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.  
OMG
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:
"THAT MIRROR IS HALF OFF". 
 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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