Adventures in finding myself….again

As I said in my previous post the last year+ has been a difficult one.  I’ve had to come to terms with several very difficult decisions, and find ways to get through some very draining emotions.  The biggest of which was deciding that my marriage could not be salvaged if I was the only one that wanted to take the necessary steps to salvage it.

Anger was by far the hardest.  I feel very lucky that I have very wonderful friends that allowed me to express my anger and also let me know when it was getting too much.  I didn’t want to stay angry.  That anger eats away at your sould, and really distances you from other people.  I knew for sure that I needed my people around me, even if it was only on the days that I had the energy to interact.

  I don’t know all the right steps for everyone to get past their anger, but for me redirecting that energy helpped.  I started with making a concious decision that I wanted to find a way to release my anger.  Then I found some motivation, for me I knew I was going on vacation so I redirected my anger into working out.  I also did my best to try to do some things that made me happy and conciously work to be in the moment and fully enjoy those things while I was doing them.  I went to some local concerts with friends, and focused energy into work and developing myself (yes my job makes me happy.)  I also communicated as contructivly as I could to my husband that I was angry and why.  I know that anger can make you feel crazy and want to explode on whatever made you angry, but honestly how is that helping you in the long run?  

Now I’m left with finding myself again.  After the anger dissipated I was still left with alot of other emotions that I’m still trying to figure out.  I had built a life, and dreams of what the future with my husband was going to be, and as it has unravelled everything I thought the future held went with it.  

How does someone go about finding themselves, new dreams, and what makes them happy again?  Well for me I’ve been trying to go through all the things I like to do and eliminate the ones I came to like because of my husband.  That’s not to eliminate him, it’s so I can find the things that make me happy without reminding me of him while I do them.  

I have always loved creating art, but haven’t really had the energy to dive all the way back into painting.  I heard about “adult” coloring books from a friend and they seemed like the perfect way to ease back into being creative.  I even went so far as to turn some of them into framed pieces for my bathroom.  

  
I also started doing things I like to do by myself if I can’t find anyone to come with me.  This past week I went to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  Going to the zoo has always been one of my favorite things to do, even when I travel I try to go to local zoos.  CZ&A opened a new area featuring animals from all over Africa.  The new area is stunning, a huge savannah for lots of animals to mix and mingle, and a fantastic area for the new giraffes. 

  
 The only wonderful animals not out and about were the lions, because the mamas are so busy taking care of the 6 tiny cubs that have just joined their pride.  There were lots of other babies around for me to get photos of though.  

 

All and all it was a really good day, and I left feeling really good about doing something I really love to do.  I know I have a long way to go to get back to happy, but I’m on a mission to find it, and find it through finding myself again.  

What are some things that you love to do?   

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Every day can be something new.

I know I know, I’ve been terrible about posting.  But not all adventures are somthing I want to write about, and the last year and then some have been full of lots of the bad sort.

Lets talk about the good ones though.  Starting with being back in beautiful Columbus, Ohio.  I’ve been back nearly 8 months and loving it.  There have been some bumps along the way of course.  Adjusting to  my new living situation being up there for sure, but I’ve fallen in love with my new home and neighborhood.  Mostly Q and I enjoy the balcony.

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Back in May I went on a wonderful adventure with one of my best friends.  We took a week long trip to Punta Cana and stayed at the Luxury Bahia Principe Ambar Don Pablo.  This is a HUGE resort complex with several resorts on the property and from what i could tell the prices for each vary based on how close you are situated to the actual beach.  The Ambar Don Pablo is one of th 18+ areas, and closest to the actual beach.  There are 2 sectons in the Ambar, Ambar 1 and Ambar 2.  You’ll have access to both lobbies and pools.

We stayed in Ambar 1, but after the first day at the pool decided to use the Ambar 2 pool the rest of our trip.  It completly depends on what sort of vacation you’re looking for.  We had wanted something relaxing and less of a party, but if you’re looking for lots of interaction with other people at the resort I’d recommend the Ambar 1 pool.  If you stay in the Ambar section you have complete access to the entire property (except resturants), but like I said we were there to relax so we didn’t do any of the activities.

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The beach was just stunning, and really there were plenty of lounge chairs no matter what you might read on travel websites.  The wait staff was wonderful at both the pools and the beach, and prompt, the drinks are served in tiny plastic cups, but if you bring your own cup with a lid they’ll gladly fill it up with anything you like.

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The food was really pretty good for  an all inclusive.  Breakfast was my favorite by far, every variety of breakfast foods you could ever want.  We went to the Brazillian Steak house, and the Greek sit down resturants, but the other nights went to the buffett.  At the buffett they have some type of internation cuisine as the theme each night.  My favorite was Spanish night, and least favorite sadly was Dominican night.  No matter the night though there were always staples that anyone would enjoy.

Our room was nice, from what I’ve read they’re all the same aside from if you get a king sized bed or two doubles.  My only complaint was trying to figure out which light switch went to which light.  The beds were comfortable, and lots of pillows.  There was a mini fridge stocked with soda and water daily.

We booked through Cheapcaribean.com.  This is the second time I’ve used them and was really happy with their service.  The airline lost my luggage on the way down (always pack a change of clothes, extra undies, and your swimsuit in your carry on.)  Our Cheapcaribean concierge contacted people and while I was fighting with American Airline’s customer service they managed to pull some miracle and get my luggage to the resort.  I learned another really important lesson out of this, I can get away with packing way less when I’m going to the beach.

Even without my luggage I had a fantastic time.  No one should get upset about things like that when they’re in a place so beautiful.

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Q and I have also have had a pretty serious loss.  About 3 months ago our furry best friend Fonzi was diagnosed with cancer.  The symptoms came on pretty suddenly, and my wonderful vet did as much as he could.  Sadly after a month or so Fonzi passed.  He lived 10 year with all of my love and 5 of those with Quinzel’s love as well, and the two of us miss him every day.

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I hate to wrap this post up on a sad note, but even the sad moments in life can be a different type of adventure.  I learned that I can make some very difficult decisions and come through on the other side okay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

New adventures….

The last year plus some of my life has been a whirlwind.  So much so that I never felt like I had time to write.  In July of 2013 I started training for a store manager position in Pittsburgh.  My hubby also got a new position in Pittsburgh.  So after spending the summer apart so we could both train for our new jobs we up and moved to Lawerenceville.

We had some adventures, but no trips to speak of that weren’t work related.

In August I was offered a SM position back in Columbus at a higher volume store.  The decision was hard, but I accepted.  And a lot has happened since.  It took months to get everything situated, but as of December 4th I’m officially back in Cbus.  DH though, accepted a position in Philly, and whatever happens over the next year remains to be seen.

I have no doubt that adventures will be had.

Then NYC!

Anyone that knows me knows how much I love NYC!  When I was a little girl I would tell everyone that when I grew up I was going to move to New York City, wear all black, and be an artist.  After college I honestly attempted this to the best of my ability at the time, sadly it didn’t really work out.  I packed up all of my things, got a job a Starbucks, and never had any time or money or courage enough to do anything about my art, then I ended up back here in Columbus, OH within a year.  It took 10 years for me to find my way back to the City, and though a lot had changed I still loved it.

For our second trip we planned it around getting to see a NY Knicks game (Will’s favorite team of course.)  We just went for a long weekend.  On our way there Friday we stopped at an outlet mall to do some shopping then fight our way thorough traffic into the city.  This time we found a hotel just off Time Square, The Milford.  It was a great hotel, and reasonably priced for being just a block away from the action.  The rooms were small, but pretty standard for NYC hotels, and everything was very modern in style.  I’d definitely stay here again.  We spend Friday evening walking around Time Square and stopping to get some dinner at a wonderfully little place called The Hour Glass Tavern.  Honestly it’s much bigger than you’d think from the ground, there are 3 levels.  We ate on the first floor and it was intimate and romantic, the service was amazing, and the food even more so.  With so many crowded and geared to the tourist options in Time Square I really recommend you find your way off the beaten path.

Saturday we woke up and headed out to find some breakfast with not much of a plan.  Wandering a couple of blocks west we found a sign in front of a bar that said “now serving breakfast.”  Being hungry and adventurous we went into The New York Beer Company to see what breakfast was all about.  This place is really reasonably priced, and the food was great.  I had an omelet that came with seasoned potatoes and a side salad with a hot tea all for less than 15$.  We liked this place so much that we decided to go back and check it out for the night life that night after the game.  From breakfast we made our way to Midtown Comics to entertain our nerdy side for a bit.  Afterwards while I was still excited for vinyl toys we found a Japanese bookstore Kinokuniya Bookstore, filled with all sorts of amazing imports.  Before the game we picked up some pizza slices, because where else are you gonna get great pizza on pretty much every street corner.  Basketball is not really my thing, but Madison Square Garden is pretty impressive, and the Knicks won, so it was fun to watch.  Afterwards we went back to the hotel to change and hit up the New York Beer Company again.  A completely different atmosphere, but still really cool and they have some really unique and delicious cocktails.  From here we went to check out one more bar Jimmy’s Corner.  If you’re looking for something that feels more like old NYC this is the place to check out, it’s small, but the drinks are cheap, and the atmosphere is very down to earth.

Sunday we just did some last minute souvenir shopping and started back home.  The trip back is always made easier with a box of Dunkin Donuts!

The City is so big, it’d be next to impossible to see everything in one trip.  Make sure you get in something for everyone.  This time around we stayed mostly in the Time Square area and hoofed it everywhere we went.  Don’t be afraid to use public transportation though, especially if you have a smart phone.  Your phone will tell you when the next bus or train is coming and where you need to transfer to get where you want to go.  This city always has things going on, so whether you’re an early bird or a night owl you can find things to do.

Let’s try this again

2013 has been a banter year so far.  Will and I have had many adventures.

Walt Disney World round 2:  In February we made a trip back to WDW during True Love Week.  For all of 2013 Disney is having extra limited time magic, which sums down to something special is happening every week to two weeks.  We had an amazing time in WDW even though True Love week didn’t live up to my expectations on a Disney level.

Anyone that knows anything about Disney knows that everything is over the top well done (or at least the majority of it is- there are some things that people would argue about.)  My expectations for True Love week was decor everywhere, and basically just absolute gushy-ness all around for Valentine’s Day.  It came down to just a few banners and the castle lit up in pretty purple/red/pink colors and hearts.  Image

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That’s not to say that the trip wasn’t filled with magic and love for us.  We went to all 4 parks. I also made sure to add some extra special things to make the trip even better than last years.  Making sure to see all the things we skipped last year because of time or just not really understanding that it was something great to see.  At Animal Kingdom we made sure to see Finding Nemo the musical and The Festival of the Lion King both of which were amazing, I’m not really sure how or why we missed them before.  Animal Kingdom is a great place to start your trip, the whole park can be seen in half a day, and it’s much smaller than the other parks so you won’t walk your feet off on the first day.  That evening we had a great dinner at Rain Forest Cafe and then took a cab to the near by outlet mall to do some shopping and from there on to try out our version of a Monorail Bar Crawl.  It’s just the two of us on this trip, but we had a lot of fun.  There are bars at 3 resorts and Epcot that you can get to from the monorail.  As we were limited on time because I didn’t really take into account the time they shut down the monorail we only were able to visit 1 bar at each of the 3 resorts, but the bar crawl could easily be turned into and all evening event.  You also don’t have to go into any of the parks so you could do this on a free day if wanted.  It’s a really great way to see other resorts which are all really amazing.  We started at the Grand Floridian, grand is almost an understatement.  The place is stunning, but unfortunatly we didn’t have time to fully explore.  We made our way to Mizner’s Lounge.  There was a jazz band playing just outside the bar in the atrium. When we sat down we decided we needed rules for our crawl, nothing too crazy but we had to order something different at each place.  I ordered a magical star, and it was amazing, besides lighting up! (X-Rated Fusion Organic Mango and Passion Fruit liqueur, Parrot Bay Coconut rum, pineapple juice and a souvenir glow cube.)  Image

The lounge is tiny and filled with business types, but the staff was really friendly, and the jazz music made up for the hoity toity people we wouldn’t normally be around.  After that we went to the Contemporary.  The monorail pulls right into the hotel which is pretty cool.  We made our way down to the Wave bar.  I really would like to go back to the Wave next time, they had a really delicious looking menu and the crowd was much more down to earth and fun.  Here I asked for a recommendation and the bar tender suggested a Mai Tai.  The bar itself had a really great lounge feel and tv’s for watching sports if that’s your thing.  At this point we were sort of tipsy, but we made our way to the Polynesian anyway.  It’s like being on a tropical island, palm trees, tiki torches and all.  The bar was pretty empty so we pulled up a seat and hurried to order.  This time I got Disney’s most popular drink, the Blue Glow-tini (SKYY Infusions Citrus vodka, peach schnapps, blue curacao and pineapple juice with a sugared rim and souvenir glow cube.)  Beautiful, and yummy, but I still preferred the Magical star.  Our bar tender was amazing, I wish I remembered his name, but he’s worked for the Mouse for the last 30+ years, and seemed like he still loves it.  We wrapped up our night as we finished our drinks.

Day 2 was Valentine’s day and we went to the Magic Kingdom.  For added romance I had booked us dinner at Tony’s Italian restaurant just after the fire works.  It’s based off of the restaurant in “Lady and the Tramp.”  We made sure to see all of New Fantasy Land first.  It’s wonderfully done, I’m certain Walt would be proud.  Then we ran to the Tea Cups and got to meet Alice!

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The Tea Cups are Will’s favorite if you can’t tell 🙂  After an exhausting day we watched the Wishes fireworks show and then headed over to Tony’s for a very late dinner.  It was delicious and for and added bit of magic the manager came over and sang “Bella Note” to us.  After a day like that it’s hard to go back to your hotel room, but we did because the next day was set aside for our favorite park!

Day 3 and E.P.C.O.T.! Yes I know it probably sounds crazy, but it’s out favorite!  All of my memories from going to WDW as a child are from this park (well most anyway.)  It’s like getting to travel around the world all in one place, and then getting to play in really interactive sciency ways and very entertaining rides (aside from what they did to ruin Journey Into the Imagination with Figmint.)  It also has the best food in all of Disney.  I booked us a Behind the Seeds tour, which was really educational and fun.  The Living with the Land ride is great on it’s own, but getting to go in the background was something I’d recommend to everyone.  After getting all the science-y and educational things out of the way we started our Drinking Around the World tour.  Now I don’t want to sound like I’m a crazy drinker, we were on vacation, and I was not prepared.  I can’t imagine how people do this in the summer.  Our day in February was about 65 degrees.  There are 11 distinct country pavilions, I don’t think I could have managed drinking 11 beers in 1 day during college, now I’m older and I drink maybe 2x a month at most.  We started in Mexico with a Dos Equis, and of course the boat ride staring the Three Caballeros (you can’t take your drink on the boat.)  Then were on to Norway and a Carlsberg and then the Malestrom (probably the best ride in Epcot! and even better when you’re tipsy.)  Next stop is China and Tsing Tao beer.  The China pavilion is beautiful and we got to see some acrobats and jugglers.  After that is a tiny little outpost, that can’t even be called a pavillion, for Africa.  The people that work here were from Haiti and not Africa and the beer options were Landshark and Safari Amber (which is really Anheuser-Busch’s amber red.)  We both got the Safari in the spirit of the name at least, it wasn’t good.  As we wandered into Germany and I was fully drunk, I realized that Snow White was appearing all day in Germany and I absolutely could not miss her!  We used the hour and a half of standing in line to finish our nasty Safari Amber, have a snack, and then oh yes! drink more delicious german beer.  I had a heifenwizen and Will had a  Radeberger Pilsner.  And I met Snow White and she was great!

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You’d think from that photo that we were done, but we still had more countries to visit.  Onward to Italy and Moretti.  Then America and Yuengling.  Followed by Japan and dinner reservations and Kirin.  For good measure while we were waiting to eat we made our way over to Morocco and had a Casa Beer, which was spicy and weird and I did not finish it.  We went back to Japan from there to eat, I don’t remember much besides it being delicious and giggling up a storm.  After we left dinner it was time to quit.  Our poor sweet waitress, she was nice as can be, but we were loud and unruly, and she put up with us graciously.  We missed out on France, the UK, and Canada. next time if we do the world of beer tour again we’ll make sure to start at the other end.

Day 4: An unbelievably hungover trip to Hollywood studios and everything else we missed.  We got up extra early, in part because I woke up at 6am with a crazy headache, I tried getting up, taking advil, drinking a ton of water and going back to bed.  Unfortunately that didn’t work, so we got up and made our way to breakfast and then the park.  Everything seemed wonderful at first, we got our photos taken, and went straight to get our fast pass for Toy Story Mania, you have to get there early or wait in line for up to 2 hours, we missed out on it last year.  Hollywood Studios seems like a work in progress to me, there just seems to be a lot of unused space, but there are still some really great things to see and do.  The best of which is probably Star Tours!  We love everything 4D, and this ride takes it to the extreme, and there are 52 (i think) combinations that you can see so riding over and over again is a must.  Riding it once while extremely hung over is a no no!  one time through I thought I was going to throw up.  Fortunately I had some Dramamine in my purse so a couple of orange flavored chewable and another bottle of water later I was feeling much better.  We made special reservations at the Brown Derby Fantasmic Dinner package.  We also missed out on Fantasmic last time because they only showed it certain days of the week.  While the Brown Derby was delicious and the service amazing, I’m not really sure if the VIP section was worth the added cost, maybe if we had used the disney dining plan.  From lunch we made our way back to E.P.C.O.T. to walk through the countries we missed the day before (sans beer.)  Then we made our way over to the Boardwalk to get a snack and then walk back to Hollywood Studios to ride Star Tours a couple more times and see Fantasmic.  This is one heck of a finale for the parks, almost every character is involved, there’s a dragon, and fireworks!  It’s definitely a must see.  We made our way quickly out of the park and back to Magic Kingdom to see Wishes one more time and sneak in a few more rides on our last day.  Leaving the park on your last day there is always so bitter sweet.  The only real solution is to start thinking about when you can go again.

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There were definitely some hiccups in our trip, but what I think works best for us on our Disney trips is planning as much as I can including which parks on which days, but also making sure there’s space in the planning for the hiccups.  Going to the park the same week as Mardi Gras threw us a curve ball, the park was much more full because apparently everyone that lives in and around New Orleans leaves and heads to WDW, as well as all the other places that celebrate Carnival and get the week off for the celebration.  This meant we didn’t get to see all of MK in one day, we still had to skip some things, but we made sure they were things we didn’t mind skipping.  Planning makes sure that we get to see and do all the parts that are musts for us.  We are also traveling without kids, and that makes a big difference.  The best tip I’ve heard about traveling with kids is to get up really early and get to the parks before the crowds, and then plan a break back at the resort either for a nap or some pool time to relax mid day when the park is busiest, then head back again in the evening when the temperature has cooled down and the crowds are fighting for dinner.  I’d also do some research about the parks if you’ve never been.  Of course all kids are going to love MK, but depending on what your kid is into some of the parks might not really be fun for them, or if you want to see all of them you can par down a lot of the parks to a half of a day with the park hopper pass.  Animal Kingdom is mostly a zoo with some fun theatrical exhibits and a couple of rides and character interactions.  E.P.C.O.T. will be great if your kid is into learning, or science, or plants, or the world.  It’s also neatly compartmentalized if you want to avoid the world half you easily can, or you could just hop over there for a delicious lunch.  Hollywood studios seems to me to be geared for older kids and adults, though it’s the only place where Pixar characters are around.  So really make sure you take your time and plan, figure out what is important to you and the other people going to WDW with you.  If you have a smart phone there are lots of apps that can help you find your way around the parks and wait times once you are there.  Adventure is out there!

1 day at a time

Today is my first day getting back on the health train. It’s possible that I derailed a little during my lunch break, I really shouldn’t have taken the left over pizza from last night, but at least it won’t be a temptation this evening. On the way home I’m also stopping at the grocery store for items for Dr. Oz’s liver detox. Fresh lemons, hot sauce, and bitter greens. The lemon and hot sauce is to get mixed into a cup of warm water and drank every morning for a week. You’re also supposed to eat 2 cups of the greens each day for a week. I’m sure that with all the pizza and diet soda I consume my liver will be happy after the week is over. I’m also cutting back on my diet soda. Only one a day a d the rest to be replaced with water. And for daily exercise besides the gym 3x a week I’m avoiding the elevator at all cost while at work. My store is really big for square footage and the escalator is centrally located so it adds a good amount of extra steps everyday, and zipping around gets the heart going.

Tomorrow will be my first day back at the gym. I’m not looking forward to how packed its going to be, but you gotta just jump in with both feet. I think I’ll start off with just some light-ish cardio tomorrow, do my best to run a mile, and afterwards do some light upper body.

How are you sticking to your New Years resolutions?

Bel13ve in lucky 13.

Happy new year everyone! 

When I woke up this morning I asked the DH what his resolutions for 2013 were.  His response in typical Will form, “Resolutions are for losers that need to change their lives.”  Amazingly this is one of the many reasons I love this man, he’s a blunt as I am.  I however have a slightly different take on new year resolutions, I simply look at them as goals for the year.  I’m terrible with long term goals, I don’t have a 5 year plan.  I’m not really sure why I need one, I’d much rather have a “bucket list” of sorts and check things off as I go along. 

Every January I do 2 things.  I make a list of things I’d like to accomplish for the year, it’s usually reasonable things that I can actually accomplish with 1 or 2 more outlandish tasks tossed in for a challenge.  I’m very easy going about my list, I don’t get down on myself if I don’t manage to complete the list, that’s just simply a silly way to end a year.  I figure anything I didn’t really start or accomplish from the list wasn’t all that important to begin with, or something more important came up.  The other thing I do is revisit our budget spread sheet.  Knowing how much money you have coming in and going out is extremely important, especially in a household where the family isn’t all that dedicated to having a savings account.  

After explaining to Will my point of view on resolutions he agreed to have 1 for himself and 1 combined one with me.  I of course have far more than just 1 silly ol resolution, but I took what he was offering.  

DH’s resolution: Get in better shape (it’s sort of cheating, this is his all the time goal, but at least he picked something, it’s also cheating because he’s not out of shape he just hasn’t been able to turn his regular stomach into a 6 pack.)  

Joint resolution: Get debt free (also sort of cheating as this is an on going goal, but it’s still a good goal.)  We actually made really good progress on this in 2012.  And there’s no real way for us to completely wipe out our debt in 2013 since we have a condo and newish car that we’re paying on, but we can make some more dents. 

My resolutions: 

  1. To write in this blog more often.  I’m going to aim for 2x a week.  I’m feeling off to a good start already. 
  2. To get healthier.  I was honestly sick once a month for the entirety of 2012.  I don’t really know why, but I’m dedicated to not dealing with that again in 2013.  So if anyone has some suggestions I’ll take them.  I’m going to start with Dr. Oz’s liver detox. 
  3. Along with getting healthier getting back to the gym.  For a long time I was really good about going to the gym 4-5 times a week, but getting sick once a month will do you in.  I haven’t been since the end of October when I got the flu. 
  4. Start learning Italian.  This was on the list last year, but I never really got around to starting for reasons that I think were worth putting it off for another year, but it’s still something I want to do.  
  5. Finish painting/ decorating my house.  I managed to get the living room it’s final coat of Cut Ruby (deep red) just in time to put up the Christmas tree.  I also painted the kitchen/ dining room earlier this year, as well as the 2nd bedroom/ comic book room.  I’m just left with the stairwell which is simply going to be white.  Our bedroom, which would have been done I just couldn’t find the perfect shade of sea-foam green, I happened upon it when we went to buy the red for the living room.  MMMMmmmmmm Cool Pool…… ImageAnd finally the upstairs bathroom can use another coat of the hot pink color that it is currently.  After the paint it’s just the finishing touches or art and throw pillows.  
  6. More traveling.  Which of course will lead to more writing in this here blog.  A lot of my vacation time last year was used for visiting family and some health issues for them and myself.  We still managed to get some really great trips in, just not quite as many as I/ we wanted.  This might mean more shorter trips this year, but I’m completely alright with that.  And we’re starting off the year by going back to Walt Disney World in Feb. 2013.  

What are your resolutions for the new year?