We made it of Paradise, literally and figuratively, as we arrived at Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It’s a quick 35 minute flight from Fort Lauderdale, so it’s great way to escape into the island life without traveling too far. Moreover, the beaches, the water and the snorkeling are ridiculous here.

It’s been almost 20 years since I’ve been here last. Needless to say it looks way different. There’s been a lot of development here in the last twenty years. All of us were on the same flight, which was great. JK shared his limo with us, so we were able to easily make it from the airport to the hotel.

Paradise Island is incredibly gorgeous. The water is beyond beautiful and the grounds of Atlantis are impeccably kept. My boys were dying to hit Aquaventure and the beach. We spent four hours in the sun, sand and pools before heading up to get ready for dinner.

All around Atlantis there are amazing aquariums teaming with wildlife. We can see the ray tank, the shark tank, sea turtle tank and the sawfish tank from our room. While we waited for a table at dinner tonight, we ventured outside to look at the baby sea turtles. These precious babies are beyond adorable.

Dinner was amazing. We ate a family style restaurant that serves barbecue. If you ever find yourself at Atlantis, do yourself a favor and try Virgil’s Mac and Cheese. It’s amazeballs. Of course good food and good drinks help (would also recommend the watermelon margarita,) but a good dinner is made by the company in which you eat.

Tonight it was fun reconnecting in person with all of the Kennedy clan. We had a blast tonight at dinner and hanging out in the suite afterward. Now it’s time for be because we’ve simply exhausted ourselves.


Skol Vikings!!!

Skol Vikings!!! Holy cannoli Batman that was a nail biter of a game between my Vikes and the Saints today. Jen and I were biting our nails as we followed the live updates on the Score. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a time delay on the app. So we were a bit behind.

Fortunately, text messages from my hubby, the family group text and Chuckles and Roman kept us updated timely. Honestly, when C&R texted holy cow, what a catch, touchdown, I thought they were messing with me. (It’s not hard to do.) I was in disbelief until my hubby and the family group text confirmed the good news.

Truly it was a game that entertained the masses while giving Minnesota fans a heart attack. I was commiserating the Vikings impending doom with my hubby via text and Jen as watched Goalielocks’ game. When she said, “maybe there’ll be a miracle.” I replied as any hardened Vikings fan would, “miracles don’t happen to us.” Only this time it did thanks to our Keenum led offense and Diggs’ amazing catch.

Aside from the Vike’s amazing win tonight, my boys had four games at two rinks across town. Consequently, I’m utterly exhausted and not looking forward to a 5:00 am wake up and an early morning drive through the snow. Goalielocks’ Team was 2-0 on the day, but I’ll write more about that in a forthcoming post on instant karma.

Meanwhile, the Mayor’s team went 1-1 on the day. The Mayor notched two goals today scoring one in each of the games. In fact, he scored the only goal for his team in the morning game. Both boys’ teams have moved onto the semis bright and early tomorrow. I’ll likely miss the start of Goalielocks’ game.

Lastly, the boys are really loving the Chicago area. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be able to make it downtown tomorrow due to games. However, today I introduced Goalielocks to deep dish pizza. After their morning game, we went with friends to Giordano’s. Goalielocks and I shared a pepperoni deep dish pizza that was to die for. In his words, “it was the best pizza he had ever eaten!” Moreover, he wants to go back for more tomorrow.

Of course, the plus side is the pizza really fills you up. You really don’t need to eat too much the rest of the day after having that. Even after we got back to the hotel after Goalielocks’s game, I was still full.

I should also mention that it has started to snow here in Chicago, which makes awesome driving – said nobody ever!!! My boys though are loving the weather. In contrast, I’m praying for an early end to the snow and for the roads to be clear tomorrow morning when we leave. I’m off to bed as we have a very early wake up call tomorrow morning.

Game Day in Chicago

It was game day in Chicago for the Mayor and Goalielocks. Moreover, it was a cold game day in Chicago. It was so cold, in fact, that I got to break out my Dale of Norway sweater. Thank god for that sweater as it kept me completely comfortable all day long. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great photo (my eyes are closed per usual), but you can clearly see the sweater. Also, I totally forgot how I hate static cling. It simply isn’t something we have to contend with in Florida.

The day started out with a nice win for Goalielocks and his squad. Additionally, it was a great start to the day for me as I quickly found a Dunkin’ Donuts in close vicinity to the rink. #winning

Fortunately, all of our games today were at the same rink. In fact, I lucked out as The Mayor’s game was right after Goalielocks’ game. Best of all, I was able to watch the first two games with my bestie from highschool and her kids. We had such a great time, I forgot to take a pic of us! Ugh!

At the beginning of the Mayor’s game, we had some yummy pizza up in the rink’s restaurant/bar. It was super good. Fortunately, the puck luck bounced our way as the opponents inadvertently buried a pass in their net. 1-0 good guys!

Ultimately, the Mayor’s team won in a much more physical than expected game. In fact, it was so chippy that the refs didn’t allow the teams to shake hands for fear an altercation would break out.

Tonight’s game was a complete s@&t show. The first period was pretty good until the train derailed with a bad goal. Let me clear by bad goal, I mean a goal that didn’t actually cross the goal line. It hit the front crossbar went up before landing next to Goalielock’s butt.

Unfortunately, that errant goal derailed the game for our boys. After that moment, the refs grew increasingly belligerent and intolerable. It was clear they had a chip on their shoulders after being questioned on the goal. Honestly, it was the worst officiated game I have ever seen.

Our boys literally spent have their game in the box. While some of the calls were legit, most were outright ridiculous. For example, one of our guys would get boarded and we’d get the penalty. Meanwhile, the other team spent 90% of their time on the power play. In fact, outside of the errant goals all of their goals were scored while on the power play. Take the errant goal and power plays out of the picture and you have a much different game.

Post-game the boys, the parents and coaches were extremely upset. To give to an idea of how bad it truly was, consider that parents/coaches of our rivals from Florida felt compelled to speak with the tournament organizers about how bad it was. Another parent that witnessed the game, from another team, was also compelled to speak to the tournament staff about the officiating.

Life isn’t fair, I get that, but it is a long freaking way to travel to get bent over by the refs! Now it’s time for bed, we have a mere 4 games at two different rinks tomorrow. We will be exhausted by the time Monday rolls around. P.S. nobody needs to tell my podiatrist about kicking the boards…..

We Made It

After two flights and a pit stop at MacDonald’s in Detroit, we finally made it to Chicago! This was my first time back in O’Hare since middle school. I remember the terminal walkways looked much bigger and much newer back then. Now it’s not so big and fancy compared to some of the newly remodeled airports.

Admittedly, I don’t eat MacDonald’s often. If I’m eating MacDonald’s, it’s either a desperation play or vodka made me do it. Today it was a desperation play as we didn’t have too much time between flights.

What a freaking mistake that was! I’m still feeling it! I ordered the artisan grilled chicken sandwich because calorie wise it was semi reasonable and it looked more gratifying than a single cheese burger. Wrong!

I was so hungry having totally forgotten to eat breakfast as we rushed to the airport. Despite this crazy level of hungry bordering on hangry, I couldn’t finish the sandwich. It was truly the one of the most vile things I have ever eaten.

Honestly, I would have been better off eating the soles of my shoes because they would have been less rubbery. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure they stole the rubber chicken from Carrot Top’s prop box and made into my sandwich. If I were him, I’d be mad that his prop was sacrificed for a subpar imitation chicken sandwich.

Now here we are in the Marriott seven hours later and my stomach is still angry with that sandwich. This is why I’m not going to be eating at Macdonald’s again sober. My sandwich today evoked memories of the horrific school lunches they served in elementary.

Meanwhile, my boys feel that the current Chicago weather is nice and comfortable. It’s been a battle since we landed to get them to put on jackets, pants, gloves, etc. “It’s not cold mom.” Yeah, my arse it isn’t cold. I’m looking forward to rehashing this argument tomorrow as we leave for the rink bright and early.

Tomorrow will be a busy day with three games and two team functions. Fortunately, the games are all at the same arena tomorrow. Sunday on the other hand will be a complete disaster. It should be an interesting day as I attempt to make all games in different arenas across town! I’m heading to bed hoping that the nausea caused by that blasted rubber chicken sandwich will be gone tomorrow. Over and out from Chicago!

Chicago Bound

We are Chicago bound, via DTW, for a weekend of hockey. For the first time, the Mayor and Goalielocks are playing at the same out of state tournament. Well, at least this month….

Our flight left out of Chicago on an older formerly Northwest 757-200. Consequently, the bird evokes memories of flying on Northwest out of Minneapolis. For several years, Northwest was really the only game in town for us Minnesotans. While Delta now has most of the airport, there are several other options for flying in and out of MSP. Fortunately, they have a number of low costs carriers flying into MSP, which has somewhat helped lower the cost of flying into Minneapolis.

We just flew over the Appalachian mountains minutes ago and are rapidly approaching Ohio. In less than an hour, we should be wheels down in DTW where will catch our connecting flight to Chicago! Unfortunately, we’ll be pulling into gate 66 and will have to head to gate 6. Should be a fun dash!

I packed several snacks for the flight including almonds, gourmet marshmallows, little bites and Twizzlers. At this point, I’m fairly certain the only items left will be the almonds! This is in spite of the fact we all just enjoyed some yummy Biscoff cookies. As an aside, the cinnamon churro marshmallows are ridiculously delicious!

I’ll post a song of the day in a later post as this bird’s WiFi is not super strong!

Back To School

Last week it was back to reality for us adults, but this week it is back to school for the kids in Palm Beach County.  It feels like they’ve been off from school forever even though its only been a couple of weeks.  With the kids heading back to school, life will truly feel like its back to normal.  Well, back to normal or a couple of days until we head to Chicago for a tournament.


As a kid, the harbinger that school was near was always the Minnesota State Fair.  If you’re looking for great fried food on a stick of all varieties, this is the place for you.  One of our last trips to the fair, we enjoyed a fried candy bar on a stick.  Albeit it may have had at least a million calories, it was worth every one of them.  Other great eats include the Sweet Martha’s Cookies, cheese curds, funnel cake and Fresh French Fries.  They too are worth every calories.



In contrast, for our kids, a return to the rink is the forerunner to school’s imminent return.  In fact, it serves as the signal both in August and in January.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t make it easier for the kids to get back into their school routines.  Who wants to get up early and go to bed earlier? None of the children in my house that’s who.

Speaking of hockey, the Mayor and Hubby headed over to Estero (west coast) for two games today.  Since we all went yesterday, I stayed home to finish the grocery shopping and wrap up preparations for our forthcoming Chicago trip.  Over the years, we’ve amassed quite of bit of winter wear, however, these pesky kids keep growing.  Now I’m trying to figure out what I need to buy for each.  Thankfully, Amazon Prime will have them here by Wednesday!


I cannot wait to go to Chicago!  We used to go there several times a year when we were still living in Minneapolis.  The Hubby’s grandfather used to live in Oaklawn while my Aunt and Uncle lived in Northbrook.  Moreover, my bestie from high school now lives in suburban Chicago, which means I get to see her and her family this weekend.  Did I mention I can’t wait?


As for the Mayor’s games today…  Unfortunately, the highlight of their day was lunch at Twin Peaks which says it all.   There’s no doubt my Mayor had to be tired as he had a pretty quick turn around from our Orlando trip.  While we got home at 10:45 pm last night, he had to leave again for the west coast at 6:45 am.  You’ll be shocked to know he fell asleep on the couch a good fifty minutes ago.

Tonight’s song performed by Dropkick Murphy’s is one of the Mayor’s favorite hockey songs.  The song of the evening is “I’m Shipping Up To Boston.”



Tonight we’ll finally put to rest the year that was 2017. In many respects, 2017 was a brilliantly evolutionary year. While in others it was a devastating year that often brought us to our knees.

2017 started off with the loss of a beloved employee, followed by the loss of a beloved employee’s son. In March, we lost a dear friend, who was family to us. Unequivocally, the loss of our beloved friends and co-workers was tough to stomach. Death is never easy, but losing people young is particularly cruel.

In loss, there was a beauty. We carry forward the many memories and lessons that those beautiful souls imprinted on our hearts. I look forward to running again, so I can see the yellow butterfly that greets me as I make it to Debbie’s neighborhood. This is just before I hit the mile mark. Consequently, I’m struggling find my legs, my will and my strength. Miraculously, the butterfly greets me and encourages me on every run.

To say I learned a lot from Debbie would be an understatement. One lesson I’ll always carry with me is to live fully. In fact, she was a huge inspiration in us going to Norway. It was an expensive trip, but it was worth every penny and more. There is no greater gift we can give our loved ones than the gift of time and experiences together. To this day, if you ask my boys, they’d move to Norway in a heartbeat.

2017 was very much a transition year for our family with Jake graduating high school and the Mayor transitioning to Middle School. We also sent Jake to Italy with school while the Mayor went to DC with safety patrol. There were a lot of big life changes for us last spring. Albeit the boys handled these transitions beautifully. Mamma bear may have struggled a bit, but that’s life and completely normal.

Now as we wind down the clock on 2017, Jake has a semester of college under his belt. The Mayor has acclimated beautifully to Middle school while Goalielocks is slaying his last year of Middle School. 2017 was a year of transitions, loss, beauty, experience and love.

As I look back on 2017, I remember the moments spent with those I love. The marquis moments of my kids’ lives and our incredible time in Norway. Lastly, we will always carry the the beautiful people we lost in 2017 in our hearts and minds.

To celebrate the New Year, we’re headed back down to Lauderdale to hang out at the marina. My younger two boys will spend their evening fishing with friends as we relax on the boat with our friends. It’s a boy mom life for me and one I wouldn’t change for the world.

Tonight’s song performed by the Beatles is “In My Life.”

Norway is Calling

Norway is Calling

Norway is calling (so is my bed p.s.) me back.  There’s no way around it and the kids feel the same way.  As a family, we cannot wait to go back and explore it some more.  For my kids, the city of Bergen was particularly memorable.  They’ve even started planning how they can study their in college or move their as adults.  I’d say the city left quite the impression on them.

The most beautiful part of Norway, and there were so many, for me was being able to spend time with my family.  There were no distractions of work, school or hockey.  It was just us enjoying our time together as we discovered our Scandinavian roots.  In addition, it was even more special because my entire family was there together.

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As we approach the holidays and I put out the Christmas decorations I bought in Norway, I long to go back.  One of my goals is to spend Christmas in Norway to enjoy the Scandinavian customs and celebrations.    It would be nice to enjoy a white, snowy Christmas versus our tropical Christmas.  Additionally, I’d like to explore the Christmas markets in Germany some time.

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Oh the serenity of my house was broken as the boys returned from hockey practice.  Goalielocks some how managed to knock a grocery bag with my brie baker off the table.  Consequently, my nice pampered chef brie pan has seen its last day.  Ugh… This is why I can’t have nice things.

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I leave you tonight with some of my favorite pictures from 2017.  There were many memorable moments this year, so picking my favorites was quite difficult.  Nonetheless, I think you’ll find a theme in my pictures.  Hint, hint my favorite moments are all about my family and friends that have become family.



Tonight’s song performed by Offspring is “The Kids Aren’t Alright.”  I know, I know it is a departure from the Christmas music.  However, I was jamming out on my way to Barre tonight to this song, so I thought I’d share it.  Plus, it seems to fit with the brie, football/invisible hand calamity.

my world

My World

For tonight’s blog, it’s all about giving you a glimpse in my world through the share your world challenge.  It’s one of the challenges run here in the blogosphere that make for fun and interesting reads while also connecting you to others bloggers.  So here it goes.

If you were having difficulty on an important test and could safely cheat by looking at someone else’s paper, would you do so?   I’m not good at being bad. So no I wouldn’t cheat because know I’d get caught.


What things in nature do you find most beautiful?  I love the beautiful sunsets that light the Florida sky.  Also a top the items I find to be most beautiful are flowers, the beach, the fjords, mountains and waterfalls.   The Norwegian countryside was beyond beautiful.  Neither pictures nor words can adequately describe its beauty.

Complete this sentence: When I travel I love to…  I love to stay in the neighborhoods and experience the city or country as a local.  Consequently, we stayed in AirBnB’s in both Bergen and Oslo while travelling throughout Norway.  These accommodations were in the neighborhoods away, but not too far from the tourist sights.  In Oslo, our apartment had the cutest nest like area over the kitchen where the younger two boys could sleep.  Fortunately, they loved their little area.  Goalielocks had a similar room when we were in Bergen, which he also loved.  Nevertheless, the point is I want to be immersed in the culture of where ever I have traveled to.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  This week I was heavily inspired by my dear friend Debbie, here family and our friends.  Months of hard work culminated with the Purple Stride event Sunday morning.  After the event, I was looking to see updated fundraising totals on the site and noticed a quote from Debbie. Here’s here quote that as a part of her keynote speech at the 2016 Broward Palm Beach Purple Stride event.

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My first PurpleStride was in 2015. I wanted to complete the 5K as my own personal challenge. Being able to attend my second PurpleStride this year in 2016, was about showing that patients can live, cherish the moments they have in their lives, teach others to celebrate their own lives and to remember the gifts of those lives that are no longer with us.”

Tonight’s song comes to us courtesy of Tom Petty.  Enjoy “Learning to Fly!”

Mount Floyen Friday

Mount Floyen Friday

It is a Mount Floyen Friday, can someone please take me back to Bergen?  I’ve been good this year, so pretty sure they’ll be no coal in my stocking this year. In lieu of coal, feel free to stock my stuffing with tickets back to Bergen.  Although I’m sure the beautiful city and mountain look a little bit different in December than they do in July.

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We took the funicular up to the top of Mt. Floyen first thing one morning, so we could hike and explore the mountain.  Fortunately, Mt. Floyen offers a lot of activities to those travelling with families.  There are number of different trails, a ropes course, a play ground and some other activities.  Moreover, if you’re really ambitious, you can do the day long hike from Mt. Floyen to Mt. Ulricken.  In addition, there is also a cafe, gift shop, a restaurant and bathrooms atop the mountain.


The hike on Mount Floyen is significantly easier than the hike at Ulricken.  There are several walking trails, appropriate for all fitness levels)  along with rockier hiking trails through the woods.  Additionally, there are no significant drop offs around the trails (at least the trails we explored at Mt. Floyen), which makes it a little more child friendly than Mount Ulricken.  Truly, it is a good hike for all ages and all abilities.


Fortunately, when the kids tired out from hiking before we did, they had activities they could do while we hiked.  Consequently, when the kids got bored and the grandparents got tired, they headed back towards the funicular where there was a nice playground.  While the kids played on the playground, Jake, myself, my brothers and my sister-in-laws decided to hike into the woods and off the paved path.


The paths through the woods were incredibly beautiful.  In some places, it reminded me of the Valley of the Living Rocks where the trolls resided in Frozen.  You could easily imagine that trolls, witches and fairies inhabited these magical woods.  There was moss on the trees, delicate mushrooms carpeting the forest floor, little structures and fallen trees.

Unquestionably, it was a magical, beautiful place that was also peaceful and serene.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that once we finished our hike we were able to get a nice, hot latte before heading back down the mountain.  We headed back down the mountain to make our way towards Bergen’s tallest mountain Mt. Ulricken. That morning we hiked off the beaten path and were transported into a magical woods that was reminiscent of Narnia. Needless to say, if you’re in Bergen, make a trip to both Mt. Floyen and Mt. Ulricken a priority.

Tonight’s song comes to us from Nirvana and it is “The Many Who Sold the World.”