Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Two great Sportsbars

Football is finally back and I can't stress how excited I am. When we lived in the real world, we'd spend our Sundays at Hooters, parked at a table that offered us a view of as many tvs as possible.
There's nothing like cheering on your team and seeing the regulars each week. (Hey to Kurt) Mark's a die hard Packers fan and I came back to the fold (as a 17 year fan) after I'd had a couple of years to bitch about the whole Favre fiasco.

If you find yourself in town on gameday, there are two places I'd recommend. If you have a crowd with you, check out Jack Flats on Duval. They have a couple dozen tv's and lots of extra large tables that would accommodate parties of 6 or more. Their grouper sandwich is messy but really good.

an old photo of me from last season. 

If you're alone, or your group can hustle, hurry over to JDL's at 920 Caroline Street, there's street parking nearby. (Their meatloaf is to die for) The place is small and gets packed quickly but the manager fills every empty seat. They're pretty good about trying to seat like minded fans together so go with the flow and you'll make some new friends.

Less than 24 hours to kickoff. Go Pack! On Sunday :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Diana Nyad - Cuba to Key West

Today, Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Key West, without assistance or the use of a shark cage.  An amazing feat and Mark and I were very excited to be there when she staggered out of the surf here in Key West.  

Diana left Hemingway Marina in Havana, Cuba on Saturday and reached Smathers Beach in Key West today at around 2pm.  She spent 52 hours, 54 minutes and 18.6 seconds in the water and covered 110 actual miles.  Can you image swimming that far? Incredible.  This was her fifth attempt since 1978. Jelly fish stings, rough seas and shoulder pain thwarted her until today.  
Mark and I had been watching her progress since she jumped in the water in Havana. For some reason, we had a really good feeling about this attempt.  

This morning, when we got up at 5am, she was 13 miles from shore.  We got in a quick run and a nap, and then biked down to Smather's Beach to cheer on her arrival.  

The early crowd was small which was good for us, we were able to get a great position right behind the barriers and the EMT's who were waiting for her. We would have a fantastic view as she came to shore.  As more people arrived, we became packed in against the wooden barriers. I'm very claustrophobic, so I made sure not to look behind me. 

Diana is somewhere in the middle of the boats that are headed to shore. She's probably a mile out at this point. She had ten boats and kayaks around her, watching out for jelly fish and keeping boaters from running her over. At one point, in the middle of the night, a cruise ship diverted it's course to steer clear! Mark and I were concerned, at one point, by 5 or 6 jet skis that blew threw an area near where she was swimming.

Unfortunately for us, after pausing just off shore, Diana opted to swim towards a different section of the beach than the area set up for her.  Once people realized she wasn't going to come to the reception site, the crowd just dissolved into chaos as everyone ran down to be near the landing.

Mark and I were quickly separated and neither of us ended up with a clear view of her arrival. I got some shaky video holding my phone over my head, along with a couple hundred other people, and then gave up and headed towards the sidewalk. Somehow, I ended up being in the path the EMT's took, taking Diana to the ambulance, so I got a shot of her face as they wheeled her by. 

It was an amazing experience to watch this lady complete such a phenomenal athletic feat.  We were really pleased to see the size and enthusiasm of the crowd and felt quite privileged to be a part of it.

Here's a link to the best video of her coming ashore.