it already seems like it was too long ago! my extended family had reunion in destin, florida over the last week of june. this is YUGE for a few reasons:
1. the beck family i grew up in did not take beach trips. we did educational trips(civil war sites and washington DC), spiritual trips (LDS church history sites from independence to kirtland to nauvoo to upstate new york) or educational/spiritual/family reunion trips(yellowstone, bear lake) on the way to utah to solidify our desire to go to BYU. all great trips, i do feel like there was also a desire for a family trip to the beach. once we stopped at the beach at lake erie and thought we had died and gone to heaven. same for the afternoon we spent at virginia beach during our washington dc trip.
2. the beck family i grew up in did not stay in "fancy" places. one thing i admire about my parents is their desire to never overspend but that also meant a lot of interesting vacation accommodations. if you feel so inclined, google camp meade in middlesex, vermont. that place is legendary in my family. the beck kids are by no means snobs.
when my mom said she wanted to rent a house on the beach in destin, florida, i knew that the end of days must be nigh! it was such a wonderful trip. destin is a jewel of a beach. very few activities were actually planned and instead we were simply able to reacquaint ourselves as a family, all while wearing swimsuits and shaking sand out of personal crevasses. it's no small feat for us to get together as so many of us live in far flung locales, 3 families in utah, 1 in in north dakota, 1 in florida and our family here in georgia.
day 1. thomas had some last minute work assignments pop up, so i drove the bulk of the family and luggage down to the beach house.
this is how reagan spent the majority of the drive down. under a blanket watching his favorite movies, including home alone, in his "movie theater". kind of makes me want to barf, be he was 100% fine with it.
we stopped for lunch at a quaint local place featuring local fare in opelika, alabama.
my windshield has been cracked for years. at this point i had been telling the kids we were about to stop for a bathroom for about an hour. it only took another hour for that to be true.
after arrival, the ladies in the group headed over to walmart, with EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON in destin and grabbed groceries for the week. i think we ended up with 7 heads of romaine lettuce.
thomas arrived around midnight that night and got up early the next morning for a conference call. have i talked you out of law school yet?
the next several days was mostly various stages of undress at the beach.
probably the undisputed highlight for my sister heather and myself was the fact that all our kids got up at 6am on the dot. EACH DAY! once it was 5am! we all stayed in bottom floor of the beach house(the happening autism floor, as all three families downstairs has a child with autism! cue the fire alarms!) then we had to appease everyone until the upstairs floor of the beach house unlocked their door so that we could bother them. even 6am at the beach looks amazing!
in the evening, we had different adult activities. heather and i put together a game reminiscing our childhood in blue springs, missouri, called memory memory. we tried to include as many wacky, crazy, funny things that we experienced growing up. we truly grew up in a neighborhood and church ward with some of the most extraordinarily strange and incredibly wonderful people. we laughed and cried and told ridiculous stories and probably alienated our in laws with our delightfully imaginatively weird childhood.
we celebrated scarlett's birthday again with a subpar ice cream cake. she still has young, underdeveloped taste buds so she was okay with it.
one of the best parts of my childhood, sandy shakes, or milkshakes made by mom. she does it just right. no mixer, just a spoon, some milk and a splash of vanilla. i had 2 and i'm closeted lactose intolerant.
babe of the whole beach.
our view each day.
a few of us went parasailing. this poor guy must be in a thousand family photo albums doing this same lame joke.
thomas and i had our turn. turns out parasailing is kind of like marriage, one big push off the boat and then smooth sailing for the rest of the ride. hahahahahhahahahahhahahahahahhahahahaha.
family pictures went off without a hitch! naturally!
reagan did another performance of his fire safety puppet show. we limited it to 10 minutes and 8 songs.
some of the audience had seen it a few times and a few newbies got to experience it for the first time. i bet they can't get the ditty, "don't play with ma-ah-tches" out of their heads.
grandma sandy passed out family awards. i don't appreciate my award because can only be so pleasant in the morning on so little sleep. nobody else knows the troubles i've seen.
more exquisite views.
thomas had $12 that he felt like burning or throwing in the garbage but instead he used this money to buy this hat and he wore it all day every day.
on our last night FUNcle dan took us all our ghost crabbing. it was so fun to chase these scary little skittering creepy crabs around.
the next morning heather and i ran around like crazy people trying to pack up our stuff while everyone else was cool as a cucumber. why is this? i was wiping sweat off my face every 5 minutes. i'm a professional mom and have been for 11 years now and i've still not mastered the art of the chill. scarlett and cousin whitney were doing a pathetic job on deflating an inflatable so i had to get down and dirty and show them how to use leverage and body weight to force the air out. i guess those little girls don't have enough "leverage" like i do.
my dear sweet mother was chasing down each car that was leaving to make sure we had enough leftovers from the fridge for the drive home. those 3 heads of lettuce went to good use.
the only shot of our reunion t shirt that i got. "are we out of the driveway yet?" and a station wagon. just like old times.
we ate at longhorn steakhouse on the way out of town. for most of this summer, i've eschewed wearing makeup and i love it. that is until the end of day and i look in the mirror and wonder who this tired and sweaty lady is.
gas station in florida, full selection of jorts, or jean shorts, for the whole family.
this darling boy was a dream on the drive home.
thomas was a champ and was a great bathroom supervisor.
finally, this is how my dad would wear his sunglasses or regular glasses at the end of a long day. and now i do it too. hail to the dad.
thanks to my wonderful mother for making this happen. it was incredible to be with family. when you don't live by family, get togethers are extra special.