Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

The air is a chilly 39 degrees and snow blankets every grassland. It's a beautiful wintery, Christmas in Maryland. Inside the wood crackles under the flames and the living room glows from the tree lights in a heartily adorned Christmas tree.

My little girl, Ma Cherie is with me and we cozy up in front of the fireplace. Sipping eggnog, a knock at the door signals that guests have arrived.

It's a perfect Christmas with family, extended family and new friends. Tis the best way to spend Christmas.

Lolita and Ma Cherie

Then while on the computer, my sister asks me to lend her a hand with creating the printed menu. I find an elegant red poinsetta and green border, add the menu items and insert it into a large, gold picture frame. The presentation is now complete. Below are the menu items equal to that of any five star restaurant. My sister is quite the cook and hostess. Feeding thirteen people is no easy task. But for this Senior Project Manager, she has planned and orchestrated a seamless Christmas dinner.


Beef empanadas, shrimp cocktail and chips with spicy sausage dip

Caesar Salad

Petit Filet Mignon (bacon wrap optional)
Broiled Maryland Crab Cakes

Creamed Spinach, Twice Baked Potato, Roasted Cauliflower, Vidalia Onion Casserole

Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake
Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Pecan Pie

Christmas tablesetting at my sister's home

We are truly grateful for the fabulous feast and the warmth of friends and family. Twas a Christmas to remember.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My First Flight Instruction

Do you remember operating your first "vehicle"-- a wagon, tricycle... I remember riding my first bicycle with training wheels, and without the training wheels!

Now at the fresh age of 40, it was time for my next first. My first time flying a small aircraft!

In this case I had help from co-pilot and instructor, Eusebio (from Miami Fly) , who did most of the work. The hour went by quickly and then you're back on the ground, to reality. But after a couple of weeks practicing and passing an FAA exam and earning my wings, I could fly a Cessna airplane if I chose to!

Below is my photo journal from the take off, to cruising the friendly skies above Key Biscayne, the port of Miami, Fisher Island, downtown skyline and the South Beach coastline glistening like a celebrity's smile of stark white enamel teeth.

Follow my story and see the video at the end.

Taking off at Tamiami Airport

Flying over the Turnpike in Kendall

Fisher Island and South Beach Marina

Where the ocean kisses the land, this is called the coastline or "love"

"Hmm, this is easier than I thought"

Heading back to the landing strip

VIDEO: Flying with my Pinkie

This is an experience I highly recommend! It's fun, memorable, and affordable.

To view my other videos, CLICK HERE.

Visit Miami Fly or call Eusebio Valdes!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Avant Gallery presents Marc Baptiste

Tonight was a special occasion for several reasons.

To begin it was my first outing of fresh air in two days from being bed ridden with illness. It was a break from work, from charity work of taking care of cats/kittens, an escape from the everyday.

Despite the abundance of wine and liquor spirits, I remained loyal to doctor's orders of straight water. Besides, tonight was about art and the people! And what a night it was!

Tonight, I did not want to miss the opportunity to attend the exhibition of famed photographer, Marc Baptiste at my favorite art gallery, Avant Gallery in the design district.

Known for his sexy, alluring photography, Baptiste's work has appeared in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Harpers Bazaare, Elle, and Cosmopolitan to name a few. His advertising clients include Nike, Reebox, and Paris Hilton Perfume.

The life-size photographs did not disappoint. Pictured above in the background is one of his works.

In the same photograph above, that's me with the illustrious interior designer Keith Powell. Keith's career began as a window-display designer and his first client was Ralph Lauren. From there his career catapulted and included the creme de la creme of clients including Gucci, Calvin Kelin, Versace and Tiffany and Company. His skills then naturally spilled over into interior design where he was hired by a West Palm beach socialite and professional polo player. The client list keeps growing.

Towards the back of the gallery was a modern Italian style bathroom including the bathtub pictured with nude model covered in boutique shopping bags.

Owner of the Avant Gallery, Dmitry Prut, is a master in throwing a party and putting on an exhibit! The event was well attended.

The night was a great success for Avant Gallery and owner Dmitry Prut. I am ecstatic to have been part of this exhibition which is part of the larger exhibition, "Pictures & Furniture". You know I've been eyeing this Louis XVI wood and acrylic chair since I first stepped foot into the gallery. It would be ideal for my bedroom.

Upon my return home, and gazing around my room as I prepared for bed, I dozed off with visions of art furniture dancing in my head. Tis the season!