I took this picture tonight, waiting for Elise while she was at her equestrian 4H program. Not a bad view, eh? This is Florida in autumn.
After her 4H program was finished, we drove down to Daytona Beach for dinner. We ate at Caribbean Jack’s on the Intracoastal Waterway. I honestly think this is the best seafood place in Daytona, and that is saying a lot. You are eating outside right on the marina, with live music and a fire pit. We had a bright moon with a beautiful halo (but no rain, thankfully).
We had the coolest live music that we’ve heard since listening to Irish troubadour Harry O’Donoghue in Savannah, Georgia like 15 years ago. This was some old biker dude who was playing Santana and Dylan, with ten-minute riffs that were absolutely intoxicating. We gave Elise $100 to put in his tip jar. A lesson for her in supporting truly great art.
The killer for me was the bananas foster for dessert. Dear lord. The waiter told us that he once saw a man eat two bananas foster in a row. If I were crossing something off my bucket list, that would be it.
Over the weekend, Elise went to the first birthday party that she actually enjoyed, for a kid she does karate with. His parents are super casual and just had cake and presents at a neighborhood playground, letting the kids do their thing. Rather than dealing with the cliques and drama from girls’ birthday parties, the kids at this one played all-inclusive games and even enlisted random children who were not there for the party.
I have seen so many parents go all-out renting exclusive venues for elementary school-aged kids’ birthdays, only to have every child staring into a smart phone or getting into some primadonna bitch-fest. This was an immense relief and restored my faith in youth. Kids just being kids.
One of the challenges of having a daughter that never had a princess phase has been trying to get her to play with other girls. They want to talk about mommy-daughter pedicures and she wants to talk about catching lizards and snakes. I’ve sort of embraced that she wants to hang with boys instead of girls now.
It’s okay, I was the same way. I was one of a handful of women in my department in college. I was the only girl on a trading floor at an investment bank. I’ve been there too.
Oh, and the birthday boy wanted a Christmas-themed birthday in October. His parents let him have it, and so did the other children. That’s Elise in a Santa hat in 80-degree weather.
On a totally unrelated note, I love seeing these in public parks. Not everyone is blowing their one precious life on Facebook.