Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.
~ George Burns
We enjoyed not one, but two family reunions this summer; one in San Diego (my peeps) and the other in Southwest Colorado (Cory’s peeps). We had a brilliant time in both places (she said in her best Hugh Grant voice) and we didn’t want to come home. Drew was in heaven with his paternal roots where gas is passed freely and without apology, not to mention it was his first year of eligibility to ride the 4-wheelers solo. Samantha took naturally to the horses and both were enamored with Grandpa and Grandma’s newest acquisition: a dog. I would tell you his name but dog lover that I am (not) I can’t remember it. The kids tried to use this as an opportunity to impose guilt upon me and my anti-animal sensibilities (“Everyone has a dog but us, even Grandma and Grandpa!”), but as far as I’m concerned I’m the hero here. See, I promised I would drive them to see that dog every single summer, which is just like having a dog if you pretend that you have to board it for 51 weeks a year while you travel for business. They think I’m totally uncool but the joke’s on them, because “cool” in the Vern dictionary is defined as “doesn’t have to pay vet bills, clean up poop, or vacuum dog hair from the stairs.” It’s all relative.
As for San Diego, well, I got off the plane, breathed in the air and said, “Ah, I’m home.” We toured the Star of India, walked the San Diego Harbor, and had Cheerios and fresh fruit every day on my parents’ deck. When I wasn’t fantasizing about how to retire there I watched various family members scale the inflatable waterslide that my mom and dad rented or inhaled a chocolate raised creation from Peterson’s Donut Corner. Sheer joy. Best quote of the week from that trip came from my brother Greg: “I don’t want to live in a world where you can’t ride poodles naked.” HA HA HA! Oh. I guess you had to be there. Anyway, I put some pictures together and compiled a musical slide show for the three people that are interested in looking at that. My in-laws will be wondering why there are four hundred pictures showcasing California and five highlighting Colorado; my response can be summed up in one word: Vanessa. Next time I will invite her to the other reunion too so we can have equal representation. The free gas passing alone seems like enticement enough. Vanessa, you in?