I swear, this is the last trip recap you’ll hear! I know, it’s fascinating…. but I wanted to record it for posterity before I completely forget and there’s a million other things to write about.
Anyways, the final weekend of the big trip to the Midwest involved a two-hour drive to sorta-Central Illinois for my dad’s family reunion. It has happened every year for the last 30+ years, and it only gets bigger. This year, for instance, there were four kids under 18 months, and that doesn’t even count my new niece, who was not in attendance. And two of my cousins are pregnant, so there’s a few more for next year. I believe my cousin Jenny’s five-month-old daughter was the one who put it over the edge, so that generation (my kids’) now outnumbers my own in our family.
The kids did great on the drive. We left at afternoon nap time, and they slept pretty much the entire drive. Yay! Got there and it was people galore, jumping in the pool, little kids running everywhere, firing up the big grill for dinner. The bugs at night were awful, but because the baby monitor didn’t reach far enough to go hang out with everyone else, M and I were totally lame and went to bed super early. My aunts and uncles were apparently looking for more wine by 11:30pm…
Saturday morning of reunion weekend is all about games, especially for the kids. I remember growing up playing Bozo buckets and all variety of things. This year, the “theme” of the reunion was baseball, and each family group (i.e. my dad and his siblings) was supposed to come up with a game. They often involve throwing things at someone, or general mess and/or embarrassment. Good times! The rest of the day is pretty much a blur of chlorine, cheap beer, Red Vines vs. Twizzlers, and just hanging out with cousins. The nighttime entertainment is the “Talent(less) Show,” which is mostly a chance for the little kids to get up and do somersaults and sing songs, and for the adults to cheer wildly. It was after D&R’s bedtime… maybe next year.
Sunday started with a threat of rain, but nothing could put a damper on the day: it was Daniel & Rebecca’s first birthday! And so many family members to celebrate with. We got a cake to share with everyone, and made a big old mess before it was time to pack the car and head back to my dad’s house before going to the airport and finally going home after our long trip. Sadly, our flight was delayed by about an hour, and we didn’t get all the way home until nearly midnight. But with only minor exceptions, both kids proved stellar travelers, and I count the whole shebang as a big success.