After our family returned from our spring break trip, I found out that my Aunt Pat had passed away. Pat's family had a beautiful celebration of her life--she was my dad's oldest sister. My dad is now the only one living from his immediate family.
Since it had been almost 25 years since I had seen any of Pat's family in California, it seemed like a wonderful time to get out and have a bit of a reunion. So my dad, brother Chris, and I (as well as cousin Dianne from Utah) met out there and had a fantastic time catching up with our California contingent...meeting many of our cousins' children born after 1985, the last time we were in the LA area.
Chris got a surfing lesson from my cousin Mark, we saw frolicking dolphins, and we all caught a little sun at the beach.
We had gatherings at different places each night.
Mark is a lot of fun...so is his new CD, Stick Around. It is a seriously great CD, and I've had to stop our kids from playing it so much so we could get some schooling done this week! Hope he gets them out to CD Baby soon!! You can check out some of his music here. Luke is also the drummer for the band.
I got to hang out with this young man, who is the luckiest boy in the world to have such a wonderful mom--my cousin Lynn. And she claims to be the luckiest mom in the world to have such a sweet 21 year old boy, Anthony.
A small group shot at my cousin Mary's (who served some great grilled Korean ribs and Asian cole slaw--yum).
This was the end of a very busy weekend for Carly and Chad Brannon since Chad had just finished producing, co-directing, and acting in his SAG short film, "Serving Justice" all day Friday and Saturday. You can read more about it in this post on Carly's blog. Oh, and Carly was sweet enough to give me one of her new spring Carly Jean Home candles, Mediterranean Fig. It's REALLY nice! I'm going to have to find out what other new scents she's got up her sleeve...
I'm still laughing when I think of the story Big Luke told us about when he was touring with the Moody Blues (early 80s) and he sat on and destroyed Ray Thomas's legendary flute that he used to play songs like Nights in White Satin. What a great story. =)
Two of Luke's daughters with baby Ford Brannon. Joslyn, the one holding Ford, is a 14 year old, 6'2" volleyball player who is already being recruited by UCLA. Hey, maybe we'll even see her in the Olympics one day!
The last morning I was in Cali, Dad and I with Mark, Jean and her mom met up with Chad, Carly and kids at Aroma Cafe, a great place to have an outdoor breakfast.
I was full for the rest of the day.
And I flew home filled with wonderful new memories and stories from our California family visit...reminding me that we must get together before another 25 years goes by.