Friday FabOoolousness – 7X7 Link Love

A few weeks ago, Angela R. Wallace graciously awarded me the 7X7 Link Award.

Thank you, Angela!

Angela released a new e-book this week titled Elemental Magic.  Congratulations!  Please stop by and check out one of Angela’s books today by clicking here!

With the 7X7 award, the recipient selects seven previous blog posts that represent certain categories before finally passing the award on to seven new awardees.

Most Beautiful – Paradise in the Florida Keys.  This was the first vacation we had taken in a while, and the pictures alone take me back to paradise.  Pina Colada, anyone?  I’ll take two.

Most Helpful – The DVR Priorities of Casa Blanca.  Everyone wonders how I watch as much television as I do, well now they know!  The DVR might just be the best invention ever…

Most Popular The Kiss and Kill Murder.  The story of Betty and Mack continues to get blog hits every single week.  I’ve received blog comments from current and former Odessa High Students.  To everyone who has shared their memories of the two, thank you.

From “Washed in the Blood” p. 84, 2004, Bristol Publishing Company

Most Controversial The Kiss and Kill Murder.  I specifically steer away from controversial blog topics, however if I had to choose, the story of Betty and Mack would probably also be the most controversial.  Not everyone remembers the author’s story the way he tells it, and to each his own.

Most Surprisingly SuccessfulMTV’s Joining the Party and TV with Bite: The Bad Boys.  Apparently, viewers love the supernatural, especially when we publish pictures of some of TV’s hottest vampire men.

Most UnderratedThe Tamberny Award Show (part one and two).  Preparing for this award show required a ton of work – Amber and I went back and forth, over and over again, generating conversation pieces for each of the televised nomination categories.  I couldn’t have done this post without her – Amber is the Sean to my Gus, the Siskel to my Ebert, or vice versa – she can be whichever one of these power duos she wishes.

Most PrideworthyThe Go Without Game.  Going without a luxury item and giving back to those in need…need I say more?  Again, all the credit for this fabOoolous game goes to Amber West.  She started it, and we can only hope to continue.

Keeping with tradition, the below bloggers deserve and earn the 7X7 award.  Not everyone always feels like participating in blog awards; and no worries if that is indeed the case.  Regardless, I want to select seven fabOoolous bloggers to receive this award.  These writers have a plethora of fabOoolous blog topics published over the past few months and I would love to see what they consider to be their Mosts.

  1. Catie Rhodes
  2. Stacy Green
  3. Andrew Mocete
  4. Jillian Dodd
  5. Ellie Soderstrom
  6. Ashley Prince
  7. Kathy Owen

Of course, an award presentation wouldn’t be complete without including my partner in crime, Amber West.  Amber already shared her Mosts with the blogosphere, so please click here and take a look at her selections.

And, let’s not forget Angela Wallace’s Mosts here.

Taking a page from my dear friend Jenny Hanson, who in turn took a page out of Chuck Wendig’s book, now it’s time to Pimp It, Pimp it Real Good.

Pimp another’s blog or promote one of your own.  Tell us which of the Mosts apply:   Beautiful, Helpful, Popular, Controversial, Surprisingly Successful, Underrated, and/or Prideworthy.   I’d love to hear from you!

Friday FabOoolousness – Paradise in the Florida Keys

Who loves vacations?  White sand, turquoise water, and a soft island breeze with a few pina coladas – that’s our idea of a vacation.

My view from the cabana, now just imagine me holding a pina colada....

Last week’s Friday FabOoolousness blog post listed seven places on my travel bucket list, and not one of them included locations within the United States.  What’s ironic about the timing and publishing of the post?  I was sitting pretty in a beach chair off the Atlantic Ocean in a tropical paradise – Islamorada, Florida.

On the beach with my favorite mystery series

Islamorada means “purple island” and is known as a “village of islands” located on multiple islands within the Florida Keys, almost centralized between the cities of Miami and Key West. 

The tropical climate in Islamorada resembles that of the Caribbean.  While we were there, the temperature never raised above the triple digit figures we’re accustomed to in the state of Texas this time of year, and the humidity wasn’t like walking through a constant cloud of moisture.  It was simply beautiful allowing our group to stay outside for hours on end enjoying the sand and beach.

Our approach to the Alligator Reef Lighthouse

Our group couldn’t resist the urge to take the snorkeling charter out to the Alligator Reef Lighthouse, a coral reef only thirty minutes from the shores of Islamorada.  The waters were only about ten to fifteen feet deep at the lighthouse, and crystal clear making for a great snorkeling experience.  We saw Surgeonfish, Juvenile Angelfish, a few bright blue wrasse, and a couple of large and beautiful Parrot fish. 

I didn't take this picture....but this is a Parrot Fish

Not a seasoned snorkeler, I headed back to the boat after spotting a few barracuda and being instructed to make a fist (they supposedly like to nibble on fingers), missing out on the jellyfish, the Moray eel, and the four-foot baby shark that the rest of the group experienced.  I can’t really say that I’m sad. 

Another must-do when vacationing at the beach is to order and consume as much fresh fish as possible.  Before every dinner, we relished the conch and clam chowder as well the jerk shrimp and conch fritter appetizers.  Our main dishes included blackened Mahi Mahi, grilled and whole Yellowtail Snapper, Lobster Schnitzel (shelled, rolled in breadcrumbs and pan-fried with a light butter sauce – yea, it’s pretty tasty), scallops, crab, and mussels to just name a few.

Who can travel to the Florida Keys without eating key lime desserts?  We sampled the key lime cheesecakes, the tarts, and the pies.  Nothing beats topping off a fine dining experience like a piece of key lime pie and a cup of coffee.  Well, maybe a few people prefer Sambuca (tastes like liquid licorice) and bread pudding for dessert. 

For those looking for a U.S. tropical paradise, I recommend the Cheeca Lodge and Spa.  The resort has a secluded beach, a 525-foot pier, a Jack Nicklaus 9-hole par 3 golf course, a camp for the kids, and of course a spa.  The resort also offers kayaking, windsurfing, chartered fishing boats, and sailboat rentals.  Once you arrive, you never have to leave again.

Enjoy some of our shots around the resort!

My view while sipping a cup of morning coffee

What’s your ideal vacation and where do you like to go?  Do you know of another tropical paradise in the U.S. that we need to check out?  Please leave a comment – I’d love to hear from you!

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