Mar 31 2023

The first sailing in FL, Manatee River

What do dolphins want: the sound of motor, the companionship of the humans, or simply bathing? We saw plenty of them, jumping around our boat continuously.

Have you entertain the idea to live on a boat? A friend does that on his 44 footer most of the time. Only retrieves to his condo near by during the hurricanes or severe weather.

The community It’s pretty sizable, with four sections: the 200+ slip marina, houses, low rise and a high rise. On top of sectional hoa, everyone pays community’s hoa. There are two swimming pools for the marina, with has bbq grill and tables, all are very clean. boaters on the far end of the marina use bikes to get around. There is a lively restaurant Dockside Social Bar & Grill, with live music.

The design of the boat is really good and considerate. It has a bedroom, two pull out sleeping areas, three open areas and one enclosed space with air conditioning for social. The marina has 220 slips, his was $65,000 in 2018, is cost $160k now, in 2023.

One of the boats at the marina gets the most love: a sleek alloy color cruiser that looks futuristic. In a sea of mostly white boats, it’s sparkling. 码头上最受喜爱的一艘船: 闪闪发光 时尚 充满未来感一艘 cruiser.

The green roof house Legend has it that the husband often came home drunk and couldn’t find their house. So the loving wife painted their roof green that can glow in the dark night. 绿屋顶 传说丈夫经常醉酒后找不到家. 于是, 他慈爱的妻子就把他们的屋顶漆成了在黑夜里会发光的绿色.

One of the mates on board fell off the boat as he was making a phone call. The other mates alert the captain who stopped and went to pick him up. Remarkably, he still has his phone. Falling off any boat is easy …


We’ve late lunch at Floridays, sat at our usual table and tried their sun died tomato mussels, which is really good. There are many jumping fish. I didn’t catch any on my camera: too difficult. One fun fact: the two young men were asked to wear their shirts while the young women could go in with bikini tops. The heavily tattooed husband said, “oh, that’s so not fair. Can someone lend me a bra?” ha ha ha  四老四小 2个女娃👙 1个男娃光背 为啥 六块还是八块腹肌+纹身 去吃饭时被告知上身需要点什么 失望 性别歧视 能有人借俺个胸围吗 😂

The parking by the restaurant isn’t easy. Many diners have made reservation. One of the attendant is very talkative and told us that this is his 2nd career. His first was working in his family’s hardware business in Ohio (?) He later came up to the restaurant and took our plates away – helping the waiting staff or what?


Between Hernando De Soto (1957) and Green (an old photo; fishing pier) bridges at Manatee River by Bradenton is the railroad bascule / drawbridge 吊桥 Google map labels it as CSX Train Bridge. The boat owner said it’s used by Tropicana and stays up most of the time. This website captions it  “This riveted through plate girder bascule also includes extremely long approaches. Lengths given are extremely rough estimates.”

Mar 25 2023

Swifty’s at The Colony

155 Hammon Avenue
Palm Beach, FL 33480

This pink hotel opened in 1947, was well known for by gone era up-and-coming musicians, such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.

It closed in August 2010, after U.S. Bankruptcy Judge K. Rodney May converted the Colony’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization with its unit owners to a Chapter 7 liquidation.

We have our breakfast at their pool side Swifty’s (they’ve Polo Steaks & Seafood, the lobby and cabaret rooms). All are good: ambiance, decor, service and food. Colony breakfast’s bagel is so so – so not New York; the br

Mar 25 2023

Jupiter, FL 木星

This small beach community of 61,047 (2020) people, is northernmost town in Miami metro area.

Roger Dean Stadium

Among 44 notable people in town, 15 are golfers, including Tiger Woods. Dara Torres (1967-; swimmer) and two playboy mates are also residents here.

The baseball team St. Louis Cardinals has their training camp here, in downtown. Compare to Mets at Clover Park, this one looks minor.

A canopy of bougainvillea is pretty grand.

Dinner at Guanabanas is neat and the layout of the restaurant is awesome.

The small red lighthouse charges a fee. We drove by but didn’t visit because of time constrain.

… some photos


44 notable people listed on wikipedia:

  1. Robert Allenby, Australian professional golfer on PGA Tour 1
  2. Rick Ankiel, professional baseball player
  3. Briny Baird, professional golfer on PGA Tour 2
  4. Daniel Berger, professional golfer on PGA Tour 3
  5. Matt Bosher, professional football player
  6. Don Brewer, drummer, singer, original member of Grand Funk Railroad
  7. Tyler Cameron, Contestant on the Bachelorette
  8. Shelby Chesnes, Playboy Playmate of the Month, July 2012
  9. Philip J. Corso, U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and author of The Day After Roswell
  10. Ernie Els, South African professional golfer on PGA Tour 4
  11. Colleen Farrington, Playboy Playmate, model and nightclub singer
  12. Rickie Fowler, professional golfer on PGA Tour 5
  13. Hermes Franca, Brazilian mixed martial artist and UFC fighter 
  14. Drew Garrett, actor
  15. Brendan Grace, Irish comedian 
  16. Rob Grill, singer (The Grass Roots)
  17. Matt Holliday, professional baseball player
  18. Hugh Howey, writer
  19. Michael Jordan, Hall of Fame NBA basketball player, majority owner of Charlotte Hornets
  20. Sarah Kauss, entrepreneur, S’well water bottles
  21. Brooks Koepka, professional golfer
  22. Debi Laszewski, IFBB professional bodybuilder
  23. Daryl Logullo, business executive and ecommerce thought leader
  24. Jamie Lovemark, professional golfer on PGA Tour 6
  25. Shane Lowry, Irish professional golfer on PGA tour 7
  26. Will MacKenzie, professional golfer on PGA Tour 8
  27. Steve Marino, professional golfer on PGA Tour 9
  28. Vincent Marotta, entrepreneur, co-developer of Mr. Coffee
  29. Rory McIlroy, professional golfer on PGA Tour 10
  30. Miles Mikolas, professional baseball player
  31. Jason Newsted, former bass player of Metallica
  32. Cody Parkey, professional football player
  33. Charles Nelson Reilly, actor and teacher. He lived in house given to him by Burt Reynolds, who had previously lived in it with Sally Field
  34. Burt Reynolds, actor
  35. Mike Schmidt, Hall of Fame major league baseball player
  36. Justin Thomas, professional golfer on PGA Tour 11
  37. Dara Torres, five-time Olympic swimmer and gold medalist
  38. Charles Vanik, former Democratic congressman from Ohio
  39. Richy Werenski, professional golfer on PGA Tour 12
  40. Brett Wetterich, professional golfer on PGA Tour 13
  41. Tiger Woods, professional golfer on the PGA Tour 14
  42. Zion Wright, professional skateboarder, U.S. Olympic Skateboard Team
  43. Kyle Kirkwood, racing driver in the Indycar Series
  44. Lucas Glover, professional golfer on the PGA Tour 15

Mar 25 2023

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

The junction of Ave of the PGA & PGA Blvd
This small city is 70 miles north of Miami on the Atlantic Ocean, with 60,000 population (2020).

It’s perhaps best known for having the PGA headquarter – Professional Golfers’ Association, among many other sports. They have 12 golf courses. PGA National Resort ranks the fifth employer in the city.


Mar 25 2023


960 N Hwy A1A
Jupiter, FL 33477

Will return.

The hosts said 35 minutes wait on a Saturday at 3:19pm. However, we’re seated quicker, at 3:49, to the best table in the house, imho.

Diners come by cars and boats. The strong wind makes 89 degrees day comfortable. Live music. The hosts and table server are all very good and professional.

The restaurant is huge with many corners. As we’re airing at the bar, a fellow diner said she’s a bar owner and the bar tender she fired is working here now -:).


  1. steamers – good
  2. tequila lime shrimps – yummy, all three
  3. po boy catfish sandwich – tasteless, from the fish to chips, that feels old

The 2021 Sauvignon Blanc by Chateau Souverain – part of Gallo group, is decent.

The low rating is from the hit and miss? The compound is nicely maintained.

Free valet parking – tips only.


Mar 18 2023

Miami 2024

Two nighters in Miami, March 19-21, attending Miami Open and baseball spring training, Mets beat Marlins @ Roger Dean stadium in seaside town Jupiter.

A highly rated (3.8 on Yelp out of 220 reviews, 4.3 out of 191 on Google Maps) Chinese restaurant Helen Huang’s Mandarin House used rotten green bell pepper and unapologetic, told me they used freshest ingredients.

Below is my 3-day itinerary:




Regretfully, we didn’t go diving or snorkeling at Ft Lauderdale on the Sea, hopefully next time.

Mar 16 2023

Ernani @ Saratota

Sarasota Opera House

This the third of their four opera productions of the season: a lesser known but the most wonderful one.

Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)  wrote this based on Victor Huge’s 1830 Hernani. The opera was premiered in 1844 in Venice.

The drama is set in 16th-century Spain, a tragic love story between the titular character, a former noble who became a bandit after being banished, and a young woman named Donna Sol de Silva, who has two other suitors, namely her uncle Don Ruy Gomez and Don Carlos …


Mar 16 2023

1592 Wood Fired Kitchen

1592 Main Street
Sarasota, FL 34236

Will return – Love their barn doors!

This mediterranean restaurant has outdoor tables, covered with white table cloth. Indoor tables, however, are bare – interesting.

Service is good. Servers have an accent – making them more authentic and believable? [I’ll never get ride of my accent -:)] And their small plates are delicious:

  1. Garlic shrimp
  2. Spicy falafel
  3. Grilled lamb chops
  4. Shishito peppers & mushrooms

We couldn’t finish them all – guess not too small after all.

Their house wine Proverb Cab Sauv 2021 is good, served in a Riedel glass.


Riedel glassware House red is preferred

Mar 15 2023

The barn doors 谷仓门

Barn doors for the den are high on my to do list.

The 10′ ceiling again causes problem: 84″ is the norm height but I need 96″. Again looking high and low for a while – a couple of artisans make the doors to order at exuberant cost (would have been in five figures after shipping, hardware and labor), I finally settled on one through Home Depot, at a reasonable price.

We paid $40 measurement fee to HD that can be used toward purchase on November 22, 2022 and in full on December 15 to order the doors. They are installed on March 15, 2023.

It could be a week earlier but when the installer went to HD to pick up my stuff, he realized that the hardware wasn’t there. A HD staff called, to apologize that by mistaken, one of her associate returned it when she didn’t find link between my doors and the hardware. I just laughed. The hardware arrived shortly after ordering, which was 2022. I got two calls from separate staff on two separate dates to pick it up. I asked if I could leave it with them since my house was still in the state of chaos of a sort. They said it’s fine. In hindsight, I should have picked it up because HD is always in a much larger state of chaos -:).

HD immediately ordered the hardware and offered me $50 discount eagerly, while I was still trying to comprehend the situation – I’m not that slow but kind of surprised that such thing could happen. Another lesson learned.

The installing subcontractor is pretty nice. Offered to deliver the doors for free since I had asked if I could stain it ahead of the hanging. Normally is no unless we pay: either $99 HD to deliver or rent their UHaul for an hour at $20 to take them home.


Matt is the installer. When he delivered the doors, he was very kind, giving me some much needed pointers – a few things to buy that are not included in the hardware:

  • door handles
  • floor guides ($)

It has been a while, I don’t remember what are included in our order. As it turns out, handles and guides are in the bundle.

Looking at hardware on Amazon, HD seems to charge an arm and a leg -:). $18.98 for handle: 5 star from 7,727 ratings; and $14.42 guide: 4.5 star from 4,612 ratings.

We stain it with Varathane polyurethane 聚氨酯 $26.99 on Amazon and $25.68 at HD. This is when I saw many chips and cracks. One can (1 qt / 32 fl oz / 946 ml) is barely enough for two doors, one layer.

There are few types: paneled, flush, or glass. I prefer simple, so flush is it. Again, there are many nuances to consider:

  • shape of the door
  • material of the door – wood, glass, etc.
  • type of wood
  • style of the door
  • paint or stain, and the color

The doors are installed on March 17. Matt came with a big garbage can -:) even there won’t be much garbage but some dust. He spent 3:30 to install.

Home Depot’s subcontractor

By watching Matt to install, I learned a lot. To align two hanging doors isn’t a cake walk. Over all, I’m very happy with this HD’s subcontractor’s responsiveness and consideration (office). However, the actual workmanship is so so.

The problems:

  1. the doors are too short
  2. not exactly aligned – the two doors seam is off
  3. the two floor guides are not aligned
  4. the top board isn’t cut to measure

Unsatisfied with HD or the door maker: it’s too short. Matt did say that they don’t make any door taller than this. But HD charges a fee to come to measure – how does this work, or what’s the point of this??


What’s this cancer claim? The paint causes cancel and the dust of wood may too? With the claim upfront, so the producers / manufacturers won’t get sued?

A few photos 


Mar 14 2023

Keke’s Breakfast Cafe

11430 S US Hwy 301
Riverview, FL 33569

Will not return – First Watch is much better.

An average chain restaurant, dated decor; high divides for the booths with pretty delicious food. Service is good.

My portabella wrap is fresh and pretty yummy, so is the Turkey club sandwich – which should come wiith chips but they ran out on that day. The server offered us home fries, onion rings etc. We picked homefries and they charged it at $3.99 – NOT a big deal at all but I thought it’s sneaky. Their GM Mike said it was a mistake to charge us. So that settles it.

Looking at the bill, did I realize that they charge you for the sides. The salad isn’t good nor necessary. So lesson is learned.