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Winter Break in Sunny Florida (part 2 of 2)

As promised, part 2 of 2 of my THREE WEEK winter vacation. By becoming a member of the Caltech Community, you’re endowed with all sorts of privileges… meeting Nobel Laureates, excessively long breaks in between terms, no sleep, and delicious food 24/7. Honestly, it’s a paradise for nerds, geeks, and quirky people…. If you’re the kind of person who wants to test the water with your foot before cannon-balling in, why not come for a Caltech Tour, Caltech-In-A-Day, or Prefrosh Weekend? These events will immerse you in the culture of Caltech in a short period of time, and I highly recommend doing… ALL OF THEM.

Getting back to my winter vacation. As you know, we went to Disney the first week I was back… The next day, I was completely tuckered out, so I’m pretty sure I spent all day in bed with my laptop watching Roseanne reruns. At some points during the vacation, Sheila, my Mom, and my Sister went shopping in the malls near us.. they love to shop. I prefer going to a technology store (like Brookstone) and just playing with and touching everything like a kid in a candy shop. There’s two more highlights: the family fishing trip and my anniversary dinner.

So it’s Florida.. I’m from Florida.. my whole Family’s from Florida (minus my Dad, who was actually born in Long Island, New York…). We all love fishing, especially my Dad, my older brother, and I. It’s usually a tradition everytime I come back to Florida from Caltech that my brother and I get on a boat, go out to the ocean, and go fishing for nice ol’ big fish that we can eat… varying from Red, Mangrove, Brown Snappers; to Yellowtails, Bass, Tuna, Bluefin, King Fish, and lots and lots of Bonitas (which are horrible fish that we can’t eat, but show up like 40% of the time). However, this past vacation, we couldn’t go out on the ocean because of the cold fronts that came down from Canada… But, my Mom, my Dad, my 2 younger brothers, my girlfriend, and I went on a boat that we rented for the day. We started in Jupiter, Florida about a mile north of the Jupiter Lighthouse. As you can see, it’s a beautiful day for fishing…

Here’s Dad driving the boat…

My younger brother, Aron, relaxing…

So just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip.. That started from this tropic port aboard this tiny ship. The father was a mighty sailing man, the family was brave and sure. Six passengers set sail that day for an all-day tour…. Speaking of which, we started fishing…

And within minutes, I had caught the first fish:

I don’t remember what fish it was.. sorry guys. Sheila had caught another one of these…

Where was I? Oh that’s right, fishes we caught.If you feel like "I’ve seen one fish, I’ve seen them mall", continue down past the next few pictures to the other highlight of my Winter Break vacation….

Then all of a sudden, I caught one of the biggest fish of the day… Lucky me.

And then, one of the last fish we caught was strange-looking. It was pretty hard to identify, but it turns out it was a LizardFish.

And that, my friends, concludes the end of a glorious one-day fishing trip…

My One-Year Anniversary

Here’s a picture of us before we leave for the night.

Technically, it’s more like the ‘day-before-our-one-year-anniversary’ anniversary. Long story short, most places close early on New Years’ Eve. So, I took her to one of Palm Beach Gardens most exquisite restaurants – Cafe Chardonnay. It’s this little place hidden inside a shopping plaza just north of my house with the most amazing (tiny) pieces of food.

We’re sitting down and pretty much excited about the night that I’ve got planned out. The appetizers come out and it’s kind of a "Chef’s Sampler" of what he has to offer us… it’s really quite delicious.

The top-right: Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with mango, hearts of palm and local heirloom tomato slaw.

The top-left: A shrimp dish that was specially prepared by the Chef for that night.

The bottom-left: Sauteed Foie Gras, Apple Tarte Tatin with walnut carrot bread, duck confit, berry compote and port wine glaze.

The bottom-right:I believe it is a Wild Mushroom Strudel of Crisp Filo filled with an assortment of Sautéed Woodland Mushrooms and Fontina Fondue.

The entree was a pan-roasted Veal Chop with organic mushroom risotto, asparagus and a demi glace.

And the scrumptious dessert was a cheesecake with lightly whipped cream and a dark chocolate sauce.

And that was the end to a wonderful meal at Cafe Chardonnay. After the dinner, we spent some time walking around ‘Downtown at the Gardens’ which is the downtown area for Palm Beach Gardens. They had lots of great Christmas lights to look out, and the winter weather of Florida was pretty much perfect at a cool 65 degrees for walking around at night. So, enjoy a photo montage of the rest of the night

And that was the end to a fabulous winter break with Sheila and my Family. Join me next time as I blog about Stephen Hawking, TEDxCaltech (https://tedxcaltech.com/), Mandelbrot Sets, and Ruddock OPI! Until next time, TTFN.

Giordon Stark