Thursday, May 27
Five of us flew to Colorado from Cleveland: me, Grandma, Aunt Diane, Aunt Tammy and her daughter, Kayleigh (16). My dad flew in from Texas. Uncle Mike, his wife, Jenny, and their two sons, Michael (5), and Nicholas (5 mos.), flew in from Hawaii. We were all coming together for Abby’s high school graduation – Abby (18), Laurie (20), and Heather (21) are Uncle Mike’s daughters from his first marriage.
Us Cleveland fliers had a stop in Chicago, where we missed our connecting flight because the first flight was delayed. After waiting an extra hour and having a few laughs (Grandma accidentally sat on her sandwich, and when she got up it had indentations from her butt!), we were finally on our way. I slept most of the time because I get motion sickness and take Dramamine, which makes me very sleepy.
Uncle Mike and Heather met us all at the airport. My dad’s flight had landed before us, so he was waiting there, too. It was really nice to see him again and to meet some more new relatives.
We got our car rentals, then went to the hotel, where I met some more family. After settling in, we all went out to eat before heading to Sears for our photo shoot – it was the first time that Uncle Mike had all five of his children together, and it had been five years since my dad and his three siblings had all been together. Following the long 2-1/2 hour shoot, we headed back to the hotel to hang out, catch up and have a few laughs.
Friday, May 28
Those of us who were old enough (me, my dad, Diane, Tammy, Mike, Jenny, and Heather) went gambling up in the mountains Friday morning. On the way there we stopped to take some pictures of the mountains and saw some wild buffalo.
Most of us had a few free drinks because the casinos give them to you if you’re gambling. Only two of us came out ahead – Aunt Diane won $375 and Heather won $45. Everyone else broke even or spent quite a bit.
While we were gambling, Grandma and Kayleigh went to lunch with Abby and some of Abby’s relatives. That evening, we all went to dinner at the Emerald Isle. On the way home, Diane, Tammy and Kayleigh stopped at Walgreens. See, Kayleigh hadn’t pooped since we got to Denver and needed a “poop pill.” So Diane and Tammy had the cashier page “Customer Poopy O’Brien to the front, please, customer Poopy O’Brien to the front.” They were laughing their butts off when they told us about it. Hilarious!!!
Some of us went to Applebee’s later that night for some drinks, where we had many laughs. Our group kept growing – Laurie’s friends were coming up to join us, so we moved another table over, right against ours. Well, we made Laurie sit at the extra table and we were all going to pretend we didn’t know her when her friends walked in and we were going to ask if they could please move their table over. We laughed so hard none of us could get the words out when they arrived. Some of us laughed so hard we cried, while others peed their pants – twice!
My dad and I weren’t ready to sleep yet, so we went to a bar called Big Fat Rocky’s. Laurie and her three friends joined us, and two of them played pool. There was a really drunk guy who sat down at the table with us and insisted on having to know our names. Laurie’s friend (Dy) said his name was Guns ‘n Roses, my dad said that our names were Jimmy (Laurie), Crack (me) and Corn (Dad). It was pretty funny. Then my dad and I whooped Laurie and Dy’s butts at pool.
Saturday, May 29
It took awhile, but we all finally figured out who was doing what. Uncle Mike, Aunt Tammy and I got a ride to Abby’s commencement ceremony from Heather. My dad and Grandma went to a business meeting (one that my dad had scheduled). And everyone else went shopping.
The graduation was really different – they had singers before, after and between the 680 students that were called up for diplomas. At one point there was a girl dancing, which was a little freaky. They had an eagle there because it was Eaglecrest High School.
We all met up back at the hotel and got ready to go to the party at Abby’s mom’s house. Her name is Kim and her husband is Dave, and they have a daughter named Emily. We drank, ate, and had a blast. Later that night we went to karaoke, and Kim and Dave joined us. Most of us sang a couple times; there were many people in the rotation. My dad sang a song on a cell phone to his wife, Mary, who couldn’t join us on the trip.
After karaoke, some of us went on to Denny’s for a late night breakfast, where we enjoyed continued laughter. We harassed the poor waitress, telling her there was something in the water (ketchup, hashbrowns, sugar, cream, and other nasty stuff!!).
Sunday, May 30
It took awhile with packing and checking out, but eventually we all made it to the diner outside the hotel for breakfast. Table for 12, please! With full bellies, we said our good-byes. Then me, Dad, Grandma, Diane, Tammy and Kayleigh headed off to the airport. There we parted ways with my dad. I was sad to say good-bye; felt like I didn’t get to see him enough.
Our flights to Chicago and Cleveland were cancelled due to storms, but they were replaced by flights with just about the same departure times. However, in Chicago our new flight was cancelled again! When we finally boarded our new alternate flight, we ended up sitting on the plane for over TWO hours waiting to take off. We didn’t get home until 1:00 a.m. – three hours later than the originally scheduled time! I was VERY happy to be home, even though I had a really good time and wished it could have lasted just a little bit longer.