Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tennis Banquet - Connor's Freshman Year on Highschool JV Team

On Wednesday night, Connor, Andrea and I went to the tennis banquet for Connor's highschool tennis team. The banquet was held in the clubhouse in our neighborhood, so it was as convenient as it gets for us. Andrea had to buy Connor some new clothes for the banquet as he's outgrown the outfit already that we got him for homecoming. 

The kids all had assigned tables where they could sit with their teams and the parents sat at the surrounding tables. Connor was with the JV boys team and they seemed to have a good time hanging out and preparing their "paper plate awards". After dinner, the coaches for each team gave short speeches recapping their seasons and sharing some of their favorite memories and then passed out team jackets and awards. We were surprised that Connor actually got quite a bit of recognition from his coaches and teams. Connor got the MVP award from his coach and the varsity boys team also recognized him and gave him "Rising Star" award as he was the only freshman to practice and somewhat be a part of the varsity team. Connor also earned a varsity letter from the varsity coach, which was pretty awesome for a freshman.


It was a really nice event and evening and Andrea and I were both shocked and impressed with all of the students. There are so many well spoken, confident, and classy kids at the school and on the tennis teams. We are proud of what Connor's accomplished and the friends he's made so far and hope that it motivates him to continue working hard at school and at tennis. We love you so much Connor!




The coach gave Connor the MVP award, which was a gigantic tennis ball with MVP written on it.



The kids all made "Paper Plate Awards" for their teammates and for their coaches and presented them to each other.



Connor was recognized during the "Paper Plate Awards" with the varsity team and stood next to his tall friend Hunter.




Paige and Millie Mae

 

Paige and Millie Mae have been good buddies lately. Paige is good about playing with her and they have a special relationship. Yesterday I had Millie out front while I was getting the lighting right on my camera and Paige decided to join us. I snapped a few pics of my girls together just to test the flash and lens and didn't expect to really keep them, but they turned out pretty cute so I decided to post them.



Beach with Alex, Laura, Charlie, Grandpa and Grandma at PVIC


This past weekend was a beautiful weekend in Florida, but it turned out to be a bit of a bummer, especially as I'd been looking forward to it for so long.

Alex, Laura, and Charlie flew in on Friday and we had planned that they would stay the weekend at our place before going on a cruise Monday with Grandpa Rick and Grandma Alice. Unfortunately, Charlie had a case of RSV, had a fever, and had been coughing for the past few days. They stayed with Grandma and Grandpa instead and we were concerned that we may not get to see them at all while they were in town. We decided to get together when we could all be outside and thankfully it was a warm and perfect day for it at the beach on Saturday.

Everyone arrived after lunch and we played with Charlie on the beach for a few hours together. It was Charlie's first time at a beach or at the ocean and it was a nice way to hang out with him and for him to meet Paige, Connor, and Andrea who have never met the little guy. Charlie was not shy about anyone and the first time he met Andrea he actually ran up and gave her a big hug. We played with him in the sand, although we attempted to stay upwind of him and tried not to be too close. 

After a few hours at the beach we packed up and went to Trasca for dinner and to Christie's Dream next door to Trasca for icecream. The outside seating area was perfect for us and Charlie and the kids enjoyed playing with the "Connect 4" and the beanbag toss game. 

We tried to get together again on Sunday and went to Grandma and Grandpa's to hang out, and we all chilled together on the lanai in the backyard for a while chatting. We were looking for a nice way to be together without sharing indoor spaces with potentially sick family members and it worked for a while. Unfortunately, a fierce thunderstorm blew through with high winds, soaking everyone and we had to leave. We were thankful we got to spend at least a little time with Alex's family while they were in Florida and I'm thankful that my family got to meet Charlie as well.


















Last Game of Paige's 14U Junior Team Tennis Spring Season

On Friday, May 13th, Paige played the last 14U Junior Team Tennis match of her team's season. Andrea did an awesome job as always managing the team, which can sometimes be a bit stressful with other team coaches and parents, and even our own team's parents. Most of the kids on Paige's team were fairly young for 14U and while they didn't have an awesome record, they all got good experience and played some good competition. Andrea did a lot of work to make sure everyone that wanted to play had an opportunity and would arrange for extra matches with the other teams to try and give all the members of the team a chance to participate.

Paige played singles and doubles and although she beat her singles opponent previously, it just wasn't her day on Friday. Her opponent was a fairly tall 8th grade boy and while Paige was more consistent, he was tough to beat when his shots went in. Paige played the same boy and another boy in doubles with Rosie. Paige lost both matches, but played hard and we were proud of her for having a good attitude and trying her best.

We were also happy that Millie Mae got to come along and we should have gotten a picture of two other dogs that were there, a poodle and a havanese, both of Millie's mixed breeds. After the match was over we snapped a couple pics of Paige's team together before everyone left.










Paige's Middle School Tennis Matches


On May 12th, Paige played doubles with Caitlyn for her middle school tennis team. They had some good points and Paige played fairly solid and strong tennis for the most part and they cruised to a comfortable win. We took a few videos, but not too many as there were some other parents that were talking the entire time, which was a bit distracting in the videos.







Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Disney Cruise for Paige's Birthday - With Amanda and Graydon - Disney Magic out of Miami to Nassau and Castaway Cay


Four days after Paige's birthday, we met Amanda and Graydon at Grandpa Rick and Grandma Alice's house to drive to Miami for a Disney Cruise. We left our car at the Grandparent's house and drove in Amanda's van so we wouldn't have to worry about long charging times and also so we wouldn't have to worry about the car losing charge while we were on the cruise. The drive to Miami was long, but thankfully mostly uneventful aside from some rain just as we got to downtown Miami. We checked in to a hotel for the night and in the morning we drove to the cruise terminal for our adventure together.


The check in process has already changed since our February cruise and after we dropped off our bags and parked our car, we went through security and then we all took rapid COVID tests. Once our tests came back negative we were welcomed aboard the boat and we snapped a quick pic with Captain Mickey before heading upstairs for some lunch.



After lunch, we wandered around the boat for a while since our room wasn't ready. We went by the Oceaneer's Club and Lab to check it out during the open house and Graydon fell in love with a boat simulator. It was possibly his favorite part of the entire cruise.


The kids ran around the club for a while and unbeknownst to us, shortly after we snapped a picture of Paige and Graydon in the Toy Story play area, Graydon dropped his phone upstairs near the slide. We took some pics with Woody, then with some Superheroes (Thor and Captain Marvel) before going to the theater for pics with Rapunzel and Tiana.








Once our rooms were available, we took a peek at them and then realized that Graydon's phone was missing. The kids went back to the Oceaneer's Lab and Club to look for it and we all went through our bags. We called it repeatedly and I used Amanda's phone to enable "Lost Mode" on Graydon's phone. Thankfully, eventually a Disney staff member found it and called Amanda and we were able to get it back before it ran out of batteries or before we lost cell service. 

We went to the upper decks to watch the "Sail A Wave" party, but Graydon was super nervous about being up so high when we were due to start moving so he didn't enjoy it very much. We went down to the jogging track after the party was over and relaxed on some recliners as we waved goodbye to Miami. 




Our first night's dinner was in Lumiere's and we enjoyed the French Cuisine. Paige even tried the Escargot Gratinee (snails). She did not like them at all, but I was impressed she gave it a try. I tried one too and it tasted like squishy/slimy butter. Not our thing, but a good opportunity to try something new.

After dinner we went to watch the Tangled live show and we had great seats with a great view.







In the morning on Friday we woke up in Nassau. Paige, Graydon, and Amanda went up to Cabana's for breakfast and sat outside where they had an awesome view of the Bahamas. A seagull stole some of Graydon's sausage so they had to make sure to guard their food at all times while sitting outside.


After breakfast the kids went to the Oceaneer's Club, Amanda took a nap, and Andrea and I went to Palo's for brunch. We enjoyed baked eggplant, sausage flatbread with veggies, chicken parmesan, and we skipped the complementary alcoholic drinks and both enjoyed cherry Cokes. They are not currently doing any of the self serve buffet items at Palo's "due to COVID", but it seemed a bit inconsistent as the rest of the buffets were open for self service throughout the boat. 


Once we were done with our brunch we got the kids and took them upstairs to Cabana's for lunch. Paige enjoyed some crepes with mac and cheese while Graydon fixed himself a salad he created with some hamburger toppings along with corndog nuggets, fries, and veggies. 



In the afternoon while most people were off the boat at Nassau we went to the pool areas. Paige made some friends in the kids' pool and they played tag. I rode the AquaDunk, which is a slide that drops you through a trapdoor. Neither kid was interested in the AquaDunk, but Paige did try the big yellow slide. It turns out that it's big but very windy and slow. She only rode it once.


Friday evening we took some pics with Chip and Dale and then played shuffleboard before dinner.







We had dinner at the Animator's Palate and we enjoyed the tomato caprese and chicken schnitzel among other things. It was our favorite menu of the cruise and there was a new dessert (some kind of blueberry almond thing) that Andrea said was the best dessert of the cruise. Unfortunately I missed it since dinner took a while and I wanted to get a good seat for the movie.



After dinner, Graydon and I went to see "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" which was just released that day worldwide. We got great seats and enjoyed popcorn while we watched the movie. The girls went back to the room to enjoy some Disney classics on the in-room TV's. 


On Saturday morning we arrived at Castaway Cay. Paige and I shared a room and were up fairly early. Thankfully our fellow travelers slept better on Friday night and they were still sleeping when we woke up, so we ate breakfast on our own. Once everyone else was awake and had eaten, we all got off the boat together.



The weather was beautiful and sunny for our Castaway Cay day, however it was quite windy. We took a pic with the boat and with some of our Disney friends as we walked to the beach. 



We set up in our usual spot near the rope course and the kids were eager to get to it. We never know how long it will stay open due to the tide levels, so we encouraged them to enjoy it while they had the chance. While I was watching the kids I noticed an adult trying his hand at the monkey bars and was surprised when the lifeguard watched and didn't scold him. There are multiple large signs stating that nobody over 14 is allowed on the equipment, but the lifeguard on duty didn't seem to care. I took the opportunity to try the rope course myself and made it across the monkey bars and eventually the rope as well. Unfortunately, after I did the rope, the lifeguard decided it was time to crack down so my fun on the course ended. 

Paige almost made it across the monkey bars but fell about three rungs short of the goal. She did really well on the rope and made it across a few different times, making it look easy. 

Graydon didn't like the monkey bars but he felt confident he could conquer the rope. He tried a few different techniques and I tried to encourage him to use his feet, but unfortunately the lifeguard didn't want him using his legs so he was stuck using only his arms. He scraped himself up quite a bit with the effort and he had a good time with it.


Andrea and Amanda didn't come in the water at first, but after the kids and I went to get rafts we were able to entice them in to the water. We paddled out on our rafts together to the rope line, which took us over a darker area with sea grass. Graydon didn't like the looks of the sea grass so he stayed behind. The water was very clear and surprisingly shallow even past the sea grass we were able to stand at the far boundary.




After we were done with the obstacle course we went to the farther beach and tried the slides. The kids, Amanda, and I went down both slides a few times and then we got lunch.




After lunch we went back to our original spot and swam until we were exhausted and tired. We went back to the boat, washed up, and I took Paige to the spa for her hair appointment. 



Since we were eating at Rapunzel's Royal Table for dinner, Paige wore her Rapunzel dress and she let down her hair for the evening in elegant curls. The view at the spa was awesome off the back of the boat and Paige enjoyed her cucumber water while she was pampered.



The dinner at Rapunzel's restaurant was decent, but our favorite menu was the night before at the Animator's Palate. Andrea had mentioned to Disney that we were celebrating Paige's birthday on the cruise so our waiter brought a special cake out for Paige and we all sang Happy Birthday to her after dinner.






After dinner we went to the show "Dream" which has always been our favorite show on the Disney boats. The show has changed slightly since we saw it last and they added some new effects, more modern props, and added some Frozen songs. We were thrilled that Amanda and Graydon both loved it as much as we did. Amanda said it was possibly her favorite part of the cruise.

After the show we went back to the room and I was pooped and fell asleep. Everyone else stayed up for a bit and watched some Disney movies before going to bed.


Sunday morning it was time to head home. We took our time in the morning and ate one last breakfast at Cabana's together before debarking. The drive home was painless and most of the crew was able to catch up on sleep during the drive back.

Happy 12th birthday to our girl Paige! We're so thankful we were able to do something extra special for her this year and it was fun to have Graydon and Amanda along for our adventure!