hotel viper (leesburg, florida)

March 2-4 I visited my Dad, Stepmom, and Grandma in luxurious Leesburg, Florida!   My stay at Hotel Viper was relaxing and nice.

For those of you who are new to my world of wackiness, Viper = my dad.  Its a nickname he’s had for about six years now, and I call him “Viper” more than I do “Dad.”   How the Viper got its name is a tale for another entry altogether (if you’re interested in hearing that story, comment and let me know!)

i'm on my way to florida!

I left Hawaii on the afternoon of the 1st.  Had a superquick layover at LAX, and then flew the redeye into Orlando.  I landed at 6am, and I was exhausted.  My two flights were pretty unremarkable.  I mostly read and ate snacks.  My first flight had mini-TV’s in the seatbacks and I watched two movies.  “Hereafter” with Matt Damon was so good, yo!

Anyways, my stepmom Anna picked me up at the airport and drove me the hour to my dad’s house.

sunrise over the groves, hwy 19, lake county

I lived in Jacksonville on my own for seven and half years.  When I decided to go back to school (for a second bachelor’s degree) at age 25, Viper was super supportive and awesome and invited me to come live with him.  I did a semester of pre-reqs, and then a really intense year of nursing school in an accelerated program.  I had a lot of good times living with the Shapiro gang in Leesburg, and coming “back home” to visit them and see the house was really nice and comforting.

And of course, they spared no luxury when it came to welcoming me home:

so fancy! and just for me? i'm honored.

Three cats live at Chez Viper: Rascal, Zach, and Sassy (aka: Smooshy).  Rascal was originally my cat, but a roomie of mine was uber allergic – so Rascal moved in with Dad and Anna.  Shortly thereafter, they adopted Zach.  Their house is a cat haven full of towers, toys, and scratching posts.  Snacks and treats are served on schedule each day, and well… it’s basically a cat’s paradise.  Rascal and Zach became BFF’s.  So even though I love Rascal and he’ll always be my baby, I just couldn’t pull him out of such a great environment.  Not to mention the suggestion that perhaps some of the people living there have gotten attached to the guy too.  Sassy, the third cat, lives upstairs with Grandma and she’s a pretty sleepy, chill, older cat.  She’s really nice.

handsome rascal love

zach on the window cat bed

My Dad had to work both of the days I was home and visiting, but we were able to get some quality hangout time in the late afternoons once he was of work.    During the day I hung out with my stepmom and was able to help my Grandma out with a few odds and ends.  She gets tired pretty easily, so that was nice to be able to hook her up.   (Gma ordered like eight bags of dried peas from the healthfood store and needed me to go pick them up for her.  That was interesting, lol!)

rascal welcoming viper home from work

We took the cats for a walk.  Well, Zach refused to get in the harness… so we took Rascal for a walk.

rascal walk! (do you think he needs the exercise?)

oh boy, this is fun.

I wasn’t sure if Rascal was enjoying himself, so Viper suggested we bust out the Kitty Mood-o-Meter, a ridiculous card that explains a cat’s moods based on their appearance.

the infamous cat mood-o-meter

Is your cat baring his teeth and hissing?  He’s not happy. Thanks mood-o-meter, so helpful.  Really though, they got it for Grandma because she was having a tough time relating to the felines in the house, and now its become kind of a family joke.  When one o the cats is obviously freaking the eff out, my sarcastic dad will ask if I’d like the mood-o-meter to help me decipher what’s going on.

We spent a good amount of time going through old photos, and that was really fun.   Grandma cooked dinner the first night – chicken, stuffing and gravy.  Asparagus.  The second night we ordered pizza and I ate this crazy homemade cannoli that was so good.   I also discovered the WORST soda ever.

freaking poison in a can

One day, Viper had a bunch of correspondence to manage.  And I needed to do my toes.  So we invented nails’n’mail day.  How fun!

i did my toes, while 'ackal helped daddy with the mails.

It was too short of a visit, but it was very sweet!  I’m so glad I got to come home and see my fam, laugh a lot, and just catch up.  It was just like old times and honestly it felt like I’d never left.  Hanging out is just so natural and low key.   I love my wacky, weird, silly, family.  The more y’all learn about my fam – the more you understand why I’m so weird.  I mean that with love!

Bonus – here’s a pic of my stepmom!

anna, my purty stepmom rockin her new uggs. she's so stylish (esp for leesburg!)


6 responses

  1. I NEED to know how Viper got his name.

    Also, I know why you didn’t bring Rascal to Hawaii. It’s because his fat ass would take down a plane! And I say ‘fat ass’ with love – Brady isn’t too far behind!

    • bahahahahaha. he’s not fat – he’s fluffy. and big boned. and wide framed.

      his ass is up to like 25lbs at this point. what’s brady clocking in at?

      and i WILL make a “how the viper got his name” post. i’ll tell the whole weird long format story. i just have to catch up on the more time-relevant stuff first. and then i will. i have a list of blogs i needs to do. turns out i have way too much random shit to prattle on and on about. who knew!?!

  2. Soo…I read the post and loved it and then scrolled down to see a Google ad for “at home pet euthanasia-kind, caring, and profressional”…Nice Google, reeeeal nice.

  3. I love your posts. I like how you effortlessly include pics.. blogging to me is such a chore.

    Anyway, I love the pics, and the cat mood-o-meter makes me lol.

    • the mood-o-meter is so outstanding. every home should have one!!

      and thanks for the great compliment about my blogging. i have shied away from the concept for years, thinking it would be hard or awkward – but ever since i jumped in, its come naturally and its been fun. i have a lot to learn and work on (stylistically and technically), but i’m happy with having this new project!

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