My wife is the 9th of 10 kids. That means that nearly 10 years ago when we got married, I instantly became an uncle to more nephews and nieces than I can count; even still today!
Every summer, we take a trip out to northern California where my wife is from, which ultimately leads to a family gathering or two.
This year, it was an all-out official family reunion; which happened to take place in a city made famous by a 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival song, “Lodi”.
The town is just a 30 minute drive from where we were staying with my mother-in-law in Walnut Grove. This made our first outing in the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport we had for our 2nd week in California.
What was most interesting to me about the family reunion was how independent our 7 and a half year-old son was. I toted around our 2 year-old daughter most of the time, while keeping watch on our son, who was constantly migrating with his older teenage cousins.
In fact, at the end of our 2 week trip to California, I asked my son what his favorite part of the entire vacation was. His instant response: “Probably the park with all the family.”
I can appreciate that he enjoyed sort of tagging along with the older kids and that they totally engaged him the entire time.
Whereas I have one child who is still understandably in need of constant attention and direction, my other child is finding his identity in spending time with other people. This is a good challenge for him; I can clearly see this as part of his character development.
It was also great that one of my sister-in-law’s family was staying with us at my mother-in-law’s house. Therefore, it was almost like my wife and I had two free baby babysitters the whole time: a 15 year-old and a 19 year-old.
Whether it was the old bouncy house in my mother-in-law’s backyard, or the hot tub, or just playing with retro toys leftover from the 1980s, both of my kids had some awesome cousins to entertain them.
Needless to say, every summer vacation we have out in California is a family reunion; by default.
Have you read all 3 of my blog posts featuring my family’s road trip to Lake Tahoe in the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport? Here’s a table of contents just to be sure. Click on the title of the blog post you would like to see: