Over 4th of July weekend, we traveled to Denver to celebrate the 70th birthday of Geoff's Aunt Marianne. We are very close to her and Geoff's Uncle Mike and it was a nice chance to see family members that we don't see all that often.
Marianne and Mike
Geoff surprised me with a weekend getaway at Castle Hill Inn in Newport for our anniversary. It was a lovely surprise and the weekend was filled with lots of little luxuries - roses, champagne, gourmet meals and time to relax on the private beach. I felt very pampered.
Castle Hill Inn
On August 1, we had to empty out the first floor of our home to prepare for some minor renovations. It's now September 18th and it's still not done. I'm about to lose my mind. I could really use another weekend at Castle Hill Inn.
My Family Room
On August 2nd, Madeleine got her Driver's License!!!! It's hard to describe the feeling I have now that my chauffeuring duties are completely over. Relief, wistfulness, sadness, disbelief. But mostly relief. I'm not sure Geoff feels that same sense of relief. He really misses driving her to school every morning. He's trying to convince her to go to Brown University after she graduates so that he can drive her to class every day on his way to Providence. The empty nest is looming large. *sigh*
Brand New Driver
50 Years...and Counting
In early August, we spent a long weekend in Woodstock, VT with Geoff's extended family to celebrate his parents' 50th Anniversary! We had a wonderful weekend at the Woodstock Inn. The main event of the trip was a special celebratory dinner in honor of Gary and Audrey's 50th. The dinner was absolutely lovely - complete with special flowers, a small wedding cake, champagne and specially designed M&Ms to commemorate the occasion. Each of Geoff's parents made a speech and Geoff and his two siblings toasted their parents. There wasn't a dry eye in the house. Truly a memorable and momentous occasion.
Gary and Audrey
College Drop 0ff - Second Time's a Charm
On August 27th, we dropped Katie off to start her sophomore year at college. Things went much more smoothly than the fiasco that was last year. I sensed that she was a little reluctant to let us leave, but since we were trying to outrun Tropical Storm Irene, we didn't have much choice but to get on the road.
Katie's Dorm Room
Speaking of Tropical Storms...
Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it got to RI, but that didn't stop it from knocking out our power for 6 DAYS! I have a whole new respect for people who live in the south and deal with hurricanes on a regular basis. The inconvenience was - well, inconvenient. Not to mention my house was already under renovation and I had only gotten my (electric) stove reinstalled the day before the storm hit. Ugh! But, fortunately, we didn't suffer any damage and we had hot water throughout the ordeal. Not everyone was so fortunate.
Annual Family Weekend in New Hampshire
As we have since 2007, we spent Labor Day weekend in a rented house in NH with my Dad and Sandy and my brother's family. As this trip came right on the heels of Irene (and we still didn't have power when we left), it came at a good time. I really needed to get away and get out of my head with regards to our lack of electricity, the inconvenience and how it had brought the (never ending) work on our house to screeching halt. (I was just a wee bit cranky that week.) I spent the weekend reading on the screened porch and napping. It was fabulous. I felt very refreshed when I got back home.
Dad and me reading on the screened porch
Back to School
Madeleine started her Junior year of High School on September 6th - one week late due to Tropical Storm Irene. It was very exciting for her to drive herself to school for the first time. This school year really feels like the start of a new chapter. Junior year is such an important one. A year focused so much on preparing for life after HS. That, combined with the independence that comes with having a license, has really changed the makeup and tone of our days. It's freeing and exciting, but it's also a little unsettling. I always find the start of the school year a time of adjustment. This year the adjustment seems to be less about getting used to a new routine, and more about adjusting to the next phase in life. And not just for Madeleine.
Madeleine's First Day of Junior Year in HS
Katie's First Day of Sophomore Year in College
Looking back I can see why the summer flew by. It was a busy and sometimes chaotic summer. But there was a lot of fun and love, too. All in all, a good summer. How about you? What did you do on your summer vacation?