Just about every August, my mom's side of the family gathers at my grandmother's house. My mom's side of the family (as well as my immediate family) used to all live in the East Bay, but noe rveryone has moved away. My mom's older brother, wife, and three kids moved to Portland, OR while my family moved to Denver, CO. My grandparents and my mom's two younger brothers moved out to the Central Valley (and her youngest brother eventually moved to Lebanon, OR).
The mostly annual trip is pretty hectic considering that everyone spends the night at my grandma's house (think wall to wall air mattresses), but it is always a really fun time to catch up with family and swim.
This year will be a little different for a few reasons. The first change is that my grandfather no longer lives my grandmother. He has alzeheimers, and this past year it progressed to the point where my grandmother could no longer care for him at home. I'll probably write about that later but I will say that it's been very hard dealing with that, especially since he and I were close, probably closer than he and any of the other grandkids. But the fact that he is out of the house may end up being easier on everyone else since the stress my grandmothers was under in the past few years made things tense at times.
My grandfather last year
The second big difference is that last year, Rob and I met some really great people that happen to live in the same town as my grandparents (cue "It's a Small World" music).
Since early 2009, Rob and I had planned on going to a rocakbilly event at Disneyland, Rock Around The Park. I didn't know anyone else that was planning on attending, so Rob suggested that I try to meet people online who would also be there. One of the names that I found on Facebook was Jorge Garcia. I sent him a message and his wife Ellen wrote back, and the rest is history. I don't think Rob and I have met another couple that we have ever clicked with so much. And to top it off, they lived in Turlock, a city that Rob and I were guarenteed to visit often.
We had an amazing time hanging out with them at RATP, and became good friends, talking frequently on the phone and through the internet. We ended up rooming with them at Viva Las Vegas the past April, and they had even planned a trip to Colorado this summer, which unfortunately fell through for various reasons. But this upcoming week, we will get plenty of Garcia time (especially because Rob and I couldn't go the same time as the rest of my family so everyone will be leaving a few days after we show up).
And I cannot stress this enough... I really need this vacation. This couldn't come at a better time.