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Camp Cousins in Harry Potter World

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Five of my six children went to Universal in Orlando with seven of their cousins and my sister Jeanne, arriving home yesterday with story upon story as usual from the annual "Camp Cousins" summer vacation. My sister started this several years ago and has kept the tradition regardless of the fact that the cousins are no longer "little kids". But as my father mentioned as pictures kept arriving on our phones, "They are definitely still kids aren't they? These are bigger "kids" than some of the younger ones. Looks like they are having a blast." Since he's the "backer" of the trip, he always loves to see that the cousins are enjoying the place they have chosen and one another.

I know there's a lot of "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" but I love hearing the stories from my children about their adventures with my sister and their cousins. It allows me to be a tiny part of the experience without being a part of the craziness. Dr. Rast is so busy that it tends to be a little crazy trying to get together a date that is suitable for a large number of the cousins. This year they certainly missed Kate, Molly and Jack who were wrapped up in school or sport functions, and Beth and Stuart who had to work but my hat goes off to Jeanne for all the planning and constant shuffling of days. I guess they would never go anywhere if they tried to include all twenty-five grandchildren. But, as usual, my children had a great time with their cousins and as always the stories were all about the crazy hectic fun of traveling with a large family.

They came back from a ten hour car ride, after meeting my brother in Atlanta with his two children and dropping off my son  in Chattanooga, exhausted, with blisters on their feet and sun on their faces and story after story of conversations with random people in the park and workers from the different areas and scary rides and wet rides and balloon hats and group dinners. The greatest thing of all to me was that even in their differences, they all had a wonderful time together, as a family.

Growing up, my parents took the eight children along with my grandmother somewhere every summer on vacation. Eleven of us packed into a station wagon headed to the beach and one summer all the way to Disney Land. Yep CA in a wagon, all of us. So, my sister obviously was handed down the gene for taking large groups of kids on summer vacation. Memories to last a lifetime. Thank you Aunt Jeanne for a successful Camp Cousins 2015. #soybeans

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