06 July, 2015

Summer 2015 ... Part Two: New Jersey

It's Adventure Time! Of to New Jersey we go.

The VurAllen's are back together! (Minus Ilayda.) We did our normal two-day treck to NJ and arrived Friday night in time for dinner. 

The two small Vural's spent almost two hours sitting at the corner on the look-out for our arrival.
(Ilayda was finishing up her amazing Air Corp Encampment in Colorado and didn't get to be with us until Sunday.)

Craziness on Fairmount Terrace!

All the Allens headed to our old neighborhood to spend some time with the Browns. 

We had a wonderful, early BBQ lunch (it's 5 o'clock somewhere, right? Rum punch anyone?). Plus time to talk before we left the girls to their own devices and our evening activities. 
That evening, the girls stayed the night at Marie-Alyse's, Chayton hung out with the Vurals and Courtney and I caught up with some UU friends for dinner.

But not just any dinner ... This was the start of the reason we picked this week to come to NJ. It was a dinner to honor our friend and minister, Charlie, who retired after 20 years of service. The people that were gathered around the dinner table that night just amaze me. All have done so much for our UU and the larger community - and Charlie has been a big part of that. 

Sunday we picked up all the kids and headed to Charlie's last service. Boy, did the tears flow. Not only for celebrating Charlie and how he's touched all our lives; but also from the joy I felt being surrounded by our community. 
Unfortunately, Courtney had to leave Sunday night to go to Boston and then to Dayton. :( He'd join us again late Wednesday night. 

On Monday all 13 year-olds and younger headed off to soccer camp, and the over 13 year-olds headed to work. 

The Allens did take a break to see Dr. Jason and the crew at CORE (we saw Dr. Melissa on Wednesday), then headed back to soccer. After getting cleaned up from a day of camp, we gathered to take a photo for Courtney - in our Camp VurAllen tshirts. Everyone missed him. 
Camp VurAllen was a little low key this year. We had soccer camp, a movie night and a beach day. But being able to do this together was a gift. 

Movie night! At the Dine-in to see Inside Out. What a great movie. Alisa and I need to go see it again, as a good portion of our time was spent arranging kids and dealing with all the dinner miss-deliveries and mishaps. 
And then Courtney came home! Time for a day at the beach. Sandy Hook Nationa Seashore, here we come. 
Digging for crabs. 
What is this, exactly?
Mermaids. 
Time for ice cream!
Time to head home for a good night's sleep to get ready for West Point on Friday.