Our family reunion & what to do with all those leftover hot dogs

Last Friday morning I hit the road bright and early with my 3 girls. We were embarking on an 11 1/2 hour road trip from South Florida to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to meet up with my extended family for our annual 4th of July reunion. This particular trip was a first for me….a solo trip with my 3 girls…as in ALONE since hubby had to stay behind for work.

I’ve traveled without hubby before but always had my mom with me. It just felt more secure to have “back up” when on the road. Now that my girls are getting older (12, 8.5 and 3.5), I felt this was a feat I was ready to tackle…and WOW…I’m SO glad I did! We’ve been having a fabulous time!! They have been so well behaved, getting along with each other and my 12 yr old daughter has been SO helpful! This may be the dawning of a new era for me! I sure do love to travel!

The fact that our destination was within one day’s drive actually made all the difference. We left our house & arrived at my aunt & uncle’s house just 12 hours later. We had family come in from all over the country. One aunt drove in from Denver, cousins in from Nashville, another aunt & cousin in from Indianapolis, my brother, his wife, their twin boys and my grandparents all in from the mountains of North Carolina. Another 2 families already live in the area. Even with 27 people in attendance, we were still missing 8. We all had such a GREAT time, and my aunt & uncle are such fabulous hosts! 🙂

We had 3 whole days together….there was lots of deck sitting & chatting, card playing, swimming, badminton, fireworks, grilling, eating, cooking, eating, guitar playing and catching up with each other. I hadn’t seen one of my female cousins in 3 years, and we picked up with each other like no time had passed. We always have a lot of fun together and make each other laugh! It was also exciting to get to spend some time with my new nephews. My brother & his wife had their first “children” this past fall. Children plural….identical twin boys, and they sure are cute!! And no, I’m not just being biased. 😉

We celebrated the 4th on Sunday since several families were leaving Monday. Used fireworks and the state of the pool are good indicators of the fun we had. The kids spent most of the weekend in the pool…check it out the morning after. It looks tired and spent!

Sweet, juicy watermelon was devoured,

And here’s the tent of mine I was raving about…and I finally had the chance to test it in the rain one night…no leaking! I know my family thought I was crazy because I kept going on and on about how comfy my tent was, but I can’t help it. I meant it. I was comfy, and the temps were just perfect. Camping in South Florida needs to be done in fall, winter or spring…but here in North Carolina summer is the perfect time to camp. The girls loved chasing fireflies…I grew up with them, but we don’t have them in South Florida! How far south do they reside?

About those leftover hot dogs….these are my favorite…Orange Julius style bacon cheese dogs. I used to buy one of these with an orange julius when going to the mall growing up. It’s pretty self-explanatory….hot dog, bun, slices of crisp bacon and shredded mexican cheese melted over the top. I do them in a 9 x 13 pan and put them under the broiler till the cheese melts. I prefer the Coleman all beef hot dogs…hormone-free, and nitrate and nitrite-free. Last summer I was able to get them in a 4 pack at Costco. This year I haven’t seen them yet. What’s your favorite hot dog toppings?

Now we’re visiting a good friend of mine (same town)! They say you can never really go home again, but in my case it kinda feels like I can. It just so happens that my good friend Donna still lives on the street where I grew up from age 10 on. I am blessed that her family treats me as their own. Not just me…but my 3 girls!! Yeah….that’s amazing! I have incredible family, and then I have friends that treat me like family. I am BLESSED!! We’re hanging out here for a few days, and then on Friday we’re all headed out to the North Carolina coast. They have a beach house, and have been inviting us up for years. We’re finally going!

How was your 4th of July? Anyone else attend a family reunion or head out on vacation?

This post is linked up with Works for Me Wednesday, What’s on Your Plate, Real Food Wednesday, Thrilling Thursday, It’s a Keeper Thursday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Recipe Swap, Cooking Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Food Trip Friday, Friday Potluck, Fresh Food Friday, Friday Favorites, Fight Back Friday, Foodie Friday, Fun with Food Friday, Finer Things Friday, Homemaker Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Mangia Monday, Hearth and Soul Hop, Tuesdays at the Table, Delectable Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday & Tasty Tuesdays.

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16 Responses to Our family reunion & what to do with all those leftover hot dogs

  1. Viveca says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I didn’t realize exactly how many had attended. I’m wondering who wasn’t there other than dad and myself. I know Ben & Zach, who are the other three? Paul Daniel, now I’m left wondering about the other two.

    I loved hearing about your adventures, especially since we’ve been out of touch since you left.

    Have fun and keep connected when you are able.

    • Amy says:

      @ Viveca — I think the other two Denise is referring to are Mike G. and Bryan.

      @ Denise — I had a fun time time seeing you and everyone! Let’s not wait as long for the next visit.

  2. Glad you had a great trip. It is nice to travel as the kids get older.

  3. Loved reading about your adventures!
    Georgia Pellegrini recently posted..“Apple Cider Potato Salad”

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  5. Pat says:

    Those hot dogs look yummy.

  6. Those cheesedogs made my mouth water! They look so good!
    Please check my FTF entry for this week: Homemade Puto with Blueberries, Honey Almonds, and Cheese
    Much ♥,
    Pearl
    Sassy Chef Recipes and Reviews
    Pearl – Sassy Chef Recipes recently posted..Influential Bloggers Who?

  7. Dan says:

    Those dogs look mouthwatering (and like a mini heart-attack, but who cares about that, right) with the cheese AND bacon. I’d love to try one!
    Dan recently posted..Dark Chocolate Mousse

  8. cheerful says:

    i enjoyed reading your post and it sounds like really a great time, i’m happy for you! those watermelon slices are refreshing and hotdogs looks really delicious…enjoy the sun, sand and see. visiting late from FTF, have a great week! 🙂

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  10. angie says:

    what a great adventure and those dogs topped it all yummy come see me at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  11. Alea Milham says:

    What a combination! Your hot dogs look wonderful. Thanks for sharing your idea with the Hearth and Soul Hop.
    Alea Milham recently posted..Who Stole the Cookies…

  12. allison says:

    I LOVE HOTDOGS!!!!! Those Look Fantastic!!
    allison recently posted..Capt’s Tavern Riverfront Grill

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