Anna June traveled like a champ to the beach with us for our family reunion at Grayton Beach. The first was held in 2008 and was AJ's first trip to Florida. That was the trip where our pictures got stolen with our camera upon our return.
We went back in 2010, the year my grandfather died, which was AJ's second trip to Florida. It just so happens that we went at Halloween, and we have some great memories from then. Just looking at the pictures of my parents with AJ on the beach that trip is so special. AJ still talked about the effects of the oil spill this go-round.
Anyway, it was a long drive for a short trip, but we really enjoyed getting to see everyone. Our family has grown so much since our first trip in 2008. And not everyone could be there, of course. We really missed my grandparents - someone brought down some of grandma's enormous stash of photographs, and it was fun to see old pictures of everyone.
Speaking of pictures, we had a great photo shoot with everyone who was there, shot by my cousin Morgan's boyfriend, Travis. Huge thanks to Patrick for bringing his good camera! We couldn't have done it without either of you!
Without further ado, here is everyone:
Here is a picture of just the kids of my generation (Hazel's grandkids) and AJ's generation (Hazel's great grandkids):
As in years past, we took photos on the porch rather than the actual beach, because it was easier for the older people (and the babies, to be honest). Also, the Alabama football game was on. The beach is across the highway and down a little bit, and the house is not on the water. If you think you're getting some of these guys away from the TV on a Saturday during football season, you're wrong.
Here's the Tucker side:
Mom's siblings all came, except Uncle Larry. He was in Columbia, South Carolina, doing repairs after the recent hurricane. We are so glad that he is able to be of service, but we missed him. Here are the siblings, minus that one:
And another picture with just the sisters:
As a whole, our family has had a pretty rough year. First we lost
Grandma in February, and then Uncle Chip had to go in the hospital for
an extended period of time. Counting rehab, he was in at least 3
different hospitals (maybe 4) and has finally ended up on dialysis. He
is much improved and we were so thrilled he and Aunt Kristy could make
the trip, as they weren't able to make the last two. Here they are, glad
to be seen not in a hospital room:
Aunt Heidi has had a rough year, too, with a tree falling on her house! She was fine and is getting some new rooms out of the deal, but it's been tough. Here she is with her daughter Morgan.
Here's a picture of Uncle Scott with his family, our gracious hosts. Seriously, we hit them up from everything from wine to toilet paper and they could not have been more hospitable. We rented a couple of houses in the subdivision, and they were fabulous, but we had the main gatherings at his house, with its recently renovated kitchen.
And here's Aunt Vicki with her crew. She was trying to get the kids to smile, and this is the best shot of many - but I love it.
Speaking of kids, this year wasn't all bad. Rusty and Beth welcomed Thomas in April.
And Patrick, Liz, and Wesley welcomed Nathan in June.
Here are some more group shots I wanted to include -
My cousin Michael with his wife Michele and their son, Oliver:
Mom and Dad
Morgan and Travis
We had such a good time. On Friday, we went to the pool with Morgan. It was a little too cold (84 degrees) to swim, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity. Friday night, some of us went to Rosemary Beach for a drink at Paradis, while AJ and Thomas stayed with Aunt Vicki and Uncle Chip. We came back to eat Bar-B-Q from Rusty's at Scott's house. On Saturday, Ben, AJ and I went down to the beach after a delicious breakfast made by Patrick and Rusty (including made-from-scratch biscuits!) and walked the entire length (on the shore) of Grayton Beach State Park and back. It wasn't that far, but I made it to 15,000 steps that day, which I have not done since I began tracking with Fitbit in January. AJ loved wading in the water, especially in the seaweed - it was a new sensation. We left AJ at the beach with Patrick and his crew while Ben and I went on a date to Hurricane Oyster Bar for lunch. On Sunday morning after we ate (Ben got donuts from the Donut Hut!) and did a few things around the house, AJ and I went for a walk on the beach just the two of us. It was a little chillier but it was by no means cold. She waded, more carefully this time, because we had to get on the road to home - work and school were waiting for us.
We wished we could have stayed longer.
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