Family Reunion in Carson City NV

My grandma's side of the familyWe had an awesome time last weekend at my grandma’s family reunion at her sister’s house in Carson City, Nevada. Six brothers and sisters, in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s, were there, along with many of their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren… etc. It was a long drive for us (11 hours each way), but it was totally worth it. Check out the photos of the reunion, the trip to Carson City, and the trip home.
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Last Day on the East Coast

National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy CenterThis morning we woke up to find that we were the only ones in the Dunn house. We weren’t surprised, though – we had been prewarned that Katy and her mom would probably go to the beach to pick up her youngest sister Erin, while Maura had to go babysit their niece and Katy’s dad had to go to work. So, we got ourselves all ready and then tried to figure out how to entertain ourselves for the day.
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Relaxing in NC and MD

Dave the fireman?On Friday, we woke up at the Bears’ house. We showered and got all our stuff packed up, then went downstairs to play with the boys and have some breakfast. We spent the morning hanging out with Suze and trying to keep a 2-year-old and a 6-month-old entertained – not a small feat! We had a great time playing with the boys. Dave particularly enjoyed Daniel’s fire truck.
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Virginia to North Carolina

EmmaWe woke up on our final morning at the Thomas’ home, got packed and ready to go, played with Emma just a bit more, then headed out.

We followed Ryan through the streets of Blacksburg and Christiansburg to get to the Waffle House, a Southern staple. It was after 11 am by the time we had breakfast, so it really ended up being both breakfast and lunch. The waffles were great, as was the bacon. The waitresses had great Virginia accents, and one of them had quite a mustache.
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Hiking the Cascades… No, not THOSE Cascades

Cascades, Jefferson National ForestOn Wednesday we slept in a bit. After I got out of the shower, Ryan suggested we go and get donuts from a popular local donut shop. While Dave was getting up, Ryan and I took Emma for a little ride to pick up the donuts. They were quite good – not too heavy, and very flavorful.

While Dave, Ryan, and I ate breakfast, we tried to figure out what to do for the day. I was advocating visiting some kind of caverns, knowing that it would be warm and humid and probably a little miserable to do any kind of outdoor activity. Ryan had recently taken his parents on a hike called the Cascades, in Jefferson National Forest nearby. Dave thought that sounded like a good choice.
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Rafting the New River

North American River RunnersTuesday was awesome! Well, getting up at 5 am was a bummer, but it was totally worth it. Ryan’s friend Juan picked us up at 6 am and we drove for about three hours to Hico, West Virginia.

We had only been in West Virginia for a short while when, driving in the middle lane of a three-land highway, we noticed the Dodge Durango a quarter mile in front of us swerve a bit, and then a large object go flying from the front of the truck and go hurtling into the median. The driver had just hit a deer. I’ve never seen anything that large fly so far. Up ahead was a turnoff on the side of the highway, and the guy pulled over. We also turned out to make sure he was okay. We accidentally passed him, but after a couple of seconds, he drove up to let us know he was okay. There was a big crack above his grill, and the truck was making a hissing noise, which he hoped was his air conditioner rather than his radiator. But he drove off and seemed relatively okay.

Not long after that, we arrived at North American River Runners – a whitewater rafting company owned by our friend Heather’s family – rather early. We hung out for a bit hoping the weather would go from chilly and overcast to sunny and maybe not too humid.
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Go Hokies!

Meadow at Falls Ridge Nature PreserveOn Monday we slept in quite a bit (until about 10:15 am Eastern), trying to catch up from all the social events of the weekend. Once we were finally up and fed, Ryan took us on a bit of a tour of Blacksburg. (Unfortunately, Elyn had to work, so she couldn’t hang out with us. Ryan, being a student, pretty much makes his own schedule.) There wasn’t a whole lot to tour – it’s a fairly small town, other than the University.
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