My grandfather came to this country to go to college during the Great Depression, leaving behind a brother and three sisters in Australia. To make a long story short, he met my grandmother and decided to stay in the United States. But the ties within the family stayed strong.
In 1987, my grandfather got both his children and all his grandchildren to cross the Pacific with him and visit his siblings and their families in a big gathering of over 50 people. There were three generations: my grandfather and two of his sisters, my Dad's generation of first cousins, and my generation of second cousins.
When my Dad died two years ago, we started planning another big family trip. It turns out my other American cousins can't make it this time, but Dave and I, my Mom, and my sister and her family are all going.
Other cousins are traveling from the far reaches of Australia to attend. I'm not sure how many to expect, but we could easily be at the 50-person mark again. This time, there will be four generations represented: my Great Aunt Edie, the first and second cousins, and now a generation of third cousins.
For me, it'll be my fourth trip (1980, 1987 and 1991), but for my husband and my nephews, it'll be their first. Expect to see more details as the weeks go by. I hope to keep posting while we're there.