PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!!! this post contains a billion gazillion pictures. you are about to enter THE BROWER REUNION ZONE! this trip took place from august 11th to the 20th.
the first leg of our reunion took place in chillicothe ohio, where doug and denise (chris' bro and sis in law) live. this was the main 3 days of the family reunion.
the first thing we did was stop at the first tim hortons and gorge on a canadian maple donut...the first of many :)
this was our view from our room at dougs house. it was so gorgeous and green, with windy and hilly roads covered under canopies of lush green leaves. mmmmm we loved it.
cousin nathan was baptized during the trip... the first baptism to take place in the chillocothe wards new building.
sweet cousin daniel
this is evan. he is the funniest little guy! he and i became fast buds!
wahooo! time for the slip n slide
even after face planting it into a puddle of soap and dirt, jack loved the slip n slide!
chris and i were in charge of a group game that would entertain the entire group. i found this online and it was SO MUCH FUN! we split up into 4 groups and each group picked a member to wrap in tin foil and make a statue. everyone laughed and laughed till our cheeks hurt. i suppose that could have been from all the smores we had just roasted and consumed prior to our games.
by the way, chris is the statue on the left. he was an egyptian muscle mummy complete with a maximized gluteus maximus.
this was the first sight upon entering "amish country"
we went to an amazingly overwhelming store called Lehmans. it was originally made for the amish and mennonites but quickly grew into goods for all types of people. i was in heaven with all of the various cooking utensils and appliances that i suddenly couldnt live with out. this was my favorite item. but chris couldnt come to terms with paying $65 for a rolling pin. shucks.
we went to a pig auction and dinner that was being held to raise funds for a local family. their story was rather sad, so if you dont like sad stories plug your ears.
their was a father and his girlfriend who killed his wife, leaving his children with nothing and no one to care for the children. so the community joined together to help support them and also someone else who needed help paying hospital bills. their spirit of togetherness reminded me so much of the law of consecration and i was greatly humbled and inspired.
the dinner was payed for by making a donation. we had "amish Haystacks". they werent like ours, but were surprisingly tasty. the bottom layer was made of crushed saltine crackers with various layers of taco meat, nacho cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and rice. oh with HOME MADE PIE for dessert!
"jack, hug your sister.....no jack no jack NO JACK!"
N.K. Whitney store
during our visit to kirtland we decided to eat lunch at some of the visitor centers picnic tables. while the men were unloading the goods, the woman sat with the kids in some shade. the little ones started jumping on some rocks and within a few minutes we were attacked by bees! poor little jack got stung 5 times but handled it like a champ!
WHITE TURKEY DRIVE-IN
we made a random stop at a random town to enjoy some root beer. chris and i love seeing something, pulling over, and giving it a try. this was a pleaser with good burgers, crispy fries, frosty root beer served from a keg, and an AWESOME show to boot! this kids mohawk went all the way down but i couldnt get a great shot of it because he ended up sitting by us and talking to us through out our meal.
they even put a smiley face on the kids root beer floats
one of our first stops in palmyra was to an old hang out of mine. hahaha just kidding! my family along with eaglestons, stopped by this place a dozen times in a two day period back in '98. we loved the blue goo ice cream because the portion size was humungous. well they dont have blue goo anymore but the sizes havent changed. when i ordered my vanilla cone i asked for a medium and the girl at the counter said, "are you sure, a medium is the equivalent of 6 scoops of ice cream" and i said, "fine, lets make it a large" :)
the sacred grove. even though you arent supposed to take anything from the grove, we found a few blackberries and couldnt resist their juiciness!
we got subs from a place in rochester called Dibellas. marc and delauna used to eat there while marc was in medical school. jack really enjoyed the pickles.
LOCKPORT, NEW YORK
we visited a man made cave just north of buffalo new york. there was a ton of history behind it that was fascinating but i will spare you.
inside the entrance to the cave
part of the tour was an underground boat ride that jack thoroughly enjoyed. over all we would highly highly highly recommend this stop if you are in the neighborhood.
we decided to make a stop to give the kids a break from the car and searched local attractions on our gps. ripley beach popped up and it was close so we stopped. after getting the kids together, we made the trek to the beach only to find a big cliff before reaching the water. so rather than turning around and packing up, chris jumped the 5-6 foot drop and i passed the kids down and we played for a while.
getting back up the cliff was another adventure in and of itself!
the entire beach was made up of smooth flat stones that were perfect for skipping. it was a gem of a stop.
this was a random sight at a gas station
we were lucky enough to stay with chris' sister cathy and her family. now, i love ALL of my family, but there is just something special about cathy. she is one of those people that is not only good at everything she does, but perfect! i am always laughing when i am with her and amazed time and time again of her kindness. anyways, while at cathy's, ellie fell off a chair and hit her mouth. it bled and bled and we realized that one of her bottom teeth had gone completely through her bottom lip! poor bellie!
if you watch man v food, you may recognize this place. adam faced the challenge of eating 6 atomic hot wings. these wings rank in at a 150,000 scoville units. to give you an idea of how hot this is, a jalapeno pepper is only about 5,000 scoville units. chris and his brother cory had to give it a go!
i have to admit, this was one of the funniest things ever to watch. they were both crying, oh wait, "they werent tears, it just happens" and eating as many chips as possible!
we stayed at marc and delaunas house a couple nights before we left. marc is chris' oldest sibling. ellie liked to hang out with the pups, ladybug and junebug...much to their dismay!
while in columbus, we ate an amazing indian restaurant one evening and the next at a japanese place called Kogens. i tried sushi for the first time ...thats HUGE for someone who doesnt like seafood in any way! it was such a fun experience with even better company. and you can all guess the best part of both these nights.... NO KIDS!!!! M & D's wonderful kids watched them for us!
FLORIDA OR BUST!
ok. because this is my 100th post, and because you have either been tortured by suffering through this long account or because you were smart enough to skip to the end, i am giving away a prize. yes a PRIZE! a PRIZE PRIZE PRIZE PRIZE PRIZE for the first person to correctly guess (without going over) the length of time it took us to fly from orlando to ft myers! good luck!!!