Well, we survived the drive to and from Kansas, and the reunion was a blast.
The trip there was 14 1/2 hours including lots of stops. Less than a third of the way into it, we stopped at a rest stop and Chickie exclaimed, "We at Uncle Ray's house!!!" I had to explain to her that we had a LOT more driving to do. By the time we got there at about midnight we were a tired bunch.
The trip home was about an hour shorter thanks to being able to avoid some construction traffic we'd encountered on the way there.
The highlight of the car trip was that we got to go to Braum's three times. Braum's is a regional fast food and ice cream chain. I don't know where all of their locations are, but it seems every town in Oklahoma, and north Texas has a Braum's. Unfortunately they aren't in Austin. Boy, is Braum's AWESOME. The burgers easily beat Sonic in taste, and prices are fantastic. The ice cream is excellent and a huge scoop on a waffle cone is only $1.25. The Engineer fell in love with their chocolate malts. We may have to drive to Kansas again just for all the Braum's stops on the way there!
The reunion was at my Aunt Dironda and Uncle Ray's house. And "house" is a stretch; there should be a different word for a 12,000 square foot home. ("Mansion" sounds too uppity, and it's really a homey, livable place. Maybe "country estate"?) There was so much for everyone to do, from taking rides in the cart being pulled by drafthorses, to swimming in the indoor pool, to playing pool and ping pong. Ray's fireworks show rivaled those put on by many cities, and the food was awesome. Of course, I ended up spending as much time as possible playing pinochle since the only time I get to play is when I'm with my immediate family and my mom's side of the family. (Local readers, anyone interested in putting together a monthly pinochle game? It's great fun and I'll teach you how to play!)
As promised, here are pictures:
Greystone (the house) reflected in one of the ponds:
Chickie & Grammy in the pool:
Chickie (on the right) kissing Cutie Cousin (my sister's daughter):
Me with my parent's three grandkids--Cutie Cousin, Zoodle, & Chickie--on the 4th of July. Getting these three "Little Firecrackers" to sit for a picture was a feat in and of itself.
Chickie wiped out, napping:
And Zoodle snoozin' with Papa (my mom's dad):