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Doing a whole lot of catching up…

I’ve been busy inhaling summer time freedom. Before taking off to see the fam in Arizona, Joe and I rented a boat and a cabin you could get to only by boat. It was three days of just the two of us living in what felt like the middle of nowhere, but we were hidden off of one of the Netherlands many canals. What a fantastic way to detox from the 2021 school year!

I also did a day trip to Durbuy, so that I could buy some special perfume gifts for Kaylene and the boys’ girlfriends.

We caught Belgium fever and had friends over to watch Belgium play the EuroCup.  Sadly, we watched them lose to Italy while we were in the states.  We got Torin to cheer for them, but it didn’t work this time around.  We’ll cheer harder for next year’s World Cup.

And then finally, we got to fly home!   It was a bit of an ordeal with getting tested and filling out forms and whatnot, but whatever.  It was totally worth any hassle to get back to the states to see my babies (and their babies)!

Our first few days were hectic, but we got to see some of Joe’s family and catch up with some of my crazy friends.  Once again the crew flew in Monica to surprise me with a weekend of debauchery.  Tis a good thing we live so far away from each other now because I don’t think our livers can take much more of our abuse.

And then FINALLY all of my kids and their significant others, Joe and me, and all of our goodies made our way to our vacation rental near Huntington Beach in California, where we spent a glorious 6 days being a family again.  I cannot tell you how much I treasured this time.

Poor Kendra fell during a rock climbing adventure with Kyle, but she was such a trooper riding her scooter or crutches every where we went. Joe and Kaylene planned a family photo shoot with a great photographer.  We’re waiting on the final photos but the group (after the pic below) is a sample of what she caught of us.

I will never get enough of my beautiful family. I’m so happy my children have also found partners that fit right in and help my little adults find their way in this world (and they them).

The day after we returned to Arizona, Joe and I drove up to Prescott to catch up with some Belgium peeps: Mini and Lorayne. Again, fun times were had.

Then Joe had to return to Belgium to take care of Badger, and I soaked up plenty of time with Torin and Kaylene. I’ll fly home with bald spots and bruises thanks to all the wrestling matches with Torin. Never, ever underestimate the force of an almost three-year old’s “Hulk Smash.” He looks harmless in photos, but watch out he’s quick.

I’m in the midst of my last week in Arizona and sad to see that it has flown by so quickly. I have a two-day trip to Vegas to catch up with Jordan and Wilber, then I’m back in Arizona for two days before flying off to Virginia to catch up with folk, and then back to Belgium to continue my adventure there.

Hopefully, the next time I pop in, I’ll have more time to find the right words and pics to share. Right now, I’m too busy doing the family thing to mess with the right words and tones. Do know that my heart and soul are embracing all the love and wonder that comes with being with your tribe. I needed this time so berry, berry much (as Torin the Terror would say).

Dubliners … until tomorrow

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We’ve been having a grand old time whooping it up in Dublin.  We decided to stop here for a few days to visit our friend Derek.  An extra plus is we got to also meet his parents, who are lovely, fun people (and now whooping it up on their own vacation).

The weather is unusually warm and sunny, so we spent a lot of time walking around in St Stephens park, Temple Bar area, Trinity campus, etc.

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We also got to visit The Irish Whiskey Museum on Grafton street (thanks to Derek’s suggestion) and loved it.  I’m not a whiskey fan, but I do love a good story mixed in with some history.  And, a few good laughs as well as some booze tasting (got to swirl some whiskey, sniff and attempt to like it) always work.  It’s worth a stop if you find yourself in the area.

We also got to tour the area Derek grew up in and the lovely university he earned his drinking badges and degrees in.

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And, today we got to take a Viking tour — something we wanted to do the last time we were here, but couldn’t fit it in.  They restore WW2 amphibian vehicles and take you on a tour through Dublin streets and for a bit of a float on the Dublin bay — plus give you the chance to scare the shit out of pedestrians with the group Viking roar.

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We also got to do a bit of this (imagine that!)…

So, it’s been a fun couple of days.  We’ve got to stay sober and crash early tonight because tomorrow we take off in the wee hours of the morning for our big adventure in the Dominican Republic.  I can’t wait to see the folk we’ll run into there — and get some quality pool and beach time.

God Bless summer vacay!

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