Monday, February 17, 2014

Thanksgiving - Banks Family Reunion Part II

Thursday morning (Thanksgiving) we got to take advantage of the resort’s awesome breakfast buffet. It was huge and fabulous! I especially loved their hash browns because they were basically mini steak french fries! Yum! Their omelets were also fantastic! Grandma surprised all of the grandkids with her special gift box. Each day there was something new and exciting inside of the box. The kids ate it up! After the gift box, we headed to the beach.

Best friends!

Grandma's surprise gift box!

What could it be?!?

The boys got books...and they speedily read like a race

The girls got make-up...Oliver was quite interested, so cute!

The young ones got a book, too..."A Pirate's Day At Sea"

Greta was gifted a new homemade blanket by Annette. It is the same one that Charlie loves! It is crazy to feel how soft it once was!

Jason and Robby spent a good part of the morning surfing. They put on their wetsuits, as the water was freezing, and made off a ways down the beach. The kids had a blast playing in the sand, and Amy, April, Max, Greta, Alex, Harlan, Clara, and I headed down the beach with our cameras to get some shots of the surfers. It was really hard to see them and tell them apart from the other surfers, so we didn’t come back with as many shots and videos as we would have liked. But the guys had fun, and had quite a work out.

On our way to find the surfers:

Next on the itinerary was the pirate "cruise". This was very exciting, especially for the kids. We got on a boat dressed up in pirate items and rode around the shore. The ride was complete with pirate jokes and a treasure at the end. The kids even got to take turns driving the boat for a short while.

We were all quite hungry after the pirate cruise. We knew we didn’t want to eat too much because we had a Thanksgiving dinner ahead, so we made a quick stop at Carl’s Jr that was minutes away from the resort. Of course, Charlie has to fall asleep on that car ride...but none of the long ones! He pretty much stayed sound asleep on our shoulder while we ate lunch in Carl’s Jr.

After naps, for Charlie and myself, it was time to head to Marie Calendars. Yes, it is appalling that we went to a restaurant on practically goes against everything I believe in not to have a homemade meal. I was especially apprehensive since my last Marie Calendars experience was less than impressive. However, I do have to put all of that aside and eat my words! The Thanksgiving meal at Marie Calendars was amazing! I would go there again for Thanksgiving in a heartbeat! There was so much good food, we filled ourselves to capacity. And, of course, the dessert pies don’t get any better than Marie’s. One thing of note, James and Spencer finally arrived just in time for dinner. They weren’t able to get there until that evening due to work obligations. We were excited to finally see them and to have them there.

What the family did while Charlie napped:

At Marie Calendar's:

After the kids had gone to bed, and we set up our typical monitor/phone system, all of the adults joined up at Steven and Annette’s room to share ancestor stories. Nancy had asked us in advance to prepare some kind of family story to share on Thanksgiving. While several were less than eager to participate, once it got started, everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The stories were fun and interesting. We even got a quick glimpse of Steven’s miming abilities, as he did a little short about Adam and Eve, complete with accompanying music. It was great!

All in all, a very happy and ful"filling" Thanksgiving!

Friday morning, we were right back at the resort’s breakfast buffet. Yummy! After another large breakfast, we were treated with some fun and unique bike rentals. These things could hold two to four adults, maybe more if you really squished. But there were four pedals, so anymore adults than that and you would have a really heavy bike. I wish I could remember what they were called. We rode the bikes to a nearby park. This park was awesome! I was so impressed! It was built with a pirate ship theme complete with canon holes. It was so fun watching the kids run around, the adults even had fun, too.



A fabulous compilation video of us playing at the park by Jason on his GoPro

After a race back to the bike rental area, we got to try out some of the other unique bikes they had. Again, so fun!

Jason also made an awesome bike video...but for some reason I can't add it here. Perhaps this will work, though. Try clicking on this link.

Next up, pool time! It was around lunch time, so we ordered some pizza from Dominos and snuck it into one of the resort’s activity areas. No one was using that room and it had lots of table area. It was perfect! We also enjoyed some left over pie from Marie Calendars.

For dinner, we went to a delicious Mexican restaurant. The food was great, and we were surrounded by many steaming platters of fajitas. While at dinner, we celebrated Steven’s birthday with a fun birthday cake and song.

I bet you can guess what we did once we got back and put the kids to bed. You got it, we set up the monitors and headed to Max’s room this time. We played the celebrity guessing game again, this time Uncle Alan, James, and Spencer joined in on the fun. Man, we had a blast! So many fun and funny memories. I wish we could go back in time! be continued...

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