Family Reunion - 2009
Thursday was arrival day for the rest of the family. We had arrived the day before to get our HitchHiker II set up and make sure everything was straight with the campground in Ohio. Rose had everything in order for us.
Michelle and Steve called and told us they were getting close. So, we watched for them towing on I-75 by the campground.
Fred and Becky arrived later in the day.
Melanie had to work late so arrived she about 10:00pm.
You noticed . . .
Yes, we used a different location for our annual family reunion this year.
We did not go to Fred and Becky's in Indiana.
The campground had two lakes - a fishing lake and a swimming
Thus the name, Twin Lakes Park.
The lakes were separated by a dam that you could walk on or drive a golf car on.
Caitlin was first to see the big Mud Carp in the fishing lake.
When Fred purchased the worms, Rose cautioned him not to let the kids terrorize it. Apparently, kids have been known to throw rocks at it. He assured her that our kids would not do that.
The campground offered a uncommonly well equipped cabin for Fred's family.
We had a site for Michelle's family and a site for our HitchHiker II.
Due to the 'hot' weather, Melanie stayed with us - to enjoy the air conditioning.
Our HitchHiker II . . . the Laredo . . . the cabin
That was an introduction to the Campground. The theme of the weekend at the Campground was "Death by Chocolate". All of the campground sponsored activities centered around chocolate, including a Chocolate Syrup Slip and Slide event. We had planned to participate in some of the offerings, but were having too much fun swimming and fishing.
One housekeeping item . . . photograph day was held on Saturday to avoid the last minute rush we sometimes experience when we wait until the last day.
So, here's how we spent our time together.
Friday Mary Lou surprised the grandchildren with breakfast in the HitchHiker II. They waited patiently for the breakfast to be prepared. They seemed to enjoy the event. It also gave their parents and Melanie time to talk over a leisurely breakfast. Their breakfast was delivered in a box - not as good as ours.
The chocolate chip pancakes and bacon were all eaten before Grandpa made the photograph.
After breakfast, erecting Melanie's canopy was a family affair.
Fishing was the next thing on the agenda.
Some fished more than others. Some needed a worm installer.
Because it was a private lake, Fred did not 'catch and release' all the fish. This is very unusual for him - a tournament fisherman.
Some observed, some played, some fished . . .
Up at 6:00am . . . two fish.
Swimming was next on the agenda.
The line of jumpers helped each other back on the raft.
All the children, young or old, enjoyed the water.
Caitlin showed how good a swimmer she is.
Fred let Caitlin use his shoulders as a diving board.
Sometimes he threw her in the air.
Or. she would flip.
Fred had to include this photograph of 'someone', only because it was an accidental but interesting image he captured.
The annual 'Everybody Birthday Party' is a special event. The grandchildren look forward to it every year.
Nicholas showed how his 'shooting' fishing pole worked. He was a little disappointed when Grandpa did not make a photograph of the projectile.
Back to the swimming lake . . . This time it was Becky demonstrating how to jump into the water.
All weekend, the Aluma trailer was a big towel rack.
Back in camp for games and dinner . . .
The play area behind our campsites was a place we frequently found the grandchildren - especially, in the evening when it was cooler.
Caitlin has been a climber since her crawling days. Ashlyn decided to join her.
We had two campfires during the family reunion. One of the activities talked about was the fun everyone had 'tossing the kids' during the swim times.
Saturday started will a big family breakfast. It was delicious.
After breakfast, Becky played with the grandchildren.
Fred posted three family photographs for all to enjoy.
A visit to the swimming lake was often repeated.
Aunt Melanie is fun to play with on land or in water.
Scott visited for the afternoon. Scott is Melanie's boyfriend. Fred and Becky knew about him but this was the first time they had an opportunity to meet him. The rest of the family had seen Scott on several occasions.
Scott was a real good sport with the greeting he received when he arrived in camp. Fred, with Melanie's approval, had set up a chair with a light bulb over it so Becky could ask Scott questions. Of course, she nor anyone else fired questions at him. The chair and light bulb were quickly removed. Thanks, Scott - it was fun for us. (For the record, Michelle and Mary Lou did not approve of this.)
After Scott was 'introduced' to Fred and his family, they played a few games of ladder golf.
To impress Scott with how we 'rough it' when we camp, we catered in dinner. (Fred thought it was done to impress Scott because we had never had a delivery in a campground before.)
After dinner, Scott learned that he was fair game as a playmate just like Aunt Melanie. We hope he understands that means acceptance by the grandchildren.
After a short time in the play yard . . .
. . . it was time for another swim.
We were sitting on shore watching the grandchildren playing in the water - when - all of a sudden we heard screaming. Fred turned the camera in time to see the results of Melanie pushing Becky in the water - clothes and all. Becky had gone to the edge of the water to talk to Nicholas. Because her shoes were a little wet anyway, Melanie took care of the rest.
Becky tried to catch Melanie but she was to fast.
Becky took the unexpected dunking well. She calmly called the grandchildren in and walked out into the water to talk with them. (talk = plan)
If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Melanie knew it was coming. The grandchildren had sooooo much fun helping Becky throw Aunt Melanie in the lake.
The last night, after Steve caught a fish, he returned to camp. Michelle left Steve with the children and went fishing with her brother. They had a good evening of 'catching'. Fred threatened to send the photograph of his son actually cleaning a fish that he caught to his fishing club - of course, he won't.
It was a private lake requiring no license and had with no size limit. They kept the larger fish.
Sunday was the last day of the family reunion. We woke to a cloudy sky and a brief light rain shower.
It was so brief it barely interfered with the start of our day. After breakfast, the grandchildren put their bathing suits on and played in the rain. No thunder or lightning - no problem.
The train seemed to be the most popular.
But, they had a lot of choices.
Then the sun came out so the grandchildren participated in a final swim time. Their moms just supervised from lawn chairs.
Because of the success Fred, Michelle and Steve had fishing, it was decided to have a fish fry for lunch. And, Nicholas contributed a huge blue gill and a couple smaller ones.
The grandchildren were great all weekend. They are keepers.
Grandma suggested the grandchildren ask Grandpa for a final golf car ride. Grandpa had been a VERY popular guy all weekend. The grandchildren thought he should drive them 'everywhere' they wanted to go - he almost did.
The adults also got frequent rides to and from the beach.
There were at least a dozen golf cars in the campground - ours fit in well with the seasonal campers.
After lunch, it was time to close up the canopy and load the vehicles.
Fred and his family left first. A serious accident two hours earlier a few miles north had backed up traffic all the way to the campground. Fortunately, they were heading south.
Fred didn't realize until he looked at the photograph on the computer that Fred's truck is on the overpass when he made the photograph of the traffic.
By the time Michelle and her family and Melanie headed north, the accident scene had been cleared. Traffic was moving again.
We stayed at the campground another night. That evening, we drove the golf car around the fishing lake (a popular activity), played ladder golf and watched television.
The next morning we headed for home with memories of another great family reunion.
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