When all comes to an end

My last journey in Latin America starts in San José and ends in Managua the same night. On my way I visit Granada, way too short. I decide to return to Latin America as soon as possible.

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My last three days have been the most adventurous, passionate days of my life. I experienced the new, the unknown, the life I always dreamed of but never was able to capture. When I recapitulate that on the bus towards Nicaragua, which I took from the San José station of Ticabus, I start to realize it. I feel empty, I smile, I dream… That gathering with Dani was one of a kind, something very special, an adventure, you would normally read on romantic booklets, which are sold everywhere for desperate housewifes, who are bored of their everyday life with their ever working husbands…

In the morning I had to say goodbye. A goodbye that didn’t feel like one, knowingly we would see each other again. I just followed the orders Dani gave me, taking the bus to the National Stadion of Costa Rica, from there the taxi to the station, close to where we arrived the night before…

The district of San José is not very nice, I go quickly into the station, buy my tourist tax voucher, to leave Costa Rica and reenter Nicaragua. I sit on the bus, it’s cold. The aircondition does its best. You really have to bring long sleeves and a jacket for those bus rides in Latin America. The ride takes forever, until we reach Peñas Blancas again. Every now and then a guy comes into the bus to sell food or coffee, a convenient and welcomed service for a good buck. The passage of the border is easy this time, it will be easy every time I do that in the future, since I know the how-to. Out of the bus, baggage check for drugs at the border, buying the taxes for Nicaragua, reentering the bus, after the merchants could sell some food and beverages to us, or even merchandise like hammocks or bags in many different colors. Then it continues, the aim is Managua and I would be there around 2 p.m. That’s too early for my liking, my flight goes 12 hours after that and I still want to get an impression of Granada on my way – so I leave the bus in Nandaime and take the chickenbus to Granada, where I arrive around 2:30 p.m. About two hours to discover this gem at Lake Nicaragua!

The busy streets of Granada in Nicaragua. The houses from the times of Colonization are most beautiful and all offered goods crafted in the region.

The time flies by. I get a little nervous since I haven’t found the station from where the private shuttles to Managua leave. I stroll around, enter two different manufacturing sites for hammocks. It’s a pity I ran out of funds, since those guys knitting and weaving, are truly doing a fascinating job. I want to come back here, to buy one of those hammocks one day. And I missed the legendary salsa night at Lake Nicaragua as well, I want to experience that, so I promise to myself to return to Granada one day. At the church on the picture is a big ceremony going, I guess it’s a funeral. All the people are singing, the voices fill the air with a saddening melody. You can truly feel the mood and I get the feeling that I should not disturb them by taking pictures… I find a bakery, it’s so cheap to get decent food and I buy a softdrink, which is very tasty and which is served in a plastic bag. I decide to take a taxi to a bus station and finally am on a shuttle to Managua, which is still a 90 min. ride away. And the shuttle fills, it’s totally crowded when we reach the suburbs and I wonder how the guy, who collects the money for the ride from the passengers, manages to keep the overview. At around 6:30 p.m. I am in the middle of Nicaraguas capital. It seems to be ugly and the people are staring at me, at least not like they stare at the other tourists, who are obviously Americans, but they do.

Sunset over Managua, Nicaragua’s capital. The rays of the light have been stunning, like on the bills of the Nicaraguan money – the Cordoba’s.
Walter White is omnipresent everywhere, since the successful TV series Braking Bad launched.

I decide to take another taxi to the airport. There seems nothing I want to see before I leave and the city doesn’t seem to be very safe either. It is stretched out and it’s already getting dark. My last Cordobas are well invested in the taxi and the driver goes through some kind of favelas and tries to pick up locals to join the ride, but nobody seems to be interested to go to the airport. In the dark I am there, time to leave, time to say goodbye to Latin America. I am sad, this is the end of an awesome trip, an awesome time. Tomorrow I will be back to Florida, in two days I have to return to Europe.

Blood Moon, don’t miss the total Lunar Eclipse tonight!

Tonight is a total lunar eclipse and we will have a blood red moon at around 3:45 a.m. eastern time. You find the times of the lunar eclipse in your region of the US.

Don’t forget about the blood red moon this night, when earth darkens the moon and is passing the way between sun and moon. It is the first total lunar eclipse of this year, the times when to observe were cited from the lunar eclipse calender of moongiant.com.

Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) – April 14-15, 2014
Partial begins: 10:58 p.m. – April 14
Total eclipse begins: 12:07 a.m. – April 15
Greatest eclipse: 12:46 a.m.
Total eclipse ends: 1:25 a.m.
Partial eclipse ends: 2:33 a.m.

Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) – April 14-15 
Partial eclipse begins: 11:58 p.m. – April 14
Total eclipse begins: 1:07 a.m. – April 15
Greatest eclipse: 1:46 a.m.
Total eclipse ends: 2:25 a.m.
Partial eclipse ends: 3:33 a.m.

Central Daylight Time (CDT) – April 15, 2014
Partial eclipse begins: 12:58 a.m. – April 15

Total eclipse begins: 2:07 a.m. 
Greatest eclipse: 2:46 a.m. 
Total eclipse ends: 3:25 a.m.
Partial eclipse ends: 4:33 a.m. 

Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) – April 15, 2014
Partial eclipse begins: 1:58 a.m. on April 15
Total eclipse begins: 3:07 a.m.
Greatest eclipse: 3:46 a.m. 
Total eclipse ends: 4:25 a.m.
Partial eclipse ends: 5:33 a.m.

Preparing everything for the lunar eclipse
Luna Eclipse
Lunar Eclipse, 2014-04-15 @ 1:58 a.m. Eastern

American BBQ

American BBQ, Ribs

My Floridan friends from the past. Good memories of the times, we were neighbors @ Oxford Manor, Gainesville
My Floridan friends from the past. Good memories of the times, we were neighbors @ Oxford Manor, Gainesville

Get together with my friends from Florida. Haven’t seen you guys for a long time and it was fun to hang with you and good to see you’re doing fine.

Recipe for the best ribs ever
Recipe for the best ribs ever

This is the recipe for the best ribs I had as far as I can remember. Adam prepared them and did a great job. They were most tender and tasty. Enjoyed good beer and the outstanding flavor of smoke cooked ribs. Will definitively try preparing them in summer when there is BBQ time in Innsbruck.

Surfin’ USA!

Surfing is one of the many great sports you can do along the shores of the USA. I personally preferred the surf in California and the Pacific over the one you find in Florida, along the Atlantic, but the experience is still great when you have found the right spot to do it! This entry is cumulative and from different beach days with my friends from UF navigators and the pharmacy interns.

Finally a chapter addressing my new hobby: Surfing! By using this term I mean the kind of raw surfing, without a kite, a canvas or anything else. Just you, the board, maybe a lycra to keep you protected from the sun and the sea of course, delivering waves for your enjoyment. I got my first instruction by Tom on Eleuthera Island of the Bahamas, about six years ago, when I stayed at Surfer’s Haven. And he must have done a good job because I didn’t have the opportunity to go out there for years and just started again, in Santa Cruz, on my way to visit a friend in San Francisco, California, a couple of weeks ago. To my surprise I remembered lots of his instructions from the days past and I even stood up for some seconds…

I was eager to continue so I was looking for a beach over here in Florida, where an easy going surf is guaranteed. The place to be is Cocoa Beach indeed from all the places I tried so far, including St. Augustine Beach and Daytona Beach! I tried both with friends, but the tide was choppy and it was exhausting to catch a single wave due to the inconsistency of the waves and the board was probably too small – the equipment is important and you will find everything you desire in Ron Jon’s rental in Cocoa Beach. For beginners I recommend a huge foam longboard. It offers the easiest access and the most fun for your first experience. I use a fiberglass board in the meanwhile of a length of about 8’6″ to 9′. This works really good and I consistently catch the waves and stand up.

Conny gives it a try as well :)

Cocoa Beach

I can’t take responsibility for you, learning this awesome sport, where you are totally connected to nature, but I can give you some advice which might help you. For instructions you should still get a teacher to begin with, if he is good he will make sure you stand up the first day you try it!

1. Paddle outta there

Before you can catch a wave, you have to get out into the sea. And to do that can be exhausting, if you are thrown around by the waves. If you have a “neversinker” one of those beginner foamboards, you just have the option, when a big wave comes towards you, to push up on the board or sit up, that it goes under you smoothly towards the beach. If you use a fiberglass board, depending on the size of the wave, you can stretch out and go under the wave, your body under tension. If you have reached a good position, one where the waves just don’t break yet, you sit up on the board, face towards the sea and observe the incoming waves.

2. Find your Balance

This is the most difficult part in the beginning. You have to find the point to sit on the board, which guarantees you most stability. You can “grab” the board with your legs and you will find out pretty fast which is the most stable positions when the waves pass and shake you. If you have spotted a good wave, one that has not yet broken and is consistent, you smoothly glide back on the board, allowing the nose of your board to come out of the water. This way you can turn easily and fast. Remember, the waves cme in pretty fast so you have just little time to make the turn and get into position.

3. Catch the wave

This part of the exercise is probably the best workout. If the wave of your desire comes in you lay down on the board. Make sure, if the board is long enough (which was the case for me all the time), that your feet close with the rear of the board. Keep your tension up and when the wave is behind you – about two board length start paddling, consistently and strong. It’s not necessary to paddle fast, you have to push the water away to make progress and get some speed, you don’t have to mix it up. If you did right you will feel the wave “catching” you or the other way around, you catching the wave. You will then be pushed forward and gain some significant speed.

4. Stand up

For my experience it is not necessary to try to stand up immediately. Give it time! Maybe you glide in, tension up, lying down on your board for the first attempts. You get a good feeling for the stability doing so. If you have the feeling it works to your satisfaction you can start to kneel on the board, face forward to shore. If that works fine as well, without you getting delivered into the sea permanently, you can try to slowly stand up. First of all you will have to find out which of your feet will be in front – this is also important to fixate the line – you do that on your back foot. OK, so far so good! Now you enter a crouch position, with the right foot in front, you have to turn while doing that, from face forward a bit to the side. You will find really good videos on youtube! In this crouch position you will feel it’s less stable than just going in and you might fall into the water. That happens, don’t worry you will get used to the feeling. And if you decide to finally stand up, do it slowly and make sure you stand up over the most stable part of your bard, which I mentioned above. Have fun trying!

As you can see, we all stood up and this entry is TBC, since I miss lots of photos of our second group, the pharmacy interns, when we attended. In the meanwhile enjoy this as a foretaste… 🙂

Go Gators

Miami Beach – The Place 2 Be

Miami Beach is one of the main reasons why you should visit Florida. The city at the turquoise Atlantic ocean with its great nightlife, beautiful people, lots of different cultural influences and an outstanding climate is like a playground for adults!

One of the main reasons why plenty of visitors come to Florida is Miami Beach and the beaches along both coastlines over here. This city is special. You have downtown Miami, which is underwhelming if you have watched CSI Miami and have a certain impression of it and you have Miami Beach, the place to be if you are looking for a leisure experience, great music, fun loving people and warm turquoise water during daytime. It’s a bit like a playground made for adult audiences combined with splendid nature.

Our friend Ruben had to return home to the Netherlands so Tim and me decided to go southwards with him to give him a proper farewell. We all had a great time together!

PIMP MY RIDE 2

PIMP MY RIDE

The evening hours at the beach are most beautiful. The colors of the sky represent the art-deco of the houses very well and the party people, all in great shape over there, fill the streets. You see crazy cars and people wear extraordinary accessories to impress. Buzzing electronic beats encounter your ears from everywhere and in regard to variety it’s tough to decide where to go to party and to have a good drink. It’s quite expensive for guys tho. Admission to one of the roof tops can easily be $30 and you should not take it, since there will always be another place offering free entrance or reduced cover!

We decided to hit Nikki Beach a huge beach bar at daytime, kind of an open air nightclub during the night and until 5 a.m. in the morning. The whole place was loaded with people, most of them being on drugs tho and some of them having an aggressive attitude reduced the fun for me a bit. The night was cold as well for a night in Miami, truly a tough winter over here this year! I am not used to party until 5 a.m. anymore, so I chose to relax on one of the plenty big mattresses which are all over the place and sleep a bit while Tim and Ruben were dancing. At 5 a.m. we left the club exhausted, haven’t booked a hotel and brought Ruben to the airport. Time to say goodbye for now!

Tim and me had to find a place to park the car, our place for the night. We rode up Ocean Drive several blocks until we found a space at the beach where you could park, not easy in Miami, comparable to California and since everyone rides a car alone clusterfuck is your daily friend on the road…

There will be no sunset to observe on the Atlantic coast but therefore you have a great sunrise all for yourself while the party folks are still in bed – and since Tim already slept I made my way to the beach to observe it. Everything was calm and peaceful the total opposite of daytime, when you are surrounded by a crowd.

We had some breakfast in a hotel and went back to the beach, to the southern end. The beach where all the nightlife takes place is also called South Beach Miami – a lazy day after a long night, the right thing to do over there. Ruben was already on his way back and he promised – via WhatsApp out of the plane – he wore his bathrobe still when he checked in and on the whole flight. A great move of a great bro! 🙂

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Everything comes to and end, so did our beach day. We hit the roof top party of the Playboy hotel, more to just have a look and because the sound was great. The party was pretty cool, there was a pool and plenty of ladies were in the water. We were definitively surrounded by thuggish guys and silicon. Stayed there about 20 min. to get an impression then left to the harbor to have our dinner while we watched how the night came over downtown Miami. A bunch dolphins was playing in the bay, just another cool and appreciated extra of that day. A long trip home was in front of us…

Florida Spring Break – Good Times!

Spring Break must not neccessarily be a party overkill. I experienced some great beach days, with good live acts with my friends over here and they were all unforgettable. And as long as I hit the Atlantic I continued to learn surfing. It works actually alright and I am satisfied with my progress – as of now I am a four-timer on the board and I have no intention to stop learning it 🙂

Spring Break in Clearwater Beach

Although I never intended to take part in the Floridan Spring Break at Panama City Beach, there are different locations along the coasts which are equally entertaining and relaxing, compared to the crowded party beaches of the Panhandle. Ruben, Mareike, Starlight, Julia and me head to Clearwater Beach, to find something in between, a mixture of good nightlife and a decent beach to hang out at daytime. And all of that is so much fun in a nice group, willing to experience a good life.

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First of all we hit St. Petersburg Beach, which is obviously beautiful but mainly crowded with old people and families. It’s more the kind of beach you would have a look for attending as a couple or a family. Our way from there to Clearwater Beach in front of Tampa takes us another two hours, we have not been the only ones with the idea of a pristine day at the beach… But when we reach it finally we still hava a great day and of course, as it is gold standard at the coastline of the Gulf of Mexico, a great sunset.

Sunset at Clearwater Beach, at the Gulf of Mexico

Goede avond Ruben!

As I find out at dinner pizza Chicago style is really enjoyable. We have to prolong our beach stay a bit since the street is totally blocked by cars, this time heading back to the mainland. Most of the more affordable hotels are on the mainland and a night directly at the beach is not affordable at all, prices start around $160 for a room per night in places you would normally pay $30 if they would be located elsewhere. Our program for the night: Attending the Shepard’s Beach Resort where Vanilla Ice gives a concert this night. Our way to celebrate Spring Break. On our way back to the car, a moving performance of The Wandering Madman really touches me – goosebumps! – check out all of his music on his website and on youtube for free! What a great voice and what a laid back dude – I already experienced so many great artists, free of cover, in bars, on the streets, in wagons like this time, everywhere and all over the USA. It is really awesome!

We reach our hotel and just have 45 min. to get done and back to the hotel, where Vanilla Ice performs this night. Ruben made a small mistake booking the hotel tho. Our reservation is for the upcoming weekend and so we are without a place for the night. Luckily the shabbier motel next door has a place left. We have a quick “shower race”, about 3 min. for everyone, to get prepared. We “succeed” in staying on time and head back to the show. And I promise you, this show was really great and it’s often like that, you don’t expect anything great, then it becomes great!

Vanilla Ice performing some of his older songs

Vanilla Ice was born on Thangsgiving 1967 and loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles, that’s what we learn when he talks a bit about his songs he performs. He is in the mid fourties, his biggest hit Ice, Ice Baby is dated back to 1991, but he still is able to deliver a great show like that. Unexpected, great! Some party equipment is thrown into the crowd, some ladies enter the floor and soon afterwards the party really kicks off…

The girls go Spring Break crazy

It lasts until 3 a.m., an hour longer than elsewhere. It’s fun and we return back to the hotel totally tired but satisfied. The next morning starts with a big breakfast at IHOP, the rest of the day we lie around at the beach, enjoy it and try to not eat too much sand, since the wind is strong and the fine, white sand is everywhere!

Clearwater Beach

I have learned from my first beach days this year, use sunscreen LPF 50 now and enjoy the sun. But it’s still too much, after some hours I surrender and enjoy the show of some tourists, trying their best to stand up on the standing wave inside of one of the entertainment centers at the beach.

When we reach Gainesville at night, we have a decent BBQ. And on our way back we bought some cool $5 shirts at Walmart for the upcoming St. Paddy’s day the next day…

Spring Break in Daytona and Cocoa Beach – Surfing the tide of the Atlantic

Daytona Beach was once a popular location for Spring Break, this is long time ago. It is still a beautiful beach with very fine sand. I meet up early in the morning with my friends from the UF Navigators, Conny and Theresa from Austria, Nasa and Aicha from France. We take a rental car together and pick it up really early the morning. Gainesville really seems asleep at this time (7.30 a.m.).

A random wall painting I took a photo of in the early morning

Our ride to the beach takes a bit but we manage to get there before luchtime. It is a very beautiful day but the conditions on the water, the waves in Daytona, are tough to manage for a beginner like me. It was much easier to surf in the Pacific…

The day flies by in a second and I am eager to go to the beach again. After all it’s weekend and I like it more to go to the beach at daytime and skip the party at night in return. It’s so much more rewarding.

The next day I visit the beach with some other friends, Martin from Switzerland, Sharvari, Adriely, and Virat. They are colleagues of mine and we start again early in the morning to Cocoa Beach  close to Cape Canaveral. The beach has not such fine white sand as many others I visited in Florida and California, but the swell is really good to surf! Stephan, my former instructor from my times as intern here, his little daughter, Ben, a former colleague of mine and his girlfriend already await us.

Martin and me borrow a board and start right away. We have to bring it back several times until I find the perfect size, 8’6″. I teach Martin a bit and he really does good standing up on a big board. I go to watch El Classico in the meanwhile. The end of the day I surf, when the others are for dinner and I stand up everytime now. Too sad I am too busy with surfing to take pictures… It was great and I am in a spree to learn it properly now – a worthy alternative to snowboarding I have to say and since the Atlantic is already quite warm and the sun does the best to impress, we had another great day at the beach! This is how Spring Break can look as well. Thanks to all of you guys for the great time, the funny conversations and all the action – Really enjoyed it and we should do more of such stuff in our limited time over here!

FL to Cali via Orlando

The Springbreak Trip starts, in Florida Orlando since I have to catch a flight from MCO to SAN in Cali.

4 a.m. and I finally fall into bed. Tim and me left Gainesville at short to 2 a.m., he was clubbing and I had to pack my belongings. We made it to Orlando, where I crash at Micha’s and Lucia’s place. Micha and Tim are already on their way to the everglades, they want to do a canoe tour at sunrise. Lucia is already sleeping and for me it’s time as well…

After some six hours I wake up. The sun illuminates Micha’s room and it’s just great outside. First a coffee, then Lucia offers to show me Orlando, the part you probably won’t see as a tourist – far away from all the entertainment that is probably the only reason, why Orlando is well reknown – downtown.

It’s neat but really nothing special. Everything seems very artificial! Even Lake Eola is probably just a product of mankind.

We have a burger and head back home, where we enjoy another hour in the strong sun and a dip in the pool. Then it’s already time to leave. Lucia drops me off at the airport, thanks for your company today and for the city tour Lucia!  🙂

For all of you who plan to visit Orlando… It’s not really worth it, there are some nice bars with good sound for the night, but if you are to Florida and don’t intend to visit Disney World, Orlando’s shopping overkill malls, or the Universal Studios (the ladder are awesome!) you have basically no need to go to Orlando, save the day and invest it in a beach stay!

I’ll land pretty soon in San Diego. There is a storm flooding in progress at the moment and we enter bad turbulence right at this moment… I hope the weather will develop, I already skip Yosemite due to plenty new snow. Would be great to have snow boots, board and equipment over here, then I’d definitively do it. So looking forward for the next days… 😀

Getting in touch with underwater life

Time is passing by extraordinarily fast over here. I don’t know why it feels like that but everyday life has less hours to spend than our European! Maybe this is due to the long times you need to get from one place to another without a car. Public transportation in Gainesville is good tho and taking the bike also helps a lot.

In the last time I had to study a lot and the mathematics I have to deal with are quite challenging, especially since you won’t get in touch with those kind of math anymore, when you have graduated and are not dealing with it professionally. This said, there is few time to hang out and see the country, make trips and so on. A prospective colleague of mine wrote a nice article about the life as a Florida Gator just follow the link to read it. I for myself decided to slow down a bit and concentrate on my task for what I came to Florida this time.

But since there are weekends from time to time and Florida has to offer a vast variety of nature, we decided to do a trip yesterday and this time we wanted to snorkel with the manatees. To reach them we decided to rent a kayak.

Manatees are systematically related to elephants and live under water. They come to the shore between late November and mid of March, since the water close to shore is warmer by that time and when the spring breaks they move back to the sea because the sea is warmer by that time. Those lovely creatures are just cute and we were lucky to see some while we were kayaking through the swamps. They chill-out most of the time and are very peaceful – A great experience!

Florida is as whole just a swamp and civilization was built on it. If you pass the country you will see that and I hope I will be able to take some great pictures while just going around. It is beautiful although there is basically nothing and this ease makes it beautiful. If you are cruising along shore you will, in contrast, nearly find no place which is free of buildings. All the beautiful places are plastered with houses and private properties. This really is a pity!

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The great bassin of Crystal River, which is connected to the Gulf of Mexico is also a playground for dolphins which come there to hunt their prey. We saw several of them in the freshwater, hunting and playing along.

Whenever you hit Florida at winter time between December and mid of March, make sure you don’t miss this experience, enjoy a nice day kayaking and go snorkeling with the manatees at Crystal River. It is absolutely worth the experience!

Ready to get going: Ora et Labora, Beach and Super Bowl

My first encounter in a buddhists ceremony took place in a Vietnamese temple in Gainesville. We went there for Trang’s birthday and it was a good experience. Learning proceeds as well and with the first warm days since my arrival my mood becomes better and better, of course supported by our first trip to the beach. Life can be good!

The short winter break over here is finally gone… It was like 1° C at night and you could really smell snow – in the northern territories of Florida there was even snowfall, which did not happen since about 30 years. You guys from the mountains know what I am referring to, this certain smell before snowfall starts. Imagine that in houses out of thin wood and plastic… Brrr, caught a cold and it was not enjoyable at all. But those days are gone and Florida gets sun, as (normally) always. Pretty enjoyable!

At the weekend we went to the vietnamese temple with Trang. It was her birthday on January 31st and she invited us to join her. A very interesting experience and the people from the temple were  cute and nice, an old monch and one older and a younger lady. Both of the ladder were not really able to speak English, Trang spoke vietnamese with them, their appearance was peaceful and lovely tho.

Ora et labora

Time for prayers and some work! We were instructed how to do the buddhist prayer at the temple and how to find out about our destiny for the chinese year of the horse. Therefore you first get a little red envelope. Kind of an advice is inside, together with a dollar bill. The advice is a hint on how to behave or what to obey in the new year. The dollar bill has to be put into the wallet and be kept for a whole year. It grants you success and that your wallet will never be empty.

After that ceremony you can knee in front of the buddha and shake a little cup with plenty of wooden sticks. You shake it while thinking of something to come true, kind of a wish prayer. After some shaking a certain stick falls out, it carries a number. With this number you can get your individual horoscope for the upcoming year. And mine was quite interesting…

The first one from the little red envelope said (upper right): “If you have success in your life you will lose your love or beloved ones. You have to find out for yourself what is more important to you.” – “Tough measures, why not having both… It’s because you can’t have it all, but that sucks!” I thought, while Trang translated the message for me. But the individual horoscope was even more interesting. All the points stand for a certain part of your life like interaction with society, friendship, love…

Interaction with society: Great

Personal benefits: Pray for blessing and you will get what you desire

Relationship to others: You will receive support to succeed

Marriage or Partnership: Everything is gonna be alright

Birth: You will get a baby son (WTF…!)

Distance: Don’t leave to a far distance, you will find difficulties

Quest: You will find the person you are looking for

Court: You will win if you have to face court

Loss: If you have lost something you have to search for it, go east to find it

Health: Not too good, live healthy, peaceful and pray a lot for your health

Quite an interesting outcome… Honestly! I am looking into an interesting new year 2014 here, which will actually last longer starting with the last weekend since it’s the Chinese calender. The upper part of the horoscope was a poet with a certain meaning, free to interpretation and Trang couldn’t translate it for me.

That’s it about the ora part. The labora part includes loads of math for the upcoming term paper and the examination of my course I attend. I finally got started and it’s tough but somehow great to get back into this material. And learning by the poolside or at the beach never hurts!

Honeymoon Island State Park, an awesome beach day after winter break

So finally the sun is back to Florida, that’s like I still know it from the past. We decided to go to the beach and since here in northern Florida the weather is still not really stable and it’s cold and foggy sometimes, we decided to go southwards close to Tampa, to the Honeymoon Island State Park. I have already been there in the past and my memories are great. It was enjoyable by that time and this time again. Right at arrival a big turle crossed our way.

Big turtle at Honey Moon Island Statepark - what a welcome!Honey Moon State ParkHoney Moon State Park 02It was about 27° C but the Gulf of Mexico was not really warm yet, maybe 19-20° C but that was no obstacle to not get a dip of course! 🙂 I jogged a little bit, went swimming several times, we had a picnic altogether and by lunchtime I felt somehow sunburned and hid out in the shadow of a restaurant by the beach, enjoying (more or less) a drafted Budweisers, learning for about 90 min. Too late, as I found out later… I was already colored like a lobster after the cooking process…

Our group at the beachWe came back to Gainesville late when already half of the super bowl was played. But as many of the spectators told us, the game was not good at all because Seattle’s team was too dominant that an enjoyable game could have resulted. We watched it all together, all the pharmacy interns and related friends, broiled some chicken, since we couldn’t find the Banquet Hot Wings (they are awesome!) anymore and some coconut shrimps and enjoyed the rest of the game while having a beer and dinner. American football is alright, but for my liking I will stick with our way of football (soccer) and beach-volleyball as the sports of choice to watch and play.