On vacation, this year's cast of characters include:
Dr. Born Organized Clean -- a/k/a Doc, Grandpa, or Papa; grandfather, patriarch, and host of the whole event. Worked as an Ob/Gyn until his "retirement" to just being on over a dozen boards of various types (can we say Type-A-driven-to-succeed?). To give another glimpse into his personality, when Hurricane Katrina threatened, he packed his whole life neatly into 6 file boxes and one valise, and could have restarted his life from that no matter where in the world he landed.
Miss Prissy -- a/k/a Grandma or Nana; grandmother and hostess. Born to shop, and to her roughing it is a hotel without room service.
Uncle P -- elder of my two younger brothers (if that makes sense). Loves kids, loves being an uncle, has a heart for missions, and just off the home mission field. Currently back in school for a Master's degree and working as he and his sweetheart plan a wedding. He will only be visiting with us for part of the vacation.
Uncle J -- younger of my two younger brothers. Brilliant mind that he put more to use in avoiding schoolwork than doing it in the first place would have taken. Could sell ice to Inuits and can make a living at just about anything. A playboy in his younger days, could easily have become a con man or just a con, but is now a model dad.
Bryn -- a/k/a Baby Bug, which is what Bigger Girl dubbed her when she was born almost 12 years ago. Uncle J's daughter and a good kid. Knows how to save money and knows how to spend it, too. Keeps almost every penny she earns through the year for chores and most birthday/holiday money, and blows through it all on vacation. Used to act rather spoiled, but has turned around a lot recently.
Dre -- Uncle J's son, age 6. Very polite, and growing up to behave much better than his father did at that age.
Sweetie -- nearing 60 and the responsible dad of 4 kids, and still has the same dream he had when he was 12: to be a rock n' roller. Wine connoisseur, former chef, never travels anywhere without his guitar. Hates beaches (too much sand), but loves vacations where we go because there is so much to do he doesn't even have to set foot on the shore.
Bigger Girl -- recent high school graduate, poet, fiction writer, vegan and activist. Like her dad in many ways, both are stream of consciousness talkers so there is never any doubt just exactly what is on their minds. Loves playing piano, visiting museums and zoos, adores libraries and book stores. Tolerates shopping when she has to. Looked at a kitten trying to nibble her foot the other day and said, "Hey! You don't eat by mitosis, so why are you trying to eat my toeses?"
#2 Son -- so much like his Uncle J it is scary. At 16, he could be making straight A's, but why waste that much brain power on school? Spends a lot of time catching snakes, including poisonous ones, and is not afraid to try almost any feat that will show he's not afraid. Has stitched his own cuts and set his own broken finger, none of which he tells me about until it's healed because he doesn't want me to take him to the doctor for such "little things". Will make a ton of friends down there, charm the staff, and enjoy himself thoroughly.
Little Girl -- a hard one to figure out, at 14 she keeps her own counsel about a lot of things. Introspective but won't let anyone know it if she can help it. Writer, very musically talented although she doesn't use it, will go with the flow of things, joining in and having fun if she wants, staying to herself if she would like that better. She will also probably be practicing her strokes a good bit while we are gone so as not to be behind her team mates on swim team when we get back.
Teresa -- Bigger Girl's friend whom we bring in part because everyone needs to get away at least once a year. Very quiet until you get to know her, always very well dressed, and an impressive photographer.
mimi -- mom, chief cook and bottle washer, laundress, chauffeur. Will spend the vacation doing most of the things she does at home, minus the cat care and plus outings to fun places that aren't a normal part of the daily routine.
Let the fun begin!.
Coronation Day -- Bhutan; United Kingdom (Note: for this year's Diamond Jubilee celebration of Queen Elizabeth II, the festivities will go through June 5)
Derby Day -- Surrey, England (Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, will be in attendance at Epsom Downs this year as a part of her Jubilee)
Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II -- UK, through the 5th
Do-Dah Parade -- Kalamazoo, MI, US (a "Salute to Silliness" that is worth seeing)
Eel Festival -- Jyllings, Denmark (through tomorrow; every restaurant and pub in town serves fried eel, and there's lots more fun around town)
Festa della Republica -- Italy
Festival of Light and Dark Spots -- Fairy Calendar
Festival of Utter Confusion -- an internet declared holiday, and this is the one for me!
Horseradish Festival -- Collinsville, IL, US (through tomorrow; lots of fun in the "Horseradish Capital of the World")
Hristo Botev Day -- Bulgaria
Isabel Province Day -- Isabel Province, Solomon Islands
Maritime Gig Festival -- Gig Harbor, WA, US (through tomorrow; parades, entertainment, and fun with the view of Mount Rainier to grace it all)
National Bubba Day -- created by comedian T. Bubba Bechtol for Bubbas everywhere to have their day
National Rocky Road Day
St. Blandina's Day (Patron of girls, people falsely accused, torture victims; Lyon, France)
St. Elmo's Day (a/k/a St. Erasmus; Patron of ammunition workers, boatmen, childbirth and women in labor, explosives workers, mariners, navigators, ordnance workers, sailors, watermen; Gaeta, Italy; against abdominal pains, appendicitis, birth pains, childhood intestinal disease, colic, danger at sea, intestinal disorders, seasickness, stomach diseases, storms)
Wright Plus -- Oak Park, IL, US (Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust’s annual interiors tour of homes designed by Wright)
Yell "Fudge" at the Cobras in North America Day -- at noon, your local time, because according to Wellcat Holidays, cobras hate fudge and will not stay if we mention it
U.S. President Grover Cleveland marries Frances Folsom, 1886 (only president to wed in the executive mansion)
Elizabeth II is crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories & Head of the Commonwealth, 1953 (the first major international event to be televised)
Justin Long, 1978
Zachary Quinto, 1977
Queen 'Masenate Mohato Seeiso, Queen consort of Lesotho, 1976
Wayne Brady, 1972
Joel Tobeck, 1971
Dana Carvey, 1955
Dennis Haysbert, 1954
Cornel West, 1953
Jerry Mathers, 1948
Marvin Hamlisch, 1944
Stacy Keach, 1941
Charlie Watts, 1941
Sally Kellerman, 1937
Johnny Weissmuller, 1904
Hedda Hopper, 1890
Sir Edward Elgar, 1857
Thomas Hardy, 1840
Marquis de Sade, 1740
Martha Dandridge Custiss Washington, 1731
Today in History:
The Vandals enter Rome and begin 2 weeks of plundering, 455
The First Siege of Antioch ends when Crusader forces take the city, 1098
The first Récollet missionaries arrive at Quebec City, from Rouen, France, 1615
Bridget Bishop is the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692
The Derby horse race is held for the first time in Epsom, England, 1780
P. T. Barnum and his circus start their first tour of the United States, 1835
The Slavic congress in Prague begins, 1848
Guglielmo Marconi applies for a patent for his early radio device, 1896
U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signs the Indian Citizenship Act, making Native American Indians withing US territories and states US citizens, 1924
Lou Gehrig begins his streak of 2,130 consecutive games played, 1925
In a referendum, Italians vote to turn Italy from a monarchy into a Republic, and exile their king, Umberto II di Savoia, 1946
The USSR and Yugoslavia sign the Belgrade declaration and thus normalize relations, 1955
Surveyor 1 lands in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first U.S. spacecraft to soft land on another world, 1966
Pope John Paul II visits his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country, 1979
The Bhutan Broadcasting Service brings television transmissions to the Kingdom for the first time, 1999
Europe launches its first probe to voyage to another planet, Mars, 2003
3 hours ago