Friday, January 06, 2006

What I Did On My Winter Vacation

Nates World of Words Podcast

-Here is a 4 minute video of our recent trip!

Wed, 04 Jan 2006

Hey folks… Happy New Year and welcome back to another year of fun and games. As you can see we’ve changed a few things around format-wise, but the blog remains basically the same, and yes we will have comments on Star Wars III coming very soon!! Meanwhile we have a movie about our vacation, so click the play button, and while it loads, read on….

So I got back from FL on New Years Day,… and it has taken me this long to recuperate from a bug that hit me the day I got there. You would think that catching some kind of bug the first night of vacation and still having it close to 2 weeks later would be the main highlight of the trip… but no… because…


Yup… Last Thursday morning, the four year anniversary of the day I met my sweetie, we were headed from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami to visit some friends, and cruising along in the rental car… (not a covertible, nor a sunroof) in the left lane of I-95 listening to Sid Rosenberg. I was happy to hear that Sid had gotten a job after he blew numerous chances at WFAN, but who knows how long this gig will last? The Florida papers already have reported that Sid had a run in with his co-host, former Dolphin OJ McDuffie about the length of time Sid spends talking about the NY Giants. These Florida papers have nothing about the Giants!! Its all Dolphins, tons of college football a little hockey and even less NBA! There was a teeny bit of baseball coverage, mainly about a holiday party hosted for Marlins season ticket holders who are extremely ticked off they can’t back out of their ticket plan even though the team got rid of most of its players. The Sun Sentinel also has 2 pages of weekday comics. One page is in color; the other page is black and white. I guess the funnier strips get color, and the so so strips stay the old fashioned way!

So as I’m driving on I-95, I suddenly felt something smack me on the left side of the face. It was not a hard smack, and I thought it might have been my wife but she was sitting to my right! I look on my shoulder and for a moment I felt like Baretta… there was a bird sitting there.. Except this one had rigor mortis setting in. Before I could scream out in shock, I realized that I would need to pull over and get this dead bird off of me…I kind of shrugged it off as best I could... both literally and figuratively, as the little birdy fell to the floor of the car in that little area between the seat and the door leaving behind a trail of blood that thankfully eluded the sleepy headed clerk at the car rental office a few days later!

I kept my cool, and managed to get the car to the shoulder, where I gently lifted the little tzipor… (Hebrew for birdie), and placed it in its final resting place.. on the shoulder of the road. After sitting on the shoulder for a few minutes and catching my breath we assessed the damage.. And it was minimal… just a few scratches on my face. After years of watching CSI, Trophy Wife and I came to the realization that the aforementioned birdy must have smacked into another car and ricocheted into mine, because there was no way a bird could just fly into a closed-top car at that angle and not hurt like hell on impact. However if the bird was dead and was just bouncing off another vehicle that would make the rest of the damage more sensible.

So we got to FL late on Christmas night and between Travelocity and the El Palacio Hotel, someone didn’t have it straight that our post midnight hotel check in would go according to plan… (Remember I still planned to watch Scrooged… which I missed!). I’m not going to say anything too bad about El Palacio, but many others have had their say about this place, and you can read those comments by just clicking here However, we finally got to sleep at 3am after lighting the Hannukah candles and my 230 am run to the nearby On the Run store which was selling 52 cent big gulps!

As soon as I woke up Monday morning.. that’s when healthwise, all hell broke loose. My sinuses are pretty normal and I rarely get colds,… but I felt like I swallowed my nose. However once we were out of the room I felt a lot better and we took a nice stroll along Pompano Beach. That night as soon as I hit the sack, I felt lousy again, and then I tried an experiment… I turned off the ac… turned on the fan, and cracked open the window. Within minutes I felt like a million bucks. I have no idea what kind of garbage was in the air ducts or mold that may have been in that room , but I sure as heck wish I had those contraptions they used at the miners recovery operation to measure what kind of crap I was breathing in! I was hoping for a good nights sleep, but noise ordinances apparently don’t exist in FL, (nor does drivers ed for that matter) and therefore every half hour the train tracks behind my bed would jump with excitement welcoming the incoming freight train… which of course had to toot his horn rather loudly because our bed was just yards away from the railroad crossing on Commercial Drive. If you saw the Triplets of Belleville (or the Blues Brothers).. you’ll know what I mean!

Most of the other highlights are captured in the movie.. But the moral of the story is once I started to feel better on Wed., my trophy wife got sick, and then she’d feel better and I’d feel lousy. A trip to a FL doctor on Fri confirmed that indeed we had likely caught some kind of viral infection from the hotel. And we weren’t the only ones…. Some little teeny bopper we saw in the elevator wearing a miniskirt one would see on a porn site, informed us that she too had gotten ill at the El Pala-sicko Hotel!

We did manage to feel ok enough to do some fun things. We went to the Hard Rock, which my wife loves! We also checked out a cool kosher restaurant in Hollywood, and went to the “Tel Aviv Restaurant” only to find out its actually an Arab restaurant that cleverly lures in tourists who think it’s a Kosher place. However the Jewish highlight came in the middle of the week. My buddy Harmon was in town also, so on one of those nights when my wife was under the weather we decided to hit the town. It was the night before his birthday so we went to Hooters in Fort Lauderdale for a few brewskies. Va Va voom… As we ventured back to the car, a cavalry of vehicles approached us playing Jewish music and we realized the local Chabad was coming by for a visit.

They pulled over on Route 1-a.. a one way street that runs along the beach and proceeded to dance up a storm with a huge dreidel and a quickly shrinking box of donuts that seemed to go to the hot babes who were strolling along the street. Then the men broke into spontaneous dance that you only see at a Hasidic wedding or the annual Chabad telethon…They then took a long stick and proceeded to light a huge menorah that was tied to the top of the roof of one of their cars. However just as they were about to start the blessing, the outdoor band at the local pub ended its break and started to perform drowning out the poor Chabadnicks.. But the band realized that something was a bit out of the ordinary, promptly broke into a pop rendition of Hava Nagila… and the candles were lit.

I hadn’t seen that much dancing and celebrating until I saw the scene at the church the other night when authorities and the media so incredibly irresponsibly told these poor people that the miners were alive. Maybe this is the crow CNN’s Anderson Cooper needs to eat after he so emotionally cried about the Katrina victims and essentially muscled Aaron Brown out of his job. (Although I couldn’t see Anderson or Geraldo interviewing the temporary celebrating miners’ relatives with the caveat…..”Well not to burst your bubble, but you know the information that your loved ones are alive really is NOT CONFIRMED, but tell me how you feel…..“) What happened when Anderson was a kid and didn’t like his Levi’s? Did he cry to his mommy Gloria Vanderbilt to create a more fashionable piece of denim for himself?

Back to the chusids, shortly thereafter, they headed for their next stop.. jumped in their cars and drove off.. with their menorah still burning… We got into the car and as we headed back to the hotel passed them yet again… this time they pulled into another bar area… but when a group of intoxicated muscular, tank top wearing men seemed to pour out of one of the bars and eagerly grabbed their hands to join in the dancing…you could hear the Chabadnicks squeal,….”Oy Gevalt, Faigalas”, and they promptly zipped away in their Mitzvah Mobiles.

Speaking of gays, and no we won’t make any wisecracks about South Beach which my wife and I briefly visited…. The doctor gave us a prescription for our ailments. The pharmacist at the local drug store was quite gay….(Not that there is anything wrong with it), and trophy wife asked him what kind of medicine we were getting. The pharmacist said it was a magic potion,,… and I just held back before I accidentally slipped and asked him if it contained…..”fairy dust?”

Finally, New Years Eve arrived… Harmon came over and the 3 of us went to Jai Alai. My aunt lives close to it, yet I had never been there. (My aunt was on a cruise that week so we didn’t get to see her). After that my sweetie decided to hit the sack early since we had an early New Years Day flight, so Harmon and I went to a local restaurant to watch the rest of the Giants game and ring in the New Year. Let me tell you… nothing is deader on New Years Eve than the non beach area of Fort Lauderdale. We went to a local hang out near the hotel, and enjoyed the services of a waitress who was admittedly intoxicated and kept screwing up our orders….. But it was a good time. After the Giants game they switched over to Dick Clark and at 12:10 the lights went up.. The place closed at 12:15 and I was back at the hotel at 12:20.

As for Dick Clark, a lot has been written about his appearance on New Years Eve. He looked ok, but didn’t sound so great due to the effects of his stroke. I know that stroke victims sometimes curse unexpectedly, plus Dick Clark has a notorious temper so I was hoping he would go off on Ryan Seacrest or maybe Mariah Carey… but he stayed on the script and was able to do his part while seated at his anchor desk. He better keep an eye out for that “cohost” Ryan Seacrest.. before the young whippersnapper pulls an Anderson Cooper and takes over himself…. don’t forget Seacrest used to cohost American Idol with Brian Dunkleman… whatever did happen to him? Is he in that secret room with Chuck from Happy Days?

Some other bloggers have also mentioned this also… I think some if not all of Dick Clark’s comments may have been pre recorded. But for those who criticized his going on TV with impaired speech… I am 100% behind him. Nobody held a gun to his head to do the broadcast…. And he has made a remarkable recuperation over the past year, and if he continues his progress… one can only hope that he will be that much better when he returns 12 months from now on New Years Eve 2007.

One thing for sure… I sure as hell won’t be watching it in Fort Lauderdale!!

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