Thursday, July 10, 2014

America's Weekend-Long Birthday Celebration Schoeff Style

The July 4, 2014 weekend was one of my favorites weekends of the year by far. But then again, any weekend where I'm surrounded by my amazing family from all over the country is bound to be a memorable time. 

Our vacation started at 2:30 on Friday morning since we needed to leave for the airport pretty early! After a full morning of travel, Ryan and I finally touched down in Cincinnati where we were greeted by my parents! We dropped our stuff off at the hotel and headed straight for my favorite restaurant in the whole world (sorry, La Parilla) to meet up with the rest of my big ole family!

Heaven on a plate

Once everyone had sufficiently stuffed their faces with skyline, we all headed back to the house to hang out for the rest of the afternoon before driving into Greendale for the fireworks show later in the evening! Of course we had to play a few card games and some corn hole during this time because let's face it, no Schoeff family reunion would be complete without those two things! Right before the sun set, we all piled into cars and drove down to Greendale Park to claim our spot and watch some celebratory fireworks!

The fireworks show was amazing but our early morning wake-up call was getting to me by this point so we headed back to the hotel shortly after.

Saturday, my parents, Ryan, and I started the day off by getting a workout in at the gym, showering, eating a quick breakfast, and heading straight to Dayton, OH for a family BBQ at my Uncle's house. My cousin, Olivia, and I were one of the first to arrive and went straight for the Margaritas! Clearly, we're not related or anything....

While the whole afternoon was fun, the highlight of the day for me was seeing all nine of the Schoeff brothers and sisters all under one roof, which doesn't happen very often. The family is super spread out (California, Washington, Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, DC, and Boston) so to see everyone come together is always such a blessing.

My dad with all of his brothers and sisters
We also all sat in for a family photo that turned out awesome! If you learn anything about my family from this blog post, I'm sure it is that the Schoeff's love a good photo opportunity. It's not the first and it definitely will not be the last group photo you see from this little trip!

Once pictures were done for a while, we competed in the putting competition on the putting green in their backyard. Par for the entire competition was 18, my dad won with 16, and I fell somewhere in the middle (lower middle...but still) surprisingly with a score of 25!
Around midafternoon, everyone started to get lazy like sweet Ernie here...
So we decided to perk up by walking down the street to a local coffee shop called Saxby's for some coffee! Just like we do at any other place, we took the whole coffee shop by storm.

 Saturday night, since most people were still stuffed from lunch, a small group of us decided to grab some pizza and beer at La Rosa's. I had a blast getting to spend some time in a small group with Evan, Jake, Colee, Ryan, and my dad!

On our last full day in town, the Schoeff family had BIG plans. Around noon, we all showed up at a church in Dover, Indiana for an Andres family reunion. If you thought the Schoeff family was big, we're really just one group from my Grandmother's side of the family. Grandma Evelyn was the youngest of nine brothers and sisters, just like my dad and on Sunday, the descendants from those siblings all gathered for mass and a feast.

The literal family tree
It was SO fun getting to spend some time with family that I had never met before and learn a little bit about my Grandma's history.

Girl Schoeff cousins in attendance with a photo-bombing Evan!
We rounded out the whole vacation with a little trip to my favorite German restaurant, Hofbrauhaus. We were missing a few family members at this point who had to leave to get to work Monday morning (WAH) but this was definitely another highlight of the trip! While there was no chicken-dancing on the tables this time, some liters were consumed and some memories were made.

My youngest cousin, Sam, with his Pepsi-weizen.

This family vacation was definitely one of my favorites. I swear they get better and better each year! I'm so glad Ryan and I could make it work to get out to Indiana this year!
I can officially cross this off family reunion off my 101 in 1001 list! If you want to check my progress, the updated list can be found in the 101 in 1001 tab at the top of this page!
Happy Thursday!  


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