Monday, August 23, 2010

Family vacation was great! It was wonderful to be with my whole family again-- all 13 of us. We met in McGaheysville, Virginia as a resort there called Massanuten, each coming from different parts of 3 different states. Dad is up working in Michigan, and until the house sells the rest of the gang is down in Medina; Peter and Angela came from Cleveland; and of course, we drove up from Charlotte. There was lots to do every day, and we certainly used up all the time well! But why use words to tell you all about it? Pictures are so much better:

Swimming!... and diving/flipping/belly-flopping, too!

Noah flippin' 'round
Nevin was our master belly-flopper-- but of course a guy as cool as Nev doesn't do silly things like belly flops on accident. He purposely did six in a row "because then I'm the most popular guy in the diving board line!" :-P
We attempted tennis one evening

We made a 3 hour hike to Williamsburg, for a day at Busch Gardens
The first ride we came to was in Scotland. Anna was so tired that she couldn't even smile for the camera.
We got worried near the end that she would actually fall asleep and fall off!
'Liza and Sis
The Goliath of the coasters-- the Griffon -- over 205 feet in the air, this ride takes you the to top and suspends its riders in the air before dropping a straight 90 degrees at speeds over 70 mph. Only a few in our group wanted to try this one!
(This is what the picture we could have paid $30 for looked like)
Cotton Candy! A Willeke favorite and must-have at any amusement park.
Land of the Dragons was a nice break for the little kiddos. They got to climb around, ride some kiddie rides and slide down super slick slides.

....then the rain hit, and we found a hide-out in a artsy shop in Italy, where we all admired and tried out the $100 dollar masks. :)

Nevin and Angela won the award for "creepiest looking eyes underneath a mask"
Wednesday evening we enjoyed a Murder Mystery Dinner
crab legs were on the menu. I *heard* they were good-- except Dad did say he thought he might starve before he could get enough meat out to satisfy his appetite. :) That's why they also served chicken Alfredo, prime rib and other sides. (It also helped people like me who try to stay away from things with creeping red legs four times bigger than their bodies.... seriously, is that not scary? Poor Anna thought they were alligators.) We did all learn that we should probably not go into the detective field without professional experience, since the accused murderer was a suspect we never even considered. We're all still convinced he was actually framed by his jealous ex-fiancee cheerleading drama queen, who murdered his life's hero to take revenge on all the years she spent being second in his life! .... our story was much better than the written one.
Aliza and Mommy.

Thursday we splashed away the day at Massanutten's water park.
I have such a charming brother-in-law <3
Noah-- I think he gained ten pounds of muscle and grew two inches in two months. He's officially bigger than all the girls, and even taller than Dad. He's set a Willeke record for height at only 13-- 5 feet 6 inches. :-P
The Lazy River was really a hit for everyone.
Sunshine on my Sunshine
makes me laugh :)
Slides were a big hit too-- There were two body slides, and 3 tube slides as well as half a dozen others in the splash zone.
Dad liked them too!

What could make a better afternoon snack than Dippin' Dots? Which Daniel faithfully reminds us has been the ice cream of the future for the last 10 years. :)

We even managed to get a family photo at Busch Gardens-- a rarity in our family history.

Ashlee and Daniel, Peter and Angela, Anna, Nathan, Nevin, Aliza, Noah, Nolan, Mom, Dad, and Nicholas-- imagine what our numbers will be in 10 years, with grandchildren, and hopefully a couple of sisters-in-law!

We wrapped up the week with a trip to Virginia Beach Saturday afternoon. We picniced on our towels, and then jumped waves for nearly two hours.

Daniel body surfing... he turned into a little boy in the ocean, making up his own competition to see how far toward the beach he could go with each wave. :) I loved watching him.

This week things start full swing. The two months of easy life we've had since the wedding are over. I started work Monday, Daniel starts classes Wednesday, and begins tutoring the following week. Our days are packed, and after a fun, relaxing vacation it feels good to be busy and productive.

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