Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Neal Williams Reunion near Seattle, WA

(pictures will be added later)

We had a great time at our family reunion near Cle Elum, WA which is about an hour outside of Seattle. The mountain views were so beautiful and it was so wonderful to get out of the Arizona heat!!! Here's the rundown of what went down:

Friday morning we flew out of Phoenix and arrived in Seattle with no problems. Our airline of choice was Southwest...Alicia calls it the "Ghetto Bus in the Sky". We noticed as we were walking to baggage claim that the line getting back through the security checkpoint was VERY long....so long in fact that there was a person at the end of the line holding a big sign that said "END OF THE LINE". We made a mental note to arrive early at the airport for our return trip.

Rachel picked us up at the airport in Nate and Natalie's car since hers has expired tags. (Rachel will appreciate anyone willing to make donations to the cause.) We would have just gone to Ensign Ranch, but Nate had talked Rachel into leaving her stuff in her car so that she would have to return to their house (which is out of the way) before going up to the campsite. This was part of Nate's evil plan. I still don't know if his motivation was to see Alicia and I sooner, or if it was so they could see how much space we had in the car to take more of their stuff. We ended up putting a nice box between Alicia and Shannell in the back which made for a great arm rest. :)

We made it up to Ensign Ranch just fine and not too long after Anthony and party had arrived. Brett and his clan got there shortly after as well. We made camp at cabin #1 and waited for Nate and Natalie to arrive. Isn't that strange that the planners of the event and the closest residents to the location were the last to arrive? Things that make you go hmmmmmmm :)

That night we had a great time around the campfire. Anthony and I sang some songs. The comment from Anthony that I remember most is, "my songs aren't funny like Seth's!" Anthony, the reason I have to make my songs funny is because I can't sing worth crap! :)

By far the most entertaining event of the evening was my Dad's storytelling. Some parts seemed to drag on with no apparent direction, but the payoff came when Dad told about his sweet cars he had in high school. One in particular that was a hit to us all was the Chevy he named "Broad Jumper"....he even had the name in chrome down the side of the car! It was obvious to us and to Dad that the reason why he chose this name was because Dad was in track and competed in the broad jump.

Dad told more stories about when he borrowed his brother-in-law's (Lyle) car with fancy hub caps...how they got stolen...and how he and his buddy left their dates at the cafe to go find them. Dad also told about how he met my mom and how their first date was spent taking his friend's mom to the hospital. We'll definitely have to get some recordings of these stories for future generations.

Saturday the kids and some of the adults rode horses on the ranch. The adults looked funny with their little white helmets on. We got together and played softball on a field that they had there and the kids had a blast hitting the ball and running the bases. Anthony almost took Ethan's head off at third base with a blast that he hit. The kids also went on a small waterslide they have at the ranch....it was a day full of fun and also relaxation. The weather was beautiful and the scenery was gorgeous!

Sunday we packed up and left ensign ranch. Anthony and company headed on the road back toward home. Brett and company, Alicia, Rachel and I went to Nate and Natalie's house where they met us for some extra family fun. It was the first time we really got to see their new house in Redmond.

Next, we went to Rachel's apartment in downtown Seattle where it all goes down (happens). Her apartment was actually quaint and is very close to the salon where she works. Alicia and I stayed with her that night and went to see her salon the next morning, quickly saw some of downtown and Pikes Place market and then rushed to the airport. While at the salon, Rachel gave me a great haircut....thanks Rachel!!!