Each year on Easter Sunday, my parents host a party and invite my dad’s side of the family. Usually the party takes place at my parents’ house, but this year was unique compared to what we normally do at family get-togethers. Since my parents have their house on the market and need to keep it as spotless as possible, they decided to host the party at the Grand Stay Hotel in Delano. Which by the way is a beautiful, clean hotel with a very friendly staff. This hotel opened in 2015, and is the only hotel in town. Being primarily a wedding photographer, I can’t help but think about how great this is for couples who get married in Delano and want to have a comfortable and convenient place for their guests to stay. And I discovered first hand that it is a great location for family parties, too. http://www.grandstayhospitality.com/find-a-hotel/locations/delano/overview
The hotel has a party room on the main floor, right next to the lobby and only a few feet from the swimming pool. It is a room fully equipped with a long counter top, mini-fridge, sink and lots of tables and chairs. My parents and I got there an hour early for set up. We set out the crockpot of ham, some cheese and sausage, crackers, and other snacks. We prepared a little bar area with a selection of liquor, beer and a box of wine. The place was ready for a party!
Our family started trickling in around 2pm. Good conversation started flowing immediately. And the kids were anxious to get swimming! I don’t always bring my camera to family functions, but this time I’m certainly glad I did. I enjoyed going back and forth between the party room and the pool room, capturing whatever shenanigans I could. 🙂
In the party room there was the usual friendly family banter, often started by my beautiful and spunky grandmother. I had a long, nice conversation with her as well as some of my aunts, uncles and cousins. The adults spent most of their time in the party room, with the exception of a few chaperones tending to their young children in the pool room.
Watching the energetic kids swim was a riot and I enjoyed capturing their gleefulness and their expressions of pure contentment. At times I wished that I had brought my swimming suit so that I could jump in and join them! They reminded me that letting out the goofy kid inside is important, no matter what your age.
Around 4:30pm, we all reconvened in the party room for dinner. We had plenty of delicious homemade food to choose from, as is true for all our get-togethers. Everyone went through the line filling their plates. At the end of the line was my father and my cousin Trevor. When it came their turn, we had run out of dinner plates! That was one of the things my mother was in charge of making sure we had and she claimed that she brought more than enough! So my father and Trevor had to tease her a bit as they grabbed small dessert plates and piled a bunch of food onto them. My mother was shocked and maybe a bit embarrassed about the mishap, but as we chatted during dinner we agreed that these silly unexpected things that happen at family events just make the memories all the more memorable. This hotel party is likely going to be something we talk about for years to come, and perhaps we’ve started a new Easter tradition. 🙂