Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New York fun, part 1

What follows here is almost certainly too many photos, but we just don't want to forget these times we shared with family in New York in the summer of 2010. Although we still have some sleep and driving difficulties, this trip is something we've been looking forward to for a long time, and this kind of cousin playing is something we have longed to see.

Christina's sister, Melissa, and her husband Jeff and daughter Calynn were nice enough to invite all four of us to stay with them for the week. And they indulged us with a Munchkin (Dunkin' Donuts) party our first morning there.
Then, even though we started really early in the morning, there was a spirited rush to get ready to go to the grandparents for the day. Clara helped Aunt Lissa do her hair...what a kind niece.
Our first stop was to Grandpa and Grandma Mary, who have a vineyard in upstate NY. All the stateside cousins came (we missed you, Sakura and John!) and it was wonderful chaos.
Clara and Elena have long loved tractors- they ran as soon as they saw one of Grandpa's, and you could barely tear Clara away from that sweet ride.

Even when we did get her off the tractor, we couldn't get the ear protection worn ON the tractor away from her.
Grandpa took turns taking us all around the vineyard with a cart on this tractor. It was great fun.

Although they were nowhere near ripe, we all got a kick out of picking our own grapes!

Elena was being so silly with these glasses...we're not quite sure how she got them to stick here.
Silly little face.
Elena and Katie had matching dresses, and we tried to get them to take a sweet picture together.

Between those two personalities it was a lost cause, but we did get some funny shots!

Sweet sisters in the meadow.
Perhaps not quite a Country Time commercial, but the porch swinging was mighty sweet. Loralei and Lena pushed, while Lucas and Clara are living the easy life.
Auntie Laura, chasing the young whippersnappers across the field.

Peering at their lunch to see what they each got - both got olives to put on their fingers, a Granato family tradition.
The gang, in various stage of eating.

At Laura's request, swimming pools were brought out to recreate fun some of us had three years ago when the cousins from Japan came out and we all played up on this hill. It was fun again this time, with a slightly different slate of cousins. We can't believe Clara and Elena weren't there last time!
Suki, cooling off in this vintage tin barrel of Grandma Mary's.

Calynn, a happy little water baby who wouldn't leave the pool once.
Lucas dripped water on her head - honestly, she was having fun!
Clara and Suki attempt to share the barrel - and that is likely runaway Katie in the background.
Grandpa and Clara talking tractors.

Love these little sunglasses of Katie's!

We had to borrow this photo from Aunt Laura - she was clever at getting us all into the same photo, and nearly all looking in the right direction!

After drying off, it was over to Grandma's for an olde time ice cream social. She had so many fixin's and options that we were all dizzy and delighted. The kids clamored around their grandma like little baby birds.
Aunt Laura is a serious shaker - these kids had never seen so many sprinkles!

Lena, proud as punch with her delicious ice cream sundae.
Clara, carefully guarding her cherry topped delight.
Calynn dove right in and enjoyed the chocolate ice cream with abandon.
A gaggle of cousins, all digging in and joining each other on a sugar high.

Then the craziness began - we somehow thought it was an okay idea to play "tie up Auntie Laura!" and this was a spirited game - definitely not as hilarious in photographs as it was in person.
Grandma had so many flowers, rocks, and trees in her yard - all the kids had fun exploring.
Clara and Elena broke into Grandma's house and began pulling out all her yarn...Christina was tempted too (so many pretty colors!).
Leni surveys the room, holding on tight to Grandma's bear.

We had such a very wonderful time with all of the grandparents and all of the cousins and all of the aunts and uncles. We felt so lucky and happy to be a part of it, and it definitely made all the traveling worth it. Thanks so much for all of the work Grandma, Grandpa, and Grandma Mary put in to giving us such a wonderful day!

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