After a full Christmas eve and Christmas morning, me, Mr, Chicken Fry and the teen queen didn’t exactly settle in for a long Winter’s nap. Nope, instead we attempted to kill ourselves so we could hurry up and get somewhere we could rest! lol Instead of cozy nestling by firelight and gazing at our Christmas tree while the teen queen ran amuck, we hopped a red eye flight to Tampa, Florida This was a pre-planned trip to visit some friends in Dade City Florida.
You may recall these previous posts from our past adventures with this family. If not they are linked here!
Dade City is a small town inland and north of Tampa. This sleepy town doesn’t have much to offer besides St. Leo College, Jake Jovita and our friends. Lake Jovita is a beautiful golf / lake community nestled in Dade City. It’s home to some current and former PGA golfers, motocross champions, and some of the most brilliant sunsets the eye has ever seen. We’ve had the privledge of visiting Lake Jovita for 16 years so to us, it’s a it’s nice, warm home away from home. I basiclly changed from PJ’s to my workout clothes, into a bathing suit then back to sweats. It’s a comfy casual kind of place which is a total score in my book!
Lake Jovita is so extremely peaceful. It was rated GOLF WEEKS’s top courses and the perfect spot for a get away golf trip for couples, girls or guys only. There are two distinct courses to choose from North or South course equally challenging so I’ve heard. I don’t play but I’ve seen the pristine courses from a golf cart.
Often we have stayed in the three bedroom villas on the water. Stay and play in these affordable “for rent” fully stocked villas including a golf cart, wide open screen porch and grill. The villas are a two minute ride away from the club house featuring a restaurant, bar and full fitness facility. It’s highly possible that this coveted hidden treasure has homes for rent via Air B&B and VRBO. My only tid bit of advice is to watch out for the Florida gators. These courses are well-known for their sunbathing alligators on the greens or tee box. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Mr. Chicken Fry splits his leisure time between golf and fishing with his buddy, former PGA champion, Garrett Willis. They kick back and do the whole manly wild at heart gig.
Which is find by me. I get time off to enjoy my friend Jenn! We cook, workout, talk, swim, play with the kids, watch movies or do whatever we feel like doing. The Willis family has everything you could possibly want to do or play at their home. For starters we have boxing, bumper pool, Kan Jam, basketball, guitar hero, football, tennis, bike riding and swimming. I took a whirl and ventured out of my comfort zone to play some sand volleyball and tennis!
Was there any question that I would workout? I simply adore the Lake Jovita Fitness facility. It features large big windows with tons of natural light, TV’s treadmills, and all the weight equipment one might need.
The teen queen and I took a day trip to Orlando to the ESPN sports complex to take in a soccer tournament. Coach Stricker led the team of boys to a victory. But before the soccer match, we had lunch at Season’s 52 with some old new friends whom we met in the EXUMAS over 7 years ago! How’s that for acquaintances? And talk about a vacation of lifetime. The Exumas are by far my favorite beach destination on the entire planet! It’s the most beautiful ocean topography in the world. The water is almost unexplainable and every shade of blue you can imagine. The white sand is easy to see through the crystal clear water as are the sting rays, nurse sharks and baraccuda. While our lunch wasn’t on a tropical ocean front in the middle of the ocean we picked it right up and it was like we never missed a beat. We rekindled a friendship made in the middle of the ocean…how cool is that?
Now these sun bathing beauties are 15 & 16-year-old teenagers with braces, boyfriends and car privledges. Oh how I wish we could just live on an island and keep the girls tucked away from civilization!
Talk about civilization…the Wide World of Sports complex is gigantic. Bustling with sports fans.
Santa must have sent his elves to Dade City and delivered us five sunshiny warm weather days. We basked in the sun by the pool over looking a lake. It was so relaxing.
At night we did a lot of eating, drinking and laughing on the patio.
Speaking of eating, I always come home super inspired on the kitchen front. Jennifer has the best of the best in the kitchen. I can’t believe that I’m about to say this but she has amazing cookware. Her industrial pots and pans make it so much more fun. Plus cooking with friends is just BETTER! Have a look at these low-fat high protein meals we cooked up.
First up brisket chili. I’m personally not a fan of brisket. I don’t care at all for the texture but this was like a pulled pork. It had been smoked on the green egg before making tender way into the chili.
In a crock pot add a fully cooked pulled brisket and add the following:
Green peppers or green chili’s
This lean warm dish will be a family or party favorite. It feeds a ton of folks so invite your friends over for some football.
We kept our NYE festivities low-key but super bright. Check out these professional grade fire works that lit up the sky for glaring 45 minute show. Also in the mix was a small homemade photo booth.
Before midnight we also had a basketball hoop contest and a large round of LCR (left right center). If you are unfamiliar with LCR allow me to school you. Hurry up and run out and buy this dice game at CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart. You can order it from Amazon here → LCR. Make sure that everyone brings at least 3 $1 bills. Every person needs three $1 bills to play a full game. If you are a generous host you can be so kind to be banking the game. LCR is appropriate for kids 3-93 years old.
Once the ball dropped and hugs were exchanged we hit the hay for some NYE shut-eye. The next day would be a dead day of more food and football.
LUCKY BLACK EYED PEAS
Add a bag of black eye peas to a pot
fill with Swanson’s broth or water
onion and green onion
Allow the black-eyed peas soak and slow cook for several hours and serve up this traditional lucky dish. This soupy recipe is more like a bean soup than your standard black eye peas. The cilantro gives it a mexican bean soup sort of taste so don’t knock it until you try it.
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