Merry Christmas and Feliz Ano Nuevo

By this time, if you are anything like me, you are happy that the holidays are over and you can get back to whatever it is that fills your days with pleasant mundaneness, structure,  and familiarity.

This Christmas was a whirlwind.  We left Panama on December 18, for Rochester.  After a quick trip to my brothers house to pick up our winter things, a drive to Long Island for some great family time. Thanks to my Sister-in-law and Brother-in-law and their amazing hospitality, I enjoyed my first ever night on flannel sheets. Next an unexpected and  memorable visit to Theodore Roosevelt’s house in Oyster Bay, Long Island.  This was followed by a 2 night stay in NYC where we met up with my daughter and grandson.  I enjoyed watching my grandson’s amazement and happiness at seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. We also visited Dylan’s Candy Bar and the sights and smells of Times Square. Then a drive back to Rochester for the family Christmas and then a return flight to Panama for New Years.  In between, there were great times with family and friends, new experiences and surprises, good food and great memories.DSCN6389DSCN6485

Highlights included my first ever trip to Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes.  This was made sweeter by sharing the experience with my daughter Casey and my grandson Aidan.  Also, we saw family we hadn’t seen in a long time and spent some great moments catching up and visiting.  Loved seeing cousins and friends we so rarely get to enjoy.DSCN6591

Christmas was wonderful with great food and musical interludes by some pretty talented little boys.  Did I say the food was incredible? Honorable mention goes to my awesome brother and my equally awesome sister-in-law.DSCN6923DSCN6924

So exhausting as it was and as with anything, it was much more enjoyable looking back then when you were actually in the moment.  Deleted from your memory are the sore feet, lack of sleep, occasional annoyances and indigestion.  These are the Christmas memories that will live in your heart and mind.

So, upon returning to Panama, we recovered enough to participate in a genuine Panama New Years Eve.  We decided to start at the Hard Rock Hotel.  It was much easier and less crowded than we imagined and we had a great time going from venue to venue, listening to music and checking out the local color.

My only disappointment was the lack of fireworks over the city. We were told it was epic and went on all night long.  We did experience midnight at a open air venue and were treated to a fireworks display just steps away from where we were sitting.  As with many things, for better or for worse, this would never have happened in the US.  Someone would have shut this down before it even started.  There was a security guard nearby wearing a party hat and clearly enjoying himself but certainly not providing any security.   Strangely this did not bother me at all. DSCN7086FSCN7064

It was a great holiday season and we are looking forward to many more adventures.  The best of health and happiness in 2016 to all!

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