Summer did not unfold as planned. We’d originally talked about spending some time in Europe, but as discussions about a job change progressed, we thought it best to stay closer to home base. So we modified our travel plans to those that could be tackled by road trip. We had dreams of taking our new SUV east across the U.S, then up to the Maritimes. But immigration considerations for the new job suggested it was wise not to leave the country — at least not for long. In the end, our range was limited to trips that could be tackled by car in a day (or less, if the need arose.)
Still even with that limit, we managed to pack a fair bit in. A result of the job change delay was that I got to spend another couple weeks at a company that holds a customer event in Orlando every other year. Last time the kids enjoyed Disney World, so this time, Nic and the kids did Universal Studios. This lined up well, since my employer put us up at a Universal hotel property, affording us easy trips to the parks, and Express Passes through the lines. I performed my close-to-final duties, with our plans still mostly unannounced, while the family enjoyed the rides — especially the Harry Potter themed ones! On the final day, I got to join them and visit some of their favorites.
A week later I submitted my two-weeks notice, at the end of which, we headed to Family Camp at Beulah Beach — a newer tradition now in its 3rd year. We enjoyed Lake Erie, some solid teaching, and the many activities that the Christian Missionary Alliance provides there. The giant rope swing, zip line and Seadoos are recurring favorites. But we especially enjoyed the time with some friends.
The end of Family Camp kicked off 6 weeks of near non-stop travel for me (and 4 unexpected weeks without a pay check) in my new job. The new leadership title carries with it a new level of responsibility — both within the relatively small organization, and with the membership. Partner companies provide much of the technology, but aren’t necessarily set-up to integrate or work together. Charting that ambiguity, against some fairly intimidating deadlines, has provided sufficient challenge for the near future.
Once the Visa paperwork was done, we were free to visit with family in Canada. Nic and the kids were fortunately able to stay a bit longer in Ontario than I was, so got some extra cousin time, while I hopped around the continent. We met up again in New York, where we went “glamping” with some old friends from Canada at a Six Flags amusement park and campground — a mid-point of the summer for them, but almost the end of ours.
The final days of freedom were spent around home, kayaks, bike rides and enjoying our pool membership at a nearby swim club, as well as some activities for the kids: horse-back riding for Abi, and robotics camp for Ben. Eli had a sports camp earlier in the summer. We even made it to a re-creation of Noah’s Ark, in Kentucky!
School starts early in Ohio, so supplies were purchased, back-packs were packed, and new teachers were met. The first two weeks of 3rd, 6th and 7th grades have started well, and all the teachers seem nice. Labor Day weekend brings the Great Geauga County fair, and a little time to relax after the stress of a new school year.
More photos in the usual location…