Family

Honeymoon Chronicles: Our European Adventure

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As some of you might know, I got married (just shy of) two weeks ago to my amazing partner-in-crime, Tammi. The whole weekend was fantastic and the day of the wedding went incredibly smooth. We are truly thankful for the friends and family who joined us in celebration as well as for those who couldn’t join us, but who celebrated from afar.

A few days after the wedding, Tammi and I left the tiny hamlet of Lodi, Ohio and headed toward Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to begin our honeymoon. We decided that we did not want to go on a cruise or even to a location in the Carribean. We don’t see anything wrong with these locations at all and we know plenty of people who have had amazing honeymoons in these places, but they just weren’t for us. Instead, we chose to trek across Europe – which is where I am right now, writing to you from our apartment in Amsterdam.

So far, our travels have included:

  • Cleveland to Detroit to Boston
  • Boston to London
  • London
  • Paris
  • Amsterdam…with Berlin, Munich, and Switzerland up next prior to returning to London and then heading back to the states.

Tammi is, by far, the primary travel blogger for our trip – having composed a series of posts documenting our travels and experiences. If you’re interested in checking those out, go ahead and click here. As far as my own writing, I have a few posts still in the queue – term I definitely look forward to continue using once we get back home – that need to be finished and posted. Some of those are honeymoon related, some are not. But I digress…

As you’d probably expect, we are definitely taking quite a few photos of our travels. To date, we have easily snapped over 900 photos between our DSLR camera and our two iPhones (in permanent airplane mode until we’re back in the states). If you are linked to either one of us on Facebook, you can look forward to seeing a pretty decent chunk of those photos upon our return.

Well, I think it’s time to go find a local watering hole and enjoy the evening sights and sounds along the canals of Amsterdam.

Until next time…

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Phil and Maynard

The last week of March / first week of April is not really a great time of the year for me and could best be described as an emotional rollercoaster – complete with the highs, lows, loop-de-loops, sharp turns, and stomach turning moments. But before I touch on that, you might need some back story to bring you up to speed.

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In September of 2002, I was broadsided with some pretty awful news. Only a few short weeks after I had began my first year of college, I got a phone call from one of my father’s co-workers informing me that he (my father) had been exhibiting some rather odd and erratic behaviors – from as simple as spacing out for long periods of time to as complex as forgetting the combination to the store safe, a combination that had not changed in 28 years. To make a longer story a little shorter, after a number of hospital visits, I was informed that my father had brain cancer, probably the most aggressive type he could have. Doctors did everything they could (which was a LOT) and our family rallied to be as supportive as possible. However, about a year and a half later on March 29, 2004, my father lost his battle.

In 2007, the family found out news of a similar nature, only this time about my grandfather (dad’s dad). He had been experiencing some odd lower abdominal pains, thankfully though not super severe. Unfortunately, this led to one of many doctor appointments which revealed a type of pancreatic cancer. It spread quickly, but you couldn’t really tell because he just kept on going as if it was just another day. This continued until April 2, 2008, when he went peacefully.

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This year, March 29th and April 2nd marked the 10th and 6th anniversaries of their respective passings. It’s hard to believe that it has been that long. What is more surprising is how that week has actually went – emotionally, that is. I thought for sure, and feared, that I would be a complete mess. However, I find myself in a good place this time around. I kept plenty busy – attending Kappa Kappa Psi North Central District Convention, getting to see my students at Aurora High School perform their way to a 3rd place state finish, attended the ACPA conference in Indianapolis, and even got to meet a first cousin for the very first time after 30 years. Needless to say, there was a lot happening in a span of only a few days, but dad and grandpa were (and still are) heavy on my mind.

So, I suppose there are two significant take-aways from this post. First, being able to take the time to reflect and remember two men who had such a significant impact and influence on who I am today. The other seems cliché, but it does bear repeating and that is a reminder to take advantage of every opportunity you have with someone because the next opportunity isn’t promised.

I miss my dad and I miss my grandpa, but I hope that with each passing day I am doing the things that would have made them proud.

Three Generations – Maynard, Preston, & Philip Ramsey (2001).