Arizona; My cousin Vinnie


As I keep in contact with Vince, my cousin from Arizona, he mentioned to me that he was graduating with a Masters in Education.  That weekend he was having a “graduation party” and what better time to visit him.  Upon quickly looking at my schedule for that weekend, I decided to fly out early Saturday morning, arrive in time for the party, and head out Sunday early morning.  I love adventure so packed my knapsack and headed to the airport.  This time, I was going solo.

I took the first flight out to Minneapolis, great connection and boarded the flight to Phoenix.  By midday Saturday, I arrived and my cousin Vinnie was ready as my chauffeur.  It was great seeing him at the airport and upon exchanging hugs of salutations, it was clear that certain people even if you don’t see often, the friendship is always alive and well.  As if we’ve always been together.  You can’t find a man more genuine than Vince.  A great man, father of 3 children and works very hard while attending school.  Let me add that he’s an even better coach and was part of the coaching staff for the ASU football team.

We arrive at his beautiful home in Carefree Arizona.  Population of under 4000 habitants and his home is located on top of a mountain that seems to be one of those homes featured in a housing magazine.  Just gorgeous.  I asked him if I can retire there one day!

In their main living room, there is a piece of mountain rock in which the house was built using it as a wall.  A beautiful conversation piece and adds so much character to the living space.


Before going for some lunch, we tried to fix several spot lights in the driveway leading to his home.  Sun beating down on us didn’t help matters and after just a short time we concocted something temporarily and headed back in.  His children were great, and seeing them play outside actually reminded me of my youth. Especially that in today’s normalcy, our kids are stuck inside with their Play Stations and gadgets.  Cheryl, Vince’s wife is one of the calmest woman you’ll ever meet.  They are so hospitable that I could have stayed 20 months, instead of my 20 hours countdown.

Party time  approaching and knowing his guests would arrive soon, we tried and catch up on old stories.  I become very nostalgic and love reminiscing of the past.

His guests arrive, all introductions are done, we talk and laugh and actually surprise my aunt and uncle when they arrive.  For some reason they suspected I would make a cameo appearance.  Food was great since he catered mexican fajita, and after everyone left, there was only Cheryl, myself and Vince on his porch.  That remaining hour before bedtime was great.  The moon was shining, the cacti looked like actual humans in the distance and the countless stars left like they were continuously moving. We caught up and as 1130pm hit, our pillows were calling.  3am….rise and shine and head for the airport.  I felt bad that Vince drove me to the airport, for he had a full day ahead of him, but at least it gave us just a little more time to catch up.

Congratulations Vince for your Masters and will be back when you graduate with your PhD.






















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