Valentine’s Day Survival Kit For Singles w/ Trish McDermott (Match.com)

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Valentine’s Day can be an uncomfortable reminder to many singles that they are missing out on an important part of life–romantic love. Online dating services often see the most traffic in the period just after January’s New Year’s Resolutions have kicked in and leading up to Valentine’s Day.

I got the chance to speak with Trish McDermott. Trish was apart of the team that launched Match.com back in 1995-basically she created online dating. Today she’s a dating coach at Meetopolis (www.meetopolis.net). Meetopolis is like the Kayak of online dating, allowing singles to see the dating profiles of potential matches from many different sites, all in one place.

Here Trish shares The Valentine’s Day Survival Kit For Singles…

For singles, staking your own claim to a piece of Valentine’s Day is a great way to move past any sadness or awkwardness you may feel. You do this by making February 14th about giving, rather than receiving, love, affection, and attention. Giving makes you feel good. It’s a reminder that with small, kind gestures you can make a difference in someone’s life.

Look around. It’s likely that there are many ways you can give a little love and attention to others on February 14th.

  • Send your mom flowers.
  • Bake cookies, or buy chocolates, and bring them to a local nursing home.
  • Volunteer to help out at your child’s school Valentine’s Day party.
  • Pass out chocolates at your office.
  • Put Valentine’s Day cards in your friends’ mailboxes.
  • Call your father, just to say hello.
  • Give your bank teller, or bus driver, or someone who provides a service to you a gift card from your local coffee shop.
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen and help feed people hungry for so much more than romance this Valentine’s Day.
  • Post a fun, appreciative or inspirational message to your friends and family who follow you on Facebook.
  • Call someone you know is struggling and invite them over for a home-cooked meal.

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If you approach Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to give a little love to your community, friends, family, and even total strangers, you won’t need to focus on the fact that you are without a significant other over the holiday.

It’s also good to understand the numbers because when we struggle without dating lives, especially around Valentine’s Day, it sometimes feels like we’re the only person not getting dating and romance right.

It can be almost impossible to avoid the barrage of Valentine’s season media reminders that while you are dateless, so many others have deeply loving romantic relationships. There are 98 million single adults in the US. If you’re dateless on Valentine’s Day, you’re in some very good company. You are not a romantic anomaly.

Much of the coveted romantic moments we are bombarded with in February, like the look of adoration in her eyes as she opens the diamond necklace he so lovingly hands her, are really just media-manufactured images of romantic love.  These might seem unattainable for some, even for those who do have a romantic relationship but never get that adoring look. It’s important to remember that these images exist to sell products.

Real love happens in life’s trenches, the day-to-day moments in the lives of ordinary people, and single people experience it too.  Kids don’t see Valentine’s Day as a holiday that excludes them because they don’t have romantic love in their lives. For them Valentine’s Day is about acknowledging friendships by exchanging cards or candy. They’re thrilled and excited and don’t use the holiday to beat up on themselves for lack of true love.  We should follow their lead.

I’ve watched millions and millions of singles search for love. This search can often be a long, tough, discouraging experience. Finding romantic love is often a process of failing one’s way to success. The trick is to stay in the game, even after an awkward, discouraging or disappointing experience. When it comes to finding love, you have to be in it win it. A good way to be in it on February 14th is to stop looking for love and to start giving some love away.

Have fun on Valentine’s Day. Play. Laugh. Feel good. Spend the evening with dear friends, Play with babies. Help out some elderly people in your town. Have dinner with your family.  Then, on February 15, ask someone out, put your profile on a dating site, take a risk and swipe right on someone.

And buy your chocolates on the 15th too – they’re half price!

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THE FLORIDA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL RETURNS WITH​ ITS 27TH ANNUAL INSTALLMENT OF FOOD, FUN & ENTERTAINMENT

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Photo Credit: Q Imagery

Come one, come all and travel back to the magical time of days past! Whether ye be Kings or Queens, Vikings or Knights, Wizards or even Muggles,  your attendance is requested at the 27th annual Florida Renaissance Festival.  From February 9th through March 24th, in the two-thousandth and nineteenth year A.D you can join the merrymaking in the vast open land of Deerfield Beach’s Quiet Waters Park.

 

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Photo Credit: Q Imagery

 

For the fourth year in a row, the timeless Florida Renaissance Festival will offer SEVEN jam-packed themed weekends to ring in its 27th season. This fantastical journey will allow attendees to be transported back into 16th-century Europe. Greeted by jesters, jugglers and jousting knights upon entering the gates, sweet melodies can be heard from every corner of the kingdom. It’s a full day of entertainment where the entire family can marvel at fan favorite acts and performances that include immersive and interactive, real audience-participation scenarios. Join in on the fun with human-powered games, artisan craft shops and enough food & drink for a royal family feast!

One of the nation’s most beloved events, with nearly 100,000 annual attendees and over two million people have participated over the festivals tenure, the Florida Renaissance Festival has devoted 27 years to capture the essence of the Renaissance through entertainment.

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Photo Credit: Q Imagery

“We at the Florida Renaissance Fair owe our success to our loyal patrons, who have eagerly supported our mission to spread knowledge and joy using the enriched history and culture of the Renaissance.” said Bobby Rodriguez, Founder, and Producer of the Florida Renaissance Festival.“Our festival provides people of all ages the chance to escape into an alternate universe not only with invigorating activities throughout the week but also through our growing assortment of themed weekends.”

Rodriguez has helped the Florida Renaissance Fair set the standard for all festivals of this nature by going “beyond Renaissance”. Booking acts ranging from the Orient to Africa, Rodriguez has brought the Festival to new heights, continuously incorporating new experiences into the Festival. Lead by his forward-thinking, we have expanded our arsenal of avant-garde performances and diversified themed weekends. In fact, this year’s Festival will introduce a new themed weekend dedicated to the world of Game of Thrones!

 

The Florida Renaissance Festival 2019 themed weekends include:

Game of Thrones Adventure – February 9th – 11th

The night is dark and full of terrors. Dress in your favorite Westeros and Essos gear and lead your armies into victory for the greatest weekend in all the 7 Kingdoms! Winter is coming.

Time Travelers Weekend – February 16th – 18th

Kick this weekend into high “gear” as you travel back to the early nineteenth century, a time of British Victorian fashion, the American Wild West, and steam-powered machinery. Dedicated to adventurers across the centuries, board your favorite form of fantastical transportation, be it a submarine or steam-powered hot air balloon. Break out those top hats, goggles, corsets, petticoats, compass bracers, and monocles and join in on a “Steampunkin’” good time. Open on President’s Day, Monday, February 18th!

Viking Invasion– February 23rd and 24th

 Coming from the harsh wastelands of the North, only the strongest and most courageous warriors will survive through this weekend. Fellow Scandinavian brothers and sisters will show little to no fear and enter into any skirmishes with their battleaxes in hand, all while geared in full leather and fur during this epic weekend. Onward to Valhalla!

Bodacious Bodices – March 2nd and 3rd

Behind every good man is a wench in the trench. Wenches Weekend celebrates the women of the Renaissance with hourglass curves and fiery attitudes who can go toe-to-toe with their male counterparts.

Swashbucklers and Sirens – March 9th – 10th

All hands hoay! Don’t get lost at sea as this themed weekend sees our village stormed by the deadliest pirates, buccaneers, and scallywags in all the seven seas. Raise your Jolly Roger and gather a crew to help in unearthing the mysteries and treasures the vast and deadly sea holds. However, anyone not prepared for a “salty” good time will be sent to walk the plank into Davey Jones’ Locker.

Celts and Highlanders  – March 16th & 17th

Sing, dance and be merry in your finest kilt whilst bagpipes blare throughout the Shire. Celebrate the Celtic traditions of the Irish, Scots, Cornish and Welsh during this uniquely themed weekend that honors this group of European tribes that existed during the Iron Age through Medieval Times!

Harry Potter’s A Magical Finale – March 23rd and 24th 

Expecto Patronum! Bring on your baddest Patronus and chase away pesky dementors during this final themed weekend! Only the most magical witches and wizards in the village can conquer, he who should not be mentioned! Wingardium Leviosa your butt off the couch as you won’t want to miss out on the most magical weekend. Muggles are welcome!

The 2019 season also includes a variety of fan-favorite acts and performances with an invigorating entertainment lineup that includes something for everyone.

 

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Photo Credit: Q Imagery

 

 

The Florida Renaissance Festival 2019 Acts & Performances include:

The Mis-Adventurers – Comedy Sword Fighting

This comedy-adventure show is filled with thrills, chills and heroic hijinks. Meet the dynamic sword fighting duo, and join in on the fun as they are looking for new heroes to make it to one of their Guild Recruitment meetings! Or at least helping them settle some Dueling Disagreements! Adventure onward!

Kamikaze Fireflies

Comedy wrapped in lunacy wrapped in foolishness. This show is a combination of strength, physical agility and amazingly well-crafted routines, balancing classical theatrical training with disciplined circus physicality. It is a constantly changing series of routines, patter, physical impossibilities, unbelievable situations, and audience interactions. They are difficult to describe and impossible to forget.

Music the Gathering

Music The Gathering has a vast repertoire of original arrangements across multiple genres, from traditional Celtic to contemporary world and original parodies. In addition to mixed vocal harmonization, all three musicians play various folk and classical string, woodwind, and percussion instruments, which allows them to take familiar traditional songs and arrange them in unique ways. All members are actors with a strong background in comedy and improvisation, and they take pride in performing with all the energy and passion they can muster.

The Jackdaws

The Jackdaws deliver original, contemporary, and traditional Irish Rock to audiences across the land. This trailblazing trio will excite and have you coming back for more with their driving melodies and relentlessly aggressive lyrics. More Irish than a drunken roar, and a damned sight messier.

Lady Ophelia’s Dance Party & Maypole Dance

Lady Ophelia invites you to flirt… the old fashioned way as she is well versed and most skilled in all the current dances and royal entertainments. However, don’t forget to join in on the wonderful opportunity of going round the Maypole as you decorate the pole in spring colors.  Watch, dance, and frolic as you become entwined in the history, the joy and the traditions of court and country dance.

DeBracy Productions – Joust

Come witness this heart pounding medieval live action stunt show. Debracey Productions combines trick riding, vaulting, chariot racing, death-defying stunts, full contact jousting, and a gladiator style spectacle. Experience a spectacle where the winner takes all, princess, kingdom, and treasure, but is it all worth it?

The Florida Renaissance Festival is produced by the nationally acclaimed Bobby Rodriguez Productions and strives to create an entertaining and cultural experience for adults and children alike. The sponsors of the 2019 Florida Renaissance Festival include Comcast, Pepsi-Cola, Funky Buddha Brewery, Burger King, Sapporo, Barrel of Monks, Unibroue, Xtreme Action Park, Sunbelt and Pelican’s View.

 

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Photo Credit: Q Imagery

 

Prices range from $25 for adults and $12 for children ages 6 to 11 years of age. Children 5 and younger are free.  Special seasonal passes are available for $106 (adults), $59 (children) and group ticket rates are also offered.

 

While costumes are not necessary for admittance, thousands of people each year enhance their experience by donning garb from the Renaissance era or participating in one of the festival’s special themed weekends.

 

For tickets and more information visit: www.ren-fest.com; Find us on Facebook or follow @FlaRenFest on Twitter and Instagram. Download our festival mobile app by searching Florida Renaissance Festival in the Apple iTunes store or Android market. If you prefer the historical method, call 954-776-1642.

Bahamian Dancer Lenelle Michelle reminds us of God’s​ love through Dance

As a creative, I have been dealing with cycles of depression usually at the beginning of the year and around my birthday in summer. These are the times when we reflect on our progression through life. At the end of 2018, I decided to take measures to end the cycle and get the help I needed in order to prevent my mind & emotions from spiraling down that path again. During that time, God revealed that I need to stop looking to the left and right and Look Up. He reminded me to shift my focus from circumstances and back to him. To get back to the place of being consumed by him.

The result: A broken cycle and a restored passion and zeal for living life purposefully.

This video is for those who are stuck in unhealthy cycles, remember to Look Up. Know that God is with you and He loves you deeply. He will bring you through.

 

Song: Look Up by Lauren Daigle
Videographer: Stermon Rolle

Actress and Singer Daniela Torchia talks about Music and new Film Projects

 

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Actress and Singer Daniela Torchia 

 

Tell me about yourself.

I love the arts and I love people.  Having been born in Madrid, Spain to Austrian actress, and American Italian father influenced my Flamenco music roots and helped build my social, fun loving, food loving, party-loving personality.  I was a young dancer, and the rhythm of music and the performance of others kept the fire burning.  When I started writing my music by the time I was in my 30’s, the music was influenced by my Spanish birth roots and my history as a dancer.  I liked catchy guitar licks, melodies, song hooks and lyrics, and the dramatics of life’s heartbreaks, and excitement of falling love shaped much of the first album, “Have No Fear.”  My dance and song influenced the musical theatre productions in which I got through stage-fright, learned to get over my fears, and through which I gained confidence and great memories.  

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

I got started slowly, though I dance trained (ballet, lyrical jazz, and tap) throughout my adolescence. I did not start performing in musical theatre (except for Grease in High School as “Cha Cha”) until I was 30 as my 20’s were University book-worm years getting my Masters in Public Health and clinical nutrition, and starting my first clinic job, while secretly dreaming of performing on stage, doing movies, and singing.  I did musical theatre, Pippin, as my break out grown-up role at age 31.  Within a couple of years, I picked up more vocal skills, reacquainted myself with my acoustic guitar, and used my early years of Flamenco guitar training as a 7-year-old, as well as my classical ensemble guitar skills I got from early 20’s and melded them into new pop, Flamenco, indie-rock.  As the power of intention made itself obvious, I happen to drive past a group of guitar-playing happy people on my street who waved me down randomly to play music with them:  I did not know them, I was not quite confident yet, but I said, “What the heck.”  I joined them, and one of the guys loved my music, introduced me to a music engineer, and within 2 months I finished my first 3 demos… and so it went. Soon I met more people and produced my first album, formed a band, and played the L.A. scene (Whiskey a Go Go, The Joint, The Cat Club, and every club on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, CA)

Did you have any favorite idols growing up whether on television or film?

I was influenced as a dancer first, and I loved old movie stars, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly, as well as Danny Kaye. The Follies, and later Bob Fosse. Singers all across the board ignited my curiosity and passion for performing, and musical theatre actors and pop stars sent me into a daydream state of, “I want to do that.”  I had the usual teen crush on Shaun Cassidy and joined his fan club when I was 8 years old!  As I grew up I saw Cindy Lauper belt it out on stage, and I was fascinated at how live she was even better than on the recordings I had heard.  I loved Journey, Queen, and the Eagles (my older cousins introduced them to me as a kid), Stray Cats, Foreigner and the typical pop-rock but was always fascinated by the incredible variety of powerful voices out there. Once I started recording, I loved the rhythms of Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, and the lyrics and dynamic energy of Pink. I ended up falling in love and marrying a progressive rock keyboardist legend, and that taught me a whole new understanding of classical music turned rock and magic.

What do you love most about being a singer?

What I love most about being a singer is expressing my emotions and affecting someone else’s mood in a positive way.  When someone listening to me identifies with words or the mood that certain music can trigger it makes the act of singing like a healing and therapeutic soul session.  On the other hand, the rhythmic songs I sing bring laughter to others, and when I see their hips move, and their bodies wiggle it makes me smile and brings me joy in return.

Was that something you always wanted to pursue?

Yes, I wanted to sing since I was a little child, but I was quite shy after the move to the U.S. and my Austrian mother’s intense strict personality, though she was much mellower than I thought as a kid, suppressed my pursuit. I did sing once into a cassette which she found, and her criticism of it had me lip sync for years until I finally broke out of that mold!  Excellent life experiences, vocal lessons for support, and getting rid of only whispering certainly made a difference.  I think if you dream something, and want something, you need to surround yourself by those people that encourage that and keep the other people who don’t get it a kind step away from that happy dreamy vortex of belief in yourself that is precious.  There are always critics, but dreams and soul food of the arts need to be fed by the person experiencing that dream:  luckily my childhood dream came true; it’s never too late.

 

Tell me more about your latest album

I am excited about the latest singles, and the most recent Spanish single “Donde Vas a Ir,” which is the translation of “Is She Coming Back.”  The English version confuses people all the time, as I play a trick speaking from different perspectives, of a man and a woman, so some people don’t know if it is about love between a man and a woman, or two women.  You guess!

I translated several songs from the album, and I will be releasing one at a time throughout the rest of this year, 2018.  It’s really fun to hear the song come alive in another language.  The downloads are easy to get these days!  Thank goodness.

Are you currently working on new music?

I am working on new music, and am excited to finish production on my English and Swahili song; a tribute to life, humanity and peace, “Endelea.”  I have several acoustic recordings, and more recordings to finish.  The first singles in Spanish are being released now and throughout the year, and the Swahili and world type music will be released by 2019.  I love eclectic music, and mine includes pop, Flamenco, indie-rock, World, and a bit of jazz and blues.  Who can resist the blues!

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Let’s get into your acting career. Any new projects you are working on?

Acting is an amazing expression of multiple characters, with the capacity to say and be a multitude of eccentric characters, who behave in ways I am unable to in the “real world.”  That is why I love portraying deep and emotionally disturbed (though that is a “label” and acting coaches don’t like that) however, it helps non-actors understand what the heck I am talking about!  My new role will be filming in Las Vegas, as a Russian landlord amidst tumultuous surroundings, gangsters, thugs, and lovers.  Stay tuned on IMDB by the end of 2018.

How exactly did you get into acting? Was it something you always wanted to pursue?

I was exposed to movie sets, photographers, paparazzi, and fans ogling my beautiful mother from the time I was born.  I had a secret dream of being successful as an actor but did not pursue it till much later.  The ups and downs of that potential life, the need to be emotionally unaffected by rejection, and the potential lack of income from not working pushed me willingly into a science and health direction.  As my life evolved, my artistry evolved as well, my income was secure, and my confidence increased, so did my pursuit of acting.  That really was a late start, and even though musical theater-trained me, it was not the same as camera work, and lead or supporting roles.  Once I took some fabulous acting classes, did scenes, then plays, and a heck of a lot of “getting my feet wet” thesis projects at film schools as an actor, I began my professional journey in front of the camera from indie features, and some T.V.  I did leave it for a while to pursue my Ph.D. a childhood dream so I can write and help others through health, but now I am back, and am looking forward to my Russian role.

How do you balance both being a singer and an actress? Are there any challenges involved?

There are many challenges, and balancing acts.  The challenges come from time, timing, focus, life’s distractions, disappointments, and others who sabotage or don’t follow through or even backstab (part of life but we all move on).  Making sure to keep a positive attitude, keeping the dream alive by letting go of things that are negative, and continuing the journey is super important.  Enjoying and letting positive, loving, kind people in are all important in keeping things going.  On a practical level, if I write and record, the acting takes a back seat, and when I prep for a role, the singing, and recording takes a back seat.  Sometimes, both happen together, but that’s happened in musical theatre, not in film acting so far; of course, if you get an opportunity like La La Land, then you get to do both.   It’s also important, I have found, to keep the voice trained, at least the scales, and key changes so when you sing again, you’re ready.  My alto register is always ready, even without practice, but my soprano sounds more like a cat if I don’t practice, kind of like bodybuilding.  There are people that are more physiologically gifted in all ranges, and though I have gifts, I do need to vocalize!  My memory needs work too!  Learning paragraphs of lines and making them real dialogue takes brain power, and some are fabulous at remembering words, and others are like me, it takes a bit more work!  Don’t get lazy, I tell myself!

What keeps you motivated and inspired through everything?

The dream and the joy and the memories of how great it has felt, and how happy and moved others were by something I wrote, sang, or performed keeps me motivated.  Support from “cheerleaders” also has kept me smiling, working, and pursuing when I wanted to give up, or thought, “well, maybe that’s enough.”  I think as I acknowledge that my soul really is an artist’s soul, I accept the journey of all artistic endeavors, dreams, and opportunities.  I cannot see the future, but I believe in intent, the journey, and a reason for who we are.  I am an artist so I will prepare, enjoy, and see what life offers.

When you aren’t working, what does Daniela like to do for fun?

I am an American-Italian European fun-loving social foodie.  One of my greatest joys is feeding people!  I love having social gatherings filled with delicious foods, and drinks, good old-fashioned music, Dean Martin, of course, thanks to Pandora and my iPad. I have great memories as a kid and continue the family and cultural traditions of dinner parties, casual food fest garden parties, good wine, sparkling water, Prosecco, and laughter.  It is hard for me to sit still, so I love hiking, and playing tennis, walking on the beach (I know, I sound like a dating app add), late night magical shows on my Smart TV, and reading British “who done its” by Agatha Christie, and the “cozy mysteries aka cozies,” by M.C. Beaton. Talking to my girlfriends like a teenager still seems to be a favorite past-time too. Of course, I love my cat, and all critters, and spend time playing, feeding, activist signing, donating, and adopting special needs creatures, and contributing to those amazing organizations that really do make a difference for so many wild animals, and pets. My heart is soft for creatures:  I got totally hooked on the premature baby hippo Fiona’s reality YouTube ™ series from the Cincinnati Zoo.  What a great job the team has done; baby Fiona is not so tiny anymore!  Great job, Cincinnati Zoo.

How can readers connect with you and buy your music? Website and social media links?

I would love as many people as possible to enjoy my music by healing their hearts and feeling joy through dance and rhythm.  Daniela Torchia stuff is all over the place, including iTunes, and CD Baby.  The paid downloads help support more music and donations to both animals and child adoption sites to which we contribute, World Vision, SPCA, WWF (World Wild Life Federation), and 32 more.  My tax guy always says, “Shouldn’t you save some of this instead of giving to these organizations?”  I say, “Those that do great things to help decrease suffering in people and animals, deserve it!”  and so, life goes on.  I hope everyone gets to live their dreams, knows the joy of helping others, adopts a child or pet in person or through respected organizations, and keeps their hearts open to being supportive in mind, spirit, and life! 

Website: www.danielatorchia.com

Interviewed By: Patrice Rivers; Author, Blogger, and Writer. 

Follow her on IG @thatriverzgurl_brand

Miami Carnival Meets Caribbean305

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Miami Carnival meets Caribbean305!  Wicked!  What a combination!  What a fun time!  Food galore!

Caribbean305 is an annual event that highlights the art of Caribbean cooking while bringing together top chefs and bartenders from the islands.  It is presented by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), and this year partnered with the Miami Carnival.

Held at Jungle Island, Caribbean305 general admission tickets were $95 which included access from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m with an all-inclusive experience of unlimited drinks, food, and entertainment.  The VIP experience was the way to go; tickets were $125, which allowed early access to the event at 7 p.m. with a VIP lounge area with an exclusive bar.

Caribbean305 featured fifteen Caribbean destinations; Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

Miami foodies were in heaven with the mouthwatering, flavorsome, appealing, scrumptious, eats and tasteful, zesty drinks from Hall of Fame mixologists of the Caribbean.  With an added bonus, each tourism board provided giveaways to the attendees.

Attendees also experienced a vigorous blend of entertainment from a steel pan group, masqueraders, mocko jumbies, a reggae band, and DJ Storm.   The crowd was hyped!  There was no space in front of the stage when DJ Storm began to play, and no one left Jungle Island with a dry shirt.  It was dancing nonstop!

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What a way to enjoy five-star restaurant food and entertainment. Can’t wait to see what Caribbean305 2019 has to offer, it appears to be getting better every year.

 

Written By: Dr Mary