Friday, July 31, 2009

Cedar Point!

After our weekend in St. Ignace, my Sister and her family, my family, and my brother Chris all went to Cedar Point for the day. It was a BLAST! We've discovered the greatness of the child swap pass. One parent waits in line and then rides the roller coaster while the other stays with the kids and gets to go up the exit and get right on the ride when the other parent gets off. Rachel, Justin, Tadj and I both used BOTH our passes well and got to ride just about everything we wanted to. Meanwhile, we took turns having a blast with the kids in camp snoopy, the Gemini children's area, and planet snoopy. Here is a CUTE picture of Sofia on the riverboat ride.
Sofia in the first red car of the Junior Gemini. She was also tall enough to go on the Iron Dragon (twice!) and LOVED it. We can't wait until she's a bit taller and can go on the really big ones.
Grayson and Brook in a rocket ship ride. Thank goodness they were tall enough to ride alone. These rides started making Tadj and I sick.

Bumper boats

hot air baloon ride

Hardie Family Reunion

We had our first ever Hardie family reunion this month From July 17th through the 20th in St. Ignace Michigan. Mom and Dad reserved us all hotel rooms at the Harbor Pointe Best Western. It was a fun place to stay. They accomadated our large group well and even let us use the breakfast room for family meals. We spent a lot of time playing games and swimming in the pools at the hotel, but also did some touring around. BTW - if I ever get a copy of the group photos taken I'll post them (MOM!!!).

On Friday I drove (alone ... tadj was working) the kids up north to St. Ignace. We left at 9am and somewhere around Flint our DVD player stopped working. I entertained the kids as much as I could for a couple of hours, but by the time we got to Gaylord, I'd had enough. We stopped at Walmart to get a new DVD player, go potty and get lunch and got back on the road. By around 3pm, Mom and Dad, the Prices, and the Hardies were there too. We all swam in the pool for a bit and got pizza for dinner. Once the kids were asleep in bed, we all met in Mom and Dad's room for a meeting and games. We did this every night and it was probably my favorite part of the whole trip.

On Saturday morning we got up early to try and catch the 10am boat to Mackinac Island. We didn't make it. Once we got there, Mom didn't have her coupon and had to send Dad back to get it. He just BARELY made it back in time for us all to get on the 10:30am boat. YAY! Once on the island we walked around a little and then climbed the hill up to the Fort. We saw a fun court marshall demonstration and played in the kids area for a while. Then we walked back down the hill and got lunch at a pizza buffet at some hotel where Scarlett jumped out of her high chair and banged her head. Fun. After lunch we walked back up the hill and back into the Fort. Did I mention the hill? Very steep and long. We all had sore legs the next few days. Chris and Rachel even climbed it a 3rd time later in the day. We toured some more historical buildings in the fort, played some lawn games and the babies took naps in their strollers. Afterward, we left the Fort and played at a playground, did some shopping, and watched a fudge making demonstration at Murdick's... the OLDEST fudge shop on the Island. It was really cool to watch. And the fudge was DELICIOUS. We took the boat back, swam at the pool at the hotel, Tadj arrived (YAY!), had dinner together (made by me) and watched fireworks over the lake that night.

Sunday morning we got up and decided to take the kids to the beach after lunch. Rachel and Justin packed a yummy lundh for everyone and we head to a state park beach on Lake Michigan. It was another chilly day, but the kids were dying to play in the sand. We had fun anyway and even got a little sun. Only Tadj and a couple of the kids were brave enough to actually go in the frigid Northern Lake Michigan water. Afterwards, the babies fell asleep in the cars and slept in their hotel cribs while the rest of us went swimming in the hotel pool. Chris and Rachel made a yummy bbq chicken sandwich dinner that night and then we all went down to the hotel's bonfire and made s'mores.

On Monday we traveled home. We had Brooklyn in my van and Grayson drove with Tadj in his car. Brooke and Sofia got along famously and Scarlett slept (it was a tiring weekend). We got to keep Brooklyn until later that evening since her parents stopped at all the outlet malls on the way home. She was fun to have around.

We had SUCH a fun trip. Thank you so much Mom and Dad for putting it together and paying for it. And thank you Rachel for digging on the web for stuff to do. It was wonderful to spend time all together as a family for days instead of hours here and there. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

btw : scroll below for all the pictures.

The Hardies (Hemingways and Prices too) take Lake Michigan!

Day 3 was another chilly day (yes, these are out of order), but the kids really wanted to go to the beach. So we did. Daddy and Grayson dug tunnels.
Grandpa Hardie and Uncle Chris started a baseball game (kinda), and Sofia had a turn at bat and actually hit the ball one time.

Grandpa and Uncle Chris playing catch.
Grayson filling his bucket.
Scarlett and Thierry playing in the sand. They got SO dirty that Rachel and I had to strip them down and dip them in the lake before we left. The lake was SUPER cold and they didn't enjoy it, but we thought it was funny.

Tadj was actually the only adult brave enough to go swimming in the frigid water. He claimed it was no colder than the hotel's pool, but he was WRONG!


The great hotel we stayed at had a bonfire with marshmallows provided every night! We went at the end of day 3 and Grandma decided to bring crackers and chocolate so we could all make S'mores too. Sofia got her's all over her cheek and hair.
Grayson's face shows the evidence of chocolate, but it's LONG gone.
Scarlett stealing some more chocolate... we decided the S'mores were too messy for her.

I was the BEST marshmallow roaster (if I do say so myself).

The Hardies take Mackinac Island!

For day 2 of our Hardie Reunion (we just traveled and rested on day one) we all went to Mackinac Island (except Tadj... he was working and joined us that night). Here is Uncle Justin and a bunch of the kids standing next to a carriage. The driver wouldn't let them get any closer than that.
All the kids at Fort Mackinac. This is the best picture of them I could get in their "period" clothing. The Fort was really cool and educational. We learned a lot of history. Did you know it was attacked and overtaken in the war of 1812? We didn't. But now we do. It was so neat to tour all the old buildings and barracks.
Scarlett and Taylee in their little dresses and bonnets.
Grayson pulling the rope to shoot the cannon.
This cute lady was trying to knit a pair of gloves... for HOURS. We saw her a few times that afternoon and it hardly looked like she made any progress. Here are my kiddos and Brooklyn posing with her.
Here are the "big girls" watching a court marshall
Fun on the boat over to the island. Grandma Hardie must be the best bubble blower in the world. All the kids were entertained by this... but ESPECIALLY Brooklyn.
Say "cheese" Grandpa and Scarlett

Grayson was THRILLED to ride the boat. It was pretty cold that morning, so we decided to stay below deck. On the way home though, Aunt Rachel took Sofia and Treygan up top. Fia and Rachel stayed and braved the wind, but Treygan came back down below and said it was "awful" up there.
Sofia and Amandine hanging out at one of the tables. Why do these boats have tables? No one ate a meal on it.
Scarlett and Taylee again. They are just so cute together!

Splash Zone

I took the kids to the Metro Beach splash zone sometime in early July or late June... can't remember. Scarlett continues to love the water more than anyone else, but Grayson actually enjoyed it this year too. It was a nice hot day and we met our cousins Amandine and Thierry and friends David and Andrew there too.

We took Cheese Curls with our picnic lunch. I will only let them eat these while in their swimsuits and near water to clean up. You see why. Gross! But they LOVE them and it was a fun treat for them.

I also took carrots to balance out the cheese curls. I think Scarlett was trying to eat like 5 at one time.
Sofia and Amandine "sunbathing" in the shade. What a little poser.

Monday, July 6, 2009

And the winner is...


Thank you so much for all of your comments. They were fun to hear! I'll get your prize to you right away (or sorta).