My brain is back to its old tricks, apparently--I had another group trip dream last night. It was a combination group trip/family reunion. All of the extended family members from my dad's side had met at some location far from where anyone lived. The first part of the dream involved some socializing with older relatives. Then someone tried to do an organized activity, and encouraged us to break up into groups of 3 or 4 (I've never been all that keen on activities involving a structured forming into groups). For some reason, a real-life friend (Curly Sue, as it happens) was also there at the reunion, so we formed a group with two of my younger cousins. In real life, one is my age and one is a few years younger, but in the dream they were teenagers, probably because I haven't seen them for years. We started talking to them, and I was aware that I was feeling happy about being the cool older relative (and simultaneously really annoyed at both the feeling and the awareness of the feeling; my self-analyzer just won't ever leave me alone!).
After that, the group broke up pretty quickly and people started leaving. I guess we had planned to have a "friends" outing after the family reunion, because I was supposed to meet another real-life friend. I did some random wandering around, and then Curly Sue and I met her at a cafe that bore a strange resemblance to a cross between a laundromat and a Chinese restaurant.
This friend recently had a baby in real life, but in the dream she had apparently, in addition to having her real-life baby, had another baby who was still-born. She started talking about how she was looking forward to the second coming (of Christ, that is) because then her baby would "rise first" with a wave of other babies who had been still-born. In real life I'm not quite clear on the various Christian denominations' views on this, but in the dream she held a view that was supposedly the "evangelical view". She said that she and her husband hadn't thought they had any particular religious views, until the birth of the still-born baby, and then, very abruptly, they "saw the light" (she worded it more gracefully than that) and suddenly started subscribing to this mainstream theology. She even had a printout of something referring to the mass resurrection of still-born babies, some sort of liturgical thing printed out on the typical half-page paper with poor copy quality. I think both Curly Sue and I were a bit surprised at this, but she made it clear that she hadn't become a hardcore conservative and was still her old, open-minded self, so we figured it was a good way for her to adjust to and accept the death of the baby.
After that, I went on a hike with the other friend (not Curly Sue), and we ended up on a very steep scaffolding-like section of trail above a boardwalk (almost Coney Island style, but with less people and more nature). There was an odd encounter with a little bird. It was hopping around, and I noticed it looked strange. I realized that the actual bird had been encased in a covering (made from an old sock!) painted to look like a bird. I managed to catch the bird and remove the covering. It was a bit unsettling, but the bird seemed to be happy either way (with or without the trompe-l'oeil covering).