Saturday, July 21, 2012

Oliphant Family Reunion in Santa Cruz

I think I was born to live somewhere like Santa Cruz. It is absolute heaven to me when I think of the climate, the oceans and beaches, and mountains. It was a wonderful gathering location for our family reunion. Cousin Chris Finelli graciously offered up his Harbor Inn as a point of gathering. Mom and I flew in on Thursday and spent our night at Aunt Diane's in San Jose. We made our way to my cousin Alexis' house in Morgan Hills. She lives in a gorgeous area. Here are Alexis, Corinne and I gathered around her kitchen table. Corinne was a wonderful hostess, serving me cold water from a princess teapot and yummy baked goods: 
 Austin wanted to show us his little play space:
 Apparently Ted (Alexis' husband) likes to brew his own beer. He even grows his own hops:
 They've got a lovely backyard with an amazing view.
 When we got over to Santa Cruz, everyone else had gone to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, so we made a beeline for the beach.

 The weather was perfect. It was divine.
 Alexis brought her two children and stayed a few days at the Inn. We enjoyed spending time with her.
 I was so glad to see Aunt Shelley was there. She looks great and it was good to catch up.
 Uncle Wolfgang and Aunt Diane are wonderful hosts. We felt so comfortable at their place. I remember many times growing up, spending time at their home. They've always treated us kindly and generously. Although they're now in their 70s, they are in good health and keep busy with grandkids, travel, and a little work.
 A view of the seating around the fire:
 This is one spry woman: Aunt Marjorie Oliphant Hobbs from Marietta Oklahoma. I loved her Oakie accent and ways. She came with her children, one of whom had returned back to OK by the time we'd arrived. This is Larry and his wife.
 Alexis and Clare Finelli:
Mark (Aunt Marjie's son), Shelley, and Mom:
 Austin:
 Getting settled on the beach:
 Alexis, Austin, and Corinne:
 Alexis, Aunt Shelley and I loving life on the beach:
 Austin and Corinne had a ton of fun getting down and dirty.
 Shelley, Mary Jane, Mom, Chris, Mark, Nicole, Aunt Marjorie, David, ...Larry
 Lisa Nguyen Truempler's sister Tami and her significant other:
 Aunt Marjorie and Chris:
 After we'd been there a couple of days and had done plenty of visiting, the Oakies left for home and we had some time to kill. I mentioned to Chris Finelli about going surfing, and he sounded up for it. (He's an avid surfer.) Aunt Shelley wanted to give it a go. Chris brought a couple of soft boards for us newbies, and we rented figure-flattering wet suits (if you've ever had on a wet suit you know what I'm talking about). That day the waves were itty bitty baby waves which ended up being kind of perfect for us. I was able to get up for microseconds a couple of different times. It was really fun to give it a try. I can see that if I had more time to practice, I'd love to do this. It's not like snowskiing. Once you have a wetsuit and surfboard, the admission to the beaches is free!
 Chris worked with Aunt Shelley and I got my smokin' -cousin, mind you!- Michael. They were both so patient and encouraging. Thanks a million for the memory!
Once I mentioned going to the reuinion to Chad, he gave it some thought and said, "I think we should make it work." I'm so glad he backed me up in this. It was a wonderful trip that I'll always remember. So glad I went! Thanks, Mom, for the time together.

1 comment:

Marsha said...

I love that your family travels together so much...and that you wait to blog until you are home! Means you are enjoying the moment.