This Day In History: My Parents Anniversary

L-R Antonio Dutra, Filomena Dutra, Maria Lacerda, Jose Lacerda, Albertina Dutra, Felisberto Dutra

L-R Antonio Dutra, Filomena Dutra, Maria Lacerda, Jose Lacerda, Albertina Dutra, Felisberto Dutra

Today is my parents 57th Anniversary. They were both born on the Island of Faial, in the Azores Archipelago, which is a part of Portugal. They grew up in the same small village of Cedros and my mother Albertina (pictured above on the right) moved to Brooklyn with her family in 1947.

Felisberto and Albertina Dutra in Brooklyn, NY

Felisberto and Albertina Dutra in Brooklyn, NY

When she was 21, she went back for an extended visit and fell in love with my father Felisberto (pictured above on the right). At the same time, her sister Filomena fell in love with my father’s brother Antonio (both pictured above left). They had a double wedding and moved back to the Brooklyn, NY.

At the time of their wedding, the island of Faial was experiencing a volcanic eruption, which created an new section of the island. You can see and Newsday article about their wedding and pictures of the two couples at the site of the eruption from 1957 and again in 2007, their 50th Anniversary, below.

Since then, my uncle Tony has passed and my mom has been fighting cancer, and winning! My husband Steve and I are planning to go back to Faial with my parents and my sister Tina this August. I just called to wish them a very happy Anniversary with many more to come!

Several years ago, I wrote a song for my parents and did a quick recording on my laptop. It’s a bit syrupy but I hope you enjoy it. It’s called “Mother and Father”.

Mom and Dad enjoying Portuguese food for their 57th Anniversary

Mom and Dad enjoying Portuguese food for their 57th Anniversary

Click on the photo to see the full size.

Click on the photo to see the full size version

Rome: Day Two…WOW!

This was, for me, the highlight of the trip! We thought we were going on a group tour to see the highlights of Rome. When we went down to the lobby to meet the group, there was one person there. It was our tour guide. We didn’t realize that our travel agent booked a private tour for us. We’re so glad she did!

Our tour guide was Giovani, who has a master’ degree in archeology and has been a part of the digs in some of the Roman ruins. We basically had our very own intense and in depth live episode of the travel channel, in one full day.

There was no waiting in lines for entrance to any of the sites. All that was prearranged. We visited the Coloseum, The Forum ruins, the Vatican Museum, The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain and The Pantheon.

It took seven hours and, weirdly enough, we were feeling energized when the day ended.

We took a cab back to the hotel, ate a delicious Italian meal at a family run restaurant and then got to bed early for another tour. WOW!

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Paris: Day Three

Most of the day was spent at The Louvre. Wow! We need a week just for this one museum! So, we prioritized and limited ourselves to the Denon wing. It houses the Mona Lisa, the Venus Di Milo and some of the most amazing paintings. In a brush with fame, we walked right past Howie Mandel in the Mona Lisa room. He looked like he was over the huge crowd trying to see the painting. I heard him say that he needed to get out of there.

After The Louvre, my ass was worn out! Seriously, my ass, my legs, my lower back…all worn out!! Guess what’s coming next? Yes, an afternoon nap!

After the nap, we took the metro down to the Arc De Triomphe and climbed the 200 plus stairs to the top. After I got my heart rate down, we enjoyed some amazing views of the Paris lights.

A nice walk down the Champs Élysées and dinner at at cozy bistro finished out a great day!

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Paris: Day Two

Day two started with a minivan tour of the city. It was only seven people and the tour guide. He showed us all the main sites and we got a better sense of the city. Then back to our room for a quick nap.

We then walked to the Hotel Des Invalides. It was a military hospital and is now a museum which houses Napoleon’s tomb. Then back to our room for another quick nap.

For dinner, we went to Montmartre, which is what what you would imagine Paris to look like. It has the narrow cobbled stone streets, filled with shops and cafes. We ate delicious food at a small restaurant, drank French wine, and walked through the large Basilica of the sacred heart (Sacre Coeur) during the Palm Sunday services.

On the way back, we had trouble finding our hotel…again. Are you noticing a couple of patterns here?

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Paris: Day One

My husband Steve and I are on our 20th Anniversary vacation to Paris and Rome! Yes, 20 looong years! We had an overnight flight from Atlanta and arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 8:30 AM Paris time. We had very little sleep on the plane and just wanted a quick nap before venturing out. Well…it turned into a 4 hour nap that was very much needed.

Then we were off to the Eiffel Tower to see it in all it’s wonder. And, wonderful it was! Steve is freaking out about the inevitable climb up. I can’t wait to see the view!

Dinner was a delicious salad with artichoke heart, Avocado, egg and tomato. Then, we got lost on the way back to th hotel, circling around for what seemed like an externity. Finally, we got good directions from another hotel’s front desk, turned the corner, and found our way back!

Tomorrow, we start with a bus tour and then on to some museums.

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New Show at Cherrywood Coffee on July 16th, 2011

Wow! I haven’t played in a very long time. Selling sex toys has kept me a very busy man!

I’ll be doing an acoustic show at Cherrywood Coffee this coming Saturday. I’m opening for Fosskit No. 5.  Details below:

Date: Saturday, July 16th 2011
Time: 7:30PM-8:00PM
Place: Cherrywood Coffee 1400 E 38th 1/2 St, Austin, TX 78722
Website: http://www.cherrywoodcoffeehouse.com/
Opening For: Fosskit No. 5