Throwdown Thursday: Long Flight to Australia

Throwdown Thursday: Can She Handle the Long Flight to Australia?

Paul and I both would really love to visit Australia some day. We would love to tour wineries in the Shiraz valley, snorkel the Great Barrier reef, get up close to a kangaroo or a koala, and visit the vast Australian Outback. And, of course, we would love to play poker in some of Australia’s best poker rooms. If we ever manage this trip, we would probably wrap in a visit to New Zealand along the way. Unfortunately, I do not handle a long flight well. I feel a panic attack coming on at the mere idea of being stuck in a coach class seat for the 23 hours it would take to fly from Boston to Sydney.

Paul: One word….medication. OK, two words…heavy medication. This is why Xanax was given to human kind by the lab gods. You’ll be fine and likely remember very little.

Heather: You know that’s not going to happen. It’s not like I can’t fly normal distances. I’m not flight phobic.  It’s just that the idea of being trapped in a metal box for a 23 hour long flight makes my skin crawl. I mean, can you imagine THE BOREDOM?

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Blue Hall Atlantic Beach Florida

Our Romantic Weekend Getaway in Atlantic Beach Florida

Last weekend was the one year anniversary of our amazing New Orleans dream wedding. It also marked the third week of punishing New England winter weather. Our kids actually had four and a half days off school in the past two weeks due to snowstorms. Let’s be honest, it’s been brutal. So when it came time to plan for our first anniversary trip, we knew that it had to be a weekend getaway in the South. Between my worsening Vitamin D deficiency and a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, I knew that I had to see the sun. Fortunately, we planned a romantic weekend trip to sunny Atlantic Beach Florida.

Atlantic Beach is on the Atlantic coast of Florida about half an hour from Jacksonville. We were extremely fortunate that the weather was in the upper 70s and sunny for most of our stay. We were able to walk the white sand beaches, explore Neptune Beach, Amelia Island, and St. Augustine, sit by the hotel pool, and walk extensively around the area near our hotel. Atlantic Beach Florida turned out to be ideally situated for a wide variety of activities.

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BestBet Jacksonville Poker Room Review

BestBet Jacksonville Poker Room Review

The BestBet Jacksonville poker room is one of largest and best known of the Florida card rooms. It is also one of the best rooms you’ll ever enter. Spacious, nicely appointed and replete with amenities that are generally only part of a large casino setting, Bestbet sets itself apart from other freestanding poker rooms. While there were a few areas BestBet fell short, overall it is a top flight room.

Setting and Non-Poker Amenities

BestBet Jacksonville is on the east side of the city, half way between the city center and the Atlantic shore. As an aside, when we visited we stayed in Atlantic Beach/Neptune beach area and it was great. Neptune Beach has fantastic restaurants in a very small walkable footprint.  Atlantic beach sports gorgeous, endless beaches and a laid-back vibe. At 15-20 minutes from BestBet, a visit to Atlantic Beach offers a great poker/beach combo vacation.

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The Summit: A Conversation for Healthy Relationships

Key to a Healthy Relationship: Save It for the Summit

Paul and I have a pretty healthy relationship. In fact, I would say that we are soulmates.  However, we also have each had numerous romance fails in the past. So we expend every effort to insure that our current relationship does not start to slide. Generally this is pretty easy. We agree on most things, work pretty easily together, and generally pick up the slack for each other’s weak spots.

However, into every relationship a little friction will come. When you spend 24/7 alongside another person (we work, live, and play together), sand will sometimes grind the gears. Despite being generally reasonable people, we both get a bit irrational when steamed. Each of us has resorted to, shall we say, less than ideal methods of communication when angry.

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DIY Project Debate

Throwdown Thursday: DIY Projects or Call a Professional?

Paul and I try our hardest to be frugal. We do everything we can to save money on groceries, we bought a smaller car to save on gas, and we even created our dream wedding on a tight budget. One area in which we have some difficulty, however, is agreeing whether to take on DIY projects around the home or to call in an expert. Paul always votes for DIY. Whether it’s fixing the toilet or trying to replace the alternator on his car. He wants to do it himself. I am a bit more cautious. I remember the time he tried to glue his car mirror back on the car after it got knocked off. And the time when we tried to replace a light socket and ended up calling the electrician anyway. Paul remembers only the wins. He has blissful amnesia about the DIY project fails.

Paul: What’s the opposite of “blissful amnesia”? Because you’ve got it in spades. Not every fix is going to work, sure. But there have been plenty of successful shower and toilet repairs, and some car tweaks that have worked out just fine.  Each DIY project success leads to money saved. As long as we do no harm, we’ve lost nothing but time. Ok, maybe an occasional part or two. But the professionals can always come in and mop up the fails.

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