In October 2011, my wonderful grandfather turned 80. Is that not a fantastic occasion to celebrate? In our family it is. And with alcohol. Lots of alcohol.
Day after day for two weeks, we spent our time pushing elevator buttons to visit each other. We were scattered and booked onto three different floors in a 14-story building, and of course we were too lazy, to use the stairs. Considering the amount of times we jumped up and down in the elevator, we should thank our lucky stars to have made it home.
I was the self-proclaimed photographer on this trip, darting my small little $50 beginners camera to even the slightest movement that caught my eye, or the lens of the camera. Or maybe I was just a bored little kid that found some form of fun in repeatedly pressing a button. Either way, I took pictures of planes and flowers and people and the beach. And then a few more people. The majority of my people photos were of the family and I think that’s why the whole family chased me down for copies. It’s something about the photographic memories that make everyone want to know everything and remember it all, even when the best memories are sometimes better left, seen. Not taken.
Besides the rays shining on our necks at the beach and the wind blowing the sand into our mouths, we spent our time eating. We ate each night (as usual humans do..) either at a restaurant, cute cafe, or on the family cooking roster.
Usually we bought bulk food (and alcohol of course!) and cooked in the evenings for everyone whilst serving an extensive array of mango daiquiri’s and wine. We migrated to the balcony for fresh air and light chats, and then huddle around the table for a feed. Most nights we kept drinking till the kids were in bed and the bottles were empty. And even then we didn’t sleep. We played a famous card game that everyone in our family knows, Canasta. The game that has created the majority of trust issues between family members, and kept us up for hours. But overall, created memories, strengthened bonds and above all, ensured a good time with good people.
Some wise words that could be considered relevant to this moment state, “Families are messy. Immortal families are eternally messy. Sometimes the best we can do is to remind each other that we’re related for better or for worse…and try to keep the maiming and killing to a minimum.” After all, if nothing brings us all together at the end of the day, we know for sure, the trusty alcohol bottles will.
The weather wasn’t ever cold, unless you were wet from the waves and the wind was blowing. Apart from that, the sun was always shining and even when it wasn’t, the air was warm enough to keep you comfortable.
To say I loved this trip was an understatement and if you were there, I’m sure you’d say the same. Tune in soon for Reunion Part 2. Can you guess where it’s gonna be?
EDIT: Whilst preparing for this article to be published, I was looking around for photographs to add to the article. Ironically, although I was the photographer of the trip.. I couldn’t find any photos of the trip & had to source some from other family members. Next time I know not to self proclaim my title.