Travel Plans are afoot in the D’Elia Household

Later this month, Susie and I will be hitting the road again. Well, that’s not totally honest, what we will be doing is hitting the road, the air, and the seas, as we journey from Ocean City to the Philadelphia International Airport (the road portion), and from there fly via American Airlines to Houston, Texas (the air portion), then take an Uber or Lyft from George Bush International Airport to Galveston, Texas (another road portion), where we will meet up with Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas (obviously, the sea portion). Sorry you asked?

As you will recall, youngest son Kenny and his husband Chris are Entertainers on the Liberty of the Seas, and we sign on towards the end of this month for another 2 week back-to-back visit with Our Boys. By the time we leave the ship, they will have less than a month left on their contract, and not knowing if they will do another contract on a ship, this may be our last time to sail with them. We are, of course, looking forward to seeing the boys, watching them perform, and experiencing the various ports they’ve been traveling to since they signed on early this year, but this trip will be different than any other of the many cruises we’ve been on with them. That’s because this time, we won’t be alone!

While we will spend 2 weeks on the ship, for week one we will be joined by my cousin Jeanne Pratt and her husband Walt! Jeanne is the daughter of my Mom’s 2 year younger brother Bill, and grew up in Chicago. We didn’t spend a lot of time together as kids, but she has to be the person in the world that has known me longer than anyone else in my life. There were trips to Chicago for me, and visits from her family to New York, and a couple of memorable Family Vacations in Florida. As often happens, as we all got older, and life picked up pace, we drifted apart. 40 years ago, Jeanne and Walt were at our wedding, but after that, our connections were very sporadic. The sad part was that Walt spent 25 years in the Navy, and they lived for most of that time in Connecticut as Walt was in the Submarine Service. After he retired from the Navy, that’s where their home stayed, so for the better part of our married lives, the 4 of us were less than 100 miles apart!

After years of not being in each other’s lives, about 5 or 6 years ago, we met mid way between Long Island and their Connecticut home for lunch. We had a great lunch but mostly we talked…so much so that the restaurant folks looked like they were going to throw us out so they could begin setting up for dinner! Since that rekindling, we have visited them in their Florida home in Barefoot Bay, they’ve stayed with us in Ocean City, we’ve had dinner with them while in Disney World with the boys, they’ve visited us in Indian Rocks Beach, and every time the result is the same..we talk, and talk, and talk and talk!

Last year, Jeanne wondered if there might be some place we could vacation together. Shortly after we booked our back-to-back cruise for this month (a back-to-back is taking the same room for two different cruise itineraries, making the two one week cruises in essence a two week cruise), she called and wondered if we’d like some company for the first week. Sounded like a great idea to us, so we are now adding cruising as yet another way we are spending time together. We’re not going to be tied at the hip, but we will be eating and drinking together a lot (food and drink packages ordered), seeing the boys in the shows (by the way, they will get to meet each other for the first time), and just hanging out and talking! Imagine that!

Stay tuned as we continue with more pre-travel arrangements!

A New Adventure in Our Continuing Adventure

Well, as of this morning, Susie and I have entered another new phase of our Adventure. For the last several years, we have been increasing our summer time spent in Ocean City. We started 13 years ago with 2 weeks, then increased it to 3, and the last year I worked (the summer of 2015), we spent the entire month of July here! As wonderful as that was, in a sense, it made the ultimate packing up of our “stuff” difficult, just so we could turn our dream over to renters.

Last year, with both of us retired, we spent most of May, June, and July here, kind of blocking out the need to empty out the Mineola house. Last year, however, on August 21st, we left on our Big Adventure trip across the country, which ultimately lasted 9 weeks. It was sad, but it made sense to rent the house again, and we did starting the first Saturday in August. That once again necessitated packing up our personal items, our good glasses, and packing away our clothes, shoes, and especially our booze! A sad time for us again, even though we were looking forward to the great trip we’d planned.

IMG_7366Well, today is the first Saturday in August, and I am sitting writing this blog post on our front porch, watching a new crowd of Pennlyn visitors unloading cars, getting organized, having their first beer, and starting their dream week of vacation! We are here, and we’re staying here!! For the first time, Susie and I will be spending August, September, and the beginning of October at the beach. In fact, if you really want to know, we live here pretty much full time now. The culmination of a dream we’ve had for years is about to come to fruition….We live in Ocean City, NJ!!

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In fact, the reason I said the beginning of October, is that we’re flying out for a 2 week trip, exploring some of Nevada and California that we’ve never seen before, and to top it off, we will be leaving and returning to Philadelphia International Airport! We have made the move…in our minds at least.

Now, if you are interested in our progress on the other end, last week Susie and I came to the conclusion that we have moved virtually everything that we want from our old house to Ocean City (except for some last minute necessities we need there). Some of it will surely be weeded out from here (our closets are little full), and there are things we’ve stashed in our rented storage place down here, that we will go through over the winter, and some of that stuff will probably leave us too, but it’s done! What’s left at 40 Fairfield Avenue is not coming to Ocean City, and so a process that we wondered if it would ever end, has ended!

 

Progress too on other fronts…we’re meeting next Friday with a lady that conducted a tag sale at my Mom’s house, and hope she’ll say we have enough stuff for her to do the same thing for us. Then someone who is interested in the house wants to set up a time to take a look, so good things there too. When we left Mineola last Wednesday, Susie and I both realized it’s almost over, and trust us, we are glad!

So, if you are looking for us for the rest of the summer and fall, you can either find us on Pennlyn Place Beach, or on our front porch. As the new porch sign Susie got this year says, “Come Sit On The Porch With Me…The Drinks Are Cold And The Friendship’s Free”

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Our favored view most mornings!