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*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Archive for December 28th, 2017

Fiftieth Anniversary

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The big five-oh. It is a milestone that deserved the biggest family trip yet. To celebrate 50 years of marriage, Fred and Marie found a way to include all of their children and grandchildren into one awesome week of vacation. They rented a mansion that could house all of us on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Spending a week at Hilton Head together was so much more than just a vacation to the beach. We weren’t staying in hotel rooms. We had an entire house. Granted, it was a mansion large enough that we could retreat to our own rooms, just as if it were a hotel.

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A significant difference was that family prepared the meals right there in the kitchen.┬áCousins had some extended quality time to develop greater bonds. Kids all got a dose of supervision and play from aunts and uncles that gave parents occasional breaks and expanded everyone’s understanding of the rest of their family.

Staying together in one house was the big key that set this trip apart from all the others. It was like a week at Wildwood, except on the ocean with an expansive sandy beach.

And, well, it was extravagantly luxurious, too. It felt like a dose of what being rich and famous might be like.

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Those stairs. So big, it was hard to capture in a picture. Walking up them inspired feelings of royalty.

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It’s comical, really, that part of the regal impression was created by the simple fact you could choose to walk to the left or right. They both lead to the very same place.

Having a pool right outside the back door was rather plush, given the Pacific Ocean was just a stone’s throw beyond.

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We played games beside the pool, we made castles in the sand.

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It was an absolutely grand time. I believe it set the stage for what might be possible a decade later.

When it came time to celebrate a sixtieth anniversary, how would they ever top that week at Hilton Head?

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Written by johnwhays

December 28, 2017 at 7:00 am