Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Surf Camp - last camp of the summer - Saltwater Cowgirls


Paige and Connor had their last week of summer break this past week and both attended the Saltwater Cowgirls surf camp. This week was especially fun because they had a lot of their friends with them. Charlie and Owen from our old neighborhood were there and a bunch of their classmates including Quinn, Cailyn, Emily and Edith. They made some new friends as well.

The waves were good, but there were a bunch of jellyfish in the water this week. Connor got stung a few times but Paige managed to avoid them somehow. We were pretty impressed that Connor just shrugged it off and didn't seem to care. Connor said it didn't hurt too bad and only hurt for about five minutes.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Paige's last Orange Ball tournament - Level 7 in Orlando


Paige and Andrea went to the Star Island Resort in Kissimmee this morning so she could participate in her final orange ball tournament. Andrea and Paige set a goal this summer to get enough points so that she could finish with orange ball and move on to green dot. Paige needed three more points to be done, and since she gets two for participating she really only needed to win one match today. There were four girls signed up for the tournament, so Paige played each of the other three girls once each. It was a pretty hot day for tennis and Paige's matches all went for an hour each. She was pretty tired by the end of it, but we are so proud of her that she won all her matches and won the tournament. She finished orange ball tennis in style as the champion today!

We are excited for Paige to do green dot since it is on a full court and with Paige's speed and shot placement ability, it should be to her advantage to be able to utilize the entire tennis court. Great job Paige! 

Four Seasons Orlando weekend

This weekend we drove to Orlando to enjoy the Florida Resident Rates while they last. The Orlando area is still pretty quiet due to the pandemic and while we haven't traveled much we definitely feel like the Four Seasons has done the best job of putting in place meaningful precautions and keeping everything clean. 

We did a complimentary full swing golf clinic together as a family and maybe because our expectations were low, we were very surprised at how much we al enjoyed it. The instructor watched our rookie swings and for each of us he made great suggestions. We all saw marked improvement in the hour we spent at the driving range and I was blown away that the ball actually went where I was aiming it and I probably made decent contact 75% of the time which is way better than average for me. Andrea and Paige did a nice job taking pics and videos of everyone thankfully because I was very focused and forgot to do my part with pics.

We enjoyed eating lunch at the golf club restaurant and although it tended to rain in the afternoons, we still got to go swimming and enjoy the amenities. Paige and Andrea went to a tennis tournament on Saturday and we enjoyed our three nights at the hotel and resort.

Summer Camp Grandma and Grandpa 2020

This past week the kids stayed at Grandma and Grandpa's house for five nights. Grandma and Grandpa did a great job taking care of them and entertaining them for a few days. They went on a walk every day with the dogs at a different park, played pickleball at the neighborhood courts, and on Tuesday they played at Top Golf for a couple hours. The kids enjoyed their time with Grandma and Grandpa and it was the first time any of us have been in another house since the COVID pandemic started. Paige loved playing with the puppy dogs, including the neighbor's chihuahua Rex.

Sea Island Summer Date Trip 2020 - Shawn and Andrea


After the kids got done with surf camp, we took them to Grandma and Grandpa's house. While they were there, Andrea and I took the opportunity to get away to spend some time together. We went to Sea Island, Georgia for the weekend and enjoyed a tennis clinic, walking on the beach, and riding bikes. During our bike ride, we rode a total of 10 miles across the island to the Lodge and back, where we watched the bagpiper on the golf course. We also got to see the big transport boat that capsized in the ocean nearby, which has over 4000 cars on it from South Korea. We ate dinner out at the Lodge and enjoyed the gooey banana dessert so much that we stopped in again the next day to have it for lunch as well before we left town.

Surf Camp - Saltwater Cowgirls - second week

Paige and Connor did their second week of surf camp with the Saltwater Cowgirls and it was extra fun because their friends Quinn and Cailyn were both signed up as well. The kids love surf camp and were actually supposed to do surf camp the previous week with East Coast Boarding school, but it got canceled because a hurricane blew past and the seas were pretty rough.

The waves for most of the week were not very exciting, but they still enjoyed the camp with their friends. Andrea got a few pics and videos of them out at the beach on the last few days of camp.

Monday, August 10, 2020

Top Golf with the Neals

Sunday afternoon we met the Neal family at Top Golf. We got two bays so we were able to have a kids bay and an adult bay. It was fun to hang out for a couple hours with friends and have really enjoyed golfing more than we expected we would.


Beach time with friends - Jackson, Emily and Kathryn

On Saturday, Andrea and I played tennis in the morning, ate lunch at the surf club right by the sand, and then in the evening we met some friends at the beach. Andrea's friend Kathryn was there with her husband Martin and her son. Connor's friend Jackson met us at the beach and we picked up Emily and brought her so Paige would have a buddy too. It was pretty warm when we showed up, but it cooled off after a while and the weather was just about perfect for the beach.

Once it started to get dark, Andrea ordered pizza and chicken strips from the snack bar and we ate by the pool and then the kids all got some oreo shakes. It was a super relaxing and fun day, we definitely enjoyed our time at the club.


COVID19 Update

It's been a while since I had a post around the Coronavirus Pandemic, so thought I'd post an update. The cases in America and around the world continue to rise and so far there isn't much expectation of anything changing in the near future.

In America, the total number of positive cases crossed 5 million and there have been over 160,000 deaths.

Locally, cases are increasing in Florida. We have seen masks become more widespread in public, however there is still no law or rule to wear them in our county although there are requirements in Jax Beach and other areas in Florida. We wear them whenever we're out in public. Our goal right now is to continue avoiding public places and especially indoor spaces. We have been going to the beach, playing tennis, and eat at restaurants, but only outdoors. It's hot this time of year, so it's not always comfortable or convenient, but we believe it's necessary and reduces our possibility of exposure. 

The big decision point for us recently was around school. The first day of school was pushed back by three weeks to August 31st 2020. Our school district has 4 options available: 

  1. School onsite 5 days per week at the current schools
  2. Online school with the current school where your child is enrolled
  3. Online school with the county virtual school 
  4. Homeschooling
We have given it a lot of thought and although it looks like over 70% of students are planning to go back to school with option 1, we've currently chosen option 2 for our kids. Connor and Paige did pretty well with it at the beginning of the pandemic and we feel like it would be smart to hold off on sending them back. This past week some schools in Georgia started up and there were some pictures shared on social media showing crowded hallways and students without any social distancing or masks. We've subsequently heard reports that these schools have now had confirmed COVID19 cases. 

There are lots of news reports right now around COVID19, lots of misinformation, politicization and anger/fear. It continues to be something we're learning to live with and we are still doing our best to stay healthy.