2005: David Graduates High School
David graduated from high school this year. We had his celebration party at Jillian's Sports Pub and Grill. We played games, ate, had cake, and opened presents.
He began his journey to a Bachelors degree in Communication at Western Kentucky University in August. We moved him into the dorms in August with the stereotypical tears after we left him.
Lauren was in her sophomore/junior years at Male. I was still plodding on in my doctoral program.
This year was the last that you and David went to the Conference USA tournament as University of Louisville moved to the Big East Conference. You all were quite excited about this move because you said that the Big East Conference was a stronger conference, but you were also excited to be going to the last conference. It was in Memphis this year. You and David watched the games and toured the city as usual.
For Spring Break, we went to New York. Christina joined this time, so you and David rode up front, while us girls put the seats down and made what resembled a "rumpus room" in the back. We spent Sunday traveling. On Monday, we took a shuttle bus from the hotel over to New York. Once in New York, we chose to do a Double-Decker Hop-On/Hop-Off tour, so that we could see as much of the city as we could. Our first hop-off was in Chinatown where we shopped and ate at an authentic Chinese restaurant and Chinese bakery. We then hopped back on the bus to go to Ground Zero, where the 9/11 Twin Towers were memorialized. Once we hopped back on the bus, we chose to sit on the bottom so that we could warm up and relax. Remember that this is April, so it was pretty chilly in New York. We hopped off at Rockefeller Center and ate lunch at "The Galaxy" and dessert at Starbucks. We then walked down to the Hershey's Store and the largest "Toys 'R' Us" in the world. We then walked around touring New York and ate dinner at an Italian Bistro. We went to an Improv Comedy show at Ha! Comedy Club in the evening and caught a Taxi Station Wagon back to the hotel. None of us had ever seen a taxi station wagon before, so that was interesting. It was even more entertaining after the evening we had. The shuttle bus stopped after 10:00 pm, but we had not been told that. So, when we called, it just kept ringing. Not even a voice announcement or anything. We got tired of that and called a taxi.
On Tuesday, we decided we didn't want to bother with the shuttle bus and decided to drive over to New York and park in Times Square. But not before we fussed with the gentleman at the shuttle bus office. The girls had gone in with me. They loved to tell the story about how I made sure we got our moneys worth out of that guy. You just chalked it up to one of my escapades. After we arrived in New York, we walked to Sbarro's for lunch and then toured Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. You and David had snacks at McDonalds, while us girls stood in line for tickets to Chicago. Then, we got on a tour bus to Battery Park and Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty. Once we got back, you and David got off at Rockefeller Center to walk to The Comedy Club, while us girls got off at Times Square to go to Chicago. We met back after the shows at Ticket Sales to walk back to the car and drive to the hotel.
On Wednesday, we went to IHOP in North Bergen, NJ for breakfast. Then, we drove over to New York and toured the Radio and TV Museum. After the tour, we split up again. You and David toured NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall, then rode the subway over to Greenwich Village. The girls shopped around Times Square looking for a wig shop that Lauren and Christina had seen on the tour bus. Finally, we got back on the tour bus to find it again. We found it on the outskirts of Greenwich Village, but the bus let us off in the middle of the village. So, we took a taxi back to the Wig Shop. Both girls tried on several before Lauren settled on two and Christina on one. We then took a taxi back to Times Square. Then, we all walked to TGIF for dinner. After dinner, we walked to the IMPROV for the 9:00 performance. It was hilarious!
On Thursday, we traveled home.
David's 18th birthday took us to Gatlinburg as 18 is a big year.
We returned back to Gatlinburg with the extended family for Grand-Dad's 70th birthday the Saturday before his birthday, July 15, through the actual day, July 20. We rented a five bedroom chalet in the "Hidden Mountains" of Pigeon Forge: (1) Nana and Grand-Dad, (2) You, Me and Lauren, (3) David and Tony, (4) Jason and Rachel, (5) The Metzgers. David and Lauren bought a gift for each decade and wrote a poem to go along with the gifts. They then wrapped as a box within a box, etc. We all had a lot of fun watching Grand-Dad unwrap it. We had a great time just spending time as a family in the beautiful chalet and the familiar mountains of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.
Our summer trip took us to New Orleans over the week of the July 4th holiday, July 2 - 7. We began travel on Saturday, July 2 and met up with the Jim Rose family at a Bed & Breakfast, the Edgar Degas House, the following day. It was really nice: decorated in the time period that Degas lived and displaying his art on the walls. We shopped and had dinner at the River Walk Mall that evening. On Monday, July 4, we toured the city on a Gray Line Bus, cruised the Mississippi River on The Natchez, watched a shark expedition on the IMAX screen following the river cruise, and watched the fireworks sitting on benches at the River Walk. On Tuesday, we shopped at the French Market and took a Ghost/History walking tour.
On Wednesday, we visited the Audubon Aquarium of New Orleans and had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe New Orleans, because it was raining. Then, we returned to the Degas House to relax for a bit and get out of the weather. When we arrived, the power was out at the house and a tree had fallen on Jim's car. (You had moved our car to a side street, because the weather had warned about a tropical storm. Just another one of your many wonderful decisions and example of your taking care of us!) We learned that the rough weather was a tropical storm, and it was named Cindy. Later, that same summer, Hurricane Katrina would come through and do much more damage. We always joked that our timing was superb, because we had seen New Orleans just before Katrina. Because the power was out, we moved to the Hilton. We had an elegant dinner at the Hilton and continued our vacation. One of your greatest gifts was your ability to enjoy life in all things!
On Thursday, you, Jim and Lauren went back to the Degas House to get Jim's windshield replaced. Tracey, Grae, Keegan, David and I took a ferry across to tour Mardi Gras World. After the windshield was fixed and we returned from Mardi Gras World, we began traveling home.
We went down to Cleveland to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and see the sights over the August 20 weekend.