Posts filed under ‘Samantha Sawyer’

Virgin Islands: The Trip to St. Thomas and an Epiphany

My trip to the Virgin Islands was a bit eventful. It started the Saturday after Christmas, well before dawn. I had spent the night in Silver Spring, Maryland with relatives who were also going on the trip– Uncle Timothy, Aunt Maria, Cousin Sam and Cousin Jack!

Early in the morning, we woke up to head to Dulles airport. Being the most seasoned traveler of the bunch, I felt I should share my knowledge with my companions. I announced to everyone, “You do know United charges $15 per bag, right?”

They looked at me dumbfounded and I knew right away they were thankful to have me around.

“Even carry-ons?!?” Sam asked.

“Oh…uh… no… not carry-ons,” I said.

“Oh. We don’t check bags.”

It was then I noticed that all four of my travel companions were armed with identical, dinky, little suitcases. And there was I– with a giant duffel bag stuffed to the point of stressing the zipper. It housed clothes, rollerblades, a camelbak, hiking boots and a GPS.

For a while now, Larry has been trying to persuade me to start doing carry-on with my suitcase on business trips. I have resisted, remembering what it is like to manage luggage in an airport bathroom stall. That, and I am not inspired to re-architect my toiletries to comply with the 3-1-1 rule. Plus, it’s Larry. He always worries about bags getting lost.

Well now, Larry has some traction for his cause. Maria, Timothy, Jack, Sam and I all arrived at the airport at the exact same time. I had to check my bag. They didn’t.

They had a relaxing stroll through the airport. They breezed through a short security line and got to the gate in time to get lunch.

Me, I almost missed the flight!

I got caught in a long check-in line, then I got caught in an even longer security line. Then my little shuttle to the next terminal had to wait for a plane to park. As the time ticked to under ten minutes before the departure time, I was convinced I was going to miss the flight. I was already running numbers in my head trying to figure out how much I could afford to rebook my ticket.

My cousin Sam kept text messaging me from the plane, assuring me the airline knew I was checked in and they would surely wait. But being the seasoned, extremely knowledgeable traveler I am, I had plenty of memories of panting passengers being turned away by the most unsympathetic of gate agents to race through my head.

“Sorry sir, the aircraft door is closed.”

“Sorry sir, the aircraft door is closed.”

“Sorry sir, the aircraft door is closed.”

Even though I was convinced it was hopeless, when my shuttle stopped, I ran.

I found the gate to be void of passengers and the door to the jetway was already closed. In front of the desk were two idle agents. This did not look promising.

Suddenly one of them looked up and saw me running.

“St. Thomas?” she asked.

She rushed to open the door and she got me on board. My cousin Sam was right. I made it.

There are experiences in life that unearth doubts and shake up your entire belief system. Conclusions that were once so concrete are now in question. Everything goes into limbo.

As sweat rolled down my face, I buckled my seatbelt and I worked to catch my breath, I had one of those moments. Not matter how hard I tried, I could not purge a nagging question from my head.

“Could Larry actually be right about something?!?!”

ūüôā

January 12, 2009 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Bethany Beach – Kayaking, Beetles, Fighting Couples

Whew.  Had a great time at Bethany Beach as well.  Here are some of the adventures from just our first two days there! 

Ingenuity
My family has a strong background in engineering.  We have numerous civil engineers in our ranks.  We had a well-established electrical engineer.  And thanks to my generation and our spouses, a solid force of software engineers are represented.  But it was not an engineer who displayed the most ingenuity this week.  It was an auto mechanic. 

One of my favorite beach activities is kayaking in Assawoman Bay (where my glasses met their demise last year).¬† On Monday, we got our crew all ready to go.¬† Everyone got lathered up in sunscreen, had their swimsuits and hats on and we were all ready to go…. when we discovered my father’s vehicle was blocking us in the driveway.¬† There was only one set of keys which were with my father.¬† And of course, my father was no where to be found.¬† And of course, he would not answer his cell phone.¬† We appeared stuck.¬†

Then it was Uncle Timmy to the rescue.¬† Using the skills of his trade, he got underneath my Dad’s car and (forgive me if I mangle this) disconnected the linkage to the transmission.¬†


Timmy tinkering with the transmission link

He then pushed the car out of the driveway.

Timmy backs car out while Frank watches

His wife backed her car out to freedom so the kayakers would have transportation.

Yay the minivan is free!

Then Uncle Timmy and his son, Frank, pushed Dad’s car back into the driveway.

Timmy pushing the car back in the driveway


Frank does not appear to be struggling with this task

And just to be nice, Timmy reconnected the transmission linkage.

Kayaking!
This year we had the biggest group of kayakers ever!  Unfortunately, we had our biggest gusts of wind as well.  It was extremely windy.  


Timmy demonstrates the wind.  That life jacket was dangling limply until the wind caught it 

We started out going against the wind.¬† That was a little demoralizing.¬† You would be paddling and paddling and paddling and you’d look to shore and see how little progress you made.¬† And then if you decided to take a quick sip of water, suddenly you were 20 feet behind where you had just struggled to get to.¬† My cousin Samantha had the greatest success paddling against the wind– she got the furthest.¬† I was the next furthest person (though there were many boat lengths between Sam and I).¬† When Sam noticed our relatives had given up and were standing on shore, we turned around.¬† At that point, I felt like Superman.¬† With barely any rowing, I was zipping through the bay.¬† Watch out, world!

It has become a kayaking tradition that Frank and Jordan have their Assawoman Bay wrestling match.¬† To do that, they actually rowed with the wind to get out of sight.¬† This brought much dismay to the Coastal Kayak employees, who determined Frank and Jordan needed to be rescued.¬† An employee went after them and I’m told he got really pissed by the spectacle he saw.¬† Like last year, Frank and Jordan ended up walking their kayaks back to shore.


Frank walks his kayak…and the children…back to shore.


Jordan walks his kayak back

Clint’s Hidden Talent
Monday night, I realized that my brother-in-law has great vision in regards to what is going to be entertaining.  Samantha, Carolyn, Clint and I were mini-golfing.  There was a lot of congestion between holes.  At one point, we were waiting for our chance to putt when we noticed an overturned beetle on a nearby window sill.  Samantha and I both instinctively reached for it to turn it over.

“Hold on….” Clint said, “This could be entertaining.”

Instead of intervening, we watched the beetle struggle to right himself.  We oohed at his close calls and cheered when he got himself back on his feet.  It was a good 45 seconds of entertainment!


A picture of a different beetle to remind us of the mini-golf beetle

Later that night, the same crew was hanging out on the boardwalk.¬† We were sitting on a bench watching the ocean when Clint’s ears picked up on another entertainment opportunity.

“There is a couple fighting over there,” he pointed, “and some police over there.¬† This could get interesting.”


Police (in yellow on left) monitor the fighting couple (far right).  See Flickr for Notes.

At that point, we all turned our backs to the ocean to watch the fighting couple.¬† And sure enough the police slowly moved in to assess the situation.¬† Samantha ran up on the boardwalk to pretend to pose for a picture and I took a picture of the couple.¬† It was a good thing Sam was there as a decoy.¬† As soon as the flash went off, the couple turned my way.¬† When they saw Sam, they resumed fighting.¬† That’s a good thing.¬† Neither appeared to be in the mood to be especially amused by me!


Thanks to Sam’s decoy work– a picture of the fighting couple

The fighting couple soon stormed off, but then later they reappeared and the fighting continued.¬† At one point, the man was on one side of a bench and the woman was on another and they yelled at each other….even though there were strangers actually sitting on the bench with front row seats to the whole thing.¬† They stormed off again and later they came back again!¬† Clint was right.¬† The fighting couple proved to be quite entertaining.


Dave Devito.  Look in the backgroundРthe fighting couple is at it again on the benches.  See Flickr for Notes.

August 14, 2007 at 9:02 pm 5 comments

You Must Assimilate to My Tastes

My cousin’s Facebook site list her favorite books as:

Slaughterhouse 5, Cat’s Cradle. (Both by Kurt Vonnegut)

I couldn’t help but recall– those were books I got her for Christmas a few years ago!¬† I told her I approved of her selection and she wrote back in jest:

Hehe, I owe it all to a cool person who introduced me to those books. I don’t remember who it was…. ūüėõ

I guess my purchases to share my tastes with others are not limited to outdoor hobbies.

Now that I think of it, one year I got Ryan Schutt the game Taboo for Christmas.¬† Taboo is a game I LOVE (but actually don’t own).¬† Though…I’m not sure if that was as a successful purchase as the Vonnegut books.¬† I know we played once when Sean, Ryan and I lived in an apartment together (I believe Stacy was involved in that session as well).¬† But I don’t know if its seen much action since then.

Two years ago, I got Carolyn a purple mini sharpie…. which just so happened to match the green mini sharpie I had attached to my keychain.¬† Perhaps the same year, I got Carolyn toe socks—¬†a staple of my own relaxation warddrobe.

After I got married and fell in love with a juicer some¬†co-workers gave us, a couple of people on my Christmas list mysteriously received…. juicers!¬† Like Taboo, I’m not sure how effective a gift it was to others– there is a lot of cleanup involved, so¬†a juicer¬†is not for everyone.¬† Me, I’m not deterred.¬† I still love the gift– especially the fresh¬†carrot apple juice it provides.¬†

This is an interesting pattern that is emerging.¬† I might have to reflect on this more.¬† At the moment, it appears my biggest inspiration for gifts, may be…. me!¬†

January 25, 2007 at 12:26 am 2 comments

A New Christmas Tradition?

This year, Sean and I spent Christmas with my parents in Occoquan, Virginia.  We had a lot of precipitation but it was far from a White Christmas.  More like a grey, dreary, muddy Christmas.  But inside, it was jolly and warm and definitely felt like a holiday. 

Our dinner was well attended.¬† Aunt Maria, Uncle Timmy, Sam, Frank and Grandma¬†came as usual.¬† Then Uncle Mark and New Denise attended as well.¬† Add that to me, Mom, Dad, Sean, Carolyn and Clint– we had a total of thirteen people for dinner.¬† Having four barking dogs on hand to greet the arriving guests (including a 92 year old woman) didn’t seem to be the wisest decision.¬† So Moon and Sunny were sequestered to the surburban and Jimmie got to experience the comfort of the XTerra.¬† Henry is so little and helpless, he got to have free reign of the house.¬† He spent most of the time watching my father carve the turkey, just waiting for some kind of¬†mishap to occur¬†that would end up with food on the floor (Henry’s Christmas wish did not come true).

After all the guests were settled and dinner was ingested, Dad went to¬†fetch the larger dogs.¬† His success rate was 50%.¬† He returned with one dog in his custody, Moon.¬† Sunny had bolted away and escaped Dad’s grasp.

It was up to Carolyn, Sam and I to seek out and capture Sunny.¬† We went out into the dark cold rain to start our adventure.¬† We were armed with nothing but our humor, a plate of turkey scrapes and the surburban keys.¬† The sun had set long ago, so we had very little light to work with.¬† We drove up and down Occoquan Road with the windows rolled down, calling Sunny’s name.¬† Cold rain dusted our faces and arms as we squinted and scanned the surrounding streets for a goofy silhouette with a¬†curly tail.¬† We had very little luck.¬† We decided to take one more pass, which failed as well.¬†¬†

Defeated, we were returning to our house when suddenly Carolyn aptly demostrated why Lasix is a good investment and yelled, “An overturned trashcan!¬† He’s there!”¬†

We pulled in and sure enough,¬†Sunny had taken it upon himself to knock over a neighbor’s trashcan and was¬†having his own holiday feast (one little Henry would covet).¬†¬†Carolyn ran out and snatched him.¬† And then it was time to do something no one expected to do on Christmas day.¬† Sam, Carolyn and I stood out in the cold, winter rain and cleaned up a stranger’s trash.¬† A stranger’s soggy trash at that!

“Could this get any better?!?” I asked myself as I peeled a wet receipt off the asphalt.

Well, apparently for Carolyn, it could!¬† As I transported that piece of trash to the now righted can, I had a collision.¬† The trash hit Carolyn in the back of the head and thanks to its ample moisture— it stuck there!¬† Hair accessories are often¬†common stocking stuffers for Christmas.¬† I guess I kept that theme going.¬† What better way to accessorize than to have someone else’s garbage embellish your hair?

Carolyn took the mishap in good humor.  Actually, she may be used to my poor aim.  In elementary school, I tried to throw a rawhide bone for a dog and ended up hitting Carolyn in the face instead.  In that incident, she was required to get a series of stitches.  At least this time, all she needed was a vigorous shampooing!

Sam, Carolyn and I got soaked, but we did have our fair share of laughs.¬† It was so much fun, I’m thinking we should do this every year.¬†¬†¬† Sound good to you, Carolyn?

P.S.  All my pictures from Christmas 2006 are available on my Flickr site.

December 26, 2006 at 9:44 pm 7 comments

You Must Assimilate to My Hobbies

A few weeks ago, my work had a¬†celebration at Adventure World.¬† It’s a facility that hosts a¬†rollerskating rink, laser tag, moon bounces and an arcade.¬† I needed a date, so I¬†invited¬†four-year old Penn,¬†two-year old Gwyn and Ann.¬†¬†

About a year ago, I saw Penn put his feet in two toy dump trucks and used them to skate around a kitchen.  When skating most little kids viciously move their feet back and forth in a straight line and as a result, have very little forward progress.  But Penn was instinctively moved his feet at an angle and was able to get a lot of traction and movement out of those toy trucks.  A natural, right?

Well at Adventure World, we strapped the skates on Penn and took him out on to the floor.¬† I¬†took a firm grasp on his chest under each arm to “spot” him and off we went.¬† It was…. a disaster.¬†¬†Suddenly it was¬†as if Penn was suffering from some¬†kind of lower body seizures.¬† His feet were¬†going everywhere.¬† There was constant movement in sporadic directions.¬† So I was pretty much holding up a frantic kid with bizarre tap dancing feet.¬† I tried my best to coach.

“Hold on.¬† Wait…. Wait… stay still a second.¬†¬† Stop– stop– stop…Okay… Alright, now make your feet into a ‘V’…. A ‘V’ like in Vicky….Look at my feet….¬† Okay there,¬†¬†now push forward with your right leg.¬† Wait.¬† Wait, what are you doing?¬† No,¬†one leg at a time.¬† Stop kicking.¬† Put your feet back under your body.¬†¬† Put them on the ground.¬† Hold on– Hold on, stay still.”

It’s quite a bit of exercise skating, supporting a squirming child and protecting the both of us from gravity taking its course.¬† At one point, noticing the ache in my back, I said, “Okay, let’s stop and take a break.”

“But I don’t need a break!” Penn whined.

So I had to rephrase and cite that it was *I* who needed a break.

Ann took a shot of assisting Penn but with similiar frustrations.  After a whole quarter of the rink, we had successfully tired ourselves out and almost brought the boy to tears.  We aborted and I took Penn to the carpet.   At that point, the kid suddenly regained control over his feet and I once again witnessed movement that resembled actual skating.

I think it was safe to say he was terrified on the rink.¬† Nonetheless at the end of the evening, Penn gasped and said, “I have an idea!¬† You are coming to my birthday party, right?¬† You can get me rollerblades!”

That was actually a welcomed ideaРit was much easier than the alternative.  One day when his mother explained that I was a software engineer and I wrote computer programs, Penn had another brilliant idea. 

“I know!” he said, “She can¬†write me a computer game for¬†my birthday!!!!”

“Uh….I think Vicky’s¬†too busy for that right now,” Ann said.

“That’s okay, Mama.¬† She can give it to me for Christmas if she wants.”

Nice of Penn to extend me the extra 21 days. ūüôā¬†

Anyway, last night I went to Target to secure the more obtainable of the two birthday requests.  I got him some cute little rollerskates that will actually adjust between four different shoe sizes.  So they will grow with him. 

As I put my new bounty into the shopping basket, I realized– this is the¬†fourth pair of skates I’ve purchased in the last few years.¬† And none of those skates have been for myself.¬† They’ve all been gifts!

  • I got my cousin Samantha rollerblades for Christmas one year.
  • I got my cousin Frank rollerblades for Christmas one year.
  • I got my sister new rollerblades for her 30th birthday last year.
  • I got Penn his first pair of rollerskates for his 5th birthday this year.

It seems I go out of my way to insure others can partake in my hobbies!

Does that make me the drug pusher of skating?

December 3, 2006 at 1:51 pm 4 comments

Bethany Beach

This past weekend, I spent a few days at Bethany Beach.¬† At one point my cousin Jordan asked my Uncle Jonathan, “Why Bethany Beach?”

“The Sawyers have a strong family history here,” Jonathan said.¬† He went on to explain how this was where his parents (my grandparents) took all seven of their children for a two week vacation each summer.

This kept on for the next generation.  When I was a child, different branches of the family convened on the very same beach.  Here is a picture from my childhood days.  Three branches are represented here.  From left to right:

Jennifer (JULIE), Vicky (LOWELL), Adam (MARK), Louise (MARK), Carolyn (LOWELL), Jordan (MARK), Jay (LOWELL)

Now that we are grown and the fleet of great-grandchildren increases each year, the Sawyers continue their way each summer to Bethany Beach. 

I only made it for a couple of days this year.  Here is a recap:

Journey There
Keeping with my whirlwind week, I left work at 5 PM on Wednesday evening.  It gave me an ETA at the beach around 12 AM.  Such a long journey would have been a bit of tedious for me alone at the late hour.  Luckily, I had a companion!  Christina Geyer, still visiting from Germany, agreed to brave a household of Sawyers for an extended weekend!  I picked her up in Herndon and drove the remaining 3 hours captivated by great conversation and memories of our high school days.  The trip whizzed by.

We did have a little bit of a hiccup.¬† We arrived at 2nd Street at Bethany Beach and lo and behold the lowest house number was 97.¬† That made our address of “5” a little bit of a quandary.¬† I tried calling every cell phone number I had.¬† Uncle Jonny, Uncle Mark, Mom, Jay, Carolyn, Dad, Cousin Sam.¬† The only phone¬†that was answered was Dad’s and that was answered by a complete stranger.¬† It turns out my father lent his phone to a friend who was still in the Occoquan area.¬† The stranger asked if he could take a message.¬† Somehow that didn’t seem like it would help me find a bed for the evening, so I declined his offer.

After another iteration through all the family cell phones, we reconsulted the email and saw the address was South Bethany Beach.  No biggie, we drove down there where we found two different 2nd Streets.  Of course the first 2nd Street we tried hosted a house number 5Рbut no familiar vehicles.  So finally on our third 2nd StreetРwe found our home for the next few days.

Sleeping Arrangements and the Turtle
Christina and I got to relive one particular high school experienceРthe sleepover.  We shared a room in the beach house.  She slept in a day bed and I slept on a mattress on the floor.  Christina reported my snoring was not that badРbut she did note something peculiar.  She described me sleeping all curled up in a ball with my legs and arms underneath my body.

“Oh no!” I gasped, “That’s the turtle– you’re supposed to wake me¬†when I do that!”

I told her what she couldn’t possibly know— that when I slept like that, all my extremities fell asleep.¬† Waking up with one asleep limb is painful (and unnerving) enough.¬† Two arms and two legs¬†at the same time were¬†unbearable.¬† Sean was trained to wake me when he saw me sleeping like that.

So I thought…..

Later during the trip, I was telling Sean that Christina spotted the turtle.

“Yeah, you’ve been doing that a lot lately,” Sean said.

“I have?¬† How come you didn’t wake me up?!?”¬†I said.

Sean’s response?

“Eh.”

First Day at the Beach – Dad
Thursday brought quite a surprise— my FATHER, yes, Lowell Sawyer, actually went to the beach.¬† Even as a child, I recall my father’s visits to the actual shoreline to be fleeting.¬† Everyone was surprised.

“Does Dad even have a bathing suit?!?!” I had asked.

It turns out (despite my mother’s original answer) that my father did not in fact have a bathing suit.¬† He did, however, have burgundy underwear.

Anyway, I rushed out to document such an event, but I was too late.  The biting flies had already scared my father away.  Hopefully this is proof enoughРmy father retreating from the beach with his chair:

First Day at the Beach – Nail Color
My cousin Samantha and I enjoy coloring our nails at the beach.¬† This year my mother brought some new supplies– Instant Manicure by Avon.¬† It’s a weird product.¬† It comes in premade strips where you can rub on color and it is instantly dry.

It seemed to take longer to apply than regular nail polish and it left quite a bit of trash, but it turns out the color was pretty persistent.  I made numerous trips to the ocean and went kayaking and the color still seems to be going strong.

First Day at the Beach – Swimming Challenge
While we were in the ocean the first day, my Uncle Jonny made jokes about swimming¬†a half¬†mile out in the ocean and then a half mile back.¬† My mother compromised and pointed to an umbrella down the shore and told us to see if we could swim parallel along the shore to that umbrella and back.¬† Little did my relatives know– I swim laps at the Blacksburg Aquatic Center!¬† I can almost do a mile in 40 minutes.¬† Of course, it would be a lot rougher in the tides, but the distance was significantly shorter, so it turned out to not be a problem.¬† My mom was so convinced I wouldn’t make it, when I was almost back, I passed my brother swimming towards me.

“Mom sent me after you,” he said, interrupted by a wave, “She was worried.”

It’s nice to surprise your kin once in a while.

First Day at the Beach РControversial Place Setting
For dinner, Mark and Denise made homemade sauce and pasta.  As the hour of the meal arrived, Uncle Stephen and Aunt Kathy joined the beach house for a quick visit.  When they entered, they explained immediately their company would be short lived.

“We’re supposed to be buying rolls,” Aunt Kathy said.¬† They further explained that their dinner was almost ready and they would have to hurry home.¬† That was an important fact that my grandmother missed.

Shortly afterwards Mark announced that dinner was almost ready and asked for someone to set the table.  Christina and I, anxious to earn our keep, went ahead and set the table.  A little while later, Steve and Kathy departed to return to their casserole and their immediate family.

Dinner came along and we all held hands and said the blessing and sat down at our various tables to eat.

“Boys and Girls,” Grandma said, “I have something to say.”

I smiled and leaned in, expecting to hear my grandmother talk sentimentally about how nice it was to see so many family members gathered at the shore.

WRONG!

Grandma reprimanded us for setting the table in front of our “guests”.¬† She thought it was rude.¬† I think she¬†even used the word¬†“appalled”.¬† I believe she thought¬†our act¬†accelerated Steve’s departure.¬† She had no idea that he was invited for dinner but declined the invitation.¬† She had no idea he established an exit plan the moment he set foot¬†in the house.

I apologized afterwards and she told me to never let it happen again.

I took the wrap for my Uncle Steve that night.  I doubt he or my grandmother will ever know.

First Day at the Beach – Jay and Vicky Bike
When my siblings were young, we biked excessively– especially at the beach.¬† For the first time in at least 15 years, my brother and I biked together.¬† We went from our beach house in South Bethany Beach to the Dickie’s Frozen Yogurt in downtown Bethany and back.¬† My bike was a little rustic.¬† I had dry rot on back tire and it liked to shift gears without my consent.¬† Nonetheless, I loved the ride.¬† It was invigorating and our return had us riding at dusk– my favorite time of the day.

First Day at the Beach – Nostalgic Second Wind
That evening, a number of people went to go see the new Superman movie.  Christina and I were deterred by the 10:10 PM start time.  We both believed we would fall asleep and lamented how old we were now.

Turns out we aren’t as old as we thought.¬† We ended up sitting in our respective beds and chatting….until 3 AM!¬†

Second Day at the Beach – Different Generations, Different Perspectives
The next morning, I spent some brief time on the beach.  I sat with my grandmother a while and chatted under the newly purchased beach umbrellas. 

At one point Grandma shook her head and said, “I can’t believe the swimsuits nowadays.”

Right on cue, a wet Uncle Jonny returned to the beach blanket.

“I need to get my sunglasses,” he said, “So I can admire these bikinis!”¬† ūüôā

Second Day at the Beach – Kayaking and Glasses Lost
Finally we got to do my favorite beach activity– Kayaking in Assawoman Bay!!!¬† This year it was Cousin Sam, Cousin Frank, Cousin Jordan, Uncle Timmy and¬†I on the adventure!¬† It was a wonderful outing.¬† I got to chat with Sam.¬† I got to watch Frank and Jordan joust, capsize and wrestle in the bay.¬† And I got to have a secluded lap through a salt marsh.¬† The most predominant sounds were the rhythmic strokes of my paddle and the calls of various sea birds.¬† Then, periodically, off in the distance, I can hear Jordan and Frank yelling, talking smack! ūüôā

Earlier in the week I discovered I left my old glasses (with transitional lenses) at home– which meant I didn’t have viable sunglasses.¬† Then later I made the chilling discovery that I also left my contacts at home.¬† The only thing I had with me was my brand new, week old, pink glasses.¬† Glasses with the most expensive, thinnest, clearest lenses money could buy (pictured below with my brother Jay).

“If I lose these glasses,” I told my family, “I’ll be screwed.”

This is what Sean would call an “Of course” moment:

Of course, I would lose those glasses!¬† I was very cautious kayaking.¬† In fact, I kept my distance from the rambunctious Jordan and Frank to ensure they wouldn’t flip me during their horseplay.¬† The journey was almost over– we were nearing the return spot when I got some sunscreen in my eye.¬† I went to rub the stinging eye and WHOOSH– my glasses flew off and directly into the bay.¬† Immediately I jumped into the water and started to fish around.¬† Soon all my relatives joined in the search, but to no avail.

My brand new glasses were long gone…. and I was left blind.

The scenario turned out to not be as bad as I had originally thought.  I was able to get a Lenscrafters in Salisbury, Maryland to fill my contact lenses prescription.  Not without its frustrations howeverРthe whole ordeal took 6 hours and I was less than impressed with my eye doctor here in Christiansburg, Virginia.

I owe Christina Geyer and Stacy McMahon a big thank you for putting their plans on hold and chauffeuring me around to regain my sight.

This incident is making me think twice about two products:

  • Sweatproof sunscreen
  • Lasix Surgery

Second Day at the Beach РWalk and Story Telling
When we returned to the beach house, me the proud owner of new contacts, I decided to go for an evening walk on the beach.  It was a nice walk.  All over the waterline, I could see the silhouettes of little birds digging in the wet sand for food.  Every time a wave would arrive, they would run away and when the wave retreated they would run back towards the sea.  As a result, I had a living border to show me where the waves were.

When I returned to the house, I rotated between visiting with Christina and Stacy in the bedroom and visiting with my relatives in the kitchen.¬† My timing could be improved upon.¬† Christina reported that one two occasions, Stacy was in the middle of a story and I got up and left the room without a word.¬† Poor Stacy! ūüôā

One surprising highlight was hearing K’naan playing from the house CD player.¬† My brother had borrowed it and liked it enough to play it twice!

Third Day – Departure
On the third day, we scrambled to finish up leftovers and reclaim everyone’s sheets.¬† All the Sawyers met in the road to say our goodbyes and get one last group picture.¬† My cousin Melanie walked around and hugged everyone goodbye.¬† I watched her as she made the rounds.

“Goodbye, Frankie!” she’d say and give him a hug.

“Goodbye, Sam!” she’d say and give her a hug.

She came to me and embraced me, “Goodbye……….Person.”

Apparently, I’ll have to make more of an impression on my youngest cousin! ūüôā

Other Recaps
Christina Geyer’s Recap

August 7, 2006 at 9:43 pm 8 comments

Rollerblading – 16th State

Keeping with my traveling tradition, I packed my rollerblades and brought them along to Colorado.¬† Last night, I went rollerblading with my ten-year old cousin, Allison.¬†¬† That makes Colorado the 16th U.S. State I’ve rollerbladed in.

Allison Rollerblading

Young Allison was not the first of my cousins to rollerblade with me.  That honor would go to Samantha SawyerРwho rollerbladed with me in Bethany Beach, Delaware.

P.S.¬† The other states I’ve rollerbladed in:

  • Virginia (numerous venues– most commonly Occoquan and the Huckleberry Trail)
  • Delaware (Bethany Beach with Samantha)
  • Texas (with Brian Nenninger who jogged)
  • Georgia (on beautiful Jekyll Island)
  • Lousiana (in New Orlean’s Audubon Park)
  • Tennesee (the perfect River Trail in Chattanooga)
  • Kentucky (some waterfront trail in Louisville)
  • Michigan (Vincent Court in Lansing)
  • Maryland (Assateague Island)
  • Minnesota (One of the many bike paths in Hibbing)
  • Wisconsin (Heistand Park)
  • Nevada (Sunset Park)
  • Florida (Bike Path that ran along A1A)
  • Pennsylvania (Montour Bike path near McMurray)
  • Kansas (Prawnee Praire Park)

July 14, 2006 at 9:41 pm 1 comment


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