Random 11+: Vacations We Went On

Matt in the Bahamas

I think my favorite vacations with Matt were the ones where we saw lots of natural sights. These vacations usually involved more driving, but that was okay. Matt never wanted to go to the same place twice and he was always financially savvy about our plans. The first years of our marriage, I did most of the planning, especially for the road trips. Later, Matt did the leg work although I had a big say in where we went. (Yes, you can read this as Matt being a bit of a control freak. I was always happy with his plans and was happy to not have the burden of planning.) We did a lot of beach vacations and they were never Matt’s favorite. He didn’t like to swim and he didn’t like all of the salt and sand. Still, Matt usually remembered the vacations fondly, even if I wasn’t sure he was enjoying himself at the time.

  • Cancun – This was a really good vacation except for the day that we tried scuba diving. The weather was grey, the boat was small and I threw up several times. The hotel we stayed at was really nice and reasonably priced.
  • Road trip to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and San Francisco (2000) – We drove in the Porsche 951, with Oliver in the back and it was a fantastic vacation. We drove very fast through Texas. I remember camping outside of Yosemite and freezing at night and then just driving through the park the next day and being disappointed that we couldn’t spend more time there. We visited a friend in San Francisco and a waitress at one of the restaurants guessed we were newlyweds. Then on our way back we drove through the Grand Canyon for the second time.
  • Bahamas (2001) – I remember this vacation being a dud. We stayed at the resort Atlantis, although not on the main property, and everything was prohibitively expensive for us. We didn’t feel comfortable trying to navigate the island outside of the resort so we mostly sat on the beach and read. It wasn’t the sort of vacation Matt liked– he preferred being fairly active, doing activities and seeing sites. This was the first vacation that we had a digital camera.
  • Road trip/camping to Colorado and New Mexico (2002) – This time we had two puppies and a BMW M3. We camped in Mesa Verde on our way where there was a lot of wild fire damage.
  • Maui (2004) – Summer was six months old and every day of the vacation at dinner time, she would melt down without fail. But Maui is beautiful and we saw and did many wonderful things.
  • Caribbean Cruise (2005) – This was the vacation that our marriage counselor encouraged us to take. I don’t like cruises; the idea of being confined on a boat with a bunch of people does not appeal to me. But we took the advice, leaving Summer for the first time. I don’t remember it being a strained vacation.
  • Colorado (2006) – Rocky Mountain National Park, the Denver Zoo, Garden of the Gods
  • California (2007) – Yosemite, Los Angeles, San Diego Zoo. Once again, an infant (Cole this time) meant a lot of crying, but this is the sort of vacation we liked best with lots to do and see and wide open spaces.
  • Miami and Disney World (2008) – We went to visit my sister Anna and the beach. Last minute, Matt decided we should take a trip to Orlando and go to Disney World. (I think he was tired of my family.) We were reading Summer The Wizard of Oz at the time and we told her that we were going to Oz. We got right up to the Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom and she still didn’t know where we were till we told her.
  • Paris (2009) – To celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary (sans kids). I had just found out I was pregnant with Luke before we left and by the end of the vacation was starting to feel morning sickness.
  • South Padre Island (2009) – I remember the turtle rescue center and running after Cole at 6 months pregnant when he took off across the beach and Matt had already gone back to the condo.
  • Michigan (2010) – This was such a good vacation, even with three children. I just remember turning on the vacation switch and feeling so relaxed the whole time.

All of our big vacations were week long vacations. Before we were married we took a road trip to the Grand Canyon, went to Daytona and Niagara Falls. We did other shorter trips after we were married to New York City without the kids, Dallas for a baby moon before Luke was born, ski trips before the kids were born to Salt Lake City, Wolf Creek, and Angel Fire.


Cousin Benjamin B. Bell

Hello, Family, one and all,
I’m in contact with Cynthia Bell Anderson, daughter of Ben, brother of Bill Bell. Benjamin Bell’s obituary notice appeared in the Sunday ed. of The Tennessean, a Nashville newspaper, and online via the funeral home. He chose to be cremated, and there will be a memorial service at a later date.

This is very sketchy. I had only met Ben once, in my memory, and that was many many years ago in an unknown time and space…
Sorry I cannot add more at this time, signed, Jonatha

In Memory of “Benjamin B. Bell”
Benjamin B. Bell, husband, dad, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather, caregiver, friend, age 80, of Bon Aqua, TN passed away peacefully at home on Thursday May 16th surrounded by loved ones.
Born November 2 1932, in Buffalo, NY parents Charles Bell & Helen Griffith. Brothers, Bill Bell (deceased) Jerry Bell, Leonard Bell (deceased), Richard Carter (deceased) John Carter, David Carter, Paul Carter.
He leaves his wife of 29 years, Nancy (Ingle) Bell; his children, Robert Bell, Kathleen (Bell) Lackey, Nancy Cox Lamb, Debbie Bell (deceased) Charlotte (Cox) Johnson, James Bell (deceased), Joyce Cox Staggs, Cynthia (Bell) Anderson, Patricia (Bell) Singleton, Steven Bell, Pamela Bell, Andrew Cox, 28 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements to be made at a future time

(Published in The Tennessean May 19, 2013)


I don’t know that Matt was afraid of death; I would say more that he was offended by the fact that we have to die. As an engineer, death was a problem that should have a solution. Matt’s solution was a hope that at some point in the future (preferably before his own death) we would be able to download a person’s brain to a computer so that he could live forever. My experience, and maybe Matt’s too after his parents died, has been that his brain was “downloaded.” It’s just that the computer happens to be my own brain, the brains of his children and the brains of everyone who knew him, a distributed network.

I also can’t help but feel like LiveMosaic is about as close as it comes to Matt’s brain being downloaded into a digital computer. It is the code that he wrote to build the system, the corporate site, www.livemosaic.com, that promoted his vision as well as all of the stories, photos and videos of him and that he created on our own family website, www.hensons.us.