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The Simpson Family Reunion 2001. The kieki and I flew back to America for a family reunion hosted by my Uncle John. I got to visit with some relatives that I haven't seen in about 30 years or more (and many that I had never met at all).

Also got to spend some time out on my dad's new boat, a 39' Sea Ray Express, out on Lake Lanier. I want a boat too!

We also spent some time up in Tennessee after the reunion with my mom. My best friend, Kelly and his brood, came down for a few days. We had a great time in the Smokies and at Norris Days on the Fourth of July.

The Tennessee Smokies (Toronto Blue Jays AA Team)

Take a peek at "what I did on my summer vacation" below! (Actually, my keiki went too...)

Daisy taking it easy onboard Daisy's Fault Waverunners love to see a big boat cruising through the lake!
Lake Lanier is a big lake - plenty of room for power and sail boats Melissa and Matthew hanging out on the bow
Matthew tries his hand at piloting the big boat while Grandpa Bill and Melissa help navigate Another Waverunner blasts across the wake
A quiet cove for swimming and rowing about in the inflatable raft Melissa trying to catch a whopper for dinner
Matthew ventures out to explore the shore in the inflatable boat Ma and Pa Duck stopped by to see if we had any spare bread
Grandpa Bill comes to assist Melissa in landing the "monster" catfish she hooked at the dock Melissa and her first catfish
I think I may have caught the same catfish that Melissa did Daisy's Fault (formerly known as Big Deal) coming around the corner and heading for open water
Daisy's Fault as she's about to clear the last dock Full Steam Ahead!
Daisy's Fault riding high in the water Dad's pontoon boat (it's for sale!) is so tiny next to the big boat
Matthew and me trying the best we can to keep up with the big boat Taking a break on a isolated beach in Lake Lanier
One of the "spooky" dragons on the first ride A huge wall of water is about to cover everyone in the "floating log" (and most of the people on the bridge over the top!)
Melissa and Matthew are wet and happy now! The bridge is in the direct line of fire from the cascading water
Matthew and Melissa - soaked to the bone! Those people on the bridge thought it would be neat to watch the splash - how did they think the bridge got all wet in the first place?!?!?
Melissa takes us for a little drive around the park - she says that now she's ready for her drivers license (HA!) Matthew's got it floored and we're flying along at "break wind" speed!
Here's our prize for the "softball in the milk can" toss - I guess all those years of softball helped! Matthew and Melissa and their new friend
After driving the Hansen Cars, the keiki want the keys to this beauty Matthew practices his "leap tall buildings with a single bound"
While Matthew is enjoying the air time, I'm wondering just how strong the cords are! FINALLY! Melissa is ready to set a new land speed record in a car with some POWER!
Matthew ready for the start of the race - unfortunately, the sky opened up while waiting for the start and they didn't get to race (bummer!)
Top of the first inning at Turner Field Chipper Jones waiting for the first pitch
Matthew enjoying the game with Grandma Teri Benny Agbayani takes a hit to right field for his first at-bat
Welcome to Turner Field, Home of the Atlanta Braves Even Melissa was enjoying the game
Budweiser is the preferred beverage on Turner Beach Brogna fouls one off with a mighty swing
My brother Sam - the late arrival A handful of Simpsons, sitting on the deck, getting reacquainted
Grandma Edith with Matthew and Melissa A few of the family mingling about while we try to get a few group pictures organized
The whole clan trying to stand still, smile, and squint into the sun at the same time Mark stopping for a picture with his mom, Margaret
Grandma and all of her kids (Alberta and Donna couldn't make it) Grandma and some of her grandkids
Grandma and some of her GREAT-grandkids Joyce takes charge!
Mark doing his best (?) Elvis impersonation The male grandchildren (David, Mark, Sam, and Bill) responsible for carrying on the family name - three out of four ain't bad (Sam's still a batchelor)
The cabin of John Oliver, the first permanent settler in Cades Cove The kids hanging out on the back porch
A stone marker at The Primitive Baptist Church The grave marker of Russell Gregory, in the Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery
The Primitive Baptist Church from across the cemetery The grave marker of John Oliver, in the Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery
A resident of Cades Cove enjoying his midday repast A couple of deer meandering through the field near the visitor's center
A restored cantilever barn from a Cades Cove settler The water sluice that diverts part of the creek water to the griss mill
The Tant's (Kelly, Sue, Rachel, and Ryan) Us!
Here's where the water came to the griss mill to drive the gears and grind the corn and wheat
Grandma Higdon and Grandma Human discussing the events of the day Kelly, Sue, and Rachel Tant off to experience a little slice of Americana
Grandma Higdon enjoying the day (She's 91!) Kevin launches a softball at the dunk tank to drench his sister, Kylie, 'cause she's taunting him from the bench
I dunked Melissa on the first toss! And they're off! Matthew had two ducks in this race - #4 and #11...
...and they both tied for the win! He won a watermelon! My mom, Judy, with a couple of her old Norris High School classmates
Melissa, Kylie, Matthew and Ryan prepared to compete in the three-legged sack race The boys displaying the blue ribbons from their first place finish in the three-legged sack race
George and Kevin getting ready to take on Kelly and Rachel and the other competitors in the mixed three-legged sack races Leigh and George eyeing the competition in the adult three-legged sack races
Sue and Kelly, the duffus, waiting for the start of the three-legged sack race And they're off! How many pulled muscles and bruises do you think this race caused?
Kevin looks a little anxious before the start of the sack race, while Rachel puts on her race face And they're off!
Melissa gives Kylie racing tips while Matthew considers whether he's going to challenge Ryan in the race. Matthew was "forced" into the first heat of the sack race and came away victorious!
Kylie jumps off to an early lead and totally blew away the competition in her heat (you should see her run!)

The Simpson's and the Tant's take a break from the festivities to enjoy a barbecue lunch

Sisters Judy (my mom), Carol Sue, and Manya gossiping about how old everyone else from their high school is! The Fire Department provided an exciting version of battle ball
George watches as his nozzle man tries to push the ball to the far end of the cable After all that water, George and his gang were defeated (and taunted) by a bunch of (cheating) girls
The gang checks out the flow of the Clinch River beneath Norris Dam - the first dam constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority Norris Dam
Me and the kieki at the upper lookout over Norris Dam and Norris Lake
We decided to take a break when we saw my favorite car of all times - a 1957 Chevy! Grandma Judy and Melissa decided to take a T-Bird for a spin around the park
Matthew and I tried to catch'em, but Melissa had the petal to the medal Melissa and Grandma Judy flying high
Step away from the duck! Here's part of what I liked the best. This metal smith was making iron tools in the same technique as the mountain settlers
The metal smith banging away on the hot steel