The CCS Family

After a whirlwind trip to Boston it was extremely nice to take it easy this morning.  Shannon and I slept in, then I spent the remainder of the morning getting caught up on the mail that Ryan delivered to us in Boston and balancing the checkbook.  It’s amazing how quickly you can fall behind and then feel completely out of touch after only a couple weeks on the road; especially for someone with OCD.  Meanwhile, Shannon, Ryan, Makiko, Mom, Dad, Aunt Bo, Heather, Jennifer, and Dr. O’Keefe were busy helping me gather more information about the clinical trial using Crizotinib.

In the afternoon Dad and I had the opportunity to get on the bikes and ride around the backroads of Aaron’s neighborhood.  I road the Ducati and had some fun working it in the lower gears to feel the acceleration; definitely a fun bike to ride!  It will likely get left behind tomorrow as we head back out on the road and I’ll miss riding it.  It was amazing to me how quickly the side streets off the six lane roads turn into rural dirt roads.  At one point we passed a house with chickens and goats running around freely in the back yard; seemed so odd, but interesting.  We couldn’t help but stop and stare for a few minutes.  Nick, you said it right, Peglow defines who you are!

For dinner, we drove to St. Petersburg where we met up with Brad & Pat Gratz and Roger & Elizabeth DeHond (CCS parents) at a restaurant called The Columbia; I had really been looking forward to this.  It was our first time meeting, but with all that we have in common, they immediately felt like family (see Carolina & Mike’s stories under CCS Friends).  We missed Carolina and Mike, but they were with us by phone after dinner.  You are all an important part of my support system!  Pat & Brad surprised me with a few meaningful gifts; a motorcycle Santa ornament and some thoughtful blessings from their church.  Thank you all so much!

Dinner with Gratzs and DeHonds

While passing through Tampa on our way back to Orlando, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to catch up with our cousin Eric.  On short notice Eric was able to meet up with us at The Bungalow for a few drinks.  It had been years since we had been able to spend some time together, and it was great to get catch up.

Drinks at the Bungalow

Day 18


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
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6 Responses to The CCS Family

  1. Eric Borrelli says:


    It was great to see you. I had a great time last night catching up. Have a safe trip to New Orleans and wherever the road takes you from there. Keep me posted on all the awesome BBQ spots you hit up. Also, Thanks for the drinks last night. That Palm Beer was amazing!

  2. Aaron says:

    Ahhhh…. That’s too bad that the Ducati can’t go with you! No, really! So, you say that the bike needs to be run every now and then to keep it going? I’ll be sure to take care of that for you! Maybe I will use it to catch up to you on the road!

    Selfishily, I am dissapointed to see you heading out on the road again. I would love to have you stay with us in Florida as long as we could keep you! Your room will be waiting for you whenever you can return! Westward bound. I am excited to see the adventure continue. I look forward to finding a way to catch up to you again soon!

    We love you Bret! You have influenced and touched so many! Along with everyone else, I look forward to the next blog every morning. You inspire me and remind me everyday of what is truly important! I am proud to be your brother!

  3. Marianne Borrelli says:

    WOw how honored to see my son on your blog!!!! Glad you could connect with him. I know he enjoyed meeting up with you. Family is a good thing! On a trip to Boston We could drive up and pick up Caroline if you had time and are up to it!! Keep us in mind or you could stay in CT for a night and fly out of Hartford or Westchester. Westerchester has inexpensive Fights to Florida especially Orlando. THat’s why FRed flies down for a Dolphins game several times a season and meets up with Eric.!!! I stay home that time of year and let the boys bond!!!

    So now you are heading to New Orleans. Is the weather good there for riding? I think the entire country is experiencing a freeze!! Well Maybe you could catch up and check in on your cousin Katie. I’m sure she can show you a good time !!!!

    Ride Carefully and still travel in that Good Direction. We’re with you!

    Love Auntie Cuz,

  4. daniel siciliano says:

    if one where to send mail to you what address will get it to you the fastest?…

  5. Aaron says:

    It was great having you around and we miss you already. Ashlyn and Kayla have been asking for you. Have a great time in New Orleans. Hurry back!!!!


  6. Debbie says:

    Greetings Road Warriors!

    I’m dying to know if you crossed that mega bridge in St. Petersburg? If you did..were you brave enough to look out across the bay? That thing is scary!

    YES! I’ve gathered by the other posts that you’re headed to the Big Easy-excellent choice. I have two words for you..COMMANDER’S PALACE. And of course, Cafe Du Mond for coffee and beignets. Please try to go to both–it really is the essence of New Orleans.

    As I leave tomorrow morning to go to Mom and Dad’s house for the holidays–I am heartsick with the thought that I won’t see both your beautiful shining faces at Christmas. But I know you’re with us in thought and spirit, just as all of us are with you on your amazing journey.

    On Christmas Eve, I will go outside and stare up at the heavens and wonder/hope that you’re gazing on the same bright, twinkling star. Wishing that you were here with us..wishing and praying for that special Christmas miracle that will heal all wounds and spirits and hearts.

    But on this Christmas Eve-I will be sending to you all the love in the world.

    Journey safe as you head westward and remember–you carry my heart with you every single mile you cross.

    Love you!


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