Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bassett Family Reunion

I began drafting this post ages ago, but it's finally here! And now I'm motivated to wrap up our entire Utah vacation as quickly as I can. I mean, it all took place over a month ago ... sheesh!

My mom put so much thought, care, and love into all the details of our stay in Hatch, Utah. She booked a huge, gorgeous home with a beautiful view of Red Canyon (state park). She had treat boxes (and movies) for the car ride to Hatch. She packed goody bags for a boy (game) and girl (spa) party on Thursday evening. And she took care to plan each and every meal from lunchtime Wednesday through lunchtime Friday. I can only imagine how much work it must have been. I'm not sure she'll want to plan another one anytime soon, so it's time for my brother's and I to take over (if she'll let us, ha!).

The reunion started when we all met up at Cluff's drive-in over in Fillmore. The kids got busy playing right away. Reid had a blast with Hudson and Noelan from the get go, and he wasn't super happy to crawl back in the car without any cousins. He was very concerned that we see them all again soon. We tried our best to explain that we were quite literally a caravan of two minivans and two SUVs chuck full of cousins!

Our first group stop was in the town of Bryce. We played around a bit at the shops, but they were all closed since we were there before the season officially kicked off. That seems kind of crazy, because the Park sure was busy for midweek off season!

Nell, Jack, Sofia, Zoey, Reid, and Coraline

Ava and Nell
After playing around a bit in the jail and salon, we drove over to the "Granny Hike." I'm not sure how granny friendly it really was, but the kids enjoyed it. The initial climb was slow and steady, right along a full flowing creek. The last bit of the hike had a steep incline before hitting a fork where you could head toward either mossy cave or a little waterfall. We ended up spending some time at both, of course.

Noelan, Jaedon, Reid, and Hudson

Front: Noelan and Nell. Standing: Max, Ava, and Phil. Crouching:  Zoey, Livy, Sofia, Reid, and Jon.
Ben and I definitely had the slowest kiddos. Nell is NOT a hiker (she whined to be carried the whole way) and Coraline did not want to be carried (and her two-year-old pace isn't exactly fast). At some point Coraline decided she only wanted to be carried by my brother Jon. She preferred him to both Ben and I. It was a nice break, but I also felt a sting of guilt over the whole thing. He carried her almost the whole way to the cave. And when he didn't have Coraline, he ended up with Nell (but her whining stopped the moment she was with him). When we were just about back to the car we heard some hollering from the top of the mountainside. When we looked up we found Nell with Jon and Jaedon in a little cave. Reid and the twins immediately wanted to join them.

Lou being carried by her buddy, Uncle Jon

All the cousins age 2+

Jack and Jaedon in the cave with Hudson, Noelan, Nell and Reid hanging out at the entry. Uncle Phil also included.

Uncle Jon helping Nell and Jack down from the cave.

After our hike we headed to Ruby Inn for dinner. Then we were off to the house for check-in. The house fit us all perfectly and kids quickly started scrambling for rooms and hidden closets to sleep in. We put Mara in a closet (no kidding), and I'm pretty sure Phil put one or two of his kids in a closet. Ava and Livy found a perfect spot under the stairs. There was sleeping room everywhere we looked! The room Ben and I took had a pull out bed for Lou and the huge closet for Mara. Nell and Reid wanted to sleep in the basement with cousins, but by bedtime Reid decided he'd prefer a couch in the Loft, close to mom and dad. Nell had no problems sleeping away from us and was happy to share a room with Zoey, Sofia and Uncle Matt and Aunt Laura.

The basement had a pool table and three bedrooms (plus the under stairs sleeping quarters) that were divied up between my two oldest brothers and their families (plus Nell). My mom and Dad took a room parallel to mine and Ben's. And Phil and his family took the master suite on the main level.

The main level had an amazing view. We loved sitting in the main room and just gazing out the huge two-story windows. When we first arrived the kids spent almost an hour chasing each other around the back deck, which ran the full length of the house. There was also a river to explore at the end of the property. It was so nice that they had so much room to roam since we were stuck with 16 of them in one house!
View of the river from the gazebo, and view from the back deck of the house

Of course the big kids wanted to stay up late, which kept the little kids up. But the little kids still woke up super early, which got the big kids up. But overall, we all slept well enough and had lots of fun together. The adults (minus mom and dad) stayed up chatting till nearly midnight that first evening.

Most of us headed to Bryce canyon for a big hike the next morning. Phil brought his whole family for the first stretch of it. Reid was pretty heartbroken when they took off with Zoey to explore another part of the canyon. But those of us remaining (all of Jon's family, my dad, Matthew and his two boys, and Ben and I with Reid and Mara) were headed on a three mile hike down into the heart of the canyon. It was such a beautiful hike and all the kids did awesome! Jack and Sof were a little scared getting started and then Reid was super tired and slow coming out (in his defense, so were Grandpa and I!), but overall I was so impressed with all those kids!

Hands in for group cheer before take off!

This is the view from the take off point, you can see the trail on the left side.
It goes all the way down into the heart of the canyon and back up the other side of the rim.

Grandpa with all the Grandkids who hiked. Jaedon, Sof, Liv, Jack, Max, Isaac, and Reid. 
Matt, Sofia, and I beginning the ascend out the other side. 
You can see just a couple of the more than twenty switchbacks we hiked up to get out of the canyon.
The look on Reid's face and his need to be propped up by Ben tell it all!

One passerby even commented on how amazed they were that Sof had enough breathe to carry on a conversation with me as we were started a steep ascend. I loved asking her and Livi all about their favorite books and other school activities. I also loved feeding Mara as we walked through the forest in the middle (flat) part of the hike. I don't believe I've ever fed a kid while walking before, but she did awesome the whole hike and didn't even stop us for a feeding. Such a sweet baby!

We met up with everyone (we'd left Nell and Coraline back at the house with my mom, Laura, and Ava) at Subway for a much needed lunch. Phil and his group had gone and explored an off road reservoir while we were hiking. After lunch we split up again for some separate exploration before meeting back at the house for dinner and party time.

Nell and Lou felt so spoiled and so grown up with their gift bags. They had fingernail polish just like their big girl cousins! Thankfully grandma painted their toes while I took care of Mara. Reid was excited to have his own candy bar and soda. He must have shown them to me a half dozen times, and then he didn't even open up his soda to drink it, ha!

Livy, Ava, and Sof lounging with their masks. Nell and Coraline's feet are the top left corner

Once all the kids were all mingled together again (Zoey, Reid, Hudson and Nell had a hard time staying split by gender, they just wanted to chase each other up and down the stairs), Uncle Jon told them to get ready for scary stories by the river. Oh man, those youngest kids were so excited! Luckily Reid took Ben and Nell stayed behind. She and Zoey put on a dance show for us adult women. It was pretty fun watching them beam with joy while entertaining us.

The next morning we all cleaned up and headed our own ways. Jon and Mel went home to get ready for another road trip. Matthew and Laura (with Grandpa) headed home because they weren't feeling great. We (plus Grandma) drove back to tour the main road through Bryce Canyon. Phil and his family went fishing and exploring on another reservoir.

It was so fun to all be together as an extended family unit, and it was also fun to see each of the individual families function in their own stages of parenthood. Mostly, I hope my parents enjoyed having all their kids and grandkids together in a house they didn't have to worry about deep cleaning themselves! It was a wonderful reunion and I can't wait for another one a year or two down the road. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...