The blog was quiet for a little while. It was because Dan, my father and I were on our way to Stockton, CA for the family reunion. It was 4 days of eating, talking, eating, laughing, eating and even more eating.
My dad is the youngest of 11 and when my Uncle Junior turned 60, they turned it into a family reunion as well as a birthday party. They had so much fun that they decided to do it for everyone's 60th. This year was my Uncle Donald's 60th birthday, as well as his vow renewal and Dan's first reunion as part of the family. So of course we had to go. Mom stayed home. She claimed it was because she didn't want Michelle to be home alone for 4 days, but in reality I think it was because she wanted to be home alone for 4 days.
I didn't realize it until afterwards, but in this picture the bottom row is right to left, oldest to youngest while the top row is the opposite - left to right oldest to youngest. My dad is the tallest guy standing and he's directly behind his eldest brother. They all have D names - Domingo ("Jr.") David, Danny, Dante, Douglas, Delano ("Ray,") Dolores, Donald, Delpha, Della and Del (my dad.)
I'll admit that I was not excited about it. It had been 10 years since I had seen all of the family together. (There were reunions, I just didn't go.) I am close to a few cousins and 3 of Dad's siblings, but do not really know the rest of them all that well. I was wary of having to introduce Dan to family members that I did not know. Things worked out though because they all assumed I would not remember their names. Although, maybe I should be insulted...
We stayed with my Uncle Donald - the birthday boy - and his wife and youngest daughter. This is their family group shot because I don't have a shot of the entire Ruiz family on my camera, and this is the only family where I know all of their names. (They are the second smallest family, second only to ours.)
The first night, we missed a dinner at one of my aunt's houses because Dan and I had to work on Thursday. Friday was the vow renewal, held at a local community center. There was awful food, overpriced drinks, loud Mexican music and a lot of drunken dancing. It did not set a good tone for the rest of the weekend. But it was fun to catch up with everyone and to try and link all of them to each other. Mostly so Dan would know how they were related, but also in part to jog my own memory.The next day was the Suns vs. Spurs game, which was a big rivalry. Obviously being from Phoenix, my Dad is a Suns fan. Even has season tickets. Most of his family is from San Antonio, so they were all Spurs fans. We ate pizza and watched the game and even I got into it, which is saying something. Sports and I are like...well, there's no better analogy. Sports and I don't mesh well. The next day was the picnic. Did I mention already that the high was in the 60's all weekend? And that everyone told us it was going to be 80+ and beautiful so we didn't bring jackets? Yeah...I was cold. Luckily my aunt brought a ton of extra sweatshirts, so I snagged one and sat in the sun all day. I felt like someone at an old folks' home. There was more eating and more talking and lots of picture taking. I caught up with the relatives I hadn't had a chance to talk to yet that weekend and Dan was comfortable enough to spend most of the day away from my side, bonding with my male cousins. (Golf claps - that was a huge step!) He was one of 3 white guys at the first function and the only one at the last function that was actually related by marraige. He was day-glo white in a crowd of Mexicans, but he stood his own. I'm so proud of him! And even better, none of my overprotective cousins/uncles threatened to cut him! Not that I really think they would..well, maybe not...
OK, last real informative blog for a little while. No more events until Tartraz's wedding and Mother's Day. Onto frivolous posts!