Smith Family Vacation 2K8. Smith, not meaning just my immediate family, but my "cousins" as well. I say cousins in a loose sense. It is my Uncle Grady and Aunt Jeannie and their kids Andrew and Katherine, whose last name is Smith as well (I know it's not really a common last name). Grady and my dad became best friends in college through being in the same social club (Tau Phi till you die) and rooming together my dad's senior year. Therefore, I have known Andrew and Katherine since they were born and literally thought they were my cousins for years.... It wasn't until I was in late elementary school that my mom informed us kids that they were in fact not my "real" cousins. Needless to say, we were all sort of devastated. It didn't hinder our relationship thankfully, and we have stayed best friends with the Smith's for the last twenty-five plus years, spending countless family vacations and all Thanksgivings together in one another's company. My childhood would have been so boring without them!
For the last eight years or so we have traveled every summer to Panama City Beach for family vacation. It's a tradition, and we all know how important traditions are to my family. This year has not been any different. We have hit all of our favorite dinner spots, been night swimming, shopping, putt putting, played poker (not for money of course), spades, and made Smores! It's been especially funny this week because dad has gotten into a habit of being obnoxiously nostalgic about things since the wedding is coming up, in a cute way. He will say things like, "This will be the last time you eat at Captain's Table as a single person." or "This is the last time you will be in Florida as a single person." I kid you not right after we got engaged we were sitting down to watch a Titan's playoff game and dad looked over at me and said, "Ya know, this is the last time you will see the Titans kick off as a single person." Hilarious.
The highlight for me of course was Matthew being able to come down for a couple of days! Yes, I know his last name is not Smith, but since he is my betrothed he was allowed to come :) It was so great to have him down there with my family and be able to relax for a couple of days. He had never really been around Uncle Grady and Aunt Jeannie, so I was really glad he was able to spend some time with them. I was so sad when he had to leave!
The highlight for the rest of the family was the recent purchase made by my parents......ROCK BAND! I confess, I had been begging for weeks for them to get it in time for family vacation. And the very night before we left, we went to Costco and found it for a great price. It took some coaxing from little Matthew, but they can never say no to the Golden Boy! So needless to say, we have been playing all week. Big Matthew impressed everyone with his mad "skills" on the drums, and we have had lots of laughs. I recommend it to any family who loves music and is mildly coordinated. It's a blast!
We are heading back tomorrow to Nashvegas. Goodbye Beach! See ya again next year....not as a single person :)
Italian Sausage Sheet Pan Dinner
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