Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer + Tradition = Baseball

I, like many Americans, have a love/ hate relationship with America's pastime: baseball.

The Big Red Machine

LOVE---Some of the best memories I'll ever have will be of the July trips we would take to Ft. Thomas, KY to see both of my grandmothers when I was a young boy. It was roughly 100 mi. from Louisville to Cincinnatti and it seemed like it took an eternity to get to my Granny and Grandma's house....where on a few special occasions we would take the bus into downtown Cincy to Riverfront Stadium and see The Big Red Machine (Cincinnatti Reds) play baseball. Names like Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez, Joe Morgan, David Concepcion and Ken Griffey...SENIOR.....all led by manager Sparky Anderson would dominate the National League throughout the 1970's. For the games we didn't attend, we would sit on the screened-in porch and listen to the Reds on AM radio into the summer night.

HATE-Strikes, steroids, unions, selfishness, agents, scandals, money, salary caps, tv rights, owners, money, and more money. These are the things that divide Americans from the its baseball passion. We all get upset when the MLB players and owners continually screw up, but find ourselves buying jerseys and rooting for teams in the playoffs each October.

LOVE-When we moved to Dallas, on occasion, I would wander over to The Ballpark in Arlington to watch the lowly Texas Rangers trip on their own feet......but after all, it is the AMERICAN LEAGUE.....home of the DH....where a pitcher doesn't even bat! And it was fun......not like when I was a kid....but fun. However,'s all changed.

Tonight, my business partner and I hosted 2 customers at a shrine to baseball: Fenway Park.

Put this on your "bucket list" if you haven't been.

We sat approx 50 ft from home plate, drank warm beer, yelled at the Oakland A's, ate Fenway Franks and drank more warm was the greatest! And....the Red Sox lost!!! And it was still great!!!!!!

PS---Granny---if you are watching, don't worry. I haven't gone over to the DARK SIDE (MLB AL), but I figured Boston Red Sox fans (like all Cinncinnatti Reds fans) hate the Yankees, so I could support the Red Sox for 1 night.

Batter Up! PLAY BALL!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Captiva - Update 2

Wednesday PM - we lounged at the beach as usual. It's been the best weather we've ever had while in in the 7 trips we've made since 1990. Days were cloudless with literally 1/2 ft waves and aqua blue green clear water. Aunt Ellen Davis bought everyone dinner (thank you Ellen) at Key Lime Bistro and we went to Jensen's Marina and watched the manatees that will let you get within few inches of them!!!!!
(Aunt Mary and Preston playing in the surf)

(Kiddos at Jensen's)

Thursday - I actually got Stacey to go fishing with me! This never happens. Dad, Stacey and I left Jensen's at 7am and ran north 6 miles in the Intercoatal Waterway and I got to prove I really can't throw a castnet......which is alot harder than it looks. But truthfully, I threw it well enough to catch 30+ big pinfish and we headed to Redfish Pass to fish the outgoing tide for snook.

(castnetting is an artform)

Apparently the snook were'nt hungry. But Stacey did catch a mangrove snapper and a catfish.

(mangrove snapper)

So we ran to the beach and picked up the kids to watch dolphins which will let you idle right up to them. The kids love watching flipper.

(flipper & son)

I decided since it was very very calm, we would all (Me, Stacey, Kate & Preston) go offshore. We went to a close reef called Pace's Place and anchored. Immediately Kate hooked up something HUGE. My big Star trolling rod almost doubled over as something BIG ran with the bait. I was so proud of her for not dropping the rod....then snap! whatever she hooked must have had teeth because the line broke! Within 15 minutes Stacey caught her first ever Jack Crevalle-----and had a HUGE SMILE!!!

(Jack Crevalle? I think I went to high school with Jack Crevalle!!??)

AND THEN about 2 minutes after Stacey caught her jack, I hooked up on another nice kingfish......THIS TRIP HAS BEEN UNBELIEVABLE AS FAR AS FINDING AND CATCHING OUR OWN FISH!!!!!.

The kids loved riding in the boat all week. We went back to the beach and all played before heading back, swimming in the pool and cooking a big dinner. Dad, Stacey, Mary, Mom & I all stayed up late polishing off Corona's and laughing about a million stories growing up----some I remember----some I don't!!!!

(The perfect boat for the week)

Friday - Not looking forward to leaving, Dad and I made bait again with the castnet and fished Helen's sunken barges by Boca Grande. We caught some nice gag grouper, spanish mackrel, red grouper, and broke off a few fish we never saw. We bagged a nice legal red grouper and headed to the beach. After playing in the sand witht the kids, we regretfully took the boat back to Jensen's and cleaned it thoroughly. Here are a few pics of this great week.....a week we'll all remember for years to come.

(Friday night dinner -Red Grouper)

11 months and we get to come back.....this time with Scott, Deborah, Hunter & Nathan Cummings....our good friends from Frisco, TX.

Happy Birthday again to Mom & Dad......we 3 kids may give you a hard time, but you've earned many great vacations (including this one) for raising us.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Captiva - Update 1

Our Nightly Routine: Watching the sunset on Captiva

Friday--Travel day. Got to Ft. Myers without incident, nailed BassPro for some last minute NEEDS for fishing. Had a nice dinner at Outback Steakhouse (one of the few chain restaturants that still care about quality) and checked into Sanibel Harbor Resort & Spa. I would recommend this resort. Built in the early 90's, still very nice.

Saturday - Took delivery of the rental boat while Stacey & the kids ate bkfast and waited to hear from Grandma & Grandpa who picked up Mary & Derek Prosser at 10am from D.C. We ate lunch at The Lighthouse Restaurant and shopped at Publix----racking up the ususal $1,100+++ on groceries. Our drive to Captiva and checkin to our house was easy and we were at the beach by 5pm. Mom made KILLER enchiladas and we swam in the pool.

Sunday-Dad & Derek golfed early at The Dunes seeing 3 alligators and a water moccasin---one gator was 10++ ft!!!!! I was ready to go try the 29' Wellcraft center console I rented so I loaded up and bought bait and headed thru Redfish pass trying a few casts for snook. After was comfortable running the boat, I ran out to a few spots I know. BAM!!!! First cast, red grouper, BOOM! Another and another and another......none were 20" legal but I was having fun. All of the sudden one of my rods started screaming so I dropped my grouper rod and after a brief fight I saw I had a nice kingfish who I lost right at the boat. I moved a few miles and repeated the grouper routine then headed to the beach at noon where we anchored and swam with the kids.

Monday---Derek, Dad & I met Capt. Larry Iacofano and his 1st mate and fished the ARC reef catching a MONSTER 30lb kingfish (Dad), 2 snappers and an amberjack (Derek), and I caught my first permit......helluva a fight. Dad's king was HUGE! A great day fishing and we smoked the kingfish----it was a great dinner


Tuesday-Derek, Dad & I bought bait, caught bait and headed offshore. After searching a few spots, we headed to the place I fished Sunday. As we were leaving to head back, I started reeling in our last rod and felt a small hit then a huge hit from this nice kingfish which we also smoked Tuesday night. We also loaded up the boat with everyone and headed to Cabbage Key for a great cheeseburger.

Wednesday---Dad and I fished with guide Capt. Nelso Diaz and broke off a dozen or more snook, jumped a baby tarpon, landed a dozen ladyfish, and landed 2 huge snook.

More to come later!

Friday, July 10, 2009


Dateline: July 10, 2009, 10:45am CDT - 362 nautical miles east of Dallas (somewhere over Mississippi), 31,000 ft, travelling @ 464 knots.....IN THE SKY!!!!!!!

Yes, that's right. I'm on a flight 31,000 above land enroute to Atlanta then to Ft. Myers listening to my iPod & wirelessly connected to the Internet on my laptop. If you're on a flight soon, try it @ Delta, Airtran, United, American and Virgin offer it or will offer it soon.

And for other nerds like me, checkout You can track just about ANY flight in the US---public or private.

Updates on the Captiva vacation soon....stay tuned.

WHAT'S NEXT?????? I can't wait.