Well yee-haw! This year my family reunion (my mom's side) was no disappointment. Every single person made it, totaling 56 in all. We have these reunions every other year and this year it was held in Branson, MO. My family has been going to Branson since before I was born, so the good ol' fashioned fun of Silver Dollar City is in my blood, I suppose. TJ had to warm up to it a bit, but I think he's on-board now. If you'll remember, our last reunion was held in Bear Lake, UT when Topher was 9 months old and it was a miserable--sorry, I mean memorable--trip for us to say the least. This year was SO MUCH BETTER.
Our condo was amazing. We had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a laundry room, a living room and a deck all to ourselves, as did every family unit. Where we were frustrated in Bear Lake because the whole family stayed in one gigantic house and we could never get our baby far enough away from the fun and commotion, this year was a whole different story. If anything, we were too removed from everyone else. But it was gorgeous so I'm not complaining at all. I mean, just look at the view from our deck!
We made it to Silver Dollar City three days in a row. (This is how I know my husband loves me, by the way.) Topher tried a lot of rides, including the Carousel, Fire-in-the-Hole, the Flooded Mine, the Kiddie Coaster, the Flying Elephants, the Huck Finn boats, and more.
Oh, and he started embracing his roots in the gift shop. Please meet Davey Crockett as a toddler, learning to shoot with his cork-popping gun.
Two nights in a row we went out with family to do the bumper boats. Topher was skeptical and a little scared at first, but after awhile he really got into it, even when we got soaked.
The reunion lasted 3 nights and each night the family gathered in the main lodge and had food catered so we could all see each other at least once a day. This room was also home to our family talent show, family meeting, and swearing in of new family members (yep, there's an official oath). It is such a wonderful feeling to be gathered with everyone you love and to feel so complete.
Night two of bumper boats and Topher couldn't wait to pick out his boat and go "bumper" everybody.
After a change of clothes it was off down the Branson Strip for some Andy's yogurt.
The next morning we had to say our goodbyes. This picture is extremely near and dear to my heart. This is my grandad, the head of the family and the reason we're all here.
After checking out of our condo, we made one more stop in Silver Dollar City. On the Flooded Mine ride, Topher somehow managed to shoot two of the targets! I was amazed.
Then Topher was identified as the outlaw that he is and got locked up by the local sheriff.
Then it was off to Ozark, MO to see my bestest bestie, who just bought her own house. I love you, Katydid!
And how did we fare after 5 days away from our own bed and living out of suitcases and driving way, way too much? Well we made it, but just barely. :)