A Weekend Family Visit

Howard, Pam Charest visiting with Ron and Winnie Charest, August 3, 2014.

My brother Howard and his wife Pam dropped by for a visit this past weekend. It was a particularly special event as they live on the left coast, in the Great State of California, city of Los Angeles. As best as we can figure, it’s been five years since they were last here, although I’ve visited them several times when I was on trips to Los Angeles.

Howard and Pam work for the Los Angeles school district so they get decent-length summer vacations, even when Howard teaches summer school classes.  This year they decided to make a whirlwind round-the-country car tour, visiting our far flung family in all the various places we’ve settled into over the years. They left home and several days later were stopping in Indiana at the home of one of our nieces and nephews, after visiting some national parks along the way. From Indiana, they drove over to Tennessee and spent several days with various family members who reside in that state.

From Tennessee they dropped down to North Carolina to visit our sister. She actually lives in Tennessee but was working in North Carolina for several weeks, so Howard and Pam dropped by to visit. From North Carolina, they swung by here for a couple of nights.

It took a little bit of juggling to get our schedules to align, as I was spending the week working down in Panama City, Florida. I managed to finish up my work on Thursday night and head for home early Friday morning. With Winnie picking me up at the airport metro stop we were home by 3:00PM. Howard and Pam arrived a couple of hours later; they were a bit later than expected as they hadn’t counted on our wonderful Northern Virginia commuter traffic.

We hung out Friday evening just talking and catching up. I grilled some steaks and Winnie made an assortment of fresh vegetables with rice for dinner. Just a nice quiet evening.

Saturday we had planned on taking the boat out for a day on the Potomac River. I was concerned about the weather, and it was a bit iffy with occasional splatters of rain, but overall the day turned out great. The water was about as calm as I’ve ever seen it, so I was able to just cruise. We ran upriver to Mount Vernon and slowly ran back and forth a few times so Howard and Pam could take some riverside photos of George Washington’s home. From there we cruised up to the George Mason bridge and tooled past Maryland’s National Harbor marina. We discussed tying up and walking around at the marina, but the marina wanted $30 for four hours mooring so we kept on going.

We headed back south and pulled into Tim’s Rivershore Restaurant for an early dinner. As always, the food was excellent. We finished, left and I motored down past the Quantico Marine Base. We started getting another splattering of rain so I turned around and headed back to Leesylvania State Park, where we launched from.

Once back home Howard and Pam took off for a couple of hours to do a bit of shopping while I cleaned up the boat. They made it back to the house and we relaxed with some wine and just chatted the rest of the evening.

They were planing on driving to Chicago the next day so we all got up early Sunday morning. Relatively early for us, by the time we finished breakfast and they had packed up the car it was well past 9:00AM. We took the usual family photos and they were off on the next leg of their trip.

I heard from Howard late that night that they did make it to Chicago in exactly 12 hours driving time. They’ll be heading back to California across the northern route and stop over in Eureka, California for a couple of days to visit their daughter. From there, it’s back to Los Angeles just in time to go back to school.

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One Comment

  1. Avatar Pam Charest said:

    Thanks Ron. We had a great time with you and Winnie! You guys are great hosts. We definitely wont let so many years go by between visits from now on. The boat ride was wonderful! Our whole trip was fantastic (except for the hospital stay in Colorado). It was so much fun spending time with the family in Indiana and Tennessee. We have some pretty terrific nieces and nephews (and grand nieces and nephews)!

    August 19, 2014

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