Monday, July 20, 2009

Vacation 09: Cousins, aunts...and ants

Now that we're home and I have waded through the four thousand pictures I took on vacation, I'm ready to start blogging about our trip. There's way too much to go in one post though, so I'll divide it up.

We left bright and early Thursday morning to drive to Alabama. We spent 10 hours in the car, and finally stumbled out at my cousin Robbie's house. Robbie and his fabulous wife Ann live with their supercute kids, Chip and Ramey, in a beautiful house where we stayed for a night. Ann and Robbie whipped up a killer dinner for us. The kids all played together perfectly. The next day we went swimming and hung out for a while before leaving for Birmingham. There we stayed with my great-aunt Phyllis (Robbie's mom). My aunt Linda, great-aunt Adelene and grandmother were also staying there for the weekend. Nearby is my cousin Denise (Robbie's sister), her husband Brian, and their 4 kids, Eric, Laura, Anna and Elsa. Eric, the oldest, just finished his freshman year in college. Elsa, the youngest, is Abby's age. Denise is my hero.

We had a ball in Alabama. We spent a lot of time laughing and watching the plethora of kids play with each other. Matt and I really enjoyed talking with Eric and Laura, who are transitioning from being kids to adults and doing so quite beautifully we think. Eric and Matt start talking about computers and would not notice if everyone else in the house were suddenly transported to Mars. For that matter, they probably wouldn't notice if they were transported to Mars. Chatting with Eric helps Matt forget he is in a house with 10 of his in-laws.

Here are some photos from our trip:

Abby, Ethan, Chip and Ramey. This photo does not accurately portray the combined energy of the people pictured.

Ethan and Ramey. Together, they make one fully dressed child.

Matt and I with Ann and Robbie. Abby took the photo:
The whole Birmingham crew. We were rather obnoxious I'm afraid:

Ethan enjoying a popsicle roughly the size of his arm:

One of the better pictures I've had of me and Matt. Abby also took this one. She's quite the artist.
These last pictures are my absolute favorite. We were sitting around my aunt's table after dinner. From left to right, you'll see Denise, Linda, my grandmother, Adelene and Phyllis. Aunt Adelene told us a story about ants that invaded her retirement home apartment. I won't go into full detail, but I will say that she explained, without mincing words, that she watched the ants "have sex, and then immediately have babies" on her kitchen table. Have you ever heard an 85 year old woman talk about ants having sex? Me either. These photos show the reaction of the table.

I love how serious Aunt Adelene looks. She was really ticked off at those ants!

She finally admitted the humor in the situation.
My grandmother, in particular, seemed to be exceptionally "tickled" by the story.

I laugh every time I look at these. And every time I see an ant.

Next up: the Florida house debacle of 09.