Up until july 6th it had been just over four years since I had last seen my brother, and more than five years since I had seen my sister in law and my nephews.
For a few years we talked about us going out to VA for a week at the beach or them coming out here for a week in Tahoe and this January we finally decided to go for it-to rent a house in Tahoe and they would fly out here. And on July 6th, I drove to Tahoe as fast as I could to see all four of them.
My nephew Ryan is 7 (almost 8), he was born one week after Red and I were married and was a 2 year old the last time I saw him. My nephew Evan is 5 and the last time I saw him he was a blob in a car seat.
It was really great to see them all! Im really grateful that they were able to fly out here all the way from VA-no easy feat-two kids and two stops! Getting to Reno isnt the simplest thing to do.
We rented a great spot in Dollar Point, we had a hot tub and were within walking distance to the pool. The week started off slow and then just like that it was over.
We happened to have several groups of friends nearby as well as Red's aunt, uncle and cousin with whom we spent a lot of time. It was so nice to be with them as they never get to see my brother and we love hearing old stories about our parents.
We boated, beached, rafted, swam, ate great food, played whiffle ball, hot tubbed, worried about bears, did puzzles, watched movies, shared stories, laughed, drank lots and just had a blast. Avery did well-we celebrated her 6th birthday there which was perfect. We had an ice cream cake and she got to swim all day. Nolan got bold and took off his vest in the pool and pretty much learned to swim. He also followed his nephews like a puppy and they did their best to ignore him. It was very cute.
One day Nolan came in and said nonchalantly: I saw a bear. And his cousins were all "prove it", "no way" and we asked Nolan: what color was it-he said black. We asked: what was it doing-he said just crawling. we all said thats nice.
About 20 minutes later I hear my brother calling for us to come look at the bear in the yard next door. Red was collecting whiffle balls that had gone over the fence and was this close to walking up on that bear. yikes. So Nolan had proven what he had seen. His cousins thought that was pretty cool.
I think the trip will be a wonderful memory for the kids-I know it will be for me.
A few takeaways:
my brother and I are a LOT alike. (we are both control freaks although he is much worse!)
you dont need that many groceries.
dont trust directions on your iphone or you might end up in Reno.
running is nearly impossible in that altitude.
Altitude also makes you forget how to talk and drop things.
my sister in law gets a wonderful potty mouth with some alcohol in her (which I love).
there are no good radio stations in tahoe city.
it is a really cool thing to hear "aunt erica" and "uncle red".
I will not wait another 4 or 5 years to see those four again!