Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Summer 2022

So the kid's school goes until late June (I think local German schools go into July). The kids go back in mid-August, so our summer was only a month and half! M headed to Texas to see their Dad. The rest of us also wanted a little taste of America and used frequent flier miles. Clarissa and I headed to our rental property in Florida for a few weeks. Clarissa took her first solo flight and flew up Richard's parent's house. I headed back to Germany a couple days before Richard flew to his parent's house. It was funny on their return flights - M and R/C flew on the same day so their planes were racing to get 

On our flight to the U.S., we received chocolate ice cream for the meal dessert. Someone's favorite! So after everyone was served, I told Clarissa to go ask the flight crew if she could have another.....she was so smug when she came back with her second cup of ice cream!

With just the two of us, we ate most of our meals at the bar.....we were enjoying some farm fresh corn on the cob (if we find some, it's just not the same overseas).

We enjoyed night swimming and hitting 7-11 on 7-11!

A friend of mine from graduate school came to visit and wanted to go to Sea World. We had fun feeding the animals. Clarissa wasn't the biggest fan of captivity, but I had to explain how seeing hard to find animals in a zoo or park helps people care about the species and protect the animals in the wild. 

We did enjoy the cold penguin exhibit and the walk through tanks. I think Clarissa's favorite thing was the rides.

Remembering life in Fiji and swimming among the clownfish.

We got hit with one of those traditional Florida summer afternoon thunderstorms. This one produced a beautiful double rainbow.

We decided to update the townhome and paint the walls (they were still rocking the builder off white color). We decided on a light gray color but decided to the paint an accent wall in the den and the bathrooms a fun color. We hired someone to paint the gray walls (there is a huge stairwell that would be tricky to access) and Clarissa and I painted the bathrooms and accent wall (there's things you miss doing when living in rented housing all the time).

We finally hung up a piece of carved art work we had picked up in Doha! I also installed some outlet wall plates with nightlights. We replaced a bunch of damaged box springs we discovered when moving furniture to paint. We also hung up some new curtains around the property.

We saw lots of neighborhood wildlife. A baby red ear slider (we took it from the road and put in the pond) and a gang of Sandhill cranes.

Over spring break, we had gone to three of the four Disney parks, so Clarissa and I hit Animal Kingdom one day. She loved the Everest ride and we rode it multiple times. We did one of the avatar rides with fast pass, but the new ride was either a 2 hour wait or pay another $15 pp to fast pass it.....we skipped that ride!

It was insanely hot that day......

We had made reservations for a late lunch at the Rainforest Cafe just outside the gates. Clarissa in slushy heaven!

Popular photo wall!

Clarissa had signed up for a weeklong sleepaway camp in Florida, so I dropped her off. One day they took a field trip to an escape room.....and Clarissa now has a favorite fun game to play!

While she was at camp, I enjoyed pool nachos and began tackling the owner's closet. When we bought the property, the owner's closet was full of stuff. We donated all the baby/little kid items the first year, but it still needed more help.

I pulled everything out, used some leftover paint to brighten up the room, then assembled some shelving I picked up at Ikea, donated a bunch of stuff that wasn't ours and we wouldn't use. I had gotten some bins at Target....and viola - the owner's closet is finally organized and accessible to grab things in the back without completely emptying out the room. We have some toiletries and cleaning supplies, which saves so much space in our luggage. It's easy to grab a bin and take it to a bathroom or down to the kitchen. We also have some supplies for when we PCS there with the cat!

After camp, Clarissa and I had a spa day! 

Clarissa donated 8 inches of hair! I think she grew up during the hair cut as well. After haircuts, we went for pedicures! 

Then we went and played some glow in the dark putt putt!

The next day, I dropped Clarissa at the airport and she made it to North Carolina!

Richard enjoyed visiting his parents and doing some site seeing.

Since I wasn't there I can't really tell about what they did. I know Clarissa did an art day camp, Richard ate lots of barbecue, and they went to some escape We managed to keep our garden plot alive all summer and enjoyed lots of tomatoes and some patty pans (a type of squash that grew up on its own, but we pretty tasty).

We also enjoyed our garden plot neighbor's sunflowers.

Then it was everyone back home and school started. Clarissa was now in middle school and had a locker. M was starting senior year of high school! The crazy busyness ensued.

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