We gathered with Steve’s siblings and spouses along with his parents in Carlsbad, California for an adult reunion. The last adult reunion was 10 years ago and we were brand new parents and Hallie joined us at the reunion. This time we had another baby but we left him in loving hands so we could fully enjoy our time with the family.

The idea of an adult reunion starts out like this: Someone throws out an idea, “I think we should all go to XYZ together.” That idea never makes it past the initial conversation. Instead a million ideas are thrown out, everyone with an opinion on how and where and when it should be done. Everyone goes home and some never think about it again, while other’s go into full research mode. After some research, a more thought out plan is presented through email. “We are going to go to this place, at this time and we’d love all who can join to join.” And people jump on board, it’s surprising how many can make it work.

This year, Steve had a sister who wasn’t able to make it – 8 out of 9 kids isn’t bad, but we really missed the one. Nobody is a number in this family!

Carlsbad, California

We spent the morning sleeping in, walking to breakfast and exploring. One morning we went on a long bike ride – our brother-in-law lost his uncle at sea a couple years back and we were able to ride our bikes to the memorial in Oceanside. It was a beautiful ride and a fun way to see the area and between the huffing and puffing of going up hills we were able to have some great conversations.

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

The afternoons were reserved for beach time. I’ve mentioned before my dislike for sand but my time on the beach was surprisingly good. When we left for Carlsbad, I had been sick for 10 days. I was able to get on an antibiotic the day before we left, but my body was still weak and tired. Afternoons sitting on the beach was some good recovery time. I think when we go again, I’ll be much more active and into playing but this time I enjoyed sitting. And conversing. And observing. Steve on the other hand couldn’t get enough activity. He was in the ocean, he was out, he was back in and had a permanent grin plastered across his face.

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

And as much fun as the afternoon was on the beach – the evening was even better. The sun going down, with the beautiful orange glow that seemed to  paint everything in sight. That alone was worth having my feet touch the sand.

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

The evenings were reserved for great dinners and important and meaningful conversations. This family is full of laughs and fun…and occasionally they can be serious and talk about things of a more sensitive nature. Steve’s oldest brother led a discussion the first night that went late into the night and still has Steve and I talking and pondering about. This family has such strengths and discussing opportunities to serve and be served (why is it so hard to accept help, even within family!?) was nothing short of insightful. So many great takeaways.

Another strength of this family – their ability to find, eat and then continue to discuss great food. I’m not passionate about food – but there are plenty who are and they did not steer us wrong.

Do yourself a favor – if you’re ever in Encinitas, stop by the Taco Stand. Grab yourself an al pastor taco and a side of fries. YOU. WILL. NOT. BE. DISAPPOINTED. And that’s coming from me who could take or leave food on most occasions. By far the best fries I have ever had and they came from a taco shop. And after the Taco Stand – you’re not very far from VG doughnuts where you can wash your taco down with a maple doughnut. Weird combination? Yes. But they’re close to each other so it would be silly to get the one and not the other.  It was so good the first day for lunch, we went back another day!

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

Carlsbad, California

It’s never easy to leave kids. There were a million things I was worried about. We almost cancelled our reservation on Wednesday because I had been sick so long. It wasn’t ideal to pump the whole weekend away from Briggs.  But it was worth it. We had a great time and my body continued to recover and repair. This is a really fun group – we’re talking stuck-on-a-desert-island candidates. It’s great when you consider your family friends!

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