We got back from our family reunion trip last night. Here are the details...
July 1st: I couldn't sleep (never can before a big trip...too worried about oversleeping) so I got up at 4:45AM after looking at the clock all night. We were already packed and I had already taken care of the rabbits, so I got to read my book and try to calm myself down.
We left the house at a little after 7am, were supposed to leave at 6:45am, but who's counting? We had to stop by the library to drop off some books and then headed to the dog kennel to drop off the dog. The dog was scared out of her mind, poor thing.
Everything else went smoothly, I had printed out our boarding passes at home and the luggage check-in is self-serve now! YAY! Now if they could only train all the idiots ahead of me in line on how to use it somewhere else. he he
Security went pretty good. We stopped at terminal B on our way to terminal C to get some cinamon rolls for breakfast...yummy. Find out that our plane is delayed. So we get a dirty plane to go to Michigan on... someone had dropped a part of a banana in front of DH's seat...ewe!
Get to Michigan, get our rental car.... I didn't know they still make cars without power anything!
Start driving from Detroit to Frankenmuth and get stuck in construction traffic.... can you believe they had the road down to one lane for the holiday???
We finally got to our hotel (yes we booked a hotel) and then tried to find DH's sister's MIL's house. I should have looked her up on yahoo... sorry to my family but they are all horrible at giving directions. We ended up giving up and going over to my other SIL's house that I had directions from yahoo for. DH said he could have found her with a blindfold cuz her house backs up to his old school.
Just about everyone is there and the rest showed up soon after. Some were going to camp out so we go over to play with their bonfire. Got sufficiently smoky and head back to our hotel.
July 2: On our way to see some sites we noticed that the Glockenspiel (scroll down a bit on the linked page for the info) was going off, so we stopped there and watched the entire story of the Pied Piper, then we went over the covered bridge to see the May Poll then we head over to DH's grandmother's house . I'm not kidding here, this is really DH's grandmother's house. (Yes, I know that I posted the info on that link, but it's all true!) Although the current store clerks have no idea about it's history. DH's great-grandfather built the house, then his grandparents and their sons lived there with "grandma" until she died. After the boys grew up and got married, some of them and their new brides also lived in grandma's house including my in-laws. Since DH's grandmother passed away in the 1070's the house has changed hands quite a few times and has had it's interior completely changed to accomidate the gift shop. The main staircase has been removed, and the upstairs was made into an apartment. I will probably write the entire history of the house down and send it to the store for them to use if they like.
After that we tried to visit DH's other grandparent's place, but that's now where the elementary & highschool are built. His uncle's house, also on the farm, is now the school admin building. Since that was a bust we went to the park where DH's dad built a turtle for the kids to play on and a bridge. I wasn't able to find an on-line image of either of those, but I can post them after I get our pix back.
After that we headed over to the reunion. We actually got there "early" (on time for me but early for Lutherans ;o) so I helped a tiny bit with some of the set up (I helped my niece cover two tables...whoo hoo!) It didn't take too long for the others to begin showing up though. And soon 11 of MIL's 12 grandchildren, all of her kids and their spouces, all of her siblings and quite a few of their families had showed up. It was very nice to see everyone that I knew and meet all the cousins that I've never met before. We ended that day by the campfire with smores, fireflies & fireworks.
July 3: Sunday Church was held at Memorial Park with a special service honoring Military, Police & Firefighters. It was long and hot...we found out afterward that MIL had a nice spot in the shade that would have made all the kids happier. Oh well! If we ever do it again (they do it every year) we'll know better. After Church we had lunch with the family. Boy I don't think that restraunt was expecting anything as big as us! he he After lunch, I talked DH into the obligartory trip to Bronner's Christmas Store That place is HUGE! They even have a snack bar inside so you don't have to leave to go eat! But I'm glad that we ate before going because it didn't smell too good. There's one room with a HUGE Hummel cabinet that holds over 1000 Hummels and then in another part of the store there are even more Hummels on display. My mom would be in heaven there as she is a HUGE Christmas fan. After spending at least 2 hours in there and still not seeing everything I came out with... a rabbit! he he :D But I found the perfect gift for my Mom, they don't have it on-line yet...but she'll love it.
After that we headed over to SIL's house for swimming and more bratwurst for dinner. Then DH & DD went to catch fireflies and play at the school playground. After that we went to see the fireworks.
July 4th: We first went and played put-put golf. DD & I tied at 42 and DH got a 40. Then we drove by the houses that DH's family lived in and to St. Lorenz Lutheran Church where DH was baptized and the cemetary where his grandparents are all burried. The Church was open so we took a self-guided tour of it...DH knew where everything was anyway ;o) across the street from the current Church is the location of the very first Church in Frankenmuth and a replica of the log cabin Church that served as the parsonage, school for indian children and dormatory. There is also the first cemetary with replica wooden crosses and the final resting places of the town's founders. Check out the Church History link!
We had lunch at the Bavarian Inn and I got the try the World Famous Chicken dinner (for lunch you can order just the chicken w/o all the fixins.) I kinda think the big dinner might have been better as you get the mashed potatoes & gravy with it and my lunch only had the chicken. SIL says that she likes Zehnder's chicken dinner better, it's the same chicken recipe as both places are owned by the same family. Oh well.
July 5th: We went to the Frankenmuth Historical Museum and ran into some folks who know DH's family. So they had to chat for a while. We had our lunch at the Frankenmuth Brewery, which wasn't much to write about. And then we headed for Detroit. We got back to Denver very late and then there was a problem with the luggage. We got home way after 11pm.
Today I picked up our dog from the kennel and boy is she glad to be at home! She was so tired that she was sound asleep when DH got home and he had to wake her to get his greeting!
I hope that everyone had a great Independence Day!