We started the drive a just little later than we intended, but it was hard to get motivated to go outside to get in the car when it was -9 degrees outside. Thanks for making so many trips out in the cold to get the car loaded, Rophone! Brrrrr! With all of his hard work we were still pretty much on schedule (on schedule = just getting light).
The kids are all finally getting to an age where long drives in the car are a little more relaxed. Everything went really smoothly and we had a lot of fun. Putting Edith in the far back with Big was the greatest idea of the century thus far-- they entertained each other the whole drive (Yessssss!).
On the way, we met up with a friend of mine from high school to have lunch (no picture, believe it or not!). It was a lot of fun and helped break up the long day in the car a little better than just our normal stop for food would do. I ordered a taco salad that I swear came in a family sized serving bowl. It was hilarious to eat out of.
We spent the night at Rib's (thanks!) and hung out there on the Monday, gearing up for the reunion to start the next day.
Day 1 of the reunion was pretty packed with activities. We started the day with a fun group hike. It was super bright, but perfectly cool so we could make the climb without getting too hot.
A few family members were unable to make it to the top due to poor footwear, bad knees, etc., so of course we had to yodel down to them. Of course we did. Ha!
That afternoon was set aside for some family photos. Piece of cake with a group this size, right?
I snapped a bunch of pictures of the cousins playing tag while we waited for pizza to arrive for dinner. It was fun to see them enjoying being together so much. I mean, that's the whole point, isn't it? I love the memories I have of doing things with my cousins.
After dinner, we headed to see Christmas lights at the Mesa LDS Temple and then went bowling. Sometimes I forget how much fun it is to bowl. I had to stick with the group at my lane so I could help my niece, Emily, but I managed to snap a few photos. My score of 143 ended up being 3rd highest. Cool. It really was a ton of fun.
Some of us played games that night, and I thought it might be kind of fun to try and take a panoramic shot of all of us around Rib's big round table. I didn't tell anyone to hold still...
The bulge on the side of my mom's face! Rib's head! It gave us such a good laugh. Then I tried a few more, with everyone doing purposeful movements to see how it looked.
So, so funny! Then I took a final shot with everyone posed. I really love how it turned out. One of these days I think I'll get it framed. I especially love how creepy my mom looks-- I told her to just look directly in the camera, but I didn't realize that the effect would be quite that unsettling.
My sister, Soup, took a photo of me and my older brother because she thinks we look like twins. Related?
What a fun first day! The next day was an activity I was super excited about-- a visit to the zoo! I took a lot of photos, so I think it's best if it has its own post...