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Move over, Lance Armstrong, I don’t think this is your kind of tour.

OK, so it wasn’t the Tour de France, but there were a lot of bikes. Bottles of water? This tour had bottles of beer. Now this is the kind of tour I like. And I didn’t have to wear a tight yellow shirt or get helmet hair.

J and I hit up the annual Tour de Bar in Palm Beach County this year. What rock have I been under?! I had never heard of this event, yet it was in its 30th or something year! It was awesome to check out local watering holes we’ve never been to; we hit up everything from a classic dive in the ghetto to a fancy marina bar on the waterfront. And nothing says ‘tour’ like a crowd, beer and police!

I hope everyone who celebrated over the holiday weekend had a great one!  I know we did 🙂  Nothing beats a long weekend … family, good food and chillaxing.  Yesterday, JP and I headed south to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge.  JP gets to go here all the time for work – and I’m officially jealous.

The Refuge is a little bit of real Florida tucked just out of sight of any Targets, Walgreens or chain restaurants.  The Refuge was established in 1951 through an agreement between the South Florida Water Management District and the US Fish & Wildlife Service.  Today, the SFWMD (JP) manages several parts of this land, including water pump stations and a 57-mile levee.  The Refuge is the northernmost point of the Everglades, covering over 221 square miles.  Alligators, armadillos and tons of birds – bald eagles, ibis, turkey vultures, herons – call this place home, and boaters, bikers, hikers and canoers (is that a word?) can check it out.  We packed our bikes and hit the trail for some leisurely sightseeing, and the exercise didn’t hurt.  (My thighs are hating me.  I really need to work out more.  I’ll save that for 2010.)

I’m backtracking here for a sec.  Thanksgiving.  The four-day weekend was much-needed and very welcome.  I wanted to take the four days and go on a bender of sorts — lots of eating, drinking and sleeping.  Not necessarily in that order, though, it would make sense in that order 🙂  And, to my surprise, great success!  Anywho, and now that the pictures are off the camera (hence this belated themed post), thought I’d share some of the fun we had.  In the kitchen, at least.

My bro, CK1, had Thanksgiving at his pad this year and offered up the staples of turkey, stuffing and mashed hella’ good potatoes.  Seriously, could have eaten the whole bowl by myself.  So, I decided I wanted to make butternut squash ravioli.  Taking on this task (along with a recipe from Michael Chiarello that I very loosely followed), I realized, yet again, how much I love my KitchenAid.  I love it like I love sporks.  As in, I know it’s not a must-have kitchen gadget like, say, a fork or fire extinguisher.  And, like a good knife, using a KitchenAid makes you feel like a pro.  Martha uses a mixer like this, Emeril uses one, too; I must be channeling Martha and Emeril.  Not.  Sans Martha, I still manged to squeak out some semblence of butternut squash ravioli.

 

And outside the kitchen, JP and I managed to dust off our bikes and get some exercies and fresh air.  We biked downtown on Thanksgiving night, which was a quick 10-minute ride!  Good to know!  With that ride under our belt, we felt confident we could do it again.  So we did.  On Sunday (or was it Saturday?), we made our way to the beach.  Blue skies and perfect puffy clouds made for some good scenery!

 

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