Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My Visit Home!

Hey there, guys and girls!
I've been admonished by some lately for not writing more often on this blog. While I refuse to apologize for spending more time watching fireworks and less time writing about them, I resolve to try and ignore you less through the fall. I spent four years learning how to write, Michael – these entries don't just get printed out from my brain like a weekly report and uploaded to the internet as a PDF. As proof of this, I submit the last three sentences.

That said, hello again! I'm writing this from the exit row of Southwest Airlines flight 3010, Philadelphia to Orlando. My first weekend home since May 18th was a whirlwind of activity, and without sounding like a bulleted list, I'll do my best to talk about as much as possible!

The importance comforts of home cannot be minimized, and it was wonderful to get back to 19 Woodside Lane again. True to form, my father has been taking great care of the lawn in my absence, and soft green grass awaited my bare feet. Florida grass, you may know, is "grass" in the same way food emerging from Dominos is "pizza." The colors are approximately right, and something about one reminds you of the other, but a northerner is aware that a fresh pie from Joe's is real pizza and grass that grows north of the Mason-Dixon Line is the good stuff that we love to walk on. For this past weekend, I was in a place with soft grass, hills in the landscape, and air that didn't try to drown me in humidity. There were also jug-handle left-turns, real pizza shops, and two-way parking lots, and full-service gas stations. I defy anyone that says New Jersey has no character to spend 3 months in Orlando, Florida.

Obviously it was wonderful to see my family. My mother, sister, and niece picked me up from the airport and we drove home, only stopping briefly at TCNJ to pick up Mom's parking pass and for me to see some friends in the Student Center. Seeing them was great, but we had limited time, and I resolve to spend a night there on my next weekend home. Mark your calendars, TCNJ: consider the weekend of September 28th Bobtoberfest. Coming home though, I was treated to an amazing dinner with my immediate family, my one in-law, and my two nieces. Great company all around, and we even got to play a game of Balderdash (our favorite).

Saturday, of course, was my first official excuse for coming home this weekend (of which there were three). I went to a wedding! My awesome friend Lara, whom you may remember as the excellent hostess that opened up her home to me in May on my way down to Orlando, made an honest man out of her already awesome (now husband) Brad. The ceremony itself was short and beautiful, and afterwards, we all changed clothes for what one guest called "Act II."

We Perrotti kids have a big family and many friends that are like family, and I've been to lots of weddings over the past several years. I can honestly say, however, that never in my life have I been to a reception as enjoyable as Brad & Lara's. I asked Lara last week about dress code, and she said simply, "be comfortable. if you feel like dressing up for the ceremony, change afterwards." Some people have a much more formal outlook on these things, but their entire philosophy was that it was a celebration of their lives, which revolve around positive relationships, beauty, and love. Why get all stuffy with suits, ties, and dresses, and heels? Not to say that the bride and groom were not dressed to the nines themselves: no no, Lara's dress was beautiful! She doesn't stand on ceremony most of the time though, and promptly found a soccer ball to kick around, in her dress, after eating. Catered by Ed D'Aprille, whom my family recommended and Lara's family cannot speak highly enough of, the wedding's spread was delicious (and, like the rest of the affair, unceremonious. A sign upon the pavilion's outer edge read, "Please sit anywhere and enjoy the food!" I'll take any bets on whether you'll ever see that at a wedding again – except perhaps mine).

You've been reading for about 10 minutes now. Would you like to go get a drink of water? Go for it. I promise I'll be here when you get back.

After the wedding, I headed home to greet my cousins and aunt that had made the trip out to NJ for my third excuse for flying home (I'll get to that after my second, momentarily). A big group of us went out that night to celebrate my aunt's birthday, and Andrew, my sister, and I enjoyed some time in New Brunswick before I headed home that evening. Sunday was a big day, and I had to get some rest for it!

Some may already know that my time at Disney is drawing to a close, and while there are those on this program won't be going home (in favor of beginning, in earnest, a career with the Mouse), I'm moving on to other exciting things in January when I return. My awesome church, Liquid, offered me a job several weeks ago, and I've enthusiastically accepted it! Effective January 5th, I'll be the Director of Liquid Kids, heading up development and execution of dynamic youth programming for the kids in my church family. I'm super excited and in the coming weeks I'll probably be talking more about this, but the important thing for you to know now is that my second reason to come home was to spend the day with Liquid. I arrived nice and early to help with setup and to be there while Meg, the Interim Director, ran a scaled-down week with the kids. It was Labor day, after all, so the volunteer teams were reduced to allow them to spend time with family and friends. It was still exciting, however, to play with the kids and observe as Meg led them in worship. Fun stuff, to be sure, and I'm looking forward to continuing that amazing program, as well as developing new and relevant ways to share Jesus with our littlest ones. Seeing the leadership team after several months of emails, phone calls, and letters was awesome, too, and I can't wait to get back again for our team road-trip at the end of this month!

The day wound down with me attending the evening service with my great friend Dan and his awesome girlfriend Maggie. They've been Liquid regulars (as often as possible, attending school in Poughkeepsie until recently) for a couple years and are looking forward to getting more involved this fall. We went to dinner afterward and had a great time catching up and sharing our plans for the future. So after a day in Morristown that was as fun as it was long, I drove home, to arrive at my room just in time for a call from my TCNJ pals, who were indignant that I would not, in fact, be showing up for the party that night. Sorry, guys, I had my graduation party to rest up for the next day!

As far as parties go, The College Graduation Party is trumped in significance only by The Wedding, and as I haven't got one of those coming up any time soon, we really went all-out on this one. Cousin Andrew is done with college as well, and so shared in the honors with me. Our co-branded party was attended by somewhere around 80 family members and friends that we love like family. Seeing so many (of YOU!) was wonderful after 3 months of seeing nothing but strangers every day, and I had an amazing time catching up with everyone. Perrottis, Donatellis, Sianos, Leahys, Silvestris, Bradleys, Fusellas, and a dozen other clans spent the afternoon by the pool, under a sky that you couldn't ask for a better one of. I'm incredibly blessed to call such splendid company my family, and I wish everyone an environment as supportive and encouraging as I've found in you all. The food was great, the beer was cold, and the friends were fun. Big thanks go out to Mom and Dad for putting together such an amazing celebration for Andrew and me. I'll make you proud.

Now my plane is descending to Orlando, where I'll resume providing amazing African Safaris wednesday. It's been fun, Flemington, but it's time to go make some magic!

Until next time, I remain your friend,
~Bobby Perrotti

Bobby Perrotti
(908) 797 6133
AOL IM: onlyinbars
8136 Chatham Manor Boulevard
Apt. 24202
Orlando, FL 32821