The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back to training wheels!

Rich had Monday off so we all slept (most of the day, actually) and then unpacked. Tuesday, Rich went back to work. On Wednesday, the weather seemed promisingly good, so he decided to ride his bike to work. At about 8:10 a.m., I received a call from Rich. He had been in a horrible biking accident and wanted me to pick up him and his bike and take him to the ER. Luckily, a tractor had been travelling along the bike path and came upon him. Another biker helped him back up to the road and then stayed with him until I arrived.
After 7 hours in the Legavat (ER) and then the sykehus (hospital), he was diagnosed with a 3rd degree separation of his right shoulder. There isn't much he can do for it. It just needs to heal. Until then he is in quite a bit of pain. He will go back to work on Monday for as long as he can tolerate it. He'll make a full recovery but it will take 6-8 weeks. He has had many injuries and ailments over the years, but he said this has been the most painful by far. We are having his Norwegian medical records and x-rays reviewed by an U.S. military doctor in England this week to make sure there is nothing more than can be done. This wasn't the welcome home event that he wanted, but I think he is on the mend.

Frankfurt, Germany

In the giant cat house during feeding time...

Lily and I watch the tiger eat. (Rich says it looks like the tiger is whispering in Lily's ear)


Double yum!

A sun bear...

Even the hippos thought it was ridiculously hot!

This rhinocerous wasn't too pleased with the heat either.

Our tired and melting children.

The lion took a break to look right at me. Yikes!

Houses in Frankfurt.

More dwellings in Frankfurt along the river.

A church along the riverside.

The very tired Messina family at the fountain in Frankfurt next to the zoo.

The entrance to the zoo.
We left Boston around 10 p.m. at night on a Saturday. We only had about an 8 hour flight to Frankfurt. Not too awfully bad. However, we were on an older plane and there wasn't individual movie screens or even some that were close by. Between the two meals they served on the plane, I think we all slept maybe 3 hours on that flight through the night. When we landed in Frankfurt, it was 11 a.m. Sunday morning.
Here's the kicker: we had a 10 HOUR layover. Our flight didn't leave until almost 10 p.m. that night. We had planned for this and Rich had talked to one of the German officers at NATO and gotten some maps and directions of what to see and do in Frankfurt. We left the airport and rode the train to the zoo. It was a very hot and humid day and we actually missed seeing many animals because they were sheltered away from the heat of the day. One thing we did get to see that was really neat was they fed the lion, lioness and tiger while we were
there. That was pretty cool.
We left the zoo and walked along the riverwalk, looking for a cooler breeze as we made our way to the main train terminal. By the time we got to the airport and to our gate, we were all totally spent. Our flight was then delayed...the weather in Germany was poor because of all the heat and humidity....storms were popping up everywhere. We finally made it back to Norway around 1 a.m. Monday morning. It was pouring down rain, windy and about 50 degrees. Yep, we were home. :o)

Fun with the Messina's

Our family with Rich's parents, Jackie and Vince Messina in front of their Pelham,NH home. When we first pulled into their house, Lily asked her nana, "You live in a barn?"

Lily and Nano

Lily and Nana

Tammie Revallo hams it up for the camera with her boyfriend, Glenn, watching her.

We used to call them the three musketeers....Casey, Joe and Tim...cousins. Casey is 9 months older than Joe.

Isn't this incredible? This was just the sponsor features at the master sandbuilder's competition at Hampton Beach, MA.

Farewell to a great mediator, reporter, and devout Catholic brother...

An artist busy with her creation.

Lily gets to go ice skating! Daddy and Uncle Joe help her stay upright.

The next Kristin Yamaguchi?

Touring the U.S.S. Constitution...the oldest navy ship in the U.S.

Rich and Lily explore the U.S.S. Constitution.

Rich is in his element...Boston!

The Messina men pause to pose with the bronze statue of Red Auerbach...famous Celtics coach...on the day that would end up being the day the Celtics won the series.

Ah, 'nuff said....

Our nephews, Casey and Dante

A group of various and assundry great grandchildren over at Nana Mary and Nano Joe's house after Sunday dinner.

Joe, Tim and Lily with Nana Mary and Nano Joe Messina in their home in Methuen, MA.

The Messina family at the Coast Guard Station in Boston. Yes, we got yelled at after taking this picture because we were informed there were no pictures allowed on the base. Hmph.

Hmmm....did I mention the Celtics were playing the Lakers for the NBA title during our U.S. visit? Did I mention that Rich is a big Celts fan? Hmmm...did I mention they WON???? It was great watching all the games together in real time.
June 14th was Rich's grandparents' 66th wedding anniversary. She is 92 and he is 94 years old. They are relatively independent in their living (their son and daughter-in-law live in an apartment in the basement). Nano drives to get the groceries and to take Nana to appointments. I love going to their house and sitting down to talk with them about their childhood and early adulthood. I always learn something new about them. They are both "sharp as tacks" not "soft as grapes" as Nana would put it. We enjoy spending time with them.
We stayed with Rich's parents in Pelham, NH while we were there. They were busy at their acrylic shop most of the time but we spent everyday we were there with someone in the Messina family. We spent a good amount of time with Joe, Rich's brother and his wife, Ella and their foster daughters, who are teenagers. We also saw our nephews, Casey and Dante, and their mom, Tammie quite often.
We spent a lot of time in Boston. We went to the aquarium, the museum of science, the U.S.S. Constitution and other places. It was a lot of fun. The Celtic fever was running rampid in Boston during our visit and everyone was wearing green. It was fabulous to see such a diverse, huge town come together behind their team. (Boston has twice the population of all of Norway). We also got to go ice skating. It had been YEARS since we had gone. I am not sure Tim has ever gone ice skating before. Lily certainly hadn't. Lily screamed for two laps and then fell in love with the idea of "sliding on an ice cube". During our last days there, we drove to Hampton Beach, MA and watched the master sand builders do their magic in the sand. It was amazing to watch.
Before we knew it, it was time to leave to go back to Norway. We had shopped some more by now (we needed to buy school wardrobes and shoes for the boys for this entire next year) and actually bought more luggage to get it all home. We came with 3 bags and left with being a box with a big girl bike for Lily in it.
We had a great time seeing our family - both sides - and the visit was just too short. We don't know when we'll be back in the U.S. again to live or to visit. We took a lot of pictures to help remind Lily of who everyone is. This was only her second meeting with a great majority of her extended family. Now when she talks to them on the phone, perhaps she'll remember them.

Cedar Point

Look at those exhilirated faces! Just after the big bungee swing over the park. Tim got to pull the rip cord.

The kids looked like this about 5 minutes after leaving Cedar Point...

The roller coaster where you stand up the whole time...first of it's kind way back when...Tim is in the front row, right hand side. Rich and the boys rode this about 5 times a piece.

Brian with his daughters, Kara and Alyssa, and his Goddaughter, Lily.

What happens to a three year old after 12 hours at an amusement park...

The sun starts to set on Cedar Point...

The Messina boys are at it again...bungee swinging. This time it wasn't over the Royal Gorge (which was just insane) but out over the park. They loved it!

Rich, Cyndi, Joe & Tim Messina along with Brian, Kara & Alyssa Pfeil, go rambling along the water ride, waiting to get drenched. Don't worry, it happened. We were all soaked. It helped that we rode it three times in a row....

This is the "Swing" that the boys and Rich forced me to ride. I did not like it. I closed my eyes most of the time and screamed. It was horrifying. Thank goodness it was also short.

This is me holding my throat (because I swore I had strained a vocal chord or two in all that screaming) and Rich laughing uncontrollably. The ride had just ended.

This is what happened when I asked Lily where Aunt Pam's baby was....she went looking!

Lily at Cedar Point.

Joe trying to get Lily accustomed to the water before hitting the pool at the hotel. Lily hadn't been in a pool in 18 months.

Lily didn't know what to think of these roller coasters. Cedar Point is known to have some of the best rides in the country if not the world.

Lily did go on a couple of kiddie rides. She really wasn't even keen on them all that much!

Kara, Alyssa and Lily pose at the Camp Snoopy portion of the park.

Joe gets drenched on a water flume ride. It was very hot that day...upper 80's to lower 90's.
After spending a week visiting with my parents and sister and my aunts and uncles (plus a little shopping here and there) we left and drove to Sandusky, Ohio, to go to Cedar Point, an amusement park. Pam, Brian, Kara and Alyssa met us there to spend an entire day riding roller coasters (or for Pam and myself, pretty much spending the day WATCHING them ride the roller coasters). Pam, being pregnant, couldn't ride any of them and I am just not into roller coaster rides. I can ride one and feel sick the rest of the day. However, I got bullied into riding a ride that they said was just like a giant swing. It only went up 120 feet in the air and dropped to back and forth at 60 miles per hour! Yikes. Call me a wimp. I don't care. Never again.
We ate dinner together that night at the park and then the Pfeils had to head back to Indiana because they were both working the next day. We stayed until the park was almost ready to close...almost 10 p.m. The boys were loving not having the long lines that they had encountered in the afternoon. They also left the park area for another thrill ride spot just outside Cedar Point and did a huge bungee swing. Joe had done this with his cousin Casey and Auntie Tammie several years ago out over the Royal Gorge in Colorado (totally insane - but I wasn't there) and Tim had never had the opportunity to try it as well. They loved it.
We left the park totally exhausted and drove our hotel by the Detroit airport (about 2 hours). We left very early the next morning to fly to Boston to see Rich's side of the family.