Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wonderful, Welcoming and Wii...

We had a wonderful Christmas! It was the best for me because I got to go back to Long Island and see my brother and his family. I also got to spend an afternoon with my BFF, Barbara. But first, we spent Christmas Eve at Aunt Joan's. Aunt Joan is my sister-in-law, Margaret's aunt. The family tradition is to have everyone meet at Aunt Joan's on Christmas Eve. Over the years new generations have been added, extended family members have been welcomed and it's a wonderful party for all. The youngest is Danny, the baby of the family who is adored by everyone. Danny is about 2 years old and the center of attention. The elder of the family is Aunt Joan at the youngest 80 something I've ever met!

Santa arrives around 8:00 and hands out presents for all the 'kids'. This year the presents were widespread and included a couple of bottles of Patron. Santa knows how to shop! Anyway, the house is so full of people you can't move. The younger ones are in the basement watching movies, the guys are in the dining room talking sports, the 'Captain' holding court. The teens and 20 somethings are in the kitchen and spilling out to the living room and the rest of the cousins are eating, talking, laughing spread out everywhere else.

This year there was a sing-a-long. Not exactly the traditional Christmas music, this was a Springsteen, Meatloaf kinda caroling. The college kids and 20 somethings started the show. What was great was that their parents and grandparents joined in! Aunt Joan was rocking along with everyone else. When I pointed out Aunt Joan's singing prowess to my brother he said, "Aunt Joan has been to more Springsteen concerts than I have!" After Springsteen, they rolled into Meatloaf''s "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" with Aunt Joan right in the middle. (She's the cute little elf with the green Santa hat on the left, below).

Christmas morning we were all at Brion and Maggies' opening presents. Alexa FINALLY! got her decorated can. She's been bugging me for years to do a can so this year I finally got with it and did her can and hid her pink iPod Nano inside. Don't ask about hooking up the iPod and adding music because right now I'm doing this entry because I can't get her computer to connect to the internet do just that, arrgghh!$%&#@!

Here are a couple of photos of us opening presents...That's Norm with his "Filthy Shakespeare", compliments of me LOL! and Maggie with tickets to 'Guys and Dolls' from her daughter, Mehgan for a Mother-Daughter girl's night out! Next is Mehgan on the left with a new external hard drive for her computer and Brion trying to figure out what the heck to do with hickory slabs (they're for the grill he's going to buy for his boat with the GC that came with the slabs!)

Montana, the wonder dog, waiting for a buscuit, or a shrimp, which ever came her way first,

and Norm, Alexa and me enjoying a wonderful Christmas!

The next day we trekked into Manhattan and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Who knew my brother liked Picasso!?! He didn't until he saw some of his work. The museum was very busy and a good portion of the second floor was closed for renovation. Here are some of my faves and two of us. Who knew we could take pictures of the artwork!

Maggie, Lex and me in front Louis Comfort Tiffany's 'Wisteria'. Norm, Brion, Lex and Maggie in the Egyptian temple exhibit.

Brion deciding he doesn't care for Van Gogh as he looks at his "Irises". Finally, John Singer Sargent's 'Madame X', and Monet's 'Water Lillies' - how gorgeous!

After we left the museum we went to Tony diNapoli's on 83rd and 2nd for dinner. We picked...there was nothing left of family style platters of Veal Parmesan, Shrimp Scampi, Chicken Francais and Penne in Marinara. Then came dessert - can you say Chocolate Decadence?? we could, we did, we finished the plate! We should have walked back to Bayshore, but we caved and took the subway back to Penn Station and the LIRR home. It was a wonderful day and Alexa got to sleep over her aunt and uncle's house - a perfect ending!

Next day, Saturday, it was warm, in the 50's but we had a light rain. I met Barbara at Katy Daly's in Massapequa. This restaurant/bar has been there for well over 30 years. Barbara and her husband Mike used to go on dates there. We stayed until the bartender started giving us the evil eye and then moved on to a local diner because, of course, we weren't through talking! To tell the truth we weren't through when we finally had to say goodbye, bummers! Here we are holding the camera out at arms length trying to get a photo at Katy Daly's...

We hooked up with Vicky and Ed, Maggie's brother and sister-in-law and their foster daughter, Samantha and went to a Japanese restaurant Saturday night. It was the first time for the kids, Joe included. I think they really got a kick out of watching the chef put on a show. The girls, Samantha and Alexa also managed to wangle a sleepover at Aunt Maggie's house after dinner so we were girless for two nights! Here we all are and here is the chef doing his hibachi thing...

Lastly, I did include 'Wii" in my header, didn't I. We have been telling Alexa for several years now that no way, no how were we ever going to get one of those video game boxes, x-boxes, whatamacallits - not us!
Well, we caved, what else is new! We bought, for the family mind you, a Wii console and Wii Fit. Alexa's grandmother got her 'Dance, Dance, Revolution' for Wii also. We left all the Wii stuff at home and had a second Christmas with Norman's mother when we got back from the island. Needless to say, Alexa opened the Wii before I could get in place to get a reaction shot from her. So here is a very happy, if not posed shot of Alexa and the Wii! That's about a wrap (ha, ha) for our Christmas in New York - both of them.

I finished this post a little after 1:00 a.m. on January 1st. We stayed up and watched the ball drop - very anti-climatic, but Alexa wanted to see it. Her first words of the New Year were, "For my birthday I'm thinking about a skating party..." You see, she's not allowed to talk about her birthday party until the first of the year. I think she set a new record, 12:01, January 1, 2009.
Happy New Year!


Kathy McCarthy said...

Hi Donna,

It's Kathy & the Captain checking in! Margaret sent us the link to your blog. I loved reading it. We really do know how to enjoy ourselves and as you noted it truly is the more the merrier!!!

Thanks for the great reporting!

I'll make sure my mom sees this!

Maggie said...


Love the blog entry from the holidays..we had a wonderful time with the Muir's and thanks for creating more memories for our families to cherish.

Love, Maggie

Chiara said...

Sounds like a wonderful time. Glad you had a wonderful holiday.

Anonymous said...

Dear Donna,

I'm glad we got to meet and get caught up with each other during the holiday. Your pictures and commentary on your Christmas vacation was a fun read, and appeared even more fun to go through. Glad i got to be part of it!

Happy New Year from your BFF,

Barb in NH

Lynn said...

Happy New Year Donna! Great to hear about your holidays and get caught up on your life. I had to chuckle when I read that you ate dinner at Tony's on 83rd and 2nd....that is right around the corner from Sarah and Harish's apt. and we eat there almost every time we visit them. They have such yummy food don't they? Was that your first time eating there? It sounds like you had a fabulous time with your friends and family and I hope you have a fabulous new year and that we get to enjoy a little time together in the upcoming year.

Tracy said...

Sounds like too much fun! Happy New Year. : )

Brion said...

Doesnt Montana look adorable !!

Great having you in for the Holidays. Same time next year?