Treats for troops and scuba adventures! Kicking the holiday season off right

Winter fun with Snowy Landscapes

With winter now upon us and Jack Frost out to put that extra bit of chill in the air, suddenly a world of fun new activities is available. Don’t let the winter weather go by without taking advantage of the abundant ice and snow!


One of the fastest growing winter sports is snowshoeing. There are a few variations to consider. Casual snowshoers hike trails for pleasure, while more committed enthusiasts will trek through the backcountry and more intense landscapes. A small percentage of snowshoers are actually competitive racers. If you enjoy hiking or running, snowshoeing is a great way to have a similar experience in the wintertime while burning up to 50 percent more calories. Prime snowshoeing areas include ski resorts, bed and breakfasts, lodges, and national parks.

Outdoor Ice Skating

There’s nothing like the experience of ice skating in the great outdoors. Compared to an indoor rink, the outdoor rink feels a lot closer to an authentic skating experience, like you came across a frozen lake and decided to give it a whirl. But rather than recreating “It’s a Wonderful Life” and catching hypothermia, you can skate on a safe surface — and depending on where you go, you can often enjoy some truly spectacular views. If you do opt to skate on a lake or pond, you want the ice to be at least four inches thick.

Seasonal Festivals

Sometimes, a snowy atmosphere is all you need — you don’t have to go out in it and get cold. Why not pick some fun holiday events to enjoy? There are always plenty of holiday parades, plays, concerts, art shows, festivals, and parties that can get you in the spirit of the season, especially with a beautiful wintry scene just outside your window. During this time of year, you’ll find plenty of free or inexpensive holiday events, so get out there and take advantage of the opportunities while they last!

The holiday season is upon us, and that means that it is once again the season of giving, loving, and cheer. This year our office is celebrating by remembering a few of the ways that we have been able to give back throughout the year, and by looking forward to a holiday season filled with family and friends.

Our most recent charity event was the Halloween candy buyback that benefitted our military members overseas. This year was a huge success — we had 28 kids bring in a total of 208 pounds of candy! We really believe this event is a win-win eating associated with excess sugar consumption around the holidays, while providing the troops with a special reminder of home. In order to entice the kiddos to give up their hard-earned treats, we offered $1 for every pound that was donated, in addition to free toothbrushes and healthy snacks.

Once we boxed up all of the candy, we had the kids bring in letters to the soldiers that we could include with the packages. It was incredibly heartwarming to see how generous the kids were with their kind words and candy. Some even turned down the money and donated the sweets out of the kindness of their heart. Once everything was taped up tight, we handed it off to Ronnie Miccauilla of American Recreational Military Services ( to make sure that the candy could be separated into individualized packages. We made sure to send toothbrushes and floss along with the candy so that the troops could practice good dental care after enjoying their treats. We want to send a big “thank you” to Comcast Spotlight who co-sponsored the event!

Once the excitement of Halloween and the candy buyback passed, it was time for me to take a little vacation with my wife to the Cayman Islands. You may not know this about me, but I am a certified scuba diver and have been diving for over 30 years! I decided to get certified before Adrienne’s and my honeymoon so that I could dive in St. Croix, and have been keeping up the habit ever since. This year Adrienne bought me a GoPro camera that takes amazing pictures underwater, so you can expect to see a lot more scuba pictures online and around the office.

The trip to the Islands was amazing, and it was a relaxing way to recharge and spend time together. Adrienne really enjoyed laying on the beach and soaking up the sun, and I got to explore the mysteries of the sea. This has become one of my favorite places to dive because of the colorful fish and coral. I have seen sharks, groupers, and even moray eels that are longer and thicker than my legs! I lways love seeing the sea life, and it is such a thrill to explore something as big and beautiful as the ocean.

Now, we are home safe and sound and both Dr. Cintron and I are looking forward to the upcoming holiday season. Thanksgiving was a blast (there was so much good food!) and now winter holidays are just around the corner. We are both looking forward to spending time with friends and family, and we hope that you are enjoying all of the cheer and camaraderie that the season has to offer!

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