Family Photo 2011 (Taken Sabbath, July 23, 2011)
This past week, from July 19 to July 27, our family had one of the best vacations we've ever experienced in quite a long time. It was an ideal mix of quiet, relaxed downtime and fun experiences made perfect because all were marked by precious quality time with family. Because of the variety of activities over the course the trip, the vacation felt much longer than seven days, yet because it was such a joyful time it seemed to end far too soon.
I had this silly notion that I would get all this work done during our visit, and at first I felt guilty over all I wasn't doing as our vacation unfolded. But then, I wised up and realized that this time of relaxed play with my son, long chats with my mom, dates with my wife, and conversation with my family was invaluable time that I dared not waste on work.
|The Feller and his uncle Jim relaxing at mom's house. July 26, 2011|
We began and ended our trip with unscheduled days. We ate delicious breakfasts at mom's house, played ping-pong in the sunroom, read and watched TV, napped, and socialized. On both days I hung out with my old high school friend Greg for a couple of hours as well. On Tuesday, July 26, our last full day in Florida, the extended family--Uncle Roland and Aunt Colleen, Uncle Robert & Aunt Diana and thier son, my youngest cousin, and my cousin Yvette came over for dinner. It was a great way to spend the first and last day of our visit--unhurried, relaxed, and restful--giving us time to rejuvante from and prepare for our travels.
|Anna Maria Island, July 21, 2011|
|The three most important women in my life: My wife, Babs; my mom, Rosalind; my sister, Dawn|
On Sabbath, July 23, we went to church, and then had Uncle Roland and Aunt Colleen over for lunch. In the late afternoon, we dressed up and headed over to Azaela Park in Winter Park to take some family photos. I'll develop this story more and share some more of those pictures in Florida Family Vacation Photos.
|Playing in the pool. Sunday, July 24, 2011|
On Sunday, July 24, we celebrated my nephew's first birthday! His actual birthday was on the day we arrived in Florida, July 19, but Dawn and Jim planned a poolside bash at their townhome for the weekend. Later in the afternoon, Babs and I took the opportunity to go on a date, just the two of us. We went to see Larry Crowne, the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts romcom which was enjoyable enough despite it's rather vague plot. After the movie we dined at Seasons 52, enjoying a four course meal that left us satisfied but not stuffed in the way that only Seasons 52 can.
|The Little Feller and the Big Mouse|
Monday, July 25, we made the first of what I'm sure will be several pilgrimages to Disney World. It was a hot day, but a fun one, especially for the kids. More on this in my entry Florida Family Vacation at Disney World.
It really was a special week and all three of us were sad to leave when it was over. It reminded me of those visits with family when we lived in Saipan--when the visits were never long enough and a year seemed too long to wait to see each other again. I left determined that now that we're closer, we need to plan to visit more than once a year.
It was nice to be on vacation from work and at-home responsibilities; Florida was wonderful, but it was the family that made our time a true treasure.