2015-5-22 Our 25th anniversary party at Craig’s Castle
Friday, May 22: To Craig’s Castle in Stockton
Our actual anniversary was on April 21st, but to have a right and proper recognition, the family scheduled the party for May 23 which worked out best for most everyone to get together. Yep, it was Memorial Day weekend. Allen and Nancy flew out from Colorado and Dean and Aidan flew up from Oceanside to join in on the festivities. My sis, Gale, and her hubby, John, drove down from Gridley to join in.Big Blue parked at Craig’s Castle for the Memorial Day weekend and our 25th anniversary family get-together.
The day before, we loaded the coach for the weekend at The Castle. I had washed it a day or two earlier and cleaned it up inside as well for the weekend getaway. We drove up on Friday afternoon and parked in The Castle driveway for the next three nights and four days.
I was designated taxi driver, and on Friday I drove through Sacramento’s holiday weekend traffic toward the airport. Ugh. It was bumper to bumper, but I left early enough for such delays and picked up Allen and Nancy at the airport when they arrived. The drive home was much improved, and we drove at the limit nearly all the way.
Craig made this sign for the occasion, and placed it atop the levee behind The Castle for all to see. It was an eye-catching sign and we were pleasantly surprised.
We made plans earlier to call in an order for Chinese dinner from Dave Wong’s wonderful restaurant that we pass going to The Castle. So as we arrived in Stockton from the airport we stopped in and picked up the order. The timing was excellent and when we arrived home, and after all the warm greetings, we dug into a delicious Chinese dinner.
On Friday evening Nancy and Allen presented this box of See’s Candies to me for picking them up at the airport. I had complained to Lavonne just a week or so earlier that I have never received a box of See’s – I have always had to steal or beg for hers. This was my first ever and I posed with an appropriate gesture of surprise. Yes. I’ve stolen See’s candy from my lovely Lavonne in the past. And I feel better having confessed. Still, if there were See’s candy around the house in the future, I cannot say that I would not liberate a piece or two if I could get away with it!
We visited around the table ‘til sometime after 2000 when I bid all a good-night, and headed to the coach. I showered and enjoyed more of the history documentary I keep on the coach. It is a very interesting six-tape VHS collection titled The Twentieth Century – America’s Time. Lavonne joined me in the coach around 2200 and we hit the sack soon after. It had been a long day. ====================
Saturday, Day 2:
We were up and at ‘em around 0630. Lavonne made her coffee, then prepared for the day. I did my usual morning chores and then sat down at the computer. A bit after 0700 Lavonne went into the house to visit with the kids, and I followed soon after.
I was to pick up Dean and Aidan at the airport, so I headed north about 0845 as they would arrive at 0940. I picked them up as we planned, then headed back to The Castle. The traffic was relatively light. We stopped at a Subway along the route home for a breakfast sandwich and a cookie each. We arrived back home to find everyone busy around the house.
The day was chaos, as usual with this family; everyone seemingly going in different directions. But there was some purpose in the madness this time. Some went shopping for the big dinner planned for that night, some worked around the place including making a sign for the 25th anniversary party, and frankly I don’t know what all everyone was doing.
Dean, Nancy, John, Aidan, and Craig at dinner on the patio.
Stephanie, Gale, me, and Lavonne at the dining room table for dinner.
Ashley and one-year-old Jeremy.
By about 0600 it all came together. Ashley, Darren and little Jeremy arrived and Stephanie was with them. Gale and John arrived from Gridley, and we had us a party! The food was magnificent, including waaay too much on my plate. Twice. There were chicken strips, two kinds of beef, cream corn, potatoes, asparagus, two or three salads, and more. After all that pigging out, dessert was served and we had ice cream cake, Laura’s famous chocolate brownies with chocolate chips, and an apple pie. Mercy! What a meal and what a good time we all had at Craig’s Castle, looking out over the delta as though we owned the whole place. We had a great time.
Lavonne and I with our ice cream cake.
A close up of the chocolate chip ice cream cake. mmmm. Delicious! Thanks, Craig!
John, Dean, and Gale had a warm visit at the party.
Allen and Craig shared a big laugh.
Dean, Aidan, and Grandpa.
Nancy, Aidan, and Laura.
Dean and dear ol’ Dad.
Grandpa’s heart melted as Aidan shared one of his big hugs.
After dinner, Allen and Nancy put on a slide show of our 25 years together. While the photos were all of the same unusually good looking couple, it managed to show our growing old together, which was our promise to one another long ago. After the show of photos, we watched the video of our wedding, and it was a grand reminder of that day 25 years and one month ago. Lavonne and I watch it every anniversary, and along with the memory of the ceremony, we revisit many of those who have since passed on. It was a very warm time as we again saw those we’ve loved and lost over the years.
We enjoyed the slide show of many photos of us since our marriage in 1990. It was not easy to watch ourselves, photo by photo, decline into old age over the years!
Gale and Dean enjoyed a family reunion.
We enjoyed reading many cards wishing us a happy 25th anniversary.
The family continued visiting but a bit after 2000 I bid them all good-night and headed to the coach. I did my usual thing, showered, watched more history documentary, wrote on this blog and edited photos. Lavonne joined me sometime after 2100. We retired about 2200 for the night and slept very well in our cozy Big Blue. =========================
Sunday, Day 3:
We were up and about a bit after 0600. Lavonne was at The Castle within an hour and we all visited throughout the morning. Laura left early that morning to fly back to Michigan. The nieces and family had returned home the prior evening.
Aidan watches Brett pop the champagne for Sunday morning’s breakfast mimosas.
It was Craig, Brett, Dean, Aidan, Allen, Nancy, Lavonne, and I who continued the party on Sunday morning. We began with mimosas as Craig whipped up his unusually good waffles, Allen fried up a ton of bacon, and Nancy scrambled eggs. We had a grand breakfast with most of the family eating on the balcony overlooking the beautiful delta on a perfect Sunday morning in May. A family get-together doesn’t get much better than that.
After breakfast, Aidan (L to R), Allen, Dean, and Craig hopped into the hot tub for a warm, Sunday morning dunk.
After breakfast I returned to the coach for the peace and quiet it affords. Earlier, I tackled a couple of small projects on the coach. I borrowed Craig’s shop creeper to get under the coach and tighten a couple of bolts that hold the slide-out in place. Over time they seem to loosen on their own and every few months need my attention.
Some time after breakfast, several family members and one friend of Nancy who dropped in to visit her, joined Craig aboard his beautiful boat for a cruise on the delta. Having cruised the delta enough for a lifetime, I would stay in the coach and rest – as did Lavonne.
Craig docked the boat like an old pro after the delta cruise with the family.
After the long cruise up to Stockton’s Waterfront area, the gang arrived home just in time for Dean and Aidan to hop aboard the Escape with me for the drive back to the airport and their flight back home to Oceanside via the John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
That was my third airport run in three days, and I had one left the next day to return Allen and Nancy for their flight back to Denver.
It was some time after 2000 that I arrived back home and settled in to the coach for the night. The kids were back on the delta, this time Craig and Allen were on jetskis and Nancy and her friend sat near the dock. I don’t know what time the delta party was over, but we stayed in the coach and were in bed around 2200.
Memorial Day, Monday, Day 4:
I was up around 0500 which was a bit early for me, but sometimes my old habits kick in. Lavonne joined me sometime around 0600. About 0700 we went to the house and found that everyone was still asleep. I returned to the coach to write more of this blog.
The morning was very slow and easy. There were no plans for breakfast or lunch together and we pretty much just hunted and gathered among leftovers and whatever we found in Craig’s pantry. Allen and I poured ourselves a bowl of cereal and I snacked on what was left of Laura’s great brownies. Another delta cruise was planned for later.
Captain Craig at the helm of his boat on Sunday’s delta cruise.
I got the bright idea to drive the coach home while the family enjoyed another delta cruise. I wanted to unload it, dump it and put it away. I’d be done with that chore before my fourth airport run in as many days. I would be happy to not have to face it in the evening. And so I drove the coach home. Then I drove the Corvette back to The Castle and arrived awhile before the family returned from their cruise on the delta.
Craig was joined by his Mom during the cruise.
The family arrived at Craig’s dock in time to load up Craig’s car for the drive to the airport, and Lavonne headed home with our Escape. Craig drove Allen, Nancy and I to the airport where we bid them good-bye after our lovely visit. Craig then picked up Laura’s car at the airport (that’s another story) and I drove Craig’s car back to Stockton. I met Craig at Laura’s where he dropped off Laura’s car. He then drove us back to The Castle and I drove home in the Corvette. Whew~ at least that’s how I remember it all. It was a long and busy afternoon. And I doubt I’ll ever commit myself to four airport runs in four consecutive days again!
We are very grateful to our wonderful families for getting together to celebrate our 25th anniversary. The party and the food were very enjoyable, but the best part was just having the families all together with us for the warm family visit. It seems that the older we get, the more important it is to us to spend time with those we love.
Thanks to all for making our 25th anniversary so wonderful. Special thanks to Craig for playing host to all of us and for sharing his vacation-wonderland home with this big family, and also our thanks and appreciation for the very enjoyable cruises on the California Delta. To those who flew hundreds of miles to be with us, thank you all so much for the extra effort to join us.
Many of the photos here were taken by Nancy, some by Lavonne and some by Dean. Thanks to each of you for sharing them.
The family’s very special weekend and our 25th anniversary get together is something we will always warmly remember.
Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.