I debated posting this. It’s New Year’s Eve after all…. out with the old and in with the new. It’s a night for celebrations, for rejoicing, and for turning a page. And things are going really great in my life. I have a great husband, a great job, a great support system of both friends and family. Everything is going pretty great except for one thing.

I have a close friend whom in a matter of days went from being the person I wanted to cry with over Sandy Hook to no longer wanting me in their life. I was completely blindsided. This happened to me once before when I was in middle school and I’m not sure I ever got over it. Not that I haven’t had problems with other friends throughout the years. Of course I have. This blog has documented some of them. But I could outline both sides of the problem in those circumstances. Even if I disagreed with why they were mad at me, I understood why they were mad. As I said, this time I was blindsided. A main reason I also hesitated to post this is because [redacted] does read my blog, and this would only add fuel to the fire so to speak. A lot of fire. But I figured anyone that wanted me out of their life, no longer would read a blog whose sole purpose was to document my life and therefore this was a safe, private space…. in a very public forum.

Anyway, I don’t really have anything else to add except for one ironic thought that led me to write this post in the first place. About 5 years ago, on Christmas Day, I got into a discussion about the use of text messaging. I had just sent a “Merry Christmas” text to my nearest and dearest 50 or so friends and my friend commented that texting in general was a weird fad that would never last because it was so impersonal.

So how did this friend “dump” me? Over text. When I stopped crying I started laughing over the absurdity of it all.

Anyway, sorry to post such a downer message on such a wonderful day. And now it’s time to put on a crazy outfit. With crazy accessories. And have a crazy new years.

I wish you all the happiest of new years and a wonderful 2013!

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A Family Christmas

Christmas this year found our house condo bursting at the seams with guests. My sister and her “daughter” from Christmas Eve onward and my sister’s boyfriend from this past Saturday. Two girls originally raised in Hawaii meant there were a lot of days hiding from the cold and watching The Real Housewives of the O.C. marathon. But we did get out of the house some days…

For walks to the nearby park…

A Christmas shopping spree at Petsmart….

And a day in New York City…

Though not going to lie…. we found other ways to walk Rosie when we were too cold to leave the house.

(Pre)Christmas Vacation: Part 6 The Final Post

Laden down with duty-free bottles of alcohol (not helping resolution #3: get healthy) and 5 lbs heavier, our Pre-Christmas Vacation finally came to an end with one more stop before heading back to CT, at an animal sanctuary and airboat ride through the everglades.

First we learned about Cannibal the Alligator (they claimed it was “just his name”) and his much smaller buddies.

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Perhaps my most proud moment of 2012 came next….

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Though seriously, why is Mr. Keep Calm behind me not watching what his snake is doing. Pay attention Mister!!!!

And then we crossed another item off of my bucket list: Riding through the everglades in an airboat.

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C’est fini.

(Pre)Christmas Vacation: Part 5 What’s a vacation post from me without some food porn

One night aboard a Holland America week-long cruise, the ship’s steak restaurant is turned into the Le Cirque, a French restaurant located in Manhattan and Las Vegas, owned and operated by Sirio Maccioni, and heralded as one of the best restaurants in the US.

I had already made a reservations before finding out that Sirio and his lovely wife Egidiana were actually guests on the same ship we were on. It was such a treat, to watch a food demonstration by Egi, eat at the Holland America’s version of Le Cirque and have Egi stop by our table to say hi, and then to sunbathe the next afternoon right next to Sirio.

Ryan’s been to the Las Vegas restaurant and liked it better, but still for a cruise ship, the restaurant onboard was pretty cool.

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Creme Brulee is linked with Le Cirque and its creator, Egidiana Maccioni. They still serve the dish in their restaurant with the original recipe revealed once you clean your plate.

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(Pre)Christmas Vacation: Part 4 The Story of Joanne

New Years Resolution #2: Be a nicer person (aka don’t laugh at other people’s misfortunes). SOOOOO….. with 8 hours left until Operation: Sonja is not a bitch – I gift you with the most hilarious story of my vacation: the story of Joanne.

So there we were in the Grand Cayman Islands. It was one of those harbors with water too shallow for the cruise lines to dock at, so tenders were organized to take passengers from the ship to the island. Ryan had noticed that morning that the tenders we were using were actually from our own ship (instead of loaned out by the Cayman Island society of rental tenders or whatnot). They were located next to some of the lifeboats but were bigger / prettier than the average life boat.

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Fast forward to the afternoon of our Grand Cayman Island stop over and there Ryan and I were hanging out poolside on the top deck of the ship awaiting our sail-away party. We both tend to have more Type A / anal personalities (not a shock to find this out about me, I’m sure), so with a departure time of 3 PM and a last tender departing the harbor at 2:30 PM, we were back with plenty of time to spare. Therefore, at around 4 PM I became restless and turned to Ryan to say, “weren’t we supposed to be leaving already?” There may have been some eye-rolling from Ryan as I tend to always run 15 minutes late to everything I do and then demand to know why other things/people are slow. But less than 5 minutes later over the PA system the cruise director calls out for Joanne to please contact ANY staff member of the ship. And around that time we noticed a couple things: 1) our engines were turned on and our ship started to MOVE, and 2) there was still one of our tenders at the Grand Cayman Harbor (we had watched the other 5 tenders being pulled up out of the water on cranes and placed back onto the cruise ship). And amidst all of this, our cruise director Dave kept calling out for Joanne. Then the ship slows (but does not stop) and we see that lone tender leave the dock and speed at full power to our cruise ship!

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At this point I’m pretty much afraid of falling overboard because I’m enjoying the hilarity of the idea of a missing passenger so much that I’m halfway over the railing trying to capture every moment on camera as Ryan tries to yank me back. So the boat makes it to the cruise ship which stops only long enough for 5 non-employees (parents, 2 kids, and a grandma) and about 20 employees to run off the tender. The ship starts up again and the crew has to work on pulling the tender back onto the cruise ship while the engines are back on and the ship is quickly picking up speed (because our captain is so bad ass he’s not stopping for a second longer).

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That same night was one of the few “younger” passenger activities: a pub crawl to the different bars on the ship. At one point, several very strong drinks deep, I joked that the crew that had to work on finding the family and then pulling in that last tender deserved a round of free drinks and the beverage captain overheard me, looked at me very seriously and stated, “you have no idea!”

Needless to say, the next day when we disembarked in Roatan, we were nicely reminded by about 5 different employees exactly what time we needed to be back on board the ship.

(Pre)Christmas Vacation: Part 3 My New Years Resolution is to keep up to date on my blog so be ready to have your dashboard bombed

Grand Cayman Island

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Seven years ago, Ryan and I took our first major vacation together, which happened to be a cruise through the Caribbean. I pretty much dictated everything that we were going to be doing for the week so I figured I had to agree to Ryan’s one request that we drive a “wave runner” boat. Driving a motorized boat actually sounded pretty horrible to me and I was secretly relieved when, on the day of our boat ride, our excursion got cancelled due to weather. No harm no foul and I kept my dislike for Ryan’s selected excursion a secret for the next 7 years.

Until this month, when we were peering over Holland America’s list of selected activities to do in the Grand Cayman Islands and he spotted the same “wave runner” activity. I sighed, ready to fake excitement once again. But as I read the same description that was there 7 years ago, I actually got really excited this time around. Snorkeling off a boat that I would get a chance to drive? What the hell was wrong with me? That sounded awesome. Turns out we were the only people that thought so as we showed up and learned that out of four or so cruise ships docked in the harbor, we were the only ones going out on the wave runners.

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MEANING…. private tour! I tell you, it was one of the most fun excursions I have ever done. I just wish I had a waterproof camera to capture more of the day.

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We went to two different snorkel spots, one spot to see amazing fish that didn’t have any qualms about nudging you as you swam by and to another spot with a shipwreck below. We were met at spot #2 by a tour group that kayaked out to the shipwreck and then snorkeled. Okay, that’s very ambitions and healthy of you all, but my wave runner ride was much better.

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View of our first snorkel spot from the cruise ship

Mahogany Bay, Honduras

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Our last stop before heading back to Ft. Lauderdale was an island off the coast of mainland Honduras called Roatan. We selected a hiking and archaeological tour which was less of a hike and more of a leisure stroll to play with the cutest animals imaginable. So on one hand, the tour was pretty much completely opposite of what I thought it would be, but on the other hand, CUTE ANIMALS.

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Ryan really misses Whammers (our nickname for the most adorable night monkey ever).

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That damn pesky Mayan calendar

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Fresh bananas right off the tree

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