Birthdays

Jia in Wonderland

Jia in Wonderland

so, birthdays. kids nowadays have it made. imagine? they even have themes for their birthdays. frozen, pirates, spider man, etc. when i was growing up, we would be blessed if we had a chicken to slaughter and cook, and then share with the neighbors. there was even one birthday that i would never forget, as it was one of those surreal ones.

i woke up excited, but quickly got deflated like a tire running over a rusty nail, when i was told there was not going to be any fanfare, as it fell on the time of the month when money was low, if not non existent. to amuse myself, i chased this huge brown moth that had no business being awake in the light of day. someone said from inside the house, i forget who, oh you are going into some money! a brown butterfly like that means money! okey, moth, or butterfly?
but the strangest thing happened right after. in rolled, in his rickety bike, our town postman, with mail in his hand. it was addressed to my dad, and when he opened it, it was a check. a backpay or something. then my mom said, if we can’t cash it here in town, we will have to go to the city then.
my heart stopped. the city. on my birthday. with money.
hahahahaha i will be chasing lots of brown moths or butterflies from now on! i jumped up and down in happiness. sure enough, the check could not be cashed. we all got dressed up, piled into public transportation, (in those days, only the very rich had cars) and to the city we went.
my mom decided that we should have my birthday lunch at a newly opened hotel restaurant. you know, one of those places that actually had cloth napkins. i was bursting at the seams. so were my brothers. my pretty dress was quite tight around the waist when we finished eating. i stuffed my face with the food like there was no tomorrow. now you know why of all my birthdays, this one was not to be erased from memory, not even by electric shock.
but back to the present kind of birthday parties. alice in wonderland was my granddaughter Jia’s theme when she turned, wait for it, two. she was dressed just like alice down to the striped stockings which took two people to put on, as she just hates anything on her legs and feet.
her party was a huge success, with the photo booth as the highlight, and her unique birthday cake, that had one guest asking, does that still need to be cooked?
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The author, Josie (mad hatter hat, lol) with the birthday girl

birthdays are important in our lives though. they have to be celebrated, even if we have to chase brown moths to do it. not everyone makes it to his or her next birthday, or some do, but then leave this earth right after. and if we have family and friends to celebrate them with, the more blessed we are. my mom used to always say, no matter how humble the preparation is on our birthdays and someone drops in unintentionally for the meal, it was always an extra blessing.
God willing, Jia will be seeing more birthdays, and more themes. the whole disney set of princesses will suffice for the next few years. unless she would want to be Jack Sparrow.
Captain Jack Sparrow.
xoxo, josie

elizabeth point-e, amelia island

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it had to be the show “Revenge”, my daughter’s favorite show. from the title itself, it was all about revenge until they ran out of vengefulness and so finally ended. the Hamptons was imprinted in her psyche long after the show ended. come family vacation time, she looked for a place just like it, and found a B & B that looked like it belonged there. just by the photos online, it was very easy to fall in love with the place.

reservations were made, and when the day came, our little family packed the car to the max and headed on our way. when we pulled into the parking lot and got out the car already running out of wows with the place, a very accommodating gentleman named Stan, welcomed us. amused by our gaping mouths, he pointed the important parts of the B & B, even held the elevator for us as we finally closed our mouths.

since we arrived early, and check in time was 3 pm, instead of the 11 am that we thought, we had time to explore. we were then told that they had just been open for lunch and we could avail of that. super!

my little 21 month old Jia thought the strong breeze in the wrap around porch was going to blow her away, so we went inside. one thing we noticed firsthand though, and this we say because usually wherever we went, even in church, Jia always caused a commotion, not a single person acknowledged her presence. the couple eating brunch outside in the porch, and the other two ladies on high chairs, just looked at us adults, and then at Jia, and it seemed like their salads were more interesting. they are not baby people, we thought. or maybe they just had very thorny bushes up their hind anatomy.

once inside, the receptionist at least smiled, and smiled, and then smiled some more, looking like she was going to say something but didn’t. okay, something is off, but we just could not say what. we then headed to the dining room, and only two of the six or so tables were occupied. they had the same demeanor as the people outside. this time we really thought we had zits on our butts with more personality than these people! thank God the waiter was nice, and after lunch we headed to the beach, with the hope that the shells and the feathers of beach birds would go ohh and ahh over Jia.

the beach was beautiful, even if the water was already way past splash splash time for us Floridians. it was near freezing, though probably not for the young men fishing nearby who probably wore lead underwear for obvious reasons.

soon, we finally could get into our two bedroom cottage with a full size kitchen. before we could even say hi cottage and unpack, there was a knock on the door. he wanted to speak with the daddy of our group, and he, was apparently co-owner of the B & B. from what we could see of his face, he did not look too happy. uh oh. Daddy’s eyes were a bit glassy when he came back in, and what he said next explained a lot. apparently, no children below ten years old were allowed in the place. apparently, it was stated in the confirmation. who reads confirmations?!! they are usually in very tiny letters that even the minions could not read. well, we will be! no wonder everyone except Stan acted strange! but to be fair though, these people wanted peace and quiet, thus picked the beachfront B & B, and were incredulous seeing a 21 month old in a onesie having one of her rare screaming meemies. i take back the thorny bush part, sorry. but Stan will have a very interesting talk with us when we see him again.

so now, Jia was welcome everywhere else but the main building, but still it would’ve been nice if they corrected us earlier. anyways, we were allowed to at least get our breakfast from the dining room and have it at our glorious porch overlooking the beach. there was also cocktail time in the afternoon with apps, and discovered even without Jia, the people were as stand offish and botoxed as we previously encountered. the couple with THAT child, must have been on Jill and Dave’s foreheads. ah well. as we usually say, they don’t sign our paychecks, and hopefully these people will be filed under no problem if we don’t see them again.

ahh but the rewards we got after that tiny Jia glitch. dinner was at a mexican restaurant in downtown Fernandina beach. guess what, it was full of children, one even looked like it had just been born, we had to look around if there was a placenta lying around somewhere. what a relief that was, and besides the well done steak that had to be replaced with a medium rare, (waiter error) and $7.50 bud lights, our dinner was heavenly.

in the daytime, the downtown crawl was even better. there were shops that fell under the quaint category, you know, with overpriced, cutesy little gadgets that we probably did not need to buy, and the rest were restaurants and bars. one of them the oldest one in the state, if not the country. this time we had lunch at a marina that was also child friendly, and the food was delicious and fair priced, with very smiley wait persons. we concluded, and this you could learn from, without alcohol, the bill is way lower.

it was our only full day in Amelia island, so we really milked it. we took in all the sights and sounds of it, all really delightful, and we had mental scrapbooks set up. we had to purchase the overpriced AI shirts though, to be worn, dust and all, on our way home.

we headed back to the beach for some nostalgic photo ops, where nothing we said or did would squeeze a smile out of Jia, as she rode her range rover of a stroller. from the beach in the twilight, the B & B looked like it was a venue of a tv show, you know, the one where a character just won a golden globe and she bumped another winner on her way to the stage and the video of it went bacterial, er, viral. the view of the sunset was not really much as we were on the Atlantic side, so Jia did not have the chance to say, do it again, Daddy. well, not yet anyway.

finally, we got to meet again, Stan the man. we asked him why he did not warn us, and his response was so sweet we had cavities by the time he was finished explaining. well, he said, she was the most beautiful child i ever saw and i just did not have the heart to tell you! how could you say no, you’re not allowed here to that face? pointing at Jia, who was looking up at him. he said more things about his coworkers that would be unprintable, so they will remain unprinted.

but as nice as that sounded, fate had something to bring us down after that quick high. the restaurant we planned to have dinner at? wow. just wow. the way it was described in the brochure, the dining experience would be out of this world. well, ours was by way of the kitchen, just to get in. the ramp that could accommodate the stroller was by.way.of.the.kitchen. and when we got to the dining area, there was that once a month female problem, it was cramped. i think even the knees needed elbow room. the hostess was devoid of smile muscles of course, and at her ‘do you have reservations’ question, she had us at do. the customers stared at us like we were in overalls and yelled banana! another case of so welcoming a group in such a tiny island!

Amelia island is Key West without the drunks, but at this point, we’d rather have the drunks. at least they had warmth! so out of the restaurant we trooped out, and by the outside dining area, Dave blurted out, ‘well, i wouldn’t wanna eat here anyway! did you see that kitchen? ewwwww!’ we were like, ‘louder, Dave! so the customers could hear!’

we blessedly found a seafood place that had the smilingest hostess with beautiful, long, blond hair, the nicest manager, (he noticed Jia) and the cutest server. whew. we really did not want our stay in this beautiful island with people sucking on lemons sucking on lime. the taste of old grease on the food was evident but hey, we had smiles. and most important of all, Jia had the run of the place. the night ended really well.

would we recommend elizabeth point-e to others. definitely. but leave your young uns below ten at home. Amelia island? oh, even more definitely! it is beautiful, and if you know where to go, you won’t be disappointed. we weren’t, all in all, despite the glitches. we even took pictures of the other B & B we might try out next year, God willing!

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how to not get sick

is it rocket science? is it the theory of relativity? no. but how come we still get sick?

for starters, as long as we breathe, as long as we go outside and see other people, as long as we touch each and everything else that other people, who have exclusive membership to the ewwww country club; touched, we will be exposed to germs.
depending on our immune system, we either can resist or easily catch certain diseases. too bad it does not apply to catching fish, game for tonight’s dinner, and richwithnorelativesorexesandreadytodie men.
it honestly is a no brainer, especially when it comes to the common cold. as it is easy to spot, we stay away from someone who has it. we don’t shake hands with them after a really hearty sneeze and they covered their mouths with their hands. if it is someone we are close to, no pda until it clears. absence does make the heart grow fonder, if we give it a chance.
there are all kinds of vitamins and minerals  in the market they are hawking to keep us healthy. we don’t really have to take all of them because believe me, by the time we are done taking all of them, we are dead from water toxicity. we just need to make sure our diets are of healthy food, we exercise, and we meditate.
handwashing is really important too. (does that mean people born with no hands are lucky? sorry i had to go there. some readers are just that smart!) by no means. like i said, if we breathe, that means we have a nose and lots of diseases are airborne. but those transmitted by contact are just as bad. proper hand washing prevents the transmission of these diseases. it only takes 20 seconds.
what is 20 seconds compared to being sick? worse, if there is a rearranging of letters and in the very accent of John Lequizamo, de-cease-ed?
an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. definitely not rocket science.
xoxo, Josie