Back in June, we remember saying that it would not be so long until the next time we posted an update. But, here we are again delinquent in our writing and finding ourselves having a hard time trying to remember what happened last week, let alone 2 months ago. The summer has come and flown by so fast, we can’t believe school is starting already.
So much has happened this summer it is difficult to know where to begin. We can start with both Tyler and Travis finishing school back at the end of June. It is hard to believe that Tyler will now be in high school and Travis will be one of the big men on campus as a 6th grader. Wow, or should we say Scary!
During his first week out of school, Tyler was able to attend a week long camp up in the mountains called Camp Reach for the Sky. The camp is sponsored by the American Cancer Society and is for siblings of cancer patients. Tyler was able to go last year too right before Travis’ chemo started and it is a great experience for the kids to be able to bond together knowing they are all in the same situation. He had a lot of fun reconnecting with some of the kids from last year as well as meeting some new friends this year. He also gets to see these same kids at the monthly support meetings down at Rady Children’s they can stay connected.
After Tyler returned from camp, we had a few days and then we were off for our first family vacation in a year and a half and first trip back to the east coast in more than 2 years. We flew out of LAX to Washington DC where we were supposed to spend the night with Lynne’s stepmom, Patsy. But, since we missed our original 10am flight due to a ticketing snafu at the airport, and our rebooked flight was delayed until 5pm, we didn’t land in DC until 1:30am. This delay caused us to miss picking up our rental car before they closed so we ended up having to grab a hotel near the Dulles airport and settled in around 3am. Thanks United or should we say thanks to the ticketing system that did not properly issue one of our 4 tickets or thanks to the gate agent who did not hold the door open for a couple of minutes despite knowing that we were on our way from the ticketing agent! Anyways, despite having some choice words about the situation, we weren’t going to let it get us down. We spent some good quality Hours in the United Lounge and watched some of the World Cup games on TV to help pass the time.
Since we needed to drive to North Carolina the next day, we woke up in the morning, went back to the airport to get our rental car and then we were on the road to NC. We were headed to see family and friends from when we used to live there, and we were going to our cousin Emily’s wedding. Eddie and Holly planned a BBQ that evening for all of the family coming in from out of town so it was great to see/meet everyone and we laughed the whole night. The next day, Karen, Clint and Bryan drove in from Tennessee so we were able to hang out, catch up and go to the rehearsal dinner which was a lot of fun too. Saturday was the big wedding with Emily and Michael getting married. They picked a “country” theme for their wedding and the ceremony was held out on a farm overlooking a beautiful lake. It was perfect and the reception afterwards was a blast with great food, music, dancing and laughing the night away. Even the boys (Bryan, Tyler and Travis) hit the dance floor to show off their moves. The next day, we went to Raleigh to see some dear friends from when we lived there and went out to lunch. Mary picked a great restaurant, Bahama Breeze (go if you have the chance) and Kim was able to come too. It was so much fun back in NC hanging out with family and friends that the boys were ready to move back.
But it was time to go so after NC, we drove up to Virginia Beach to spend 4th of July with Tony’s Dad and family. Since we were there last, Tony’s Dad had moved into a new retirement community that is located right on the Chesapeake Bay. Every day, the boys were out there looking for shells on the beach and checking out the warm water. We stayed with Steve and Terri, and Doug, Richard and John came into town to see us too. Steve and Terri have a beautiful place right on the water, so the boys set the crab pots off the dock and checked them every day. In the end, we let the crabs go and opted to have the crab cakes from the seafood restaurant instead. Steve and Terri just built a new garage addition to their house which has the ultimate “man cave” above the garage with a 70 inch TV, full bar/kitchen, bathroom with steam shower and TV, and music throughout. Needless to say, that is where the boys chose to sleep. Go figure! We had a great BBQ at Dad’s place but while we were there, hurricane Arthur came through so all of the fireworks were cancelled for the 4th. Never fear, we made our back up purchase of fireworks in NC so the boys had just as much fun setting those off instead. There is something about setting off your own fireworks! Again, we had so much fun in VA Beach, the boys were ready to move there.
We left VA Beach on July 5th and headed for Ridgewood/Oakland, NJ to see Tony’s Aunts, Uncles and cousins. We stayed with Patti and Phil and they hosted a BBQ/Pool Party that became known as Selinkafest 2014 after all of the fun, not to mention the Cinnamon Redhot Shots (Rumchata and Fireball). With all of the cousins coming together, it was another reunion with some family we haven’t seen in more than 15 years. Wow! Where does the time go? It was great to reconnect with everyone! The day before we had to leave, we went up to Nyack, NY to visit Sister Helena who is a nun that has been a part of Lynne’s family for almost 40 years. She used to live in New York City but retired a few years ago and now lives with some other sisters in a beautiful retreat situated along the Hudson River. We had a great time getting to see her again, having lunch and touring their amazing property. Sister always tells us that we have Nine Nuns from Nyack, New York praying for us, especially Travis. How can you go wrong with that kind of support on your side?
It was getting down to the end which meant that it was time for us to drive back down to DC so we could catch our flight home. The boys really hated to leave and were ready to move to NJ, especially since they had their eye on Phil’s super-super-charged Ford Mustang Roush edition. We don’t think they realize how cold it gets there in the winter but at least they had grown accustomed to the summertime lifestyle of hanging out by the pool and BBQs every day with family. Next time we go back, we will definitely plan some time to head into the city.
We made it back to DC where we were able to spend the night with Patsy and Susan this time. It was nice to see them and the next day, we were off to the airport. But, a trip to DC would not be complete without a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum. So luckily, we were able to stop by the Udvar-Hazy annex near Dulles airport for a few hours before our flight left. They have some amazing aircraft and aviation/space history there!
After being gone for two weeks, it was great to be home and Cisco was so excited to see us. Thanks Maggie for taking such good care of our boy! We came home and jumped right back into Soccer tournaments, Bethlehem camp, Batiquitos Lagoon camp, swimming classes and enjoying the last bit of summer. Before you know it, we are back to school and trying to figure out a new routine. But, that is how life goes as things get back to normal. If this is what getting back to normal is like, we will take “Normal” any time!
Tony and Lynne
Such a great note – thanks for the update, Lynne. So happy that Travis is doing so well!
I don’t think you missed a beat! The miles traveled plus family and friends’ visited equaled a wonderful experience. That’s what traveling is all about! Now relax…yah, right!
Did I just read a chapter in one of your non-fiction novels…….enjoyed every word!
Love ya’ll,, Mary