Reunion at Bear Lake

I feel like this Merkley family reunion has been in the works for years. I remember them talking about each family setting up a bank account five years ago so we could all contribute monthly and save enough for a reunion. That whole idea sounded ludicrous to me and didn't happen but last year we finally started hearing plans about a Summer 2014 reunion. Then Sam's parents said it would be at Bear Lake. I do not think I had ever heard of Bear Lake before but suddenly I was hearing about it from everyone! So many people had family reunions there, my visiting teaching companion grew up there, and everyone from Northern Utah loves it! I was getting really excited to see what all of the fuss was about.

Tuesday was Day One. We were supposed to leave around 9am which of course didn't happen and I should have mentally prepared myself but I really hate being late and I thought my head was going to pop off because of how slow everyone was moving. We finally left before I completely lost it (I was a little upset) and we went to Logan for Aggie ice cream. Stephanie Colton moved to Williston from Logan and highly recommended that we stop there. It was delicious.

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We drove to Garden City and had a gourmet picnic lunch that the Warnicks had packed for us.

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Then we drove to the Paris Tabernacle in Paris, Idaho. It was really cool to see and walk around. The missionaries there gave us a guided tour. It was an interesting building.

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We went to the Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier and were guided through by some pioneers who helped us experience the trail.

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Alex was one of the few who was chosen to carry a white handkerchief for picking up bison poop. I caught on early that it actually meant he would be one of the people who "died" along the trail because the guide was trying to figure out a certain percentage of our group. But man, Alex was so upset about that bison poop.

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We drove to Bear Lake to check into the house we would be renting. It was huge and we all walked around seeing the place. All except Edison who crashed on the couch for an hour.

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Grandma Stephenson took us all out to Bear Lake Pizza Company for dinner. While we were waiting for the food, the kids used up all of my quarters but still had fun playing once the machines stopped.

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That night, we had family game night, played a cool card game that Marian made about the families and ancestors, and sang an amazing song she wrote just for this reunion.

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I was up bright and early on Wednesday morning so I could make breakfast and have it ready for everyone by 7:30am. I made french toast and buttermilk syrup. I was so stressed about the meals I had to make for the family and I spend $250 on two meals. Sometimes I go overboard. (Maybe not only "sometimes.")

After breakfast, we loaded up and headed down to the lake to play on the Seadoos that the men had rented earlier that morning. Dave and Marian had also brought their canoe and we played for hours. We got there at 9am so we were there well before the crowd and we had the beach to ourselves for a couple of hours.

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Ellie took Declan out on the canoe and he fell asleep while standing up, leaning against her leg. I tried helping him sleep under the umbrella but he didn't transfer well since there was also an apparently very upsetting period of trying to take off his life jacket.

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We left the beach in the late afternoon and Declan fell asleep before we had finished loading the car.

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After we got all cleaned up back at the house, some people went fishing.

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That night we had another family game night, put the kids to bed, and then played more games.

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On Thursday morning, the older boys, Emily Sarah, and Nora went shooting. I would have liked to go but Alex, Edison, and Declan were too young so we got ditched. It is normally so difficult for me to get Sam to take pictures of things. He took 219 pictures of them shooting guns. I am going to go ahead and say he enjoyed this activity.

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In the afternoon, we went back down to the lake again to play on a water trampoline. It wasn't quite as sunny this time and the water felt frigid. The kids didn't like the bouncing and it was a short lived adventure (that was awesome while it lasted!) before we headed back to the beach.

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Sam's horrible sunburn lines are still going strong.

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That night, I was in charge of dinner and made pulled pork sandwiches, honey lime fruit salad, and triple chocolate rice pudding. There was supposed to be coleslaw as well but I ran out of time to make it since we had postponed going to the water trampoline for an hour waiting while waiting for the weather to clear up.

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 Then we had a lesson, put the kids in bed, and played more games.

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On Friday morning, we packed up the house and then checked out. The house was super nice and the kids loved playing foosball and ping pong. The Warnicks and Bardsleys live in Columbus and see each other often. It was hard to see my boys trying to play with them because they were already such good friends and there were a lot of "run away from Edison and Alex" moments. Or "We don't want to play with the babies." I hope all of the cousins will be friends when they get older.

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We headed to the Minnetonka Caves but the wait would have been until 2pm to go in because there were so many girls camp groups there so we decided to go back to Garden City and eat lunch.

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We had to try the Bear Lake raspberry shakes. Delicious.

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It was sad to say goodbye to everyone but we all parted ways and we headed to South Jordan.

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Alex was so sad we told him this burned stick could not leave Bear Lake with us.

That night we made a Costco run for diapers and then hung out with Jared for hours instead of repacking and getting a lot of rest. Worth it.

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I am so grateful for all of the time Marian put into planning this family reunion. We were sad that Seth had to work but it was awesome to see everyone else together in one place without having to run off for any errands or appointments.

1 comment:

Olivia said...

Looks like you all had a blast! Bear Lake looks beautiful. My sister who lives in Logan goes there every year for a reunion!

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