Thursday, July 11, 2019

Vacations all I've ever wanted, Vacation .. have to get away!

Every year for the 4th of July we head up to Tracy's family cottage in Glen Arbor Michigan. They have been going up there for their summer vacation since she was two with her aunts family and all the cousins.  Its heaven on earth and Tracy's favorite place on earth (seriously!).

We even stay in the same cottage they used to rent and we are fairly sure that NOTHING has changed in 50 years (which is not a good thing). This year there was black mold in the bathroom and the water heater kept leaking ... but... its a cottage and we really dont spend much time IN it. The whole point is to be outside, with family - mission accomplished.

This year, Tammy (Tracys sister) offered to take the kids for a few days and bring them up when they came up on Wednesday. At 1st we thought "no, thats too much trouble". But then...the thought of 3 whole days without the kids, on vacation, doing stuff WE love was much too tempting. So... we drove the 12 hours through Chicago and dropped the kids on Tammy's doorstep.  Slowed slightly, kicked them out of the car and kept heading north.

It was heaven. We hiked, kayaked, biked to a brewery, had a Chubby Mary, walked around Leeland, cooked fabulous dinners, ate Bunny's yummy cabbage rolls (Tracy's request) and basically got a kid free start to our vacation. We are ETERNALLY grateful as I am sure the kids are too because...

They got to hang out, swim, play basketball, go to Joey's baseball game and basically get some pretty serious junk food and cousin time.  Win. Win.

Then, on Wednesday, all chaos defended and Tammy (and all the kids) and Jami (with her family) pulled in for the long 4th of July weekend.

What can we say that hasn't already been said in past year blogs?  Its basically a cut/paste of last year and we wouldn't have it any other way.  Tons of competitions (home run derby, thunder, nucom, spike ball, tubing, cards) as well as conversation (sports seasons, college thoughts, driving lessons, school, friends, crushes..) all the stuff teenagers talk about.  The kids all get along brilliantly, we all share food/dinner duty and its SO much fun.

Here is our week in photos. Honestly, its etched in our hearts.  

As you walk the 1 1/2 mile trek of Day Forest Road, you get to see everyone's true loyalties. 

Yep, walking in the rain with a Pooh umbrella

Sunsets with Sleeping Bear Dunes in the background are awesome

My favorite view, the 1st one of the lake as you drive in 

Salmon spawn here each year in Leeland

Leland is a fishing town

A smoked Chubby Mary with a local beer chaser 

The cottage is literally on the edge of the Sleeping Bear National Forest

Day Farm - always reminds me of the salad dressing commercial

Its hard to tell here but this was a 45 degree hill that went on forever on our way to the brewery 

We earned it! A VERY hilly 90 min bike ride

Another gorgeous evening.

The dunes in the day time

Hanging out at the end of the dock chatting 

The BEST 4th of July parade in all of the US

One year we'll march in this 

These guys had to be hot

I loved the float of the dunes

Looking cute and looking for candy 

They hand out fresh cherries!

Lake Michigan is up 13" and still damn cold but Jimmy loves it! 

Spike Ball tourney 

Jeff's idea of air conditioning, open the freezer and run the fan

We hiked up Alligator Hill and our local photographer took in the sights

EVERYONE jumps off this bridge

3 years ago

Celebrating Kay's birthday a bit early 

Celebrating Billys Gotcha Day with Brownies 

A re-enactment of the above photo - proportions are still "right" 

For his Gotcha Day Billy wanted to see the sunset from the dunes. It was stunning!! 

WAY more than a 45 degree angle down to Lake Michigan 


Jimmy and Georgia

The kids end of the table 

Georgia and Grandma Bunny 

Jimmy and Herbie 

The girls, Kara, Georgia and Kay - they are all  16;)

Tracy and Jeff

Joey, Georgia, Tom and Billy

Jimmy and Jeff 

Shrimp boil by the lake

Waiting on the parade with yummy sandwiches and cold drinks 


Jeff, Kara and Herbie

Grandpa Jim

Joey and Jimmy

Joey, Billy, Jimmy and Herbie 

Kara and Georgia 

The crew 

Tom, Kurt, Auntie Lynn and Jami 

Jami, Reece, Billy and Tracy (Billy, Rece and Joey are all 14)

Kayaking - kid free! 


Paddle boarding 

Paddle boarding with Grandma