Just In Case You Haven’t Had Enough…A Recap of Our Trip

We’re back from the land of gated communities, a Walgreens on every corner, and fashion challenged men wearing sandals and white socks.

Now, lest you think I’m not a fan of ‘The Sunshine State’, it’s also a nature lovers paradise, with miles of unspoiled, pristine beaches, wildlife at every turn, and magnificent sunsets.

 

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I thought it would be fun to give you all the highlights and ‘best of’s’. You know, like Trip Advisor! And I know you’re on the edge of your seats waiting for more details than I gave you in these posts herehere and here. ;).

(If you’re new here or if you haven’t read any of those posts, you may want to check them out.)

We left on December 22, and after two stops, one in Delaware and one in North Carolina, we arrived in chilly, rainy Charleston on the 24th in time for Christmas Eve. I was so annoyed I hadn’t brought a winter coat. It was freezing! But no matter. Once we ended up at dinner, all was right with the world. Which brings me to my first ‘best of':

 

BEST RESTAURANT

 

CHARLESTON GRILLE

 

charleston grille

 

Charleston Grille is the quintessential southern restaurant. High ornate ceilings, architectural details galore and impeccable service all topped off with a pianist and jazz singer situated a few feet from us (our table was situated just beyond the white drape). A fabulous place for any special occasion, or just perfect if you simply feel like a splurge.

We spent Christmas day at Magnolia Plantation, another must see if you’re in the area, then after taking a carriage tour of Charleston the morning of the 26th, we headed to Savannah for three nights where our stay was highlighted by…

BEST TOUR

 

Savannah Ghost Tours

 

Do you believe in ghosts? If I didn’t before, I certainly do now. Did you know Savannah is the country’s most haunted city? Did you also know that many spirits are not visible to the naked eye, but become visible through the lens of a camera? We went to a couple of the places that ranked very high for paranormal activity, and while I was about to take a picture, I saw a fairly large white, translucent orb pass very quickly in front of my lens and disappear up the stairs. We heard many interesting stories about the history of Savannah and why it’s so haunted. Definitely something to consider doing if you’re into that sort of thing. 

We left Savannah for St. Augustine on the 29th where it was still cold and windy, but that didn’t stop us from celebrating New Years Eve outside, with the help of outdoor heaters and a band that was good enough to keep us moving and warm ;). 

 

New Year's Eve in St. Augustine

 

January 1st brought us to Lake Worth, where we were happy to finally unpack everything and get settled. It didn’t take us long to discover this next place!

 

BEST ICE CREAM SHOP

 

KILWINS

 

I’m sure some of you are familiar with Kilwins. They seem to be in several areas that we visited, but have you tried their hot fudge?! Don’t let the picture fool you. It’s hidden beneath all that whipped cream. Trust me. I hold them personally responsible for the five lbs I gained on this trip.

 

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Since we were in Lake Worth for a while, we had plenty of time to explore the surrounding areas. We took the hour drive to Miami and visited a mansion that was recommended by the person we rented the house from. 

 

BEST MANSION TOUR

 

VIZCAYA

 

Located facing picturesque Key Biscayne, my picture (the second one) does not do this place justice so I grabbed one from their website. Think ‘Downton Abbey’, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what the inside of the house is like. And don’t get me started on the grounds!

 

vizcaya mansion

 

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Now here is a twist for you. Here’s one place I DO NOT recommend you go to. If you’re ever in South Beach and are looking for a place to eat or have a drink or two, stay away from Ocean Avenue, or to be more specific, La Baguete. I won’t go into details, but you can go here to see my review (and my reviews of tons of others places. I got a bit carried away with Trip Advisor while we were away) and go here to see the reviews of MANY others who were sucked in

 

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We also took the 10 minute drive north from Lake Worth to Palm Beach and visited one of the prettiest hotels I’ve ever seen.

 

BEST HOTEL

 

THE BREAKERS

 

the breakers

 

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Our next stop was Key Largo, where we did a day trip to the Everglades and I was able to get some great wildlife pictures.

 

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In case you’re wondering, this wasn’t taken with a telephoto lens. I was pretty close, but with so many tourists around, they don’t seem to care. Did you know they can move up to 30 miles an hour?? That’s ok. I can do 31.

 

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We also did a glass bottom boat tour (can you say seasick?) and took a short drive to Islamorada just south of Key Largo to visit Theatre of the Sea.

 

BEST FAMILY FRIENDLY ADVENTURE

 

THEATRE OF THE SEA 

 

 

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Florida

 

After Key Largo we spent a week in Englewood (near Venice) in an RV camper trailer located about a ten minute car ride to the beach. 

 

BEST BEACH EXPERIENCE

 

ENGLEWOOD BEACH SUNSET CELEBRATION

 

I told you a little bit about this in this post, but in case you missed it it is a popular gathering of drummers, dancers and hula lovers and it’s just a whole lot of fun, but not nearly as much fun as Fisherman had catching this monster! It took nearly a half hour just to reel him in, and boy, did we stuff ourselves with his catch that night! :/

 

florida trip

 

Our next stop was in Madeira Beach for a week where we had a unit just steps from the beach, but it was way too cold to enjoy it. Of course, as soon as we left it warmed up. We then went to Sanford to visit a friend and do some RV shopping, after which we headed home, but not before getting stuck in some white knuckle driving conditions in North Carolina. This has been an unusual winter for most of the country. I hope it is just a fluke and not a trend…

 

In other news…

 

We arrived home to find a leak in one of our bathrooms originating from a skylight and our refrigerator has checked out for good, but it’s good to be back and sleeping in our comfy bed and catching up with everyone. After we’re finished with the humdrum tasks that come along with not being home for two months, we’ll get busy planning next year’s adventure, which hopefully will be in an RV and for three months instead of two. We saw one that we liked, but it was a bit more than we wanted to spend. We’re going to keep our eye on it via their website, and if it comes down in price we’ll make an offer. Fingers crossed!

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The Adventure Continues…

Right now we are in Englewood, Florida, but by the time you read this we’ll be on our way a little further north for a week’s stay in Madeira Beach, which will pretty much wrap up the trip with the exception of a two day stop at a friend’s house in Sanford. The weather, while lovely, hasn’t really been hot enough to go to the beach every day (I know. Break out the violin) so we’ve been taking the opportunity to see some area attractions or check out RV resorts to see where we might like to return next year. We’re finding that resorts book up to a year in advance, and many of the resorts we like we may not be able to get into, but I’m hopeful it will work out. 

Now about the resorts. Some of them you truly feel like you’re in an actual resort, with beautiful club houses that rival Spanish style mansions, while others are very basic with few amenities. Some are huge, with over a thousand sites, while others have fewer than fifty. Something for everyone it seems. We’re thinking we’d like to give a few different places a try, rather than book one for the entire season. That in itself limits the parks we can stay in as many restrict your stay to three months or more during peak season.

Back to the trip…

On our way northbound from Key Largo to Englewood we stopped off in Naples to check out some resorts and to see the town itself. It’s a beautiful area, especially the main street (5th Avenue) and it’s immediate surrounding area. We had a traditional English tea at the most adorable place called ‘Brambles’, located in a little side street complete with ornate tables for two and terraces with flowers overflowing out of window boxes. Of course, I had to listen to Fisherman act like Hugh Grant in Sense and Sensibility, complete with raised pinky, for the entire time. *insert eye roll*

 

tea time

 

Not to confuse you, but these next few pics were taken in the Keys. Islamorada to be exact, at Theater of the Sea. I was a little hesitant about going here at first. I’m not a huge fan of places that hold animals captive for our ‘entertainment’, but this is more like a sanctuary where they take animals that are injured for the most part and provide a safe haven for them. 

The color of the blue fish was so bright I wish you all could have seen it in person. The picture doesn’t do it justice at all, but hopefully you get the idea. Notice the turtle in the bottom right corner. You can’t tell, but he had two flippers missing (is that what they’re called?). One in the front and one in the back, but he was doing just fine. The workers at the park said the number one cause of injuries for turtles are boats. :(

 

englewood florida

 

There is a part of the facility that houses nearly 50 cats that have been rescued. Here’s one that was exceptionally beautiful (don’t let the spooky eyes fool you), and that’s a yawn, not a hiss.

 puddycat

 

There was also a nice collection of beautiful orchids in the garden. Orchids are in abundance here, and you can buy them for a fraction of what you would pay up north, as little as $6!

 

orchid

 

On the way back, we stopped to pick up a little lobster for dinner ;).

lobster in Islamorada

 

Once we got settled in Englewood, we did a bit of exploring. Sunday we went to the beach and they were having a sunset celebration. Apparently every Sunday hundreds gather on the beach and form a large circle and play drums while other people do the hula or dance inside the circle until the sun sets. Unfortunately I didn’t capture a picture of that event but I did manage to get a beautiful sunset.

 

englewood sunset

 

Monday we visited friends in Venice, had lunch and went to two RV resorts, one of which we liked and may book it for next year. Tuesday we took a ride to a beautiful area called Boca Grande where we did some biking and enjoyed the best cappuccino we’ve ever had. On Wednesday we went to Ft. Myers, which is about an hour south of us. It’s a vibrant, colorful place with lots of restaurants and shops and it’s fun to just walk around and people watch. Notice the bridge in the background. Even that’s a pretty color blue! I can’t imagine the amount of maintenance that must entail, especially with the corrosive nature of the salt air.

 

ft. myers

 

This guy was so cool looking! He looked exactly like a statue, and when you put some money in his tip urn he would play his guitar for a few seconds. Fun to see!

Ft. Myers Florida

 

While we were in Ft. Myers we paid a visit to 5 RV resorts. Many of the resorts have an abundance of permanent or semi permanent homes that share space with RV’s and one of them was having an Open House for a few of these homes. Although we’re not interested in buying a park home, I thought it would be fun to see what the inside of one looked like. We went to the door and knocked but no one answered so we went inside anyway. Now keep in mind this was an Open House and for all we knew that was standard procedure in Florida. We called for someone more than once but it didn’t seem like anyone was there. We ended up separating while inside and then I heard Fisherman’s voice say something. He then came into the room I was in and said ‘I just saw the owner taking a dump’. Now, you have to understand something. Fisherman has a sense of humor akin to Chevy Chase, so I assumed he was kidding.

He wasn’t. 

We couldn’t get out of there fast enough. 

 

On that note, I will leave you with another beautiful sunset, my favorite time of day.

orange sunset

 

In other news…

 

We keep hearing horror stories of the terrible weather up north. We’re not looking forward to returning, but Fisherman has jury duty and I suppose it’s time to face the music. I may not put up a post until after we return, depending on the wi-fi connection at the place we’re staying (it’s a bit sketchy here in Englewood). So until then keep warm my friends and Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

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Wasted Away Again In Margaritaville…

Before we go any further, I have some good news!

No, I haven’t gotten lipo, nor have I had my neck goiter removed, and Clooney still won’t admit it’s me he lusts after and his marriage was a huge mistake.

It’s better than all three of those things put together. Some of you already know, but for those of you who don’t…

 

BEAU IS FREE!!!!

 

It happened shortly after I wrote this post asking for your help, and so many of you did just that and your voices made a difference. After four long months, that sweet baby is finally out of that hell hole and with his owner where he belongs.

If you ever are tempted to think your voice won’t make a difference, think again. It does, and it did!! Thank  you!

Now on to our trip. Right now we’re in Key Largo, and we’re staying in a houseboat. Here’s a picture of the outside:

 

househoneys houseboat

And here’s a picture, just before sunset, from the front of the houseboat. If you look closely at the horizon, you can see part of the Everglades. We were going to kayak over there yesterday, but it looked a bit far so we just went around the canals in the area and were lucky enough to see a couple of Manatee, which seem to thrive in the Keys.

view from house boat

This is the spot where the above picture was taken. It’s where Fisherman casts his rod (that sounded weird. Anyway, he’s actually out there right now and it’s 10:00 p.m.) and where we have our morning coffee. 

fishing off the houseboat

A friend said the houseboat looks like Olive and Popeye live here, and she’s right! The outside is super cute, but the inside, well, that’s another story. It’s a bit cramped, to say the least. If you want to see pics of the inside, you can go here, which is the airbnb website we booked it through.

Before staying here, we were in Lake Worth and although I showed you the house we stayed in in this post, I thought I’d show you a few of the cute homes in the immediate area as well and give you some of the highlights of the trip thus far.

Lake Worth is what is described as the ‘old Key West’, before it became commercialized. It’s worlds apart from its immediate neighbor to the north, Palm Beach, and even Boynton Beach to the south. Not surprisingly, it was built as a community to house the workers who tended to the estates in Palm Beach, which accounts for their small size and modest interiors.

This is actually the backyard of a house that caught my eye, and I didn’t even realize it was the back until we biked around the corner and stumbled upon the front (which is the third picture).

lake worth houses

pineapple gate

 

frontofhouse

On our first night here, we decided to walk to town (about a 7 minute walk) for dinner. Good thing we were walking, because when we opened our front door we noticed the street was blocked off by the police on both sides, making it impossible to drive out. When we asked what was going on, they told us they were checking for a ‘suspicious’ package. Well, there were more cops in the neighborhood looking for this package than at a donut sale, I’m talking maybe at least a dozen cop cars, and then we saw the robot that was designed to find bombs. Have you ever seen one of them? They’re pretty big, and pretty cool looking! I wish I had gotten a picture, but it was moving pretty fast and by the time I stumbled to get my phone, the moment had passed. We never did hear any more about it after that. It didn’t seem to be in the news or anything, which was a bit strange.

This next house was one of my favorites, although it was hard to pick an absolute favorite. It had a nice detached garage and a very private yard on a corner lot, and I’m a sucker for white picket fences and arbors.

Househoneys-Lake Worth yellow house

Keep in mind that for every cute house you see, there’s a half dozen that could use a little TLC. Lake Worth is by no means a ritzy area, but not surprisingly, the closer you get to the beach, the nicer the homes, and we were about four blocks away.

Househoneys-Lake Worth front porch

This cottage had so many Victorian type details that I loved, but I especially liked the colorful ‘fish scale’ gate out in front in the next picture!

Househoneys-Lake Worth cute porch

I’m pretty sure this gate was featured in a brochure about Lake Worth. Don’t you just love it?

Househoneys-Lake Worthpretty gate

Wildlife never seems to be too far away while walking, and they have no qualms about letting you take a picture.

bird 

 This little guy walked up to me, rubbed my leg and flashed his baby blues. Photo op!

Househoneys-Lake Worth

Cats are everywhere in Lake Worth it seems. People either have a cat or a dog, or several!

A few nights after we arrived, our power went out. It was due to a nearby house fire which somehow blew a transformer (it was an electrical fire). We walked over two blocks to see the house and learned the owner, who was a hoarder (probably still is), had 13 cats. Most of them survived, but not all. :( The house was completely destroyed. It took the firefighters hours to control the fire due to the clutter inside the home. We went by the next day and the back of the house, which was where the fire started, was completely destroyed, and the front wasn’t much better.

house fire

Less than 10 minutes north in Palm Beach, you’ll see countless estates similar to these. I couldn’t get pictures of the really elaborate ones because they’re somewhat hidden behind walls and/or shrubbery and they just wouldn’t make for good blog pics, but you get the idea. And you know what? Most of these homes are occupied only a couple of months throughout the year, if that! I guess the rest of the time they’re in Paris, or the Hamptons, or the Alps…

Househoneys-Lake Worth firstmansion

Househoneys-Lake Worth  second mansion

The weather was mostly in the low 70’s with very low humidity. Great for biking, which we did a fair amount of, or even going to the beach as long as it wasn’t windy. At night, we would walk to town and have dinner at one of the many restaurants, come home and binge watch Orange is the New Black or Blacklist on Netflix.

Here in Key Largo, our houseboat doesn’t even have a tv, but the good part of that is I have more time for blogging :).

 

In other news…

 

Please keep in mind all these pictures were taken with my cell phone, and on top of that I’m not editing at all. It’s really difficult blogging without my Mac and Lightroom while on vacation, but I’m still making every effort to visit you all as much as possible, which is usually at night before I hit the sheets. Our next stop is Englewood where we will be staying in an RV, then Madeira Beach in a small apartment located directly on the beach. Right now, it’s snowing again in Massachusetts, so we fully expect to come home to snow and ice. I told Fisherman he can go back, but not before dropping me off after taking a small detour to Tahiti. Do you think they have Margaritas there? ;)

 

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Where I’m From

 ‘Where I’m From’ is a writing prompt that has been around for years. (I never said I was a trailblazer). If you’d like to do your own, you can find some info here, or just Google, ‘Where I’m From’.

 

Where I’m From 

 

I am from the land of the Miracle Mile, where pretty party dresses were in abundance and worn with pride.

I am from the smooth, white sanded shores of Jones Beach. and the rocky ones of Oakland.

I am from the pristine ranch house on a suburban, sidewalked street,
where hop scotch and jump rope were played with abandon.

I am from the majestic weeping willow,
whose ethereal branches danced in the wind.

I am from fragrant fig trees carefully covered in winter, and sugar coated zeppoles at the feasts near grandma’s house,
from games of tag with favorite cousins, with nary a thought to tomorrow.

childhood pictures

I am from a moon that is made of cheese,
and the elusive Tooth Fairy.

From magical Christmases,
and tinseled artificial trees.

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I am from where grudges came easily,
and trust was hard fought.

I’m from bouffant hair, 
made with beer can rollers.

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From kitchens with formica tables,
where long nails were polished and secrets were told.

From boyfriends who caged me,

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and friends who set me free.

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I am from a time of innocence and turbulence,
a time that made me,

me.

 

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Please Help Beau!

Imagine this scenario. You live in a trailer in Dyersburg, Tennessee. You leave your dog leashed outside the trailer while you are away. Two young children unleash him, and later claimed he killed a duck. Cops are called and they take your dog without your knowledge. Shortly thereafter a Judge declares he is to be euthanized for allegedly acting in an aggressive manner and killing a duck.

This happened in September. Four months later, he is still at the shelter and if not for the efforts of thousands, would have been killed in October. 

Here is the clincher: Beau is not aggressive, and he did not kill a duck. [Read more…]

Guest Post from Silo Hill Farm!

I think most of you know Danni from Silo Hill Farm, so you can understand why I’m so happy to be sharing one of her fabulously irresistible recipes today! Cinnamon Bread is truly one of my favorites things to eat, and this one looks exceptional! I can smell it from here :).

 
 
I’m Danni from Silo Hill Farm blog and I’m happy to be here at HouseHoneys today filling in for Doreen.  Although my blog is mostly about making my own home decor, sometimes I share a recipe or two because I do love to cook and I especially love to bake.I’m here today to provide you with something yummy, just for you because you made it through the holidays without losin it.  Yep, you cooked, you cleaned, you shopped, you wrapped, you stayed up late, you got up early, you entertained, you washed a mountain of dishes and maybe, just maybe, you deserve a little peace and quiet.  Maybe you should have a cup of coffee or tea and a slice or two of this wonderful Cinnamon Bread.  All to yourself.
 
 
 

This is not a complicated recipe.  I think it is one of the first things we made in Home Economics in 8th grade.  Remember when they called it that?  Now they call it Family and Consumer Science.  (Hmmm…as a teenage girl, those were not things that were on my mind. LOL!)  But I do remember that when we made this bread, the halls of the school smelled heavenly and the boys were particularly nice that day, hoping to get a slice.

This recipe is like any quick-bread recipe, goes together fast (because Jr. High girls have the attention span of a gnat) and no yeast, which means no kneading.

                                 Cinnamon Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

 

1 Cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 Cups of Buttermilk (or 2 C. milk plus 2 Tblsp. vinegar)

4 Cups of flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

Topping:

2/3 Cups sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 9 x 5 loaf pans.

Cream butter, sugar and eggs.  Add milk,flour and baking soda and mix thoroughly.  Put 1/2 of the batter (1/4 in each) in bottom of pans.  Sprinkle 3/4 of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.  Add remaining batter to pans and sprinkle with the rest of the sugar mixture.  Stick a knife in and swirl the batter around a little.  Bake 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 20 minutes and invert onto a plate.  Cool completely before slicing.  Enjoy!



Here are links to a few other recipes I’ve shared that are particularly yummy, in case you wake up feeling all Consumer Science-y.

Magic Cake
Thai Peanut Chicken Salad



Thank you Doreen for letting me guest post here on your wonderful blog today.  Your “Trio of Christmas Bark” post was just awesome!

 

 

And thank YOU Danni for filling in for me while I’m having fun in the sun!  xxx 


Our Digs In Lake Worth

I’m sitting in the living room of our rental, alternating typing and watching the street out front and the occasional biker or walker who, unlike us, has decided to get an early start to what has shaped up to be a beautiful, sunny day.

frontofhouse

Yesterday we went to the beach, and tomorrow I have an appointment for a massage and facial while I’m sure Fisherman will go, you guessed it, fishing. At night we will most likely go to one of the many area restaurants for Trivia Night. First prize is $25. I told Fisherman it’s high time his extensive knowledge of useless information be put to good use. For today, while I was typing this post we have decided to bike along Rt. A1A and maybe use the GoPro camera. With any luck we might get some good shots of the jaw-droppingly beautiful homes along that road.

Now about our rental…

[Read more…]

How I Organized Our Kitchen

ORGANIZING THE KITCHEN

 

If you missed my post on ‘How I Organized Our Bathroom’, you can get to that right here. Now, are you ready for round two?

I’m going to show you the lions share of how I organized our kitchen, but let me tell you this process didn’t happen overnight. The biggest change we implemented, and the one that made a world of difference, was adding pull out drawers wherever possible. Once we knew we were going to make the cabin our full time home, we added them in every cabinet possible.  They make such a huge difference in the functionality of the kitchen! [Read more…]

How I Organized Our Bathroom

HOW I-2

 

It’s here. The beginning of a brand spanking New Year. The time when so many of us turn our thoughts to getting organized, because let’s face it, January and organizing go together like Lucy and Ethel.

This month is a busy one in blogland, full of fabulous organizing tips that kinda made me wonder if I have anything new to add to the conversation. Then I realized that yup, I do, simply because I’m NOT a professional organizer, but just a regular person like you who has gone through two moves in as many years and most recently combined two households into one. Oh, and the one we are in now is more than 700 sq. ft. smaller than our previous home, so I’ve learned a few things along the way. [Read more…]

2014 – A Year In Review

Happy New Year my friends! Hope you had a safe and happy evening ringing in 2015! 

Can you stand another recap post? Hope so! There have been so many lately, and for good reason. Recaps really gives us all the opportunity to take a look at what we accomplished because let’s face it, sometimes we sell ourselves short and think we didn’t do much at all, when in truth we did. For us, 2014 was a life changing year. We sold our business, moved to Massachusetts, and our daughter got married. I know many of you who are reading have been doing so for a while, but I’m pretty sure you still might have missed a few posts these last few months, and I simply just can’t let that happen! And to those of you who are relatively new here, some of these posts will give you a better idea of who I am (but in spite of that I hope you’ll stick around).

Here we go!

[Read more…]

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