Monthly Archives: July 2007

The Passing Of Popi

Unfortunately when we came back from Maine, we found out that my grandfather (aka Popi) wasn’t doing well. He was in a hospice and the doctors were saying he didn’t have much time left. He passed on Sunday Morning.

Mom and Popi

Sunday was crazy as we tried to figure out what was going on, who was going where when. My mom managed to get plane tickets for the family to go down Monday to Saturday. Val was left at home to guard the apartment.

On Monday, Emily’s boyfriend John (aka “Popo the hotdog vendor”) drove us to the airport. On the way at around 7ish AM we drove through Watertown and passed by my co-worker Adam waiting for a bus. I don’t think he noticed us. It was kind of weird, but funny. I waved.

We barely made the flight, but we did make it. Jet Blue was nice. They offer Dunkin’ Donuts coffee which is neat. I just went with a morning soda and cookies, but unlike some airlines, they let me have the whole can. They have TVs on each chair which is nice, although I thought it was funny that they advertised Google on them.

Google Map on Plane

The ride was pretty smooth, although ad the end we had to go through a rain/storm cloud where there was some thunder/lightning.

Once landed we got a rental car and had to take care of some paperwork with the funeral home and cemetery. We’re staying at a nearby hotel because there’s 5 of us and we’re loud and have a lot of stuff. The hotel seemed nice although parts of it were being renovated. Also, it was creepy that our neighbor must have been the devil…

Devil is Hotel Neighbor
Tuesday was the day of the funeral service. I started the day with the hotel’s complimentary continental breakfast. A continental breakfast always sounds much more impressive than it is. Ooh, it’s so continental. The hotel’s continental breakfast consisted of some small danish (what’s the plural of danish?) and mini muffins. There was orange juice (thank goodness), some apples and coffee (although you had to guess which was regular and which was decaf).

I got ready first. Once I was ready I helped my mom with the eulogy she wrote the night before. I had her type it up on my laptop so that I could print it out for her. I saved it to my iPod and went to the hotel’s “business room.” For $5 for the first 10 minutes I could use their computer (printing is extra). Taking my time, I only needed 3 minutes and it charged $1 to print the 2 pages.

Once we were prepared, we went straight to the funeral home for the service.

Actually we got there quite early (which is very unlike us), but my sister wanted to go back to the hotel…she left her apple in the hotel room and was afraid she might get famished. My dad parked right up front, but then I took my siblings back to the hotel. I should have watched where my dad parked. I didn’t realized as I was backing up that there was a row of orange cones right behind the car. Yeah, that was embarrassing.

When my siblings and I got back to the funeral home, it was still a little early. There was time to mingle and see relatives and friends. I haven’t seen some family members in quite some time. Some I’ve never met. It was nice to see my aunt, uncle and cousins. My cousin Jessica looks the same as I remember, except now she has a little pregnant belly. My cousin Monica on the other hand is no longer a 12 year old girl (she’s in college now). Monica and I decided that Jessica and Brian’s beanie babie Bean will now be called Cookie Puss after the Carvel cake.

The service was short, but nice. Popi decided for a traditional (simple wooden) casket, which I thought was nice. My mom was able to read the speech she wrote, which was very nice.

After her, my uncle Victor gave a few words. His speech was much more light-hearted (not on the verge of tears like my mom). It was very Victor-ish — my favorite was when he used the word dig as in now dig this daddy-o.

After that, the Rabbi said a few more words and we proceeded to the procession to the cemetery. The procession was pretty smooth going with two motorcycle police officers clearing a path for us.

At the cemetery we gathered near the grave. It was incredibly hot and humid. There was a nice small tent to hide from the sun. After making sure the older people were able to find a seat, I sat down next to my sister. I didn’t realize until my bottom hit the chair that the fabric was connected (like a bench) to the other chairs in my row. The older woman next to me bounced into the air a bit and gave a little gasp.

There was a brief service with the the mourner’s kaddish, then they lowered him into the ground. The rabbi had a packet or Israeli dirt then he poured into the grave and then we all did the typical Jewish tradition for a burial of shoveling (or throwing) dirt down.

After the cemetery, we went to Nana’s, which is pretty much where we spent the next few days. There was a good turnout of people on the first day at Nana’s filling her condo with family and friends. In the days after there was significantly less people, but still people showed up every day.

On Friday night we lit the Shabbat candles, had some sliced challah and some pretty yucky sparkling grape juice.

Late Friday night, I found out there was a nearby Barnes and Noble, which I went to and got a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7), which I started reading immediately and finished on Sunday.

Barnes and Noble in Florida (HP7)

Anyways, on Saturday it was mostly packing up and getting ready to head home. On the way to the airport we saw an ice cream van, that I think looked creepy.
Ice Cream Van

Yes, the van said, “STOP..? WATCH (for) CHILDREN!”

We got to the airport on time, but the flight was delayed because of a lightning storm in Fort Lauderdale. The airport employee needs to learn to address people better. You could see him searching for the right words as he was making the announcement about the delay, but instead said, “There’s nothing we can do. We just have to wait as we’re BEING HELD HOSTAGE…by the lightning storm.” You could hear the collective gasp from the people waiting for their planes.

Luckily the flight back was smooth, albeit a bit later than anticipated.

We’ll all miss Popi…Rest in peace Popi: 1919 – 2007

The Great Outdoors: Camping in Maine

Ian in Acadia

Val and I packed up our bags, hopped in the car and drove about 5 hours north until we reached Acadia National Park in Maine. It was nice to take a nice long drive in the car, seeing as our typical drives are quite short.

We went to Acadia last year, so it was nice to come back. This year, we stayed, Wednesday and came home on Saturday. We camped in a tent, roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. We also caught up with re-reading Harry Potter books! :)

Val in Maine

We spent time walking around and going on small hikes. Val packs great lunches!

Sandwiches

We walked along the coast to admire the trees, mountains and ocean views.

Ocean Path

Sailboat in Maine

Acadia is beautiful and has many natural wonders. Even just looking up at the sky looks different. At night, without the city lights, you can see so many stars!

Back along the coast, one such natural wonder is known as Thunder Hole:

Thunder Hole

We traveled up Cadillac mountain and enjoyed the high-altitude view.

Green Moutains in Acadia

Calm water and perfect sky in Acadia

Looking out from Cadillac Mountain
Down the mountain, we explored through Acadia’s Wild Gardens, showcasing various plants.

Wild Gardens of Acadia

There were pretty flowers

Pretty Pink Flower

as well as interesting creatures, such as this blue dragonfly:

Blue dragonfly

On our last day, we stopped by Jordan’s Pond Tea House, sat outside on with a great view of the pond and the nearby mountains. I wasn’t in the mood for tea, so I ordered an iced cappuccino (Val got the tea), but were were both sure to try their pop-overs! Yum!

Overall it was relaxing and enjoyable. We also spent some time in Bar Harbor, going into shops, and had a nice meal. For dessert, ice cream! Val got Black Raspberry Disaster and I had Moose Tracks (or something like that).

We can’t decide if we want to regularly go back, or try somewhere new!

Pirates’ Booty at the Mad Raven (Trivia Night)

I’ve been taking a class Tuesday nights, but class was canceled. With all this free time (and no work tomorrow), Val gathered up a couple co-worker/friends and we headed to the Mad Raven for Trivia Night!

Val and Gwenn, contemplating our answer (or checking the score of the Red Sox game):
Val and Gwenn at Trivia Night

Note to the Mad Raven: Your dueling Web sites thing is weird.

What’s up with that? Well, no worries Mad Raven I won’t hold it against you.

Back to Trivia Night, we decided on the team name Pirates’ Booty, primarily because Daniel is a pirate and we wanted some booty (1st prize was a $50 gift certificate and 2nd prize was
a round of drinks).

Amy and Daniel deep in thought:
Amy and Daniel at Trivia Night

There were some tough questions and some we got right away. We started off mediocre, along with many other teams, but before we knew it we were in second place!

Caroline aka Zoolander
Caroline at Trivia Night

Then we pulled ahead one round and make it to first place! Unfortunately, we quickly dropped back down to second. Then came the final round…

Me (Ian), designated team scribe:
Ian Thinking at Trivia Night

Yes, Pirates’ Booty did maintain its second place standing and won a round of drinks! Woo hoo!

It was very exciting and I think a fun evening was had by all. Just in case you ever need to know, the official size of an Olympic ping pong table is 76cm tall and 9ft long.
Reflecting on our second place victory I came to thinking about the meaning of seond place. I think in light of this evening I will agree with ZDSBS (shown here with the worlds largest carrot slice), when he says, “I think its more interesting to look at the second best before looking at the first best.”

ZDSBS was not in attendance at this evening. He is shown here because I’ve been wanting to post this wacky picture of him holding a slice of carrot.
Zach (ZDSBS) with onion slice

That said, maybe next time we can get first…