We spent a few days in Chisholm, MN visiting Joanna's cousins and their families. They all four live within a few miles of each other so that made it easy to get together. Then we headed to Ely, MN to stay the weekend with our daughter Cherish and her husband Patrick. They recently purchased their first home there and will be moving into it late May. What an exciting adventure for them.
We then drove down to Minneapolis to spend the night and leave our truck to fly down to NC to visit my 91 year old Dad, my sister Wendy and her family and brother Rick and his family. Dad loves to play chess and checkers so we took turns beating and losing to him. He got such a kick out the fact that he can still beat us. He is plenty sharp. Dad lives in Franklin, NC in the Smokey Mtn area and the scenery is spectacular. My mother who loved flowers has tons of beautiful flowering shrubs and trees and flowers that seem to bloom all year. April is a great time to visit with everything blooming. During our stay in NC, we drove down to Oakwood, GA where my brother Rick and his wife Jill live. They raised five beautiful children who are all grown but one. We celebrated Rick and Jill's 60th birthdays and got to meet some family members I'd never seen before including a new grandbaby.
Our next stop was Casselberry, FL where my sister Nicki lives. While there we visited DeLeon springs in Deland, FL. Central Florida has a lot of these blue green springs where the water temp stays 72 degrees year round. I used to swim at them quite often when I grew up in Florida, but our children had never been to one, so I thought it would be fun to take Joanna to one of them. It was a hot day about 97 degrees so the 72 degree water felt pretty good. Nicki took us shopping to our favorite stores and we drove down the main streets of Winter Park where I grew up. I was shocked at all the new modern gorgeous stores, businesses and eating places that are there now. The place is booming. One of my favorite things in Winter Park is the brick streets. I grew up on a brick street. To me they are so quaint. After a week at Nicki's place we headed to New Smyrna Beach, FL where we had rented a condo on the beach for a week. At first it was just going to be me, Joanna and Nicki staying there, but Nicki had the great idea of asking our sister Wendy and our brother Rick to come down and stay with us. My brother Ron lives in Winter Park, so we could all be together for the first time in a very long time. My maiden name is Jackson, so we call ourselves the Jackson Five.
We had such fun eating out, playing tennis, walking the beach , boogie boarding in the waves, swimming in the pool and playing games. Lots of fun and laughter. Lots of great memories to be sure. Each of us decided we should try to make this an annual event we had so much fun together. And now that we are finally back at camp, we are in high gear getting prepared for opening fishing.