Tuesday, August 2, 2016

~Family Reunion Long Weekend~

We took a break from packing this past long weekend to make the long drive up to northern Alberta for hubby's family reunion. It's been 7 years since the last one, and 4 since a reunion/wedding reception so it was high time we got together.

It's no secret that camping isn't my favourite activity so this was our first time camping with the kids. The campground we were at also had (rustic) cabins that we considered staying in but after looking at the proximity of them to the rest of the group campsite, we decided that a tent trailer made more sense. The cabins were a bit far from the group campsite which meant that during nap time/bed time/any changes or food requirements needed us to leave the site and we would never be there. Plus the cabins weren't exactly 5 star.

We did some research and a tent trailer seemed like our best option- beds without being on the ground but not super expensive like a motorhome or hard side trailer. Plus our van could easily pull it.

To say the kids were ecstatic about staying/sleeping in a tent trailer was an understatement. I knew if I focused on them and their excitement then I could possibly forget about my own displeasure of camping. 

Have I mentioned that the reunion was about a 6.5 hour drive away? Not including breaks. 

We headed out Friday morning- the kids were rock stars and were good the entire drive, minus asking for snacks about 5 minutes into the trip. Thank you inventors of DVD players!

We stopped in Edmonton, half way, for lunch and a stretch.

We arrived around 4pm at Shaw's Point Resort to the sun shining!

Most of the family had already arrived so we quickly set up (took no time at all) while the kids met some new cousins and ran around.

Auntie L and Uncle C brought their hammock which was a huge hit!

Despite their faces, they were loving it!

Audrey and Auntie L rocking it out on the hammock

It was a bit challenging getting the kids to sleep that night. We ended up having to separate the 2 so Leo was on our bed across the trailer to get them to settle down. He transferred easily to the other side when we went to bed.

Saturday was a gorgeous day so the kids ran around all day long. There are about 10 kids super close in age so everyone had a playmate or three.

Roaring like dinosaurs was a popular game.

The kids enjoyed playing in the shark pool- with and without water! We never did make it to the beach...

Grandma attempted to organize a kids game of Bocce. It was a bit dangerous handing a bunch of kids 4 and under heavy balls so that didn't last long!

A couple of the older kids organized a talent show performance. It was entertaining!

My sister-in-law and I went for a 10K run. We ended up running through a very grown over trail and the mosquitoes were terrible. It was good to have company though!

We attempted to get Leo to nap in the hammock- no go.

Campfire fun

We were smarter on the 2nd night and put Leo to sleep on our bed right away. It still took him a bit to get to sleep but that's been the usual as of late even at home.

Sunday morning we woke up to rain. It rained the whole day... poured actually. Good thing we had this giant tent at our site so we could still visit despite the rain. We are very glad we brought rain gear- it was needed!


It was one of the cousin's birthdays so we had a little celebration, despite the rain. The kids had face painting done- no shocker there when Leo requested a brachiosaurus.

A picture of our tent trailer all set up

It continued to rain well into the afternoon. Our campsite started to flood. Good thing we had some kayaks handy for those with sudden lake-front property!

Audrey was very prepared with her kitty umbrella! The kids didn't complain about the rain once!

Cuddling with Auntie. You can see a bit of Audrey's "princess" face painting here.

Nap time was a bit of a disaster and the kids were getting cold. We huddled inside the tent trailer watching movies and Leo fell asleep. This cuddly moment was one of my favourites that day.

An inside shot of the tent trailer. It was super messy since we had so much stuff and it's hard to keep things tidy in a confined space. It needed more hooks to hang up our coats.

The kids loves jumping in all the puddles. It was a lost cause trying to keep them dry!

This full service campground had a truck that came by to suck up all the water. The parents were grateful. The kids weren't so impressed.

We continued to huddle under the tent.

Despite the rain, we still roasted marshmellows over the fire. The kids loved them! It was a great idea to hop tired children up on sugar before putting them to bed...

We did manage to get some group photos of all of us- 4 generations together! I'm waiting for them to be sent around. Not the ones of us shotgunning beers though- those will never be made public!

The Reunion Planning cup was officially passed over to my brother-in-law, who said he will be delegating the planning to the rest of us! You can bet it will be further south next time!

Monday morning everyone took apart their sites and headed out. Of course it was sunny and nice out ;)

Our drive home was uneventful. It's so much harder driving back I think but I had a couple small naps so it wasn't so bad.

We might not be running out to buy a trailer any time soon but it was a fun trip! I loved watching the kids experience their first camping trip and playing with cousins they either haven't met or haven't seen in awhile. They grow so fast so hopefully we will have the next reunion in 2 years instead of 7!  


  1. Besides that awfully long drive (!!), looks like it was worth it! Although, the mud would have drove me crazy lol. So did you guys rent the tent trailer then?

  2. I'm so impressed they had a trailer to come suck up the water. I have never ever heard of that at a camping site.

  3. Okay, so roaring like dinosaurs must be a thing right now... Soo over it!! Noah does it to Emilya! I can't get over how big Leo is looking lately!! Crazy! That's what we are looking intI renting if we do come out west next year. I'm not even sure where to look into rentals for that here! Boo to all the rain!!


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