All posts by Laura

Laura is Nora Roberts' personal publicist. She can be found on the Nora Roberts and JD Robb Official Fan Pages on Facebook as well as on Instagram.

Cozumel, last day

Packing to go home’s always easier than packing for a trip. You don’t have to think: Do I want to take this? You’re taking everything.

So the majority of packing’s done in no time.

It’s panorama time! Kat and Jason already have it choreographed so that fun tradition goes smoothly.

Indoor/outdoor pano.

It’s goodbye hugs for JR, and off to the airport—but he gets in a last chase with Griffin.

When she’s back, I hang with Kayla while Colt, Kat and Griffin enjoy the pool. We learn JR’s flight’s delayed an hour. Weather.

And Kat announces there’s a crab in the pool. This seems strange. It’s a dead crab which Colt scoops out with the net. But wait! There’s another, and this one’s very much alive! Colt is not quite so eager to scoop the live one, but between him and Kat, they chase it down—it scrambles some. Into the net with you! And Colt hauls it down to toss it back in the gulf.

Kat’s gone crabbing. Photo by Nora.
Gotcha! Photo by Nora.
Colt planning his throw. Photo by Nora.

I can only assume they ran away from home, decided the pool looked good. Then one met a tragic end.

Mario and other Switch games happen during the lunch hour.

BW and Jason do a drive around the island. Along the way they spot a wild pig and what they think were monkeys. I didn’t know we had either around here.

Beach. Photo by BW.
Photo by BW.

We decide on an early dinner and head to town. JR’s connecting flight is also delayed, so more airport hanging for him. Poor guy.

While we order dinner a storm sweeps in. Wild rain blowing in the wild wind. We’re under cover, but oh, those poor people on bikes, scooters, open-air jeeps! This is monsoon level rain, occasionally blowing sideways, just lashing down.

Clouds in the distance. Photo by j a-b.

We’re lucky it finally eases off toward the end of our final dinner in Cozumel.

Home through big, splashing puddles.

Time for some Jack games, then bed before our departure day.

The birds are busy this morning, and very, very chatty. Lots of call and response going on. And no blue sky as dawn breaks. I’m really sorry to see the thick clouds up there as that’s where we’ll be in a few hours.

I’m going to squeeze in a quick workout, finish up the travel day packing—and hope some blue peeks out above as we ready ourselves to head home.

A lovely, fun, interesting, relaxing and occasionally adventurous family vacation. Many new memories banked. Really can’t ask for better.

Except—fingers crossed—a smooth flight home.


One last (unused) sunset. Photo by Kat.

Cozumel, Day 15

A pretty morning becomes a stormy one. Another hard driving rain pumps down with some wicked booms of thunder that roll into echoes. It comes and it goes with sun beaming, then sun washed away.

Sometime before the rain swept in, the older kids did some kayaking. I still don’t know how I missed that event.

The gang is thoroughly entertained by Mario Cart during the storm. There are wild cheers, groans and moans.

Absorbing competition. Photo by Nora.

Then it clears again, looks like it might mean it this time. Kat takes Griffin off for a last round at the water park.

The report is much fun, but this time he was ready to go when the time came.

There are some daily chases, and my opponent appears to have forged some new weapons. He’s a tricky one.

Kayla and JR do some packing as he heads for home Sunday. The rest of us depart Monday.

Dinner plans evolve, and Italian wins the day. More Mario Cart before departure, and this time Griffin joins the cheering section. But when it comes time to do a little pano portrait in the living area, he departs and races himself for awhile.

Indoor pano. Photo from j a-b’s camera.

A LOT of standing water here and there on the drive into town. I think they might have gotten hit even harder than we did.

And the sky opens again just as we park, so it’s a mad dash through it to the restaurant. But there, we’re under cover outside while an enormous cruise ship glides by in the distance through a curtain of mist.

Citrus salad. Photo by Nora.

I can’t resist that lovely citrus salad—and will get some grapefruit at home now and then to add to ours. Pizza and pasta for all, but for Logan who orders some sort of steak. It comes coiled around a vertical skewer, and is pretty impressive.

Steak delivery. Video by Kat.

Also, Logan reports, excellent.

We have the drama of sunset to add to our meal. It never gets old.

Front row sunset seating. Photo by Nora.
Boat and sunset. Photo by Nora.

Griffin already goes for his new fave, yellow ice cream. So dessert and cappuccino it is. Jason and I both go for peach Melba, and yum. BW gets about half of mine.

Colt’s dessert. Photo by Colt.

Home again, and Poker is the game of the night. This time, all the luck seems to be on one side of the table. Logan, Kayla, Colt and I, on the other end, don’t win a single hand. JR takes an enormous pot at the end. Other than Logan, Kayla Colt and me, who are wiped out, the others fare well enough.

I hesitate to say it looks like a pretty day, but so far, so good. Workout’s done, and though Griffin and Jason aren’t in their usual morning spots, they should be over soon. We’ll do our annual panorama shot outdoors, then Jason and Kayla will take JR to the airport.

Today is for goodbyes and packing for our own departure tomorrow morning.

Whatever else today brings, it’s been a really wonderful family trip. We’re blessed to have four grandchildren ready and willing to travel with us, and as always the best traveling companions ever, Jason and Kat. Another bonus this year, with Kayla’s adorable JR.


Cozumel, Day 14

I doubt I could’ve been more wrong about the weather.

The potentially pretty day clouds up by late morning. Rain comes, fairly nice at first. But before much longer, we have a driving wall of rain, and the palm trees are whipping. Even the covered patio won’t do during this.

It’s impressive with some quick lightning and its answering roll of thunder.

Griffin spots me, and the chase is on. He’s adopted my cross-arm Wonder Woman-like shield. And his, naturally, proves more powerful. He takes my hand in my defeat and guides me to the corner of a wall where I understand I will be stuck. With much effort, I gain my release.

We repeat this awhile until Colt takes my place.

JR and Kayla do laundry.

As it’s cooled considerably, I open the big accordion doors so the outside is in, the inside is out.

I make progress with some business at home—that’s a big check mark! My forever friend and our business manager makes more on Boonsboro business. Yay!

Time for a pitcher of margaritas.

The rain passes, and the sky blues again. Here’s the sun.

Kat and Griffin enjoy the pool. I think nobody enjoys the pool as much as Griffin, but Kat comes close.

It’s been a lazy, rainy day so the sun, the pool time, the cooler air (that won’t last) are welcome.

Off to dinner, and again, we have a live band. We’re not seated so close this time, so conversation’s possible. And the music’s fun. After considerable debate, I decide on a burger. I can’t remember the last time I had one. I manage to make it clear I want burger and bun, no more. I am a burger and bun burger person.

The enthusiastic pool time has Griffin conking on the way to the restaurant. He sleeps on Mom awhile, then wakes, blinks around. He has yellow ice cream (vanilla) chicken fingers and fries. My burger is tasty, and huge. I cut it in half and nearly manage the half.

Palms framing the sunset. Photo by Nora.

The sun’s begun its drop toward the water as we head back. But on the walk to the car, I spot a shot, and take it. Back home, Colt dashes for the dock, and I follow behind him, Kat and Griffin.

Capturing the last of the sun. Photo by Colt.
Kat’s composition.

The red sun’s hardly more than a dot at water’s edge, then poof! Gone. But the sky is still more than worthy for documenting.

Last of the day. Photo by Nora.

We’re going to try six-handed Hearts. Kat, BW, Colt, me, JR, Kayla.

BW has a rough start as he takes the Queen on an early trick. And although there are a couple hearts in the widow, as it turns out, he has no chance to run them. We’re only playing to fifty.

After she racks up some points, Kat claims to have a plan. She’ll take just enough more to hit fifty and go back to zero—and does the math. Her plan falls apart, so it’s onto Plan B. Meanwhile Kayla gets stung a couple times, as do BW and JR. Colt makes the classic mistake of announcing he has zero and will win.

Oh, sweet summer child!

He takes the Queen and a handful of hearts in the very next hand. You do not tempt the god of cards.

I, on the other hand, have taken the Queen once, and a scatter of hearts throughout the game and remain low man. I am also seasoned enough to shut up about it.

In the end, Kat’s plan—even Plan C—fails, Colt’s hubris puts him over fifty, and I slide quietly into victory.

Bedtime for Griffin, but not before a Chase. Now he simply points to where I must stand and be stuck.

This morning, the yellow warbler is perched on a branch just above my own perch on the bedroom balcony. He doesn’t sing or call, just sits and looks around. Blue skies, so fingers crossed there can be some home-style snorkeling and kayaking today.

Time to work out.

Cozumel, Day 13

Local fauna. Photo by j a-b.

Since I’m not going down water slides, I opt out of the water park. BW seems to want a lazy day, so the two of us stay back while the rest of the gang heads out for water adventuring.

Just as they leave, the power goes out.

Oh well.

BW and I read on the patio, and since the gang doesn’t quickly return, we assume power is okay where they are. And fortunately, it was only out a couple hours here.

I watch a grackle land by the pool, then his companion, and they play their own water games. Another joins. Then I see one sitting on the wall and start getting Hitchcock vibes when one more lands.

We do not have an attack of the grackles, so we read on.

I decide to trade my book for some work on my own.

Time for a snack, and shortly after, power’s back. I can now check my email as a lot of business is going on at home, and I need to keep up.

The gang has lunch at the park before they return. Fun for all. In fact so much fun for the youngest member,  he didn’t want to leave. Some serious crying and strong objections to departure is reported.

The desired slide. Video by j a-b

Jason said while there he wanted to go on the slide. Was very determined. But the rules are you must go down alone, and no floaty vest. The kid’s too young to slide down into five feet of water alone—especially since you’re also not allowed to hang out at the bottom and catch the kid.

Gang in the pool. Photo by j a-b.

While disappointed, Griffin found much else to do, especially since the place was packed with kids.

A lower slide. Arg, matey! Photo by Kat.

Some hang time before dinner.

Then it’s back into town for food. Griffin’s new thing is delight in: 100-citement. Which means 100% excitement. We have some on the drive as a doorless Jeep pulls well into the road. Jason dodges it, then has to dodge another Jeep coming on the other side, THEN dodge a man in the road fixing a water pipe.

It’s like Mario! 100-citement. Do it again!

At the restaurant, Griffin settles for his iPad version of excitement. I have my own with the biggest margarita to date.

A little pre-dinner screen. Photo by Nora.
Nana’s entertainment. Photo by Nora.

Good food, good drink, good company. The older kids go across the street for the sunset before we head home.

rooting. Photo by Nora.
Sunset over the JR and Kayla.

We’re a little later than usual, but there’s still time for Poker. Texas Hold ‘Em is the game, and this time I win the first round. There are bluffs, hopes rise and fall. The river has two queens and an eight—I forget what else as that’s what mattered to me as I have a queen and an eight for a full house in my hand.

Logan goes all in. I call on the biggest pot of the night. He has a full house—eights over queens. My queens over eights beat that. So I win the first and last pot of the night.

Some pre-bedtime Chase wraps things up.

Quiet this morning. Maybe the birds are planning something after all. I hope not as the sky is a pretty summer blue and so is the water.  A big white excursion boat just passed, absolutely packed with people.

It feels like it’s going to be a lovely day.


Cozumel, Day 12

Solidly successful shopping!

We take two cars so we’re not jammed, and as Kat has a couple of other shopping areas after the main group one. While Kayla’s feeling better, she stays back with Jason and Griffin.

We find parking side-by-side—a good omen. And after a slightly nervous me—I’m the only one in the group who’s been shopping, and my sense of direction sucks wide—leads the way, we find shops.

And a rock shop! As a group, we love rocks!

Everyone finds something. I have a lovely, tumbled hunk of carnelian to take home.

A pair of parrots. Photo by Nora.

We see parrots! I take a photo, but Kat poses for one, and gets to hold one. Very cool.

True #randomkatness captured by j a-b.

Then there’s a hand-crafted store with bags and belts and wallets—the leather smells amazing. With jewelry and pretty bits and bobs.

Logan negotiates, and very successfully. He assists JR in bargaining. I do my own, also with satisfaction. Another store, more success, than another yet. I have completed my personal shopping goal.

I will say, since he was just a little guy, Logan has had great taste in gifts.

He comments it’s interesting to be in a place where English isn’t the first language. I so agree.

Yet another stop, yet more bargaining and purchases.

BW, Colt, JR head back with our bags, (there are many) and Kat, Logan and I venture into another area looking for a pottery venue. Logan navigates, and while we find the place, it turns out to be a kind of food court rather than pottery.

But Kat finds a pineapple from a tiny fruit stand. She is very skilled in cutting fresh pineapple.

Off we go to park at the Mega—there’s a tiny shop we noted directly across the street with gorgeous bowls, hand painted, wood. A delightful shop keeper—she calls Logan Skinny-Minnie Boy (she’s not wrong!), and she has a little girl about Griffin’s age. The offerings are just beautiful. BW has hoped I’d find something I liked for our upcoming anniversary.

I oblige him and select three, various sizes, all gorgeous art. Kat finds some for gifts. I get Kayla a tee-shirt, and Logan points out the purple is her school color. The shopkeeper tells us we made her day.

The little girl brings newspaper to her mama to wrap the bowls.

Back to the car to lock up the bags and do a round in the Mega for more supplies.

Then home again after a job well done.

And fresh pineapple. Kat chose very well!

Some swimming. Griffin is doing simply great in the pool. I think he wore Colt out. I really enjoy seeing him motoring around in the water, secure in his bright yellow floaty jacket.

We decide on Italian for dinner.

Griffin conks in the car on the way in. Swimming will do that.

He sleeps on Daddy at the table for awhile.

The server not only remembers us, but what we drink. That’s a memory! Kayla soothes herself with potato soup. I go for spaghetti. BW orders a glass of Merlot, and after I take a sip, and order one for myself. Very smooth.

A pretty evening with the humongo cruise ships out in the water, and a pretty sail boat that eventually tacks its way closer.

Sailboat and sunset. Photo by Kat.
Kayla’s sunset.

And another fine meal.

Back for relaxing, then a challenging game of Chase—which also now includes Freeze. But I’m not arrested, so that’s something.

I go to bed a free woman.

Another pretty morning, too. Yesterday we had big puffy clouds with layers that looked etched. Today smaller ones. And I hear a pair of birds that sounds like they’re cursing each other.

It’s about time to go work out. I think there’s hope for the water park today. Apparently there’s a twenty-foot water slide.

Not, by any means whatsoever, for me!


In case they forgot where they are. Photo by Kat.

Cozumel, Day 11

Down the beach. Photo by BW

Plans for the water park are scotched for reasons. First, hey, it’s closed on Tuesday. And weather’s rolling in, at least from the look of the sulky gray sky.

Add our Kayla appears to have picked up whatever Kat had this time last week. When I go over for a Nana check she feels warm. Not scary hot, but low-grade fever time. And her throat’s scratchy. She’s hungry, and when all she wants is dry toast, I know she’s feeling pretty punky.

JR’s looking after her, and after an abortive first attempt—toaster oven acted wonky, burned the bottom of the toast—we manage toast. Nana delivers.

Since Colt also wants toast, Jason gathers a list as that’ll take care of the sliced bread. He’ll get some ginger ale, some veggie broth and whatever else we need. He is our Mega Store King.

Turns out I have some emails to deal with, and some business from home on a couple fronts.

For some reason I remain free from jail all day!

I decide, what the hell, I’ll bring down my laptop and work awhile on the patio.

BW and Kat decide to head out for an adventure. I opened the accordion doors and between me and Jason and whatever game Griffin’s into on his iPad he’s well looked after.

From Kat and BW’s adventure. Photo by BW

He asks me for more chips, please. And I have a slice of last night’s pizza which is just fine.

JR comes over for ginger ale and veggie broth for our sick girl. So she’s well looked after, too.

I pull out an old favorite I brought along in case I ran out of new books. So there’s Mary Stewart’s classic Arthurian tale, The Crystal Cave. It never, ever fails to capture me by page one, no matter how many times I read it.

Where shall we go? From BW & Kat’s adventure. Photo by BW.

BW and Kat return, very cheerful from their trip to the lighthouse, and some impromptu shopping. Kat has a cool new hat.

Lighthouse. Photo by BW.
Inner working of the lighthouse. Photo by BW.
Kat’s new hat. Photo by BW.

We discuss dinner plans. JR will go with us, but though Kayla feels better, she opts out. Nana makes her scrambled eggs and toast—with butter this time.

We head into town to revisit the first restaurant we tried. When we use the garage at the Mega Store, Griffin says: Blue Cupcake Store!

He forgets nothing.

As Logan ate two pb&js right before we left, he settles for some tortilla soup. BW and Kat both try lime soup, and both approve. I go for the lobster and yum!

My two for one margaritas go very well with it.

Back home for ice cream and more games.

So we’re entertained until bedtime.

Morning’s sunny and blue, so bodes well for our planned group shopping. Jason and Griffin will pass, but the rest of us—hopefully Kayla, too—will head out shortly.

My workout’s done, and bacon’s made.

Not sure what will catch my eye today, but Kat and I saw some very cool bowls and dishes yesterday right before dinner.


And, in an homage to trips past, some #randomkatness

Cozumel, Day 10

Griffin wants a playground, so Kat, Kayla and JR go off to try one. With the rest of our crew off snorkeling, I settle down to work a bit.

It’s a pretty pleasant, breezy day, so I choose the patio. Nice, really nice, to sit outside, feel the breeze, glance up and see the shine of the gulf through the trees. I can hear the water lapping, and the birds calling. Otherwise it’s quiet in my outdoor office.

I’m surprised when the snorkeling gang returns. The time flew by. But I’m not quite finished this scene, so keep at it while I hear about a shark sighting—baby nurse shark—barracudas, and many, many fish, small and large.

Playground gang returns. Playground was a bust, so they hit the mega store. It has some kiddie rides, and that did the trick. Also ice cream.

Kayla realizes I’m still working and says they’ll be quiet. I remind her I started this adventure with two pre-schoolers. I can work through noise, and nearly done.

And scene!

Griffin’s napping on Daddy. BW is upstairs working on the photos he took with his underwater camera. I treat myself to a Bellini, and see BW has sent out the pics. Oh, there are such wonderful ones of Colt and Logan! No doubt their first real snorkeling adventure was a success! These get printed out and framed once we’re home.

Fishy friends. Photo by BW.
Logan afloat. Photo by BW.
Colt under the sea. Photo by BW.
Ray. Photo by BW.
Far less menacing starfish. Photo by BW.

I walk into the kitchen and discover the Wilder Hair Salon is open. Just about every vacation, BW gives Kat a haircut. This started years ago on our first trip to Montana. I don’t know why Kat decided to trust him, or BW decided to trust himself, but it’s now a tradition.

I’m a little aghast at the amount of hair he’s whacking off, but as usual? Yeah, it works. 

Done. Photo by Kat’s phone.

Time to clean up for dinner. We’re trying a new-to-us place. It’s closer to the villa, but not on the water. Still, we’re all curious.

Cleaned up for dinner. Photo by BW.

It’s lively. It has an old car Griffin can climb in. A guest chef from Austin greets us and tells us he’s making MD crab soup. We tell him all but one of us (JR) come from MD. He insists on giving us a sample—though he explains he uses shrimp and lobster instead of crab.

Pre-dinner fun. Photo by Kat.

When in Mexico!

And it’s very tasty.

There are big screens on opposing walls and they’re playing MTV—80s edition. It’s fun and funny. This doesn’t feel like a touristy spot. The patrons strike me as old hippies (I’m one myself) and ex-pats. Maybe some locals.

Fun time guessing songs and artists on MTV—and amusement abounds at the hair styles.

Colt and I split a pepperoni pizza. Logan orders shrimp pizza—which seems to be a house speciality.

Once again, Logan’s choice is wowzer! How he manages to eat all but one piece is a mystery. The boy’s skinny as a snake—but not for lack of eating.

Logan’s shrimp pizza. Photo by Nora.

So a good, entertaining meal not far from home.

Back home and Kayla’s got a little headache. She retires for the evening. Kat and Griffin go for a swim, BW and I sit down by the dock for a very satisfying sunset. A golden end to a lovely day with plenty of memories banked.

Rain’s coming. Photo by BW.
But first, sunset. Photo by BW.
Nora’s sunset view.

It rains for about thirty seconds.

But it’s not over as Griffin’s still enjoying the pool. I think he might’ve stayed in half the night, but here comes a roll of thunder. Now it’s time to admire the creeping dark, then look amazed—Griffin and I exchange amazed glances—over the lightning.

After the rain. Photo by j a-b.


The birds go wild this morning. It sounds like an old Tarzan movie on my little balcony. I think I spot a magpie. Do they have magpies in Mexico? I’ll have to look it up.

There are plans for a visit to a nearby water park today. Should be fun. Hopefully the skies stay clear so everyone can splash around. Right now they’re a pale, quiet blue, and a little breeze remains. But it already feels as if it’ll be a hotter one than yesterday.

A water park sounds like a good way to keep cool.


Cozumel, Day 9

Note from Laura: There are, indeed, pancakes.

Breakfast a la Logan. Photo by Nora.
Cheers chef! Photo by BW.

Cloudy and breezy make very nice weather for patio sitting with a book. Colt is late to the party as he decides to practice his shuffling. I believe we have a card shark in the making.

I am incarcerated again when I go inside. My many escapes are short-lived, even when I unlock the Daddy wall with magic keys.

Pano view by j a-b.

Logan and Grandda do some snorkeling down off the dock, and Colt has some mid-morning pancakes.

Skies clear and the pool beckons. Kayla and JR play some pool games with Griffin who’s confident in his floaty jacket and swims around. Then Kat takes the Orca floaty who threatens and attacks. Hilarity ensues.

Shark threat. Photo by Nora.
Pool time. Photo by j a-b.

Then thunder booms. Booms and echoes across the water though our skies are bright. Check the weather app, and we look good for now.

Porthole view. Photo by j a-b.

When it booms closer, adds that telling crack, everyone takes a water break, including Orca at Griffin’s insistence.

Thunder drifts off. Barely a murmur now, and the sun streams. We have one stormy looking cloud off to the south, but it’s back in the pool.

View from above. Photo by BW.

Later, inside it’s apparently time for Mario Cart while BW and I read and have a cocktail on the patio.

Time to clean up for dinner as many are starving. Plus most restaurants close early on Sunday. We get a table right on the water again. Lots of boats, lots of people swimming right below.

Logan asks if he can order the surf and turf. Go for it.

Logan and Kat Rubik cube-ing while waiting for surf and turf. Photo by Nora.

When it comes out, the whole table is: Wowzer! It’s serious surf and serious turf. Beef, chicken, pork, I think. Lobster, shrimp and who knows what presented on one enormous platter.

Though he gets some help with it, he does it justice. The rest is boxed up for another day.

Back home and JR and Kayla suggest we play something called on the Switch. Several quirky games in one. So we download the app and begin. You use your own device which connects with the game.

Trivia questions. Guessing games. Much goofiness. Make your own tee-shirt game which includes drawing and slogans or sayings—and the game mixes and matches them for votes. Another game where you have to discover The Faker among us.

Very entertaining, and I believe this will become a staple going forward.

A very nice, easy, fun-filled Sunday comes to an end.

Up early, make bacon.

BW, Jason, Logan and Colt are off on a snorkeling trip this morning, and head out while I work out. Clean up, and Kat and Griffin are having breakfast. I escape possible arrest by heading to the patio to write the blog.

I suspect my freedom will be limited.

Will likely finish the book I’m reading, then go work on my own awhile.

Another breezy day, and with enough clouds now that the water is a shiny, silvery gray.


Cozumel Bonus Info

I thought it would be easier to share this as a post rather than an answer in the comments.

What’s Nora reading? She sent me a list — that you can now add to your summer reading list:

December ’41 by William Martin. A thriller set right after Pearl Harbor.

The Golden Gate by Amy Chua. A historical police procedural/mystery, set in the 40s again.  This was an ARC and will be out September 19, 2023

And a reread–for too many times to count–of Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave. (Which you can find in libraries and bookstores everywhere.)


Cozumel, Day 8

Again, I spend considerable time in jail. Griffin’s thrilled with my capture—repeatedly. He is judge and jury, it seems.

It’s laundry time, and after studying the machine, I ask Kat to check and make sure I’m interpreting the Spanish controls correctly. Fortunately, I am, so we get that going.

JR and Griffin having some screen time. Photo by Kat.

Reading time for me. It’s overcast, breezy, and just fine for sitting out on the patio. If I look up, I see bits of the gulf, a boat flying by through the trees. The grackles come to drink and shower.

Time to hang the laundry, so BW fetches coat hangers from upstairs. We use the rungs of the chaise umbrellas, and the rail on one of the second floor terraces. A nice, bright sun now, so it shouldn’t take too long.

Why not make a pitcher of margaritas?

I read some more, enjoy that margarita, deal with some email. Inside Kayla, Colt and JR are playing three-handed hearts. Jason has some work and uses the quiet second house for it. Kat gets pulled into the game to make it four-handed. For awhile, I enjoy rounding the table to look at everyone’s hand.

I substitute for Kat a few hands while she tends to Griffin. Kayla immediately runs them—and very skillfully. I do more jail time. Locked in jail, Griffin says, gleefully.

Why only me? I wonder.

The incredibly long game of Hearts comes to an end, Jason’s returned, so we consider dinner—where to go. Jason’s found another restaurant in town, so we’ll try that.

Clean up, clean ourselves up and off we go. Colt rides with us this time, and as with Kayla, Griffin has a fine time with him.

This little place is across the road from the gulf, but you can still see it—and those HUGE cruise ships. Colt and I are going to split a flank steak, but it turns out they have chicken strips, so the steak will be mine alone.

Margarita portrait by Nora.

This is a small operation with a semi-open kitchen. I like watching the cooks—and the server works in there, too. Chips, salsa and drinks to sustain us while they work.

Airy decor. Photo by Nora.

We have a loose plan for the upcoming days. JR will practice snorkeling, see if he enjoys it. We’ll book a snorkeling trip for either Monday or Tuesday. There’s a small water park near here, so that will serve on the alternate day. Griffin’s all about that one.

Wednesday for a group shopping trip.

On vacation, loose plans work best.

Food comes out and the servings are as big as the cruise ships.

I barely make a dent in my steak, but it’s wonderful. Kayla says the same about her nachos. As far as I can see, others made serious dents, so we head out full and happy.

Masive steak. Photo by Nora.

There are chases and jail time. But no jail time for Nana! Tonight, it’s JR, Kayla and Colt who are pursued and incarcerated as Griffin is again arresting officer, judge, jury and now occasionally cage door. He detains them in the alcove outside Logan’s room with his sturdy little body.

New prisoners. Photo by Nora.

They’re finally released.

For Poker Night.

Logan wants Texas Hold ‘em only, but is overruled by the majority. It will be dealer’s choice.

Once again, Jason wins the first hand, and it’s a rich pot.

JR holds his own, Colt is losing fast. I win a couple of very nice ones—and Jason’s luck continues. For the last hand, Kat proposes a Pong Family style of five-card draw. You get to draw twice, deuces, One-Eyed Jacks and Suicide Kings are wild.

The pot is beyond rich, Kayla, down to her last chips, has to go all in to call. And wins it on four of a kind.

Raking it in. Photo by Nora.

She and Jason are definitely the big winners, but I am not displeased as I again leave with more than I put in (in fake money).

A fun family night, and bed time calls.

A hot one this morning. Rumor is Logan will make pancakes.

Going to gear up and workout, then we’ll see about that.