FELIZ NAVIDAD 2018
What a year indeed!
Our year was full of blessings and experiences. We continue our journey in Silver Spring, Cuba, and beyond, piggying out to celebrate, traveling near and far, and enJoying life as the awesomest gift it is. Grandparenting continues to be ever more fun. And our extended familia continues to grow and grow. And grow.
The year brought sadness also. Close friends passed away; other friends lost their loved ones. These difficult moments surely bring meaning to relationships… And remind us to recommit to what matters most: Family, Friends, Faith.
In case we missed each other in person or on social media, please check out www.Reemberto.Info for highlights of our outings – and more – during the year.
Here’s to good cheers and staying connected!
What a wonderful trip!
For eight days in August, 2018 we were fortunate to visit the great cities of Venice and Florence in Italy.
We also ventured into four smaller cities, Murano, Burano, Pisa, and Lucca.
Of course, we had to partake of the Chintely wine country as well!
enJoy the pictures – and the one video:
(This is a full 30+ minute video, with more than 20 short takes – plus a few ‘sounds of the streets’.)
Leave NEWARK Wed. Aug. 1 11:30 p.m.
Arrive ROME Thu. Aug. 2 1:40 p.m.
GETTING TO VENICE ON TRAIN
Check IN Thu. Aug. 2nd
Ca’ del Duca
Calle dei Fabbri 916, Venice, VE, 30124 Italy
Check OUT Mon. Aug. 6th
Thu. Aug. 2nd (Evening)
> go straight to hotel – get there late!
Fri. Aug. 3rd
Doge Museum, St Mark, Walk Tour (Daytime)
Sat. Aug. 4th
St. Mark Cathedral 11 a.m.
Sun. Aug. 5th
Mass and Walk around
Mon. Aug. 6th
GETTING TO FLORENCE TRAIN- TO DO!
Check IN Mon. Aug. 6th
Via De Lamberti 5, Florence, FI, 50123 Italy
Check OUT Fri. Aug. 10 6:05 p.m.
Mon. Aug. 6th
Tue. Aug. 7th
Tour of city
Wed. Aug. 8th
Pisa and Luca day trip
Thur. Aug. 9th
Tuscany Wine Tour
Fri. Aug. 10
BACK TO ROME ON TRAIN ???
Leave ROME Fri. Aug. 10 6:05 p.m.
Arrive NEWARK Fri. Aug. 10 9:25 p.m.
Map of churches in Florence
It saddens me to reflect on how as we evolve to a digital life form we no longer have physical records of our history and aspirations. Where will the great paintings be? Where will be the great printed books be? Where will be the magnificent statues of our civilization be if all is digital and nothing is physical?… We may be left only with buildings and non-descript conduits of digital information but no visible physical record of our times… Realism in art all but disappeared in Europe for more than a millennium after the fall of the Roman Empire until the Renaissance… What if the ‘experiment’ with the digital age takes us down a similar road where we will lose the capacity to appreciate the real because we live in a digital state?
What a shame that after Vatican Council II, we did not think through the perceptual consequence of having a new simpler alter deface the view of the original… We could have done better.
The gore and violence of religious art is real and everywhere! Storytelling at its best. The language of graphics rather than letters…
Families March, Myrtle Beach, 4th of July, and Heavenly Bodies – and NYC (July 2018)
What a wonderful week!
In the span of nine days we participated in various activities and outtings that merit memoralizing with pictures. Each gets their own album:
 We began by joining in the national march advocating to keep families together as they seek assylum entering this country.
 After the march we drove to Myrtle Beach to visit our good friends, Dave and Denise to see Dave act in a play at a community theater – and go to the beach.
 We came home in time to partake in the Takoma Park 4th of July Parade and later enjoyed the fireworks after visiting with neighbors for a cookout.
 After resting for a brief couple of days we took Greyhound to NYC where we thoroughly took in the amazing exhibit at the Met – and Cloisters – “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”. We also had a blast at the Guantanamera Restaurant.
Three mini videos moments capture the fun:
All said, it was a wonderful week to celebrate GD’s birthday!
(scroll down to links to pictures and videos)
What a wonderful time it was!
Sunday, May 27th, 2018 we were blessed with the accompaniment of friends and family for yet another lechón.
This time we made some ‘adjustments’ to how we prepared and cooked the lechón that proved to work rather well. It made for a tastier, crispier lechón. As usual we bought a free-range never frozen lechón from Canales Meat – at the Eastern Market in D.C. But this time we over-injected mojo and cooked it slower – 5 hours before turning it over for an additional 1 ½ , and then let it ‘breathe’ for another hour. It made a difference in taste for sure!
We also set up the bar with mostly rum. And Salvadorian Tic Tac, Ethiopian moonshine, and an array of other libations from many parts of the world, along with beer, cola, water, and GD’s mojito, of course. And, we had the Legendary Dave-O D.J. provide awesome music to enhance the mood.
We arranged the yard as has become customary, with tents. This time we added a third tent to cover the lechón. Earlier in the year we had covered the patio with brick – which made a major difference from the days when the area would turn into a mud puddle with the slightest rain.
And rain it did – the day before. A torrential downpour that turned the backyard into a swamp with waterfalls and all. The forecast indicated a 90% chance of rain for Sunday – the day of the lechón – so we had to prepare the inside of the house for the inevitability of rain… Yet the rain never came! God was good to us. (I think she likes these family/friend gatherings.)
The day-of we set up the Caja China at 6:30 a.m. and had the lechón ready for carving by 2 p.m. because of the expected rain (that never came.) Friends and family – including four dogs and many children – came by to enJoy the festivities. It was very cool to share with amigos from Senegal, Thailand, India, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, the U.S., and the Republic of Takoma Park.
No agendas. No timeframe. No set start / end time… Indeed, we lit up the stogies late at night, and sat around till after 1:00 a.m… Just a gathering with good folks to share stories, converse, catch up, and pass the time in good nature fun… Nada mas.
A wonderful time indeed.
400 artists. 2 weeks.
Cuba came to the Kennedy Center for this amazing display of art from the island. We were fortunate to go to four events and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it… Such a paradox. So much talented Cuban artists – in and outside the Island. Yet, such a repressive government… Our challenge continues to be separating the people from the government, promoting people-to-people interaction, staying away from the politics, and enJoying the culture, life, and beauty that is Cuba.
The events we went to included:
- Havana Lyceum Orchestra with Ulises Hernandez and Ali Arango
- Aymee Nuviola with Dr. Ed Calle
- Haydee Milanes & Trio with Pablo Milanes
- Argos Teatro “10 Millones”
It was very cool to also enjoy free entertainment at the Millennium Stage before the show; and free ‘fiestas’ afterwards, with live music and more.
It was extremely cool to have Ibri, Elina, Drake, Lucas, Victor, and Olivia visit with us for a few days. We had a blast! What a bunch of wonderful kids – and good grandparents 🙂
We visited sites, ate, drank, played, drank, visited sites, drank, and ate… A lot!
Tia, Tio, Carmencita and Julio visited to join us seeing IN THE HEIGHTS, starring Ana as Nina. We also were fortunate to dog-sit with Ollie!
It happened that the same weekend, the March for Our Lives took place. We enthusiastically participated.
(Berto had a great time too.)