Boys’ 1st Birthday Party

From Memphis to Arlington, VA

September 16 - 19, 2011



Part 1: Memphis to Arlington, VA

Part 3: Visit to McLean handicap Park

Part 2: Family Celebrate First Birthday

Part 4: Arlington, VA to Memphis


- Updated November 2, 2011


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


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September 16, 2011 – Friday – Travel from Memphis to Nolan home at Arlington, VA


(From top left) Father: Casey Nolan, Mother: Caroline Nolan, Grandfather: Lewis Nolan

Grandmother: Betty Nolan (seated) holds twin boys Aiden and Carden Nolan in their home.


I had gone to bed about 9 p.m. Thursday after watching on TV nationally ranked No. 3 LSU’s football team walk over my alma mater Mississippi State’s team, which had been ranked No. 25. The big boys from Starkville, MS, known as “the dogs” looked pretty good. But they just weren’t up to containing the Tigers’ great quarterback and very fast receivers.


I awakened per our plan at 3 a.m. and arose about 4 a.m. to take an early shower and dress and finish packing for our drive to the airport and a 7 a.m. flight on AirTran to Atlanta, where Betty and I would connect to another AirTran flight to Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. Ironically, it turned out that AirTran was now using one of the airport’s older terminal buildings that once housed Northwest Airlines that I patronized for fairly frequent trips to DC before my 1996 retirement.


I should add that the equipment used by the discount airline AirTran seems to be newer than either the old airplanes used by Northwest and its ultimate owner, Delta Airlines, for the roughly two-hour flights from Memphis to DC and back.



Things went smoothly and Casey picked us up on time for the relatively short drive across the Potomac River to his and Caroline’s nice, two-story home in an older section of Arlington, VA. We were here to celebrate the upcoming first birthday of their identical twin sons, Carden Lewis Nolan and his younger brother (by a few minutes) Aiden Mayer Nolan, both born last September 22.


Betty and I were staying for the weekend at a Marriott recommended by Casey at nearby Tysons Corners, VA. Several of Caroline’s family members from Atlanta and also the ancestral area of Virginia Beach, VA, were staying at other area hotels and a few were staying at her and Casey’s home.


Before going to our hotel we made a quick stop at the Nolan home to see the napping boys and say hello to their babysitter, a young woman with aspirations to seek entrance into a medical school and become a physician by name of Haley. She sits for the boys when they are not in the four-days-a-week care of a new “nanny” recently hired whom we did not meet. Caroline works as a CPA for the Freddie Mac housing finance agency.


Casey is a development executive for Clark Realty Capital who is currently overseeing the staff and vendors charged with building more than 1,500, privately owned housing units at nearby Fort Belvoir ranging from mansions for general officers to town homes for enlisted service members and their families. The upscale housing project (reminiscent of the gated communities springing up across the finer housing areas of the country) is costing the government more than $600 million and is aimed at strengthening the Army’s retention efforts.


I took a short nap in one of the guest bedrooms at the Nolan home in Arlington while Betty stayed up to play with her beautiful grandchildren. I got up to greet Caroline’s older sister – Lauren, who came in from New Orleans where she teaches English at Tulane University - when she arrived about 3:30 p.m. Their brother, Aaron, a very bright medical student at Emory University in Atlanta, is expected later.


Also expected for the birthday celebration are a few neighbors, friends and work associates of Caroline and Casey. 


The renovated basement of the Nolan home serves as a gigantic playroom stocked with bunches of carefully shelved, educational toys. It also contains a well-organized office area and computer equipment used by Casey plus a big TV for family entertainment. A frequent occupant of the R&R area is Rugby, the family’s pet Golden Retriever, a gentle female who has all but “adopted” the baby boys as her own puppies.


That evening, Betty and Casey grilled several filet mignon steaks, which Betty and I hugely enjoyed with him in their elegant dining room after the boys were put to bed for the night. Caroline and her sister went out for a private “reunion” dinner.


Later, we  borrowed Casey’s new car – his old Ford Explorer was held for use by brother-in-law Aaron. We drove 15 or so minutes to the Marriott that was a bit tough to get to due to construction on adjacent I-495.  We went down Old Dominion Drive, to Kirby, to   Idlewood and Leesburg Pike and parked under the hotel for a charge of $5.25. More outrageous was the charge of $5 plus tax for a low-alcohol O’Douls beer at the hotel bar (at home I buy a six-pack for less). Once in our spacious, nicely decorated room, I read a novel by favorite writer W. E. B. Griffin for a while, showered and went to bed about midnight.


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