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It’s Our 20th Anniversary!

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Twenty Years. Pretty good for a couple of guys who have helped to destroy the Sanctity of Marriage. Twenty Years.

So much for getting tired of things, eh, Nate?!?

Twenty Years… A lot has happened in that 20 years. We lost three of our parents, we gained a whole hellava lotta new nieces and nephews – and a whole hellava lotta new great-nieces and nephews. We moved from San Francisco to Philadelphia, got different jobs, traveled all over the place…

And we got married. Legally.

Not a bad ride for a couple of guys who met in their 40s…

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Spelunking into Moaning Cavern in the Sierras circa 1995… Moaning Cavern holds the largest vertical chamber in a public cavern in California. It’s so big, it could hold the entire Statue of Liberty! And we spelunked all the way down to the bottom.  It was when we were still young and foolish and trying to prove how butch we were to the other. We got over it…

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Hawai’i was more our style… Our first trip over was in 1996… We flew over first class, had most of our hotel stay comped…  I was still at UCSF and Victor had left United and Cheap Tickets, and had gone to work for Rosenbluth… It was the glory days of the Travel Industry.

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We were renting a house in San Francisco on Kirkham Street. This is where I tried to do a sit-down dinner for my entire family, running a table from the dining room through the arch into the living room. Victor just watched as I got more and more neurotic and just smiled and helped me take it all down and set up a buffet when I finally conceded that it wasn’t going to work. He was smart from Day One.

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We finally bought a house of our own in San Leandro in 1998 or 9… We had NO money and lots of credit card debt. No money for a down payment. I couldn’t use my GI Bill or my CalVet because we weren’t married, so a mortgage broker got us a loan – actually 2 loans. An 80% loan at 8 1/2% interest and a 20% loan at 12 1/2% interest. We paid them religiously for a year and then rolled both loans into a 4% loan with the SF Fireman’s Credit Union. Sometimes you just need to take a chance.

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We headed off to Yosemite for our 5th Anniversary. We rented a house in a private area surrounded on 3 sides by the park. It was a lot of fun.

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2001 saw us head east.

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2002 arrived and we headed even farther east. To London. Victor had been there through work. It was my first trip across the pond. I had traveled so far west it became east, but that was in Uncle Sam’s Yacht Club, so it doesn’t really count.

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We stayed fairly local in 2003 and 2004 but made it up to New York City a few times… We saw The Producer’s on New Year’s Eve – the night Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick returned to reprise their roles. What a blast. I can’t even count the amount of shows and operas we’ve been able to see. Our proximity to The Big Apple is pretty good. Expensive, but good.

2003 also was the year Cybil Shepherd joined our family.

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What a skinny little runt she was… And what a joy she still is…

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2005 and we headed to Paris. We were in paris for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day. It was totally awesome. The Louvre, the Paris Opera House, the Eiffel Tower… And the foodthefoodthefood. While I have seriously fallen in love with southern Italy and Sicily, I do want to go back.

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Victor won a trip to the Cayman Islands in 2006. It was an award from his company. A week-long almost-all-expense-paid trip. We stayed at the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman, ate lobster for breakfast, and, generally, had a really good time. They drive on the opposite side of the road in the Caymans, but the rental cars are all set up as US cars. It made for some fun excursions, as you can see by Victor’s expression.

2007 was Las Vegas, baby!

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We met a dozen friends for a Birthday Bash for Victor. A good time was had by all!

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We headed back to San Francisco fairly regularly when Pop was still around, and headed back again, in November 0f 2008 for what was going to be our wedding. Alas, Prop 8 narrowly won, and our wedding was cancelled.  We flew home, anyway, and took the train back from San Francisco to Philadelphia. We had a great sleeper car, good food, movies to watch, and a whole hellava lotta fun. We met some interesting folks and really did have a good time.

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More New York trips, more west coast trips,

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And then down to Washington, DC in 2009 for the March on Washington.

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Yeah, we’re still left-leaning Liberals and political as hell.

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We made it to Omaha in 2010 for a Dineen Family Reunion. We missed the first night because whatever rotten puddle-jump  airline we took screwed up and we missed our connection. I got to see a lousy airport hotel in Milwaukee – or wherever the hell we were. Be still my travel-heart…

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Back up to New York City for the first Gay Pride Parade since New York legalized marriage.

And then we headed to New Hampshire where our dear friend Marl married us!

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Who woulda thought we’d be nervous about getting married after being together for 16 years?!? Well… we were. We forgot our suits, forgot the camera another dear friend had sent us to video the ceremony, and both of us had some serious tears in our eyes. We were doing something we never in a million years thought would or could happen.

It was a great day!

And then we moved Nonna in with us!

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She just wasn’t doing well living on her own, anymore… She’s now doing great!  It’s amazing how well a person can get when they’re taking their medications correctly and eating right.

Moving Nonna in didn’t stop the vacations…

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Next stop, ITALY!

We headed over to Rome and Florence with my sister and her wife, and their three girls. What a blast! An apartment in Rome directly across the street from the Colosseum. An apartment in Florence right on the Arno at the Ponte Vecchio. Venice and Pisa, Lucca… It was an awesome 2 weeks – and it set the foundation for 15 days in a villa in Modica, Sicily in May of this year!

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20 years…

20 years of fun, of stories, of good food and good friends. 20 years of family, new babies, and new experiences.

Here’s to another 20, at least.

Oh… I almost forgot…

Dinner tonight was Chicken Marsala – made with Marsala we brought back from Sicily…

It was good.

 

 

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