I feel like I need to preface this post by explaining some things about my family. If you know me, you probably know that my moms family is kind of big. My mom has five brothers and sisters, and I have 10 cousins before adding any significant others, cousin’s babies, or various hangers on. My family is also pretty diverse. The majority of them live in Texas, but some of us are also from as far North as New Jersey or Detroit. The main thing we have in common is being slightly crazy, so family reunions have always been interesting. I am told from the media that reuniting with my extended family is something I should dread, but I always find myself looking forward to our reunions as events to catch up and tell stories and laugh a lot because my family is ridiculous. To make things even better, my grandparents do not live in some boring retirement community, but instead retired to Corpus Christi, TX meaning lots of delicious sea food and beach time. If you don’t believe me here is proof:
Taken Friday night at sunset from a dolphin cruise. Anyway, here is the details.
We arrived in Corpus Christi for my family reunion around 8:30 Thursday evening. By the time we were an hour away, my sister had already called with drink orders so we stopped at the corner liquor store on the way in. Most of the “adults”(term loosely used for the parents generation) were at my Grandmothers so the cousins who were around sat in one of the Suites sharing drinks and teasing each other relentlessly as is the Johnson way. Later when the parents returned a large group sat around near the pool and I went to bed around midnight.
Friday we went up to my cousin Holly’s room for coffee and pastries and I was delighted to finally meet her 9month(ish?) old daughter who is all smiles and bows. My mom and I went over to my grandma’s and she stayed with my gramps so that I could take grandma down to the beach where everyone was congregating. Four generations of Johnsons on the beach. I hung out there for most of the afternoon until around 4. The water was incredibly warm and we played in the waves like when we were kids. After showering and napping for a bit ten of us loaded up two cars to go on a dolphin cruise out of Port Aransas. The cruise took an hour and a half. We saw some dolphins but were equally entertained by the kids on the cruise, a pair of dogs, and taking photos in the sunset. By the time we finished it was 8:30 and we went to meet a few more people for dinner at a bar/restaurant called Scuttlebutts. The food was pretty good and they had lots of beer on tap although we had to wait 40minutes or so for a table. The major dent in the experience was a kind of terrible guy on guitar who rapped and sang “teenage mutant ninja turtles”. There was no escape because when we returned to the pool, somehow the group out there had adopted a nineteen year old kid who insisted on performing. I had to have some respect for his lack of stage fright, but he didn’t actually know the words to most of the songs he sang and when security came to ask us to keep it down I was kind of relieved.
On Saturday we didn’t make it down to the beach, and instead I spent a while updating my blog and then we started planning our trip west. We booked a place in Las Vegas and came up with a theoretical route. We decided to head north in Texas and then West through New Mexico and southern Arizona with the objective of making it to California so we can spend some time there before heading to Vegas. In the afternoon we climbed into JJ with Alison and went to Snoopy’s Pier for some fish sandwiches. Alison wanted to find some cheesy souvenir type things so we stopped at a couple beach shops. I bought a greyish fedora because I thought a hat might be a good idea in the desert. I look kind of like a hippy hipster in it, but such is life.
When we returned it was time to shower and change for the big reunion party. My aunt Amy had designed t-shirts with a logo of waves and birds so we could all match in the photos. We took a lot of photos and joked around ate some delicious brisket my Uncle Harold made. I made friend with my four-year-old second cousin and had fun play fighting with him. I kept trying to tell him that he couldn’t win because my arms are so much longer than his. He was a fun addition, even though we could not bribe him to say “Oh Balls” to his mother no matter what we offered. As it got late, the cousins were prevailed upon to clean the kitchen and my oldest cousins went through an album pointing out the embarrassing photos of each of us from when we were kids. Around 9 we took the party back to the hotel because the grandparents were tired, although they seemed really happy. I went for a swim and towards the end of the night we set off some fireworks on the beach.