Saturday, July 5, 2008

California or Bust!! (Hillesheim Family Reunion)

Karaoke night with Bryan Adams

Nothin' like a little "Billie Jean"to get you movin'
The infamous Sunset Beach football team.
The cousins with G&G
Two peas in a pod.
Singing the Beatles with my sisters.
The Haka...very entertaining!
Gracie and Lily
Crab corpse, courtesy of Brooke.
Mr. August :)
Diggin' for sand crabs.
Me and Gramps
Chasing bubbles on the beach.
Delon out for a run on the beach...yeah right!
Windblown and wet...
Beach Buddies!
Beach Bum!
Making butterflies out of coffee filters, very cute and cheap activity.
The couple of the hour. :)
Ross, Wendy and Diana
Being around family wears Haydn out!
Diana and Ramsi
Gracie and her artillery
The monstrous water slide...I think I may invest in one of these. of the family.
All us girls...don't we look ravishing?
Serious conversation at the poker table.
Hittin' the road.
Jake's favorite way to travel.

Okay, so I dreaded the drive to California... was not looking forward to the millions of times the kids would ask,"How much longer?!" But the night of the 25th, we were on our way. Our first stop was in Elko. (This was so we could give the kids a break). Then the morning of the 26th we were able to take our time and stop when we needed. This leg of our trip was only about 7-8 hrs. That evening we spent in Brentwood, Ca, where I lived from about the age of 2 to 14. We stopped to spend time with our good friend, Robin (we, meaning my entire family and all the kids), who also use to be our babysitter. Robin and her husband, who farm and own several fruit tree farms, had recently built a home in the middle of a cherry orchard, talk about privacy. We all hung out for a couple of hours and let the kids play on this monstrous water slide. It was equipped with water guns too, so you could shoot everyone coming down the slide. It's always fun to visit someone you grew up with and talk to all of the time, but never see. Robin's twin daughters, Kenzee and Kaylee, were so sweet to share everything with the kids, whom they've never seen before. I think they were glad to have visitors their own size!
The next morning we took off to Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world. As soon as you're 3-4 miles away, you can smell the garlic...mmm, I love garlic. I wouldn't mind smelling that everyday. This is where my G&G Hillesheim live, my dad's parents. And thanks to them, we had a nice room in the Forest Park Hotel, close to where they live and with a swimming pool for all the kiddies. (Thanks again!)
The reunion was so much fun. We were able to spend a lot of time together. The first day we hung out and had dinner , played games and let the kids swim. On Saturday, which was also my birthday, we went to Sunset Beach for the afternoon, had lunch there and enjoyed the cooler weather. I'm not a fan of hot weather, so being on the coast suits me just fine! The water was of course freezing, but some of the guys still stripped down and swam out, apparently far enough to find a sea lion. The rest of us hung out on the beach, played football, dug for hermit crabs and built sand castles. My Grandpa was there and was so sweet to hang out and play with the kids. He still has so much energy...he is like the energizer bunny!
Later that night we had dinner and a show. Several of the cousins prepared little skits or songs to do for a talent show. I sang "All My Loving" by the Beatles, with my sisters. And Delon, well those of you who know Delon, would have loved to see him do the Haka, a Maori war dance. This was something he learned on his mission in Australia. It has been close to nine years since I have seen him do this time was a whole new experience. Let's just say that it's funny watching a "white" boy do the Haka! (We're very proud of you Delon, way to do your angry face)! To close the evening, we all sang Karaoke together, Phantom of the Opera karaoke. I know, sounds strange, but very fun. Of course there was the occasional Michael Jackson and Bryan Adams. Wow, memories come flooding back when I hear those songs.
I think after it was all said and done, my fondest memory will not be the beach, or the singing, especially not the drive...but the pride I felt in knowing that I have such a great family and most importantly that I love to be with them. We are so lucky that we all get a long and can really have a good time together, no matter what we are doing.
And to my G&G, what can I say? These two are the epitome of love. What a great example they are. One thing that always comes to mind when I think of them, is music and a good time. I have many wonderful memories growing up of the time we spent at their home for family reunions. All of the games, gathering around the piano, or in some cases, the banjo, and of course, sittin' with Grandpa and shelling roasted peanuts. We love you guys and wanted you to know that we are grateful that you started this whole mess! :)


Sharee said...

I'm jealous you got to go to the beach! Looks like you had such a great time and that you have a great family to hang out with. All you and your sisters are GEORGOUS! Looks like you got a little taste (as far as traveling) of what we go through every time we travel to Idaho...ha ha! NOT FUN!! Especially with 5 kids I'm sure...woo-wee!

Sharee said...

p.s. I love it when Delon does the is absolutely HILARIOUS!!

kim said...

Oh, the Haka! I seriously wet my pants when I saw Delon do the Haka for the first time! It was the funniest thing I had ever seen! Looks like such a fun trip! Your family looks like they know how to have fun! You are all so beautiful! What a great way to spend your birthday!

Becky said...

You are the blogging queen, Amy! I love your blogs. And I love Mr. August- what a little cutie! It looks like you had such a great time- I'm kind of jealous you are all so musical. We couldn't even kareoke (sp?) Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star without someone shutting the mic off on us in my fam! I think Delon should do the Haka for our next get together-I bet that's a sight to behold! You and your sisters all look so much alike- their expressions so remind me of you and you're all beautiful!

Hillesheim Family said...

You are a great writer!! You have a way with words. you said it all very well. it was a great trip and a special time for all of us to be together and share good times. I love our family and I especially love my children. They are wonderful and the best.!! Can you tell I am proud? love you mom xoxoxoxo

Melissa said...

It sounds like you had a great time. I am glad you got to go to the beach on your b-day. I love kareoke. I totally suck but I love it. I miss your kids-they are growing up so fast. Riley is so much like Dawson or I guess it is the other way around. The pics were all so cute. You and your sisters are so beautiful! I love that I get to keep up on you all. Miss ya!