Vernon Volumes text

Vernon Volumes text

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Beach Day with Millie and Paige and the Gobles and Friends


The Gobles had their friends in town from KC and went to the beach near us for the day. After lunch, Paige and I went to hang out with them and we decided to bring the pupper dog as well. Millie Mae had so much fun in the water, she and Griffin are similar as they just want to swim by themselves in the waves, although they both need supervision as they get swamped by the larger swells and they both also end up ingesting a lot of seawater. It was a nice warm day and the water felt great, so an ideal summer beach day. Paige left with the Gobles afterwards and they ate dinner together at Barbara Jeans. 

Kids Fly Home From Camp


This year the kids flew home after camp was finished. It's not the most enjoyable drive to camp and when we go, we typically go a day early because pickup is in the mornings so it's a bit of a time commitment. I would have liked to pick them up from camp since there is a parent event at the pickup and some presentations, but this year we decided to have them fly home. 

The kids had to leave camp fairly early on Friday and were on the van to leave at 7:45. They had one flight from Asheville to Atlanta, a short layover, and then a second flight to Jacksonville. After a bit of a hassle, I was able to get through security to pick them up and was able to greet them just after they existed the plane. The kids didn't do it all on their own as we had to pay for an "Unaccompanied Minor" minder to help them at the airport and to make sure they got on their flight, but we're proud of them for being grown up about their air travel and happy that they made it home safe and sound from camp.

Camp Pinnacle 2022

For now, this is mainly a placeholder post.

The kids both went to Camp Pinnacle for the first session of the summer this year. It was a new cabin for Paige, in Catawba, and a new experience for Connor being part of the "Wolfpack" and being given new responsibilities. 

Connor was part of a leadership program this year and while he still got to do a lot of the fun activities at camp, his group was given some responsibilities and he was put to work as well. He was assigned to be a designated helper to one of the cabins and he was with one of the youngest groups of boys at camp. He had to help them at meal time getting their food, pouring cereal and milk, and had to help them stay organized as well during shower time and other activities. Connor said that he hated it at first and was way outside his comfort zone when he got thrown in to his duties, but after a couple of days it was more familiar to him and he actually enjoyed hanging out with the little kids and had a bunch of buddies at camp that loved having him around. The Wolfpack still got to do some fun activities, they put together a choreographed performance during the Airband competition and they had a lot of freedom around camp. Their big adventure this year was an overnight backpacking trip and they were put in charge of it. They split all the kids in the Wolfpack up so they'd have different responsibilities on the trip and Connor helped plan their route while others were in charge of food and planning other aspects of the trip. It sounds like it was a bit of a disaster and they left most of the food behind so they had to subsist on some pretty meager portions during their trip. It was a lesson learned and I think Connor learned a lot about logistics and what it takes to organize groups. They were given some peeks behind the scenes at camp and met with the staff a number of times so they could see the effort that went in to everything and they were also given the opportunity to help with planning activities. Connor loved it this year and he said that on a 1-10 scale that camp was a 9 this year and only missed one point because of how uncomfortable he was for a few days when he was first thrown in to unfamiliar situations. He came out of it more confident and more experienced interacting with people and it was an important developmental opportunity for him.

Paige's time at camp was fun in the sun and much less stressful than Connor's. Paige made a good friend Kahla from Miami and she got along well with her counselors and made friends with most of the girls in her cabin. It sounds like she enjoyed doing the Airband performance with her cabin and even Connor said that they did an awesome job and he thought they should have won the competition. Paige dominated at GaGaBall and tennis, and had an active time at camp, typically doing the outdoor and athletic options when given a choice. Paige sent one letter home wishing me a happy Father's day and she also filled out a form with a brief update about her activities and what she'd been up to. We sent her a postcard, some pictures that she forgot to take along with her, and a bunch of emails. It sounds like she wasn't homesick much this year and it sounds like she was most emotional on the last day when she had to say farewell to everyone. Paige and Connor both got their Camp Pinnacle Oars this year as it's their third year gift and they were presented to them at a ceremony at the close of the camp.

That's all for now, I plan to add a bunch of pics once the camp posts them online for everyone to download.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Martha's Vineyard Summer Visit - Andrea and Shawn

While the kids were at summer camp, Andrea and I wanted to go away on a fun adult trip together. As it's getting hot in Florida lately we decided it would be nice to go somewhere cooler and we've always wanted to visit the Northeast. Andrea found a few nice places to stay in Martha's Vineyard and after we made some reservations she was chatting with her friends, Tara and Michele, and found out that they were going to be there during the same time. We had reservations for first half of our visit at the Harbor View Hotel and on Saturday we had reservations at The Sydney.

Our flights on Wednesday were super early in the morning and our alarms got us up at 3am, so we could get through security and be sure we were on time for our flight. The flights were quick and we arrived at the tiny Martha's Vineyard airport before noon. The airport was the smallest we'd ever been to, we went down a ramp off the plane on to the runway. The airport was so small that it didn't even have a luggage carousel, just some doors they opened and dropped the suitcases through. After a short Uber ride to Edgartown, we checked in at our hotel and then walked to town to find a place for lunch. We grabbed some sandwiches at Rosewater Market and ate outside while enjoying the cool weather.

After lunch we went shopping for a bit and in the evening we met our Florida friends at The Seafood Shanty for dinner. It was wonderful to see everyone and I hadn't seen them since before COVID and since they'd moved to the Melbourne area. After dinner we walked around town and then down to the lighthouse that was just outside our hotel.

On Thursday, Tara picked us up in Edgartown and took us on a driving tour of the island along with Michele and Bill. Tara and her husband Tom used to live on the island and it was a blessing to have someone that knew all the interesting places to go. Tara drove us to the three corners of the triangle that made up Martha's Vineyard. We stopped at the Aquinnah Cliffs Overlook and took some pics with the Gay Head Lighthouse before driving up to Oak Bluffs for lunch at Linda Jean's. We did a little shopping in Oak Bluffs and then Tara dropped us off back in Edgartown in the late afternoon.

Friday morning we borrowed some bikes from the hotel and rode out to the Morning Glory Farm in the hopes of finding some of the big cookies that we'd heard about. Unfortunately, the baked goods were a bit picked over and none of the cookies looked great to Andrea. She decided she wanted a small loaf of banana bread, but all the small loafs were sold out so she ended up buying a big one, which we've been snacking on ever since. I got the best bowl of potato soup I've ever had along with a roll and we enjoyed our goodies out on the rocking chairs on the farm's front porch.

The next couple of days we did a similar routine which consisted of lots of walks, bike rides, shopping, and trying to decide which restaurants to try. We took the ferry over to Chappaquiddick and biked out to the Japanese garden. We'd planned to go by the infamous Kennedy bridge, but sadly forgot.

Saturday was our 18th wedding anniversary and we celebrated with dinner at Lucky Hank's. I had meatloaf with potatoes and Andrea had a salad. Dessert was banana pudding with ice-cream and it was delicious.

Sunday was Father's Day and n the morning we took an Uber out to Oak Bluffs where we did a little shopping and had empinadas and nachos at the Ritz Cafe. The weather was cool and cloudy with light rain that was a little annoying but never enough to get us very wet. We had planned to get an Uber to take us back to Edgartown, but decided we'd start walking that way for a little exercise and because we figured that every step we took in that direction would reduce our Uber bill. I fully expected that we'd get tired of it and we'd get an Uber, but we ended up walking the entire six miles back to our hotel. In the evening we went to Tara and Tom's house they're renting for surf and turf, and celebrated Father's Day. Michele, Bill, Tara's kids, Tara's mother, and some of their friends that live in the Northeast were also there for dinner. The swordfish and steaks were fantastic and it was so generous of them to invite us to be together on Father's Day.

Our flight home was Wednesday morning on the 22nd. We enjoyed our visit to Martha's Vineyard and while I don't believe it's somewhere we'll visit every year, I would love to go back and visit again.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Camp Pinnacle - Year 3 Dropoff - Connor and Paige


This morning we dropped the kids off at Camp Pinnacle for the third time. They went in 2019, missed 2020 due to COVID, went in 2021, and now are going in 2022. This will definitely be Connor's last time at camp since he's going to be too old after this year and it will also probably be Paige's last year as we'll probably have her try something new starting next summer. 

On Saturday morning we left Lake Oconee and drove to Greenville and stayed at the Westin Poinsett. The hotel was in a cool spot downtown and we took a long walk around Greenville, checking out the waterfall, suspension bridge, and taking in the local vibe. In the evening Connor stayed at the hotel while the rest of us went to the Crème Shack for some fresh rolled ice-cream. Paige's choice turned out to be the most delicious as it had crushed up Fruity Pebbles in it. Since the cereal was freshly crushed up in the ice-cream it was still crispy and it was amazing.

We woke up at 7am on Sunday, drove to Camp Pinnacle, went through check-in, and then we had to say farewell to the kids before they crossed the bridge to camp. Both of them were ready to go and Paige said she was "scarcited", which is a combination of scared and excited. The kids will be flying home, so it is possibly the last time Andrea and I will make the drive to camp. We made it home in the late afternoon and we are already wondering what the kids are up to. We're looking forwards to hearing all about it, hopefully they have an amazing 12 days at camp this summer.