It's nearing the end of March, and I'm still writing about our summer 2016 vacation. Seeing as summer 2017 vacation starts in approximately ten weeks … I better hurry up and finish this series, or my blogging backlog will be seriously out of control. Especially since I also need to write about Charlie's 50th birthday surprise, and 2017 Spring Break - which concluded, today.
So, the day after our amazing anniversary celebration, Charlie's brother - Steve, and his incredible wife, Kathy … and Charlie's sister - Susan, and her brilliant husband, Jeff … and their awesome daughter, Jessie - all took off for a day of paddling on the Russian River.
We had so much fun, together.
Even though Charlie and I - and our children - are a big group in and of ourselves … we are part of a much larger family, and when even a portion of us all get together - it really is an awesome sight. Being together on the river in our canoes and kayak - gave me that feeling that we were WITH our tribe, and it was spectacular.
Jessie, our wildlife biologist - who actually works in remote places like Alaska, tagging owls and tracking wolves, was in the kayak - while the rest of us were in canoes.
Susan and Jeff, with Carolyn.
Charlie and I with Henry.
Our "assigned" boats didn't stay as such for long … after less than 30 minutes, people started moving vessels. Henry made his transition while underway.
Elizabeth abandoned ship, when Uncle Steve took a nap.
She rendezvoused with Jessie on the kayak.
Then Jessie migrated to a canoe, and Elizabeth and Henry took off on the kayak.
Then Charlie was in the kayak.
Then all the kids … and the kayak partially sank.
Then our very own Chief Smaka, suggested that we stop for a picnic lunch.
Kathy is Julia Childs, Martha Stewart and Paula Deen all rolled in to one … so you might imagine that her idea of a picnic lunch was a big step up from my typical PB&J, Cheez-Its and apple slices. Since she had planned this event weeks in advance, every detail was meticulously executed. From the coolers that had been stored at a specific take-out location; to the linen blankets that we sat upon. To the humongous focaccia sandwiches that she had prepared with vegetables grown in her own garden. To the chocolate chip cookies, pita chips, and ice cold drinks.
And, to make it all the sweeter, our picnic stop just so happened to be in an area that was overrun with wild blackberries.
It was a beautifully perfect day.
Made all the better because of the fantastic family members we were so fortunate to spend it with.