Tax Day 2023

Tax day 2023

David, Sarah and Robert in Bonaire

Last tax day letter came too close on the heels of our spring break trip to Bonaire; so we'll start and end this tax day letter with spring breaks. Bonaire 2022 was an excellent final high school spring break; we all really enjoyed getting out of town, over Covid travel restrictions and into the water (

Robert ready for high school prom

Which leads to the obvious point that Robert was a high school senior last year; he's now graduated and attending his first choice school: the University of Washington, where he reports having an excellent time. But before we leave his high school behind, he really enjoyed ultimate disc and the school team came in fifth in the state championships! (

Robert in graduation regalia

While this has been a monumental year for Robert (and his parents) we also had lots of extended family celebrations. In June we flew out to Flagstaff to celebrate Sam and Rachel's wedding. We took advantage of the location to check out Meteor Crater and the Lowell Observatory. And really enjoyed a hike with Steve, Helen and Aaron, while the wedding couple and immediate family were stressing over the wedding location being in the path of a forest fire. The back up location was perfect and no one would have known about the change in plans if the change wasn't forced on the morning of the big day (

We came back to Alexandria long enough for David to get Covid (so far the only one in our household) — a mild case fortunately — and recover before we drove up to New York for Ian and Sophie's wedding. We took advantage of that trip to see Little Shop of Horrors and go by the Cloisters. Ian and Sophie had no forest fires to contend with (

Robert, Sarah and David at Ian and Sophies's wedding

In July, Robert turned 18 (having voted in his first primary election) and we celebrated with the traditional dinner at Los Tios and the less traditional, but no less fun, trip to the Sandy Springs ropes course with friends (

Robert rocking his Husky tee

As we were coming to terms with Robert's future in Seattle, we met up with Joseph again. You may recall he did a fantastic job with "porch portraits" a few years ago ( This time we all met at Jones Point and he got this fantastic photo of Robert rocking his UW tee shirt and the photo we're using to close out this letter (

Never one to take the easy or straight forward path, Robert's trip to UW started with his final Space Camp in Alabama. The Elite group is invitation only for folks who've been there before and have jelled well with the program and their mission teams. Elite missions are longer and included an almost 24 hour day. (And yes, Robert got to spend some time in the dive tank simulating low gravity; ask him about shooting hoops with a bowling ball.)

David and Sarah with the UW 'W'

While Robert flew from Alabama, Sarah and David flew from Alexandria to meet up in Seattle to help get him settled in for Early Fall Start. EFS is an excellent idea where new students have one class and time to get used to UW and it's environs.

Sarah helping Robert unpack

After Robert was moved in and ready for class, Sarah and David got out of his hair and spent a few days driving around the Olympic Peninsula. That was David's idea based on a trip he made while a student at The Evergreen State College just south of Seattle in Olympia. Sarah took David's idea to heart and found some great places to stay.

After beautiful beaches, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, fantastic views and lovely hikes all three of us met up again in Seattle to wish Robert well before Sarah and David flew back to Alexandria — feeling sad at leaving Robert there and elated at how well he is doing (

Back in Alexandria, David and Sarah continued to enjoy having the Potomac River in the backyard. We got out several times in our various watercraft. And when Carolee came up for a visit, we introduced her to Great Falls Park on a lovely day (

Sarah’s photo of David in the Maryland Chute

While Robert was shifting dorms from his Early Fall Start dorm to his "regular" dorm for the Fall classes, David and Sarah went back up to New York to meet with friends Nanette and Adam. They were dropping off their daughter Taylor and we arranged to meet them for a lovely dinner and showing of Hamilton after their drop off. Then we came back down to Alexandria and they flew home to Australia (

Robert continued our long running tradition and sent us a first day of class photo. He even talked a couple dorm mates into joining in; Sarah and David loved seeing some of the new friends he is making (

Christmas in Decatur

In addition to classes, Robert found out about a great job opportunity at UW: intramural referee. He's meeting more folks and learning the rules of several sports all while making a little bit of money to support his restaurant habit. The referees formed a team for flag football, Staff Infection, and they won the flag football championship. As a special treat, the championship game was played in Husky Stadium. The same stadium Robert has been visiting to watch the regular Husky football team do extremely well this year. (If you follow UW football on Facebook, you'll see Robert in the middle of a crowd of students celebrating a win:

Sarah at Harpers Ferry

But this letter can't be all about Robert; back in Alexandria, Sarah and David had a lovely fall trip to Harpers Ferry. Especially interesting as David read The Good Lord Bird (thank you Sam for the great gift) and we both watched the TV show based on the book and its description of John Brown trying to capture the munitions works there ( And we enjoyed a trip to Planet Word, a fun museum neither had seen.

Robert flew back for Thanksgiving; we had a great visit with the Zapolsky-Hubbards in Springfield. And really enjoyed hearing from Robert in person how things were going. He came back again for Christmas and we drove down to Decatur for a very Williams Christmas (

Robert, Sarah and David at Jones Point

David (and some other similarly inclined folks) advised it would be good to give Robert his space at UW to settle in, make friends and get a feel for the college life. So David and Sarah waited until this past February to go visit Robert and check out his new-to-us dorm. That was another fun trip but with more typical Seattle weather. Not bad weather, but not the fantastic sunny days we all enjoyed in August. An extra bonus: we got to have dinner with David Z., Lynn and Sam T. at the temporary apartment David and Lynn have while their house is being worked on. The view from high up in Seattle is spectacular (

And that brings us to the close of this tax day letter: Robert decided rather than a spring break destination trip, he really wanted to just come home to rest and relax. So we had a fun week with him including a Pod Squad game night (ask Sarah for details) and caught a Caps hockey game. Sadly, we had to give Robert back to UW for the spring quarter. And it's sounding likely we'll be visiting out there this summer as Robert, true to form, has plans...

If you can't come visit in person, you can keep up with us through David's blog (, Sarah's Facebook page ( or Robert's Twitter feed (