The Christmas Missives

HOLIDAY TALES

Christmas 2016

Happy Holidays, one and all!

If you’re reading this, it means you made the cut. We had to cull the list a bit this year. Can you believe people actually were not rooting for The Cubs to win the World Series?!? The Cubbies! The denizens of Wrigleyville finally did it after 108 years! What an impressive team. We’ve always liked Chicago, but have to admit that the pizza sucks. Deep dish. Why do they have to do that? Really. Gimme a New York slice. You know… real pizza.

It was also a roller-coaster of a political year but if you’re expecting a long drawn out synopsis of politics—forget it. We’ll be with the Resistance. Secret handshake will be sent in a separate missive.

The rest of the year was nothing but fun. For two guys who are mostly homebodies, it seems we were never home. No extravagant European trips, this year, although in one two-week stretch, we were in three different US cities in three different hotels. Literal Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

The most fun at home, though, was the garden. Who woulda thunk that we could grow so much food in our own yard? Everything about it was an experience—from the planting to the growing to the eating and canning. Literal gallons of fresh tomato sauce, eggplant, peppers, cauliflower… jams and jellies. Winter is going to be very good. We already have our seeds for next year and will be drawing up and planning the garden in a few months. Fresh produce. What a concept.

We also had a couple of auspicious birthdays, this year. Victor hit the mandatory sign up for Medicare birthday while Tim reached his will you still need me will you still feed me milestone.

To celebrate Medicare, we took off to NYC and met friends for a long raucous weekend. We stayed at The Grand Hyatt New York, saw Kinky Boots, ate lots of great food, and, just had a great time. Tim used to work for Hyatt  several lifetimes ago, and schmoozed the Front Desk clerk with tales of days gone by… We had booked a cheapo Hotels.com rate but were upgraded big-time… Corner room, Club Level, Wine & Cheese… Kinky Boots was a great show –and highly recommended.

From New York it was Hershey, PA and The Dixie Chicks. Neither of us had ever been to Hershey so we booked a couple of nights to see the show and see the town. The concert was excellent. Fantastic music, politically charged. It was great. They are simply great musicians and performers. The town of Hershey by contrast was fairly meh.  Hershey Park is an okay place to while away an afternoon if you don’t mind long lines and lots of direct sunlight. We thought the Hershey Hotel to be a better fit for us. Old, but well-preserved. Classic.

Victor got Kinky Boots for his birthday but Tim got Solar Panels for his! Yes, we did it. And they are just stellar. We are actually producing electricity from the sun. What a concept, eh?!? They look so impressive on the roof and really make a statement in the neighborhood—along with the Bernie sign that’s still in the yard. We ain’t going quietly.

And then things really got crazy. We bought tickets to see Barbra Streisand. Yes, they were ridiculously expensive, but… what the hell. We figured she’s not going to be doing too many more concerts, we had never seen her live… It was time.

A dear friend announced her wedding up in New Hampshire so we immediately RSVP’d. Bought airline tickets, made the hotel reservations, the whole shebang, and then Tim realized the wedding and Barbra Streisand were on the same date—and he had bought airline and hotel for the wrong week! Airlines are very unforgiving when it comes to changing reservations. Very unforgiving. But, damn the cost,  we changed everything.

Tim, feeling horrible about having to cancel Barbra, did what and red-blooded gay American male with a credit card would do—he went online and bought two tickets to see Babs in Washington, DC the week before—along with rooms at the DC Hyatt. More schmoozing, more upgrades… We were able to get rid of the Philadelphia tickets, the wedding was a blast, we got to see lots of dear friends, and all was right with the world.

September saw us in California for a couple of weeks. The impetus for the trek was Tim’s nephew’s wedding—and since we were traveling 3000 miles, decided we needed to make it a nice, relaxing stay. We landed, rented a fire engine red convertible, and proceeded to have fun. The wedding was at Clear Lake and was just too much fun. It was shocking to see the aftermath of the fires that had gone through , but the silver lining was seeing the infrastructure rebuilt to 21st century specifications. The ol’ good coming from bad.

Being with all of Tim’s family was a blast. A crazier, zanier, more fun and loving group of people will not be found on this planet. We all stayed at an Indian Casino with flowing liquor, live music, and 24 hour slots. A recipe for wild times, laughter, and fun. After the wedding we stayed with Tim’s sister for a few days at their Tuscan villa on the lake. It was rough. But we did it. Had to, ya know.

Now it’s back home and time for a bit of hibernation before all of the treats that 2017 has in store for us—Bette Midler in Hello Dolly in March, Victor’s retirement in April, and Tim’s Medicare Birthday in July—assuming there still is Medicare, that is.

Nonna is still with us—she will be 91 in May—and Blanche is just about the sweetest dog you can imagine. She has the most ferocious bark you’ll ever hear but the tail is wagging a mile a minute. We will never be burgled.

So we leave you with happy thoughts for the coming year. We’re looking forward to another year of fun and excitement and hope you have a fun-filled and exciting year, as well. Politics, aside.

Love and Kisses!

Victor and Tim

Nonna and Blanche