There are lots of signs summer is nearing it's end - I noticed last night it's dark at 8:30, the kids have been going school shopping, my wife was planning the school / dance / piano / family activity schedule for the year, and this week all the kids found out their teachers, schedules, etc. And now it's Labor Day weekend, and school starts on Tuesday.
It's been a super busy summer for my family and me. Work has been incredibly busy as we released Windows Vista Beta 1, along with an XPSP2 IE7 Beta 1, while overlapping with Beta 2 development work. Over on the IEBlog, we've been talking a lot more about IE7 features.
This has been a big summer for travel, enough that we had to make a 5 column, day-by-day spreadsheet detailing where everyone was going to be any given day. My wife Theresa and oldest daughter Lea both went to Paris in late June for two weeks. It was a thrilling trip for them, while I stayed home with Lisa and Lana. They had a fun time being "latchkey kids" - at home all day while I went to work. We spent one weekend over at Pike Place Market - Lana loved the fresh raspberries, while Lisa and I ate way too many cherries.
Early in July, I managed to squeeze in running a marathon. Two weeks later Lisa went to Disneyland for 3 days with her Girl Scout troop for a bridging ceremony (where they advance levels) and bridged across one of the small bridges near Snow White's castle. The girls split into three groups - one that wanted "rides! rides! rides", one that was going to take it easy, going back to the hotel mid-day, and one middle-of-the pack groups. Of course, Lisa was with the hardcore group. She especially liked the Maliboomer ride - it's not really a drop ride, but it's close and quite a thrill.
After that trip, only a few more days before Girl Scout day camp, where they went and did crafts, games, etc. for fun. Lea was a counselor there, working with the younger girls. She's been doing training type events with her troop to prep for that. A week after Day Camp, it was off to Resident Camp for all three. While they were doing that all week, Theresa and I flew down to Long Beach and took a Carnival 3-day Mexico cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. We've never been on a cruise, and it was a fun experience. I'll have to write a review of that sometime.
On the Saturday morning we returned, the vet, who was boarding our dog, told us that Ginnie hadn't been able to walk for almost two days. She was 15 years old, a beautiful German Shepard / Chow mix, and the most friendly and kind dog I've ever know. A beloved member of the family. For the last several years, she had endured some problems like arthritis, losing her hearing, vision deteriorating and other age related issues, but had recently taken a turn for the worse. Theresa and I had already decided that if Ginnie lost mobility, we would have her put down because her quality of life would be awful, but going through with that decision was very painful for both of us. Telling the girls was even harder. We all said goodbye at the animal hospital.
The next trip was Theresa's annual road trip to visit family in Las Vegas, Alameda (near Oakland), and Portland. She hit the road with the girls in early August, not to return for two weeks. This year the route varied, because we wanted to drop by Disneyland for the 50th anniversary summer. I flew to LAX over the weekend and met up with my family as they drove in from Las Vegas. Scott managed to make it up from San Diego one day, so it was a full family reunion. A great trip.
The last trip of the summer was just last week, when my youngest daughter Lana and I went to Washington DC for a week. This was what we call the "10 year old trip" which is when I've taken each of my girls somewhere in the country they want to see, and we explore it together. Lea went to NYC for a week, Lisa went to Kauai, and Lana chose DC. Another great trip. I'll have to write a longer post about that soon.