I Am Inspired

another clapkin clan.

I am inspired this morning to share a “what if” thought. Usually, if you are on a solid track, you don’t go off into that dark patches full of what if’s. Today is a day I am going to let myself travel in that direction.

One thought I have never shared, and it is a “what if”. Once we lived in a lovely part the City of Los Angeles called Cheviot Hills. Our family grew and grew, and very soon there were 7 of us. Our beautiful English Tudor three bedroom home shrank and shrank until finally we had to make a move to accommodate our growing family. Our question was to stay in the city or move to the Valley beyond.

We moved to the Valley beyond. Every so often we talk about how our lives would be different and how the lives of our children would be different if we stayed in the city and NOT moved to the Valley Beyond!!!

We could not have a nicer family. The children and grandchildren are all well, educated and settled. We still live within a short driving distance to all of them. So you see this “What if” question of whether this or that or something else is not even pie in the sky. We have already received our rewards. Now it is still up to those in the photograph to continue growth and development.

Keep on the right road kids and mom and pop, good job!

clapkin van

The House Next Door


The house next door is getting a new roof. After so many years of wear, it began to leak. I did not know how intricate the work of art between man and materials is in the job of receiving a new   roof, and I have learned to respect it greatly.

Many men have worked the past two weeks, weekends off, to finish the job. I have the best view out of my two-story bedroom window. Men working on the first phase made the most terrifying grinding, ripping, scrapping, wrenching noises as they worked to pull off the old, and tired roof tiles. The tiles were gone, but still they scraped and pulled. Then some slight banging began to secure the edges of the chimney.

The next task was to unload all of the tiling necessary to complete the roofing job. As these men transferred the tiles to the roof, they threw each tile to one man on the first level, who in turn threw the tile to the next level. Tiles passed hands for the rest of the afternoon and were placed in rows where they would be nailed into place beginning the very next day. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang! Double bang, bang. Triple bang, bang, bang. Bang, bang, bang for the week and into the next. The roof stands newly shining in this morning’s sun.

The house next door had a big family. The four children were raised, and left to live their own lives. Their sweet, precious, kind and generous momma died and dad is left to live his life. Dad is a righteous, trustworthy, caring, kind person winning a Great Neighbor award.

The yard of the house next door is full of roses, fruit trees, and perch with a view that extends to the valley below all the way to the Santa Susanna Mountains. Now sparkling from the new roof are waves of reflective light and some twinkling going on.

God Bless all of you from the house next door and thank you for all of your kind attention these many years.


Memories: A Memoir Writing Class Assignment


Interview with Carly about Memories she has of us Together:

“What memories do you have of us together?”

” I have memories of us looking through your jewelry and the jewelry gave me memories of you. I also remember the first black and white bracelet I made for you that broke after a long time. I knew I had to make you a new one so I did. I remember our trip to Mexico and the swim with the dolphins. I remember our trip to Hawaii and the swim in the Seven Pools.”

“Any more memories?”

” Oh yes, I remember cooking and when we were making muffins, I made a mistake and dropped too many chocolate chips in the batter. It ended up being a good mistake. Also, you taught me to put a package of pudding mix in cake batter to make it extra moist. I remember you and grandpa taking me up to the top of the hill to a giant, pretty sunset. You bought me a stretchy real pearl bracelet at Ross. It fits me perfectly. I remember telling you I had to run a mile nearly every day and you agreed with me that you use up your parts to early and maybe will have bad knees when you grow up. And today I remember the Birthday Scavenger Hunt!”


Don’t ask me for just one memory because I don’t have just one memory; I have so many. You are a person I admire and a cool, calm, and collected person. The parties at your house are really fun. I remember a lot of those and a lot of fun. We made a lot of muffins together. I like the banana ones and chocolate chips. I liked all the stuff we bake. One time we used almond flour and the cake tasted much sweeter and softer with almond flour than the cake box.

I remember the times we went out to dinners. All the food was always really good. One time I remember is when we went to an Italian restaurant and you taught me to dip my buttered pasta into a side order of marinara sauce. It made the pasta taste great. I won’t forget to order a side of marinara or maybe meat sauce.

I remember sleeping over your house on the couch in the bedroom. Now I am to big for it and besides you got a new couch. I’ll have to try it out.


  1. We used to have fun in the mall. I remember we were sitting having lunch and I saw the wrinkles on your neck. I called you Gecko Neck. You collected gecko pins and earrings for a while. You showed me your collection.
  1. I remember our New York Trip and our trip to Hershey Pennsylvania. I remember the graveyard in Philadelphia and we saw a ghost rise up. No one saw it but us.
  1. I remember you helped me learn to read better one summer and we read a whole series, but I don’t remember the name of it. It helped.
  1. I remember the whole family was riding in a bus on our Hawaii trip and the driver slammed on his breaks. I went flying right over your head.

Memories Shared by April:

One time you bought me a really nice pillow from Ross. I remember sleeping over your house; I think I was six.   Also, I remember when we bought some washcloths and made pillows with them. I still have mine. We cooked food together,

We had a lot of fun at Sheri and Jodi’s house on Easter, we had a scavenger and egg hunt and you brought big baskets for everyone.

I remember when my mom was ill and you and grandpa picked us up and we went places and did a lot of things together, and then we went home when my mom felt better.

I remember we went on a trip to Mexico, then, Hawaii and a trip to Alaska.

I remember all of the Jewish Holidays at your house, but I never found the Matzo. I remember your 50th wedding anniversary party and I remember a birthday party for you when we all wore the same shirt with your picture on it.

Experience Guinea Fowl for dinner, we did.

photo 3


















It depends on where in this world you live how easily or difficult it is to find Guinea Fowl to cook for your dinner. In our case finding it in Los Angeles took some research, but here he/she is and the last one in the case at that.

After bringing our bounty home we washed our bird, then dressed the bottom of the pan with onions, apples and a little apple juice, topped with a small amount of cinnamon and sugar on the apple onion base. Added to the guinea fowl’s skin 1/3 cup of melted butter or olive oil, add seasoned salt. Never mind, leave the neck head and beak, because that is all part of the allure.  Bake for 1½ hour, but I added time on to our baking because of insecurity.

Everything during the baking of your first Guinea Fowl produces anxiety followed by lots of good smells. You probe your Guniea every once in awhile, you baste it with cooked juices, and you to fuss with several side dishes. The choice on side dishes is yours, certainly there are many and varied ideas.

When your bird looks very ready, out you pull the perfectly browned body, yummy apple onion bottom bake and neck head and crown. This glorious sight is all set aside to rest while you finish your early celebratory glass of wine. Soon it becomes time to carve your Guinea Fowl.

The carving takes a steady hand and well worked out muscles. Guinea takes finesse as well as brawn. Am I trying to say it is a bit tough? Only the carving. The meat is tasty and secure. The flavor is very good, acrtually borders on delicious and the apple onion base is spectacularly lovely, making it all worthwhile in my humble opinion. Save the memorable furcula.


Would we hunt and find Guinea Fowl again. Probably if you asked us to cook it for you we would, but not for an everyday meal. There is a place to purchase Guinea Fowl called The Pieking Poultry in chinatown on S. Broadway Street, Los Angeles California. Google it. Call ahead.




A Feather for Anna


If you have a grandmother or grandfather, go and visit him, her, or both of them right now before you read this, or after if you like, but I warn you not to wait too long.

My grandmother’s name is Anna. She asked me to drop a feather into her grave after they lowered her casket into the ground. I said I would even though I was hoping to split from the scene just before the painful lowering of grandma into the ground for eternity. I waited as promised and dropped the feather into her grave. When I let the feather go, the wind blew it in a soft floating way and then in a downward spiral where it landed on the side of the coffin where I imagined her heart to lie.

I want to tell you this.

Before she passed she said the she has had some gloriously golden moments in her lifetime and was happy for most of her days. She was happy even when she was waiting she said.

“Waiting?” I asked, “waiting for what grandma?”

“Not waiting for what, waiting for whom,” she answered.

“ Whom were you waiting for? I asked.

“You,” she answered.

“For me?”

‘Yes dear, I always waited for you to come and visit and when you did I jumped for joy.”

Fifth Grade Culmination/Graduation in West Hills, California Celebrating our Granddaughter’s Achievement


As you can see, modern technology secures a record of this event for each iPad holder/user, but for me it screened out the event that I so desperately craned and wiggled to see. I know they did not realize that they were being obtrusive and prominently using up my space and the space of others to see their family member culminate/graduate. I enjoy bringing you the above photograph of the experience plus I have added the interior chuckle I have every time I see the iPads using my space or is it theirs once they have taken it?

Well thought out plans had been made for this event and many practice sessions had been conducted; all speeches were committed to memory, the songs well rehearsed, outfits for the event had been searched for and purchased by the celebrated child and family members. As the rewarded volunteers took their front seats, we the others, scrambled for the best leftover seats we could secure.

The prossession began. We were on the wrong side, oh well.  The speeches began and songs sung. The school officials gave appropriate speeches of their love for the children, rewards given, culmination certificates lovingly handed to each child, another song was sung and the procession off to begin a new life began.  The photo on the top is what I saw of the event for most of the time. But I am not one for the back scenes or do I like to sit on the sidelines, so I scrambled, nudged, gently elbowed and jostled myself in position to grab the shots of our granddaughter receiving two awards and her diploma for our family records.

Aside from enjoying and witnessing this charming event I saw so little of, I had an opportunity to feel like I was my mother. She so proudly came to these advancing events for our children and smiled with hugs. Now I am she.

Visit the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California: March 1 – May 12, 2013


When your eyes become acclimated to the hills awash with brilliant flower colors, you come back down to earth and realize this is heaven on earth. It is what I envision heaven to be.  As soon as I earn the two points I am short upon arrival, Saint Peter opens the opaque gates and flowers, flowers, flowers is the first impression and then it goes on from there.  This is not a lesson on heaven, Saint Peter or the pearly gates; it is just a sharing of joy and an invitation for you to enjoy the Carlsbad Flower Fields @ 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad, CA.  The only kink unfortunately is for you to be prepared to stand in a long line to pay your admission fee. You would think on such busy days they would have more than one-person selling tickets.

Look! You are greeted and kindly asked to enjoy the fields.


If you were aware and fortunate enough back when these homes were being built you would be able to enjoy this view all spring and early summer. What a backyard bonus.


The fields are planted several weeks apart to insure months of flower productivity and viewing.

The lady in the next photograph was posing for another photographer and I joined in. She was so down in and among the flora, I envied her. I think there may be something illegal about posting her photo, so if this is you and you are opposed this posting, let me know, and I will immediately remove your photo from this post, but in the meantime, let us enjoy your loveliness, your enjoyment and endorsement of the flower fields.


Visitors were walking around smiling and full delight was the order of the day.




You still have time to enjoy the flowers and if you miss them this year, plan for a visit next year.

My Uncle Max Levin

My Uncle Max Arnold Levin was born on February 12, 1927 and died July 24, 2012 in Millbrae California at age 85. Max was born to my Grandmother Dora and My Grandfather Joseph Levin in San Francisco. He was known as one of the twins.  He was a true sports fan and was loyal to the S.F. Giants, 49ers and a Warrior fan for his entire life.

I knew little about his life and his growing up years. I was not even born for some of it and then, he lived in San Francisco and I lived in Los Angeles.  I would visit my family in San Francisco and got to know Uncle Max.  It wasn’t until I was grown did I really understand my Uncle Max’s talents. He was quiet until he spoke and when he spoke everyone within range heard his booming statements. He thought for a long time before he made a statement.  Everyone did not agree with him all of the time, but all of the time he was right. I realized that those that did not agree did not understand his well thought out truths.

My Uncle Max had many bosses in his life that told him what to do and he did it.  When he got to be his own boss, he was happy and satisfied that he did a wonderful job.  Now that he was the boss, he made decisions he had made all of his life, but this time he made them and carried them out to fruition in his own time and in his own way, the right way.

Later in his life, a painter put a paintbrush into my Uncle Max’s hands. He dipped and stroked the paper with great and true abandonment.  His works of art dripped and strode across the page.

He created masterpieces with remnants of his life story. They were the simple truths of his reality. They told of his struggles and his gradual coming through to the light. They are few, but they are brilliant statements he alone could have made. They stand unaided in all of their beauty. The artist born in my Uncle Max marked him and enlightened the world.

When Uncle Max told you some thing, it was something he had been thinking about for a long time.  If he asked you something he wanted to know the truth. If he was quiet, he was thinking. He was always thinking and then sharing. Uncle Max was a caring man, but he didn’t care if you believed him or understood him, but if he liked you, he wanted you to like him.

When Uncle Max’s parents became ill one by one, he took great care of them. He made promises to them that he carried out to the letter until the day he died. He was a man who if he made a promise, always followed through.  Knowing this about my Uncle Max has led me never, ever if possible to make a promise for fear I might not keep it.  Uncle Max never worried because he had always kept his promises and knew he always would. He was so diligent, conscientious and attentive to all of his tasks.

The tradition in the Levin family was to keep in touch. The two business locations were in different cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles.  A designated person, family member and manager in one city would call a designated person, family member and manager in the other city on a certain day, at a certain time every week, week in and week out. When the managers and family members began to die off, the tradition continued, but the designees changed. Uncle Max, the last of the tradition called my father Martin, every week until Martin died, and I called Uncle Max until he could speak no more and soon died.

My Uncle Max was a successful businessman and enjoyed the fruits of his labor.  He was generous, big hearted and a loving man. If he loved you, he wanted you to love him back and we all did. We love you dear Uncle Max and thank you for being our Uncle Max!!!

New York City, Hershey Pennsylvania followed by Lovely Historical Philadelphia

All photos by Colby, Marci and Sheila

Experiencing traveling through the eyes of your child and your grandchild has no words to describe the visceral experience. It comes instinctual rather than thinking, or  emotional rather than mental reasoning. I have tried to explain something grand and rewarding. Something enchanting. Something we all need to strive to experience and when we have, share it. When we go out to eat, our twelve-year-old grandson orders steak and lobster, shrimp, hamburgers and chicken Caesar salads.  Our daughter swells up from bouillabaisse, enjoys chicken, deep green salads, a gourmet hamburger here and there, but mainly keeps it low fat. I can sit in a chair all day and watch them enjoy their new experiences, which is new and rewarding travel knowledge for me.

We were able to inhale most of the tourist’s sights, bask in the crowds in Times Square and shop, as well as enjoy two plays, Spiderman and War Horse. It was thrilling to see both of these performances. Spiderman flies all around the audience several times and if you have the right seats, he almost flies into your lap. The horses in War Horse were beautiful and their handlers made you feel they are real even though they are exquisitely crafted puppets. It is joyous to spend evenings in the theatre.

Visit to the Main Library and Bryant Park

Visited the Top of the Rock this day.

God Bless America!

We also enjoyed having dinner with our friends. J & A. Your apartment high above the crowds is a lovely oasis and your new parquet floors are so authentic. Keep them uncovered, and put some dazzling rugs in the right places; you’ll be happy with the look.

I was able to chat and have dinner with beautiful Joy, a former student of mine, a number of years ago.  When we first met: I asked, “ Joy, are you old enough to share a drink before dinner?” She said, “Sheila, and I can call you that now because I am thirty-three years old.”  See time flies and yes, we are having fun.  Hopefully your move to Brooklyn was gentle on you. This reminds me when we retuned home from our trip, there was an old movie I got sucked, and I mean sucked into: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I cried non-stop through nearly all of it. To our friends in Brooklyn, the next time we have the good fortune to come to New York, we are going to plan some time to STAY in Brooklyn because I feel I need to be there. There is something in Brooklyn I need to know, something that has been waiting for me for a long time.

All and all we had an “I Love New York Experience!” Skip wants to follow his dream and rent an apartment in Manhattan for a month. I will follow him, because home is anywhere he is…so all of you in the vicinity, let’s us have fun.

On to Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Look, making Smores on the lawn amidst high heat and even higher humidity, but oh so good.

In lieu of sounding like an ad for Hershey, Pennsylvania, let me tell you it is booked as “The Sweetest Place On Earth.”  Well, not for me. Remember age plays a factor in this equation.  They also advertised that they have a world-class amusement park and they do. Families would depart the hotel soon after breakfast and not return until after ten o’clock when the park closes. They have a wonderful water park associated with the theme park and certainly a relief for the hot and humid weather that greeted us. They also have a Hershey Museum and Chocolate World where you learn about how the candy is made and the day we arrived they were setting up for a huge concert that night. I wish I could be more descriptive of the park, but I can’t because I did not go there. I did experience the Pennsylvania countryside on the drive from New York City to Hershey and the charming ride into Philadelphia.  Let me tell you, driving out of NYC is a challenge, but the countryside awaiting you is a lush and green everywhere as far as the eye can see. You can travel countryside’s all over the world and not see anything prettier, greener or heartier.  I noticed that there are opportunities for “Farm Stays,” which are similar to B&B’s only located on a working farm allowing you an opportunity to be up close and personal with the workings of farm life and the people work and live there.

Days and nights of fun at Hershey Park.

You do eat chocolate during your stay in Hershey.  The hotels received a bad name in the past and were considered cheap and stingy with chocolate in various write-ups, so I noticed a lot more candy is provided for hotel guests to enjoy. I would not call it generous, but not stingy either.

We continued on to lovely, historical Philadelphia.

Natives on an Eight-Day Mexican Riviera Christmas Cruise From San Diego To: Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, La Paz, and Cabo San Lucas

First of all, let me say how lucky and blessed all sixteen of us are to have been granted this wonderful cruise experience and second of all you have just observed the most expensive family photo known to man. The shipboard photographers hold the most observable, most documentable evidence that the sixteen of you really appeared, acted and participated singly and collectively in this memorable experience.  This being said, they hold the money key. They can charge you the sun, the moon and sky and they do. For each copy collectively and or individually, is $39.95 per sheet. On each sheet is a pose with two-wallet size of each. There are sixteen of us. For formal night alone at $39.39 each is big money, so will you do the math? Who are they kidding? The thing is they are not kidding.  You pay and you pay big or you do not receive any visual documents of your trip. You see the family formal night photo don’t you? We took brownie camera shots, but they do not do justice in comparison to the gorgeous shots taken by the ship’s photographers. Plus let me add that when one of you is clicking, you are not in the photo. All and all what I am trying to say is they have you by the earlobes.

Traveling with a family of sixteen uniquely individualistic people has its challenges. In spite of the challenges we melded and bonded on this trip and became whole.  For any amount of money you can name, we would not have been able to buy this perfect experience from beginning, middle and end. It just happened by the grace of God and the forces that bind that the memories; the melding and the bonding are still in place. I am not saying that a family cruise will solve all of your problems, it could even exacerbate them, but for us it was heaven sent. If you think this is for you I know a great and wonderful travel agent, Glenda, at Frosch Classic Cruise and Travel, who will work out all the kinks for you; there are kinks and tricks to putting this all in place and she will do it as graciously for you as she did for us.  You too, may just have all the luck and marvel we had, so let me know, I will give you her particulars and she will wave her magic wand over your exciting departure, your splendid adventures and your safe return.

Brilliant idea: Some members of the group stopped at Best Buy on the way to the ship and bought sets of Walkie Talkies for each family. We were able to easily keep tabs on each other and join up more easily. We decided to adopt code names for the members of our group.  We are not quite sure we are finished, but for now, meet: Bright Light, Jackpot, Wonder Woman, Starfish, Queen Bee, G-Man, Morning Glory, Food Snob, Pita, His Majesty, Ladder, Justice, Chipmunk, Bandage, Dream Girl and Maybeline.  So guess who’s who?

Ports of Call:


After two days at sea on a nice ship, but one that needs to be put in for refurbishing, we docked in Puerto Vallarta. As the sun began to rise and the ship was secured, we took a walk on the promenade deck. The first thing you see is Wal-Mart, but beyond that, Puerto Vallarta is a bustling town full of traffic and people coming and going. The town center has maintained cobblestone streets and most of the homes and buildings look unfinished and rough. There is a reason for this state of the structures.  If you finish your home or building you have to pay taxes and if you are still working on it you do not.  Would you finish construction on your building? Neither does anyone else. The total look of the town is bumpy, course, ragged, frayed, tattered, and shabby, but you get to keep a number of thousands in tax money in your pocket.

Each member of our family was able to procure a souvenir or two from Puerto Vallarta, the unfinished, town of cobblestones, nearly paved and dirt roads full of unfinished homes and buildings. My souvenir was a small watercolor painting given to me by my son-in-law, Ladder. The people we encountered are friendly, seemingly happy, sweet and good looking. We bargained with a few vendors, which is the national way of tourist business.


We all loved arriving in Mazatlan because we have been waiting for the treasured sights that abound in this Mexican seaside town.  We saw the sights in town and out of town.  After a visit to the high divers, we visited an area in the heart of Mazatlan where they have every conceivable type of store in a huge intense market.  Included are some photos of the meat stalls. As you can see I was intrigued by the preparation of meat from the whole animal to it’s parts and pieces.


After visiting this fantastic market, we had lunch on an inviting sandy beach, followed by a trip to the Golden Zone to a visit some of the beautiful tourist hotels.  We had time to spend at a gorgeous hotel offering beach lounging. Activities offered on the beach are: parasailing, banana boat rides, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing, and other great water activities. The day passed all to quickly.  Mazatlan is a place one must consider for a return visit.


We docked a ways from town and all we could see looked like a semi-deserted area in a full desert environment.  We did not know what to expect and were anticipating this new experience. What a charmingly beautiful surprise awaited our arrival. La Paz is as beautiful and authentic as it gets. As soon as you leave the deserted dock area, there is an endless array of natural beauty connecting land and sea, and then, you come to the little town built on a hill with all you will ever need and full of places to explore. Needless to say, independently, the 16 of us spent the day in La Paz. We even had a little time to spend on the beach looking into the bluest, greenest water, in competition with the world’s most beautiful water scenes.


Cabo San Lucas is beautiful. It sits on the south end of the Baja Peninsula. Whatever you are looking for, you will find in Cabo.  The hospitality of this town surrounds you the minute you step into its charm. The harbor is beautiful and very busy.

Our family went Swimming with the Dolphins. Everyone had a wonderful time in Cabo!

Cabo presents world-class golf courses, world-class hotels, boats of all nature in a classically dazzling harbor, shopping galore, fabulous food and sport fishing. I mention sport fishing because we had an opportunity to visit Cape Marine, a store owned by Emily and Harold’s son, Phillip. Who are Emily and Harold?  They are our friends. They have a Condo in Cabo and come often from Pacific Beach to visit their son Phillip and family.  We had afternoon tea together and walked around the harbor until it was time for us to board our tender back to the ship.

Lastly, and by no means least, I must let you know that lady luck did not desert Skip. He DID win the Blackjack tournament on the ship with the usual T-shirts and a hefty monetary prize as well.  I note this because as you now know, he has won every blackjack tournament on every cruise we have ever taken. He wonders if it is skill or luck?  What do you think?

In conclusion, this is what we achieved and how I appreciate the wisdom and effort it took all of us to get here: Taking sixteen of your family members on a cruise has many epic tasks. It is like opening a million-piece puzzle set, dumping the pieces out on your dining room table and beginning to put the pieces together.  At first it is slow going. The pieces are stubborn and just a few come together leaving the field open. More and more as you work on it, the pieces slowly but surely come together, and the puzzle is formed. That’s exactly how our cruise came together. Putting the puzzle parts together was work, love, and respect. The lessons learned are observable and hidden.

The addition to our lives and the putting of the puzzle together involved the shedding of our old selves, the good, the observable, the hidden and the unexplainable. Then came the adding of the individual collections together; created the forming of a cohesive family. The divisions are individual and deep seated. They remain with each individual piece, but added together makes the unit complete.  Pieces get moved, shuffled, re-arranged making room for new additions and or subtractions, but the nucleus remains an important hub and as the puzzle forms and comes to fruition, it is ready for the glue and the shellac.

You ask, what did we do as we worked on pulling all of the million of pieces together? We ate, ate, ate, and ate some more. On sea days, we had breakfast; brunch and lunch, tea, snacks, dinner and some went off in search of late night munchies. There were daily shipboard activities presented all day long to whet the intellectual appetites as well. We began to move and wander together like a school of fish.

At each port there were many shore excursion suggestions: We collectively visited a tequila factory, snorkeled, participated in a Mexican Fiesta, learned to make tortilla’s, swam with the dolphins, rode distances into the countryside, discovered towns, visited authentic villages, shopped, danced, cooked, observed sea lions, viewed sculptures, creative and awesome art work and learned to appreciate the creativity and diligence involved in hand made goods; met new friends, visited with old friends and soaked up the warm Mexican sun. Let me end this much too long elucidation that traveling with a family of sixteen uniquely individualistic people of varying age ranges is not easy, not hard, but it had its challenges. Mostly we got to know the pieces of the puzzle better, and paved the way for a future of closer family ties.

Okay you skeptics, you say it can’t be true and it isn’t totally, because , we had to come home to real life scenarios. Real life trumps everything else.

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