Monday, June 30, 2008

A long time in the making

Back in March or so Karen and I had begun to entertain the idea of returning home for the 2008 Downriver Dream Cruise. My sister Mary and her husband Mark have held an annual Dream Cruise Party every year since about 2000 or 2001. Although I did not yet have vacation time yet at my new job when I asked about having a long weekend during that time they were more than willing to let me have it. Even when we lived in Michigan we did not see my brother and sister as often as we would have liked. Like most families, they have hectic schedules and the time just flys by. So, much like Chritmas, the Dream Cruise served as a mini family reunion of sorts over the last 8 years or so. Since airfare during Christmas would be $1800 for the two of us, it is not likely that we will be able to make Christmas anytime soon. We figured that flying home for the Dream Cruise was doable. So in early may after getting final approval from work for the time off, we called my parents because we knew that they wanted to come out in late spring or early summer. The Dream Cruise was held on June 28th. When I spoke to my mom she said the wanted to come out, of all times, over that weeked! I was left stumbling trying to think of an excuse as to why they could not come out and visit then without sounding like we just didn't want to see them. Finally I mumbled that I would be in Salt Lake City for training that weekend and that if they came out they needed to leave the previous week!

As it turned out they left on Tuesday and we flew home on Friday! So we got in to town Friday afternoon. One of the things we wanted to do was eat at Texas Road House. It is one of our favorite restaurants and the closest one to Las Vegas is in Salt Lake City, 8 hours away. We also ate at White Castle, which is not available in Vegas either.

We lifted off from McCarran at 8 AM. 15 mins ahead of schedule!

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Here is a view out the window of our Airbus 319. To me it is a spectacular view if for no other reason than it has actual clouds in it. In Vegas you don't see clouds that often and when you do they sure don't look like this.





Our flight was un eventful other than to say that the man who you see standing up in the picture below is the reason that I didn't get a "Big Front Seat". Apparently working for the airline has its privilages!

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Here we are relaxing at Btty and Toms house with Tom's brother ahd his wife, Larry and Linda.

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The weather forcast for out trip back home was discouraging to say the least. Rain and thunderstorms were predicted for the whole week. They proved to be accurate:

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In Vegas, 5 rain drops constitute a storm. Michigan, pleasantly for me and Karen, delivered a REAL thunderstorm with lightning and thunder for hours on end. This however did not bode well for the Dream Cruise. Saturday morning was a dreary time. It was severly overcast and raining. The hour by hour forcast did not offer much hope either.



This first picture from the Dream Cruise illistrates the point well:

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We somehow managed to keep this secret from most everyone. Mary, her husband Mark, and her friend Linda knew we were comming. Most of Karen's family knew we would be there also.

Our goal was to suprise my side of the family and I must say it worked.



Here is a picture of two of my sister's puppies:

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Here Brian is testing out his new camera:

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Mia sharing a laugh with someone:

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Here is Zack getting a drink:

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Here is the party tent:

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This also served as Sarah's graduation party. Congratulations Sarah!!! Though we will not be able to attend the ceromony, we are proud of you none the less!!!



The Dream Cruise Party starts about 2PM and like clock work, about 2PM the clouds gave way to sunshine and the weather was great!



Now for some cars:

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More to come...

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