Merry Christmas 2013
From Team Towery
Are you ready for the latest Team Towery update? If not, then please accept our sincere wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and a genuine invitation to visit us soon and move on to the next card in the stack.
It has been a year of boats, planes, trains, and automobiles. We’ve been missing our annual January pilgrimage to Hilton Head Island so this year we took advantage of our new car (to us) and returned to one of the islands we love to visit. The weather was nice and we enjoyed the drive in our 2011 Toyota Camry, especially having cruise control and CD player which our old car did not have.
In January we headed to Barksdale AFB, LA and the Cassanova’s home to participate in the dedication of the monument to the B-52 crews that were lost in Southeast Asia during Linebacker II.
I was invited to be Vice-Marshall for the Saint Patrick’s Day parade on Beale Street (long story) and Sue and I enjoyed participating in the activities. Afterwards, we quickly packed our bags and headed to Clearwater, FL for fun in the sun with Beckye, Alison, and Caitlin for Spring Break at the beach. It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed the company and the warm weather. Who doesn’t enjoy Spring Breaks in Florida?
Our big vacation of the year began in April, flying to Miami to board the Norwegian Pearl for a 14-day cruise through the Panama Canal. We made stops at Cartagena, Colombia; Costa Rica; Puerto Chiapas, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. In Los Angeles we rode the Amtrak train down the coast and spent a week with Tiffany and her family in Escondido. We rented a car and drove back to Memphis, with stops in Las Vegas; the Hoover Dam; Winslow, AZ; Meteor Crater; and the Cadillac Ranch. We missed the big tornado that hit Oklahoma City by 12 hours when we decided to drive on to Fort Smith rather than stopping there for that night as planned.
In June we welcomed the Cassanovas to our home and enjoyed the Memphis Sunset Symphony and a trip to Graceland with them. Soon after, Caroline and Katherine spent a week with Grammy and Boompa and we had fun entertaining them again this year. Later they were joined by Jamie, Brian, and Kirkland, who also got to visit with Tiffany, Greg, Callie, and Carson on their visit home for the 4th of July.
In August we made a quick day-trip to Huntsville to have lunch with a group of my classmates from Lee High School during one of their quarterly mini-reunion “Lunch Bunch” gatherings. It was nice to get to see them again and we hope to make a similar trip again soon.
My older brother Don passed away at age 70 in early September and we went down to Birmingham to be with the family and attend his services. It was a sad time for us, but he lived a full life and passed away quietly in his easy chair on his houseboat, on the Tennessee River he loved so much, just after celebrating his son Ty’s birthday with his friends and family.
In September we drove to Jackson, Mississippi, and caught a non-stop flight on a National Guard C-17 cargo plane to Honolulu and spent a great week in Hawaii enjoying the food, weather, and the things we love to do there. It was our fifth visit to Hawaii since retirement. We stayed at the Disney Aulani Resort and were once again spoiled by the amenities of that place. This year I spent a full day snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and we were excited to get a flight straight back to Jackson where we left our car. That is a rare occurrence since we usually have to take a flight back to the closest place we can get to home and then rent a car for the rest of the trip. There are no guarantees when you fly space-available in the military.
In October we joined Sue’s friend Karen and her husband Cory for a week’s cruise out of New Orleans on the Norwegian Jewel. It was a Halloween cruise to Cozumel; Roatan, Honduras; Belize City; and Costa Maya. I won the “Most Creative” costume award for my LED flashing light alien outfit. We took a cruise in a semi-sub and visited some Mayan ruins and a nature preserve among other activities.
For Thanksgiving we met Beckye and the girls at Jamie’s and enjoyed being with all that side of the family for the first time in years. We snacked all week and took a trip to the Opryland Hotel to view the Christmas Lights decorations one night.
We’re planning a quiet Christmas at home and are not sure what we will do on New Year’s Eve to welcome in the new year, but I’m sure we’ll come up with something fun. I’m positive we’ll watch a lot of football and basketball games over the holidays.