Merry Christmas from MY neighborhood

All I want for Christmas is good health for the coming year for all of my family and everyone worldwide. I think everyone is looking back on 2020 and trying to put into perspective what transpired this year. They can’t believe what we’ve been through and are still going through. My heart goes out to all the Doctors and Nurses that have endured ungodly long hours and days upon days of working under war-like conditions. If you think I’m exaggerating, please read this article that I came across the other day. This article should be required reading for everyone.

Sometimes the best getaway is home

I recently heard from several of my friends who lost loved ones. I feel like no one escaped from being profoundly affected by this virus this year. On the flip side, at the beginning of the virus, my neighbor across the street, Bob, came down with coronavirus and became housebound for several weeks. He had previously lost his wife to cancer several years ago, so he had no one that lived nearby. His girlfriend, Marta, was 60 plus miles away. I wound up buying him groceries several times. I got paid back with many; many thank you’s from Bob and Marta, and as I write this blog, they dropped by to give us a bottle of wine and a gift for our two kids. I am really taken aback and feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for everyone around me and my local community. Without going into in-depth detail, the street I live on is remarkable, to say the least. Our good friends and neighbors, whom we vacation with at least once a year, dropped off Italian cookies and a HUGE gift basket on Christmas Eve. My wife and I were blown away by how generous and sweet it was. It’s not just the gifts; it’s the WAY you are treated on this block. Like everyone is family. And when I mean family, I mean better than family.
I have a great extended family, my in-laws, but the friends on this block are special to my wife and me. They take the time and get to know you and care about you. We’ve been to funerals, parties with DJs and waterslides where the street was blocked off, bachelorette parties, and so on. We’ve traveled several times with our good friends and neighbors, the Saccamanos. We went on several cruises and one trip to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for a chillax vacation. They have two kids that are roughly the same ages as our two kids. The adults still reminisce about that Ft. Lauderdale vacation. Nothing was planned, but he all had a blast and made life long memories with each other. That never would’ve happened if we never moved to this block in a little town in South Jersey.

Great Sand Dunes National Park

As much as I love to travel I did have a fantastic trip to the backyard earlier this summer which I did NOT blog about. This July my son and I were supposed to go to Colorado with the Boy Scouts for a week to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Because of coronavirus the Park was closed and the trip was canceled. I originally was a little nervous about having a week off and staying home the whole time. But I was pleasantly surprised by how relaxing and how much I enjoyed it for a change. I’m not sure how many times I’m going to take a week off and not go anywhere (probably never), but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

During the coronavirus we have traveled to Cape May, New Jersey and to Disney World twice. We visited Disney World for Halloween and again for Christmas in early December. I’ll eventually write a blog about our most recent trip but I’ll include some pictures of our last trip below.


  1. Very heartfelt article. It’s amazing how sometimes you just connect with people that aren’t family, yet make you feel like you are. So happy to have experienced as many vacations as we have with you guys. Can’t wait to see what the future brings for all of us. Eternally grateful to have such amazing friends, to say the least.

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