Was a great gig, but way hot. We are still in a drought (no rain since January) and the yard is starting to look like an old sandlot baseball field. Put up a couple of shelters and several fans to provide a breeze to help keep it cooler. Everyone had a great time, way too much food, lots of conversation.
One highlight was my nephew and his wife brought their 1.5 year old daughter (Julianna) over. We don't get to see her that much. I was worried on how she would take to the dogs. Big dogs tend to scare little kids. Like most Golden Retrievers, Claire and Grayson can be a bit overwhelming. They are very loving & gentle dogs with a serious center-of-attention deficit problem (they crave attention). Grayson in particular is the younger boy and tend to be a wee bit overly exuberant in his actions. He is my "paws on" dog. When he wants more attention (which is always), he will put one paw up on your leg. He can be a bit overwhelming at times and I am working on that habit. Claire is my "licker". She has that sweet disposition and will park herself at your feet and lick your hand/elbow/knee/face or whatever is within reach. Given those traits, I tend to watch over the two dogs to make sure they do not cause problems. What amazed everyone was how Grayson acted around Julianna. First, Julianna had never dealt with dogs up close before, so we were worried she might freak out or their excitement might scare her. Au contraire. She thought these dogs were big horses for her enjoyment. She showed no fear of the dogs and they did not overwhelm her. Grayson, for all his lanky exuberance, was incredibly gentle and patient around her. She played with him and he was very calm and reserved around her. Even when she bopped him in the nose, he was still licking her. When she got up and explored the yard, Grayson laid there waiting for her to return. Everyone told me they were amazed with Grayson's patience with Julianna, I just keep telling them that it was the Golden personality. Regardless, the dogs were well behaved. The steaks were good, the beer was consumed, a good time was had by all.
I probably spent more money than I should have on the party, but it was an excellent time to congratulate the young couple upon their pending union (date TBD). We were just ecstatic to see them, if only for a short while.