Let’s get to the good stuff first!  To celebrate my 600,000 pageviews, I am giving away three magazine subscriptions. 😀  I love how many of you are magazine whores like me!

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 7

Helen said:

August 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm

My big secret is that I love People. Not real people. The magazine. My mom says I get it from my grandmother who probably single handedly kept the National Enquirer in business!

Have fun on that vacation – we’ll be here when you get back!

Congratulations Helen!  Send me an email at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com and I’ll sign you up for your mags.  😀

I had a wonderful vacation.  I traveled with my Mom and I kinda had to keep reminding her that she was traveling with me – she used to travel a lot for her work, and I think is used to walking super fast to get to the gate.  I had gone through security, was trying to put on my shoes and put my boarding pass back in my purse when I looked up and Mom was already 25 feet ahead of me!

We had great flights, although I am not a huge fan of flying and especially not a huge fan of flying smaller airplanes.  We flew American Eagle and I don’t know about you, but when there is any type of turbulance, even in blue skies I get nervous. 🙁

Saturday was a family reunion on my grandpa’s side of the family.  Sadly my grandparents died when I was 11 and 18, so I have been without them for 25 years.  Every time I smell canteloupe or cinnamon bread I think of my grandma, and everytime I see crabs it reminds me of the crab boils they used to have every summer and I have images of my grandpa elbow deep in blue crabs smiling.

It was the first time I’ve seen my Aunt and Uncle’s new kitchen – which I loved.  It used to be really tiny, but they tore down a wall and opened it up.  So much counter space!

While it rained a tiny bit early on, it was nice to hang out on the deck – no mosquitos!

The matriarch of the family is now my Aunt Cele, the sole surviving sibling.  She just turned 81 and was counting down the minutes until 5:00 p.m. so she could have her bourbon and water and declare it “A Brand New Party!”

my Aunt Cele and Mom

And it was a time to meet a new family member!  My cousin Kimberly’s son Jamar – he just turned one and was such a happy baby.  I don’t think I heard him cry once the whole day.

Here is a picture of the whole gang – it was nice catching up with everyone.  It’s funny though, because while the ahem “older” generation communicated through email, one of my younger cousins came up to me and said “in order to keep in touch with the younger generation, I think next year we should do an eVite, facebook event, or twitter to keep us informed.”  😀

Sunday we drove from my Aunt and Uncle’s house from Richmond to Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia.  It’s about a 3 hour drive, and wouldn’t be complete without a stop to Chesterfield Berry Farms for fresh produce.  I wish I didn’t carry on my bag because I would have loved to bring home a couple of their canned goods such as this:

We also stopped by an antique store – it was so big you could literally spend all afternoon there and not see everything.  I really liked this painting:

It rained only once for a short time while we were there.  The water was so clear and warm – nothing like putting on a life jacket and just floating the afternoon away.

My Aunt collects sunflower faces – all different shapes and sizes – I hadn’t seen this one before, but I love the colors.

The lake house is on a hill.  The house is 200 years old and my Aunt and Uncle are only the 5th owners of the house!

I have a confession to make – I ate like a pig and only worked out once the whole time.  And while I enjoyed my mini-vacation, I am looking forward to meal planning and buying lots of fruits and veggies this weekend.

My favorite day was going out on the pontoon boat – it takes about an hour to boat from the house to the marina.  My Uncle Dave was the captain:

They have giant carp there and we always bring popcorn to feed them – love how they open their mouths to try to get the first bite!

The ducks tried to get to the popcorn first though!

Best of all was reconnecting with the women on my grandma’s side of the family.  My Mom and Aunt Martha grew up near their cousins:  Sandra, Linda, Nancy, David and Beverly.  Sandra, Linda and Beverly made the weekend trip – it has been years since I’ve seen this side of the family.

It’s difficult being the “distant” relative.  My parents moved from Virginia to Chicago in 1966 and never went back.  So while everyone else in my family who stayed in Virginia saw each other quite frequently, we only visited every summer.  And obviously, as an adult those trips became fewer and farther between.

One of my mom’s cousins I connected to right away with was Linda.  She’s super funny and a great story teller.

Here are the cousins:

And here are all the women that stayed at the lake:

Then before we knew it, we were back on a plane coming home.

And when I was standing at the copier at work yesterday, all I could think of was that I’d rather be here:

I am looking forward to catching up on all of you over the weekend – hope you guys had a great week!

I am going to WW tomorrow to face the music – my hope is that my weight gain is less than 5 pounds! 😀

Happy Friday – make it a great day!