California, Arizona, New Mexico

In 2009, Scott and I had so much fun in New Mexico that we decided to go on another "Really Big Vacation." I hadn't seen my Grand-Neice & Grand Nephew yet, so we decided to travel out to California, to Corona del Mar to be exact, spend a few days, then drive over to Scottsdale, Arizona, to spend an evening with my Aunt Jeanie & Uncle Lew then head on over to Alamogordo, New Mexico to spend a couple of days with Scott's parents, before heading home.

But, as it turned out, whereas last year we took our "Really Big Vacation" after Eric was laid off, this year, our trip coincided with Eric finally being hired again! We still got to take the trip, and had just as much fun... maybe even more... because we knew when we returned to Council Bluffs, we'd BOTH be going back to work!

We blogged about this trip like we did last year, though perhaps not quite as extensively. Links to those blog entries can be found in our Camping page. (Check over there on the right under "interests." Once you get to the Camping page, look under "links."


One of the highlights of my year, every year, is attending family reunions. Unfortunately, 2010 appears to be the first year in a very long time that my SASY Family reunion will not be held. There's just too much going on to get it arranged, I guess. I'm not really sure why so few members of the family step up to the plate to take on this task.

But the other side of the family has no such problems. And this year, as in every year, Scott and I found ourselves in Branson, Missouri, for the Hays Family Reunion.

I guess a lot of people would find these reunions somewhat boring. First of all, the drive down has become monotonous, as we've been through it all before. Then, when we arrive at the reunion we mostly just sit around in a meeting room we've rented from the hotel and talk! And we have a blast!

Saturday, I spent most of MY time updating the Hays Family website. The only part we really develop is behind security, so there's no point in giving a link here.

Sunday, Scott and I sponsored the BBQ (this is a new, and developing tradition that we did last year, this year, and I'm ALREADY looking forward to planning for 2011.) Once we were done buying the fixin's, getting the fire going, cooking the burgers and dogs, then getting things cleaned up, we didn't have too much time to relax and it was time to start off on our Sunday evening adventure.

Terry, Bruce's wife, had arranged for about 15 of us to drive over to the Marina on Table Rock Lake and catch a rid on the "Spirit of America". The Spirit, a very large (from the perspective of a lake in the heart of Missouri, anyhow) catamaran delivered us to... well, some other part of the lake... to a place called Cedar Lodge Resort

Cedar Lodge, it seems, puts on the largest fireworks show in Branson. That may or may not be, but I can say they did put on one heck of a good one! This is the first organized fireworks display that Scott and I have gone to in 15 years. Normally we just join with other folks and watch the neighborhood kids throw firecrackers around or shoot off the odd bottle-rocket. Now and then, someone buys a few bigger rockets. But this year, everything was very professional, and quite spectacular.

I found the display all the more poignant this year in light of our family's loss. And the more so because Bruce's wife and children and Scott were with me to watch it. We all sing "I'd gladly stand up, next to you... Bruce did the standing on our behalf. Thank you, Bruce!



Once again, in a few weeks time, Scott and I, and our many friends will be joining the trail west, as we travel to Wyoming for Rendezvous2010. While we all anticipate that trip, read about last year's Rendezvous in the following links:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6