Friday morning we journeyed to Charles Town, which was about an hour and half away from Jackie's. I rode with Aaron in his new car (not too scary), and we all arrived at the hotel by 1:00. That evening the whole family kicked off the weekend reunion at Valerie and Rich's house . . . a beautiful historic estate in downtown Charles Town.
First picture is from Valerie & Rich's estate . . . Jackie waiting for the rest of us by the hydrangeas . . .
We spent a good part of the evening enjoying their gorgeous house and grounds . . . dinner was excellent (fried chicken, baked beans, potato salad, fruit salad and chocolate cake for desert). After dinner, the entire family returned to the hotel and carried on the festivities, with lots of alcohol. (Yes, too much drinking . . . with a complaint from another hotel guest about a certain family member running up and down the hall, dancing and singing . . . and no, it wasn't me!) Saturday morning came too early for many of the party-goers, as the tee-time for playing golf was 8:00am. Jackie and I had a leisurely morning, which included a light run around the downtown area and breakfast at the hotel. Saturday afternoon, a group of 12 decided to do white-water tubing . . . what an adventure! Jackie and I flipped our tubes over as we were hanging onto each other going over a mini-waterfall (scared us both . . . and we ended up with many bruises and scratches). The river we were sailing down was breath-taking . . . a deep ravine carved in a valley of green lush forest and peaked rocky hilltops. It was heartbreaking to see litter in the river :-( By the end of the trip, I had done multiple head-counts to make sure everyone made it down . . . with Paul and his girlfriend bringing up the rear . . . hummmmmm . . . anyway, the tubers included Connor, Jackie, Dad, Aaron, Uncle John, Daniel, Leighann, Kaitlan, Kristen, Paul, Brittney, and me.
Saturday night, we had dinner at the hotel (leftovers from Friday night and pizza) and we did the gift exchange . . . mom ended up with playboy bunny boxers! Then some of us journeyed over to the horse race. What fun! I lost ten dollars on my first bet that Danai Landing (horse#2) would place . . . Danai Landing came in dead last! I made $1.40 on the second race, as I bet on Sid's Star to place, and this horse won his race! The race track was a lively place, and we stayed until 11 pm watching the horses race. Dad made $27 on his $5 bet . . . I obviously need to take tips from him! I was exhausted by the time we got back and went straight to bed, but other family members stayed up until 3:30am (I heard this included Grandma!).
The whole weekend went by way too fast, and this morning I said good-bye to my relatives (most of them from NY). Hopefully, Matt will be able to make it next year! Here are a few snap shots from the weekend that went by in the blink of an eye:
Valerie & Rich's backyard
Valerie's back porch . . . Jackie greeting new comers . . . Aunt Pat, Daniel, Aaron, Grandma . .
Jackie and Kristen by the pool Friday night . . .
Mom with Noah and Aaron swimming in the hotel pool Saturday morning . . .
Jackie and Wayne by the pool . . .
Cool shades . . .
Jackie and I . . . after our scrape with death on the river . . . good thing we're such strong swimmers with an amazing ability to float in the water (ha!) . . .
Back at the hotel Saturday night . . Jackie, Noah, Aaron and Paul are gearing up for the exciting gift exchange . . . who is going to the lucky one to take home the bunny boxers?
Fun at the gift exhange . . . tell us how you really feel . . .