Every five years or so, the family I married into holds a reunion, and my husband, his mom, three brothers, “baby” sister, and as many of the grandkids—and now great-grandkids—as are able, gather at the designated place for a week of fun and adventure. After forty-plus years as a Raney myself, I’m here to testify that the Raneys have a corner on the “adventure market” and when you get twenty-five of them together, well… you can kind of tell just by looking that you’re in for a whole lot of fun!My dear mother-in-law made this trip possible for everyone, but unfortunately, she started the trip by breaking her nose (in three places!) It happened the day before our family arrived, so when we got close to the cabin, we blacked our eyes in sympathy. This may be my favorite photo from the trip. But Mom has never been one to let a little thing like a broken nose slow her down!
This year, our destination was Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park in Utah. I’ve always imagined Utah as desert-like and desolate (and there were a few miles of road that were just that) but as we neared Bryce Canyon our first day there, we were absolutely awed by the beauty of that place!
There’s not time in a blog post to tell about everything we did, but a short list includes lots of great meals (each family took a turn cooking), lots of laughter over games and conversation, several hikes in the canyons and valleys, ATVing, swimming in the Virgin River, playing horseshoes, throwing darts, hot-tubbing at the cabin, and so much more. It was wonderful to see family from California to Kansas reconnect, catch up with nieces and nephews, celebrate two engagements, and just feel blessed to call each other family.
You won’t know how much we appreciated the whole trip if you don’t first know that we traveled the almost 17-hour trip in a 12-passenger van with our oldest daughter and son-in-law and their three little boys (who’d already ridden nine hours the day before to get to our house!) And they were good as gold! The drive to Utah was honestly one of my favorite parts of the trip. We braced ourselves for the boys to be cranky and worn out on the drive home, but they were just as good on the way home! (Proud Mimi talking here.)
But we’re already planning our next trip!
What is your favorite family vacation destination?