St. Augustine Distillery is the best place to visit in the city

The St. Augustine Distillery is a place teeming with history, homemade spirits, intrigue, education, delicious food and new experiences. You’ll enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into making the spirits and beyond that the cocktails that they’re used in.

A few weekends ago, Marti and I visited St. Augustine, Florida. It was part of a Christmas present to me: a 2-night getaway from the kids with just Marti in tow. We had a great time exploring the city, but the best part without a doubt was when we visited the St. Augustine Distillery.

The Ice Plant’s history

The St. Augustine Distillery opened just a couple of years ago (March 2014) after successfully securing ownership of the former “Ice Plant” on Riberia St. This Ice Plant opened up as a power plant around 1907 and they started producing ice soon thereafter as the city began to boom in order to support tourism and commerce (such as providing fishermen with a way to keep their fish fresher for longer).

The plant closed down in the 60s and lay dormant for many years before real estate developers who wanted to tear it down to make room for new condos snapped it up in the early 21st century and subsequently lost it in the downturn. The community bandied together with a common goal to save this historic building and the St. Augustine Distillery was born. Continue reading “St. Augustine Distillery is the best place to visit in the city”

Eliminating busyness in 2016

In 2016, my family have decided to stop being so busy and letting it stress us out, opting instead for a healthy mix of alone time and family time.

Yesterday, I read an article which my wife sent me. The subject matter is something that I’ve been considering for quite a while as I think to how we spend countless weekends bouncing from one thing to the next before finally crashing on Sunday night and going our separate ways again on Monday morning. The title of the article?

Busy is a sickness

The article really resonated with me. Ever since having kids especially, I just feel like there’s not time for anything because we’re always so booked up with menial things. Continue reading “Eliminating busyness in 2016”

Another memorable Christmas

It’s been a pleasant and enjoyable Christmas this year. Ellie had her moments where the excitement got the better of her and her behaviour wasn’t up to scratch, but other than that, it’s been really nice spending some time with family, keeping it moderately low-key and playing some games.

Jack’s first Christmas

Ellie’s 3rd Christmas

We spent yesterday making a trip to Ikea getting a new bed frame to go with the new mattress that I got Marti for Christmas which was a lot of fun. While we ate lunch at the cafe (they have a lot of good vegan options!), we got this adorable picture of Jack:

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We ended the day by going to Hofbrauhaus in St Pete – a new German restaurant, which is a lot of fun. They have live music, vegan food (surprisingly good) and a lot of singing and dancing. Great end to the day.

The single thing that made me most attractive to women

I’ve never considered myself to be particularly attractive and I’ve never really noticed women taking much of an interest in me. But there was a clear difference in how women looked at me after one particular event in my life: having children and being a half-decent dad. Continue reading “The single thing that made me most attractive to women”

A realisation that’ll make you feel old in a heartbeat

Are you ready to feel really old?

I was born in 1985. As I was growing up, the music of the 80s was fairly current, 70s was a bit dated, but music from the 60s was really old. The 50s and earlier was prehistoric and I’m not sure that I really heard too much music that predates the 60s.

Thinking about this is somewhat bizarre because in reality, the 60s were as recent as just 16 years prior to my birth, but that segues nicely into my next point. Continue reading “A realisation that’ll make you feel old in a heartbeat”

Rethinking circumcision intelligently and rationally

This lecture gives an impartial and intelligent overview of circumcision and why we, particularly in America, perhaps ought to rethink whether it’s right for our sons.

Circumcision is a hot topic in the US. It’s a discussion that until I moved here wasn’t even something that I ever thought about. To me, it’s a bizarre practice rooted in either religious doctrine or bad medical advice that just won’t die and most people who are not American, Jewish or Muslim would tend to agree.

In the UK, circumcision is uncommon. Along with countries like Australia and Canada, the UK made a decision to stop routinely practicing it on newborn boys in the middle of the 20th century after medical research increasingly pointed to it being more dangerous than leaving the foreskin intact.

This excellent lecture by Ryan McAllister, a research assistant professor at Georgetown University removes the misinformation and emotions from the equation and just looks at the argument intelligently. Continue reading “Rethinking circumcision intelligently and rationally”

It’s time for paid maternity/paternity leave in America

I’ve written many posts on this subject (e.g. The sad state of maternity leave in the States) because I’m very passionate about it, but I just saw another great TED talk which drives the point home some more.

Maternity/paternity leave is not something that we should be thankful for. It’s a fundamental need for new parents to bond with their children and recover from birth. It promotes the wellbeing of mother and child, reduces post-natal depression and gives mothers the support they need to make it through the early days of raising a child and be able to choose whether or not to have another child without being forced to stop at 1 because they had such a horrendous experience or because it cost them so much to do the only thing they could to spend a little time with their newborn child: take unpaid leave.

As highlighted in the talk, there are 9 countries in the world that have no national requirement for paid maternity leave. The first 8 have a combined population of 8 million and include countries like Papua New Guinea, Suriname and the Marshall Islands. The 9th is the United States with a population of 320 million. How the United States can continue to claim that it would be such a burden on employers or the state is beyond me. Literally everyone else has done it: stop hiding behind this bullshit America and give new mothers the paid leave they need.

My completed family: six months on

Six months after Jack was born and almost as long since our last photo shoot with Sarah Wood, we decided we needed to get some new photos done for our Christmas card.

We were so happy with how our photos came out and it’s weird to see how much they’ve both grown in 6 months (especially Jack, who was just a baby last time).

My first tattoo

A few days ago I went and got my first tattoo. I’ve wanted a tattoo for the past four or five years, but could never settle on something that I knew I wanted on my body for the rest of my life.

However, in an article that Marti and I read in New York Magazine lately, the author introduced a phrase that I hadn’t heard before:

Ya’aburnee (Arabic) [ya-BOR-nay] – approximately translates to “you bury me”, meaning that you hope your lover buries you because the idea of living without them is unbearable. Continue reading “My first tattoo”

Why we’re always apologising to our children

Our children are as entitled (if not more entitled) to receive an apology when we’ve wronged them. Acting as if we’re somehow superior to them doesn’t do anyone any favours

I think that most people would agree that it’s important for them to feel safe in their relationships by knowing that they will be treated with dignity and respect and that any wrong can be reconciled amicably. This is chiefly seen in marriages and close friendships and I don’t know why we don’t treat our children the same way.

Most people seem to think that using phrases like “because I said so” are normal and acceptable, but I question that. Such phrases imply that there’s a servant and a master, rather than a level playing field. As for me and my wife, we think that our children are little humans with feelings and ideas. While we have a responsibility to protect them from the dangers that they may face, they can make their own decisions and we try to allow them to do so at every opportunity possible. We empower them to be responsible for and to themselves. Continue reading “Why we’re always apologising to our children”