Another family vacation has come to an end. It was filled with many laughs, tears and cherished memories. We travelled through BC’s interior, passing the Gustafson Fire on the side of the highway, arriving at the ferry terminal at 3:30am with sleeping kids. Once arrived we transferred them to the bunk beds in the trailer and waited for the ferry to open. We had a reservation for 7:45 but luckily they had room on the 5:15 one so we were in Nanaimo bright and early. We ended up sleeping on the 2 hour ferry ride over, which was just enough fuel for Daddy to pull us the rest of the way to the family reunion. As we were so early, we were the first ones to arrive and had the pick of where we placed our rv for the weekend.
Four generations of family from BC, Alberta and Holland all slowly stated to trickle onto the property. We were situated along the beautiful cowichan river, with magical, moss covered trees as a canopy. The reunion planners did a fantastic job decorating and supplying all 92 of us with endless amounts of food and fun. There was a smor bar with a miltitude of smor recipes, cafe tent with baking and coffee/tea, hydration station, photo booth with pictures of our passed anscestors, large tent with a number of tables (almost like a reception area that you’d see at a wedding), blow up slide/bouncy castle for the kids, a slip and slide and so much more! Every station had beautiful signs and decorations. There were so many fine decorating details I could go on and on! As we described the setting it was like a Pinterest reunion. You know how usually Pinterest ideas, turn into half as good as what it looks like? Well every last detail of this decorating was nothing but outstanding!
Day 1 was filled with arrivals, hugs, sweet hellos, nice to meet yous, and good to see yous. There was a welcome BBQ with BYOB meat, potluck salads and lots of visiting that evening.
Day 2 started off right with a yummy breakfast. On each table there were buns, fruit salad, and quiche. Shortly after breakfast, the mahem began as everyone gathered and blew up their tubes for the river float. Hubby has recently started vlogging and as such has been filming our every move. There’s always one thing forgotten on travels, and this time it was the camera charger. That morning he took a quick drive into Duncan to buy a charger, returning just in time to pick us up and head to the drop off for the tube float. We headed out and had no idea where we were going. Good thing it’s a small town and everyone flocks to the same drop off station on the river. Once finding our tubes and a briefing of the river we were off. Little Annalise sat on my lap the whole way down. She was a trooper and loved every minute of it, which was lucky for us as it was over her nap time. Abby managed to float down on her own tube, hanging on to either Opa or Aunty the whole way down. Upon passing under a bridge a drunk local decided to jump off the bridge into what looked like four feet of water. Surprisingly he lived and Hubby didn’t have to work while on vacation. That evening we had lasagna and garlic bread, mmm. Shortly after everyone attended the smor station for some delish delights.
Day 3 we enjoyed another great breakfast, build your own egg mcmuffins. Then the summer festivities began. Family photo time (trying to get 92 people together for a photo is like he hearding cats BTW), slip and slide, blow up water slide, lawn games, and lots and lots of visiting. That evening we had halibut and prawns with angel food cake for desert. Each table received their own cake, bowl of strawberries and can of whip cream. If you know even a little bit about my family, you know that whip cream is ammunition. You could slowly start to feel the tension in the room build and before we know it there’s whip cream and cake flying through out the tent. It quickly escalated turning into utter chaos, with grown adults whip creaming each other down the pants, and rolling down the hill. Needless to say there was whip cream and cake everywhere with wiener dogs getting their daily fill of grazing. Hubby managed to catch most of it on film as he was right in the middle of the chaos. What a good way to end a fun filled weekend! Some goodbyes were made that night with family leaving early then the rest of the clan took off in the morning. We were one of the last to leave as our trailer was stuck behind everyone! We weren’t in a rush, we were on vacation! Next stop, Sproat Lake for Tofino in the morning.
Here’s a snap shot of the weekend to catch a glimpse into the den Engelsen crew. As far as I’m concerned our reunions set the stage for how reunions should be done! Well done to the organizers and to my hubby for capturing our loving and fun family so perfectly.
As another reunion comes to a close, we are reminded that family is everything. Our grandparents would be proud to see such big gatherings, only getting larger as the years proceed. The next reunion is hosted in Holland in 3 years time. As we are hoping to be a family of 5 by then it’s highly unlikely we will be attending. 3 years is still a way away so here’s hoping we will make it possible!