Last weekend, we were invited by Admiral William H. McRaven, Commander of the United States Special Operations Command, and his wife Georgeann to a holiday reception at their home at MacDill Air Force base in Tampa. This was my first opportunity to actually meet the Admiral who was a great host and seemed quite charming. Georgeann, who’s company I had only been in one other time, greeted me as if I was a close friend and immediately made me feel at home. I found this to be amusing since the one time I had lunch with her, I left my cell phone in her car and had to inconvenience her to rush it back to me before my flight. Extremely classy lady.WG-McRavens

The Admiral sported a funky Santa tie, while my husband forgot his. One of us paid close attention to the attire noted on the invitation! I will mention that I did not feel sympathetic to Steve’s mistake. It seemed ALMOST an appropriate payback for the time I showed up from the airport to attend his staff’s holiday party in Tijuana dressed in jeans and cowboy boots. Everyone else was in cocktail clothing. I was misinformed by the Diplomat as to appropriate dress. This would not have been so bad had I not been photographed for the society pages of the local paper. Hmmm. I digress. As I said – no sympathy.

Now back to party #1 — The Christmas decorations were beautiful, the food was great, and the Navy band was playing under a tent in the yard. (Reminded me of July 4th, but with more festive tunes) All-in-all a lovely and relaxing atmosphere to have met many of the military & social elite at one time.

Party #2 — Back on the plane to Baltimore to attend the Bat Mitzvah of my niece Emma which happened to coincide with the 1st night of Chanukah.Emma Bat Mitzah-WG-MG-KG Emma Bat Mitzvah-1

These festivities were focused on a coming-of-age event with close family & friends, even though the guests were similarly dressed to last weeks’ party (and yes, Steve did wear a tie this time). I most enjoyed hanging out with two of my sons and having the best laugh of the night when they were unexpectedly called to “dress the Torah”. My sister neglected to inform them which made for a bit of awkwardness. At least the Torah didn’t need to wear a tie! My sister also neglected to inform me that Steve and I would be called to “open the Ark”. I suspect that my boys were laughing at me as well.  While the ceremony itself is a a traditional one (despite the chucking) — the party afterwards involved DJ’s, dancing in socks and glow sticks.

Two parties. Two cities. A week apart. A room full of well dressed guests. Similar in some ways, but mostly very different. To me they were both awesome as they celebrated things in life to be joyful about. Who doesn’t like a bit of joy?