certainly worth the $2 rental fee. I was the only one in our group who picked up on the reunion of Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero as the older-generation, reunited lovers. The pair played Guinevere and Lancelot in the 1967 film production of “Camelot.” The movie was just the beginning; their relationship continued beyond the ending credits.

Note: After having a son, the pair went their separate ways. Years later, Redgrave and Nero reunited personally and were married in 2006.

Redgrave and Nero in "Camelot."

Writer Princess joined us for a dinner of homemade lasagna (my sauce, Mrs. P’s “construction.”) Son-in-Law was fighting a bad cold, so he stayed home. (Thank you!)

Friday was scheduled to be our last day with young Christine. It was a gorgeous day, so we headed out to the beach. Obviously, it was too cold to go in the water, but it was a nice day for a walk on the sand.

Tybee Island beach, December 30, 2011

Both our children, SIL and Poolboy’s girlfriend were heading to Jacksonville Friday evening, to spend the New Year’s weekend with their cousins. That worked out well. They were able to give Christine a ride back home.

All told, it was an interesting week, but we’re glad to have our house back.

We’re planning a quiet New Year’s Eve. Our neighbors have invited us and a few other folks for game-night evening. We may make it until midnight, but I’m not taking any bets. In any case, it’s just a two-house walk home. I don’t think we’ll get into any serious trouble.

Happy New Year!

A few more Georgia jokes

Tomorrow is the Florida-Georgia game, so I need to get a few more Georgia jokes out of my system. After tomorrow’s game, I may not have the opportunity again for a year.

There was a couple who were getting a divorced, so the judge said to
the child, “Who do you want to live with? Do you want to live with
your Dad?”

“No,’ said the child, “he beats me.”

“Do you want to live with your Mom then?” “No, she beats me too”.

“Well who do you want to live with?”

“I want to live with a Dawg fan,” said the little girl,. “Because they can’t beat anybody that’s good.”

*    *    *

A Georgia grad was hunting in the woods. He came upon a
beautiful woman laying naked in the grass. “Are you game?” He
asked. The women said “yes”. So he shot her.

*   *   *

Did you hear that they can’t have any more parties at Georgia?

The guy who knew the recipe for ice graduated.

OK. It’s out of my system…for now.

Go Gators! Let’s  make it 19 of the past 22.

 

Florida-Georgia game this weekend

In honor of the annual Florida-Georgia game, I need to get a few shots in. We will have our usual viewing party, but I’m not real confident we will be happy about the game’s outcome.

So for all my Georgia-fan friends,here is something to think about.

One old dawg fan brought his prized rooster to Jacksonville last season to show him off before the Florida/Gawja game. The dawg fan wanted the other dawgettes to see how talented the rooster was. He yells to the rooster, “The dawgs just scored.” The rooster started strutting down the sideline crowing as loudly as all the dawg fans had ever heard a rooster crow. His head tilted back and his eyes rolled way back in his head as he bellowed…..”cock a damn doodle dooo” ……after which he almost passed out from exhaustion. One of the bullpups excitedly clamorred, “Wow, what does he do if we win the game?” The proud rooster’s owner said, “When we wins the game, the damn rooster runs around in damn circles and tries to fly around the field while bellowing “cock a damn doodle doooooooo….”

“Hot damn,” said the excited bullpup. What does he do when we win two in a row??”

“Well, I don’t exactly know,” said the puzzled owner. “The rooster’s only 20 years old.”

 

Gettin’ ready for a cruise

Earlier this year Poolboy decided he wanted to organize a family vacation.

We have been on so many we can’t count them all a number of cruises and that is Poolboy’s all-time favorite activity. He did the research back in the winter and came up with an extremely good deal on a five-day Carnival cruise out of Tampa in the fall.

The group grew to 16 people (all adults), including our entire immediate family, Son-in-Law’s brother and sister-in-law, and a good group from Mrs. Poolman’s side of the family in Jacksonville.

A number of the group will be on their first cruise. As we get closer the excitement is building. We are going to have a pre-cruise preparation gathering this evening at Casa Poolman to bring all the newbys up to speed and to coordinate travel and shore excursion arrangements.

Like many enjoyable activities, half the fun is in the anticipation and the memories after it’s over.

Vacations gone awry Part II

In the early 1990s we were living in Oklahoma, far from both our families in Pennsylvania and Florida. We wanted to combine a vacation with a visit to Mrs. Poolman’s family in Jacksonville. The plan was to have the opportunity to visit, but not necessarily have to deal with family 24/7. (If you want to hear God laugh, just tell him your plans.) Our solution, which we thought was brilliant at the time, was to rent a beach-front condo in Jacksonville Beach, about a half hour drive from the in-laws home.

“Gee,” we said to ourselves. “We can combine a beach vacation with a family visit without being totally inundated with family around the clock. This is perfect.”

We were wrong. We totally miscalculated Mother-in-Law’s guile and talent for conspiracy.

I need to say that I loved my late in-laws. I really did. Overall, we got along fabulously. FIL was laid-back to a fault. MIL, on the other hand, made up for her husband’s low initiative by being a fanatical planner and instruction-giver. She was always well meaning, but occasionally got carried away with her plans. That summer was one of them.

A few days before we flew to Jacksonville, Mrs. P was talking to her mother on the phone about the upcoming trip. MIL enthusiastically told Mrs. P that she had come up with a wonderful idea. She had rented another condo in the same building for the same week. She thought our idea of a vacation sounded like such fun she decided they would join us. And she had invited her brother and sister-in-law, and her three other grandchildren, ages roughly seven to 13, to spend the week with them.  And so they did.

Of course, the cousins all wanted to spend every waking moment together. The result was that rather than having a quiet week at the beach with our two children, we “enjoyed” a large group vacation with just about Mrs. P’s entire extended family.

It wasn’t terrible; I wouldn’t classify it as a “vacation from Hell.” But it certainly wasn’t what we had planned. I don’t think my mother-in-law ever really figured out why we didn’t appreciate her scheme.

We never “vacationed” in Jacksonville again.