In honor of this momentous occasion, last year - we decided that we'd take a trip to the spot where we'd celebrated our honeymoon in 1994 ... the beautiful Nantucket Island.
Back in 1994, I had just graduated from college, and we were both preparing to begin graduate school in San Diego. We flew back to Boston - were married in Concord - and my brother Francis, who was a newly licensed pilot, flew us to Nantucket in his twin engine Cessna. After we spent a romantic three days in a cozy bed and breakfast, and rode our bicycles all around the quaint cobblestone streets (ouch! ouch! ouch!) ... my brother-in-law, John, who at the time was the Harbor Master for Falmouth and 15-some odd surrounding harbors, picked us up and brought us back to the mainland on a beautiful 70-foot Hatteras sport fishing boat.
It was a very glamorous start to our marriage ... given that we'd spend the next two years totally broke as graduate students living off $0.25 packs of Ramen Noodles.
So last year we decided that we'd like to return to Nantucket. Through friends of our family, we found a wonderful house to rent, and although the house was booked solid every week from May through August, miraculously the house was available THIS WEEK, the very week of our anniversary. Charlie noticed that the rental price, however, was a significant figure higher than it had been every other week of the season. For example, instead of $2,500 for the week long rental; it was listed as $25,000. Charlie called the property owner to inquire and he was told, "Oops, that was an error, I added an extra zero by accident!" but because he had mistakenly added that extra zero, he had effectively discouraged any one else from renting it.
Divine Intervention? Perhaps!
Back in November, when my sister, Eileen had flown in to celebrate Charlie's birthday - and my co-worker, Felicia swung by to have cake with us, we were discussing this Nantucket trip and the next thing you know, it's a PARTY. Instead of this being a romantic little get away for me and Charlie (and our four children who we take every where with us, because although they drive us insane at times, we can't imagine going on a vacation with out them) ... Eileen and her family, and my co-worker Felicia were invited to join us. Since then, the head count has continued to go up and more homes have been rented.
Yesterday morning, our family - plus my 14-year old nephew, Michael - took the ferry over from Hyannis.
Yesterday afternoon, Eileen and her three children, Emily, Tommy and Diana flew in from Michigan. They rented a 4x4 Jeep and rode in comfort to their rental house.
As a side note, Tommy will be shipping off to Army Boot Camp next week. He told his recruiting officer that while he was anxious to enlist - he couldn't start until AFTER his trip to Nantucket. I so love that kid and I love that he has his priorities in the right place:
#1. Participating in huge family reunion party on Nantucket;
#2. Bravely serving his country as a US soldier.
This morning, Eileen's husband, Clark, flew in from Michigan. This afternoon, an old friend of the family, Robb, ferried in from the mainland. Robb is one of the men's tennis coaches at Boston University and as you might imagine, he whipped everyone in beach paddle ball.
Tomorrow night, Felicia flies in from Houston.
On Wednesday my sister, Beth, my sister Janet and her husband, Bob arrive.
On Thursday, my sister-in-law Donna and my nephews Wally, William and Wyatt arrive.
On Thursday, my niece Angela arrives; on Friday - my nieces Katherine and Maggie are slated to arrive. In addition, our friends Rich and Kate are traveling in from Connecticut and tentatively arriving on Friday is my nephew, Philip and his new bride, Kim.
(They might have to sleep on the hammock because by then, all the beds may be taken.)
Several more people were invited, but they couldn't all make it. If you're in the area, heck, you're welcome to come join us, too. We're at the far western end of the island. Just look for the big blue umbrella with the white rim. Snort! Ha! Get it?!
And if folks can't make it this year, there's always next year ... because this is the kind of event that really needs to become a tradition!