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  • Writer's pictureZack Demopoulos

DAY 0: Preparing for #Flafreetour

Updated: Nov 28, 2021

New Jersey


Image credit goes to awesome big sis Bessie in

Toronto--she always kicks off our trips with a flare!



Song for the day: Sweet Freedom by Michael McDonald (1986).


"...Shine sweet freedom, Shine your light on me..."


My wife Phyllis and I made the decision to celebrate our "retirement" from our business with a Florida Freedom Tour or #Flafreetour (with a twist--Bahamas). What better way to get us in the mood but with this song by Michael McDonald of the Doobies Brothers, who were my first concert in 1976 and finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020.



Tip for the day: If you like to sit on the beach all day and have cold beverages at your disposal, pack a foldable, expandable cooler bag with handles in your luggage.


You may not have beach service (or not want to pay for those expensive beers in the bucket all the time) at your hotel so it is very easy to fill up the cooler each morning with ice and your favorite beverages and water (hydrate!) and carry it out with you along with your favorite book, music, and sun screen.




Preparing for a road trip


Everyone has their own ritual for preparing for a trip. Phyllis and I have ours. It consists of 1) makings lists (so much fun to scratch through them)

2) pedicures

3) haircuts

4) going out to eat the night before.


It is all about setting the tone...


LISTS


Phyllis is famous for them. Look at her name...it has "LIS(t)" in it. Her lists come in three major groups:

  • What to pack

  • What to do with the house before you leave

  • Preparing a document for anyone who is staying or visiting the house when we are gone including POOL RULES!*

*The kids in particular do not care for "POOL RULES" but they have no choice. Do I feel bad about installing a BLINK outdoor camera beaming down on the pool?! Nope. Call it security!!


With that....we are so ready to go... and hardly ever forget anything....hardly....really.....


PEDICURES


At first I was not a fan of pedicures (I have very ticklish feet). But then when I saw the results....man, I can wear flops and not freak anyone out with my toe nails! (tmi) And the foot and leg massage is amazing!






Thank you to the crew at Paradise Nails in Morris Plains, NJ especially Lucia who had to work on my size 14 feet and my old man looking big toe nail (tmi again).

Phyllis and Zack getting pedicures.


Btw check out Phil's hair! More about that below.



HAIRCUTS


Phyllis spent a few hours at Bloom in Morristown NJ getting more beautiful than ever (I would say she is already beautiful and to save the money but that will not get the trip off to a good start).



I went to London Hair Salon that my Greek friend Peter owns for my haircut. Steve has been cutting my hair for over 22 years and basically takes 20 minutes. He usually jokes that he should charge me by the acre! I let him get away with it because he always offers me a beverage of choice while I get my hair cut.

Steve has been cutting Zack's hair for over 22 years.

Peter was absent tonight. Having lived a long time in England, he is a huge "football" (soccer) fan and tonight he was glued to the TV to watch his England team beat Denmark in the semi-finals Euro cup! England loses in a tough penalty kick shoot out to Italy in the final.




DINNER OUT NIGHT BEFORE


We hit Tommy's Tavern in Parsippany NJ. Phil and I love to sit at the bar. We are close to all the action and we always get a character that sits next to us and entertains us. Mike who owns Powder Mills Towing for more years than I can remember did not disappoint. He was hilarious as he described to us the master of taking full advantage of Tommy's Tavern happy hour (3 - 6 PM) by ordering extra beers ($2 off) at 5:55 PM and ordering the baked chicken wings for $10 which means he will not need dinner.



Zack, Phyllis and our entertaining new friend Mike





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