After 15 years, it’s hard to think of our families as separate...
We love our time with the kids, playing on the beach and collecting seashells, building sand castles, making up stories, and playing classic card and boardgames.
Brad’s parents, sister, brother-in-law, two nieces (12 and 10) and nephew (8) live in Cincinnati, Ohio. We visit them every Christmas, vacation together in Myrtle Beach, and talk and Skype regularly. Carole, lives in Manhattan with her dog Goldie. We see her at least once a week. Johanna’s dad, Bob, passed away from leukemia in 2015 shortly after the celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary. He was warm, funny, and insightful. We miss him more every day. Traditionally, we would spend Thanksgiving with Bob and Carole and their friends at their home in Connecticut. Since Bob’s passing, we’ve had some lovely Thanksgivings at the homes of our friends or Carole’s friends in the city, but we are looking forward to the time when our family is big enough to host our own Thanksgiving dinners in Connecticut again. Carole makes a delicious apple pie, but it’s always better when it’s eaten at home.
Brad’s parents also usually come to stay with us in Brooklyn once or twice a year. They enjoy visiting with Carole and taking in a Broadway show.
At Christmas, Phyllis usually cooks a traditional Italian feast of the seven fishes on Christmas eve, and then a delicious roast for Christmas Day. We help her prepare the food when she lets us (Johanna’s specialties are cleaning shrimp and peeling potatoes), and everyone pitches in for the clean-up! We also look forward to Struff’li that Phyllis’s sister sends us every year. Struff’li is an Italian delicacy of little dough balls covered in honey and sugar. It’s delightful, and nobody can resist walking by without pinching off a Struff’li or two. And opening presents on Christmas is always fun, especially with the kids. We’ve enjoyed helping them build their Lego sets and figure out how to play with the new toys they received from Santa over the years.
While Christmas with Brad’s family is always fun, our summer vacations in Myrtle Beach are probably our favorite times spent with Brad’s family. There, we play soccer on the beach with the kids, play games with them in the pool, and when we’re tired of the sun, we play board games with them inside. We love our time with the kids, walking on the beach and collecting seashells, building sand castles, making up stories, and playing classic card and board games.
In the Summer we love to go to our family country home in Connecticut with Johanna’s mother and her dog Goldie. We swim in the lake or the pool, cook delicious meals, lounge on the screened-in porch and go on excursions to farms and tag sales. And there’s a kid’s room with forest wallpaper and glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling. There’s a clubhouse with a pool, tennis courts, and games, and several beach areas by the lake. Kids love hanging out at the clubhouse in the summer, especially around the snack bar and the pool. We love having our friends visit us, especially when they bring their kids!