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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ 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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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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Happy Holidays

 

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I hope you and yours enjoy a wonderful holiday season.

(and if you want a great family shot like this, contact http://www.justasmallaffair.com)

I also hope you don’t mind that I use ‘Happy Holidays‘.

I see so much hullabaloo lately on social media :  asking for “Merry Christmas” to make a fierce comeback, and where did all the Merry Christmas Go?  I don’t know about you… but I can’t walk outside in December (or Nov, or some of Oct – see this funny post) without getting slapped in the face with Christmas.  I hardly think it’s a holiday that will disappear.  It’s too loud and bawdy for that.  All the other holidays still recede.  They don’t want the top spot anyhow.

There must be a reason why December is so chalk full of ‘festivals of light’.  Chanukah (which we celebrate), Christmas, and Kwanza all entail adding light to a dark month by lighting a lot of candles, or tree lights, or North Star over baby Jesus.  Throw on New Year’s Eve at the tail end and – well – I’d like to offer you all a greeting for the entire winter solstice month of all that cheer and imbibing.  It’s easier and quicker to pack all that into one quick phrase, right?  And perhaps it’s also a little kind and inclusive – especially in this season of ‘giving’ –  to simply say:

Happy Holidays!

 

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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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Every year my side of the family rounds up to do some gift opening and general holiday cheer.  This year we were even gifted with a little dusting of snow from Mother Nature… not enough to keep loved ones from traveling, but enough to make the setting seem perfect.  And tonight, we start our own Chanukah candle lighting …

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Hi all.  Not much happening here other than the standard crunch that is December – with all its holiday parties and concerts, and prepping for the holiday candle lighting at home.   At first our Japanese Maple outside turned slowly… and I was glad it did.  I felt like I could glance out my window at these fire engine red leaves forever, but now they are falling and making way for the winter.  Clues that the holidays are near are abound!  We look forward to having lots of cousin time ahead… more to come soon.

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view from our stoop

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Louie hiding like ET , seeking heat in the pillow pile

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Zoe and her friend excitedly chatting on walkie talkies about holidays

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we are gearing up!

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can you see the squirrel under Santa, enjoying our neighbor’s lawn ornaments?

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cousin Angelo’s first reaction to his tree lighting 

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