Bill and Cathy McArthur Spring/Summer/Fall 2006: 5

   The 2006 edition of the McArthur Family Reunion was held a bit later this year, June 23 - July 1. The weather forecast for the week was dreadful, but there's usually room to work around the rain and thunderstorms. Katie, Tom, and Rachel arrived late on Friday night. On Saturday morning, we took Rachel down to our beach, where she took to the sand immediately. Cathy worked until mid-afternoon at the bookstore. The rest of us drove to Cape May Point and walked the beach into Cape May for lunch at Louie's Pizza. After a visit with Cathy, we walked back up the beach and got caught in a hard downpour before reaching the car. Rachel was quizzical about our being out in the rain, but she was philosophical about it. Alex, Phil, Erin, and Bridget and Stacey, Bill, and Sarah arrived during the afternoon. Meanwhile, Bill picked up Cathy at work and went to George Pechin's house to pick up a Sacher Torte, a cheesecake with raspberry sauce, a pecan pie, sticky buns, Viennese Rolls, and a couple of loaves of bread. Bill, his brother Bob, and Katie drove to Wildwood for the Plunge for Patients 5K which had a 6:00 PM starting time. The run was on the beach at high tide and was a tough run in soft sand. At one point during the race, Bill pitched onto his face in the wet sand when his left big toe dug into the sand. Bill took his usual after-race dip in the ocean and then we drove to Cape May to join the rest of the crowd for dinner with the remainder of the McArthurs staying at a house on Hughes Street in Cape May. Bill couldn't find a place to park in Cape May and had to return home for dinner. During the night, the rain began to fall and it rained hard throughout the night and all morning. Bill and Katie made a run to the Lobster House for swordfish steaks and to the ACME for some other items. We had lunch at the house and then the sun came out like magic. We were blessed with wonderful weather for the rest of the afternoon and evening. It's a good thing because we hosted a cookout for the whole crowd. The food and company were excellent and everybody enjoyed the event. On Monday, the bad weather stayed across the Bay. We all went in to Cape May to spend the morning on the beach. Bill and Bob took a jog on the promenade and then joined the others on the beach. Some of us went to McGlades for lunch while the others ate at the Cape May house. Eventually, we all returned home for a low-key afternoon. We all enjoyed dinner at the house in Cape May on Monday night. Bob and Julia left for Maine on Tuesday morning. At our house, Katie, Tom, and Rachel took a bike ride. Stacey, Sarah, and Bill went to our beach where Sarah enjoyed the sand. Bill and Alex then took a 2 mile walk. All of the groups met at the Cape May County Park and Zoo at a bit after 10:00 AM. A pleasant breeze kept us from feeling the stifling heat that sometimes accompanies a trip to the zoo. The two littlest ones rode in the American Flyer while everyone else wandered afoot. We returned home for lunch. In the afternoon, Bill walked for 4 more miles. Then, Rachel got her first ride in a kayak; she really enjoyed it. On Tuesday evening, the immediate family was to go to dinner at Cucina Rosa, according to the following email that Bill received from Alex a week earlier:

Hi Dad - Please relay to Mom that I got reservations for all of us for Tuesday night at 7 pm at Cucina Rosa.  I tried for a little earlier, but they didn't have availability and I know you guys prefer eating around that time anyway.  Hopefully, the kids will behave - I'm sure we can bring coloring books, etc. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday.  I'm guessing we'll get there sometime in the afternoon as we may have to finish packing in the morning.  We're going to HersheyPark on Friday so it's a busy week! Alex

Alex, Phil, and the girls had left in mid-afternoon supposedly to meet one of Alex's former colleagues and her son for a game of miniature golf. Cathy arrived home from work around 5 PM. The rest of us got dressed and left around 6:30 PM for Cape May. When we got to Cucina Rosa, we were led to our usual upstairs location, used each time we show up with a family group including kids. When we reached the top of the stairs, the word "Surprise!" rang out. We entered a room set up for a 40th Anniversary party for us, done in secret by our kids. Surprised? We were completely shocked. Cathy's sister Marianne was there from Belleair Beach, Florida. Howie and Paulette Bell were there from Danbury, Connecticut, Don and Bern Ernakovich were there from Lewes, Delaware, our sister-in-law Shannon White was there from Fort Myers, Florida, and Jim Sosna and Linda Keech were there from our local vicinity. These all were in addition to the family reunion folks. It was a very nice surprise, indeed, cooked up by our kids when they were in Georgia for Sarah's birthday in April. They had a formal invitation, a program, a party menu, a wine and beer bar, and a fabulous PowerPoint presentation after a great meal. I guess we did something right to have such fabulous children. On Wednesday, a large subset of us met at the Mad Batter for breakfast. We sat in our "usual" table in the corner of the back porch. Marianne moved from the Atlas Motel to our house for a couple of nights and joined Bill for part of the walking on his 3 mile run/3 mile walk to the canal. For dinner, we all met at the Lobster House and occupied 4 tables in the outside dock area. It was a beautiful evening in an interesting setting. We stopped at the Rainbow Ice Cream Parlor on the way home. On Thursday, we loaded into 2 cars and went to Wildwood to enjoy a morning session at the Raging Waters park on Morey's Pier. Everyone had a ball, including Sarah. We ate lunch on the boardwalk before heading home. Bill went out for a 6 mile paddle down to the canal during the afternoon. We had another great dinner at the Cape May rental house on Thursday night. Friday brought a perfect beach day at last. Marianne left early to fly back to Florida. Cathy went to work. The rest of the house headed for Cape May for a last day on the beach. While the others frolicked on the beach, Bill walked to the lighthouse and back. Then we topped off a great morning with lunch at Louie's Pizza. Bill put a double cappuccino on top of the pizza as an exclamation point! Son Bill returned from Maryland in mid-afternoon. In the evening, Paul, Joan (who returned from home the night before), Phil, Alex, Bill, and Stacey went to Tisha's for dinner. We had fun playing with Sarah before she went to sleep for the night. Saturday was another beautiful day and also Bill's birthday whose number is the product of three primes. We decided that going to a restaurant was not possible on this of all weekends, so we planned a cookout. Cathy went off to work at the bookstore. Bill and Son Bill dropped off Son Bill's rental car and then bought tuna steaks at the Lobster House and the rest of the groceries at ACME. After putting things away at home, we all drove into Cape May and ate a wonderful late breakfast at Congress Hall's Blue Pig Restaurant. Then we walked to the bookstore and watched Cape May's 4th of July parade go by. When we returned home, Bill prepared the vegetables for the cookout. Later, on the way to pickup Cathy at the bookstore, Bill had to face the hordes of people at ACME in order to buy snacks for Sarah for the next day's trip home. Bill picked up Cathy a bit late and then we headed home for a great cookout. After dinner, Bill opened presents and we enjoyed an ice cream cake. We watched "Something About Mary" until we all needed to take an early bedtime. Sunday morning began at 4:00 AM when Bill woke Son Bill and Stacey, who were on the road toward Atlantic City Airport at 4:30 AM. We went back to bed in the RV and were awakened by a phone call from Stacey at around 7:15 AM. She and Sarah were back in the airport terminal after being on the plane for a while. It appeared that something was wrong with the plane. Stacey called again 8:06 AM to say that her flight had been cancelled. At 8:51 AM, Stacey called again to tell us that she and Sarah were being shuttled to Philadelphia for an early afternoon flight to Atlanta. Bill called us during mid-afternoon to say that Stacey and Sarah were given first class seats on their flight to Altanta and that they had arrived there. We took a morning walk and then spent the rest of the day cleaning and reordering the house.

        Bill and Cathy