Our family is very blessed to have a special place to visit every summer.
Now, when I say 'family' - I mean my mother, sisters, brother and their families as well. It really helps that we all really like each other and get along.
Our special place is in Williams, AZ and is approximately 3 hours away and is up in the mountains.
My sister-in-law's family owns a few cabins up there and they always make them available to all of us.
We look forward to this trip all year long.
Cousins play together during the day.
We go fishing.... a lot!
We play games.
We visit local attractions, such as the Deer Farm.
The Grand Canyon is close by too.
Our first year that we visited, we all came up along with my parents.
They treated us all to a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway for a train ride up to the Grand Canyon...
We were visited by some train robbers on the way though...Kai looks petrified doesn't he?
Thankfully, the sheriff showed up and arrested them. He stopped to pose with Gracie too ;-)
My parents had a great time too - although as soon as we arrived at the Grand Canyon - they ditched us kids and spent the day alone ;-)
The next year, we decided not to go to our special place. The reason for this is that we had a huge family trip planned in my grandmother's memory to Europe.
We were all very excited to go. But sadly, just 3 weeks before we were to go, my dad died suddenly. So, we cancelled our Europe vacation and decided to go to back to our special place to rest, grieve and have a little fun if possible...
Despite our grief, we did have fun. There was the treasure hunt (courtesy of my mom).
We followed our map to the treasure...
We found the treasure - $1 gold coins for everyone!
We spent time in town, which is on Route 66 and has some fun, quirky stores and 'people'.
We saw some 'loose women' in town. Not really, just my sisters, sister-in-law and me ;-)
We like to take lots of pictures on vacation since we are all together.
But this time, we could feel my dad's absence.
We did all wear our matching track jackets that we had made for our Europe trip.
*Even though it looks like there are quite a few people in our family - we have added 5 people since then.
The next year we visited, the kids had fun sailing boats that my husband had made for them.
My son, Kai, was so proud of his boat with his homemade sail.
Kai had just had surgery a few weeks before our trip, but it didn't keep him from bowling and fishing.
In fact, his favorite superhero came up to see him...
'Super-Duper' made a surprise visit and challenged Kai's cousins to a race. Kai in his wheelchair and his cousins had a go-kart.
Kai and 'Super-Duper' won.
In case you are wondering....'Super-Duper' is actually Kai's uncle, who is a children's pastor who just happens to play many characters for the kids at his church.
*Believe it or not, Kai didn't know Super-Duper's secret identity when this happened ;-)
The next year, Kai was back up on his feet and ready for fishing.
We had great luck fishing that day.
Every year, we also visit Twister's for hamburgers, hot dogs and great ice-cream sundaes. Then we visit the nightly shootout with the cowboys downtown - strictly for the tourists, of course.
Each family takes turns making dinner for everyone and we get to taste each others delicious cooking. Then, in the evening, we walk from our cabins down to the road to see the deer and elk come down for the night.
The kids all pose for our annual family photos.
Sometimes, they get a bit silly.
This year, we will do much of the same including more fishing...
AND there is a new family member to come along...
It's hard to believe that just a year ago she wasn't even here yet.
**Thank you for letting me share some of our vacation photos from past years. I'm sure I will have more from this year to show you all - of course, you might have gotten your fill of seeing my vacation photos by now ;-)
**Do you have a special place that you visit? Where do you go and what do you do?