Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bowen Family Reunion - Bear Lake - June 26 - 29

A couple of summer ago, we missed the Bowen family reunion (we already had a trip to California planned).  We came home to a surprise - we were in charge of the 2015 Bowen Family Reunion!  We were happy to do it because we knew it was our turn and it was decided that an "away" reunion would be fun!

We talked and talked and finally decided to go to Bear Lake!  We had never been and only heard fun, wonderful things about it.  After asking friends, cousins, etc. about their Bear Lake knowledge, Jon was fortunate enough to have a contact at work that let us reserve our condos.

We stayed at Ideal Beach Resort and rented 3 condos.  The condos were in the perfect location to the lake and we were lucky to have wonderful shade in the afternoon/evenings.  We had a couple of frustrating things - one was that we needed a handicap accessible condo and were told that one of the units was.  When we arrived, we discovered that it actually wasn't.  My brother-in-law Bobby could not get into any of the bathrooms while in his chair.  He is amazing and just made it work, but I know that was a pain for him.   Our family had the upstairs in one of the condos and with no AC in the condo, the nights were incredibly hot and uncomfortable.  (I know I sound spoiled but when you pay as much as we paid for them, I do expect comfortable sleeping temperatures).

Jon and I were thrilled with how the reunion turned out.  There were lots of family members that could not come.  We missed them, but had a great time with those that were able to make it.  Everyone was happy and kind and helpful and it was fun to visit with each other!  

I will be honest - Jon and I were absolutely and utterly exhausted by the end!  We had a new baby (Sam was 2 months old at the time, but gestationally just a couple of weeks), we did all the food, drove both cars in order for us to get everything up there, hosted family in town the week leading up to the reunion, and lugged our huge family up there.

BUT, it was a blast!  After the reunion was over, we went into withdrawals and missed everyone tremendously!  We have a great family!

I'll let most of the pictures show the details.....

Bob & Diane - this amazing woman actually had a subdural hematoma a few weeks later - which was discovered to have been happening for a few months.  She was a rockstar and we had no idea (not even her!)!  She is recovering and doing okay, but it made the memories of this reunion that much more sweet.

Bobby & Debbie

Rebecca & Sam

Sam, Bob & me

Pulling a face at Uncle Bob

Danny loves to read and we'd catch him up on the balcony reading

Bobby, Rebecca and Sully - Sully was an interesting twist to the reunion. Dogs are NOT allowed at Ideal Beach.  But, he came with Tom from Alaska and since he's a service do, IBR was so nice to let him in. (although he was supposed to have his service vest on all the time).

Friday afternoon/evening was when everyone arrived - at varying times.  We had pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, fruit and visited.

On Saturday, it was beach day!  Everyone came and went as they wanted!

Heading to the beach


Heather & Chris

Jack & Dawson

Sandy & Juliann


Kate, Tyler & Kyle


Lincoln & Autumn

Emily, Lindsey & Hailey





Autumn, Lincoln, Breanne & Aaron (who flew in from CA for the reunion)

Brian & Lincoln

Jon's contact at work was so kind and let us go on their boating stuff!  The kids had a blast!

We also enjoyed wonderful fun crafts from Aunt Debbie and mini golf that is there in the condo complex.

Emily watching Hailey mini golf

 Dawson & Jack


On Saturday night, we hauled food and chairs to a picnic area and had a BBQ.  Autumn literally spent hours filling water balloons for lawn games.  We started with 3-legged races for the kids.

And then it was the grown-ups turn!

As we crossed the finish line, unknown to us, Uncle Tom told the kids to attack us and begin the water balloon fight - they got us good.   It turned into an epic water balloon fight and we all had a blast!

We finished the night with S'mores and visiting!

On Sunday, most of the group when to Minnetoka Caves to explore.  They had to wait for awhile to get a tour time, but thanks to Debbie and the other mom's, the kids did great!

I left Sunday afternoon with Sam, Emily (who left for EFY Monday morning), Hannah & Hailey (who started swimming lessons Monday as well).  Jon came home Monday with Lindsey, Jack & Kate.

Thank you to all the wonderful Bowens!  We love you and are so grateful for the sacrifices that each of you made to come and for all the fun activities, help with meals, fun memories that you brought!