Monday, August 2, 2010

Hammond Family Reunion

Every year we try to have a Hammond Family Reunion. Each year a different sibling plans it. This year, Paul's younger sister Jennifer and her husband Jimmy planned it. We rented a "cabin" at Bear Lake. It was amazing--more like a rustic mansion than a cabin. I wish I had taken more photos of the actual cabin! In fact, I realized I never got one of the outside even, so I am borrowing this one from Paul's sister Heather--one of my many amazingly talented sister-in-laws! Thanks, Heather.
The cabin was at the very top of the hill in Harbor Village and had an amazing view of the lake and the harbor with all the boats. We loved the wrap around porch that overlooked it all, and spent as much time as possible out there enjoying the shade and rocking chairs.
The week was so much fun! I hope we go back there every year. Way to go, Jen and Jimmy! Awesome reunion! Anyway, we did a lot of fun activities, and we took a lot of fun pictures. It was hard to decide which ones to post, so if you get tired of looking, I'm sorry. Even though I'm not one of the photographers in the family, I think I got some fun shots!

We started the week with shopping and driving up there. The kids were all good travelers, so that was a plus. We all enjoyed exploring the cabin once we got there. There were 5 private rooms and bathrooms, and one large bonus room with 3 queen sized bunk beds for all the kids to sleep in, and a couple of the adults to supervise. There was a nice big kitchen and a family room area with a big screen tv and fireplace. Once we were all settled in, we decided to head over to the Minnetonka Caves for a tour. It was a hard decision as I really just wanted to keep my rear end planted in the rocking chair on the shady porch and do nothing but look at the scenery. However, family peer pressure won out, and we loaded back in the car again. The caves were really amazing, but extremely cold! I was glad I brought my heavy hoodie so I could trade with my California sister-in-law whose blood is definitely thinner than mine. I guess I am not a California girl anymore...too many years here in the freezing winters! So sad! Anyway, the other really amazing thing is that all 18 nieces and nephews plus Grandma and Grandpa survived all 880 stairs inside!

The week was chuck full of plenty of time to hang out with all the cousins! My boys were in heaven! They LOVE all of their cousins. This is Justin and his cousin, Alec.
Can you tell which one is from California? :)
The following morning was spent doing some great crafts with the kids--thanks Aunt Kris! Then we hit the beach for the rest of the day. What a beautiful place! I've never been there before, and I fell in love with it. We had a ball! Here are some of the highlights of the day...
Canoeing and kayaking
Making amazing sand castles with intricate motes
Riding in Aunt Alisha's raft
Playing in the sand
Making sand angels
And we especially loved the sand figure Jen and Jimmy created for Justin when it was his turn to be buried...he was a good sport, only complaining and cracking it a few times...
We all returned tired and hungry, but managed to enjoy another great night full of good food and visiting, even a movie, before falling into bed. The next morning, we decided to mix it up a bit and go rent some of the fun bicycles built for 8 we saw people riding around on the day before. When we got there, I think we rented everything they had left, and we still had to take turns. It was a lot of work, especially for those adults who got stuck with all kids to help them peddle (sorry Alisha!), but we had a lot of fun anyway...
Now that is a lot of Hammond leg power there...
Once we had had our fill of bicycling, we took advantage of the snow cone shack that was right there before grabbing lunch and hitting the beach again. Uncle Matt and Uncle Aaron went to the marina and rented a boat for us to add a little variety to the day. Each family took a turn going out on the boat and riding the tubes behind it. The boys had a ton of fun with it! Jordan was a real trouper when he got bounced off. I know it was kind of scary for him. And Uncle Matt had a lot of fun trying to knock Justin off on purpose. Tyler was the only one who somehow managed to stay on top of his tube. Eric decided to just watch, but he had a great time too!
We had to say goodbye to the cabin on Thursday morning. So sad. Here is our final photo from the porch with a view of the harbor. We all had a great time. I know it will be one of those vacations the kids remember forever. It was great hanging out with all of you! Thanks for the good times!