We did not get to sleep in much this morning because we had to get up and be in North Canton by ten thirty. That was about half an hour away. Luciana was tossing and turning all night and demanded that she sleep on my arm for most of it meaning that I ended up basically not sleeping at all. By the time that we got up this morning I am estimating that I got only one hour of sleep and Dominica probably only got about three. The girls both got a bit more sleep than us plus they slept in the car last night too, so they are fine today.
We checked out of the hotel and drove out to North Canton. We pulled in just as dad arrived riding with Aunt Marlene and Uncle Don. Most everyone else was already there. It is a surprise party so the family was all gathering at the restaurant to get ready so that Aunt Gayle would bring grandma after everyone else was already there. This worked out extra well as it gave a bit of time, over half of an hour, for Liesl and Luciana to get to see everyone and not be over excited when grandma walked in. Liesl and Monica, of course, had to hang out. Liesl did not want to leave her side.
Aunt Gayle and grandma arrived at five after eleven. We did a great job and grandma was totally surprised. She had no idea and especially no idea that dad had come in from Rochester and that we had come in from Peekskill. She was really, really surprised when she noticed dad holding little Luciana. Grandma does not get to see her great granddaughters very often. Luciana was tiny the last time that grandma saw her.
Liesl was the first to run up and give her a hug. Then I went up and hugged her and she held my hand for a long time while she took stock of everyone there and greeted everyone.
While we were waiting for lunch to get started, all of the cousins headed to the bar and got cocktails. It’s funny that our entire generation is a cocktail one. We are all very much alike in many ways.
It was a very large gathering for lunch. Grandma and her siblings and spouses were there. All of my aunts and uncles. All of the cousins. And Liesl and Luciana are the only members of the next generation. I think it was twenty three people!
After lunch we all went to Aunt Marlene’s house where we spent the rest of the day. Grandma opened presents. Then Liesl opened late birthday presents and Luciana got some gifts too. The girls were very happy just having a really large house to run around in. They had a blast and were so happy to be with family. They are both very family oriented kids.