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Tournaments are Back

Posted on April 22, 2021 by under Community, Events, Family, Hobbies.    

After a year of no events or gatherings of any kind, tournaments are finally back. It seems like there’s pickleball tournament every weekend this month at Chicken N Pickle. There were even two back to back last weekend, one on Saturday and one Sunday. Now that people are getting vaccinated, it seems everyone is getting more comfortable with being out and around other people.

Creating Tomorrows hosted a pickleball tournament at Chicken N Pickle a couple of weeks ago which I attended as a spectator because I didn’t know about it until last minute. We were at dinner at Carrabba’s and Joe just happened to mention that he had donated several prizes to this tournament. I normally play pickleball at noon at Nahola but made an exception because I wanted to support a cause that’s meaningful to my friend Joe.

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I didn’t get to play but I got to do the next best thing — write the bracket on the whiteboard. I love when Michael let’s me do it.

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Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the tournament champs Mason McCanless and Caesar Naftzger who played as Big Caesar’s Pizza.

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After the tournament, I went home to get Brian and we both drove to the outdoor courts at Mulvane to surprise dad. We gave him a card and some gift cards for his birthday, which he always tries to keep on the DL.

It was a beautiful day for a drive and we had a nice visit with mom and dad and the entire Cannady clan who were all there playing with them. We didn’t get to play with them that time but I’m hoping we have more nice weather ahead and will have another opportunity to play pickleball with the family very soon.

Until next time. GNG.

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I am Officially Fully Vaccinated

Posted on April 21, 2021 by under Health, Life.    

I received the second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine yesterday so I am officially fully vaccinated. Here’s a picture I took when I got my first dose of the vaccine at the old library a few weeks ago. The whole operation was super efficient. Having printed my form ahead of time, I was in and out in less than 30 minutes counting my mandatory observation time.

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I was going to go back to the library for my second dose but the vaccine is now widely available. Rather than going downtown again, I scheduled my second vaccine at the Walgreens in Andover just down the street from our house. That part was no difficult but it took some doing for me to cancel my original appointment at the library because I couldn’t figure out where to cancel my appointment on the website. I had to actually find the email they sent me about the appointment and cancel it from there.

It was nice to be able to get it at Walgreens because (a) I didn’t have to contend with downtown and (b) I actually got to walk around the store during my mandatory observation period so I wasn’t stuck just playing on my phone. I used the time productively to pick out a card for a friend who is having a birthday celebration this weekend.

I have heard of people having issues after getting vaccinated and Brian, who is borderline anti-vaxxer (I say this because he has never gotten the flu shot ever and completely against the idea of getting vaccinated), never hesitates to tell me these horror stories of people getting sick. Other than my vaccination arm being sore, I’ve experienced no complications whatsoever.

Anyway, I’m hoping that this will encourage him to get vaccinated. I hate that he’s dragging his feet and won’t do it. Can you guys help me convince him please?

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Tina’s Surprise Birthday Dinner at Napoli

Posted on April 6, 2021 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

A bunch of us met at Napoli Italian Eatery recently for Tina’s surprise birthday dinner. Jay got a $100 gift card from one of the owners so he brought everyone together under the guise of spreading the love and buying appetizers for everyone to share (which he did). Tina had no clue we were there to celebrate her birthday.

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There was room inside when we first arrived but we decided, since there were so many of us, that the patio would be best. Little did we know how windy it would be that night. The weather was much cooler than we anticipated and we probably wouldn’t have lasted longer than five minutes had it not been for the patio heaters. By the time we decided to throw in the towel and try to get a table inside, they were already packed and there would be no way to accommodate our large group.

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Here are pictures of some of the appetizers we enjoyed.

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I tried two of the drinks.

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Here are a few of the entrees.

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You can probably guess who ordered the pizza. He’s not very adventurous. I couldn’t get pictures of everyone’s food because I was clear on the other end. Some people ordered the same things, though.

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Here is a picture of Tina’s beautiful cake. Justin and Jay did a great job of keeping the birthday portion of the dinner a secret. I really think she was surprised.

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It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching 50 now. I feel like it was only yesterday that we were celebrating our 40th birthday milestones. It won’t be long before Brian and I become members of the 50 and over club ourselves.

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Here’s a picture of the Napoli patio that I took as we were leaving. It’s nice and big and it will be a great place for dinners once we have warmer (and hopefully less windy) weather.

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In case you’re wondering, Napoli is at Siena Plaza in the old Fetch Bistro space. They’ve been open for a while but, as Brian and I really haven’t been venturing out to eat as much (besides hitting our usual places), it was our first time there. It was really good. I enjoyed everything I tried. Brian and I will likely be back very soon.

Until next time. GNG.

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Final Dinner in Delray Beach

Posted on April 5, 2021 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

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We walked by DADA’s beautiful patio everyday walking to and from the tennis center and our hotel. I really wanted to eat there at some point during the trip but they were always so busy.

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Unfortunately, these patio pics are as close as we got to eating there.

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We were going to El Camino again on our last night because we wanted good, affordable food and cheap happy hour drinks but they were crazy busy. I think the wait was 45 minutes to an hour. As many great restaurants as there are in the area, we figured that we could probably find an equally good place with a lot less of a wait but we actually walked for a long while before we settled on a place because nothing seemed to appeal to Brian.

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We ended up eating at Amar Mediterranean Bistro because the aroma of the food wafting from the restaurant onto the street smelled amazing. Also, they could get us in right then. Sometimes you question how good a place is if there’s not a wait but we saw dozens and dozens of carry out bags waiting to be picked up so we took that as a good sign. Plus, I decided to trust my nose. There is no way that food that smells is good can be terrible.

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I’m so glad we did. This was probably the best Mediterranean food I’d ever tasted. I wasn’t really sure what was different about their hummus but it was better than any other hummus I’d ever had. Also, the house-made bread was so fresh and warm. We really could have filled up just on hummus and bread alone.

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They also brought out this thing that was like crunchy strips of bread served with this thick yogurt thing.

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Brian and I decided to share the mixed grill for dinner. It’s basically a plate of chicken, beef, and kafta (lamb) kebabs. I’m glad that we decided to share the entree because we were both really stuffed from the hummus. Even sharing, we still had plenty leftover. I would have felt bad for wasting so much food.

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Here’s a picture of Brian enjoying the fried kibbeh, which is another reason why we were so full by the time we got around to our entree.

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We found out that Amar had only been open a month. I think that’s why it wasn’t as crowded. Not enough people knew of its existence yet. The food was fantastic, though. I’m pretty sure the lines are out the door and around the block these days.

I am so happy that we found this place. I highly recommend it for if you’re ever in the area. We would totally dine there again if we find ourselves back in Delray Beach. That’s all for now. Until next time. GNG.

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Our Dinner at Deck 84

Posted on April 4, 2021 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

We passed by Deck 84, a cute restaurant next to the water, on our walk to the beach. The visitor’s center had 10% OFF cards for the restaurant so that kind of clinched the deal. I wanted to check it out anyway because it reminded me so much of Skipper’s Dock, so the discount was just icing on the cake.

PRO SAVINGS TIP: When visiting a new place, always swing by the visitor’s center because they usually have all sorts of coupons and deals.

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Here’s a picture of Deck 84 from the Atlantic Avenue bridge.

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One of the neat things about this restaurant is that you can dock your boat and grab a quick bite. I suppose there are probably many places like this in Florida but it seemed notable to me as we don’t really have places like these in Wichita.

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If you’ve been fishing, they’ll even cook your catch for you!

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We came on foot, rather than by boat, but we had to take a dock selfie.

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We decided to sit outside to enjoy the beautiful weather as well as the view of the fancy yachts and various other boats cruising on by.

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The two sides of the bridge occasionally part to allow the bigger boats passage. And then as soon as the bridge is back together, you’d see a steady stream of people walk across. We saw it happen a few times while we were dining. It’s really neat.

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With COVID, a lot of restaurants really aren’t doing physical menus any longer. Most places have QR codes on the table that you can scan with your phone to view their menu online. Deck 84 was no different. However, they didn’t have a paper menu with daily specials.

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Here’s a picture of that drink listed at the bottom called “The Siren.” I’m not a huge fan of paying $13 for a drink but I figured what the heck. We’re on vacation.

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I ordered the shrimp mac n’ cheese for dinner.

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Brian ordered a basket of fries and the empanada listed on the paper menu.

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The empanada was not what we expected. I think Brian was expecting something like a Mexican empanada. This one had a strange filling. It was almost like a shepherd’s pie wrapped in an empanada. Brian said it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t good either. LOL.

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Our server explained that they normally have the Mexican kind but they made special empanadas for St. Patrick’s Day and they didn’t realize that was the kind they had on the menu. Brian and I wondered if these were leftover from St. Patrick’s Day and they were trying to get rid of them. It was an unpleasant thought but a clever way to get rid of excess food inventory.

After we had this conversation, Brian decided he liked the empanada even less. I mean, we were there on a Friday — two whole days after St. Patty’s Day. It seemed kind of gross.

It really sucked because, up until this point, we were really enjoying our Deck 84 experience. I liked my mac n’ cheese and my drink was pretty good (expensive, but that’s how much drinks are at nice restaurants are — unless you happen to be there for happy hour) and the service wasn’t bad. Maybe they weren’t leftover empanadas and we’re just imagining all of it.

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Outside of the empanada thing, I really liked the place. I liked that they are super dog-friendly and even have a special menu just for your fur-babies. They have an entire section on this on their website with an extensive list of dos and don’ts for pet owners (I’m assuming, because dogs don’t know how to read or own phones).

Based on the list of chef-prepared dog entrees, I’m guessing these pooches are quite spoiled.

Overall, I’m glad we stopped here for early dinner. Brian might feel differently but I actually liked what I got and I thought it was a neat experience. Whenever I’m out of town, I’m always looking to dine at places that aren’t available at home. Deck 84 checks that box for sure. Until next time. GNG.

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