Reg and Judy’s Lopez Home

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Well we were now on our way to the Lopez house. Judy was providing directions to me and the ladies were busy talking as usual. Alex started to look pale and it seemed that she was suffering from motion sickness. We stopped and moved Alex from the back seat to the front seat and that solved the problem. We continued down the road on our way to the Lopez house. We were driving on a real country road with large potholes, and large rocks that fell from the hills. In addition to the road hazards the road would change from paved to gravel. I think the road was still paved but the gravel must have fallen off the mountain and covered the road. Driving very carefully I was able to avoid the holes and large rocks but as we were approaching the property where the Lopez house was built the road dipped. The road dipped so that a small creek could cross the road during the heavy raining season. Soon I noticed that the creek meandered back and forth crossing the road multiple times. Each time the creek crossed the road the road dipped. Marti asked Judy if there was any time that the road became closed due to flooding. Judy explained that it has happened but that it was more likely to happen at the Lopez property because the creek always passes over the road. The next thing I knew we were at the top of a rise on the road looking down at a river flowing across the road. Judy pointed across the river and told me to cross the river in my car. I hesitated at the top of the rise and looked at the river below. My car is a sedan built for city driving on paved roads and it does not have four-wheel drive. As Judy told me to grow a pair and stop being a “Winnie” I eased my car over the rise and into the river. I could feel the force of the river trying to push my car down the stream. Lucky for me we made it across the river and in a few hundred feet we were parked and looking at the outside of the Lopez House.

The house is beautiful and it would have been worth having my car float downstream. We exited the car and stopped to check out the house and its surroundings. The house is built on four pillars above a pleasant meadow facing a large cliff face that rises hundreds of feet into the sky. The cliff face is well covered with various trees and the stream meanders through the meadow. Trees abound close by the stream and are found on the other side of the meadow as well. Judy informed me that she has seen bears, deer, beavers, and other wild animals found in the California coastal range. The area abounds with many species of wild birds and of course all of the necessary insects.

The house sits on the right hand side and about half way into the meadow. You can either park in the meadow and access the house by walking up a stairway or drive up the road and park on the hill next to the house and then walk down a path to the home. Either way you will then enter the first floor. Those who park on the hill enter the house from a beautiful wood door that opens into the living room. Those who park in the meadow walk up some stairs and enter the living room by passing through two giant glass doors. The doors are at least eight feet wide and twelve feet high. The glass doors are tinted yet it does not detract from the magnificent view. Once inside you can feel the presence of both Reg and Judy. Reg is very talented with wood and metal. His work with either media is more art than just exquisite woodwork or metalwork. I was struck by the use of a large tree limb as support for the staircase to the bedroom on the second floor. Each electrical cover was hand painted and added greatly to the unique home design. The pot belly stove was an antique that was embellished with musical instruments and some nickel plating. I was sure the pot belly stove works well but the artistry touch made it belong to the Lopez home. Into the bathroom I walked and again I was amazed by Reg’s skill with wood. He had made two sinks totally from one piece of wood. The makeup table was hand crafted by Reg and again you saw art more than function. Turning I was surprised to see a very large shower. The shower looked to be at least five feet wide by five feet deep with a ceiling at least twelve feet high. This giant shower was set in the corner of the room with two walls of frosted glass doors that could be opened to the outdoors. Thus allowing the bather the opportunity to shower and enjoy all that nature has to offer. The kitchen area was brilliant from a very nontraditional refrigerator to special custom “Reg Made” cabinets.

Overcome with the beauty as well as the small intimate details found throughout the first floor I walked up the stairs and into the bedroom. This is just way too hard to try to describe in words. I feel like someone trying to describe the Sistine Chapel to someone who is blind. The bed is nothing short of another work of art with unique touches. The room feels so light and airy with windows and sliding glass doors that led out to the second floor deck. The majesty of the mountain and the joy of the meadow meet and will rock you to sleep. This house is the home of our friends Reg and Judy. It is a work of love that displays the feeling that Reg and Judy have towards each other. I was honored to be able to see this work of love and art.

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Judy’s Beach House in Cayucos CA!

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Judy's brunch area and living room

Living Room with Rock Fireplace

Looking out the windows from the living room side

Looking out the windows at the brunch table

Alex and Whitney at the corner of Judy's Beach House

The rock from Judy's house - Morrow Bay

rock at sunset

fireplace outside in the garden at Judy's house

We finished dinner without eating the Ice Cream and were soon off to Judy’s home. We arrived about twenty minutes later at the beach home. I have been here once before but even though this is my second time I am struck by the beauty of the garden, the view of the beach, and the warmth inside Judy’s home. Entering the house I feel like I just walked into an art exhibit. Nothing just waits for you to notice it. As your eyes wander items just jump into view, a kaleidoscope of color and interesting things start your mind to wander. Of course you are instantly struck by the rock fireplace that at first seems way too large for the room but then you notice a boat ore hanging on the ceiling beam and other things that attract your eye. Items like a jewel doll or an etched glass of a fairy. A bookcase filled with all types of books on the second floor that you access by a staircase and then a construction walkway. Plants are placed in just the right spots so that they impress you with their beauty and draw your eyes to other items of interest. I could go on and on but I think you can understand. It was late so off to bed we went. I was lulled to sleep by the sound of the surf gently breaking against the shore.

Morning came much too soon and we were off to meet up with the girls and then go see the Lopez house. We were a little late but soon we arrived and found Alexandra and Whitney in the downtown Arroyo Grande area. Thank goodness for cell phones we had trouble finding the restaurant and Alex had to flag us down in the street. She said we were getting old. We stopped for breakfast. After driving down the main street of the city the girls choose “The Village Café” for our breakfast meal. It was around 10:30 am so I thought lunch might be best for me. We were seated and after asking we were informed that lunch could be ordered but anything that needed to be deep-fried would not be allowed. Two of us ordered breakfast and two ordered lunch. Two poached eggs, one with bacon and a biscuit, and the other eggs with sausage and wheat toast were our breakfast order. The eggs were cooked as ordered, and both the bacon and sausage were cooked well. Compliments went to the country biscuit for both its size and fluffy inside. The lunch orders were a hamburger and a grilled cheese sandwich. They were ok but I was not so happy with the side of hash brown potatoes. (Another note: I suggest that if it is morning just order breakfast.)

Giudicessi Family Reunion – Continues

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The event started very close to on time. Most people arrived at or before 1:30. When I walked into Buonarroti’s with Marti on my arm and Alex just a step behind me

I saw a large group of people talking and laughing. To my surprise that large group of people was my family. I saw some family members that I had not seen for a long time. It looked to me like the event was off to a good start.

After a quick huddle with my two sisters, Marianne and Jessica, we shared the information about our brother Sam and his wife Anne. They would not be able to make it to the party as Sam was ill and Anne did not want to leave him home alone. This was very sad news as we all wanted our brother and his wife to be present to enjoy the family. With the three of us together we started talking and saying hello to other family members. My daughter Susan called me to explain that she and her sister had taken a wrong turn but would arrive just a little late. I was glad because they comprised of all of my grandchildren and my great grandchild. It just would not be a reunion without them.

Soon after the call Susan and her family arrived. Deborah with her family was right behind Susan and with her was my great granddaughter, Alexis. I noticed that my oldest grandson, Jordan, Alexi’s father, was missing from the groups and it was then I remembered that he had called explaining how he had to work. Again I was very sorry that he like my brother and sister was unable to make the family reunion.

I noticed that all three of Marianne’s boys, Frank, Gary and Brian, were present along with their families. Jessica and David had all of their children, Josh, Dave, and Jenny, present and with their families. I saw Gail and during our talking saw Rosie and her son Evan. The last family member to arrive was Taryn. Taryn is a lovely young girl and I was very happy she was able to make the event.

Marianne started the reunion with a prayer. In the prayer she identified the few family members who because of their passing could not attend this Giudicessi Family Reunion except in our hearts. They are:
a) Frank and Rose Giudicessi, my mother and father, (Nan and Pops, to their grandchildren), ok ok mother and father to my two sisters (Mary Anne and Jessica), and my brother Sam
b) Jerome, son of Sam and Gail Giudicessi, brother to Rosie
c) Monica, wife of John Giudicessi and mother of Deborah and Susan

Giudicessi Family Reunion Photos

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The Annual Casolary Family Gathering

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Each year for a very long time there has been an Annual Casolary Family Gathering. I first attended the Casolary Family Gathering when I was dating my soon to be wife Monica Casolary. The first event I attended was not known as the Annual Casolary Family Gathering. The name came much later in time but the Casolary’s always had reasons to gather and enjoy the company of brothers, sisters, in-laws, cousins and friends. The Casolary clan as I knew them comprised of the following: Harry (aka Doc), and Mary or dad and mom; daughters and sisters, Mary, Monica, Donna, and Michele; sons and brothers Joe, Mark, John and Ricky. I also remember two grandmothers Christine and ? .

The Casolary clan was a wonderful group of people that I was lucky enough to join. I became a member because I feel in love with and married Monica Casolary. This act of marriage made me a member of the clan and with the birth of my two daughters my place in the clan was secured. I noticed that over time the clan just grew and grew larger and larger. Once someone became a member they did not lose their status. Each person would be a member of the clan for the rest of their life. The person could choose to become a less active member but once a member they were always welcome back into the clan.

I for one was part of the elite in-law group of the clan. This group was responsible for adding new blood to the family. Today this group consists of the following people. James Heath the husband of Mary Casolary and the longest member of the in-law group. We all have lots to thank James for as he was the first to join and it was he who had to forge the path that most of us in the in-law group choose to follow. Arlene married Joe Casolary and entered the clan before myself. I soon after Joe and Arlene married asked Monica to become my wife. Lucky for me she said yes and we were married and I too became a member.

John Casolary married Terry, Rick Casolary married Felicia, Donna Casolary married Brian, and Michele became Cindy’s life partner. Will all of this activity you can see how the clan grows. Children of the couples added to the clan and as you can guess they will find life partners and then they too will add more people to the clan. At this moment in time the total number of children that were added to the clan by the original eight Casolary children were 2+2+3+2+1+2+1 or 13 children. Grandchildren are still being created so at this time I will not try and identify the number.

Coming Soon – Two Family Reunions

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This month I had the honor to attend two family reunions. The first one I attended was for the Casolary family. I am sure you will enjoy my story about that party. The next reunion was the Frank and Rose Giudicessi family. They were my mother and father and between my brother and two sisters we had ten children, many grandchildren, and a few great grandchildren. I hope you enjoy my stories and the few photos.

Lunch with my cousin Donna

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Lunch with my Cousin Donna.

Today Marti and I are babysitting my granddaughter, “little ms m”, and today we are scheduled to have lunch with my cousin Donna. Donna was a middle child and her parents were my uncle Dominick and my aunt Francis. I am very happy to be seeing her as it has been so many years ago that I cannot even remember the last time I saw her. I am both excited and nervous as I sure hope she likes me as much as we liked each other years ago. The morning went by very slowly but finally it is time to drive to Moss Landing and find a table at Phil’s.

We arrived early so we stopped and let Marti and little ms m see the harbor seals. Oh my gosh, there were hundreds of harbor seals. We watched the seals for some time and answered some of little ms m’s questions. We had the most fun watching the younger seals trying to secure a place on the dock. They would try and jump out of the water and on another seal they would land. Sometimes the other seal would move and sometimes the two seals would fight until one was back in the water. Finally it was time for lunch. We left the seals and headed to Phil’s.

We arrived just at 11:30 am the time we had agreed to meet. So shortly after we had picked out a table I saw both my uncle and cousin walking into Phil’s. I got out of my chair and ran up to greet uncle Charley and my cousin Donna. We hugged and gave kisses and said are hellos. It was so good to see Donna. It had been such a long time since we had seen each other that I was worried she would not recognize me. How lucky for me as soon as she saw me I knew that she know who I was. She had the same great big smile and the same warmth radiated from her. I knew it was her the moment I saw her.

We were quickly at the table and I introduced Donna to both Marti and little ms m. I also introduced uncle Charley to my granddaughter and after hugs and kisses we sat down to talk. Ginger was not with my uncle Charley so I asked where she might be. My uncle said that she was not feeling very well and that she had stayed home. I was sorry that Ginger was not feeling well and that she was not able to make the lunch. Ginger is a very nice person and she has gone out of her way for me to see my cousins.

It was so very exciting I started talking to Donna and did not even look at the menu. I was talking to Donna and my uncle Charley. They were talking back to both Marti and me. We stopped just long enough for us to order our lunch and then we continued to talk. I was talking to my uncle Charley and listening to the conversation between Marti and Donna. It was a very happy time as we laughed and talked. Soon our lunch arrived and we ate and talked through lunch. It ended all to soon but Marti and I had to return to Aptos as her daughter was due back from traveling and we did not want her to be alone.

We left Phil’s and once outside we took photos and said how we must do it again. I am planning to spend some time with my granddaughter Abigail and I think she would enjoy meeting my cousin Donna. I am sure we could meet and start just where we left off. I am looking forward to our next time.

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