On June 21st 2011, I embarked on a month-long vacation back to my home state of Connecticut, as well as my first visit to the town of Cape Cod. The night before, I had been so excited that I barely slept. The plane rides to Bradley International Airport were agonizingly long and I was very eager to spend time with the family I hadn’t seen in years. Once arriving at the airport, my Uncle Ed and my cousins Nicole (17) and Joey (11) were there to greet me. From the airport, we went straight to my eight year old cousin, Billy’s, baseball game. At this point, I was relishing at the sight of green all around me and the smell and feel of the fresh, moist air.
When we arrived back at their house, I placed my suitcase in the boys’ room and settled down to watch clean shower of rain pour from the sky, something I hadn’t seen in years. For the next few days, I enjoyed the multiple thunderstorms that came over us and occasionally took walks in them with my cousins. They had a nature trail and a small pond behind there house that was surrounded by trees, so we would run from there house to the cover of the woods, and then enjoy the wondrous sounds of the forest during the rainfall. When the rain finally let up, my Uncle Ed took me on a tour of the town, all the while telling me stories about different places he’d been to. One day, my Aunt Chris took Joey, Billy, and I to their town’s amusement park, Quassy. Both Nicole and my godparents eldest son, Michael (20), worked here so we got free wristbands and spent an amazing, memory-filled afternoon riding virtually every attraction in the park! The next day, I went back to the park with Nicole and her sister Becca (13). It was a very quiet day for the park, so after Becca and I went paddle-boating, we spent the next hour or so endlessly riding the Wooden Warrior, the amusement park’s brand new and crazy fast roller coaster!
When the weekend approached, I decided to go spend a few days with my family’s close friend, whom I call my uncle, Craig. During my stay with him, I got in a little “guy time” where I could just relax, play some video games and hang out. We also went to a New York Mets game at Citi Field! Being a huge Mets fan since I was young, I was ecstatic to attend my very first Mets home game, and it being a Subway Series against the Yankees made it even more exciting! My Uncle Craig gave me a tour of the stadium, we found our seats, and then proceeded to watch the Mets win 3-2 in extra innings! I consider it the best day of my life. On Monday, I returned to my godparent’s home for the final week of my stay in Connecticut.
The next week was filled with memories I will never forget- playing baseball with the boys, painting the foyer with the family, going out for real Italian pizza, the works. But the most exciting part of my stay in Connecticut was visiting my old house. Aunt Chris, Nicole, Joey, and I took an hour long car-trip to my old neighborhood to see the house that I lived in when I was just six years old. It was small, but charming and as beautiful as I remembered!
As saddened as I was to leave Connecticut, I was thrilled to go visit my cousins that lived on Cape Cod. My Uncle Ed and my Aunt Dawne met each other half way between Waterbury Connecticut and Cape Cod, so I could be picked up. After being exhausted by my days in Connecticut, the next few days of relaxation at my aunt and uncle Dawne and Jeff Welch’s house was quite a relief. When the weekend came, we decided to meet up with my Aunt’s brother, and his wife and son at Nauset Beach. We spent the entire day frolicking and enjoying life on the beach. We played in the waves, collected the smoothest and most beautiful rocks I had ever seen, and tossed around a football. I hadn’t seen my Aunt and her three boys, Cameron (16), Christopher (15), and Kyle (12) since they had moved from Arizona a year ago and I hadn’t seen my cousin Corey (17) and his parents, Brad and Joy Finnemore, since I had lived in Connecticut. During this trip to the beach however, I felt immediately reconnected to both families. The Welch boys were the same ones that had left me behind in Arizona- sarcastic, hilarious, and full of energy. The Finnemore’s son, (my cousin) Corey, showed so much enthusiasm and excitement about me being there, that I felt truly at home on the Cape from the very start.
For the next two weeks I spent time jumping back and forth from each of their homes. While at the Welch’s, I spent a relaxing time, hanging out, playing video games, and bonding with the boys. At the Finnemore’s I was worn out each day with exciting trips to historic and awesome places such as the JFK and Vietnam Memorial, the oldest windmill on the East Coast, and the Boardwalk. All the while, my Uncle Brad would tell me stories about each place we went to and his memories of it when he was a kid. We also went on my first whale watch, which was exhilarating and beautiful. You don’t realize the true size and beauty of those creatures until you seem them face to face! Uncle Brad and Corey also took me on numerous fishing and crabbing trips! The first time we went out, I tried my hand at night fishing, right off the coast. That night I caught the biggest striper I had ever caught before! The congratulations and fervor that followed from Uncle Brad and Corey made me so proud of my accomplishment and made me feel at home, when I was truly so far away from it!
Despite all these wonderful things, the climax of my trip came on the weekend before I returned to Arizona- our trip to Martha’s Vineyard. We went on the weekend of the annual Big Game Shark Tournament, which also happened to be the hottest day of the year so far on the Cape. However, we still found happiness through the heat, as we brushed it off and proceeded to have a wonderful day at the Vineyard. Corey and I rode the Flying Horses, the oldest carousel on the coast, walked through the gingerbread house neighborhood, and then joined his parents to watch the haul of enormous thresher and mako sharks that fishermen brought in! It was an amazing way to end my month long vacation to Connecticut and Cape Cod!
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