Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ft Meyers Vacation Eats

We ventured out a handful of times during our stay at Ft. Meyers. After some play time at the beach on our first night, we picked a place called Yucatan on Old St. Carlos Blvd.

It had a neat store front and ambiance. It was standard bar fare and there were fish and sharks all over the walls, which we enjoyed. My little guy had the sliders and his fries were awesome. My buffalo chicken sandwich was maybe a little over cooked so it was hard to eat as a sandwich. The hubs had their chicken quesadillas which I enjoyed much more than my own order. The portions were huge so we brought home quite a bit of it. Our table was right near the door near the window in the open air. We had a super nice waitress that was attentive to us despite the size of the place. Our order was also brought out relatively quickly. It was a really nice evening and on our way home there were a couple of pirates tossing some glow in the dark toys in the air. Who doesn’t love a couple of pirates? My little man and I start walking home sooner than the hubs since it was getting late and close to bedtime. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dolphin Tour

Since our little man is a fan of sharks and ocean animals in general, we decided to do a dolphin tour run by the Banana Bay Tour Company. They had tours leaving the other islands but we did not want to get off Ft. Meyers to get there. As luck would have it, the boat leaving from Ft Meyers was at the dock managed by the hotel next to our condo.
We literally got out of bed, had breakfast and walked across the street. We chose a ½ day tour in search of dolphins, shells and a stop at Lover’s Key. 

Our boat was a covered pontoon with benches and picnic tables. The boat was enclosed so our little guy could walk about safely even in bare feet. Our captain and first mate were 2 of the most laid back and cool people we had met. They pointed out dolphins and large local birds nesting in the estuary, which I learned is where fresh water meets ocean salt water. This type of environment is abundant with sea life, which makes it ideal hunting grounds for wild dolphins that need to eat about 20 pounds of fish per day! We learned that dolphins hunt together to increase their chances of a catch. We also learned that unlike dolphins that are born and bred in captivity, the wild dolphins that we saw swimming would not have friendly since they would seek to protect their territory. The boat would sort of amble to one location and stop when we spotted animals. There was indescribable joy on the face of my son when one of these would crest the water.  We also saw a manatee, which we learned could stay under water for about 20 minutes, so we only saw him break the surface once. To his disappointment, we did not see any sharks but learned there were about 18 different breeds in the area. Our guides explained that the sharks only came out to hunt at night. I should mention we saw pelicans, an eagle and egrets too.  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Spring Break

While I am working on my book report for In Our Image (it really does take me this long to really get my head together about this stuff), my family and I are on our way home from a much needed spring vacation. We were at Ft. Meyers, Florida for a long weekend.  Even though I'd love to get more stamps on my passport, we choose to stay in the country because there was a direct flight from Philadelphia to Fort Meyers, which is about 2 hours long (ideal for our 3 year old). Rather than go on an all-inclusive resort we rented a condo right by the beach so our little man had his own room and we had our own kitchen. We followed our usual bedtime routine except for reading books (we forgot to bring books). The airport at Ft. Meyers was about a half hour from our rental. Since it was a beach vacation we were able to pack light. We checked a small suit case and medium sized duffel bag. We each had a backpack so we were relatively hands free.

Our kid’s cares harness  interested the family behind us, who said that eventually their little ones would require a plane ticket and they did not want to bring a car seat with them on the plane. It also interested some of the flight crew that recognized it but saw it rarely. This device turns a regular air plane seat belt into a 5 point harness for the smallest traveler. It also packs down into a nifty little nylon sack so you really aren’t lugging a giant car seat around. We rented our car seat with the car rental.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dr. Roberto Gonzales (Harvard) at Princeton on Undocumented Immigrant Youth Feb 2015

I just listened to this talk. I very much would have liked to go to see him since Princeton is not too far but my work responsibilities took precedence. What a great presentation. There is also a Q&A session afterwards.

Dr. Roberto Gonzales is a sociologist currently with the Harvard school of education. His research has been focused on undocumented youth.This talk is about immigrant youth that move through the school system sort of quasi legal and then reach a point where their status prevents them from progressing their lives with jobs, college and even driving. He talks of youth that excels despite these challenges (DREAMers) and also those that fall through the cracks.

Dr. Gonzales gives us a look of what our current immigration system is doing to families and gives us cause for change.