Ok, first up we have my cousin Jerold and our Uncle Chris. Jerold and his family were kind enough to put up with me for the week while I was there, letting me sleep in their house, although not without plenty of threats to make me go and stay somewhere else (the main threat being to make me go and stay with my mom, which many of you know is a pretty big threat.) Jerold took me for a ride on his Harley, and let me tell you, everyone should have one. And seeing Vermont on the back of a bike was a whole new experience, and it was beautiful.
What can be said about Uncle Chris...he is a nut. I always spend a lot of my time with him shaking my head and laughing at him because he is really a personification of a good old boy, and is very often entertaining.
Next are Christalee and Jaden, Jerold's wife and daughter. Christalee has been putting up with me since my visit for Christmas of my senior year when my mom kicked me out, and that earns her my love and gratitude. Jaden is 6 (and a half, she would ammend) and was my shadow for the week. She is a sweet little girl and we had fun.
Here are the women of my family (minus my sister who, alas, was headed to Hawaii and couldn't accompany me on my trip.) From left to right are my Aunt Julie and cousin Jessica (Jerold's mom and older sister), my Aunt Sherry, my mother Amy, and yours truly. I tell you, if you could get together with all of these women at the same time, you would fear for my genetic future, much as I do. No, really, we had fun and it was a gathering that rarely happens. As you can see from the picture, I am the tallest girl in my immediate family, and as I top out at 5'6" (average height for a girl) you can guess how short everyone else is. The men in my family there are not tall either - it was an odd experience to be on the same level as everyone I talked to and hugged, given that I live in the land of giants here.
This is my Uncle Stuart, married to Aunt Julie and father of Jerold. Now, as I have stated, I love everyone back there, but I have to say that I think Uncle Stuart is my favorite. Apparently I am a masochist because Uncle Stuart's favorite pastime is running me down the whole time I am there (I come by my sarcasm and wit naturally.) But I know that he only makes fun of the people he loves, so I am ok with it. Even in this picture you can just see on his face that he has some smart-alec thing to say.
Finally, this is my Grandpa Loren, my mom's dad. When I used to go back in the summer when I was a kid I spent a fair amount of time with him and my step-grandma Blanche. He, like the rest of the family, likes to tease. Hard to believe I spend $500 on airline tickets to go somewhere and be harrassed, especially when my family here would do it for free.It was a fabulous trip, and I can't wait until I can go back again. My family has an aversion to California, so I doubt any of them will head out this way anytime soon. But that is ok, because being in the state of Vermont is half of the joy of seeing them all.