Friday, July 29, 2011

Getting to the Point

In the middle of our Ohio trip, we spent a couple days at Cedar Point, the amusement park that Dad grew up going to. It's his favorite amusement park in the country because it has the best roller coasters. Henry and I are of course too young to go on those, but we still had so much fun there. We arrived there at night and checked into our hotel, and even though it was time for bed, Henry kept saying, "Want to go on rides NOW!" Thankfully we were both distracted by a surprise hotel guest:

Snoopy! We saw a lot of him (and the other Charlie Brown characters) at the park.

We went on lots of rides together, and cuddled a bit on the train that took us around the park.

We had a special treat for dinner: Mom and Dad took us to a hibachi restaurant in the hotel, where the chefs make Japanese food right in front of you. Henry and I were both a little scared of the flames but enjoyed ourselves — and the food!

But of course, the highlight was the rides!

There was a Peanuts-themed store with a special play area where Henry and I waited for the Great Pumpkin.

He never showed! At least I got to see Lucy.

It was such a great trip. We watched Dad go on some scary-looking rides (like Top Thrill Dragster), went on lots of kiddie rides, and even cooled off in the water park, where I went on some kiddie water slides all by myself! As if that wasn't terrific enough, Grandma, Aunt Paula, Uncle Ryan and Adrienne joined us on the second day. Here's a video of all the highlights of our amazing Cedar Point adventure: meeting Snoopy, riding the Jr. Gemini roller coaster, hibachi dinner (Henry put a whole sushi roll in his mouth!), our own version of Dragster and much more:

Henry and I can certainly understand why Dad liked Cedar Point so much as a kid. We had the best time!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hi, Ohio!

Two weeks ago, I attended my very first family reunion, which Dad's family has every year (Julia made her reunion debut three years ago in Austin). This year's event was near Cleveland, so the four of us got on an airplane. It was my first time with my own seat on the plane (I flew in my carseat); last time around, I had been young enough to fly on Mom and Dad's lap.

Here's a video of how I killed time at the airport before the flight (and at the end, there's a little sneak peek of what happened later that day).

While I love planes and airports, I wasn't very happy during takeoff, and I made Dad hold my hand and comfort me the whole time. I did much better when we were allowed to use electronic devices and I could watch Mater's Tall Tales on our DVD player.

After we landed, we stopped by Youngstown first, to visit with Great-Grandma Emma, whom I had never met before (Julia had only met her once, a week before I was born). We had such a nice visit with her; she's so sweet!

Then we visited Aunt Paula, who lives nearby. We had lots of fun with Maxwell, her cat (or kicia, as we say in Ukrainian).

Maxwell is blind, so I'm sure he didn't know what was going on with these two energetic kids squealing in his direction. It was great seeing Aunt Paula, too.

After that, we spent a couple days at Cedar Point, the Ohio amusement park that Dad went to as a kid, but we'll have a whole other post about that super-fun place. Instead, let's fast-forward to the reunion itself. We also enjoyed seeing our relatives (there were 100 of them in all!), but not as much as we loved just spending time with each other!

And look who was there: Bub! (You know him better as Grandpa.)

Grandma was there too. During the family picnic, she helped me play softball.

Julia's favorite people to spend time with at the reunion, without a doubt, were Uncle Ryan and his girlfriend Adrienne.

She loooooooved Adrienne, and talked about her the whole time! She also loved swimming all by herself in the hotel pool.

Don't worry, Dad was close by the whole time. Here's a video of Julia's solo swim.

We had such a terrific time at the reunion, but Cedar Point was even better. We'll tell you all about it tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Into the woods

Sorry we've been away for so long. We've been very busy, as you'll see over the next week as Henry and I finally start blogging about all the fun things we've been up to.

First up is Ukrainian summer camp, which Mom also went to as a kid. This year, I was old enough to attend, so Mom, Henry and I spent the week in the Catskills at Soyuzivka, the Ukrainian resort (Dad had to work, so he was only up at the beginning and end of the week). Our camp was called Tabir Ptashat: Camp of the Little Birds. The theme was Life on the Farm, and the 4-year-old group I was in was called the Little Chickies.

Every day we did fun activities like play with the parachute.

One day, they brought a horse to camp, and we all went horseback riding.

Another day, my group painted a mural that depicted the Little Chickies.

Here I am showing off our group's hat and nametags (that's my name in Ukrainian; we spoke Ukrainian the whole week!).

One day we took a field trip to a nearby farm. We went on a tractor ride out to the fields, where Henry and I picked snap peas.

Henry wasn't technically attending camp, since you have to be 4 like me, but he happily tagged along all week.

Here I am with my Ukrainian embroidered shirt, known as the vyshyvana sorochka.

One night we attended a bonfire, or vohnyk.

Since Mom was on her own most of the week, she sometimes kept Henry in the stroller so he wouldn't run away (which he likes to do a lot!).

Here I am showing off our camp shirt.

Sometimes our group made silly faces, and we always were smiling!

These flags depicted all the nationalities in attendance at the camp.

As the week wound down, Henry and I posed with Monia, one of our roomies in the room that our families stayed at. We both loved her so much!

On the last day of camp, I got a certificate and also showed off the photo frame I made earlier in the week.

Before we left, I posed for one last picture with Monia. I'm going to miss her!

And here are some highlights from the week, which included lots of Ukrainian songs!

What a fun week that was! I have to give a special shout-out to Mom, who someone managed to watch both Henry and me on her own for most of the week, which is not an easy task. Thanks so much Mom, and I hope you bring us back here next summer!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Going Fourth

Last week, Dad had to work on July 4 but Julia, Mom, Babcia, Dido and I celebrated Independence Day by attending the July 4 parade.

Flag waving, firetrucks, can't beat that!

Here are some of our favorite moments from this year's parade.

Why don't they have parades for every holiday? They're so fun!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fair play

On Sunday, Julia and I went to the Meadowlands for the big NJ Fair that comes every year. It was hot but we had a terrific time on all the ride. I headed right for the truck...



And boat...

Julia did the rides too, but she also made time for funnel cake.

Here are some of our highlights from the NJ Fair.

We'll be back next year!