As it stands I come from a pretty small family - there is only me and my sister and I only have one aunt and uncle and two cousins. The family that I do have is pretty spread out so not only are there few of us, we also don't communicate often. My mum is much more connected to her side of the family, particularly on my grandpa's side, and last few years she has been doing more and more work on the family tree. She joined a website called Geni which allows you to create an online family tree that connects people and before you know it, mum was galavanting about all over the place meeting cousins of various removals and other varieties.
Mum goes to the States now and again and sometimes visits a branch of the family from my grandpa's side, based in Boston. Someone else got in touch with her about a branch of my grandma's family that were all down in South Carolina, but the daughter is now located in Boston too (coincidentally!), so mum got to meet Kendra and her partner Jen last year. My grandma had a cousin called Felix and Kendra is his granddaughter... so I think that makes us 3rd cousins? maybe? Kendra is a teacher so both of them have been over in London this past week on a trip with Kendra's students, and also their 19-month old daughter, Addison. I went up to London yesterday to meet 'the cousins' as they have now become known (because I don't understand all the '4th, twice removed' type business) and we had dinner together with my mum, my sister and her boyfriend.
Can I say that the Cafe Rouge in Leicester Square is not particularly great for small, tired children? Addi is a sweetie, but it was way past her bedtime. Jen was saying that she thinks she might wait another few years before travelling abroad with Addi again! She is generally very stable in her routine and the time change was difficult. Both the ladies are very friendly, Jen is a photographer and arty person, and Kendra is more literary. They've both travelled and done lots of exciting stuff, so we ended up having some lovely conversation. In general, the family seem to be really enjoying their trip, but it has only been a week in London and then they get a couple of days in Paris and then they go back to the States, which is a bit of a whirlwind tour by anyone's standards! It was a nice dinner, and I had a crepe (in honour of pancake day, of course), but the waiting staff weren't the most attentive and I had to run off and catch a train after 9pm so it was short but sweet. I really enjoyed meeting them, hopefully next time they come over we'll have more time to get to know each other. In the meantime, maybe mum will dig me up some more distant relatives.
You can see more of Jen, Kendra and Addi's adventures at Adventurous Moms