Festibond 2013 – Jenna

This has been the best Festibond yet! If you don’t know what Festibond is already, Festibond (the word itself) is a mix of the words Festival, and bond. It means exactly what it sounds like. We celebrate the bond of our family! At the end of each year, we read or letters to each other (that we’ve written to each other beforehand), play games, and do other activities to bond with each other. This year, we went to the Marriott hotel in Portland, something we’ve never done before. Usually we celebrate Festibond at our house.

We spent a couple hours on Sunday morning polishing our letters and get everything organized. Kirsten, my mom, was sleeping most of the time. But that’s only because she stayed up late helping Skye and Hayley with their letters. Anyway, it gave us more time to get ready. My sisters even had time to have a tickle fight with me. It was fun, and I won the tickle fight, as I always do. I know everyone’s weak spots!

At about 10:00, my mom and Hayley drove up to the Marriott, but Skye, dad and I took a separate car because dad had to leave for work the next day. So we had to take two cars. After mom parked, we picked her up and drove to Sea Dogs Brewing in Portland. I had warned dad not to go there because the food is disgusting, but we ended up going anyway. It didn’t turn out well for multiple reasons. I ordered three french toasts, and bacon. The waitress only brought two french toasts, and no bacon. It looked good, but when I took a bite, it was soggy and battery. Dad didn’t like his breakfast either. Well, at least we learned not to go there next year. After breakfast we got Monopoly and Yahtzee at Toys R us.

Skye, Hayley, and me at breakfast.
Skye, Hayley, and me at breakfast.

Then, we drove up to the Marriott to read our letters and start the real bonding. It seemed REALLY fancy when we walked in. There was a fireplace, and huge “Mama bear” armchairs (In Goldilocks, Mama bear’s chair was too soft). It was so amazing! When we got to room 503, we put away our bags and tried to get internet connection. All of us were reading our letters on our devices. We formed a circle, and prepared to read letters. One person would read a letter, hug the recipient, and pose for a picture. Then the same person would read a letter to a different member of the family until all their letters were read.

Hayley gets a ride on the luggage cart.
Hayley gets a ride on the luggage cart.
Dad sets up the camera.
Dad sets up the camera.
The family picture, thanks to Dad's setup.
The family picture, thanks to Dad’s setup.

Skye went first, and her letters were so sweet and thought out. Some of the things she said, like an experience at Bradbury Mountain, I wished I had put it in my letter. I was smiling the whole time she read my letter. Hayley’s letter to me was so funny, cute, and thoughtful. Hayley amazed me with her vocabulary. I didn’t know how many words she knew and used! Kudos to Hayley for being so thoughtful and smart. And like every year, Dad had amazing, thought out, beautiful, heartfelt letters. Dad has a big vocabulary. Often times, I have to ask him what a word he used means. But his letter was not difficult to understand. He tells me how amazing I am every day, and he put his whole heart (or brain, rather) into the letter. I was very grateful and touched. My mom’s letter was awesome. I sat right by her and smiled the whole time. I loved it, and I’m really glad I’m so close to my mom. She is one of my best friends, and always by my side.

Skye and me after she read me her letter to me.
Skye and me after she read me her letter to me.
Hayley and I love each other!
Hayley and I love each other!
Dad and Mom kissing after Dad reads his letter to Mom.
Dad and Mom kissing after Dad reads his letter to Mom.

After that, my family changed into bathing suits and walked down to the pool. Well, more waiting in the elevator than walking, but oh well. The pool was warmer than most hotel pools I’ve been in, so it must have a good heating system. I liked it. Dad somewhat taught me how to swim, but I’m still not very good. I can swim best on my back, because I get to keep my eyes and mouth/nose out of the water. I hate putting my face in water. Especially salt water or chlorine. I can swim much better on my back than I used to. I learned to float on my back in the water not long after my first year at Strings camp–2011, I believe. I spent longer in the deep end than I’ve ever gone before.

I am learning to tread water.
I am learning to tread water.
I was very exhausted after spending time in the jacuzzi.
I was very exhausted after spending time in the jacuzzi.

We changed and took showers, and then basically started playing Monopoly while eating snacks. There were an assortment of vegetables, fruits, crackers, cheeses, and sweets. We got pretty bored of Monopoly after a few times around, so we started playing Yahtzee, which I ended up not liking. Dad and Skye really liked it, so I would’ve felt bad if I suggested playing something else. After a while I ended up suggesting going back to the pool.

Playing Monopoly and eating snacks.
Playing Monopoly and eating snacks.
I tried to get a "full house" in Yahtzee.
I tried to get a “full house” in Yahtzee.

We all went down, me with regular clothes on because I swore I wasn’t going back in. Well, I failed and went back up to grab my bathing suit anyway. I really liked the Marriott’s pool! I also wanted to improve my skills.  I took a quick rinse and entertained dad and mom before we went to bed upstairs.

I entertained Mom and Dad with a show.
I entertained Mom and Dad with a show.

Over all, I think it was the best Festibond yet, like I said before. I really liked going to the Merriot for Festibond. We should go to a hotel next year too. But definitely choose a different breakfast spot.

I scratched Dad with my sharp toenail while wrestling.
I scratched Dad with my sharp toenail while wrestling.

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