Las Vegas September 16 - 20

Barb: Dad's 80th Birthday Celebration

Miraculously we arrived in Las Vegas on time even though I first thought our flight was out of Dulles (20 miles west of Washington DC) instead of Reagan (downtown Washington DC) and even though I later thought the flight left at 11:59 am (when it arrives in Chicago) instead of 10:45 am.  Luckily we were straightened out on the correct airport by Teri and John the night before our departure.   We discovered the correct time only after checking in (early -- we thought) and discovered that our flight was already boarding.  I guess the retirement mentality has kicked in and I'm getting lazy about details.  Fortunately, we made the flight and were in Las Vegas that evening for Dad's surprise 80th birthday party.  He was quite surprised and pleased.  Below are some photos taken during the week-end. 

My Uncle John and his daughter Sheila from Minneapolis were there as well as Californians Aunt Evie, her daughters Brenda and Stephanie, and Brenda's husband.  With the exception of Uncle John, it had been around 35 years since I had last seen them.   All of my siblings (Audrey, Dan, Tim, Mike, George, Mary, Suzie, Lori, and Hugh) but one (Kathleen) made it to the week-end bash along with their significant others (Chuck, Jeff, Ray, Candy, Raelene, and Candy) and three grandkids (Mallory and her friend, Kylee and Tyler), so there were 32 of us in all.  We had a party in Dan's suite at the MGM Friday night to celebrate Dad's birthday, as well as Candy's.  On Saturday we gathered in Sunset Park for a picnic lunch and had a fantastic Italian dinner that evening.  Since Mom's birthday is on the 20th, we also celebrated her birthday that evening. 

One of the most amusing things that happened that week-end was the rotating birthday card.  My brother Mike gave Dad an amusing card on Friday night.  Dad brought it along to the dinner on Saturday night to show to his brother John.  After John looked at it he passed it on to his daughter Sheila who in turn passed it on.  Somewhere along the line it was assumed that the card was intended to be a group / community birthday card and that everyone should sign.  So sign it we did!  Around the table it went.  When it got back to Dad, was he surprised to see all the signatures on Mike's card.  We all rolled with laughter when we realized what had happened. 

On Sunday we all met at Mom and Dad's for the afternoon to look at old family photos and to catch up with each other.  We agreed that our next family reunion will be in the summer of 2007 and that the five brothers in our family are responsible for selecting the location.  That evening Audrey, Mary, Candy, Tim, Tyler, Hugh, Chuck and I went to see the Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity.  It was great -- as are all the Cirque shows.

Since our flight out was not until after lunch, Chuck and I joined Mom, Dad and Uncle John for breakfast Monday morning.  It was nice to catch-up with them as I hadn't had a chance to really talk to them much during the busy week-end.  At the airport we discovered our flight was delayed so I was able to catch up with Dan and Candy to download some of their photos since my camera battery went dead over the week-end.  We didn't get home until almost 2:00 am, but we were on west coast time, so it wasn't bad.  It was sure nice to be back to the boat and see that all was well.  This was the first time we had left our floating home for an extended period of time and I had been a bit nervous about it. 

We are looking forward to spending the rest of the week in DC before heading back up the Chesapeake next week.

Below are photos from the week-end - click on them for a larger view...

Dad surprised

Dad surprised

Mom and Dad

Aunt Evie and her family

Audrey and Chuck

The birthday kids - Candy and Dad

Aunt Evie, Dad and Audrey

Celebrating Dad's birthday


Dad's cake

Mom pretending to try out Dan's wine (although she doesn't drink)

Suzie, Mary, and John

Dad and Mom

Group shot

George and Kylee

Dad and Audrey

Tyler and Kylee

The "twins" - Lori and Barb

Tim, Lori and Ray


Having fun

Mike and Suzie


Dad and Uncle John

Suzie and Audrey

Kylee and Tyler

Mary and Candy

Picnic photo

Picnic photo

Dad, John and Sheila

Picnic gathering


Hugh, Tim and George

Lori and Ray

Mom's birthday cake

Mary and Lori

Paris, Las Vegas

Paris, Las Vegas

New York New York, Las Vegas



Mike's Photos: