A menu of venues

by Karen Robertson

After each reunion, we realize that the place really doesn’t make much difference. We create our own entertainment and enjoy being together so much, we could meet at the city dump and have a great time.

Still, choosing a reunion spot can be a challenge. Our reunion, called the Brolras, was organized by six female cousins who have a secret meeting at each reunion to decide where we will meet next. It’s actually our time to be together without spouses and kids.

We choose the area together and then take turns finding the place and doing the planning. We agreed long ago that the reunion would never be near anybody’s hometown so everybody can travel and see new sights.

Criteria for choosing our reunion site.

Location. We all live in Missouri or California. So far we’ve been to many reunion sites in our home states and in between.

Dates. With many school age children, we choose a week near the end of July or at the beginning of August. These are, admittedly, prime tourist travel months and can be more expensive and congested.

Cost. We’ve agreed to stick with condos, lodges and other nicer accommodations. It takes some shopping to find affordable rooms with cooking facilities and a meeting room where we can congregate. Our best luck has been at large resorts with condos that sleep 10 to 12 people. We don’t want cost to keep anyone away. We’ve even reconsidered venues to avoid exorbitant summer prices.

Amenities. Our family loves outdoor sports and eating, so we look for swimming pools, golf courses, lakes, bikes, horses, skating rinks and beaches. We like to have several kitchens and a large meeting room for our Talent Show.

Activities. We try to choose an area that offers additional activities such as museums, sightseeing, shows or other entertainment.

Accessibility. It keeps travel costs down to plan the reunion within 100 miles of a major airport. The smaller the airport,
the more expensive the flights.

Elevation. We keep our reunions at 6,500 feet or lower to accommodate an uncle who had a heart by-pass and is more comfortable at lower elevations.

Weather. We are not particular about weather but shy away from high humidity.

This is our menu of venues with a list of activities we enjoy.

  • Lake Tahoe, California. Boat rides, casinos, tram ride to Heavenly Valley, dinner shows and golf.
  • Snow Mountain Ranch, Grandby, Colorado. Overnight camp-out, roller skating, horseback riding, ski lift ride, fishing, crafts and golf.
  • Clear Lake, California. Boating, water skiing, swimming, tubing, water polo, miniature golf, tennis and golf.
  • Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. Boating, water skiing, hot dogging (inflatable six person torpedo rafts pulled by a boat), hiking, spelunking (Bridal Cave), shopping, fishing, Lake of the Ozarks Water Show, Country Shindig Opry, go-carting and swimming.
  • Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Bar-B-Q/hayride, boating, fishing, swimming and golf.
  • Del Mar, California. Horse races, beach, shopping, swimming, tours and golf.
  • Sun River, Oregon. Biking, brewery tour, site seeing, swimming, line dancing and golf.
  • Black Hills, South Dakota. Mount Rushmore, Custer National Park, sightseeing and a surprise! wedding. The author’s daughter took advantage of the family being together.

About the author
Karen Robertson is a teacher, freelance writer, speaker and professional clown. She lives in Wildomar, California, with her firefighter husband, Barry. Her articles have been published in over 35 magazines and her first book, Raising Kids Right: Morning, Noon, and Night was published in 1998.