Good Morning, I am back in Covington.
I had a great visit to Hollywood Florida. The schedule from the last post was followed about perfectly. Before I started to write this post, I looked at the comments from last post, and Sussas post made me laugh out loud (which is not so common at 6:00am) because it was so true! She said "It sounds like you will be the rock star of the geriatric crowd"...and I was. Well, I was not really a rock star, and all the 80+ relatives and church friends all looked very healthy and happy.
I golfed at my Dad's home golf club. One 18 on Friday (we finished 14 holes before dark) and 18 holes on Sunday (two different courses, each 18 holes). Very nice golf courses, and very nice people. Huge facility, very nice...very different than most facilities around the Seattle area. Everyone was telling me how great my dad is, a great marshal, and a great golfer, and a great guy. It was a very good time. I actually golfed a good combination of very very well, and very not well, but at the end of the day, my scores were good enough to keep the Slane trophy (there is no trophy, just bragging rights)
I got to visit with my Grandpa Sandler and Grandma Bernice as well as meet Grandpa Sandler's sister Great Aunt Ruth for lunch on Saturday. If I had met Great Aunt Ruth, I did not remember her, and I am sure I would have remembered her if I had met her at an age where my memory worked. She was great. She said that it was no difference if I called her Great Aunt Ruth, or Great Grand Aunt Ruth or Grand Aunt Ruth but I may as well call her just Great Aunt Ruth because she is Great! And she is great. Grandpa Sandler and Grandma Bernice are also Great, and it was super to get to hang out with them for lunch. The next morning I got to visit with my Grandma Toby for breakfast. Grandma Toby also looked great, we had a nice visit and it was great to see her. I had made tons of copies of pictures of the kids for the visit. Everyone got to go through the pictures and keep as many as they wanted...seemed to work out perfect. I really should have taken a picture of Bernice and Ruth looking at the pictures I had brought, the pictures were spread all over the table and they were seeing if they already had one or not and it was fun.
We also went to First Baptist Church, the church I grew up in and mom is now a regular. There were quite a few very nice old ladies who came up to me and told me how they remember me when I was just a baby and young child. They would all say "welcome home!, so glad you came home!" They all told me how excited my mom was to have me visit, they all told me how great my mom is and how nice it is to have her back. The mural my mom painted on the nursery doors 35 years ago is still there! I do remember the church, the doors, the pews. We also got to see the Apartment where my parents lived when first married, and where I was born, as well as our first and second houses and my elementary school. Everything is so close together and my parent's current home seems centrally located. We also walked on Hollywood Beach which is also just a few miles from their home. Everything is so different than Covington WA. Everything is Palm Trees, stucco buildings, warm weather, sunny. Hollywood is a great place, and it is very clear by my parent's friends and family that they [my parents] are exactly where they should be.
Maren and the kids were happy to have me back. Lillie was stuck to my leg for probably an hour. I brought them some touristy gifts. An Alligator (Hansen got the Shark, Lillie the Dolphin, Preston the Gator) pincher and a Hollywood Beach shirt/ sweatshirt for each kid. Maren got a Sweatshirt and a magnet...she said she was just happy that I came home, figuring life in my parent's guest room in Hollywood Florida without the kids and the stuff just might sound too good to come home from. I never even thought of not coming home...could that have actually worked? It would have been a good life. Things were back to normal pretty quickly, Hansen's Shark toy needed to be duct taped back together due to accidental breakage and we watched Sponge Bob Atlantis on TV.
The plane rides on the way to Florida were long, cold, and dark. The ride home was also long, but very beautiful. Leaving Hollywood airport we took off over the ocean, turned around to fly back over Ft Laurderdale, then up into and above amazing clouds. Landing in Seattle it was just getting dark and we flew kind of over my house, then down through clouds and came out just over Seahawk stadium where Monday night Football was just getting under way. The lights of Seattle looked very cool.
Well, Maren is off to work, and I have a full day with the kids. I had a great vacation.
See you tomorrow.