Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Finally, the long awaited last post about our trip!

Whew, I got a little side-tracked there! I have been wanting to blog more, but it's so hard. I can't find the time I would like, and often when I DO have the time, I'm too tired and my brain hurts. Maybe when the girls are in school more? Ha ha. Add it to the list of everything I will accomplish when I have two whole days a week without kids at home!

So, where I left off was our last Friday in Milwaukee.

On Saturday we had a very low-key day of hanging around my sister's house before we all decided to take a trip to Doctor's Park. We walked a nice winding trail down to Lake Michigan and the kids all played on the beach for a long time. There was a very dirty stream running out in to the beach that housed frogs and bugs, amongst gross garbage. My nephews were trying their hardest to catch frogs and my sister was right in there with them! I kept saying "clearly you are the mother of boys."

From left to right: Matt, my sister's dog, Emma, Eloise, my brother-in-law, Iris

My nephew doing some serious rock skipping!

My littler nephew looking very charming while having his portrait taken.

My sister the frog catcher.
On Sunday it was time for us to pack up and head back to my parent's house in MI. We decided to stop in Chicago again to visit another friend-- this time Ashlee and her little man, Xavier! Ashlee suggested a great little park and the kids had a blast playing. X is such an amazingly sweet little boy, and he has an equally sweet mama. It was so much fun to spend some time with these two! After playing we headed over to a vegan bakery (which inexplicably sold maple bacon lollipops) and all indulged in some sweet treats. Ashlee and I also had out our dueling Nikon's to try and catch some cute pictures of the kids.

On Monday we headed out for our very last day of fun in MI. We met up with our friends for the last time, hanging out at a park in Muskegon before driving onward to my favorite MI beach at Duck Lake. Last time we were in MI for vacation we stayed right down the way from Duck Lake and was introduced to his splendidness. I made it a point to head back there again on this trip and we had to put it off until the very last day! There are a few wonderful things about this particular beach. The beach is actually a strip between Duck Lake and Lake Michigan. What connects the little lake to the big lake is a shallow channel. The first time we were there, two summers ago, it was very shallow and fairly narrow. This time is was much wider and quite a bit deeper, though still not even up to my waist. The water is warm and clear, as well. The sand is white and smooth and there is the added bonus of being able to swim in any of the three areas-- Duck Lake, Lake Michigan or the channel! We had a ball hanging out there for the afternoon.

This photo is looking down on one part of the beach from the road. In the background is Lake Michigan, in the foreground is the channel.

After we got back to my parent's house Matt's cousins and three sons were there for a visit! We played at the house for a while before heading over to a local pizza place for dinner. It was a lovely last day to our vacation.
I always have such mixed feelings about these looong trips back to my parent's house. On hand, we are there so infrequently and we pay so much to get there, it feels like we should stay for a while to really get as much time as we can out of it. On the other hand, a three week stay is loooong, for everyone involved. I miss my parents terribly when I'm away from them, but then living in their house for that long feels like we need just a bit more space and time away. We very, very much appreciated my parent's tremendous hospitality. The food was insanely good. The accommodations were impeccable. The company was divine. Looking forward to our next visit!

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