My last night in NJ, Bill and his family came over--Patty cooked dinner, we played games and hung out, but first Alex and Becca accompanied me to a little celebration for my cousin Ruth Ann's granddaughter Sarah who had just completed her RN. I knew that several of my cousins would be there and wanted to say hi before I left town.
The girls did not really know most of this group but they were good sports and made the rounds with me.
My cousin Wynne, whom I haven't seen in many years. Actually, his mom is my cousin so he's my first cousin once-removed. My dad was the youngest of 8 so I have cousins who have kids near my age. :)
Congratulations, Sarah! She is now 20 and I probably last saw her when she was about 3. My daughter Susan was flower girl at her parents' wedding.
Ruth Ann's youngest son Jay and his partner John. I haven't seen Jay since he was a teenager, I don't think, but we reconnected on Facebook last year. He used to love helping take care of my daughter Sarah when she was a baby.
Their oldest son Richard, Sarah's dad. Hard for me to believe he has a 20 year old daughter when I remember him as a kid. We had fun chatting with everyone and then headed back to the house for a big game of LIFE.
The next day, Bill's family came over to say goodbye. Patty and Mom drove me to Newark to catch my plane while Bill stayed home to write a paper and watch the kids.
My sweet nieces and nephew--I had a great time with them!
My flight from Newark to Seattle was uneventful and I spent the night at the Coast Gateway for $45 on priceline. I should be the spokesperson for priceline, really! The hotel was very nice, close to the airport and had a shuttle--what more did I need since I got there late enough that all I wanted to do was sleep anyway? I didn't have the dreaded early flight to Anchorage so even got to rest up a bit. On Monday I flew from Seattle to Anchorage and made my way to Pen Air for the flight home. We left a little bit late and stopped in King Salmon for fuel. We got about halfway home and the flight attendant came on to say that the conditions in Unalaska were "below minimums" so we had to divert to Cold Bay. After a bumpy landing in Cold Bay, we had to fight the wind and rain to walk to the terminal and began grumbling to one another that we were probably going to have to go back to Anchorage. Not only was the weather terrible, but it was almost getting to be too late to land in Unalaska (visual flight rules only). Surprisingly, we loaded back up pretty quickly and started for home. After my last two landings here, I was really nervous with the weather and kept telling myself that everything would be fine. I even pulled out the AK Air magazine and forced myself to read so I wouldn't think about the landing too much. Occasionally I glanced out the window to try to ascertain where we were and whether we were actually coming down or just circling around. Seriously, I was still convinced we were gonna have to fly all the way back to Anchorage, especially since it was on the verge of dark, but the next thing I knew, we were on the approach. The landing was no biggie after all. Whew! I was so happy to be here and to see Rich waiting! My suitcase didn't make it in but that seemed minor by then. :)
It was really good to be with Mom and my siblings for a few weeks. Now we are all excited about renting houses near each other for a week in Ocean City in July. It's gonna be a blast with 40 or more of us if everyone makes it!