Tag Archives: florida

Happy 2013…..and Thank You!

 

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Jenny Kirwan (me) at Club Rinaissance, Florida, New Years Eve

We had a really fun New Years Eve last night attending a swish do at Club Renaissance in Sun City Center, Florida.  Steve and I danced the night away and boy was my head a little sore this morning!!

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The party is in full swing! Jenny Kirwan (me) and the lovely Carmen Clark at the New Years Eve party, Club Rinaissance, Florida.

Thank you to everyone who has made our stay in Florida and enjoyable one.  It’s been amazing to escape the wet, bleak conditions in England for a while.  We look forward to our trip back to the UK, to  hopefully make 2013 our best year yet!  But for now, lounging by the pool today seems like a winner of an idea…..

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‘Our’ lovely pool at the club is making my mouth water after partying hard last night!

Christmas and New Years Eve in Florida? You Little Beauty!

Well, we’ve booked our tickets and the dates have been set.  Steve and I are leaving the South West Coast shores of England to spend a few lovely weeks with Steve’s mum Gina and her husband Ken in Florida.  How amazing!  thank you Gina and Ken!

Sandhill Cranes with their baby, viewed from the back of Gina and Ken's house in Florida
Sand hill Cranes with their baby, viewed from the back of Gina and Ken’s house in Florida

Gina has already booked us in to a few parties leading up to Christmas and a Masquerade Ball on New Years Eve!  Very nice, thank you very much.

Jenny Kirwan (me) at Marina Jacks in gorgeous Sarasota, this year.
Jenny Kirwan (me) at Marina Jacks in gorgeous Sarasota, this year.

We hope to recharge our batteries as I have now been job hunting for nearly three months without any success.  There must be someone in England that is looking for the best housekeeper and cook with the highest standards and manners in the world?  Not so far!  I have had a very disappointing experience looking for work since I arrived back here from Australia.  If only I had have know the tough route this was going to take…….I would have snapped up Charlie Kimmin’s job in Pewsey straight away, even though it wasn’t ready to start for a few months.  Charlie, if you read my blog in the next few weeks, I would still love your wonderful job if things don’t work out with the person you chose for the position.

 

 

Lenny Roth and Marina Jack in Sarasota……a winner!

The views of Sarasota Bay and the Marina from Lenny's appartment are sensational....
The views of Sarasota Bay and the Marina from Lenny’s appartment are sensational….

We visited a friend in Sarasota last night and as expected, we had another amazing time.  Lenny’s apartment is on the edge of Sarasota Bay, with views to die for….and his Margaritas aren’t bad either!

Looking out over Sarasota Bay from Lenny's appartment.
Looking out over Sarasota Bay from Lenny’s appartment.

This man sure knows how to entertain first class!  He made us the best Margaritas on this planet along with finger food of mature cheddar nachos with sensational authentic salsa, pate, pretzels and crisps.

Lenny Roth's Margaritas are the best Margaritas on this planet
Lenny Roth’s Margaritas are the best Margaritas on this planet

We were then chauffeured off to Marina Jack across the road.  This place to eat and drink has always been a special spot of mine.  Marina Jack  has spectacular views over the Marina, downtown, Sarasota bay, Big Pass and out to the Gulf of Mexico.

Views from Marina Jack are sensational.
Views from Marina Jack are sensational.
Jenny Kirwan (me!) dockside at Marina Jack, Sarasota.
Jenny Kirwan (me!) dockside at Marina Jack, Sarasota.

There was a band playing while we were there and I took a small film which I will post at a later date.  Steve and I felt we were back in the ‘land of the living’ after a rather lengthy spell, cooped up in Sun City Center!  Not long now though until we enter back into Australia…..you little beauty!

lenny Roth, Jenny Kirwan and Steve Clark, dockside at Marina Jack, Sarasta, Florida.
lenny Roth, Jenny Kirwan and Steve Clark, dockside at Marina Jack, Sarasta, Florida.

A Mexican Feast…..Chicken Fajitas with Guacamole, Sour Cream and Salsa.

The weekend is approaching fast and we are in Florida, so it only seems fitting to do a Mexican dish (there are quite a few Mexicans in this area! so there is no shortage of fresh jalapenos/Serrano chilies/Habanero chilies or what ever level of chili one is into!)  Steve will make Margaritas to complement our Mexican Feast!

Some like it hot!  Jalapenios and Habanaro Chilis are popular in this household!
Some like it hot! Jalapenos and Habanero Chili's are popular in this household!

Well, I touched my nose slightly after taking this shot and the burning affect has started!  Just a warning….be careful handling Habanero Chilies….good idea to wash one’s hands after handling these fiery creatures!

CHICKEN FAJITAS (SERVES TWO)

INGREDIENTS:

1 chicken breast (6-8 oz) cut into strips
1 green pepper (capsicum) cut into strips
1 large onion cut in half, then into slices
Garlic cloves smashed lightly, then cut into slivers
Chili diced finely
Olive oil (about 1 tablesp)
1 lime
Fresh chopped coriander

Flour Tortillas (warmed through), guacamole, sour cream, salsa and a little grated cheese will accompany our chicken fajitas, along with a cooling Margarita!  Fantastico!

METHOD:

1. Using a large pan or wok (if we were in Australia we would be cooking this all on the flat plate of the BBQ.) add half the oil with the onions and peppers.
2. Stir this on a high heat for a few minutes, then move to one side of pan and add the remainder of oil and then the chicken strips.
3. Stir fry the chicken until a little golden brown.
4. Bring the onions and peppers back to the centre of the pan and stir with the chicken.
5. Add the chili and garlic and stir fry for a minute or two.
6. Add the chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime juice if you like, then transfer to a serving dish.

Chicken fajitas, Mexican Tortillas, quacamole, salsa, sour cream and a little grated cheese make a delicious quick meal.
Chicken fajitas, Mexican Tortillas, guacamole, salsa, sour cream and a little grated cheese make a delicious quick meal.

We will lay out a table where the chicken fajitas are in a serving dish, the tortillas will be warmed through and served on a plate.  We’ll include the guacamole, salsa, sour cream and grated cheese for people to help themselves……oh and a wonderfully chilled Margarita!  Salud!

Chicken Fajitas......don't be tempted to over fill your Tortilla as it can prove to be a messy eating experience!!
Chicken Fajitas......don't be tempted to over fill your Tortilla as it can prove to be a messy eating experience!!

 

 

 

Californian Oranges in Florida…….massive, juicy, favoursome creatures!!

These massive beasts were bought at Sams...they were extremely well priced and come from California.
These massive beasts were bought at Sam's...they were extremely well priced and come from California.

America…..the land of the huge and massive!  People….food…cars….you name it!  These oranges are he biggest ones I have ever seen.  I am told they will be very flavoursome and juicy even though they have a thick skin.  Can’t wait to try one!  Perhaps after a swim…….

Sandhill Cranes are a delight to see….

 

The majestic, elegant Sandhill Crane.
The majestic, elegant Sandhill Crane.
Sandhill Cranes elegantly passing the back of the house.
Sandhill Cranes elegantly passing the back of the house.

 This is not unusual, I am told, to see these beautiful birds passing the house here in Florida.  They don’t seem to be too wary of human contact and I was able to take this shot yesterday without disturbing them too much.  The White Egret is another beautiful looking bird that frequents these parts also.  They are a sight to see when they are in large numbers.

Alligators can also be seen…..not too keen on these creatures I’m afraid, but apparently they are no where near as aggressive as their Australian cousin, the beastly Crocodile!

 

Alligators are everywhere!!!!
Alligators are everywhere!!!!

 

Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park Surf Life Saving Club, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

An icy cold Scooner of Carlton Draft Beer is a must at the Burleigh Heads Surf Club overlooking the beachfront.
An icy cold Schooner of Carlton Draft Beer is a must at the Burleigh Heads Surf Club overlooking the beachfront.

 This is a winning spot, the beach bar at the Burleigh Heads Surf Lifesaving Club, situated in the fine location of Mowbray Park, right on the beach front in Burleigh Heads. Sit at one of the tables outside (you need to be quick as seating is limited) and breath in the wonderful sea air, sipping on an icy cold Carlton Draft beer, poured straight from the tap.  Full TAB and Kino facilities available.

Cross the road and you’ll find a great spot for a cold beverage too at the Burleigh Heads Bowls Club.  This is a pristine, well kept lawn bowls facility and loved by many of the locals for not only it’s fine greens but it’s club bistro and bar facilities too.  An icy cold beer can be guaranteed here, no worries!  It’s a wonderful outlook through the wall of glass out onto the greens.

The Burleigh Heads Bowls Club, Gold Coast, Queensland Australia.
The Burleigh Heads Bowls Club, Gold Coast, Queensland Australia.

 This is a great spot to sit in air conditioned comfort on a hot afternoon, watching the action outside over a bite to eat and a drink or two.  My father-in-law Ken would love this place.  Ken is a keen bowler in Florida, USA.  Ken’s recently been promoted to Skip which is  brilliant.  This makes him in charge of the team….so watch out team members if you play out of line!  Ken loves this game and hopefully will visit this club in Burleigh Heads, Queensland, sometime in the future.