The plan was set…Venue selected…Invitations distributed…Food and drink handled…The only thing remaining? Hoping that we’d have a strong turn-out for the big day. Would people show? Well…over 70 people made an appearance, check! Would it really be a big surprise? Well…My dad was shocked beyond belief (trust me), check! Would the entire event go off without a hitch? Well…All appeared to have a great time and everything ran smoothly, so I’d give that a big check too!
I always knew the party had the potential to be something really special for my dad. At a minimum, it had the foundations of a great party…Food, family and drink. However, when the prospect of including former soccer players that my dad had coached back in the day was considered, I was both intrigued and inspired. Combine that with a heart-felt speech and an amazing gift…Boom! Forget special, we might even be able to enter the realm of spectacular.
The emotional, yet prideful, look on my father’s face well after the event said it all. He didn’t have to say anything as I knew what he was thinking: Spectacular it was… continue reading »
It was time to cash in the Christmas gift my sister and I had purchased for my parents. Tickets to see “The Lion King” musical! It was performed at the Bushnell Memorial Theater in Hartford. The game plan was simple: 1.)Grab dinner locally2.) 1 hr drive to the show3.) Have a good time. We decided to grab a bite to eat a the Longhorn Steakhouse, in Shelton. It was my first time there, and it wasn’t too bad if I do say so myself. My filet was OK, but what I really remember was the bread. Yum! It was warm whole grain honey wheat bread and it was damn good. The restaurant itself exuded the type of ambiance you might expect from a traditional steakhouse. It was a solid place. Everyone seemed content after dinner, so that’s always a good sign.
We actually hit some traffic on the way to Hartford, and I must admit there was a moment when I thought we’d be late. Fortunately, we arrived just on time. Thank goodness for valet parking! From parking attendant to our seats up in the balcony, it took maybe 10 minutes. I don’t know how comfortable the seats were on the lower levels, but they were extremely cramped and awkward where we were. I think all of our backs were sore by the time the intermission came around. What did I think of the show itself? continue reading »
I must say that my brother in law, Tom, did an excellent job planning our first white water rafting adventure. We started our 4+ hour voyage to New York on Friday, April 18th. There were 3 cars in total which all left at different times. My dad, Shaun and I in one car. My buddy Mike riding solo in his. Then Tom and Sandy leading the pack. The 4th vehicle was comprised of some friends from Boston, Lui and Maureen, who would not arrive until very early the next morning. That had a Flight of the Conchords concert the night before which they could not miss.
The one miscalculation we all made once we got closer to our campsite, located in the middle of nowhere, was the total lack of cell phone reception within 30 minutes of the actual site. This posed a major problem as no-one really knew where the actual site was. We just had an approximation of where it should have been. What started off as panic, quickly turned to joy as we all managed to find one another and the obscure campsite location.
What was special for me during this trip was the fact that my father had tagged along. We’ve never gone camping together, nor have we ever considered doing something like this before. All I can say is that my dad was like a kid in a candy store. Whether it was having a beer by the fire or paddling for dear life, my dad couldn’t help but let out a loud giggle of joy every 10 – 20 minutes. It was great!
All I can say is wow…I decided to try to throw a small gathering with friends and family to celebrate my 30th birthday. Yes, it’s a big milestone, blah, blah, blah but honestly it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to get together with a large group of friends and family in one place. Seemed like the perfect reason to make that happen. I delegated the party planning to my sister and catering to my parents. Man was my little sister amazing. She turned the event into an 80s themed party with all the fixings. Simply incredible. And the food? Umm, we’re portuguese so I never had any worries on that front.
All i can say is thank you once again to my sister and parents and all my friend and family that were able to make the event. It was wonderful time. Here are some pictures from party:
The trip ran from March 21 – 27, 2005. Those in attendence were my mom, dad, sister and my sister’s godmother, Marily. We were fortunate enough to have stayed in a resort in Puerta Plata, Domincan Republic. It was a top notch location with all the amendities you can possibly want.
Looking back, we really did squeeze alot into a short period of time. My sister and I were truly explorers, trying to soak up as much of the culture as we possibly could. Outside of enjoying the gorgeous weather and a private beach adjacent to the resort, we also took a off-road tour using quads. They were fast and probably not 100% up to code but it was a fantastic experience. The highlight of the trip for both myself and my sister was another off-road adventure. One which required hiking up waterfalls and cliffs, then leaping into more waterfalls (sometimes 20+ feet) on the way back. continue reading »