We just said farewell to my parents, my sister, my brother-in-law, and my nieces after a long weekend celebrating my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary. I first proposed this idea at the beginning of the year, hoping to help my mom and dad maintain their tradition of an anniversary trip every five years. Past destinations have included places like the Bahamas and Australia. Coming here to celebrate a significant milestone felt like an answer in plain sight.
Recall back in May when I wrote about the northern kite surfing haven of Cabarete. We headed up there again but rented a much larger house to accommodate us all. It served our needs perfectly as it had space for the kids to play, a large pool just off the living room, and of course access to the beach. For three blissful days we just hung out and spent the evenings going to and from the restaurant-laden center of town celebrating my mom and dad.
This was an extra special occasion for me. I was concerned there would be a large party back in the US and that Larina and I would not be able to attend for one reason or another. That we could plan something low key and family-centric – essentially a small family vacation – helped maintain a feeling of being connected to things back home. I left for college at 18 years old and
never really went back. Despite an itinerant lifestyle – which Ray Ray shares – Washington, DC was beginning to become a new home base of sorts. My sister and her family are there and my
parents plan to retire there to be near their grandchildren. If we all live there eventually, even for a small window of time, that will be the closest I will have been to family in decades.
But that is for later. Right now, this is just one more shout out to a couple that survived the Navy, raised three children, survived three cross-country moves (with a possible fourth on the horizon), and weathered all manner of ups and downs. And, as their favorite dancing song suggests, each is “still the one” for the other.
Happy 40th, mom and dad. Looking forward to your next anniversary adventure and beyond.