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20170823 natecollegemovinWell nothing helps emphasize you're getting old like moving your child into college. Ugg. 

I'm so happy for Nate and looking forward to him starting this next phase of his life at The University of Akron.

He seems super-focused and ready to go and since he's had several classes at the University while going to Kent Roosevelt he's pretty comfortable around campus.

Having a great bud Jake to room with should make this first year a great experience as well.

Good luck Nate and love you lots.

For the second straight year, we went to Emerald Isle for our family vacation.  Just like last year, we had a great time between the ocean, pool and pontoon boat.

Here is some drone footage from the week.

Another great Memorial Day weekend camping at Salberg Camp with family and friends. Even though it was pretty soggy and the rain chased us a bit, the relaxing weekend was as fine as ever. A huge thanks to Mark and Joy for allowing us to camp on their beautiful property.

I took advantage of this weekend to put my new DJI Mavic Pro to the test. Below is a small tribute video to the Salberg Camp.

Salberg Camp 2017 Memorial Weekend from Steve Giunto on Vimeo.

20170520 DJI DroneNot to over-emphasize such a minor event as owning my first real drone, but I will forever remember May 20, 2017 for just that.

Brandon and I have had a couple quad-copters and I've flown a few RC airplanes over the years, but the jump to a real drone is just breathtaking. From live streaming 1080p video back to my iPhone, capturing amazing 4k video, to flying 40mph at 400 feet, there's really nothing quite like it!

Here's just a simple photo I snapped from our first day flying. About as close to a picture of the front of my house that I can get being right up against the woods. At 4000 pixels across and enough resolution for a poster, it's truely amazing.

I look forward to many amazing photos and videos in my future. 

Click here for the uncropped, unretouched, high resolution photo. ORIGINAL PHOTO

20170521 nate graduationWell I've talked quite a bit about milestones on this blog and today was another major one. Nate's high school graduation from Kent Roosevelt.

Super proud of him graduation with honors with a 3.95 GPA and proud of you for showing such efforts in academics and through your difficult sports injuries. Love you much and excited for you to start your studies at The University of Akron's biomedical engineering program.

Congratulations on all of your scholarships as it's great to see hard work and determination get rewarded.

Love you bud!

20170304 alystaterunnerupBetween Nathan's broken foot from cross-country, Nathan’s ripped quad from baseball, Brandon's stress fracture from the first cross country meet and Brandon breaking his nose the first day of baseball tryouts, at least one of the Giuntos is having success in sports. Sorry boys.

Aly’s high school cheerleading team got through regionals and made it to the state championships. We were already super proud of her for earning a position on the competition team, so for her getting to go to states, was pretty incredible. Especially as a freshman.

The whole family went down to The Ohio State University to watch the final competition on March 4. We were lucky enough to pick up Abby Wagner along the way and she gave us a tour of her campus and her dorm. It is an amazing campus.

The competition itwself was pretty awesome with 19 total teams competing. I could tell right away they had a great routine yet were among alot of other great schools.

As they announced the placings, working down from 19, passing 15, then 10, then 5, we all got us all excited and the final countdown all the way to the final 2 felt like no other. Although hearing us called in the second place position came up short, it didn’t feel like it amongst some pretty major schools and professional programs. Especially when we found out they missed State Champions by 1 point!

Also love that Brandon's broken nose is forever importalized in this photo.

Super proud of you Aly and the team and looking forward to many more years of cheer.

Brandon's LicenseIt's official, Brandon got his license today and he's stoked, even though his picture doesn't say "stoked".

He breezed through both tests and got the the magic card to his freedom. Or really magic card to cart his butt around.

As always, that first trip leaving the house by himself had Jean and I cringing.  Another step in spinning the wheel of life. Good luck Brandon and be safe!

20161111 nate senior photosA big thank you to Matt Murphy for his outstading work on Nate's senior photos.

Below is a link to a very large gallery of the experience.

Nate's Senior Photo Gallery

20161009 navy enlistment anniversaryNobody who joins the military ever forgets the date they join. It's as second nature as their birthday, the date they get married or the date of their first child. Guess I’m feeling kind of nostalgic coming up on my 25th anniversary of the date I joined the NAVY. Having just finished up scanning over a thousand old pictures, I thought I’d put together a complete photo album of my US Navy tour. After looking through all the photos of these 4 whirlwind years of my life, I realize it was an experience of a lifetime that I would not have traded for anything. Proud to be a NAVY veteran.

Here is a "raw" PHOTO GALLERY that includes many of the activities and destinations of my tour.

Some highlights of my 4 years include:
  • Shooting automatic weapons & thumping M203 grenades with a Seal Team at AP Hill
  • Being Plane Captain/Landing Signalman Enlisted and working on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier
  • Sailing two six-month Mediterranean cruises and logging over 15 months at sea
  • Loading 2 of our helicopters into, and flying in a C5 Galaxy... the largest US aircraft
  • Watching/feeling a Phalanx weapon system shoot 75 rounds per second
  • Living 8-weeks on a cot in a tent eating MRE’s in Cuba during the Haiti conflict
  • Launching off an aircraft carrier in a C2 Greyhound
  • Transiting the Suez Canal twice

Destinations, assignments & liberty in the US:

  • Great Lakes, Illinois
  • Millington, Tennessee
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Jacksonville Florida
  • Daytona Beach, Florida
  • Pax River, Maryland
  • AP Hill, Virginia
  • Washington, DC
  • Norfolk, Virginia
  • Cherry Point, North Carolina
  • Fallon, Nevada
  • Reno, Nevada

Liberty ports & destinations over seas:

  • St Marten, Virgin Islands
  • Autec, Bahamas
  • Guantanamo Bay Cuba
  • Naples, Italy
  • Rome, Italy
  • Brindisi, Italy
  • Corfu, Greece
  • Rhodes, Greece
  • Haifa, Israel
  • Jerusalem, Israel
  • Bethlehem, Israel
  • Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates

Waters I’ve sailed:

  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Caribbean Sea
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Ionian Sea
  • Adriatic Sea
  • Red Sea
  • Arabian Sea
  • Gulf of Aden
  • Gulf of Oman
  • Persian Gulf

Aircraft I flew in:

  • Boeing DC-9 Passenger Jet (Several Flights)
  • Boeing 707 Passenger Jet (Several Flights)
  • Boeing 727 Passenger Jet (Several Flights)
  • H-60F Seahawk (USS Theodore Roosevelt to Brindisi, Italy)
  • HH-60H Seahawk (Several Flights)
  • C-130 Hercules (Norfolk, Virginia to Autec, Bahamas)
  • C5 Galaxy (Norfolk, Virginia to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba)
  • H-47 Chinook (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to USS America)
  • C2 Greyhound (USS Theodore Roosevelt to Sicily, Italy)

Naval Ships I sailed on:

  • CVN-71 USS Theodore Roosevelt (471 days)
  • CV-66 USS America (7-days)

20160718 emeraldisleThis year's family vacation took us and the Keba family (some of them!) to Emerald Isle, NC with a slight detour through Alexandria, VA on our way there. 

Looking for somewhere to spend the night until we checked into our Condo on Sunday, we spend a night in Alexandria, VA which is just 5 miles south of Washington DC.

As luck would have it, the city of Alexandria was celebrating its yearly celebration and our hotel was 3 blocks from the center of festivities at a local park including an  orchestra and fireworks over the Potomoc. A walk down King Street can't be missed if ever in Alexandria too.

We ended up loving Emerald Isle and would go there again in the future. It's not as touristy as Myrtle or even North Myrtle Beach but not as desolate as the true outter banks. Still a couple restaurants to choose from and some putt-putt for the kids... and me. And the beaches were clean, with white sand, nice waves and beautiful.

With perfect timing, Dylan was fresh back from a mini-deployment to the Baltic Sea and got to spend a few days with us and caravan the trip home to start his 10 day leave.

We took a half-hour drive up to Atlantic Beach during the week and rented a pontoon boat for the day which turned out to be the highlight of the trip.  Everyone had a blast swimming in the intercoastal and visiting Shackleford Island and seeing wild horses. Highlights were jumping the waves with the pontoon boat and ancoring at the islands.

Here is a small photo gallery of our vacation.

20160610 fishingboatWe’re super excited to have a new fishing boat. It’s the same style boat pops had for several years that Pops, Nate and I went out on several times. Brandon was never old enough to go out before pops sold it and Brandon's always let me know that. :) I’ve thought about it many times over the past several years but the right boat at the right price just came along. It’s a small 14 foot aluminum v-bottom boat but just what we need to get out on the small lakes around here. Our first trip out, the day after I got it, took us to Mosquito Reservoir to test out it’s float ability and 2 motors.  All worked well, and although we got skunked without a single bite, we had a great time motoring (or rocking!) around the lake and enjoying each other’s company. Can’t wait to get the girls out on the water.

20160625 missiontripI had the opportunity to go on the week long mission trip with the St Joan of Arc CHAOS Youth Group to Cumberland, Kentucky.  This was the 5th year in a row I was able to chaperone the group. This year was the largest group we’ve taken with 15 kids and 4 adults. Most importantly, Aly was old enough to make the trip, which meant the whole family was able to go. I was excited that Jean was able to experience and visualize all the stories we’ve told her over the past few years.  It was pretty awesome for the whole family to make the trip down and help out the Appalachian region. 

We worked on several projects while down there including:

  • Installing drywall in the church and taping/mudding
  • Replaced a rotted subfloor and laminate in a needy house
  • Installed volleyball posts/net for ours and future groups
  • Fixed a gutter on the convent
  • Worked on the complete residing of a house that had bare untreated wood as exterior walls
  • Painted the bathroom in the dorms
  • Painted the basement of a church in the neighboring city.

20160513 jeanalydcMarking probably the last field trip either Jean or I will chaperone, Jean was able to go with Aly’s 8th grade class to Washington DC. Since I have  been there four times already and went with both Nathan and Brandon’s class, I would have been a hog to go there again before Jean went once! It’s one of my favorite field trips and they got to see most all the major monuments. Jean and I's favorite one is the halocaust museum which is just incredible.

Can't wait to go there as a family some-time.

20160531 memorialday salbergcampWell it's been along time coming.  Since all of our friends have taken up camping with us, we haven't made it back to Salberg Camp in over 2 years. With everyone's schedule crazy this Memorial Day weekend, we were able to make the treck back to the place that kicked off our camping ventures. Camp Salberg.

As always we had and awesome, quiet, relaxing weekend. Although too cold to have fun swimming, we had a blast around camp and took a great hike on the Indian Trail at Cooks Forest. Lots of frisbee, singing, baseball,ring-hook-thingy, bang-bangs and sea-stories kept us busy the whole weekend.

Thanks to Mark and Joy for inviting everyone to their place time and time again.

Here's a small photo gallery of some of the fun.

20151106 summer champsUnfortunately there's not alot on my website regarding my niece, Summer Heidish. The 1000 miles between us is something the Giunto clan isn't used to with close family!

Congratulations in winning 1st in the state (Florida) with your team in your event, the 200 medley relay.

Summer along with her teammates Caroline White, Claire Maiocco and Grace Olivardia beat their school record while winning state, with a time of 1:42:98.

Congratulations Summer. Always rewarding when hard work pays off!

20151024 dylan bootcampWe had a pretty awesome last couple days at Parris Island, South Carolina. 

We had a whole group of the family (12 of us) that went down for Dylan's Marine Corps bootcamp graduation which took place on October 23. The family day and graduation festivities are done very well and well worth the trek down, even if we were in the state around 48 hours! Made for a grueling road trip, down and back.

It's been a long 12 weeks that I'm sure he's glad is over. Just thinking about his last 3 months brought up lots of memories from my Navy bootcamp, which was nowhere near as physically demanding. An accomplishment that can never be taken away from him.

A huge congratulations to him for attaining the "High Shooter" award in his company which included around 489 recruits from 6 platoons. Not sure if he realizes what an accomplishment that is. Great work. I think Nate is trying to take credit for that from all the years of airsoft battles on the compound.

He's home on leave for a bit, then off to infantry training at Camp Lejeune, and ultimately off to see the world!

Again, congratulations and God speed!

20150629 florida vacationIt’s been a couple years since we took a family vacation so we were ALL looking forward to getting out of town by the time vacation actually hit last week.

Being no strangers to long car-trips, we packed up the family and began our 16 hour drive to Orlando, via a detour in Jacksonville to stop by my old Navy Base (NAS Jacksonville) as well as cruising through our old neighborhood.

We ended the road trip in Daytona Beach to spend a couple days with family. Thanks again to Scott and Diana Devault for putting my whole family up for 2-days and feeding us until we couldn’t eat any more. It was a great pre-vacation vacation with you guys! Yankees doing southern hospitality right.

The following week itself was just as awesome staying at the Summer Bay Resort in Orlando. The first time we’ve ever stayed at such a place. Beautiful condo, lots of space, many pools and nice lake with toys. It was great for Teresa and Summer to come and visit with us a couple days as well.

We hit SeaWorld and Bush Gardens this trip down. SeaWorld being a favorite and Bush Gardens being one we’ve never gone too. All 3 are roller-coaster fanatics now that their older. Lightening and rain unfortunately chased us out of both parks earlier than hoped. Tall steel roller-coasters and storm clouds don’t mix apparently.

After 2,500 total miles on the caravan and a LONG trip home, it was back to the grind.

20150720 missiontripFor the 4th year in a row I accompanied the st joan of arc youth group to kentucky for their week long summer mission trip. Nate, Brandon and I were all able to make the trip this year. Our 9 kids and 3 adults while meeting up with 24 other kids, all rode the ‘big-bus’ down this year, which was a first for our small group, having always had our own van in the past.  We stayed at the new mission center at St Stephen’s church in Cumberland Kentucky. It serves as a great base-camp for our efforts.

We were able to work on several individuals' homes, meeting lots of incredibly nice and humble people that thanked us tremendously. We had a varying amount of tasks through the area. Here are some of the things we all did:

  • Installed new exterior door on a house
  • Removed and replaced 4 windows in a home
  • Painted the complete exterior of a house and most of the church's rectory
  • Visited a local nursing home
  • Performed some basic repairs and cleaned up another catholic church in a nearby city
  • Helped stock and then distribute TONS of food at the local food-bank
  • Made miscellaneous home repairs such as hand-rails, hanging porch ceilings & patching homes
  • Were all cued up to help the "sisters" run VBS but unfortunately, no kids were able to make it!

Rain kept us down a bit, but it didn’t keep us out. We will did ALOT of great work every day. And with hours and hours of cards, volleyball & swimming, the kids had a blast during free-time.

Thanks sis (Tina) and Rick for being great chaperoning company.

As always, John and Harold lead the crusade, thanks for devoting your entire summer to the mission. And thanks to all who donate to The Diocese of Youngstown as they fund most of the operations and give us a great venue to let our kids do good work.

20150530 washingtondcfieldtripI chaperoned a field trip with Brandon’s 8th grade class from St Pats this last week. We had an awesome 4 FULL days of touring that left everyone exhausted. I made this trip once before with Nate so I suppose I’ll let Jean go next year with Aly seeing as she’s never been to DC before!

It’s pretty amazing how much we got to see. I logged 23 miles of walking over the 4 days! My highlight was watching some fool jump a fence at the whitehouse and get put to the ground.

Here's a photo gallery of the field trip.

Incredible job organizing to Mrs. McCrady and Mrs. Palmer. Here is a list of things we saw and experienced this week.

  • Arlington National Cemetery (& Changing of the Guard)
  • Vietnam Memorial
  • Korean Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Reflecting Pool and Mall
  • World War II Memorial
  • Iwo Jima Memorial
  • National Archives
  • Air & Space Smithsonian
  • U.S. Capital
  • City of Alexandria
  • Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  • Halocaust Museum
  • Pentagon 9/11 Memorial
  • Washington Monument
  • Air Force Memorial
  • Whitehouse
  • FDR Memorial
  • MLK Memorial
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • Mount Vernon

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