I sent a handwritten letter to my Mom's last remaining cousin, Lowell (in his 90s), early last year. I never heard back from him but a few months later his youngest son, Ben, sent me an email. Ben and I wrote back and forth for quite a while exchanging family information and photos, getting to know one another a bit. He's lived in Nice France for the last eight or nine years. Then it went quiet for a while as we each sort of ran out of things to say and got back to real life.
Then after several months of silence I got this email asking if I'd like a vacation in Nice. He and his partner, a French lady named Marie, wanted to go on vacation but had two cats and a load of plants that needed looking after. Bill and I had just scheduled a motor home trip to the Loire Valley in France but we figured an opportunity like this might not come up again, so we did some shuffling around and accepted Ben's offer.
I had to go on ahead because Bill had a commitment to lead a Long Distance Walk for his club, but he joined me 12 days later. Simon and Simone came down for a weekend. Ben and Marie actually had several segments to their holiday plans so they were in and out. It was a bit crazy, but Nice was incredible and just the view from the balcony was heaven. As evidenced by the 160 photos I took of it...
Anyhow, meet my cousin Ben
and his partner, Marie.