We just returned home from another wonderful family reunion in Avalon, NJ! My cousin, Debbie, was once again the hostess with the mostess.... planning all of the meals and activities for the week, offering her house as the meeting ground for all 20+ of us, and cooking all of our dinners!! Thank you, thank you, thank you Deb for everything!!!
The trip started off a little rough, with a delay in Birmingham, causing all of us to run like maniacs through the Atlanta airport to try and catch our flight two terminals over with only 20 minutes! We did it, but it was not without Preston falling while running (and consequently crying), frustration by Steve and I, and sweating by all of us! We ran up to our gate, and collapsed with exhaustion only to learn that it was delayed as well (would have been nice if it was posted on the monitors throughout the airport, huh?). Oh well, we and our luggage made it!
Arriving in Philly worked out fine, and we made up all lost time in the air. As we were walking to baggage claim, Steve noticed someone familiar. He asked the gentleman if he was Cornelius Bennett, and sure enough he was! Steve told him we were from Birmingham and big Alabama fans, and then I quickly told him how people asked if Bennett was named after him (he laughed). When we made it to our destination, Steve went to get the car while the kids and I stayed back to gather our bags. As we were waiting outside for him to drive back and get us, Cornelius came up to me with an autograph for Steve. What a nice little memento to start the trip!
As expected, traffic was awful all the way there, and with tired kids and limited food choices to offer my picky son, we just powered through with the snacks we brought from home. Unfortunately Preston's belly didn't want the peanut butter crackers and orange juice he consumed so he later threw it all up over himself and his carseat. Once again we were tested, but I remained calm (shocker, right?), and hopped back there to clean him up with the baby wipes. It wasn't perfect, but it worked and we didn't lose anymore time.
When we finally arrived, we divided and conquered again...Steve to the grocery store with our already prepared list and then to the liquor store for our essentials, while I stayed back with the kids to unpack and make up our beds. It worked out well, and then we were ready to relax and start our vacation!! Debbie and John made a great dinner, and as always...we did a lot of catching up! Later that night (after we put the kids down), Brian, Lisa, Kurt, Jimmy, Rob, Steve and I hit one of the local bars - The Princeton. Brian's internal was bartending and she treated us well. We did a little dancing and then stumbled home (gotta love a small beach community where you don't need to drive).
Sunday morning started off a little rough, but nothing a mimosa couldn't cure. So after rehydrating and eating, we made our way to the beach. The kids played for a couple of hours, and then we got lunch and took them home so we could all nap. Most of the week went about the same, with a few different things sprinkled in....like two morning bootcamp classes on the beach, morning walks on the other days, a happy hour, an evening in Atlantic City (which consisted of a great dinner for the group minus the four little ones, and then gambling for the guys), another nice dinner out for the adults followed up with more dancing for Debbie, John, Steve and I, ice cream at the Avalon Freeze, lots of beach time, and the most popular.... hanging out at the Forrey's talking, eating and drinking. What a fun week it was!!
The weather was gorgeous all week, with the exception of a little fog one day and some REALLY high temperatures yesterday (but as long as we were in the water....we were able to fight the heat).
The annual family reunion is always something we look forward to, and I feel so blessed that I get the time to hang with my family, and my children get the opportunity to get to know their cousins that don't live in Birmingham. Thank you Mom and Dad for always renting the house that is so close to the beach and Debbie's!
Enjoy the photos.....