Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Road Trip: Reunion with my family

It was time for a reunion with my side of the family! Yippee! We are in a routine of getting together every year with my parents and siblings. But, we are NOT in a routine of putting someone in charge. None of us want to take the job. We just want to show up and hang out and have fun together. So, this was the most disorganized reunion ever. We only had a couple of things planned. And it turned out wonderfully. I loved it!

We DID have a family vote on where to hold the reunion and the majority of us voted for Winslow, our cute little hometown. Mark lives there and Paul now lives only about an hour away. And we hadn't been there as a family in a long time. And we thought it would be fun to spend time with our kids where we grew up.

We stopped at the iconic jackrabbit on the way.
Sydney rode with us and Brandon rode with Paul's family.

Cousin besties

Yee haw!

We decided to head to Flagstaff and watch Cars 3 on our first day.
We had Sydney and Colt with us.
We got there early, so had some time to kill before the show.
We walked around the pet store.
It was so fun.
I miss out on little moments like these with my nieces and nephews.
If we lived closer, I'd be a funner auntie!

The kids liked Cars 3.
Andrew didn't like it.
I thought it was just OK.
Not as good as the first one.

All of the cousins on my side.
There are twelve of them, ranging in age from 1-16.
Destiny will be adding a 13th into the mix this fall. Yay!

Caroline couldn't resist this perfect climbing wall.
I should probably be more nervous about this...

B is close to catching his grandpa!

After the movie, Mark and Taylor took us to an awesome park.
The kids had a blast on the playground.

I think B was pushing the weight limits on this one...

Marianne was in town. Yay!
So happy we could go on a walk together 
and get breakfast at a cute new place downtown.

Then Gigi and Grandpa had Minute-to-win-it games planned for us.
So fun! I loved that!

Stack the sugar cubes

Keep the balloons up

Cookie face

Shoot the toilet paper with a rubber band

Puzzle race

Balance M&M's on a straw

Pencil bounce

Marble roll

Cuddle time with sweet baby Trinity

One of our pre-planned events was renting
the outdoor pool. We hadn't done it before,
but it was AWESOME.
We had a fabulous time.

Apparently the kids didn't get enough pool time,
because when the private pool party was over,
we headed back to the hotel pool to swim some more!

We went to church with a lot of the ward members 
that I grew up with. I love when we can do that.

I drank up every single sunset while we were there.
That's one of the things I miss most about living in the desert.

We played games at Mark's place.
This was a new one:  Speak Out.
You have to wear ridiculous mouth guards
and try to get your team to guess what you're saying.
Hygienists should have a huge advantage. :)


Played some fun rounds of Heads Up, too. 

And Exploding Kittens, which Mark and Taylor 
gave to Caroline for her birthday.

Gigi and Grandpa took us out for yummy
Mexican food at Casa Blanca.

We wanted to get family portraits done at the Creek.
Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate.
There were HUGE gusts of wind coming through.
It was too dusty for good pics. Darn.

We came up with a quick back-up plan and took them at the church.
Not ideal.
The whole crew

All twelve grandkids

My parents and siblings

Grandma Cuca with her five grandkids

Here are the behind-the-scene pics. :)

No children were harmed in the making of these photos.
At least not too bad. :)

 Al and Jessica had us over to their house
and made us a scrumptious breakfast one morning.
They have an amazing kid-heaven backyard.


 And cute babies for us to hold.

At the end, Aunt Celeste challenged all the
kids to a water fight. They were SOAKED.
And loved it. 

This is the entrance to Wal-Mart.
I love small-town school spirit!

The other thing we knew we wanted to do was to take
the kids swimming at Clear Creek.
It is the best!

Aunt Celeste rented kayaks for us to use.

Lots and lots of rock jumping.

Yee haw!

Marcos and Gabriel are fearless jumping off those rocks!
They would jump off just about anything that Brandon would.

They are BRAVE!

Even Grandma Cuca got in on the kayaking action.
Yes! We have the best Grandma!

 Notice there were only two when they left...
Gigi and Mark's kayak SANK and
Celeste and Grandma Cuca had to go to the rescue!

After a great afternoon swimming and jumping,
everyone headed home.
Except B and Carson talked us into taking them to some of
the bigger rocks to jump. You have to go off-roading and
there's nowhere for the little kids to hang out, so
we figured it was better to just take the teenagers.

And Mr. Daredevil B-train couldn't stop with just jumping.
Here he is flipping off one of the rocks.

And jumping off the bridge.
Even though we asked him not to.
So he snuck around to the backside where we couldn't see him.

Who needs planning? Who needs someone to be in charge? Sometimes you just need spontaneity and flexibility for everyone to have a great time. I loved spending time with my family and was so happy that everyone could be there.