Dec 22, 2010

An island of...Tourism

Throughout our travels we have been able to see the difference between authentic culture and artificial tourist traps…which really any one can see the difference.
When traveling on a cruise, or to an all inclusive resort on an island, you are basically placed in a “key west” type environment with colorful buildings, market places selling island t-shirts, bright colored sarongs and of course the all to in your face Duty Free shop. Here you can buy low cost liquor and jewelry and save a few dollars on not paying taxes.
But, what you don’t have time to see, or purposefully don’t take the time to leave the port or resort, is the real and true parts of the islands. Beyond the port gates, and probably on the other side of the island are the homes of the locals, the fruit stands outside of the plantations, and the roadside food stands. 

Dec 15, 2010

Cruise Adjustment

Adam and I have spent a lot of time talking about the crew on our ship. They come from many countries from all over the world…many from Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Croatia and India to name a few. We have found ourselves starting a conversation with many of them. They are all more than excited to talk to us about their country…and since we have been to a few of these places, they get even more excited. They have told us that they are onboard working for 7 months and off the ship for 5. Many have wives and children back in their country.
Adam and I though, have been very curious about their first adjustments and education upon arriving on board for the first time. Are they given training about American culture? This we do not know. What do they think about the idea of people paying to go on a cruise? Then, spending $5.95 on a budweiser, when a beer in their country is $0.50.

Dec 9, 2010

Count Down to I do…

As the wedding was quickly approaching, last minute details were piling up. Back in March, in Korea, we had planned a December wedding in Florida through email and with the communication help of our parents and friends. We had a vision of a long ceremony, in a beautiful location, without much fuss. We hired a great caterer (Charmaine’s Catering), emailed pictures to the florist (Johnathan’s Flowers), reserved the park (Lake Mary Central Park), chatted with the photographer (Shannon Nicole Smith) , made a call to Ron Duncan for music, and sent emails to the rental company (Rentaland). Everything was in place and all we had to do when we got home were the “extra’s.”
Within the month we were home, we all worked very hard on bagging Lavender, making the programs, putting together the out of town bags, painting Champagne glasses for favors,  water bottles, picking up supplies, painting the sign in board, wrapping presents for the wedding party and making sure that everything was perfect for everyone.
And guess what…
Everything was absolutely Perfect.

Dec 6, 2010

Bridal Shower

I am by no means a girlie girl and never really have been. I never thought that I would want a full blown bridal shower with games, finger food and everyone making me the center of attention…but the closer the wedding got, the more into it I was.
My best friend Nicole organized everything.  She made the invitations and partnered with my old boss and friend to make yummy finger foods. She decorated with pictures of Adam and me as we traveled around the world. All of the guests made wedding cakes out of marshmallows and some were definitely more attractive than others.
I received more panties than I know what to do with (but I am very grateful, after 4 months of backpacking, my supply was very limited). I also had the chance to see all of my friends, old and new in one place…and all of them were there to celebrate the idea that I had met the man of my dreams and was so out of my mind happy with life.
To all of my friends: Thank all of you so much for being a part of my life and supporting me through the past and into the next chapter...

A big tree, an old friend, another year older and a happy Chanukah….

 After the festivities of giving thanks were past, Mom made the commitment to deck the halls asap. Literally, the tree was up the day after Thanksgiving and fully dressed by evenings end. It was obviously extra special for both Nicole and I who had missed out on last years decorating ceremonies. The 12 footer was our families tallest ever and with the wedding growing ever closer, it was only fitting that Nicole (the newest Damiano) topped her off with a brand spankin new angel.

The following week was full of last minute wedding preps and a visit from an old from from NY brotha on his way to a cruise leaving from Port Canaveral.  Mom whipped up some fabu Italian and popped a few bottles of vino which made way for a fantastic night of reminiscing and good times with JB and his very cool girlfriend Amanda.
The next day as it happens every year was the b-day. This year’s magic number was 31 which oddly was easier to swallow than 30. 31 is on the low end of the 30’s spectrum and so it felt ok making the jump.

Dec 1, 2010

Finding Peace

Being back has been a little hard, I have to admit. For those of you who have traveled away and then come home, hopefully you all understand and I am not alone in this.
Emotions, People, Constant Stimulation and So Much English.
There really isn't a place for you to get lost in yourself when you make it back stateside.

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