10 Out of 10

…I’m not talking about Paul Walker (RIP).

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Even though it IS #mancrushmonday.

I’m giving a 10/10 to these past three days! My uncle has been asking us how we rate every day on this vacation on a scale from 1-10 (10 being the best), and I’ve given everything 7 or higher. Mall day was an 8 and Disney World was a 7.5, but this weekend has shown even higher ratings on my radar!

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Joining the marvelous Monday party on Katie‘s blog!

Friday: Madeira Beach and Bubba Gump

Ranking: 8

This was my first time going to Madeira beach, which is on the Gulf of Mexico side of Florida. The waters are considerably warmer (like, almost HOT) than the Atlantic waters, and the waves are pretty calm. It’s two hours away, so we stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant called Ben Thanh for lunch.

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Grilled pork vermicelli bowl

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Power napping!

It was a perfect day to be at the beach! We swam a bit, collected shells, kicked around a soccer ball, and built a sand castle that someone ended up stealing. Hmph. We didn’t even get to take a picture of it, but it was a fabulous castle. I also attempted handstands. I flipped over three times.

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Once we worked up an appetite at the beach, we cleaned up and walked over to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. for dinner. “Run Forrest, Run!”

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There are little notches under the cups so that they can hook onto each other. Magic = ruined.

I ordered the gumbo and house salad, and they were very meh. I had about three bites of the gumbo because it was WAY too salty, and the house salad was average. I ended up sharing my aunt’s seafood pasta and Daliza’s mac and cheese (so good!).

Even though we were stuffed, as we were driving home, my aunt spotted a shake shop with a really long line, so she exclaimed: “That’s gotta be a GOOD shake shop!” Sooooooo we went and got shakes there.

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Mint shake for me!

I drank as much as I could, but this thing was huge, so I finished about ¾ of it. Sugar coma.

Saturday: “Staycation” with Daliza

Ranking: 8.5

While my mom took my aunt, uncle, and cousins to St. Augustine, Daliza and I slept in and stayed home for the day. We started with a leisurely breakfast and a flashback movie— Mulan (aka my hero).

After spending way to much time trying to pump up the bike wheels, we finally got to biking around my neighborhood in the hot sun.

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Daliza said it felt like we were out there for 10 minutes, but we biked for about an hour before coming into the air-conditioned house for a refreshing lunch at 4 PM…Ha. Then we tried to hunt down alligators (by hunt down, I mean take a good picture of them) in the lake behind my house. We found one peeking out of the water!

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Yep, that little thing in the water would be it.

I couldn’t zoom in quite far enough to get the details, but Daliza’s video camera showed that it was an alligator for sure. After a few hours of doing that plus a whole bunch of nothing, we did an hour of Pilates before hunkering down for dinner and more Disney movies. We mini-marathoned it with Hercules and Mulan II.

Sometimes it’s nice to take a vacation from hard core vacationing…if that makes sense.

Sunday: Orlando Farmers’ Market and Cocoa Beach

Ranking: 10

I finally found my 10/10 day! Yesterday started with an early morning wake-up call (read: I overslept and my mom had to barge into my room) for 8 AM Mass and a little grocery shopping. After breakfast, we all headed downtown to the Orlando Farmers’ Market!

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I was overwhelmed by all the amazing food and merchandise stands there. They even had outdoor yoga classes for $5! Daliza and I might try that next Sunday. Yesterday we were just sampling all the food. ALL THE FOOD.

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We also encountered some fun/ferocious/freaky animals. The swans were trying to eat my little cousin. We even saw black swans!

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After eating, sweating, and repeating, we drove to Cocoa Beach. It was sunny and gorgeous when we got there, and the waves looked a whole lot more exciting than the ones at Madeira Beach. Daliza and I weren’t planning on swimming, so we didn’t bring our bathing suits. However, the water looked too enticing to pass up, so we bit the bullet and just bought new bathing suits there. Worth it! Even though the clouds started coming in and looking nasty. They just made the waves bigger for us!

Apparently there was a riptide, so we all had to be careful and not go out too far. Daliza and I just sang this song as we jumped over the waves.

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All the beach fun wore us out and made us READY for dinner. It was a quick drive to “Thai Thai” restaurant for some Thai and Japanese cuisine. Sushi for me, kids meal katsu chicken for Daliza. She loved it.

Then it was time to head home, finally. But first, we made a pit stop to Abracadabra Ice Cream Factory for some liquid nitrogen ice cream!

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They start with the cream/sugar base, you choose three toss-ins, and then they add the liquid nitrogen

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I chose mint, oreo, and graham crackers for my ice cream concoction. We all thought the ice cream itself was just sickeningly sweet, so most of us didn’t finish. A travesty, I know. That’s enough sugar for the rest of the week.

I’m done. Peace out.

Have a wonderful day, friends!

So tell me:

About your weekend!

Do you like the beach? Waves or no waves?

What do you love the most about farmers’ markets?

Have you ever tried liquid nitrogen ice cream?