First, some family catching up...
Many of us were together at Uncle Mutts funeral, where we celebrated a life well lived, of a generous, selfless, dear man who meant a great deal to all of us -- and all of us to him.
Sadly, Mark Lapine's mother also passed away last week.
The presence in Durham of Jason and Kathy's baby Drew (Bob and Gail's GRANDCHILD!), brought a special note of joy, as well as a reminder cycles and seasons of life. He's gorgeous and contented!
Gail was just named Executive Vice President at CNN! CONGRATULATIONS!
Judi Shafton was just in New York with her friend Ric Ross who was nominated for a Grammy. Eli, Elaine and I had lunch with them on Monday! (Judi, we thought he was wonderful!)
Mary and Harold are moving in April (Dodi and Harold to follow them a few months later). Mary will have her knee surgery in May, and we are hoping by some miracle THAT SHE WILL HAVE REPAIRED ENOUGH TO HOBBLE TO THE REUNION. The recuperation is a difficult one, but she'll be like new -- and we'll be there to help, Aunt Mary!
Jenna is a class officer at her school, with a birthday around the corner on March 6th.
I'm sure there's much more, but I tend to be New-York-centric. Besides, I can only telll what I know (or remember, which is even less).
NOW -- ON TO THE UN REUNION 1997!!!
Until recently, I knew New Jersey as a place for airplanes (Newark), designer outlet shopping (Secaucus), sleek housewares and furniture at great prices (Ikea), a place one passes through to get to Elaine's house in Buck's County, smokestacks, and a good governor (even if SHE is a Republican). Now I've traveled all over the area to see hotels from Hackensack to Parsippany, from Teaneck to Englewood...
And today, Elaine drove all the way into the city to pick me up, and we went to New Jersey again for one last visit. We've reached a momentous, decisive, conclusion:
OK -- here is is... dates unchanged, location reasonably firm (we have to sign the contract and work on details):
June 26 (Thursday), 27, 28 -- departing June 29 (Sunday)
Marriott at Glenpointe, 100 Frank W. Burr Blvd., Teaneck, NJ 07666
Brief sketch: Marriott at Glenpointe is a deluxe hotel located in Northern New Jersey and just minutes away from Manhattan. It is three miles from the George Washington Bridge.
Here's an informal seating area off the lobby: "Inside is a spectacular atrium, where sunlight spills over a lobby of polished travertine marble. Gracing this exquisite concourse are 40' ficus trees, a fountain, sprays of fresh flowers, even the gentle melodies of a grand piano." (And speaking of pianos, Dodi, get ready.)
We have complimentary access to all facilities of an ultramodern health spa: 26,000 square feet of swimming, strength training and cardiovascular rooms, aerobics, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, massage...and if classes are what you enjoy, the Spa offers aerobics, calisthenics, step, aquacize, and yoga.
The Grill Restaurant off the lobby is very pleasant, has an interesting menu and is reasonably priced.
"Organized" tentative suggested activities we are working on:
THURSDAY EVENING: VERY RELAXED DINNER in the family room.
FRIDAY MORNING: ELLIS ISLAND TOGETHER
FRIDAY AFTERNOON: #1 is to do nothing but be together at the Marriott.
However, complete information will be available for anyone who wants to do the Liberty Science Center (the place from which we will depart for Ellis Island, so it would be easy to stay there with your children if you wish), designer discount shopping (what, this family?), or the Cloisters -- a heavenly step back into the Middle Ages and minutes away, right across the bridge.
FRIDAY NIGHT: Dinner nearby
Working on potential brunch trip on small yacht, departing from nearby and going down the Hudson River past the Intrepid, down to and around the Statue of Liberty, and up the East River to the United Nations (and back).
SATURDAY AFTERNOON: Same potential options as Friday.
Transportation: The hotel is 25 minutes from the Newark Airport and 30 from LaGuardia. No one offers reasonable transportation. A taxi will run $35 - $40 from Newark, $50 - $60 from LaGuardia. A rental car from AVIS for the three days: subcompact, unlimited miles, $92.40 for all three days (with an auto club discount). This is with just one quick call. There may be better deals, but this is a start. I'm wondering if we can set up a transportation matrix on our web home page to sort this out so that we can cooperate and "transport" together. We will not need much transportation during the three days, for some of you will drive and have cars, and a few will definitely rent -- so we'll have enough to get anywhere we need to go, I'm certain. Anyway, Uncle Bill agreed to be transportation chair, and I don't have to think about it ever again!
Now, here's where we stand so far on rooms, with several people still to check in:
Eli and Judith + 1 1
(NOTE: the room price is $97 -- we're trying to get it down to $89.)
Still need information from:
LOVE, LINDA AND ELAINE