Bob and I took a week of vacation to drive to Springfield, IL for my family reunion. We also decided to visit Bob's older daughter Jenny who lives near Kansas City, on the way back to Dallas after the reunion. We spent the first night of our vacation, in Tulsa with Bob's brother Nick and wife Sandra so we could shave the first four hours off of our long trip to IL. Thursday was our 8-hour drive day. We arrived in Springfield late, so we just had dinner and went to our hotel. On Friday, we had lunch at the retirement home with my mom. Their mid-day meals are lengthy, but the food is very good. That evening, my brother Ken, nephew Paul, my sister Cindy and her husband Mike arrived and we all gathered at mom's apartment at Brenden Gardens in Springfield. I really enjoyed that time together with all of them.
Saturday was the day of our big family reunion. It was so hard for me to believe that just a year ago I started to plan it and here it was -- the day for the reunion already! We had decided a month prior to the reunion to get the air conditioned building instead of the open air pavilion. We had to RENT it and put up a deposit, but everyone was glad we decided to do this, as it reached 100 degrees that day! Lots of family from both my side (Smith's) and my ex-husband's side (Tubbs) were invited to the reunion. We tried to find out who came the farthest. Liz, who is David's niece, came from Washington state. My brother Ken came from MA. My nephew Paul, lives in Vero Beach, FL, but he was visiting his dad in MA and they came out together. And my cousin Phyllis and her son Kevin, came from CA. People started arriving soon after the building was opened for us at 11 a.m. I had everyone bring a dish to share for lunch to keep the costs lower. Cindy & Mike have a friend who does catering with smoked meats, so they decided to bring ribs and chicken. It was kind of a hassle, as they blew a fuse in their hotel room when they tried to heat it up! But, everyone enjoyed the meat and wonderful side dishes everyone brought. There were 39 family members who showed up for the reunion. And a friend of mine from San Diego surprised me by showing up too! Steve was in IL for his niece's wedding and decided to drive to Springfield to meet someone on Saturday. He knew I was there, so he called my cell phone and came by the reunion just to say "hi". I hadn't seen Steve in over 10 years! We had access to the playground and the swimming area of Lake Springfield and the little kids enjoyed both of these. Everyone had a great time and now they want to get together every couple of years. I suppose they want me to organize it too! :-) I don't mind, as I love being with my family! Here is the link to the pics some of us took -- share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8EbMmLJq3aKQWA