As the school year wrapped up we added saying goodbye to all the people and places that had become home to a schedule already pretty filled up with work, packout and departure task and other obligations (and oh yeah, Bill had to leave a month early) . Nonetheless, Kristie found a way to fit in parties, play dates and pilgrimages to favorite restaurants, parks and so on.
The crazy schedule was capped off by a fouled up departure Kristie finally got the three boys, two dogs and all their gear on a plane and out of Paris. A big thanks to the Van Cleve family for their extraordinary kindness in taking in our wayward travellers and setting them back on the path home.
Once summer got started though, it’s been a great ride. We began with fun in Washington DC with our old friends who always welcome us back into their lives and act as our cultural reintegration guides – getting us up to date on everything from new movies and music to how to use an iPhone. Thank you guys! We also fit in a bunch of fun activities ranging from picking cherries and blueberries to seeing the Nationals beat the Pirates in extra innings.
Then we headed to Cape May for a week of beach before Bill headed out to Afghanistan. We had a perfect mix of time with family (sister, parents, grandmother) and days alone to enjoy each other and just relax, biking around the town, swimming, catching a movie, and generally doing as much or as little as we felt like at any given time. In short – a great vacation.
After a difficult goodbye with the boys Kristie and I headed south for an extra day of vacation/alone time in Old Town Alexandria where we enjoyed strolling through familiar streets and remembering what an interesting voyage we have had, and how lucky we are to have had the opportunities we have to travel, and raise a family together. We also gorged ourselves at Bilbo Baggins restaurant, which had remodeled but remains an excellent place to get a meal. Finally it was time for goodbyes, with a tear or two, but looking forward to more beach, family, and settling into a new life in Vermont for Kristie and the boys (and the dogs) and rewarding challenges for Bill in his new home.
We hope all of you are enjoying a wonderful summer, and that you keep in touch.