Back to Virginia – 2011

From Memphis to Arlington, VA

June 3 –6, 2011



Part 1: Memphis to Arlington, VA

Part 3: Visit to McLean handicap Park

Part 2: Diaper swim lesson for boys

Part 4: Arlington, VA to Memphis


- Updated June 20, 2011


There are photographs of Casey and Caroline Nolan and their identical twin boys posted in various albums at www.kodakgallery.com. There are also other family photos in various albums registered under Lewis “Buzz” Nolan’s email address. Email lewis_nolan@yahoo.com for instructions how to access the albums; please specify your family relationship or friendship for security reasons. 


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June 3, 2011 – Friday – Travel from Memphis to Nolan home at Arlington, VA


I was up at 5 a.m. to get ready for the morning’s direct flight on Delta Airlines from Memphis to the Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. Casey had assured my wife, Betty, his mother that he would pick us up with our baggage at the airport in his roomy Ford Explorer.


Mainly Betty had spent much of the previous day getting us organized for the long weekend excursion by packing our clothing and gifts plus checking our reservations and getting our airplane boarding passes online. We had driven across the still-flooded Mississippi River with our pet greyhound, Fiona, to the boarding kennel adjacent to the Southland
Race Track in West Memphis/ to drop off our pet greyhound, Fiona, for a few days.


We trusted the kennel, its director and fine staff to take excellent care of our much-loved dog and were confident she would be comfortable in the surroundings with her fellow, four-legged racers that could hit speeds of 40 mph and higher during their sprints around the track.


As usual, Betty cooked me an excellent breakfast of ham and eggs, which I ate bout 5:30 a.m. since I knew no food of consequence would be provided on our Memphis-to-DC flight.


Our good friend, Nancy Russell, who had been my pre-retirement administrative assistant at the old Schering-Plough HealthCare Products operational headquarters in Memphis, showed up precisely on time at 6:30 a.m. to drive us to the airport in her new SUV. We loaded up and made it to the airport in about 20 minutes, through very light traffic that early.


Check-in at the Delta desk was a breeze since we had already checked in and printed the boarding passes on our home computer. The plane – with six tourist-class seats across was full.
We happened to sit in the same row as a chatty young African woman who was a student in International Relations at the University of Alabama’s Tuscaloosa campus. Our ignorance of the recently changed geography naming of African nations quickly showed up as we had difficulty pronouncing the name of her native country in the continent’s western region. Evidently her homeland was once a colony of France since its national currency was the pre-Euro Franc. She was traveling to be with family and friends in Washington, DC for the weekend. She seemed bright and had a big smile.


The flight was pretty much on time. As promised, Casey was waiting for us in his Ford Explorer in a special, “cell-phone parking lot” not far from the Delta terminal. We called him once we had picked up our luggage and met him shortly after at the pick-up curb. It was a scenic drive by the still-swollen Potomac River from the Reagan National Airport to Casey’s home in an upscale section of Arlington’s tree-shaded, residential area. Homes in his neighborhood sell from over a half-million dollars to a whole lot more, depending on square footage.


We quickly met Casey and Caroline’s hired “nanny,” a young native of Zimbabwe named Monica who looks after their twin boys four days a week. Caroline recently returned to work as an accountant at the Freddie Mac housing finance agency of the Federal government and works there as an auditor Tuesday-Friday.


Unfortunately, Monica had just put the boys – our grandsons Carden Lewis Nolan and his twin Aiden Mayer Nolan – to bed for their afternoon nap after feeding them lunch. However, Betty “sneaked a peek” at the sleeping boys in their separate baby beds in the upstairs nursery. We had a lot of fun with them during their waking hours and were pleasantly surprised at how well-mannered they were and how much they enjoyed being held.


We did re-establish contact with the family pet, a light yellow Golden retriever dog named Rugby with a large tail that seems to wag constantly.


I had a sandwich made in Memphis by Betty. I mistakenly thought Rugby was attracted to me because I genetically had the same smell as her master Casey because she sat near me with tail wagging and looking intently at me as I sat at the breakfast table and ate my sandwich. However, my son Casey brought me back to reality when he opined it was really my lunch that captured her full attention.


Later in the afternoon, Betty and I with Rugby, Casey and the twin boys went for a walk in the neighborhood using a nifty, double-stroller for a mile or more. We stopped at a child-care center not far from their home so the boys could enjoy a heavy-duty swing in the fenced playground. We also walked through a tiny park and over a handsome bridge made of wood that crossed a scenic and rocky creek.


Once back at the Nolan home, I enjoyed my customary afternoon map in the upstairs guest room, shaded by special darkening blinds over the windows. I was awakened by the squealing cries of the young boys in the next room, their carefully designed, painted and decorated nursery. After 20 or so minutes, their squeals turned to “screaming,” which I’d been warned about by Casey, and then ceased. But shortly after I re-awakened to what I thought was Betty’s voice in the next room, which in fact was her, talking to our beautiful grandsons.


I got up in time to decamp from the guest room just about when Caroline arrived home from her work at Freddie Mac. I did a little note-taking in my brought-from-home Dell mini-computer in preparation to write this travelogue in a few days.


Later in the afternoon, with Betty’s culinary expertise and some fresh fish and other purchases she and Casey had made at a nearby store while I napped, she and Caroline made a delicious dinner the four of us enjoyed. It included fresh shrimp and red snapper, baked sweet and Irish potatoes, fresh asparagus, steak covered with a fresh sweet sauce made of a mango by Caroline.


It was truly a wonderful dinner, topped off by a glass of wine.


I went to bed fairly early, intending to rise early on Saturday morning so Betty and I could accompany Casey and Caroline as they took the twin boys to an early “diaper swim” class at a pool at a nearby high school.


Continue with Part 2, Diaper Swim  /  Return to Getaways Home Page