Thursday, October 17, 2013

2013 Vacation 6

We finally arrived at the family reunion in the Shenandoah Valley, which was the original purpose for our trip.  We so enjoyed seeing family on my side, both relatives I had met and those I had never met before.  It was a fabulous reunion!

My brother, Julian, and me

Looking over photo albums from years gone by.  I'm showing the boys pictures of me as a child.

Here I'm talking to my grandfather's second wife, Margaret.  She is an amazing 91 years young!

Thankfully my Aunt Rachel brought toys for the kids to play with, since there weren't any kids their own age.  Tom and I are both youngest in our families, and we got married later in life, so all our kids' cousins are adults.

We went on a tour of family homes.  Here Lukas and Konrad are standing in front of the home where my father was born.

Talking to cousin Brigit, who is closest in age to my kids.

Our family tour standing outside of someone's home (which used to be our family's home).

This is the house my grandfather built, with the help of his sons, and lived in until he died.  My dad often talked about working on this home.

That's my Uncle John in the center, telling us about building the home.

The cousins who made it to the reunion:  me, John, Claire, Rolf, Colette, Julian.

The current owner of Grandfather's home actually let us inside!  Here is the fireplace, which is the only thing that is recognizable inside from the home.  All the cousins had great memories of sitting near the fireplace and having mint tea.

Lukas posing with his creation.  Uncle John and his new wife, Joy, in the background.

And here we are!  Quick group picture before anyone leaves!

Tom took the kids to a playground nearby...we have twenty or so pictures of this playground, with ideas for our next fort!

Natalie with her second cousin, Ryan...looks like someone's loaned her an iPhone!  I'm talking to my Aunts Huldah and Rachel in the background.

Cousin Heidi (I guess she missed the previous cousins picture) announcing a fabulous authentic Mexican dinner that she and her husband made.  The only Mexican food we ate on this trip and it was great!

We left Shenandoah Valley in the morning as the mist was rising.  So beautiful!

On the road again!

We stopped in Bristol, Tennessee, where one side of the street is Tennessee and the other side of the street is Virginia.  The kids had fun with that!

And we are back in Atlanta!  We went for dinner at the cafe around the corner from our hotel, where we ate the first night we arrived.

With the sun setting over the CNN building, our trip is coming to an end.

But the next morning we had a few hours before our flight, so we went to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (again!  really, it's so fabulous!)

Flying home!

The gate for our flight out of Dallas was switched several times before we took off.  First Terminal B, then C, then B, then C.  I felt like I was in a bad version of Groundhog Day!

And the next day school started!

And that's our trip, finally!  We had a fabulous time, but it already seems like a lifetime ago...Tom has started a new job and we are preparing to move.  I know the next few months will be crazy and I will try to blog about the normal and the crazy.

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