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Archive for the ‘Beautiful Things’ Category

I just cannot keep up to all the photos we have from our cruise!  One of the highlights for me was being able to dock in Cozumel Mexico, and walk around a bit on foot to find great little food stands and local culture.  At first we disembarked with the cousins and got a great photo opp, then we went our own ways and walked around.  We walked far enough off the beaten path this time that we stumbled upon a local beach cafe – where lots of local residents seemed to just take a break by walking right into the ocean in their clothes; no bathing suits required!  The way the buildings are painted, the graffiti and the little food vendor bikes and trucks are so charming.  We hung out on hammocks and ordered fish tacos and sopa de lima which I haven’t had in years!  Then the boys snorkeled, and Ezra claims he even saw an eel while swimming!  I’m pretty sure we have another trip to Mexico on our travel agenda now.

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We tend to like to wander ‘off the beaten path’ and get away from where the throngs of tourists are (even though we are in fact tourists too!) We strolled Cayman Island to find a very very fresh fish market – so fresh that sharks and a giant stingray were right behind the booth, eating up all the fish scraps that were tossed back into the sea!  Then ran into some cool cenote’-like shore edges where we could do some more snorkeling without many people around:

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Then while at another stop at Castaway Cay, my husband tried his hand at shooting with an underwater camera while we snorkeled.  Why is Minnie at the bottom of the sea you may ask?  We’re not sure either – but it was fun to find! (thx gregkessler.com for the pix!)

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Ours was a quiet start to the year – just being back from the cruise and all, we simply gathered with a small group of friends and rang in the year.  Then headed home for some much needed Zzzzzs.  Let’s hope this upcoming year is as sensible as that night!

 

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dads chatting

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Elliot the lead singer for the band, gets ready to pop!

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based on all the spray paint cans behind Ezra, it’s easy to tell a graffiti artist lives here

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5-4-3-2-1…

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Disney Cruising!  Yes, we set sail to the Caribbean – in part for grandma’s milestone birthday that happened in Oct.  The weather was delicious and the food supply flowing, and that giant AquaDuck water slide there on the top of the boat was a hit with the kids.  (Take a sample ride in this video here.) Disney really knows how to keep the kiddos entertained … and thank you g’ma and g’pa for the amazing memories! (and thank you to Becca and Greg for the additional pix!)

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ahhhh I miss the dinner-time sunsets and our family happy hours

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Castaway Cay has beaches, waterslides, sting ray tours and even a play zone for kids

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cousin Jake’s 12th bday lands on Christmas so, we crowned him with a napkin to start the day

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the mommas get a well-deserved glowing holiday bevy and break

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Zoe got to chat to princesses about hair tips, and I’m sure other princess pointers

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we were on the ship for Christmas so .. the lobby was done up so festive!

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on the open seas for a day or two .. but then stopping in some super fun ports.

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we have these 2 to thank for such an amazing vacation!

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Back on board for Pirate Night!

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Pirate Night went on real late, and was topped off with fireworks (I’m surprised my kids stayed awake for it!) gregkesslerphoto

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strange beasts on the beach when we dock in Cayman Island

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the kids love making the pictures in the halls come to life – by scanning their cards to solve mysteries

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sun freckles are the yummiest

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docked again for Cozumel (that blog post to come) and Castaway Cay fun

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we loved the entertainment like ‘Buckets and Boards’ – the kids got a chance to get on stage and bang a bit

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(and of course Ezra also performed at the kid’s talent show a couple days earlier!)

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Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray were excited to open their doors in the spirit of the season for the Gracie Mansion Conservancy Family & Community Holiday Open House.

New York City families and residents were invited to visit Gracie Mansion to learn about the history, view the “New York 1942” art installation, and see the Mansion dressed for the holidays.

A new exhibit, New York 1942 is the second in a series of installations and includes artwork, documents and objects focused on 1942, the year Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia moved to Gracie Mansion.

We loved the Christmas trees filled with hand cut paper ‘people’, and another that was made entirely out of books in the book room! The gingerbread version of the mansion (and free cookies and hot apple cider) wasn’t too shabby either.  My favorite however are the cityscapes cut from black paper and put on the mantel pieces of all the fireplaces.

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Remember the last time we did this?  We were back at it again, using an old painting and replenishing it with our own creative paint strokes. This time we bought some glitter so that Zoe could make it shiny. We are pleased with the way it came out and how it looks near our dining room! Next time you get to a flea market or estate sale, pick up a cheap ugly painting and try your hand at this yourself! In this case we used some old house paint (quite dried out and clumpy as you can see in the details) to mingle with the glitter!

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Our neighbor had the brilliant idea of having a show where parent bands and kid bands play .. in a duel to the death!  Just kidding – it was a peaceful playoff, with a surprising amount of ‘sportsmanship’ and I was tickled that mamma Dana even did a few songs with her band.  She had a song titled “I Don’t Want To Feed You Anymore” about how hard it is to find foods that your kid will eat.  Some of the lyrics were ‘why won’t you eat the yolk?!”  Young ones Potty Mouth and then Duchess performed, leading up to Ezra’s crew (now called ‘After School Special’) – check out this link and share it… and notice we have a new bassist (Andrew in the green tee!)

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6-8 year old Potty Mouth

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mamma neighbor Dana from No Fun singing about feeding kids..

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and about growing old and creaky

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and our band with their new member Andrew (in green) on bass!

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