Of course, I cannot go to Florida and not mention anything about food! The third ingredient to a great holiday combined with family & friends and shopping! Food … food … food! The part of the holiday that I enjoy so much! My taste-buds are still singing with joy with such a varied menu starting with:

  • Raindancer
  • Cheesecake Factory
  • City Place restaurants
  • Park Avenue Ribs
  • Food courts in the Malls [Boynton, Boca Raton, Wellington, and Gardens]
  • Charlie’s Crab

This list does not even cover all the places we ate … nor the amount of times we ate in these places wink

Boy … food is a wonderful thing!

If my words are not making a few family members cringe with jealously … may be these pictures will help!















One cannot go to Florida and not mention the shopping. With so many female members in our family, it is import to emphasise the shopping … the endless shopping … the discounts … the discounts on discounts … the foreign’s discount card on top of discounts on discounts … the incredibly cheap dollar … and that’s just for starters!

So how does shopping work for women? It is a very complex formula that I do not understand, but it factors in:

  • The need to rent an enormous car to cope with the luggage & shopping.
  • Turning the villa into a Macy’s department store with purchased items, items to be returned, items to get price adjustments, & items that may or may not fit in the suitcases at the end of the holiday and may have to be returned (I think that is all the catagories Barbara mentioned).
  • That each person can take 46kg of luggage excluding carryon luggage.
  • Actual total luggage weight (including carryon luggage) on the way home was 162kg!!!

So how does shopping work for the guys? Just walked into Abercrombie & Fitch (better known to JJ as Applecrumble & Fudge), bought everything I liked and was done for the whole holiday.


Anyway, just for the girls … a few pictures of shopping …





JJ nearly buggers up the holiday before it starts! Can you believe it!?! No passport for JJ! Searched high and low for over 4 hours … tipping the house upside-down searching hopelessly … tipping Leija’s house upside-down … then burrowing into mess again! No passport! Called Schiphol lost ‘n’ found (as I may have lost it after my Portugal trip) to find that lost passports are handed to the police. Called the police … closed! Called the British Consulate … closed! Just after 11pm, we decided to stop packing, as we concluded that we would not be able to go on holiday without my passport. Back at the computer to search how to get a replacement passport quickly … JJ looks inside the copier and what is squashed inside … his passport! Why was it there? Who cares … the holiday was back on … with a bit of a rush to start packing again!

What a holiday! Four weeks away from the office, escaping sufficiently far enough to ensure that we are more or less unreachable in our little sanctuary that we like to call Palm Beach. The traditional retreat for anyone called ‘Jan de Haas’. Naturally a good excuse to introduce the next generation ‘Jan de Haas’ to the good life!






What a good boy! I have to admit that the prospect on being twice on a 10 hour flight with an 8 month baby was daunting! On top of that, what would he make of the time difference, the heat and humidity, being is a strange home and bed, being forced to go on endless shopping trips, and most importantly for his Dad … what was he going to be like in a restaurant? Well, all I can say was that he was magnificent … a natural world traveller … a natural restaurant connoisseur … a natural ‘Jan de Haas’  wink  Best yet … he found shopping boring like his Dad!


What could possibly go wrong? Well, after the initial holiday hiccup regarding JJ and the mystery of the missing passport, the holiday also introduced us to the world of American Medical World with 4 visits to the Emergency Room … three visits relating to a virus that Nathan, Barbara, and JJ shared … one visit for after Barbara stood on a Macy’s security pin that was not removed from her purchased clothing. Fortunately, we all recovered within days minimising the impact on holiday, especially with the TLC that Macy’s provided!

All in all … the little guy gave it his best!


What more could there possibly be? Well … Parts 2 & 3 of Florida 2008!