Two young 50-something females. One big adventure exploring the Americas. Have liquidated everything they own and packed a Saturn Vue with bare necessities to set out on this journey. Planting seeds at each juncture symbolizing their new growth. With an open mind and heart, ready to get a true view of this world.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Leaving the Connelys is bittersweet, but we're off for more family interaction so all is well. Michigan is our journey's destination today as Celeste has a multitude of family members in this great state. Our first stop will be to see her Mom, it's been six months and she is more than anxious for this visit!
A quick stop for lunch in Toledo at Tony Packos is great fun and produces the excellent hot dogs for which it's famous, as well as breaks up the trip perfectly. Crossing the border into Michigan follows and we are at her Mom's place in no time. It is a wonderful reunion and mother and daughter enjoy their visit hugely.
We are spending our time here at her sister Jan's home, which is only minutes away from her mom, and before settling in this evening she treats us for dinner at Lucky's along with her son, Jim and daughter-in-law, Melissa. Dinner and the visit are very fun and we eat well before continuing our catch-up back at Jan's. Celeste is beaming to finally have Palazzolo time and it's a joy to watch this close knit family instantly bond once again.
Our next day's activity includes a cookout at her niece's Andrea's home, which includes sisters, Elizabeth and Rebecca, and all of their offspring. The young cousins enjoying their time is a joyous sight and again this amazing family shows what family ties are all about. It is a very enjoyable outing and yet another fun dinner. Thanks, Andrea for the feast!
Jim and Melissa add to the cookout musts in Michigan and host a wonderful evening, as well. An incredible slide show of their honeymoon in Hawaii is one highlight and additional grilled items and laughter complete the fun. A late visit by her other sister, Celia caps off a great evening.
We are treated to complimentary and much needed haircuts from her high school friend, Kelly, before meeting up with a few more of their crowd for one more cookout at her dear friend, Brenda's home. This group defines fun! Much drinking and laughing makes for the ultimate high school reunion get together - yet another bond that is a delight to witness. Great food and warm, welcoming people abound in Michigan and once again Celeste is incredibly happy to have this time!
A bonus discovery that one of our fellow New Lifers, Susan, lives only 40 minutes from Jan allows us a quick visit to her lovely home in Rochester. She prepares a delicious breakfast of Eggs Benedict (my favorite) and we enjoy a leisurely dine with great New Life stories, plus reports on our subsequent and future travels. We enjoy a great walk into the darling downtown area which is just a few blocks away while Susan plays tour guide. This is a beautiful and charming area and we enjoy our few hours with our new friend immensely.
One final get together occurs back at Jan's, with another son, Ricky, and his two beautiful boys, Alex and Dylan. Grandma Jan is in heaven with her beautiful boys visiting. Celia arrives with her two offspring Rebecca and William, and grandchild, Anthony. Jim and Melissa join again (they can't miss a party!) and this last evening is once again evidence of true family. It's an amazing group and I feel quite privileged to have been included so warmly.
Celeste is able to have daily visits with her Mom, time with a huge part of her family, and a reunion with dear friends - it is a perfect Michigan getaway.
A special thanks to Jan for providing wonderful accommodations for our time here and much love to all of this Michigan family! What fun we had!!!!