I have recently returned from the annual family reunion at which my dad, my siblings and everybody's kids (the 12 'cousins') get together for a week each year. "Beach week" is not necessarily held at the beach every year (next year we're thinking about a boat) but this year it was. This photoblog has a few images from our week in a condo (three units on the same floor) in Fernandina Beach, Florida (map).
The condo is rather nice, actually, right on the Atlantic.
... but was under repair so our ocean view was obstructed by scaffolding -- and the occaasional painter. Still, overall it was very pleasant. We had three of the five units on the fifth floor.
Usually we get a photo of everybody but this year it didn't happen. But the following two photos show the crew by generations.
Generation 1 and 2 on the steps of Plae Restaurant at Amelia Island Plantation. (Two spouses are missing.)
The twelve "cousins" waiting to eat at the Downunder Restaurant.
Needless to say one of the main activities for the week was the beach. A few typical, beach-related photos:
Another very traditional beach week activity is Jungle Golf -- an evening activity that is very enjoyable but challenging for the hand-held, natural light photographer. Still, these images give you some of the sense of it.
Fernandina Beach is a small town on the river, just north of Jacksonville. It is one of the oldest towns in the US and has always been approximately the same size (at least as far as the downtown area goes, most of the new construction is a few miles away on the ocean side of the island.) The downtown area is quiet and quaint with small shops and little restaurants.
Waiting outside while his mom shops.
But shopping and the quaint downtown are less exciting for the younger set. They spend quite a bit of time just hanging out in the condo.
Learning Yoga. [If I did that there would be "cousins" looking under the couches to see if they could find Uncle Lee's kneecaps.]
Being photographed by their aunt.
Another feature of Beach Week is the family meeting. One of the topics of discussion is a parcel of land we own near Tallahassee, Florida on which we grow trees. Mr. Boyd, who manages the property for us, and Mr. Boyd, our forester, were kind enough to drive down from Tallahassee to discuss our options in light of the improving real estate market in the area.
Mr Boyd (center) and Mr Boyd (with suspenders) [Oddly, they are not related.]
Each beach week we have at least one meal in a sit-down restaurant where all three generations are present. When we are in Fernandina this will usually be at the Downunder Restaurant. The restaurant is right by the busy main road onto the island and yet is oddly secluded because the road is on a concrete bridge 100 feet overhead. (See cousins photo, above.)
In front of the Downunder.
As you might imagine, the trip to the Downunder is quite a logistical problem. Reservations for twenty must be made. Everyone has to be herded up to the condo from the beach, cleaned up, dressed, transported to the restaurant in multiple cars, counted, recounted and queued up. Even with reserations there is usually a wait to seat a party of twenty.
But it's a pleasnt spot. And we can use the time...
... to spend with our kids who have left home...
... and for cousins to take pictures...
... of other cousins ...
... who they only see a few times a year.
Of course, not all meals involve a table for twenty. There is a nice little restaurant called "Sliders" on the beach were the NC contingent had lunch.
Sliders is a nice place to talk over a cool iced tea.
Or grab a family photo in the lobby. [Note on this photo: To get this exact photo of your family you need to squat down to avoid a reflection of the flash in the shiny oil painting over the bench. To get just the right expressions be sure your pants rip when you squat.]
Looking back over this posting I notice that I have included rather more photos of female "cousins" than the male ones. In the interest of fairness, and also by way of explanation, I will finish with this photo.