Wednesday, August 4, 2010

San Diego Family Reunion: Part I

Our family reunion trip to San Diego was in full swing before we even left Logan Airport in Boston, since my parents and I woke up at 5am, threw our bags into the car, picked up my aunt Ginger and uncle Rich, and met my other uncle Ken and my cousin Tyler at the airport. I don't know if you guys have ever traveled in a group of seven, but that was a whole new experience for me. Sort of like in Home Alone, when they're all running through the airport and take up the entire plane? Well, except for that time in high school that me and 14 other students went to London. THAT was hectic. But mostly because I got lost and stood alone, crying. I was 14, and that's a story for another time.

Anyway. You all probably know that I'm terrified of flying, and if you don't, well, you should. So right off the bat I of course joke that if anything happened to our plane, half our immediate family would be taken out in one fell swoop. Perhaps that's morbid for pre-vacation talk, but guys, this is what I think about. Oh, and also, pre-flight, I got into the car to go to the airport, and promptly heard a loud "rrrriip!" It was, of course, my favorite and perfectly-broken in pair of Express skinny jeans, and now I'm skinny jean-less and the closest Express replacements are $80. So that happened.

I was delighted to find that our Jet Blue plane had individual tvs on every seat, so naturally I spent the six-hour flight (my parents like direct flights, ever since they missed their connection in Chicago. I'm more partial to layovers-- I like being able to grab something to eat, a new magazine, and stretching my legs) watching quality television like Cupcake Wars and Bethenny Getting Married. Understandably, the flight whizzed by and before I knew it we were on the ground in San Diego, crowding into our rental mini-van (which promptly dashed my hopes of a shiny black Escalade--thanks for that, Dad), and scouting out some Mexican food.

After what was probably the biggest lunch I've ever eaten in my life (it was so big I didn't eat dinner), we checked into the hotel, which was just as pretty in person as it was in those pictures I posted, pre-trip, here and here.


This is the front of our building, the Casa del Mar building. You can clearly note the CLOUDY SKIES because the sun hardly came out until the day before we left. I was devastated but the way I saw it was, I'd rather be in cloudy San Diego than cloudy Massachusetts or New Hampshire!

This was the view from outside my brother's villa. That's the smaller of the two pools and next to it is a little seating area where I sat Thursday night with my cousins Sara and Leigh and their husbands, Dave and Jared. Leigh's baby girl, Kinsley, just turned one, and she was adorably sleepy. But this was all around 10pm, approximately 5 hours after this photo was taken. So what happened before then?

Well, when we first got in, I had the special privilege of meeting my brother Scott's baby boy. See, Scott's not married or anything, and we suspect he probably might not ever be, but that didn't stop him from getting a baby all for himself:

His name is Halo (not after the video game, NOR the Beyonce song, NOR after the things that angels have, but after the parachute jump of the same acronym, High Altitude-Low Opening. He was in the Navy, after all. I think he's so ugly!

Since Thursday was a traveling day, my brothers didn't schedule anything big, but just had a little get-together that evening at their villa with some drinks and food. My future sister-in-law, Tiffany, put together QUITE the spread. She's really phenomenal. The poor girl was faced with meeting her fiance's ENTIRE extended family, and I mean ENTIRE--people that are so extended they don't even have the same grandparents or last names--and she totally rose to the occasion. She brought over her homemade guacamole, fresh shrimp, pâté and crusty baguette, egg salad sandwiches, and smoked sausages. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it! It was a relaxing night of mingling and trying to remember names of all the distant relatives, which we're all impossibly terrible at.

All the girls! Tiffany's Maid of Honor, Christine, who is the biggest sweetheart you'll ever meet, myself, my mum, and the bride-to-be, Tiffany.

And of course, the men. Pardon my brother Scott's awkward grimace-half-smile, and then the Best Man, Brad, my dad, and the groom, Brian.

Part II will be all about the big reunion dinner we had Friday night, which also revealed the location of our reunion in two years! (Hint: It's somewhere I've never been and ALWAYS wanted to go.)

Then, the juiciest for last, Part III will detail our disastrous boat ride on Saturday night and how we could have ended up in the bay. Very Titanic.

(Note: I'm not trying to create a false sense of excitement by breaking this up into three parts. It's just that I can only do so much blogging at work before I begin to feel guilty and/or need to close out my Blogger screen.)


  1. Halo is cute! But I have an extreme soft spot for dogs and think ALL DOGS ARE CUTE! :)

  2. Haha I do too--I guess Halo could be so ugly that he's cute!

  3. Ha, you know you're building up the suspense on purpose. I'm going to guess you went to the San Diego Zoo, but I could be way off. Sorry there was no sun-see I warned ya. Cali has been unseasonably cold! I've had to wear sweatpants at night instead of my cute boxer shorts. SWEATPANTS Michelle-this is a travesty.
    The hotel looks gorgeous and I think Halo (while an ugly name) is an adorable puppy. I think English Bulldogs are so precious. I want one, but they are major high maintenance health wise. PS your brother is a cutie!

  4. DG, I know you warned me! And I forgot sweatpants AND a sweatshirt! I was freezing on our boat ride, needless to say.

    Halo also cost Scott $2,000 and he intended to make all that back and then some by mating him--but he won't mate! He does NOT like girl dogs and is too lazy. Haha--sort of sounds like my brother ;).

    Also, which one? HA! I get this all the time (Brad is the one next to Scott and Brian is on the end), but most girls go for Scott.

  5. Loved hearing about your trip so far. San Diego has had an unseasonably cold summer, so the weather hasn't been that great from what I hear, but yes, I'd much rather be in cloudy San Diego than cloudy New England! Looks like a pert hotel and a fun get together!

  6. Thanks, Kinsey! The hotel was on Shelter Island. I remember you saying you hadn't heard of it, so maybe you'll be able to place it better now.

  7. Omg, that dog...adorable!!!

    San Diego...near my hometown :-) Love the pics!

  8. Thanks JMay! Okay, maybe Halo IS a *little* bit cute...