His parties are like bookends to the summer. Historically they have the Spring party and then one in August (to celebrate their oldest daughter's birth). I suppose that may be revamped as the Summer Fling or Fall Fling this year. We'll have to wait and see.
I was solo for this year's party. Countrymouse had another obligation and stayed home. That opened the door for the pups to do things locally. It is always a little different when I travel alone. I am usually with Countrymouse or one of the pups or my EC sister. I actually like being alone like that. (Probably because it's the exception rather than the norm.)
I drove the Jeep up to Philly. It was perfect Jeep weather this weekend. The truth about driving a Jeep is that there is only a narrow window in the early summer and early fall where there is nothing better than driving around in your Jeep with the doors and windows off. The rest of the year, it's still fun, but not magical. My favorite things about driving this time of year are when you can feel the change in temperature as you go through the woods and when you can smell the wildflowers growing on the side of the road. The whole wind in your face thing is pretty cool too. I have my motorcycle license and drove one for a few years, but since getting my Jeep, I haven't been on one. All the reasons I enjoy driving a motorcycle are satisfied by the Jeep and I am safer and have a backseat!
I have been to enough of my brother's parties over the years that I know a lot of their friends. It's always nice catching up and chatting with them. They have a really nice core group of friends. You can always count on some or all of the core being there, as well as some new faces and some faces you haven't seen in years.
This year a friend of my brother's showed up that I hadn't seen in 8 years or so. I think even ECB was surprised to see him. That was awesome. The parties are a good mix of adult fun and kiddie fun. My pups are much older than the small ones at these parties, but I still enjoy the laid back family atmosphere. It's all good and that is how a party should be.
Of course, there is always a little one to snuggle or play with, which is a sweet time.
The main thing I like about my brother's parties is the chance to be together. My family is spread out enough that even those of us on the same coast don't spend much time together. It takes a little effort to get there sometimes and the drive can be enough to make you think twice (just think I-95 on a Saturday during the beach season) but ultimately, I know it's always worth it. This party was no exception.