The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. ~Kate Chopin
Summer has arrived and has consumed all of my time. Between Thrill of the Hunt and my scavenger hunt events, the garden, the bees, the chickens and the turkeys, and trying to wrangle in a 13-year-old to spend quality time with me, there’s little time to do anything else. Personally, I wish I’d open my schedule for more leisurely reading and writing, and I will, but until then, busy, busy, busy. Those are my days, which are clearly very different from Kyle’s.
Kyle seems to be enjoying his summer thus far. He’s in the marching band, practicing one day a week. He’s also trying his hand at the Tuba. I’m glad he’s challenging himself and I’m very proud of that young boy, who still hasn’t shaken his attitude (partially). However, that’s not all, besides fishing and mostly laying around playing video games, Kyle recently added some miles to his life experiences.
Kyle and his Aunt Nikki set sail for Kyle’s first cruise. Seriously? Yes! It was the annual Aunt Nikki and Kyle’s Week of Fun trip. (Please note, I’m still not invited on these trips, which would make them even more adventurous and fun, just saying. We could call it Kyle and the Aunts’ Week of Fun!) I can’t believe the trip was nearly a month ago now. To be honest, it started a few months back when Nicole and Kyle began discussing this year’s “Week of Fun” trip ideas. Then, the anticipation grew even more when Kyle’s passport came in the mail. What 13-year-old kid has a passport and has used it? I’m sure some kids, obviously Kyle, but I never did until I reached my twenties. He is blessed! Then, the true excitement, when Nicole came home the weekend before departure to pick up the package, a.k.a. Kyle.
On Sunday, June 7th Nicole and Kyle drove to Baltimore, Maryland to jump aboard their cruise liner and set sail for a memorable week.
Where did they go? They went to the Bahamas, stopped off in Florida and visited NASA and the Kennedy Space Center, and they participated in activities on the cruise ship while at sea, including the hairy chest contest. Nicole won! Just kidding! (That totally made me laugh out loud!)
These were all firsts for Kyle, including the hairy chest contest! I’m glad my sister was able to introduce him to new experiences. Like what? Kyle got to swim with the dolphins! Did he love it? You bet! He also got to explore the Bahamas, something I’ve never even done. In fact, whoever his tour guide was left an impression on Kyle that lasted long after his trip. Unbeknownst to the tour guide, he knew how to speak Kyle. Basically the language of Kyle is through statistics and numbers. Nicole and Kyle came home on Sunday, June 14th. I was in Arlington, Virginia on Friday administering to the Singles Scavenger Hunt, so I occupied Nicole’s house until my world traveler arrived, so I could bring our precious cargo back. On the four hour ride home, Kyle kept rattling off trivia regarding the Bahamas. “Aunt Heather, do you know how someone can become a citizen of the Bahamas?” (one is to purchase a house on the island) and “Aunt Heather, did you know they don’t pay taxes?” and “Aunt Heather they only lost eight people with the last hurricane, so it’s really not that dangerous.” Yep for most of the ride, Kyle was simply spouting off facts and figures, mostly about the Bahamas and some regarding NASA. That’s my Kyle!
While sitting in Nicole’s living room, listening to the two reminisce about their trip, I was reminded just how much Kyle is like me. Apparently, while waiting to take the elevator, they had to, well… wait. Then, the elevator stopped at every level before arriving at their room. Patience wasn’t strong with Kyle. As the story goes, Kyle made my sister, who has an aversion to exercise, take the steps. The agreement was, if it was more than two floors they’d take the elevator, if less the steps. Now that’s my Kyle! In general I usually take the steps, a habit Kyle has certainly picked up from me. It’s that little extra effort that can make a world of difference to a person’s health. While Nicole was commenting about the steps, I jumped into the conversation to defend Kyle, reminding Aunt Nikki that taking the steps was a wise choice considering all the food consumed.
Nicole said Kyle literally ate a burger a day, and treated himself to an ice-cream a day throughout the trip. When bringing this fun fact to light, Kyle gave me an ornery look as if saying “Ya Aunt Heather, I ate whatever I wanted and not healthy.” I smiled and said, “Good for you buddy, I’m glad you enjoyed yourself. That’s what vacations are all about. I’m glad you got some protein in your system and not all sweets.” He seemed pleased with himself.
There’s no doubt Nicole and Kyle had a blast and created memories for a lifetime. Like I’ve always told Kyle, I want him to take every opportunity to travel and see the world, explore every inch and enjoy life.
During our ride back, Kyle mentioned that he could live in the Bahamas. I’d visit him, but that’s about it. That comment kind of surprised me, since Kyle doesn’t like being in the sun, and hates the heat, and really hates to sweat. Who knows, maybe the Bahamas will be his favorite vacation spot.
On a somewhat side note, while driving home with Kyle I looked down to see he changed his iPhone cover. What is it? The NASA logo. I guess he did have a great time and was very influenced by his experiences! After pointing out the case and telling him it was nice (it really is), I told him about his Aunt Nikki’s childhood obsession about working for NASA. He seemed intrigued, yet I’m sensing he picked up on this little known fact during their visit to Florida.
The annual tradition of Aunt Nikki’s and Kyle’s Week of Fun has been in existence since Kyle was a small tyke, growing in wow factor, mileage and expense year-over-year. I hope it never stops and always continues for those two! Personally, I love hearing the stories. Wonder what next year will bring?