The World

Sunday, October 8, 2017 by  

A mother picking up her child from a playdate once said to me, “I just came across your website and didn’t know you had a long career on television or traveled anywhere. And here I thought you were some Fairfield County shut-in Mom because you’re always with the kids and bake & craft and they come back home with cookies & stuff.”

I seriously had no comeback.

I just politely ushered her and her sweet daughter out the door, brownies & artwork in hand. It’s important to note here that this woman is an executive whose nanny usually picks up the lovely little girl who’s been coming over for years. The Mom blurted her judgmental comment of which she certainly knew nothing about…ah, yes, one should never assume.

True, I’ve had an illustrious career distinguished by multiple journalism awards, blah, blah, blah. But being a mother has 

been & always will be my most important job. And true, I don’t send kids back home with their homemade goodies on a paper plate saying, “Susie was such a good girl and did you know I’ve been to more than 60 countries over 150 times on 5 continents? Have a nice night.”    

It riled me was that any Mom would think any other Mom was a “shut-in” just because she liked being home with the kids. All the kids, their friends and friends of their friends. Yeah, I like that! I like being home with my family & my pets. I’ve been fortunate enough to choose to stay home because I wish to. I’m grateful for it. I like that I only have to go to the radio station once a week & can write from home when the kids are in school. I don’t mind if a Mom works in an office, works from home, doesn’t have a job or doesn’t choose to keep working. Moms should not judge one another, they should support each other & their choices.  

That night, memories of my travels flitted through my mind… trains, ships & air on countless flights & logging tens of thousands of miles sailing through the Adriatic Sea, Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Pacific Ocean, Andaman Sea, Denmark Strait, Red Sea, English Channel, Sea of Marmara, East & South China Seas, Gulf of Alaska, Mediterranean Sea, Gulf of Aden, Suez Canal, Sea of Crete, Ionian Sea, Atlantic Ocean, Baltic Sea, crossing the International Date Line via ship, learning preventive pirate safety measures through the Suez Canal, giving a big thumbs up to our US Air Force pilots during a fly-by over our vessel in the Red SeaEnjoying cool places like Malaysia, Egypt, China, Russia, India, Japan, Ireland, Turkey, Venezuela, Scotland, the Philippines, Germany, former Yugoslavia, Taiwan, England, Mexico, Hong Kong, Denmark, Spain, Guatemala, Sweden, islands throughout the Caribbean, and most of our own beautiful States from the top of the Haleakala Volcano in Hawaii to the bottom of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, to snowy Killington Peak in Vermont and sunny San Diego, California & most everything in between.  

Coming from a large multicultural family, I eagerly welcome different traditions, different people, different views, and my travel experiences are packed with wonderful memories & world lessons … with a handful I’d like to forget. Sure, those are the best stories but for another time…

I’ve been a dinner guest at Parliament, a special guest at a Royal wedding, and a Thanksgiving guest in Turkey. I’ve enjoyed divine spa treatment on the beaches of Malaysia and wretched at the sight of travel friends drinking snake blood in Taiwan for a dare. Ewww! (Yes, they became very ill!)

I’ve been to Tianamen Square before the ’89 crisis, to Berlin before the wall came down, to Sarajevo before the war, and to Cancun before President Reagan attended an economic summit there making that once-quiet getaway in Mexico a carousing hub for partying tourists. 

I’ve been stuck at the top of a pyramid in Chichen Itza & stuck in a remote beach bathroom in the dark in Marbella Costa del Sol when the door handle broke…and so did the light.

I’ve kissed the great-great-great-great-great…on-and-on direct descendant of Christopher Columbus, a duke, and a well-known European prince who kisses like a lizard. Yuck! Traveling can be good and not so good!

 

 

 

 

I purchased my 1st major piece of jewelry in Hong Kong along with 100 rolls of film. Yup, took a lot of pictures then, too!  I’ve been traveling to Europe & around the world since I was just a few weeks old. So let’s take a little photo journey throughout the years:                                 GERMANY with Mom

                       GIBRALTAR                                                                             BARBADOS

MALAYSIA – apparently I liked stripes!

 BERLIN WALL

JAPAN

INDIA

 

Stark contrasts in India, just a walk away

Beautiful Taj Mahal mausoleum on the Yamuna River, commissioned 1632. Sweet monkey.

And below is the Red Fort, Palace of the Mughal Emperors, AGRA, INDIA 

Great Wall of CHINA – Odd that we don’t notice these things when we’re younger but why am I standing over that mountainous edge just for a photo!?

Autumnal view through the Wall’s window, Graffiti on the Wall, and LOOK at those STEEP steps!!

 LONDON Summer Ball

HONG KONG                                                                BOMBAY

CALIFORNIA

TAIWAN

Kinsale, County Cork, IRELAND

        PHILIPPINES                                                  DUBROVNIK, YUGOSLAVIA (former)

    ST. MAARTEN                                                     ROYAL THEATRE LONDON

SOUTH CHINA SEA

SPAIN

    SEVILLA                                                                                 CADIZ

The GREAT EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS at sunset…breathtaking

GREAT SPHINX OF GIZA, sitting on the steps in a PALACE IN EGYPT

BEIJING UNIVERSITY

MONTREAL

St. Basil’s Cathedral. MOSCOW, RUSSIA  

ST. PHILIP, ATLANTIC COAST

I was able to photograph the bride during their ceremony at CHIANG KAI-SHEK’s MEMORIAL

     VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA                              PENANG

                                                                          BARBADOS                                                                        

SCHLESWIG-HOLSTEIN

TURKEY

HUALIEN

JAMAICA

                             OSAKA                Great Pyramid – oldest of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World

GOETEBERG, SWEDEN

Beer from vending in KOBE….and 26 years later with my Hello Kitty backpack in SCOTLAND 

CHICAGO

My Dad getting us on the helicopter to see the Haleakala Volcano in HAWAII & later the waterfalls

KYOTO

        TAROKO GORGE, TAIWAN                                           LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND

ISTANBUL

 Getting stuck at the top of the CHICHEN ITZA Pyramid in MEXICO. Daddy saved me!    And we left the arena immediately in tears in VENEZUELA! 

            PUERTO VALLARTA                                                     TIANANMEN SQUARE

MARBELLA, COSTA del SOL

TURKS & CAICOS

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS (my Mom snapped these shots)

Attended Trinity College, DUBLIN, IRELAND… And visiting a hilltop monument in Ireland 

ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, Archipelago, Pacific Ocean

KIEL with my Granddad

NARA, JAPAN

  MT. KILLINGTON, VERMONT                                    THE GRAND CANYON

BERLIN

ASCOT, EAST BERKSHIRE, UK

ROYAL ASCOT

                             GUATEMALA                                                 DENMARK

BRANDENBURG GATE, EAST/WEST GERMANY age 9

DALLAS

LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYRNDROBWLLLLANTYSILIOGOGOGOCH, WALES   Longest town name in the world!! This is the train station.

LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND

AMISH COUNTRY, PENNSYLVANIA

                   MARBELLA                                   A. EINSTEIN MEMORIAL, WASHINGTON, D.C.

                                  NEWPORT, R.I.                                                              ILLINOIS

WALES

                                 IOWA                                                            KEY WEST

   TEXAS

SOUTHEAST ASIA

         ADIRONDACK MOUNTAINS                        OUTER BANKS, NORTH CAROLINA

6 bucks for this hostel in EAST ASIA

                               ENGLAND                                                                IRELAND

      KREMLIN, MOSCOW                          ADRIATIC SEA                                  SUEZ CANAL

SULTANAHMET CAMII Blue Mosque, circa 1609

            GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS, NYC                          PARK CITY, UTAH

If you know me, I’ve been snapping photos of kids or with kids for over 3 decades.

Look at these precious children from SARAJEVO & CHINA, simply beautiful!!!

               MONGOLIAN barbecue in ASIA                                  MILLENNIUM in EUROPE

NEW LONDON Cty.

                         NEW YORK CITY                                                    ANDALUSIA

          WESTERN ASIA with my Mom when I was 5.                     EAST GERMANY when I was 9.

MAUI

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC                 SNOWBIRD, UTAH                                BERMUDA

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY for GRAND DEPART of TOUR de FRANCE

More CARIBBEAN Island pics with Mom eons ago

           BEAR MOUNTAIN                                  MEDITERRANEAN SEA                       CATSKILLS

                          BERLIN Zoo                                              BALTIMORE, MARYLAND

                        SOUTH AMERICA                                                        NEW JERSEY

GREENWICH Polo

                           BALTIC SEA                                                                          BAY OF KIEL

                    ARABIAN SEA                                                       ATLANTIC OCEAN

FLORIDA

Flying to MARTHA’S VINEYARD – our 9-year-old daughter co-pilots 🙂

DUTCH WONDERLAND

MEDITERRANEAN

VALLEY FORGE

VICTORIA & AUSTIN, TEXAS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Reagan’s Procession

NEAR EAST around age 5

THE PENNINES

                                  LABOE                                                                        MALAGA

CHEYENNE SPRING, COLORADO                                                     CANCUN

                    HAMBURG                                  HADRIAN’S WALL built by the Romans 122 A.D. 

                   TURKS & CAICOS GRACE BAY                                          LANCASHIRE, UK

NEVADA

             CORPUS CHRISTI                          LIME ROCK                                    KIEL-WIK

                                  CONNECTICUT                                                          PHILADELPHIA

                            INDIAN OCEAN                                                                             NYC

               VALLARTA return                          THE HAMPTONS                            SAN DIEGO

              SUEZ CANAL, built circa 1860                                            YORK, ENGLAND

                      THE EVERGLADES                                       Elvis’ home, MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE

             NEW HAMPSHIRE                                                  SNOWBIRD in UTAH

Photo taken from our towel on a Caribbean beach, eeek

Chillin’ in OCHO RIOS

       Old Capitol Building, WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA                                       ILLINOIS

                            SCANDINAVIA                                                 SAN ANTONIO

THE KEYS, PROVIDENCIALES, KOBE & THE BAHAMAS

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot  – Home Sweet Home ~ As I’ve stated many times on-air, online and in person, my very favorite place to be in the whole world is home with my family & furbabies, feet up in my little white socks, a pony tail, Greek salad & a good family movie.

There are certainly a gazillion more places & photos, but this pictorial refutation has clearly served its purpose. The real point here is don’t judge people especially if you’ve never gotten to know their background. As my friend, Sara, so succinctly put it regarding the woman’s comment – “Honestly, some nerve!!” We laugh because, seriously, one can only chuckle at the mother’s unapprised statement at this point. 

Let me just say to that mother who assumed I was a “shut-in” because I like to craft with the kids & make their day magical – there is no greater job than raising the next generation of kindly world citizens, travelers & defenders of Earth & her gifts. That’s my gift back to this planet that’s been a joy to traverse, study, explore & relish!!    


Bianca

SeaTrek – Fueling the Passion

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 by  

SeaTrek, Sea Life, SeaLife, Europe's 1st Sea Bed Walk, Seabed walk, marine life, marinelife (24)I have written many stories about fueling your child’s passion. Offering many opportunities for your kids to explore what it is they really love. For our son, it was photography & cars. Next month, his photographs will appear in an international car magazine!

For our daughter, it’s music, writing, animals & marine life. If you scroll through my archive, you’ll see many stories about her special beluga, swimming with dolphins in Jamaica, Florida & in Bermuda training 9 dolphins for a full day – gating, feeding, measuring, exercising & frolicking with these sociable, small-toothed whales, click: Favorite Day.SeaTrek, Sea Life, SeaLife, Europe's 1st Sea Bed Walk, Seabed walk, marine life, marinelife (30)

So when in England we heard about SeaTrek – known as Europe’s 1st Sea Bed Walk at Sea Life – we made sure to book it! The staff said they’ve never had a more enthusiastic participant!  We’ll let the photos & 8-second video speak for themselves. 

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Our 11-year-old loved the sting rays, sea turtle, gorgeous fish, urchins, simply everything!

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When I say we have a budding marine biologist in our midst, I think one might agree.

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bright spot flower The Bright Spot – Oh, just everything about this story. Empower your kids. Fuel their passion. If you are in England, enjoy SeaTrek by clicking Sea Life to get more information: Sea Life.


Bianca

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Part 2 of 3)

Thursday, July 9, 2015 by  

Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (28)Incantations, frothy Butterbeer, chocolate frogs & interactive wands. Hogsmeade & Diagon Alley, Hogwarts Express & Flight of the Hippogriff…all wizarding wonders our young Harry Potter aficionado enthusiastically embraced.

Humidity & sunny 90 degree weather in a full-length black satin & polylined cloak ~ with a touch of heat exhaustion on the 2nd day ~ could not stop this 10-year-old from soaking in the sights & sounds of Universal’s magical adventure.

The conductor at Hogsmeade, spotting her special birthday pin, suddenly stopped the crowd of hundreds in the station to heartily announce the arrival of our birthday darling to which the crowd spontaneously erupted into thunderous applause.

It was a movie moment. A memory to last a lifetime.

 

Enjoy this 30-second video of Little One going through Platform 9 3/4, the fire-breathing dragon atop the amazing Escape from Gringotts 3-D ride & more.


Harry Potter World Snippets
1st stop – Ollivanders – Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC – to pick up her interactive wand which works throughout the park to make water fly, needles knit, feather pens write, and lots of hands-on spellcasting. It was there that she chose Dumbledore’s Army scroll case & wand collection as a fine memento – heavy, well-crafted, great quality.

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Hogwarts Castle is simultaneously breathtaking & ominous.

Harry Potter World, Hogwarts Castle, Universal, wizards, wands (2)Harry Potter World, Hogwarts Castle, Universal, wizards, wands (6)The paintings move & talk just as they do in the movies.

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The Birthday Girl enjoyed a special breakfast in the Leaky Cauldron & a Butterbeer toast followed by…

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…an adventurous visit to Gringotts.

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The Hogwarts Express took us on a fascinating journey to Hogsmeade…with Harry, Ron & Hermione!
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Then lunch at the Three Broomsticks & more spellcasting lessons from a passerby witch.

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And what would a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter be without a stop in Honeydukes sweet shop or Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes store with Wildfire Whiz-bangs or Every Flavour Beans

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Okay, seriously, how excited is this reader ~ broomstick in hand, all her Potter books have come to life!!
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From the Muggles’ perspective, Phillip & I were thrilled for our Little One and her magical week!!

 

 

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – A wonderful adventure for Harry Potter fans. Highly recommend it!!

To see part 1 & 3 of this story, click Part 1Double-Digit Extravaganza for Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Titanic & Animal Kingdom.Harry Potter World, Universal, Harry Potter, wizards, wands, Universal Studios (40)

For Part 3, click: Dolphin Tale-Winter & Hope for the Clearwater adventure or just keep scrolling, it’s next. 🙂

Thank you for sharing and we hope you enjoy a trip to these family-fun places in the near future.

 

 

 


Bianca

Dolphin Tale – Winter & Hope (Part 3 of 3)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 by  

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (1)

As part of our daughter’s 10th birthday extravaganza, we surprised her with a special visit with Winter, the beautiful dolphin who lost her tail when she was only 2 months old. Her tail was caught in commercial fishing lines.

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (7)

(Courtesy: Fintastic)

 

 

 

 

She is now 9 years old & lives with her best friend, Hope, at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

 

Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (4)

 

 

 

Our budding marine biologist was thrilled to meet them both and all the marine animals under treatment in the hospital.

 

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Winter’s real-life rehab story has captivated audiences worldwide in Dolphin Tale & Dolphin Tale 2.

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Both movies, starring Harry Connick, Jr. & Ashley Judd, were filmed on location at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Winter.

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (7)

A look at the timeline these past 9 years and how Winter has inspired suffering children & veterans:

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Clearwater, Courtesy of Fintastic Photo (3)

Our fintastic trip wrapped up with a trolley ride between the filming site rehab center & museum, dinner on the water, and the best memories of Winter & Hope!

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Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Winter, Hope, Dolphin Tale, Dolphin Tale movie, Dolphin Tale 2 (32)

bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot – Empowering your children to grow up living their dreams.

For Part 1, click: Double-Digit Extravaganza      For Part 2, click: Harry Potter World


Bianca

Dolphin Trainer

Sunday, June 14, 2015 by  

Cruise ship 2How we kept it a surprise I have no idea! After weeks of planning and several days cruising across the Atlantic on the gorgeous Norwegian Breakaway, we landed at King’s Wharf and headed barely after daybreak onshore with our Little One.

“Why are we leaving so early? Where are we going?” Still mum, Phillip & I guided our inquisitive daughter to a huge, weathered wooden door battered by storms but fixed firmly in place by its centuries-old surrounding stonework.
Her eyes grew wide as we knocked loudlyDolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (18) on the door. No one was around but us. A short while later, the door creaked open and we were led into a large courtyard – the National Museum of Bermuda at the Royal Naval Dockyard. It was clear it would not open to the public until later that morning.

We walked through the dockyard until we came to a building where a young woman greeted us. She knew the day had been a surprise for our daughter. When she explained to our Little One that she would be joining her team for a day of dolphin training, the excitement in the room was electric! Then she was handed a Dolphin Quest swim top and felt very official. “Wow!” she whispered under her breathe.Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (15)

Our daughter’s dream of loving, studying, and safeguarding marine life just took another leap forward. Years prior, our family had only swum with the dolphins. Jamaica. Bahamas. Florida. But this was different. It wouldn’t be just a 45-minute encounter with a group. When we saw that Dolphin Quest in Bermuda offered a Dolphin Trainer for a Day program, we booked it for our daughter straightaway.

She spent the day with 8 dolphins including 2 baby dolphins just 3 months old ~ talk about over the moon!

Our Little One gained experience in fish preparation, dolphin feeding, gating, hand signaling, dolphin relationship building, swimming, measuring and dolphin training.

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I’m not sure who had more fun, the dolphins or our darling!

Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (17) Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (31)

Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (16)Later that day, she enjoyed lunch with her mentors and when we picked her up at the end of her session, the dolphin trainers said they had never had a person know so much about marine life before and that she was the most excited participant they had ever had in all their years and that she would be a welcome participant for their 5-day training program there or in….Hawaii!! Yeah, looks like that may be the next dolphin destination! I’m ready to pack…

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bright spot flowerThe Bright Spot  – Our daughter has been waiting 5 years to swim with her beloved Beluga, Juno.

Beluga, Juno, Mystic Aquarium, touching whale, touching Beluga

She learned about the program when she was 5 years old but the rules require people to be a minimum of 60 inches to get in the tank with the whale.

 

So guess who’s 59 & 3/4 inches?!?

Yes, I think we are heading to Juno before summer’s done! (photo of Little One with Juno left). It’s truly a pleasure to empower children’s interests.

Click here for the story about Juno at 5: Harmony & Magic

Click here for the Florida dolphin swim at 6: Pixie Dust & Dolphin Kisses

Click here for Dolphins in Jamaica at 7: Paradise for Families

Click here for Winter & Hope at 10: A Dolphin’s Tale

Dolphin Trainer, Dolphin Quest, Bermuda, Hawaii, baby dolphins, feeding dolphins, gating, measuring, loving dolphins (11)


Bianca

Nifty 50!

Sunday, February 1, 2015 by  

Everyone kept asking me what Phillip was planning for my 50th. He’s arranged some pretty spectacular things for me over the years so I knew whatever it was I’d be thrilled. Our son captured the moment:

Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (2)   Birthday joy, tickets to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida, Orlando, great excitement (3)

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Good Lord! What could it be? Well, prior to opening this envelope, Phillip planned a weekend of delights including dinner at La Panetiere.

Bianca Tyler, birthday, La Panetiere, 5-star restaurant, French cuisine, family, love (4)

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We visited the Cloisters on the northern tip of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson to enjoy the stunning array of more than 5,000 pieces of European Medieval works of art from the 12th – 15th centuries including the famous Unicorn Tapestries. The Cloister’s Library contains over 15,000 volumes of books.

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Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (2) Cloisters,Tapestry, New York City, medieval art, treasures, statues,  (4)
Later, we toured the World of Wings butterfly atrium where I had my 1st opportunity to take photos with my gorgeous new Canon from my son. For the amount of time I invest in my photography, this latest Canon with touchscreen, image sensor & built-in Wi-Fi was the p-e-r-f-e-c-t gift!! Thank you, darling!

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And if anyone knows our family well, you’ll know why the logo above is so significant!! 🙂

As you can sBebe's necklace (1)ee, this day was magnificent with brilliant sunshine & deep blue skies. But 50 years ago, there was a blizzard and my mother arrived at the hospital with a police escort. That’s one way to make an entrance.

Mom recapped the story over dinner. Then she surprised me with a very special gift…a piece of jewelry I’ve admired for 45 years. It was given to mother by my father’s mother when I was 5.Bianca Tyler, gala, television, broadcaster Bebe's necklace, Miss Connecticut (1)

 

 

 

I’ve worn it in the past with great delight (photo on right), but on this special night, my mother said it was now mine. Overjoyed is an understatement. It means so much to me on many levels.

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Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (25)  Bianca Tyler, birthday, Nifty to be 50, Red Barn, New England, family, love, gifts, The Lets Talk Mom (16)

So what was in the envelope in the opening pics? Let me first explain that my greatest gift ~ now & always ~ is being loved by my family & friends. Flowers & cards, emails & posts. All is appreciated. The kindness, the thoughtfulness, the time spent to make my day special. Thank you all!!

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The above cards from my children touched my heart deeply. My son chose a card that says I make him feel understood, happy and loved. Wonderful, wonderful!! And our little one says I make her happy every day…down to even the school snack. What more could any mother want? Happy, thriving kids – this was, by far, the very best gift of all!!

Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son, Bianca Tyler  Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (5)Happy childhood, loving parents, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, comfort, understanding, son, Bianca Tyler (3)       Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, daughter, love, Bianca Tyler (7)

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16 years ago, I started the Harry Potter series with our son…reading it in “real time,” that is, waiting each year for another book to be published…standing in line at midnight openings with great anticipation for 1st edition hardcovers. We saw the movies, he had the posters, the comforter set, the throw pillows, the robe, Harry’s wand, etc. He even had a Harry-esque look to him, especially when he got his glasses.

Happy childhood, Harry Potter, posters, white tiger, son, friendship, boys, video games Happy childhood, loving, nurturing, sweet childhood, comfort, understanding, son (6)

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Fast-forward more than a decade and our little daughter & her friends are relishing in the adventures, quoting the spells, whipping up potions and donning the robe. The perfect hardcovers have moved from our son’s room to our daughters’s bookcase. Over the holiday break, we watched all 8 movies (Yes, 8. The last book was filmed in 2 parts).

My friend, Sara, took one of our daughter’s best-est friends (since the girls were infants) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last month. The girls are now 9 & 10, the perfect age for the story. Sara posted this video of Platform 9 3/4 on her FB page & that was it!! What more fun could our family have than to venture through the fantastical world of wizards?

Sara said Universal Studios did a magnificent re-creation, a trip not to be missed! With the entire storyline under our belts just the previous month, I could not have dreamed of a more fanciful place to go for my birthday present!! In the envelope was a newspaper-like invitation from the Daily Prophet along with tickets to the mystical world of Harry Potter and a week’s stay at the CoCo Key water resort hotel. Simply marvelous, my darling husband, I love love love it!! And so do the kids!! (Well, as you can clearly see from our little one’s reaction in the 1st photos above as we opened the envelopes together.)

Courtesy of Universal Studios, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando, Florida (1)

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CoCo Key water resort & hotel:

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We finished up the weekend celebrations with my favorite movie, The Scarlet Pimpernel, with Jane Seymour & Anthony Andrews. Luscious ~ Dreamy ~ Yum!

SP 4       SP 3

SP 6  SP 8

SP 1   SP 5
So many other details went into this weekend that I would just like to say thank you to my husband, my whole family and my friends for marking this milestone with great joy.

bright spot flowerThe Bright SpotTM  – Thankfulness that my mother is feeling better, it’s on & off and for my birthday she was really “on!” Even sparkly! And thank you to all who sent wishes for a beautiful birthday weekend. So ready for this next great decade, bring it on!!


Bianca

Reunited After 23 Years

Monday, March 17, 2014 by  

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Long before Facebook, Twitter, email, Smartphones & Androids, there was the regular land line.

I made a phone call to my Uncle in London that I was in Lancashire for the summer. “You must come and visit, we’ll pick you up.” He and my Auntie drove 4 hours north to get me. They had 5 girls and the summer was one I’ll never forget!

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But, eventually, Autumn came and I headed back to the States and into my routine. Days turned into months and months into years. Family, family reunion, family reunites, 23-year reunion, love, happiness, joy, greeting, hugs, England, London (4)Before I knew it, 23 years had flown by.

In that time, my 5 cousins had married and everyone had moved, even their parents; some to other parts of London, others to California & Florida. Family, family reunion, family reunites, 23-year reunion, love, happiness, joy, greeting, hugs, England, London (3)a

I was reminiscing one evening about that summer and my son asked why I didn’t get in touch with them.

Family, family reunion, hugs, happiness, joy, 23-year reunion (3)“How? We lost touch more than 20 years ago.” He asked me their names and worked his Facebook magic. I didn’t use Facebook at the time and was skeptical.

Family, family reunion, family reunites, 23-year reunion, love, happiness, joy, greeting, hugs, England, London (13)Within 24 hours, one of my cousins who had moved out West responded and we were on the phone for ages!

 

Family, family reunion, family reunites, 23-year reunion, love, happiness, joy, greeting, hugs, England, London (9)A short while later, our family was reunited in London with 2 of the sisters who had stayed in England. I was just bursting with joy! An event to remember forever!Family, family reunion, family reunites, 23-year reunion, love, happiness, joy, greeting, hugs, England, London (12)

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The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower  –   I am so thankful to my Uncle & Auntie for making that visit one of the most treasured summers of my life. Interestingly, that summer would cause a chain of events that would lead me to my husband more than a decade later. Amazing how our lives are so intertwined then, now and always.

The girls now with their parents & one of my favorites of them when they were little. I love you all, my dear family!! xoxo

Family, 5 girls, parents and children, years gone byFamily, 5 girls, little kids, little girls, family together
(Below) With my Uncle 23 years ago and Uncle’s portrait over my Cousin’s & my shoulder

Bianca Tyler, cousins, England, London, Uncle's portrait (1) Bianca Tyler, Uncle, England, London, summer


Bianca