Request for family photos…Grandson’s 5th grade graduation…Dinner at Benihana…

Grandson Vincent at his 5th-grade graduation from SEA, School of Engineering and Arts.

When Adele and Wally, a lovely couple we met at a hotel in Barcelona before boarding a cruise through the Middle East in 2013, wrote yesterday suggesting we include some family photos during our six weeks in Minnesota, we decided it made sense. In the past week since we arrived, several other readers have written suggesting the same.

Vincent is receiving his graduation certificate.

As they explained, we always share photos of what’s transpiring in this life of world travel, and why would we exclude our family members? I suppose we intend to protect their privacy, so we’ll ask for their permission each time we do.

I’ve always hesitated to share many photos of our six grandchildren when anyone of questionable nature could be browsing for images of young children for unsavory reasons. 

Vincent and his friend Rowan giggling after the graduation during this photo op.

Now that the kids are getting older, I’ve relaxed my fear a little but still hesitate to do so. But today, after an amazing day yesterday, we decided to share some photos of grandson Vincent’s 5th-grade graduation and include photos of the other grandchildren soon.

Our Teppanyaki chef prepared the meals on the grill.

I don’t recall significant graduation ceremonies for anything other than completing high school as having much significance in a child’s life, requiring not much more than congrats from parents, family members, and friends. Seldom was a gift rendered or a party held for the child’s moving on to another grade or school.

Times have changed. Any opportunity to celebrate is a welcome aspect of life for many throughout the world.  That’s all good in our minds. And we looked forward to participating in Vincent’s special day without hesitation.  How fortunate that we are to have been here during this important time for him.

Tracy and Tom all smile.

The celebrations began on Wednesday during a picnic and played day at a local park where the kids frolicked in the grass when a local fire truck sprayed a stream of water into a field, enabling the kids to have fun getting soaked.  It was a good day.

A flaming tower of onion rings.

Yesterday was the actual graduation ceremony for his 80 member 5th-grade class at “SEA,” the School of Engineering and Arts. The gym was packed with enthusiastic and animated parents and grandparents anxious to see their loved ones graduate from this unique and highly acclaimed school.

After the commencement exercises ended, we headed to the lunch hall for cake and beverages. I declined the cake while Tom couldn’t resist a piece of white cake with lots of frosting. 

In order to avoid contamination from vegetable oils (which I don’t eat), my meal was prepared in the kitchen instead of at the table—seasoned well. It was pretty good.

After that party ended, we made our way to Benihana, a popular local Asian Teppanyaki restaurant, for dinner with Tammy, Tracy, Vincent, Tammy’s mom Lynda (Tom’s ex-wife), and Tracy’s mom Lena, where we all had a nice dinner.

Tom and I with Vincent.

Later on, Tom and I headed back to our hotel for a relaxing remainder of the evening to unwind and catch our breath. Again, it was a pleasant day and evening, and we were reeling with gratefulness for the experiences with our family members.

We’ll be back with a few more family photos over the next weeks as we continue to relish every moment spent in Minnesota with our family and friends.

From left to right, he was beginning at the back row. Tracy and Lynda and Lena (Vincent’s two other grandmas), Tom, Tammy, and Vincent. As a graduation gift we gave Vincent a family heirloom chess set including the board on his lap.

Have a beautiful day!

Photo from one year ago today, June 3, 2016:

Hamburger night in Bali, Tom had homemade burgers with cheese, fries, veggies, coleslaw while I had everything minus the fries. We’ve noticed he coughs from acid reflux at night after eating fries. No fries?  No cough. Humm…what does that tell him? For more photos, please click here.