OMG did we have fun. So first of all, last Thursday I started my morning at 7:30 a.m. going to the dentist (Jorden) then got my nails done ( they include a neck massage while your nails are drying), then got the oil changed (being responsible) and then the car wouldn’t start. Just dead. So the oil changing people sent me to the auto parts store. Auto parts said there’s nothing wrong with the battery or the alternator and sent me on my way. Used the car all day, got a hair cut (cute as anything), went to the store, picked up the fam, went out to dinner, dropped off children, went to Winn Dixie, went to get gas, won’t start. Eff…Phil had a premonition between kids dropped off and Winn Dixie, put one of those battery jumping things in the car. So we used it to jump the car to come home. He decided to put a charge on the battery overnight so we’d be good to go in the a.m.

We got all packed, cleaned the house, blah blah, Tashah comes we’re good to go, out the door, car won’t start. CAR WON’T START!! After charging the battery all night. Soooooo, we take it back to the parts store to get a new battery and then they tell us nothing is wrong with the battery (or alternator) but there is something draining it and who knows what it is….soooooooo, we decide (he decides) to buy a wrench and everytime we stop the car we unhooked the battery cable so it wouldn’t drain. Genius/Hoopies I know. But hey we were NOT missing this trip…so off we went. Once the car is started it’s fine and we got to be quite the team of hooking up the battery and me pushing the button to start.

To end that story, when we got home last night I suggested we keep the cable of the battery on overnight just to see what happened. What happened? It started right up this morning. It started up 4 times so far. Now when I have to take Zenah to the dentist at 1:00 it better freaking start. Now we’re wondering if it’s a loose battery cable connection. Who knows. Mechanic can’t take us until later in the week.  Tomorrow is Jury Duty.  Hope it starts then too.

But anyway,

Off we went with our wrench to Coconut Grove. My dreams of stopping in Naples for lunch were foiled by the fact that we got an hour or two later start then we had anticipated and we couldn’t turn off the car so we drove thru BK. I know. But anyway, here we go, going into Miami.


I think this stadium is new


Getting closer!!! EEEEEE


Our hotel was right in the Grove. Not like downtown but right off the highway, on the Grove side. So Friday night we met Doug and his wife, walked to the corner where we met them on the corner, and walked to some place called Scotty’s where the band was too loud, but we were on the water, and we screamed to each other all night. We walked all around the Grove until about midnight and walked home. NOTHING looked familiar.


Ahhhhhh – I’m here…Our room was okay


Big shower

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Saturday we got up and walked around some more. I found my old apartment building, one block from where we were staying. I can’t believe it is still there. Still looks pretty much the same (crack house-ish) but the pool is gone and there are laundry machines where the pool used to be.


One of the rooms on the right was mine. Not sure which one. Phil wanted to knock on the door. I was sure we would be shot so convinced him otherwise.

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Can’t believe this building is still there.

Everything else in the Grove is different. All the old little houses have been torn down and new apartments or bigger houses in their places.  Places I worked or went to are gone…like gone…One place is a car lot, another place is a highrise.  It’s a very expensive place to live now. And although there are beautiful trees, which my friends Doug and Dawn have been very instrumental in saving, there really are no yards, everything is packed in there. Zillion dollar homes side by side. We walked by a beautiful dog park and playground. The dog park was Astroturf. HA! But really is a beautiful place. My friend Doug has become quite the activist in trying to keep the Grove as “the Grove”.  Good job Doug!

I then took another ride down memory lane, this time in the car, down Bayshore to Rickenbacker Causeway to Key Biscayne. We ended up at Crandon Park and sat on the beach for a little. There are NO waves in Miami. None. But that has not changed. There never were.

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Crandon Park…flashback flashback


Crandon Park Beach …not a wave in sight


More Crandon Park..My old hangout


Banyon Trees – they’re everywhere – beautiful!! The roots grow back UP the tree. Apparently dangerous in hurricanes though as they are not grounded. I think I have that right.


Brickell Avenue from the Causeway. It’s changed. Pretty view still


So Phil thought he was like an orchestra director of Ducks…like the Duck whisperer

After that I kept going on my memory tour and found the old grocery store (stayed in the car so I could keep it running) and then I think I found my old house on the other side of the highway (not in the Grove) and then remembered the drive to Jackson Street where Karin Arrow and John Brown lived. The house where they lived is gone, but I remembered the route. Fun and sad.

That night we went to Karin and John’s new-to-me house (which they bought in 1988) and Lisa and David live there now too. John passed away 3 years ago. Actually several of the people I hung out with there are now passed away. I’m just happy I’m not in that category. We had a lovely dinner at the Browns (Karin, Lisa and David) Looked at lots and lots of pictures. A lot of “do you remember this person?” and mostly the answer was “no”. A lot happens after 25 years, brain cells diminish and what not. You lose track or they’re dead. Didn’t take one picture that night.

Sunday morning we met Doug and Dawn for breakfast. We told old stories, talked about Richard and Stanton and laughed till we cried, I’m sure him and Smitty were sitting somewhere close listening. When it was time to say goodbye I was teary again but hopefully the visits will be before another 25 years passes and more of us die. It’s only 3+ hours away so my guess is either “we” or “me” will go more often. Plus Lisa loves to fish and I have my pole (and fishing license). We can while away the hours like we used to, although not like we used to….  🙂


Doug and Dawn

One of the things about Miami, is like you’re in a different country. That hasn’t changed since I lived there. It was like that then too. It’s not like that in Tampa, at all. But in Florida there are people who wait on you at various venues that really don’t speak English. So it’s kinda fun. On our way home we decided to stop at South Beach.  That’s not a different country that’s a different world!!  OMG how much fun we had. We spent 3 hours walking around, looking at people, and cars, went in a couple of stores. I mean I could have spent all day just sitting there watching people. Check out these pictures.


Cruise ships at Port of Miami going to Miami Beach


Welcome to Miami Beach


A little time on the beach

And then onto the crazy stuff


This is her uniform, not her underwear. Hard to tell the difference.

Here’s a job for a Point Park Dancer



Dresses are just my style aren’t they?


I could have worn these once…


The architecture is cool – love the old style


Chilling in the park along the strip on South Beach


The Ferrari’s, Rolls Royce, fancy cars were out of control and oh so much fun to see…

And finally this – You can’t make this stuff up:


I was a happy girl – I had alot of fun.



And then home. The kids were great. Everyone happy. House was clean. No complaints from anyone. So you know what that means? We can go again!!!

Until mañana…


5 Thoughts on “Have wrench will travel…

  1. scott monahan on October 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm said:

    sounds like a great time! I remember visiting you in the seventies down there…loved the tropical break from where ever I was living then…D.C. I think…nice travel log!

  2. Ja Nelly on October 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm said:

    Wow! You had a lot of fun!!! Don’t forget to tell us what the diagnosis is on the car. Same thing happened to me… it was a fuse. 🙂

  3. Debbie Monahan on October 20, 2014 at 7:29 pm said:

    What a wonderful trip you and Phil had. It sure looks beautiful and warm! Next time stop in Naples and go to Marco Island. My uncle lives in old Naples and it’s beautiful. It is great to go back and visit a place where you had fond memories…even if some things did change.
    Erin had that same car trouble and it was the connection to the battery. Kevin fixed it and she didn’t have any more trouble. Good luck!

  4. Sandie on October 24, 2014 at 1:38 am said:

    enjoyed your blog …

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