Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Some of My Favorite People Live in Vermont, Part One: The Graves Family

***This is how I am going to post about our awesome vacation to Vermont. And by the way my maiden name is Graves-this is my dad's brothers family.***

When we travel to Vermont we have some traditions and one of them is going to my Uncle Gary and Aunt Julie's house for dinner. Jake is the one who reminded us that this had to happen, and it did (our last night in Vermont), along with a lot of other fun and moving memories that will last a life time! We got to Camp on Saturday August 7th and as we have come to expect, some of our first guests are always the Graves, and the didn't disappoint us! They were there Sunday afternoon to greet us and we were so happy to see them. They came over several times to hang out at Camp and we even had a slumber party with Mallory (my cousin) and Aunt Julie. We got to go out to lunch and have Maple Creamies (that is soft serve ice cream for any Southerners that have never heard of it by that name. But it is way better than the soft serve down here!).
Uncle Gary is my dad's younger brother. Aaron loves to hear his Dodo Bison (yep Dodo. Dodo is a crazy guy that Dad and Uncle Gary grew up with. Seriously crazy.), because Uncle Gary is a story teller. I don't mean the kind of story teller that makes stuff up. He is the story teller that remembers just what happened and does the faces and voices perfectly. He cracks me up! He also makes me really proud to be a Graves. My Nana (Dad and Uncle Gary's mother) died about 3 1/2 years ago and I think of him as the glue in the family during the whole ordeal. He took care of all the things my Dad wished he could have been there to help with, but couldn't because he was an 18 hour drive away. He put up with being the middle man between family members not always seeing eye to eye. Another words he is an awesome person who I am glad to call my uncle. He has put up with stress that I know I couldn't have endured. Thanks Uncle Gary for always being there to try to keep the family on the same page. Thanks for taking me to see Nana's grave site. Thanks for always having a story that will make us laugh. And thanks for being there for all the big stuff in my life: our wedding, seeing our first house, visiting us in the mountains...I could go on and on. :)
Aunt Julie is a lady. I always thought of her that way when I was little and I still do. She is a lady that knows how to have a good time! We had a blast spending so much time with her this trip! Aunt Julie is the shadow puppet guru. We stayed up laughing our heads off trying to do shadow puppets on the ceiling and Aunt Julie was the hands down best! She took it very seriously and that was the best part! She also was given her Indian name: "Fire Killer", when we were roasting marsh mellows. Lets just say dropping a log directly on the fire from 3 feet up isn't always the best way to do it. :) She actually make fires all the time, but everything that night was hysterical for some reason! I will always remember the memories we made this summer. Next summer we are expecting another slumber party at Camp, shadow puppets, and next time you are even going to get in the lake (and I don't just mean your feet!) I am so glad to have you as an Aunt, a new texting buddy, and also a friend.
My cousin, Mallory, what more do I have to say? Jake loves Mallory and so do I! We were so lucky to be able to spend some time with her a couple of years ago when she was doing an internship in Tennessee and she has been forever added to Jake's list of favorite people. She is in her mid-twenties (and single if anyone has a cute guy we could hook her up with! Just kidding...kind of), but will always be destined for the kids table if Jake has anything to do with it! She is a kid at heart, but also a really mature person who knows what she wants from life. Another words some one I am happy Jake has to look up to. It was awesome to see you Mallory and I WILL be more tan than you next summer and I promise that you will look back and be glad you parents loved you enough to be strict when you were younger. :) I know I was. Just remember what I tell Jake-those other kids parents must not love them as much as we love you guys!
Drew is a soft spoken, talented guy and another one of my awesome cousins. I got to meet his sweet girlfriend Margo (spelling?) and I am happy to say they are so good for each other. He is one of those guys that really knows how treat women with respect. And she is one of those kind of ladies that appreciates it and doesn't take advantage of him. Why didn't I take my camera out of my purse to actually take pictures at the traditional Graves family summer dinner? You guys are so cute together! Wow, I am feeling pretty old. One my "little cousins" is growing up...
I didn't get to see my other Graves cousin, Nicole (She lives in NYC) but she will always be one of my favorite people. She gets me and I get her. Always have, always will. We are both slackers at keeping in touch and don't hold it against each other. I can call her even if I haven't talked to her in 2 years and she will still be there to listen. My Camp memories with Nicole are as teenagers having a flour fight, trying to follow the moon beams into the lake, and rowing the boat all the way to the beach...What were we thinking? You will always be one of my free spirit sisters....
See why going to Vermont is something we look forward to doing every summer? We get to spend time making memories with some of our favorite people. We love and miss you already Uncle Gary, Aunt Julie, Mallory, Drew, Margo, and Nicole! And of course Dakota (Mallory's yellow lab...so sweet...I wish I took pictures...)! Here are just a few (I could have posted a million more...and they aren't in order) of the pictures of some of the fun stuff we did together.
Jake and Aunt Julie on our hike up Owl's Head.

At the top of the horribly long (just kidding it is only .2 of a mile) hike! Gorgeous views for such a short hike. Me and Aunt Julie.

Mallory, Jake, and Aunt Julie in the little stone building at the top of Owl's head.
Mallory brought these to camp for our slumber party. Does anyone remember these things? I haven't seen them since I was a kid!
Working together to try to get it to work...
And this is what it looks like. Do you remember these anyone raised in the 80's? Aunt Julie said it looked like a turd-which we all were thinking but not saying! Another thing we all laughed at.

The grandfather I never got to meet, but will some day. (Jake picked the flowers and put them on both my grandparents grave stones.)

My Nana's grave site. Some of my best childhood memories were in her backyard pool. She would stand there for hours with her feet in the water and let us swim as long as we wanted. She was so sweet and patient. I can't wait to see her again.

The house my great grandparents (maybe great, great...I can't remember...) lived in.