The nice thing about the Europe group was that we genuinely liked each other and so having two reunions instead of just one was just dandy for all of us.
Actually, Jeri had set the date for our reunion shortly after our return. She asked if we could make it August 30, because she would be out here then. Everyone enthusiastically agreed, but then it turned out we couldn't wait that long to see each other again, so Diane and David hosted a reunion a couple of weeks after our return. Several people didn't come to that one because of other commitments and knowing we would have the chance to see each other on the 30th. Today was the 30th and so we gathered at Char's daughter Dana's home and everybody was very happy to see everybody else.
(Jeri pointed out that it was her first anniversary and she was sharing it with us and not with her husband!)
I had, of course, brought the puppies and everybody was interested in watching me feed them, even the ubiquitous Bongo.
This is Higgins and as I was feeding him, he was pooping out the other end. When I finished feeding him and started to take him to the carrying crate, he did something he had never done before -- he pooped on my foot and on the floor. One of the women offered to hold him while I cleaned up and then he pooped on her! This is the pup who ate so much yesterday he gained 3-1/2 oz, so I think we don't have to worry much about Higgins fading any time soon.
Everybody had brought food to share and I again made my pesto lasagna, which I liked so much in Portofino and had made for Cousins Day. It turned out pretty good and I don't think I'll be making pesto lasagna again in the near future--I may have OD'd by now!
But there was plenty from which to choose.
People also sat around checking through each other's photo albums...
...or watching slide shows on one of the two laptop computers or the big screen TV.
Tavie had put together a card of appreciation for Jennifer, our tour organizer, with input from everybody in the tour troup.
Char had received an e-mail from our tour guide, Ian Graham, and everybody read that and it sparked a round of "memories of Ian," amidst much laughter.
I remarked at how much better it was tonight than it had been at the pre-trip "getting to know you" dinners, and how much easier it was to talk with everyone, and how genuinely happy we were to see everyone who was able to come to the gathering (I think there were only 2 people who didn't make it).
It's too bad the trip was so darn expensive. This would be a great group to travel with again, though I think Jeri and I shot our wad with this trip!