With the weather turning warmer and the end of the school year just around the corner, many families are anxiously making plans for their summer vacations.
For some, it may be a trip to the beach, seeing the sights in a place of special interest or a relaxing visit to the home of a close relative.
Whatever the adventure, it is a special time because it gives families the opportunity to be together and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Westminster resident Carol Richardson is among the many folks who are looking forward to a very special vacation this summer. The 34-year-old Westminster High School social studies teacher will spend July in Egypt.
And making her trip even more special is the fact that she will be traveling with her mom and dad, Don and Pat Zilch of Hagerstown, and her 29-year-old sister, Lisa, who lives in Richmond, Va.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a trip like this," said Mrs. Richardson. "My mom and dad were going to make the trip and they invited my sister and me to go along. It was a matter of us working it out with our husbands since they would be responsible for taking care of our children while we were gone. They were all for it."
Mrs. Richardson, whose father is a retired Washington County educator, will make the trip with some 30 other travelers, mostly from Carroll County. The group will leave from Baltimore-Washington International Airport on July 3.
The trip was arranged by WHS teacher Marilyn Cole, who books tours through a California travel agency.
"I had heard about the trip from Marilyn almost one year ago," Mrs. Richardson said. "I got the information on the trip and told my parents. My dad has always wanted to go to Egypt, and he thought that this would be a good time to go since they -- my parents -- are in good health and able to travel. They wanted to take me and my sister so we could enjoy it with them. "
Their excursion will begin with a 13-hour flight to Egypt. Once they arrive, the family will start the vacation in Cairo visiting the pyramids, then take a night train to Aswan.
After a few days of sightseeing in that ancient city, the foursome will take a seven-day cruise down the Nile River.
"We will stop at Luxor, the one-time capital of Egypt," Mrs. Richardson said. "This is known as the Valley of the Kings. We will be able to see the tombs of Ramses and King Tut."
After flying back to Cairo, the family will take another plane to Athens, Greece. From here they will board another cruise ship, which will sail around the Grecian Islands and onto Istanbul, Turkey.
At the end of this seven-day cruise, the family will fly from Athens back to the United States.
"We have been planning this trip for a year, and I guess now it is all starting to become a reality," Mrs. Richardson said. "I am really getting excited. I think about how I saw pictures of the pyramids and King Tut's tomb when I was a kid -- and now I am going to see them in real life. It's like a dream come true."
Strawberries are among my most favorite things to eat in the whole world, and if you feel the same way you won't want to miss the Old Fashioned Strawberry Social from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Pleasant Valley Fire Hall.
This is the 13th annual social sponsored by the Ladies' Auxiliary. Everyone is invited to attend.
A fried chicken platter for adults and children will be served, with the highlight of the evening being dessert -- strawberries and ice cream.
Adult chicken platters will cost $4; children's platters will be $1.50. The strawberries and ice cream will be $1.50 for adults and 75 cents for children. Information: 848-3163.