Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Bad Attitudes on the RHONJ Retreat

Kathy thinks everyone should have gone into the Lake George trip with a more positive outlook.

High ho, high ho, it's off to Lake George we go!

Usually a road trip is something you are excited for, but this trip, well...let's just say there was a bit of uncertainty as to where we were going and what we would be doing. But if you commit to a weekend of team building, then you have to stay positive and be open to the possibilities of helping make things better. And realize that sometimes difficult steps have to be taken to make progress. I was really getting annoyed with the negativity before we even started.

At this point we were on our way, we made the decision to go, now let's all put forward our best effort to make this work. Keep an open mind, guys! Open your hearts! Let's not set up the doom and gloom before we even get there.

The only way for us to resolve our family issues is to stick with the people present: sister and brother; Teresa, her husband Joe, Joe, and Melissa Gorga; and the cousins (that would be Me, Richie, and Ro). I think that’s enough personalities to deal with at one time without dragging others that aren’t even on this retreat into the conversation, especially if they can’t be there to speak for themselves. I don’t want to speak for anyone else and I don’t want anyone speaking for me either. On a related note, Jacqueline and Chris were not able to come on this retreat; at the time none of us were fully aware the level of effort required to care for their son Nick, who has Autism, and in fact, Jacqueline and Chris were just starting to grasp the details. It is such a complicated spectrum disorder to understand, and Jacqueline has been so brave to share her experiences in order to help others. So, if your interested to learn more about Nick and Autism in general please go to jacquelinelaurita.com where she shares more and provides links to Autism awareness organizations. Jacqueline and Chris certainly have their hands full and have been wonderful parents -- being proactive for Nick's recovery and keeping that their main focus. I only wish them the best forever and always.

On arrival at this castle it was sort of funny -- when we all went to our rooms we starting feeling the heat! Was it because we were in Hell...no, its just the fireplaces, silly!
 
Then we went to break bread together for this first time in a year (and without the team builders present). Talk about AWKWARD! Right after lunch we got into it with the professionals with exercises to help us get in the mindset of being part of something larger than ourselves. We all had this expectation on how this was going to play out with re-dedicating ourselves to having consistent partnerships and improving the commitments of each relationship. Instead, the anger and frustration bubbles over and OMG it blows up, big time!

But we eventually do get to a good place. You’re probably wondering how...you'll just have to keep watching. Even now, it is good to have experienced it all and be watching all over again -- breakthroughs for anyone are monumental moments.
 
And speaking of great moments, Great Falls in Paterson brings such happy memories back to me from my childhood, as we went with Caroline and Al. I think its safe to say that most of us of our generation who grew up there feel the same way. Especially those that are first generation American born.

My father and his older brothers before him, along with his mom, settled in Paterson because of the huge industrial city it once was. Due to its powerful water source, Paterson was home most of the northeast's textile mills and was called “Silk City.” In fact, my parents both worked in the dye houses and textile and clothing factories there.

I loved seeing Caroline and Al walking over the footbridge that I found to be so exciting as a kid and hearing Albert share his own memories was wonderful. The pride and admiration he has for his father’s memory is tangible, and I totally understand that depth of his commitment to his father and his family. If you ever get a chance to visit this area, Lambert Castle has a great view of the city of Paterson. Yep, our very own castle right in the backyard. The other day I heard this old disco song, I’m sure that you all know it and I have to say the words really hit home, especially with these recent events. We are family; I got all my sisters with me....

Everyone can see we're together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

Living life is fun and we've just begun
To get our share of the world's delights
(HIGH!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
(WE!) no we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family JewelThanks for you support and follow me Twitter @kathywakile, @richardwakile, @victoriawakile, @josephwakile or my Facebook.

Come see me at SKYTOP Lodge on September 14th for a dessert demo.

Check my website for other upcoming dates that I’ll be in your area.

I was thrilled when approached by St. Martins press almost a year ago to do a cookbook, and now that is has come to fruition, I am grateful for this amazing opportunity!

Thank you to everyone who made this dream come true. So honored to be working with my editor, the talented Michael Flamini; we both have a love for delicious desserts!

Keep it sweet.

Lots of Love,
Kathy

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Dina Manzo explains what it's like to sit on the reunion couch.

Hi all, 

I kind of meant what I said on that couch -- this show is so f---ed up. As I sit and watch the reunion, I wonder what goes through people's head sometimes. Bobby literally spitting on me as he screams at a friend of 10 years, Jim whipping out his files and then of all things says I have a fat ass, LOL! For what? Fame? I literally sat there saying to myself time and time again, "What the hell am I doing here?" Again, not ever saying I'm too good, but just different. There is something really beautiful that came out of this though...I am seeing some real proof of my practices. Take a look

Sending you a ton of love for your support! 

Dina xoxo

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