Sometimes a big event is SO BIG... you just don't even talk about it. Casually skip the event on the blog in favor of videos of your children riding their bikes in pajamas in the middle of the afternoon. Inane stuff, THAT'S what I like to post about.
So I skipped my family reunion in Estes Park. NOT because it wasn't awesome, NOT because it wasn't worth mentioning, and NOT because I don't have any pictures of it (I do!) but because there was so much awesomeness I didn't want to sit down and write a whole blog about it.
Our family reunions are now divided semi-annually into "Big Reunions" with my aunts, uncles, cousins, and all the cousins' kids; and "Family Reunions" where I AM the aunt, Joe IS the uncle, and my kids ARE the cousins. The Big Reunions are still fun and awesome, but it's nice to pass the torch on to the next generation and enjoy "small" reunions (there were still 23 people), like our Family Reunion this year with my siblings.
In lieu of a long, drawn-out post about it, I'll hit the highlights! For me to look back on, mostly, but you are more than welcome to sneak a peek into my post. Then again, sneaking after you've been given permission is no fun, so DON'T LOOK! You are FORBIDDEN to read this post. It is PERSONAL and you will get in BIG TROUBLE if you read any further!!
Ok, so first we actually reunited in Denver. We enjoyed a lunchtime picnic, the Museum of Nature and Science, then DIDN'T enjoy waiting for our hotel room to get cleaned while our kids desperately needed naps and/or bedtime - such First World Problems, I know! But seriously, check-in was 2:00 but our room wasn't done until 6:00. Luckily the hotel acknowledged the First World problem and comp-ed the room. Joe stayed at the hotel for out little guys (Caro & Ethan) to sleep and the boys & I went with the rest of the troupe to dinner @ my dad's cousin's home in Highlands Ranch. We were all beat by the time we got back, so it was bedtime and effectively the end of our time in Denver, since the next morning we left.
Before hitting Estes Park we hit Sam's Club - 23 people carting around 23 people's-worth of stuff around was pretty adventuresome! But all the kids were great shoppers (and all the adults were quick shoppers), so we were back on our way to the REAL Reunion unscathed (except for my dad's wallet). In Estes Park we stayed where we stayed 2 years ago at a Big Reunion: Aspen Brook Rental Homes. Beautiful homes, set out of town and next to a creek, where we spent the next 4 days LIVING IT UP! We enjoyed activities such as:
-Roasting hot dogs and s'mores on the fire pit
-Taking family pictures in the picturesque location
-An evening of family talents, referred to as the "First Annual Family Follies," which included memorable performances of my parents dancing, Karl & Erica "working out," dad & Eric reciting the classic "Cremation of Sam McGee," and Amelia singing the Little Mermaid with her eyes covered
-Eating delicious food
-Karaoke! Need I say more? (or sing more)
-Daily excursions to the playground at the rental homes
-Horseshoes at the playground
-Fishing at Trout Haven pond - you pay for the fish, but you're really paying for the experience
-Shopping in downtown, made heavenly by some Salted Caramel ice cream
-Relaxing at the "cabins," followed by eating more delicious food
-Renting pontoons and motoring around the marina, then getting screamed at by the marina staff girl. Apparently the "fun police" do not approve of Navy SEALs executing risky maneuvers, such as pulling two pontoons up alongside one another at 0 mph.
-Visiting the Alluvial Fan, which is a gorgeous waterfall with none of the "hiking" or "sweating" involved with seeing so many waterfalls.
-Eating more delicious food
-Playing excellent games with the whole family: Guesstimation and Cineplexity - I highly recommend them both for get-togethers of friends or families! They can be played with a wide age and IQ range. I'm a genius, as you now all know, but somehow other people still managed to win sometimes. Sometimes.
So that was Estes. We topped the whole thing off with even more relaxing, talking, and catching up before we were forced to leave and pack up any uneaten delicious food (a surprising amount!) to take home with us. LUCKILY the reunion wasn't quite over! My parents and Karl & Erica came to Pueblo for a few days, which we spent WILDLY partying - walking the Riverwalk, getting sloppers, going out to eat at a Mexican dive, having blizzards for dinner, more games (sadly, no more Karaoke), and SURPRIZING our family by walking across the street to the home Kari and Jonathan are buying! Closing on July 31st, I'm sure Kari will fill in all the details on her own blog one of these days (it's just so big, I'm sure she doesn't want to tackle that post), but it is literally the house across the street. We are SO EXCITED but they kept it a secret so my parents (and Karl & Erica) would be surprised in person. So that was Pueblo.