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Charming Charleston
Posted by Tina on Thursday, April 05, 2012 - 02:53 AM
(505 Reads)
Family News Tina writes " Gene and I flew up to Charleston, South Carolina on March 11th during my spring break and I fell in love! I knew I would enjoy Charleston but I never imagined that I would love everything about it! Let's start with the wonderful southern hospitality, add a dab of flowers here and there, sprinkle in some delicious sweet treats, add a heaping cup of historic sights and delicious dining and you cannot go wrong. You might go the wrong way if you put your city map away and just take off and explore....But that is half the fun!!
We stayed at the Bluegreen's Lodge Alley Inn for 5 nights right in the historic district so we were able to walk everywhere to explore the beautiful historic homes, gardens, fountains, restaurants, shops. To top it all off all the flowers were in bloom 2 weeks early so this was a perfect time to visit! From our carriage ride to historic Fort Sumter to the expansive Magnolia Gardens Charleston was indeed more than we ever imagined. We did not go on the ghost tours or hit any of the local beaches or dine at all their restaurants. Yes, a visit back to Charleston is on my list."

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Fun Times in February
Posted by Tina on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 02:09 AM
(470 Reads)
Family News Tina writes " Well tomorrow is Leap Day- February 29th! One extra day of winter this year- actually what winter? We had a few quicky moving cool spells but for the majority of days it has been in the low to mid 80's. We had beautiful weather the end of January when Gene and I headed to Bok Tower and Ormond Beach for a long weekend. It was our first visit to both locations. Bok Tower and surrounding grounds are found in Winter Haven, Florida on a 350ft. mountain called Iron Mountain. Would not hesitate going back again- just lovely. We stayed at the Casa Del Mar Bluegreen Resort at Ormond Beach for the next 2 nights. We woke each morning in our oceanfront suite to a beautiful sunrise and the sounds of ocean surf and seabirds. We climbed to the top of the 175 ft. tall Ponce Inlet Lighthouse and then drove down to Cocoa Beach on our way back home and visited Gene's sister-in- law Jayne.
On February 11th we drove over to Miami with Dan for Paul Andrew's 4th Birthday Party. The party was held in a facility that had 2 large bounce houses and an inflatable slide. All the children had a blast! Later that night we watched Paul's Breckenridge video- it was his best video yet!! Between Dad's and Paul's videos and Dan's movie trailers they covered all bases!
The weekend after Paul Andrew's birthday Gene and I drove up to Tampa and joined Gloria's parents, grandparents, Alexa and Paul Andrew for a Busch Gardens visit. The overcast weather did not bring much more than a few sprinkles so we were able to have a fun time enjoying the sights and rides with the grandkids!
I am hoping for a cooler March - what's the chance of that happening?

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Family Ski Trip in Colorado
Posted by Tina on Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 03:10 AM
(504 Reads)
Family News Tina writes " Happy New Year plus 2 weeks! On December 26th Paul, Gloria, Alexa, Paul Andrew, Dad, Dan, and I shed our shorts and sandals for a week and headed west to Colorado for some skiing, snow tubing, and to see Dave and Lori - the western branch of our family! Our last ski trip in 2006 we also traveled on Dec 26th- just days after a tremendous blizzard blew into Denver- completely shutting down the Denver Airport for 2-3 days before Christmas and basically keeping many folks from flying home to visit relatives.This trip brought us to a less snowier Denver and ski slopes in Breckenridge hungry for more snowfall
We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn close to the airport and on Tuesday morning Dave picked us up . Paul and Gloria used their Nitrox to haul most of the luggage since we would be transporting the food. We picked up our Durango we rented, headed to Lori and Dave's to pack up and then made our way to Breck. Dan used his new video camera that can be worn on the head for videotaping to make a time-lapse video of the trip to the mountains. It is awesome to see at fast speed this journey!
After our arrival at the Park Place condo we fixed some lunch and headed over to Copper Mountain for some tubing.The tubing was booked up so we headed over to Critterland. Alexa and Paul Andrew enjoyed the ' merry-go-round tubing but absolutely loved the scaled down tubing area for younger children! Their Dad and Uncles got plenty of exercise hauling them up the small hill over and over and over....
On Wednesday everyone went skiing ( except the grandparents) and Paul Andrew and Alexa had their first ski lessons.Their instructors were amazed at how quickly they took to skiing. And most important of all they loved it! Before supper we made a Snowlady in a clearing near the walkway to our condo unit and to our delight we awoke Thursday morning to snow falling- Alexa's Snowlady had done her magic!The wind really picked up and when Lori, Dad, and I went on a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory expedition to town we walked through some whirling, swirling snow... The new snow definitely improved the skiing base but the winds were wild at times!
On Friday Alexa got in a 3rd day of ski lessons and we headed up by bus to Peak 8 for the rollercoaster ride like the one we did in Glenwood Springs. We met up with Dave and Dan and checked out the ride. It was definitely not too extreme and was a big hit with Paul Andrew. We took the free Gondola back down the mountain and enjoyed the aerial view of the surrounding mountains and town. Paul Andrew has no fear of heights and had a great time on the gondola!Our last evening in Breck we drove over to Silverthorne to visit the Ice Castles which took about a month to "grow". Very beautiful with all the lights....
Our plan was to head to nearby Frisco after checking out on Saturday morning and snowtube but during the night the wind REALLY kicked up and on the weather channel we heard that the peaks in Summit County had wind gusts up to 124 mph and in Breckenridge 80mph. We lost cell phone and internet for awhile.The tubing place was deserted as we traveled through Frisco. The drive back was a crawl due to the winds earlier and so we did not get back to Denver until late afternoon. We enjoyed a delicious meal at Pei Wei's near Lori and Dave's apartment and with goodbyes said Gloria,Paul and the grandkids headed to the Hilton. We spent New Year's Eve with Lori and Dave and their friends( Lori and Andre) , staying at the Best Western near Dave and Lori's apartment.
All too soon it was January 1st , 2012 and time for Dave to take us to the Denver Airport for our flight back to warm, sunny Florida. I guess we brought the cold back with us - it dropped down at night to 34 degrees when schools started back in 3 days. There was frost on the front lawn- too bad I did not have some shaved ice delivered to make a tubing hill..... Yes, I really missed tubing but thoroughly enjoyed being in Colorado's Winter Wonderland!! And all the family returned with no injuries and more skiing practice! Watch out for the future talents at skiing- Alexa and Paul Andrew!!!!"

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Happy Thanksgiving 2011
Posted by Tina on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 12:14 AM
(507 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " Well, it is now just 12 days till Christmas so I guess I better write a bit about Thanksgiving.... We missed Dave and Lori but we had a delightful I-Chat with them. Alexa and Paul Andrew were having a grand time playing in the living room as we chatted. Alexa had brought over to Estero all the Thanksgiving projects she had created at school and Lori and Dave got to see all her beautiful work as well!
I had Fresh Market provide the Thanksgiving dinner with some side dishes I made plus the pumpkin pie Alexa and I made. I was not impressed with their dinner- I think Boston Market does a better job with their turkey and sides. We had beautiful weather- wish it had cooled down a bit more but not bad. We enjoyed the playgrounds at the nearby Estero Community Park and at Fountain Lakes. Alexa used her uncles' wagon to help grandpa pick up pine cones - remember those days in North Carolina with countless pine trees! We went over to Estero High School twice- on Thanksgiving Day Alexa and Paul Andrew got to see and feed the fish in my classroom and Paul fed my touch tank specimens. We headed over the second time to launch the model rockets and it was a miracle that Dan found the bigger of the 2 rockets. It performed beautifully but just a few feet more and it would have landed in the large retention pond behind the school. Black Friday shopping was successful for Gloria and Paul - their ski outfits from the Columbia Clothes Outlet are stunning and were a bargain!! Alexa and Paul Andrew had a blast in the bounce house as usual and Alexa enjoyed the doll house Jessie gave us a year ago.
It was a busy Thanksgiving filled with lots of family fun and some spilled drink and food. Brings back memories when Paul and his brothers were youngsters....

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Lori and Dave's Wedding
Posted by Tina on Saturday, October 29, 2011 - 07:53 PM
(558 Reads)
Events Stuff Tina writes " It had rained for days starting on October 16th. The weather reports promised a cold front would follow. A gift that only God can give - beautiful blue skies and 70's temperatures descended upon us as we arrived in Orlando. By Thursday, October 20th everyone had arrived by car and plane - we arrived with my brother Bob at the Wyndam Lake Buena Vista soon to be followed with Lori's family. While the guys got their tux order collected and corrected the gals ( Edna, Tina, Lori, Diana, and Donna) headed to a nearby nails salon for a deluxe pampering manicure/ pedicure! That evening we headed to Pointe Orlando and ended up at Maggiano's where family and friends got a chance to spend some time together before the wedding.
Lori and Dave's wedding day had arrived. The beautiful autumn weather had settled in and promised a wedding day we all had prayed would unfold. By late afternoon all the gals hair and makeup were complete and it was time to head down to Town Manor in Auburndale. As Gene drove my thoughts were of family and all the joyful moments we have shared. These are the moments in time you cherish in your heart forever. And then "the moment" arrived! it was time to begin the wedding ceremony. I was escorted by my youngest son and Dave's best man, Dan, to the front row. And just before Lori's bridal walk, Alexa performed her flower girl duty wonderfully, gently dropping the rose petals as she advanced forward. And then Lori, a vision of beauty, appeared and was escorted by her Dad. At that moment I knew tears would be difficult to keep in check... But soon we all applauded and cheered as Dave and Lori had their "first married" kiss! Dave and Lori were now husband and wife.
Lots of picture taking and videotaping, delicious dining and toasts to Lori and Dave, and of course dancing followed. Alexa shares my joy of dancing and it touched my heart to see her and her little brother Paul Andrew dancing together. The sunset at Town Manor on Lake Juliana was stunning that evening and one that I indeed will never forget. Lori and Dave's wedding, a moment in time to remember and cherish forever..."

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