Memorial Day Weekend 2014

Mom and Dad offered up their place to my Dad's side of the family, and we had a mini-reunion of sorts!  This is the side of the family who I tend to only see once a year at the family reunion up in Massachusetts, but even then I had never met Claire (the sweetheart in the front of this group photo!), who is already 4.  So it was time to get as many people together as we could!
There was as much swimming as possible, always. 
 And of course, hanging out on the pier and near the River!
David exploring.
Our osprey.
Before Rich, Janis, and Grandpa got there, we all piled in and went on a boat ride! 
Matt and I tubed, then Patrick and Michael, then Fred and Michael (pictured below).
After watching intently, David finally agreed to go with his dad, but only if the boat went slowly (he was adamant about that part).
So Patrick and David took their turn!
And Mom came out as we were coming in and helped us tie up the boat when we were done. 
Weathered rowboat.
After boating there was some hot-tubbing.
And more hanging out by the River.  Grandpa, Rich and Janis got here!
Patrick and Michael went paddleboarding, which I finally got to try this weekend.  Oh man, I'm hooked, I loved it!  I can't wait to do that more often!  Also, considering how my balance is, I was super proud not to fall :-)
There were tacos for dinner, of which I ate way too much.  I decided to go for a run to feel less full, and with the perfect temperature, low humidity, and all around awesome weather, I ended up running a 10K.  I felt much better, hahaha
I got back just in time to take a picture of the sunset by the water, then join in most of the others in a walk.
I documented our walk and the sunset :-)
Dilapidated house in E Minor.
Janis insisted I take a selfie of everyone in front of the Self's Landing sign.  I didn't argue the technicality of me taking their selfie, haha.
Then the sunset just kept getting better!
 We got back from our walk, and I joined the guys outside on the pier.
Patrick fishing.
Michael watching the fish swim around the green light.
Matt lounging on the sailboat.
 By the time the sun was pretty much gone, Dad had set up a bonfire for the night!
There were s'mores.  Oh heaven, you are gooey marshmallow, melty chocolate, and graham cracker.
Michael played along and let me photograph sparklers.
Then, my favorite, I got some star pictures and night shots of our group outside.
Also note that almost directly behind the bonfire, there were fireworks going off across the water!
The next day we made sure to spend a lot of time outdoors again, duh!  Look at all the McLaughlin men.
We convinced Grandpa to go on a boat ride with us!!
Janis and I traded cameras for a bit, so we might actually have some pictures of ourselves.  Thanks Janis!!
Then our family picture.  Here's a great one!
 Mom suggested I take another, then yelled "Ok everyone, switch places!"
We did that again, but this time as soon as Mom yelled it, I hit the button.  Patrick wasn't ready, but this is an awesome picture!
One more switch :-)
And then Dad got the old bike that we use to ride off the pier.  And guess what we did?!  Used it to ride off the pier.  Obvs.
 Dad took off and I missed his first ride.
He taught Matt and Patrick how to hold the float while riding, since the bike will sink and the float will let them pull the bike up after each ride.
 Then it was Matt's turn!
He pretty much face-planted and wasn't so happy with this game.
But then Patrick went and showed us the true technique- lift up the front tire and fall sideways so your shoulder takes the hit.
More paparazzi.
 Patrick went again and honed his skill.
Dad got his front tire up, but a bit too soon, and still face-planted...  Oops.
But he's ok!
And Matt took notes from Patrick and tried his hand at not face-planting to great success!
Patrick went a third time and threw in a little trick, just to assure us he's totally the master at riding a bike off the pier.
And it appears that I stopped taking pictures at this point.  Apparently nothing else was going to live up to riding bikes off the pier!  Hahaha

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day and got to spend it with some loved ones.  Thank you to everyone in the Armed Forces, and your sacrifice daily to keep us all safe.

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