New Car

Did I mention that we bought a new car?

Honda Odyssey Elite 2023

We actually bought it about a month ago. But the experience was so soul sucking that I’m just feeling recovered from it now.

All I remember about buying our last car eleven years ago was how long it took. And now I remember why. Every person we were put in front of was not the decision maker, so each time we asked a question there was a lot of running back and forth to ask a manager. I’m sure this is a psychological sales tactic. I know from reading Robert B. Cialdini’s book, Influence, that car dealerships purposely try tacking on lots of extras after the price of the car is negotiated. After spending so much money on a car, these extras seem like nothing compared to the cost of the car. But after spending so much time buying the car, this tactic had the opposite effect on me. I just wanted to decline everything so we could finally get up and leave.

By the end of four hours we still did not have the keys to our car and had to find the original sales person and ask for them. He took the opportunity to ask us to make sure we filled out his survey with all 10s when it comes. This was the third time he mentioned it.

We had driven to the dealership right after school drop off and if we didn’t leave right then, we would miss school pick up.

When Adam and I left, I was too numb to enjoy the car. My stomach was growling and I felt like a had been in a time warp. We were in too much of a rush to fiddle with all the new features, so the first drive was confusing. As the days passed, we thawed a bit. We figured out the new systems. We appreciated the new acoustic glass, which made for a much quieter ride. We enjoyed the heated seats and heated steering wheel. We started to love the car.

A few weeks later we were driving Adam to work when he turned to me and said with sadness, “I’m so old I probably will only buy another two or three cars in my lifetime.”

I answered back, “Is that such a bad thing?”

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Trip to Arizona Over St. Patrick’s Weekend

Does anyone actually know who St. Patrick was? When St. Paddy’s Day comes around in Chicago, it’s time to watch the Chicago River dyed green, wear green clothing, shamrocks and clovers and use the excuse to start drinking well before lunch.

With all this hooplah, you’d think St. Patrick was the patron saint of drunken leprechauns. Turns out he was a Brit who was enslaved in Ireland, found religion, then became a sort of missionary for the Irish people.

Ben and I had a laugh about this. Are we still celebrating people trying to take over other people’s cultures? Aren’t we against that now? Isn’t that why Columbus Day is now called Indigenous Day? Maybe St. Patrick’s Day should become Irish Pagan Religion Day?

It’s possible I’m over thinking this. The important thing is that we had a long weekend and we used the time to go visit Bubbie and Bill in Arizona.

View from Bubbie and Bill’s Back Porch

Every time I visit them in Tuscon, I’m struck by the contrast of beauty and hostility in the landscape. Gorgeous backdrops of majestic mountains are dotted completely with prickly cactus of all shapes and sizes.

Hike in Catalina State Park

We spent time outdoors, hiking or at the hotel’s pool. It was nice to be in a place of warmth and sunny skies.

Ping Pong at the Marriott Starr Pass Resort
The Resort had a Lazy River and Slide Pool

We also spent time eating! Breakfast buffets at the hotel, brisket dinner hosted by Bubbie and Bill, and at one of Bubbie’s favorite restaurants in town.

Dinner at the Wild Garlic Grill

It was nice to get away as a family. And it was nice to visit Bubbie and Bill, who sadly live so far away from us!

Each time we travel as a family, I’m so proud of how the kids adapt and grow. They order new food, they learn new things about different places in the world, they learn how to travel, and most importantly, they learn how to be flexible in new situations.

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Jack’s 16th Birthday

Do you remember your 16th birthday?

I do. I remember it because it was a big birthday. Or should I say Big Bird birthday? We will get to that later.

Sixteen is the year you get your license. In the suburbs, turning 16 and getting a car creates a whole new level of freedom. And oh how I remember the difference. B.C. and A.D. Before Car and After Driving. Life was never the same again.

My parents thought it was a big deal too. Which is why, even though they were long seperated, they schemed together. Dad took me on a driving lesson while Mom arranged a surprise party for me. She invited everyone she thought I was friends with. Or maybe she invited everyone she thought I SHOULD be friends with? Noticeably absent was my good friend Laura Vertolli (pictured in previous blog). This might have been the most upsetting thing at the party. Except it wasn’t, because she also decided she needed to hire entertainment….

Mom Hired Big Bird to Entertain at my 16th Birthday Party

Hoping not to embarrass Jack as much as my parents embarrassed me, but also acknowledging the significance of this milestone birthday, Adam suggested a ski trip for Jack and his friends.

We planned it for Presidents Day, February 17-20, the weekend before his birthday. Shortly after we planned it, Jack broke his foot.

Jack’s Emergency Room Cast on February 4th

Jack refused to cancel the weekend. He told us his friends were excited about the trip and he didn’t want to ruin their fun. So, we went ahead as planned.

12 Seater Mercedes Sprinter Van with Xbox

We rented a huge van to take us all up to the Upper Peninsula to ski at a place my friend Tami recommended, Ski Brule.

We rented a place that sleeps 23 people. It had a pool table, shuffle board table, sauna, PS4, and arcade games.

Pool Table
Old Style Arcade Games

Besides all the entertainment, the boys also created their own fun. They competed to see who could stay in the sauna the longest. They played many card games. And they did who knows what else late at night while everyone else was asleep!

Playing Spoons

The house was on a lake in Eagle River, Wisconsin. Most days we had deer visit us, which we could see from the panoramic windows.

Visiting Deer

Saturday we woke the boys early to get to the ski resort. Even though Jack couldn’t ski, he stayed and helped out his friends and took lots of pictures.

Jack and his Buddies all Geared up to Ski/Snowboard

Adam insisted all of Jack’s friends get lessons, then he took the twins up the mountain. Those two little daredevils would be skiing black diamond by the end of the day.

Rare Meetup at the Base of the Mountain

The following day we woke early again and got into the van for another day of skiing. Unfortunately our van got stuck after sliding in the icy driveway. We ended up having to call for a tow truck, which took all day. We missed the second day of skiing.

Jack’s friends were great about it. Not a single complaint. They busied themselves with playing in the snow and more card games.

Playing in the Snow
Ice Surfing Video

It was so nice to see them all together. Jack has such a great group of friends, it makes my heart sing.

The day after we got back was Jack’s actual birthday. We had the normal donut and egg sandwich breakfast from Dunkin’ Donuts. For dinner that night, we went to our regular birthday spot for dinner.

Sushi Birthday Dinner

Afterwards, we ate cake COVID style, without blowing out candles on top.

Sweet Mandy B’s Oreo Cake

After we sung to Jack he had one last request, to take everyone to see the new Ant Man Quantumania film. We booked it for this weekend.

When I look back at that girl next to Big Bird and compare her to Jack, I can’t help but be pleased. When I was 16 years old my parents didn’t know who my friends were or what I would have liked for a 16th birthday party, if any. It was sweet of them to try, but there was a huge disconnect that I don’t think is there with Jack. He still comes and talks to us most nights after all the other kids have gone to bed. I definitely feel a lot closer to him than I did to my parents at that age.

I’m also really proud of where he in life. He cares about his grades and as a result has a high GPA. He plays high school soccer as well as travel soccer, which keeps him active and fit. He consistently makes good decisions, which makes him someone I look to if I need to bounce ideas off of. He fixes computer problems for the house. He looks after his brothers. Given one of his brother’s special needs, this is no small statement. And he’s a real mensch, just look at his decision not to cancel the weekend, even though he couldn’t ski.

Happy birthday to you, Jack! And many more…

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Winter Break 2022

As usual we made the most of our two week vacation by booking three separate vacations into one.

Our first vacation was to Disney. We decided to go back to ride the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Epcot.

Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios

We booked two days at Disney, both with park hopper options. On the first day we got all our favorite rides in at Disney Studios then headed to Epcot for the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride.

The new ride was amazing! It was like a Space Mountain, amped up and with a backstory. At one point I felt like a was gliding through space like Gamora, with the wind whipping through my hair. Also like Gamora, I was a bit green after the ride. As I get older I find roller coasters effect me more.

The second day we went to the Magic Kingdom then back to Epcot to see some of the rides we missed. We all really enjoyed the Test Track ride was well. When I first visited Epcot it was just six countries and no rides, it’s changed quite a bit since then.

After the two whirlwind days, we booked an early breakfast to see my good friend Laura and her family before heading down to Boca in time for Adam’s afternoon work calls.

Breakfast at the Maple Street Biscuit Company with Laura

Laura’s husband Chris worked on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride that we came to town to see, so it was like Laura’s husband somehow created not one but two reasons for me to be in Orlando.

Laura was not the only friend I visited while in Florida.

During the second vacation, in Boca Raton, I was able to utilize lots of free babysitting from my father. We went to a delicious dinner one night with my friend Kate and her new boyfriend (I forgot to take a picture!) at Trattoria Romana. Another night we had dinner with Gina and Mike at one of my favorite Boca haunts, Luff’s Fish House.

Gina brings more gifts for my 50th:
A “50th Not a Day over Fabulous” Cup, my favorite Champagne, and a Lululemon Everywhere Bag

On New Year’s Ever we went to my friend Jessica’s house for another fancy dinner cooked by Jessica and a neighborhood party afterwards.

This year we didn’t make it to midnight. Maybe it’s because I’m an old woman now? Are you are silently protesting this comment? I can prove you wrong. While we were in Boca, my AARP membership came in the mail. So there, my elderly status is official. Also, see previous roller coaster comment.

NYE with Jessica, Marcus, Mary and Todd.

Adam and I also got to spend some time with Adam’s family, whom we also consider friends. We met up with cousin Jackie and her husband Mark one afternoon for lunch.

After lunch at Max’s Grille in Mizner Park

After lunch, we hung out around Mizner Park, eating ice cream and checking out all the outdoor spaces. So nice to be outside in warm weather this time of year!

Ice Cream from kitschy Sloan’s
Little Sam
Calisoff Improv

One afternoon we headed down to Miami to spend time with my mother’s family and friends. We attended a Memorial Luncheon hosted by the Chinese Cultural Association for my mother.

Denis Chung, my First Cousin Once Removed

Here I got to meet my mother’s cousin, Denis. I also got to spend time with many of my mother’s friends, including Winnie and Gloria. Also Nenoy and Tony, who used to host my mother for Christmas every year. Nenoy and Tony are either related to me or just have the same last name. I think related, but I don’t know how. It’s a bit hard to tell when you are taught to call all your mom’s friends Aunt and Uncle, related or not. Also, it doesn’t help that Chinese people all have the same last names!

Winnie Lo, Gloria Hokkien Pierce, Nenoy and Tony Chung, and Me

Spending time with my Mom’s family, maybe family, and friends was not the only side of the family covered on this trip.

We were also lucky to see lots of family members from the other side of my family, the Devenskys.

Grandpa Devensky spent tons of time with us. He also tirelessly babysat most nights.
Brunch with Auntie Doris, Grandpa Devensky and the Calisoffs. This is how my kids pose for photos.
Alexandria, Cousin Julian and Cousin Alexa

My cousins Alexa and Julian came over one night. Alexa brought MBerries and we all tried them, they made everything taste sweet! Julian also brought a laser that he modified. It was so powerful it popped balloons in seconds. The kids loved it.

But wait! It’s not over yet! There is a THIRD vacation! In Jamaica! Yes, as the Hanukkah Bears foretold, we decided to head to Jamaica as part of my 50th birthday celebration.

We stayed an all exclusive resort, the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa. They had water slides, a lazy river, and many activities for the kids to do. We played tennis, ping pong, and spent lots of time in the pool. And even more time eating!

Ping Pong
Enjoying the Waterslides
The Lazy River
Our Cabana
Jamaican Patties, Poolside
All Inclusive means All You Can Eat Ice Cream. Aaron ate it Twice a Day!

Besides all the eating and playing, we did one excursion to Dunns River Falls. I remember climbing this as a kid and wanted my kids to enjoy the same experience I had.

Dunns River Falls

No one wanted the trip to end. Usually when I return to our flat after a long trip I think, “Hey this place is pretty nice.” This time, however I felt like every area of the house was overstuffed to the gills and needed a serious reorganization. Vacation is over and as my friend Laura texted me yesterday, it’s time to Maria Kondo.

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The Rest of the Hanukkah Bear’s Rascally Visit

After the Bears brought Gingerbread houses and showcased the epic results of the World Cup, they had 5 more visits to the house….

The Bears Try Elf on a Shelf Cereal

The Bears decided to dabble in Christmas one morning, trying the Elf on a Shelf cereal, Christmas festive hats, and playing with Christmas lights.

The Bears Enjoying our Pool in Florida (Most of Them, Anyway)

The Bears took a swim in our pool in Florida, a nod to our impending visit to Florida over Winter Break.

The Bears Dressed for our Visit to Jamaica over Winter Break.

The Bears are all dressed and ready for a visit to Jamaica, another part of our winter vacation this year. (This trip will be covered in the next blog).

The Bears Fight off Star Wars, Toy Story Characters, and Anything else Disney related Jack and I could find.

On the last night before we left for winter break, the Bears were found battling it out with other Disney Characters. This final scene was a hint that we were taking the kids to Disney on our way to our house in Florida. This is how were revealed it to them. Well, this is how we revealed it to the kids that didn’t already get told accidentally by Grandpa.

The Bears Wear Guardians of the Galaxy costumes.

On our way to our house in South Florida, we booked a few days in Disney so we could see the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Epcot.

I decided not to make up a scene for the eighth night of Hanukkah because I didn’t want to drag the Bears with me to Florida.

Next blog, all the adventures the Bears were alluding to…

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Hanukkah Starts!

I love it when Hanukkah starts on a weekend. It means we have the whole day to celebrate the occasion.

Enough Candy?

On the first morning of Hanukkah, the Hanukkah Bears brought Gingerbread houses to decorate.

But before we decorated, I tried a Lemon Ricotta with Blueberry Syrup recipe from the New York Times. We ate those while watching the World Cup Finals. If any of you were not following the story of the World Cup this year, I highly suggest you listen to the Podcast “The Last Cup”. Because of this podcast, I was really hoping Argentina would win. Everyone in the house, in fact, was betting for Argentina, except Sam.

The game did not disappoint, it was a nail biter that had us all screaming and jumping in our seats. In the end, Sam was made to wear the Messi Jersey as penitence.

After the game we got straight to decorating (our should I say eating?) our gingerbread houses.

Aaron and Ben eat more than they decorate! Sam wearing the Messi Jersey.

That afternoon Adam brought the kids to the stores, buying last minute Hanukkah gifts of their choice. The Lego Store, the art store, as well as Amazon and Ebay were where most of the gifts were purchased.

For dinner I had grand plans for Latkes and many more laborious foods. In the end I stuck with Brisket, home made Challah, and Green Beans.

Hanukkah Feast

Not that the kids cared. Dinner is just an obstacle to lighting the candles and opening presents.

Hebrew School taught the Twins to recite the entire First Night of Hanukkah Prayer this year.
Finally Time to Open the Toys!

The boys all opened up Legos on the first night and quickly took over the dinning room table, building.

After bedtime, I snuck down and set up the Hanukkah Bears for the next morning.

Messi & MBappe, after the World Cup Final
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On Turning 50

Usually when I have a birthday, I blog about it right away. But turning 50 felt different. Unlike most years, I wasn’t sure what to say about it. Imagine me at a loss for words!

It seemed like the whole thing snuck up on me, much like the grey hairs on my head.

Most days I don’t feel any older than 28, but when I stop and think about each decade’s birthday, I realize just how much I’ve grown and changed.

I don’t remember my 20th birthday, but I do remember my 21st, as that was the milestone number of that decade. I was surrounded by college friends, many who I still am in contact with today. My roommate Holly is in the 21st photo and also in the 50th photo. Now, looking back, I realize how much of the world that 21 year old girl had yet to experience. The year after this birthday we all graduated college and scattered across the globe. I was already planning my move to Hong Kong, ready to start a new adventure.

The Gang of Friends I Celebrated My 21st Birthday With (Gainesville, FL)

On my 30th birthday I went to a work dinner at the Ritz Carlton in Shanghai with a co-worker who later became a good friend, JR (not pictured). Having just moved to Shanghai a month before, I hadn’t built the friend group yet needed to celebrate that milestone day with. I was yet again on the cusp on a new adventure with a new job, new city, new country, new life.

When I Worked in Shanghai, I Distributed Many Wines, including Mondavi

On my 40th birthday, Adam took me to Alinea. I had given birth to the twins 8 months before. Adam and I were celebrating a different type of adventure, the start of life with our complete family.

Accoutrements for the Lamb dish at Alinea

When I turned 50, I realized I was not on the cusp of a new adventure. I was in the middle of life. Or maybe past the middle? When my sister turned 50 she told me there was no more denying she was on the back side of the hill, heading down. I felt the same way. Most birthdays I look in the mirror and think, “Hey, I look pretty good for my age!”. This one I looked into the mirror, laid my palms flat against my cheeks and stretched them back and upwards.The small wrinkles that littered my face, pockmarking the sides of my mouth, disappeared. I turned to Adam and said, “Hey, do you remember this girl?

Donuts for Breakfast, a Calisoff Birthday Tradition

Now that I’m 50 I can no longer hide the fact that I’m aging with tricks like Spanx and face paint.

I’m also not about to embark on some new exciting adventure in life. In fact, I feel like I’m smack dab in the middle of five other people’s adventure. And I’m just the hired help. Except the job is unpaid.

Birthday Night Dim Sum Dinner
Saturday Night Birthday Celebration Dinner at Shine

This does not mean that there weren’t legions of people making me feel special on this momentous day. Adam showered me with many thoughtful gifts like money, spa gift cards, a cookbook of a chef I admire, the cake I wanted, and more. My sister and father both spoiled me with more gift cards to all my favorite places, Lululemon, La Colombe, and Fit Foot Reflexology. My friend Laura sent me a gorgeous, expensive coffee sampler pack.

And my high school group of friends, with whom I often travel with, sent me gifts and arranged a zoom call for me to open the presents in front of them. They made a slideshow of all the photos they had of me. One of the gifts was a digital photo album which I will download the slideshow into. Another was a book with headlines for every year of my birthday. Did you know Nixon was president the year I was born?

Birthday Zoom

We also did lots of Calisoff birthday rituals, like donuts for breakfast, and birthday dinner at Shine Restaurant.

In the end I did feel special, cherished, and loved. And really that is more important than chasing adventure, isn’t it?

Also, the party isn’t over yet. Just like most years we will continue to celebrate for the entire month. Adam still has more gifts for me which we will be revealed later in the month… stay tuned….

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Thanksgiving 2022

A day before Thanksgiving, with most of my family members coughing or sniffling, we took COVID tests. Adam had a friend he hadn’t seen in years from his days at USC in town and we had plans to have him and his family over for dinner.

Before the tests there was the usual murmurings, no one thought they actually had it. I administered the tests in a staggered fashion. First Adam’s came back. It was positive. Next I tested Ben. Negative. Aaron, who was sure he didn’t have it…positive. Sam, also positive. After I swiveled Jack’s nose he asked if the three of us could still go do all fun the activities we had planned this Thanksgiving holiday since everyone else was sick. Then his test came back positive. Seriously, why is it no one ever thinks they have it? Mine was negative. But I still remember my shock and disbelief when my test came back positive in September of this year.

Next came a flurry of moving electronics and the tables to support them downstairs in our newly makeshift “COVID ward”. I canceled the soccer session, the eye doctor appointment, the expensive Thanksgiving buffet at the club and a two nights stay at the water park.

Calisoff COVID Ward. Adam is napping in the back room.

Then Ben and I ran to the store to pick up a very last minute Thanksgiving feast.

On the phone the morning of Thanksgiving, my sister and I had a giggle about how our mother would be turning in her grave if she knew the Thanksgiving we were both preparing. My sister is recovering from surgery and I had no time to prepare so we both had store bought cranberry sauce. Both our turkeys were not fully thawed by Thanksgiving morning. I just chucked my turkey into the over half frozen and hoped for the best.

Turkey, Sweet Potato Casserole, Green Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Stuffing, Cranberry and Gravy

In the end I managed to cook a small buffet of my own. I took a picture of it and let the patients on my COVID ward point to what they wanted. They made a half hearted attempt to eat it, and some complained it was tasteless, which I’m assuming (or blaming!) was COVID related.

I’m not sure what possessed me to spend all day cooking it. Why was I working away for a bunch of people with no appetites and failing taste buds? I felt like an injured runner who tries to run the marathon anyway, just because they sign up every year and can’t break from the tradition of it. I should have just ordered Chinese like we do for Christmas!

Meanwhile Ben and I ran to the art store every day in an attempt to keep him busy and away from the other kids. One of his many quicks is his insatiable need for attention. One day during the holiday I counted how many times he said my name in a day. From 9am until 9pm it was 436 times. And he took a nap that day!

Ben’s Art Studio AKA the Kitchen Table. (Good Thing We Can’t Eat Together Right Now)
Ben’s Cupcake Army (on display stands), Mario Characters and Loki (laying in front)

Despite the blow COVID did to our holiday, in bed at night, both of us masked up, Adam gave me a list of all the things we should be grateful for. Our health, our financial security, our wonderful kids, our beautiful marriage, and even being sick during a holiday so he could actually take time to rest and recover.

I hope everyone reading this finds something they can be thankful for this week, no matter what hardships they also face. Life might not be perfect, but there is always a silver lining somewhere if you look hard enough.

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Soccer, Soccer, Soccer

This fall I turned into the ultimate soccer mom.

Last year, after Jack’s first year of soccer on the Fresh/Soph team, we signed him up for travel soccer. This meant instead of just soccer in the fall, he would play year round.

His skill improved dramatically, and he was able to get a spot on his high school’s JV team this year.

Under Armor Tournament

So after seeing the progress Jack made, we decided to have the twins try out for soccer as well.

I made a few mistakes with the tryout, which hopefully my dear readers will learn from and not repeat themselves. Because the twin’s school lets out later than most, the original tryout started at the exact time school let out. So instead of getting early dismissal, I decided to sign them up for the make-up tryout.

Unlike the regular tryout where they paired same aged kids 5 v 5 and watched them closely, the make-up tryout consisted of all age groups lumped together. My twins were with much older kids in a huge scrimmage. They were assigned opposite teams. Sam played his normal spot as a defender. And Aaron, who last year would score a goal most games, was asked to play defense as well.

Aaron didn’t get a change to show off his striker skills. And unfortunately, Sam had a ball kicked over his head that hit the goalpost, then hit his back, then went into the goal. He unwittingly scored an own goal.

When we left the tryouts, Sam turned to Aaron and said, “I scored more goals than you for once.”

The performance did not win them a spot. I was really bummed about it and blamed myself for not going to the regular tryout. I really felt they had enough skill to play travel. They spent many years playing soccer and had lots of extra soccer coaching.

Ben plays goalie while the twins get extra coaching

Then later another email was sent out asking if people wanted to try out for the extra team, which is below travel soccer but above community soccer. I took them to that one. The head coached followed them the whole time and asked Adam if they were just interested in extra or did they want to play travel? Adam said they would be interested in travel.

This time, they made the travel team!

Also, this year they are old enough to play for the school team as well.

Recognize the Coach?

So the last few months Jack and the twins have had practice or games almost every day after school. I’ve been shuffling all over Chicago with our minivan full of snacks, shin guards and water bottles.

It’s been wonderful. As many moms with older children have told me, what you miss most when the kids grow up is all the games or track meets or whatever your kid is competing in. So I’m relishing every game, no matter how many, because I know that it will all be over too soon.

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Summer Trip to North Carolina

Ben’s last day of school was July 27th. As soon as he was free, we packed up and headed down to North Carolina to visit my sister.

View from our balcony

For the trip we managed to find a fantastic Airbnb not far from my sisters house with really great amenities.

Pool Table
Air Hockey
Basketball Net
Hot Tub

Grandpa arrived a few days before us and got some quality time with my sister and her family before we came along and hogged him for ourselves.

We did may fun activities that week.

Tubing in Cherokee
Tour of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky
Buying buckets of Candy at Mast General
Boat Ride in South Carolina on Brett and Mari’s boat.
White Water River Rafting in Nantahala

As much fun as the kids had doing all the different activities, my favorite part of the trip was the time spent visiting with my sister, father and many others who took time out of their busy schedules to spend time with us.

Celebrating Grandpa’s 81st birthday a early
Aaron’s new BFF, Uncle Brent.
My friend since kindergarten, Becca, drove 3 hours to visit us for a night.
Visiting Adam’s cousin Brett and his wife Mari in South Carolina
Visiting my cousin Matt and his family in Kentucky
The patriarch, Walter, with his two daughters, their husbands, and all his grandkids. And Clay’s dog, Gigit.

The only person I missed seeing was my good friend from college, Jennie. She lives close to my sister’s house but had been in close contact with someone with Covid and I didn’t want to risk seeing her while my 81 year old father was staying with us.

It was a wonderful trip, made better by the fact that my father travelled with us back to Chicago and I get the pleasure of his company for another week.

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