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Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Second cousins: Marissa, left, and Figgy.

Here they are again in Florida tonight: Marissa, 19, and Fig, 17.

Hello from Boca Raton, Florida. We are at the home of Tony and Mary Jane. MJ is H.'s first cousin. When H. and his four brothers were boys, they spent a lot of time with Mary Jane and her mother. And since they were tiny, our girls have been enthralled with each other, loving visits to New Jersey or Florida. Neither has a sister [Marissa has two brothers] so I think that's one big reason.

I am Italian, but never had a traditional Christmas Eve seafood dinner till tonight. Mary Jane made dinner for 17: spaghetti with anchovies; cod baked with tomatoes; and shrimp scampi. Her son Brian, in from his apartment in Queens, NY, made great steamed mussels. Then we had Mrs. Weiss's cookies, which  MJ makes every year--her Grandma Millie got the recipe back in NJ from Mrs. Weiss. MJ pulled out her old heirloom recipe file and there it was, written in her [and H.'s] grandmother's hand. The sandwich cookies are made with cinnamon, jelly and chopped walnuts.

I do wish I brought some of my dough from home, or some cookies, just because everybody loves cookies on Christmas Eve, but was pressed for space with bringing our gifts.

Today I took a long walk on the beach while H. jogged and we saw blue jellyfish--exotic and stylish--and kids digging and skipping in the sand. H. took a dip. I saw a sandcastle decorated with a husky coconut shell and glossy tropical green leaves. We sipped piña coladas and watched the waves from the restaurant's outside seating. I ran into the Publix supermarket for wine and stocking stuffer chocolates. Those were one thing I didn't want to fly with from NJ, for fear of melting.

Good night, sleep tight. Merry Christmas Eve. Peace.

Photos by Tony Fariñas.

  1. The walk on the beach, 45 minutes.
  2. Big news, chose fresh fruit with my sandwich, not fries.

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