Last year we missed it, since Dug was sick, which was a shame not just because it's so fun, but because we would usually take Dug along and he LOVED it! This year, we were able to both have Friday off, so we left early in the day and drove across the Pennsylvania Turnpike to eventually end up in Wheeling. For the most part, the drive was fine - we did run into a couple of brief downpours, but nothing long-lasting or terrible.
Overnight on Friday, there was a huge thunderstorm, but by noon the sun was out and things had cleared up and dried up. So the picnic was on!
Decorated table with balloons? Check!
St. Francis of Assisi statue holding flag? Check!
Inflatable Uncle Sam (who looked a little tipsy to me already)? Check!
So the grill was fired up, and the food organized, and the day was underway.
This is my great-niece Penn, who was in from Brooklyn with her parents - she turned 3 about a month ago.
Not really impressed with her father's Minions disguise ...
My great-nephew Zach and his parents were in from Baltimore, and here he is going down the water slide, provided by the next-door neighbors. It was a BIG hit.
Zach with Micah, a cousin from my brother-in-law's side of the family. Micah made his First Communion two weeks before Memorial Day.
This is Zach again, with Mattis K. Nine, the therapy-dog-in training. OMG he is so adorable! I took him and his "brother" Radar (also a yellow Lab) for a walk, and they were hilarious together.
Here is Keith looking pensive, while drinking "something I would *never* drink in Brooklyn" ...
This is a tree stump in the yard with a carving. After the tree came down, a friend of my brother-in-law's carved a Claddagh in it. It's kinda hard to see, but I think it's cool.
Of course there was a lot of activity and hilarity, and then by the end of the day, everyone was running out of steam.
Penn, Rose (little girl next door) and Biggie (Penn's dog) took in a kiddo movie that evening.
Then Zach had some Biggie time.
Biggie (full name: Biggie Smalls) is 15 years old, and has survived broken legs, as well as cancer and chemotherapy. He was the ringbearer in Jules and Keith's wedding in Puerto Rico. At this point he is nearly deaf and blind in one eye, but he is a sweetie and still hangs with the family.
Sunday was a hang-out-and-eat-leftovers day. Then in the evening, the next door neighbors had all of us over for a cookout and fireworks, which was really fun (and all of the food was yummy! They had filet mignon cooked on the grill for the meat eaters, which is pretty fancy if you ask me). They have a daughter Sofia who is Zach's age, and the two of them are buddies, and Rose and Penn are a year apart, so they had a good time too.
Everyone was heading home on Monday morning. Our drive home was beautiful - sunny, puffy clouds, not much traffic - and we got home to some very excited kitties by about 4:30. We had a nice evening just relaxing and catching up on some recorded shows.
So another Memorial Day weekend is in the books. We had a great time, and it was fun to get to see some friends and some family we don't get to see often, or even much at all. It all seems like a long time ago now, though. Isn't it weird how that happens?
I hope you have had an enjoyable weekend for this weekend. Ours has been great, and I have a couple of extra days so that I don't lose vacation time (though I still will lose some - don't ask!), so I don't have the Sunday Night Blues at the moment ... such a nice feeling!