We had a barbeque at Chris's home on Thursday evening. He was a very gracious host. Mary and the cousins had a great time running around the backyard. Brandon exclaimed to his mom, "I like Mary! She likes to be disgusting like me. And she's ornery like me, too." Jessie is a little spitfire and she kept up with the big kids just fine.
Rachel was hosting her own out-of-town-guests dinner so we didn't get to meet her until the next day.
It was fun to laugh and gab like old times with everyone.
|Scott and Jenn|
|Uncle Bob, Jim (my dad) and Grandma Mary|
|The betrothed! Chris Antle|
|Pat (my mom) and her sister Lynn|
We stayed in a room in my grandma's apartment building; she lives at a very nice assisted living complex.
|Mary very much enjoyed reading and playing with the adjustable bed.|
The next day we went to Rye for a picnic. I remembered several family vacations that included a jaunt to this very spot, only Jenn and I remember the slides being about 1000 feet taller.
Rachel has a really nice family.
|Rachel's cousin Amanda, dad Fred, step-mom Darlene, cousin Danielle, Rachel, and Chris|
|The whole group--some of us just have that angelic glow.|
|People had fun playing in the bed of the Arkansas River.|
|Mary was in heaven.|
|This rock is the site of many pine cone fights the cousins had when we were kids!|
After the picnic some people went home while others drove a little farther up the mountain to an eccentric man's palace, Bishop's Castle. He built it by hand. This fact makes it both very cool from a creative standpoint, and very scary from a safety-conscious point of view.
|There was even a moat!|
|After climbing narrow steps . . .|
|I made it to the top of a tower with nothing to keep me from plummeting to my death. What crazy person would dare climb the stairs between two higher towers!?|
|However, the views were beautiful.|
|And I even stopped for a self-portrait.|
|I cut out the middle but you get the picture.|
|This one's my favorite--short, sweet, and to the point.|
Mary went back with her little cousins and didn't get to see the castle. Jenn says that they had fun at her house, which makes me happy. On one hand I wish Mary had been able to explore with me, but on the other . . . I was glad I didn't have to worry about her impulsivity or 10-year-old judgment leading to her falling off a ledge.
|Like this one--which I caught Chris standing on and I nearly had a heart attack.|
Later that night we had the rehearsal dinner at Country Buffet. I sat at the kid table and enjoyed hearing Brandon's tall tales and Jessie's sassy little comments!
The next day, Saturday, was the wedding. So you know what that means....more pictures to come.