Sunday, February 26, 2017

Our Florida trip: the tale of the Venetian Mirror and saving our dog and phone from the pool.

Getting through a New England winter is easier if you can escape to a warm and 
sunny destination.  So hubs and I planned ahead last fall, and scheduled a trip to Florida.
Since we travel with Colby, we always look for rental homes or hotels that accommodate
dogs.  We weren't too picky about the area, just that it would be nice to be near the airport
at Fort Meyers, because my parents live in Naples, and we wanted to be able to see them on our trip.
Dave drove down with the dog and met me, my mother in law and our 15 year old son at the airport as we flew.  He stayed in dog friendly hotels along the trip down the eastern seaboard. 
A main requirement on our house list was that the rental needed to have a pool inside an enclosed lanai.  Colby is very good about not going through screens.  Dillon, our last dog, would barge right through them.  I imagined that all of us would recreate around the pool and the dog would be able to have free reign, without being tethered.  And that is exactly how it played out.  We had a marvelous time in the lanai, and Colby loved looking across the lawn to the water way. 
 We picked up my mom and dad from their home in Naples and brought them back to our rental home in Coral Gables for an overnight visit.  They are officially "snowbirds", as they leave the winters behind and head to Florida every year.  In their 80s now, they haven't skipped a beat.
 The enclosed pool got a lot of use.  Colby swam with his flotation vest on a few occasions, although he was wary of getting into the pool because of his first frightening experience. The first night we arrived at the house,  Colby walked out onto the pool cover, not realizing it was a body of water and he started to sink!  The pool cover started to swallow him up.  Luckily, hubs was able to grab ahold of him by the scruff of his neck and pull him out. Phew! 
Right after that, I dropped my iPhone into the pool, and watched it sink to the bottom.  
My 15 year old jumped into the pool to get it, then hubs turned it off and shook the heck out of it, water droplets spewing. Next, we put it in the oven (which I had preheated to 170 degrees for a few minutes) to dry it out. We googled advice of what to do, but we kind of came up with our own plan.  And it worked!! After leaving it in the oven for a few hours, we put the phone inside a container full of oats (you could use rice but we didn't have any).  The oats would absorb the moisture we figured.  Then we didn't turn it on for 2 days. That is key to recovery. Let it dry out. 
 Happy to say that my iphone 6 completely recovered!  
( The iPhone 7 is waterproof, but not earlier models.) 

 For the most part, our vacation was all about family time hanging around the house and the pool. However, the thought of those awesome consignment shops scattered about Florida kept lurking in my mind.  We don't have these kind of shops up North.  And when one rainy day came along, I asked hubs to take me out to look at a couple of shops for a treasure hunt.  Not looking for anything in particular, but hoping I would find something that I couldn't resist.  As I turned a corner in the shop, I spotted it.  Oh boy, look at this old Venetian mirror!!! It was beautiful and old and had gold etching in a neoclassical motif.  Tiny glass rosettes covered the screws.  The mirror had mild foxing (the term for aging and wear on the mirror which makes it cloudy or blackish), which I happen to LOVE.  Meanwhile, hubs was quickly roaming through the rooms of the shops, and I waited in front of the mirror to beckon him for a look.
 Hahahh!  I love this shot I took of him as he approached. 
 Look at his face!!! Hahahha!!
He was likely thinking, "you have to be kidding me! Another mirror?"
 Oh Dave, look at this mirror.  Its old, and its Venetian and I love it!! I told him the price was a steal and we had to get it.  No, he told me it would most likely break on the ride home (he drove down with the dog, while our son and mother in law flew with me).  Having a car meant I could bring it home!! But he was saying it might break.  "But you are the expert packer of all things"..... he was trying to suggest I find anything else but a mirror.  But I had my heart set on it.  I asked the girl in the shop  if the price was solid or discounted?  
She looked it up in a book and then said the magic words:
 What??? "Honey, its half off, that is the second sign from the Universe 
that it is meant to come home with us!!"  
And so it came off the wall and out to the car!  I loved the back of the mirror
almost as much as the front!! Squealing with joy inside, I was a very happy girl.

The first sign from the Universe about the mirror was this:
Just that morning I was looking at my phone and saw this amazing Venetian
mirror photo posted on Fifi O'Neill's instagram account.  This set me to thinking about
how beautiful old Venetian mirrors are...and I had one reproduction mirror several years
back that I sold in my shop, Maison Decor.  Other than seeing some for big money
at the Brimfield Fair, I had not run across any antique Venetians.  How do you
explain this turn of events?  I say it is the "law of attraction" or a "sign from the Universe".
This kind of thing happens to me a lot, where I think of something and then POW, it presents itself.
Does this ever happen to you?  
Anyway it does to me and now hubs is driving home as we speak 
with Colby and the Venetian Mirror.
Our beautiful home on the Cape Coral waterway, 
with the heated enclosed pool is now a fond memory in our family scrapbook.  
And where will the new mirror go?
The dining room is where I imagined it to hang, but until it arrives I 
can't be sure.  What I am sure of, is that it is going to look great where ever
it ends up.  And that every time I look at this old mirror, I will see a memorable
family vacation, with an incredible husband, son and parents.
Oh, and before I go, I saw this yesterday at Lowes.  My home on the cover!!
If you read my blog, you know I had a photo shoot with Fifi O'Neill and she chose
my home to be the covershot for Romantic Country.  Well it is still on news stands but
not for long.  I was amazed to see it at the Lowes Home Improvement magazine section.
Just a heads up in case you might want to grab a copy before its too late. 
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  1. Oh Amy that's a great story!! I see myself in your words... and how gracious and sweet your husband was about it! I have a very large victorian rose oil painting that somehow I got on a trip to Disneyland when I ventured out to an antique shop nearby... my kids had to ride home squished with it in the car... LOL. It's a great mirror! And now I want one too! Haha!! I have to go pickup that magazine!!! ~Marcy

    1. haha Marcy, somehow that doesn't surprise me about you doing something like that. ANd I bet everytime you see the painting you also remember the family vacation!

  2. It's a fabulous mirror! The stars aligned for you. I have a thing for Venetian mirrors, too. We put them in the bathrooms of our renovations, where gold just wasn't right. Here's one:
    I haven't posted the other two yet.

    1. YEs it did feel as if the stars aligned! I will be over to check yours out!

  3. I enjoyed your Florida trip. We have family in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral so just living in a rental sounds wonderful to escape the dreary winter days.

  4. wow your mirror is exquisite ~ and how fortunate your husband could bring it back in the car... interested to see where it will end up in your home. I was also admiring the blouse you are wearing in the photos - is it a recent purchase? would love to get one just like it!

    1. Hi Kristin, I got the navy blue shirt from Marshalls a few months ago. Its hit or miss over there, so not sure that will be much help.

  5. Your Venetian mirror is beautiful and I'm LOLing at you talking your hubby into it...I think we can all relate to that! My husband knows when I start hugging things, it's most likely coming home with us:) Can you let me know the name of the consignment shop you found it in pretty please? I'm in Fort Myers and am always on the lookout for new shops:)

    1. The name of the shop was Its All Good in Cape Coral on the Coronado Parkway. Good luck hunting some treasures!

  6. Beautiful mirror and a great time in Florida,sounds like a good time. Will be watching to see where it goes.

  7. Yay!!!....what a find and to think it was half off!!!....what??!!....a steal! ... I loved crusing the antique shops when my hubby was playing in Ft. Meyers...So happy that you had a great trip and you were able to ward off those potential catastrophes!....Love Cape Coral and the surrounding communities....a great place to escape the snow! Safe travels Amy and can't wait to see where you place that gorgeous mirror!

  8. Love, love, love the mirror and your blog! Did you rent the home on VRBO? Is it Coral Gables or Cape Coral? We are always looking for a place that we can bring our dog too.

    Pat in Chicago

  9. Hi Amy, Dave and Colby! And mom and dad :) Looking good everyone! Love your gorgeous new mirror - fabulous find.

  10. What a great vacation and story, Amy!!! Love that mirror and the good news about your phone after the drama. Looking forward to seeing the magazine and will pick up a copy. Xox

  11. What a wonderful vacation story! I remember the time my mom dropped her new eyeglasses off the side of the boat and my son jumped right in to find them on the bottom of the water. If he waited a minute, the tide would have taken them away.


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