My best friend’s wedding 

I finished spending the weekend in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for my best friend’s wedding. And I had a fabulous time! What a change of pace from my recent travel to Europe

We stayed at an all-inclusive resort on the beach. Wedding took place there, too, so all the action was in one spot.

We ate like kings, drank like fish, swam like mermaids and partied like rock stars.  Here are a few pictures around the property.   

  
   
 
Then the wedding! The wedding! It was phenomenal! Let me just break it down for you guys. Lily, the bride, is Colombian, while Frank, the groom, is Dominican. If you know anything about these cultures, you know they know how to party! The two families get along great as do all of their friends. 

The ceremony was lovely. And I was so happy for their union. As far as how I felt – from a soon to be divorced person – I felt great. I love these two together and felt nothing but pride and happiness for them. I carefully listened to the vows, though, and soaked them in. If I ever take those vows again, they will be words I carefully live and love by. I will never again have anyone tell me I neglected them after I had children. (Yes, I’m still sensitive about that!) 

    

The wedding had everyone dancing like crazy! Old, young… it didn’t matter! You were going to shake your tail feathers til it hurt. The Colombians felt it their duty to pass out shots of Aguardiente throughout the night. (This stuff gives you hair on your chest. No joke.) And the Domincians were such a hospitable bunch.

  
  
 
We then went to the disco and casino and didn’t get back to our rooms til 4:30 am. That’s a late night for Mama Athena! (I won $40 playing roulette, yeah!)

I woke up the next morning with sore feet, neck hurting, legs tight, back all screwed up… you name it! Totally an indication of how serious my salsa, reggaeton and hip hop dancing was! (Translation: I’m rusty these days. Dammit.)

Wow. What a restorative weekend. Great quality time with a bunch of my best friends. Sun, beach, pool, eating, dancing, sleeping… doesn’t get better than that! 

   

Oh, and for the record… If anyone ever needs an ego boost, go to Dominican Republic! These guys are lovers by nature and will make you – as well as every other woman there – feel like you are a princess! 

 

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When you almost run into your ex-husband’s mistress turned girlfriend 

I had a bit of an awkward situation last night.

Normally, my arrangement with Grayheart is that I drop off the kids to him and he brings them back to me. We’ve read in a few books that it’s easier on kids to not feel like they’re being “taken” from their parent’s house by the other parent.

Last night we switched it up because I was coming home from dinner and thought it’d be easier to pick them up on my way home. I asked him to bathe our youngest (He-man, my 3 yr old son) so I didn’t have to deal with it when I got home. 

Somehow he misunderstood. So when I arrived, little He-man had not been bathed. I was visibly annoyed so Grayheart offered to bathe him quickly. I waited in the living room. She-ra, my 6 yr old daughter, then exclaims “Mami! Why don’t you meet Raggedy Ann! I want to introduce you to her! She’s upstairs!”

WHAT THE FUCK?!

So I calmly, coolly and tauntingly said out loud “Why yes! Why doesn’t she come down so we can meet?”

  
Grayheart bolted over and pleaded with me to please not put She-ra in the middle of the situation and drop it.

I took a look at my innocent daughter who was excited for introductions and decided to drop it. I said I would meet her at another time since she was probably in the bathroom.

I was pissed!

I don’t know what I would’ve done. A million things went through my mind.

  1. She’s a freaking wimp. No one would ever have me hiding.
  2. I’m glad the bitch is scared of me.
  3. I’m going to punch her once in the face. Just one knock out.
  4. Do I smile and pretend to be pleased to meet her in front of the kids?
  5. Do I threaten to kick her ass at a later time?
  6. Do I call her a whore or a skank?
  7. Should I roundhouse kick her?
  8. Which eye should I spit in?
  9. Do I thank her for taking him off my hands and congratulate her for having my sloppy seconds? He’s your problem now, bitch!
  10. Do I run up the stairs and further I intimidate her?
  11. Should I walk out the door and wait in the car? (Hell no!)
  12. I’m going to take my sweet ass time in his house and walk around like o own the place.

Once I quickly recovered from my shock, I hissed at him “You have your fucking girlfriend here?!” 

You know what his response was? To put it back on me! “You never asked.”, he said deadpan. (So typical for him to immediately respond with a way to blame me when backed into a corner.) And then he realized how dumb he sounded and apologized. I never go inside his house and, of course, this time I did. He didn’t think and didn’t know what to do. 

I was seething. But I held myself together and waited patiently in the living room for the kids. 

  
It was awkward, to say the least. But then it got me thinking… I will meet her eventually. She’s around my kids and our paths will cross. How do I handle that first time we do meet?

I hate Grayheart for giving me this headache. How am I supposed to treat a woman that was complicit in the breakup of our marriage? (Yes, I know I’m better off. Yes, I know it’s him that I’m to hold responsible. Yes, I know we had issues before her.) But, realistically, she is a weasel and disrespected me and my family. I can’t just let her think I’m a doormat and okay with that kind of crap! 

I know I’ll get over it and eventually have no feelings towards her. But this is now. And I don’t think I’m a big enough person at this point to turn the other cheek.
Suggestions are welcome! I’d love to hear how you may have handled it if you’ve ever been in the situation! Did I do the right thing last night?

As a slightly funny thing, as I was waiting in the foyer, I noticed her flip flops by the front mat. I was going to kick them outside the front door since it was raining and they’d get soaked. Yes. Total third grade behavior but it was that kind of moment. As I started to, Grayheart walked out and I quickly acted like nothing happened and was unable to fully complete my immature stunt. Hmpf! 

Today’s mantra: Take it easy. You leave to the Caribbean tomorrow for your bff’s wedding. Let it go! (And how awesome there is a rainbow today?!)

  

Amsterdam – Good eats!

This is my second visit to Amsterdam and I continue to love this city so much!

I noticed a slight change in the city since my last visit in 2007, particularly the food scene. There is still an abundance of different ethnic cuisines, but I found a ton of new (what I think of as) “California style” restaurants and really enjoyed them. People tend to give the Dutch a hard time about their food but I love all the options this area has to offer!

So you all already know I basically pac-manned my way through France! Well, do not fret because I was almost as gluttonous in Amsterdam as well!

Here are some fun food pics:

Dutch pancakes – Sweet & Savory!

Cheese, please!

Hot chocolate!

Waffle a la mode complete with Nutella!

Lovely healthy dinner

And then we may have dabbled in some other delicacies while there…

While on the topic of good eats… Found this in a window front of a store! LMAO! Hope there’s no one sensitive reading!

#goorganic

Stay tuned for pics around town!

XO

Athena

Thoughts on Paris

I was in Paris for 4 days. Frankly, too short of a time.  I barely scratched the surface of this incredible city.

Paris is historic and edgy and cool and no nonsense. There’s a seedy side mixed between regular life and tourists galore. My expectations were looooow as to how friendly people were going to be so I was pleased with how our peeps were treated. I tried really hard to speak the little pathetic French I know so I think that helped. And, c’mon! Who can resist my charm?

So here are some of the interesting experiences we had, in no particular order:

– Upon arrival, we took the train from the airport to where we were staying. It was morning and we were exhausted… But then we were revived with rappers on the train rhyming in French to some reggaeton songs! Woot woot! ¡Dále!

  

– We rented an apartment with an amazing rooftop view. We had drinks, breakfast and great convo up there. Not to mention we watched the Eiffel Tower light up each night. 

  

– Another night, a group of people were jamming with a speaker on the park behind the Eiffel Tower. We jumped in, danced the night away and had a ball!!!

  

– One night (more like wee hours of the morning) outside our window, we heard some guy screaming for the police right after what sounded like a scuffle between him and two guys. I think he got mugged! 

  

– Had tea in the little shopping area where the Louvre is located.

  

– Lovely walk and quality time with my family in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

  

– I got cursed out by a homeless man while having dinner next to the window front of a restaurant. He was drunk and missing a shoe and disheveled and looking for a fight. Certainly made my night lively! Oh, and I tried escargot for the first time. 

 

– Watched break dancers off the steps at Trocadero, across from Eiffel Tower.

   

And countless other funny things that are only funny when there.  I’m sure none of these things are particularly unique but it’s some of the colorful memories I had during my slice of Parisian life.

I can’t wait to return one day!

PS – The smoking is out of control, though. Yuck!

Bonne nuit!
  

I ate my way through Paris

Damn it.

I was warned. 

I was told of the decadent desserts and crusty loaves of bread and creamy cheeses and full bodied wines… And I still was not prepared to handle what came over me when I actually came face to face with these foods (or beverages)!

My senses were on overload! Bakeries are my thing, in general. And to have one on each corner… Nom, nom, nom.

Choux pastries & Eclairs…  

  

Gelato… 

Espresso and all other delicious French roasted coffee…

  

Cheese aplenty…

  

French baguettes, rich jams and marmalades…

  

Bordeaux and Chardonnays…Nutella filled crepes…croissants…macarons…

And that’s not all of everything I tried!  How do the French stay so damn thin?

I’m now in detox mode! 
XO