Grandmother’s 90th Birthday Trip

This weekend was a very special weekend. It was the 90th birthday of my Grandmother. Her official birthday was Saturday, but the festivities began on Thursday as friends and relatives rolled in from all over the county. I think folks came from 12 different states to attend the birthday parties.

Most of the folks, like us, arrived on Friday. The two “official” parties were on Friday and Saturday though those in town held their own little get together on Thursday. By the end of the weekend, I am sure my Grandmother was pretty worn out.

We had an uneventful couple of flights to get to Tampa, Florida. My Grandmother lives in St Petersburg, Florida. We landed about 3:45 (about 15 minutes late), got our rental car and drove out to the Friday night party. It was held at my Uncle’s restaurant. Folks would be arriving throughout the night, but the party started at 4 with a planned dinner at about 6. We arrive about 4:45.

Since I haven’t seen a lot of my extended family in many years, there was a lot of unfamiliar faces. It was nice to reacquaint with many of my cousins and their kids. In fact, the last time I saw many of their kids, they were the size and age of my kids. It was nice to see how they had grown up. This party was primarily family and I think there was about 60 in attendance.

It was about 9:00 when we headed back to the hotel to let the kids go for a swim. We ended up sitting with my Dad’s cousin and her husband (the Gafkes) until about 1:00 am talking about cruising and old times. They are even more avid cruisers than us. They spend maybe 90 days a year cruising. They are actually considering going on the transatlantic cruise we are taking on the Celebrity Infinity this holiday season.

We slept in a bit Saturday morning and then headed over to my Mother’s place to visit. I ended up fixing up her computer and help set up for the party Saturday night at her complex’s clubhouse while Suzanne took the kids bowling. The weather wasn’t the best for going to the beach with the outer bands of Gustav hitting Western Florida.

The party Saturday was for family and friends and was attended by over 90 people. We had live music and some good food and drinks. When the weather cleared a bit, the kids were able to do some more swimming. The party started at about 4:30 and we stayed until 9:30 when we went back to the hotel to the let the kids swim some more. Once again, we ended up chatting the Gafkes until 1:00 am.

Sunday was a quiet day spent with a much smaller group (less than a dozen) at my Grandmothers condo. We shared some old stories and began planning for the 100th birthday (Go Grandma!). Our flight out of Tampa was at 7:00 pm and we arrived back in Tucson uneventful around 10:15 pm though we were quite tired.

This was a great trip with lots of new family memories. There was obviously lots of pictures and video taken. Suzanne is going to make a video and photo album for folks at the party. We will get some up her at Mr Papa’s World too. No telling how many pictures my grandmother was in. All the families wanted photos and generations photos. The best, however, had to be the 5 generation photo as my Grandmother has an 18 month old great-great-grandson.

It was great to see the extended family. Its too bad we can’t all get together more often. I hope my Mother can correct my numbers here but a few stats about my Grandmothers family:

  • 9 Children – 8 still alive and in attendance
  • 36 Grandchildren – with most of them in attendance
  • 54 Great Grandchildren – with over half of them in attendance
  • 1 Great Great Grandchild – in attendance
  • Now that’s quite a family!