Everyone who goes on vacation knows it can be exhausting. We take time off from the usual grind to squeeze every last ounce of energy out of our bodies. (There may be exceptions. I hear cruises and trips without kids are nice. I haven't experienced either.) Disneyland is especially hard on bodies and general stamina. It may be the happiest place on earth, but you better believe you are paying for it in multiple ways.
So going to visit the Kelly's was just what the doctor ordered after a fast-paced few days. If you need to be reintroduced, go here. Otherwise, just know they are the coolest family around. I know this because they let our entire army drop in on them and they fed and entertained us.
Friday we were all recovering. It was nice to go and do normal things. Like dance crazy.
Play with toys.
Catch up on our favorite computer games.
And beat people at cards. (I actually have no idea who is winning in this picture.)
The kids loved the sand box out back. How many kids can you fit in a sandbox?
There had been an addition since our last visit. Henry was loved by all, and everyone played with him. Pearl was especially fond of him.
It was essential that we play Scotch Bridge while being there. (There is always a heated competition.) The girls have gotten old enough to join in. June was the big winner and Robyn was second. (Both well ahead of their mother.) It is practically a right of passage.
In the afternoon, we took Ethan over to swim at the hotel. The plan was for all of us to swim. But one little girl was still suffering from vacation lag. She got dressed but never made it to the pool. This was my view of the afternoon.
Tim and Jeannie are really great cooks. Everything we ate there was amazing! Tim grilled up some shrimp with onion and pepper that was delicious. (And led to our buying our own grill basket to try it at home.) And Jeannie's Caprese salad was to DIE for. I was too busy stuffing my face to take a picture. Which is a shame. It was pretty to look at as well. This picture I found online is close.
Saturday was another easy going day. We didn't plan much because we were taking things in stride. We did plan an epic round of miniature golf. Our group was so large, we split into three teams. Here is a picture of our group. (Teams by color.)
Tyler (not pictured)
It was a really good time. Ethan is really a stellar kid. He is probably more compassionate and helpful than many kids his age because of his experience with his sister's special needs. I was helping Pearl at the beginning and he was ever at the ready. He looks like he might be skewering me here, but really he saw I was trying to hold too many things at once and he was jumping in to help.
Erin was so fun while we were there. She loved all the girls and the girls loved her. I hear she is making great leaps at communicating with her device, but we didn't get to see much of that while we were there. She was a bit out of her comfort zone, and I don't blame her. We are a lot of people to take in at once. But she still kept her happy disposition the entire time we were there. She is a sweetheart.
The miniature golf course we were on was very fond of trap doors. It seemed every other hole had one.
Tyler was our main photographer on the course. It seems he found some wildlife while he was out. (Our group never saw the leezard.)
Towards the end we switched the camera. You wouldn't want to miss this handsome man.
The last hole is always the hardest. But there was the possibility of winning a free round of golf if you get the ball in.
Everyone tested their luck. Ethan's form is looking good.
Here is June trying her hand. (She is barefoot because her flip flops broke while she was on the course.)
The Stallion had no better luck.
Grandma was our last putter.
And she made it in!! Little sirens went off. She stood in shock. (Don't be surprised Grandma. You have always been great at miniature golf.)
It was a fun trip, with a great gang.
After tallying up the scores, there was a tie for first place. (Guess I inherited the miniature golf gene.) Tim must have done really well, because I had three holes-in-one and he still tied with me.
There was also an epic game of four person air hockey (Ethan, June, Maleen, and Jeannie) which was awesome. I had never seen a four person table before.
And I state for the record that we lost two kids while we were there. But since we found them in record time, I'm not really going to count it. (Always good for getting the heart racing though.)
Our last night there we played more games and made S'mores. (Tim pronounces it suh-mores. Maybe it is his CA accent.)
It was fun, although it is harder to get that perfect golden toast over propane. (It takes great skill.)
June was double roasting.
Robyn looked like she was playing a xylophone.
As a very responsible parent, I set the sticks on fire and let Pearl blow them out. (I love how both Daisy and I are making the face with her.)
This is possibly my favorite picture of the entire trip. Jeannie and Pearl look happy in the fire's glow.
And then it was time to go. It is always hard to say goodbye. We love seeing the Kelly's, and we wish we lived closer. We had to say goodbye to Grandma as well. It was so fun to see everyone. Thanks again Kelly's for feeding us and letting us win some of the games. Thanks Grandma for taking time to come with us to Disneyland. We loved having you along. Hopefully we'll see you all again soon.
To be continued in...A Salty Reunion