My immediate family consists of my parents, 3 sisters, 2 brothers, 1 nephew, 1 brother-in-law, and this trip also included my brother’s girlfriend, bringing the total to 11 including myself. My 17 year old nephew is the only non-adult among us and he doesn’t really qualify as a ‘kid’ so this was a family vacation without any “kids” in the typical way. With the exception of my grandfather’s funeral a few weeks ago, this is the first time in a long while that my entire immediate family traveled on a vacation together. These are the kinds of trips where long-lasting memories are created, with stories we’ll be laughing about during plenty of holiday dinners to come.
There were the family meals and views from the top of the Jackson Hole Gondola.
There was a pretty cool trip to the National Wildlife Museum.
There was watching my brother-in-law paraglide.
There were my sunrise hike/runs on Jackson Hole Resort’s mountain.
There was dragging my mom and sister on a short hike.
There was the rafting trip down the Snake River with all 11 of us in one raft… and there was when my mom got thrown out of the raft on a rapid called Big Kahuna!
There was the whirlwind 14 hour drive around beautiful Yellowstone national park.
There was the unreal looking reflection of the Tetons on Jackson Lake, and just the Tetons in general.
There was also the general too much time in the car together, a night with only 5 beds, and there was even some scheming in trying to set up my 17 year old nephew with a cute girl!
In my last post about Father’s Day, I reflected on my family, the memories we create and how I try to go about living my life. Spending time with my family in a beautiful place and knowing that we share so many of these memories, THIS is how I want to celebrate life. Collectively we probably took thousands of pictures over the course of this week, but while some of them are stunning and worth framing, none of them actually capture what made this vacation so wonderful and one we cherish for years to come. That intangible: the strengthened bonds and connections between siblings and family members who are as diverse in personality and temperament as you can imagine in a group that could side a soccer team. In short, love for one another despite all our differences and flaws.
This was not a perfect family vacation. We did not always get along, there were inevitably some hurt feelings and disagreements. But it was our kind of perfect – memorable in so many ways because it was filled with imperfect people bound by love for one another. A truly grown up vacation.