Friday, July 11, 2014

Schools Out, Michigan and the 4th of July

I always default to the oldie but goodie, Schools out for the Summer, a Alice Copper mega hit, which plays over and over in mind as the school year draws to an end and the thoughts of spending the next months with the kids 24/7 YIKES!!

This school year was awesome, fun, the kids learnt something and the field trips were super cool, I mean a working farm and planting our very own water flowers, to name a few. It will be bittersweet for Billy as he and Ms. Cutts are breaking up, as you see Ms. Cutts was Billy's 2nd and 3rd grade teacher and she will not be teaching 4th grade next year. She was a great teacher and helped keep Billy on track and focused, which is no easy task, Thanks Ms. Cutts.! As you all know from the previous post Kay is now a graduate and moving on to Middle School and more adventures there.
Kay brought
treats to school about once a moth and she had to out do herself for the end of the year treats so she made cookie monster cupcakes, 48 of them..

Jimmy will now be a Canadian 8th Grader and has a great group of friends, whom I may add have sent our food budget through the roof this year coming over to the house 2-3 times per week to play rock band on the wii, and eat as many chicken nuggets, corn dogs and hot pockets they could get their hands on and drinking coke by the case, it was super fun. He had the group over for an end of the year hang out and pizza party on the  last day of school which lasted until we kicked them all out and told them to go home, we are going on vacation, Michigan here we come!!

We picked Tracy up at work late Friday and headed west as far as we could go until the road construction and tiredness over took us and we needed to stop, around mid-night we ended up in Frankenmuth, MI, a lovely quaint spot on the map. Saturday we were up and at em and made it to Glen Lake without incident and got settled into the cabin, stashed out stuff and headed over to see Granma and Grandpa Hickey. The day was great the kids played in the lake and we caught up and had a nice afternoon. No trip to see Grandma Hickey is complete without Chalupa's and this was no different! We settled into our rented abode and everyone crashed after the events of the last couple of days.

Sunday we explored Glen Lake, the town not the lake, and of course Kay was on the hunt for some unique and odd item only the mind of an almost 11 year old could come up with, drum roll please; Fudge, and she was obsessed, " Mom and Dad, all some towns have to have a fudge shop". The is this place call Bear Paws, if you read last years post you will remember it is famous for 2 things, giant gummy bears and pizza. The giant gummy bear market seems to have dried up in Glen Lake as they no longer stock them however the pizza market has not. 2 larger family pizzas, 4 adults 3 kids, no leftovers and smiles all around, you gotta eat there! There is a tradition at the cottage that at or as near to 5:30 as you can everyone meets on Aunt Lynn & Uncle Gary's deck for happy hour and watching the sun set, will not set per se but you get the idea.

Monday was set for a dunes walk. The dunes is a picturesque place that extends from Glen Arbor all the way to Lake Michigan, the walk is not for the faint of heart or anyone obsessed with keeping sand out of their shoes. The Loudamericans headed out 2 of us had our sites set on walking the whole way and 3 of us were there for moral support and to help get Tracy and Billy to the top. They made the round trip walk and we ate ice cream, trade-offs. Monday night Tom & Kay put their culinary Skills on display and created a Mexican meal complete with marinated pork, hearts of palm and Kay made several decorations for the platters and it was awesome!!

Tuesday was Tracy's last day as she had to get back to Toronto, so we decided a family bike ride was in order. Grandma and Grandpa are volunteers for the State Park, which encompasses most of the area and have the cool bike vests that they wear as Bike Path Ambassadors, so at least we would break any rules or get lost while they were with us! Then it was back to the lake for a swim and lunch.
Grandpa and Grandma took Tracy to the airport and the rest of us lazed around the cabin some begging for a wi-fi connections others reading a book. Jimmy has been obsessed with the World Cup, changing team affiliations with every goal and cheering like a banshee.
Grandma stopped by the Library and picked up a movie that Jimmy has been literally dying to see, Month Python and the Holy Grail, so after dinner, Grandma and Grandpa , who have not seen this 80's icon of a movie, innocently asked do you guys want to watch this? Is it any good? The movie was basically on a continuous loop in the cabin for the next few days, both Jim's ( Grandpa and Jimmy) were laughing so hard they couldn't stand it, it was entertaining.

Tracy's sister Tammy and her three kids, Georgia, Joey & Herby showed up on Thursday and the next few days were pretty much the same it went like this:
Breakfast at 10:00 outside for world Cup inspired soccer, break at noon for a swim and then baseball inspired by the pending All-Star Break, a quick break while Kay did a few dozen back hand springs into back walkovers, then into the lake for wind surfing, tubing clam seeking and other lake type activities, the 5:30 would roll around, you get the picture. In between we would have lunch, play an occasion game of pig or horse, then back to  cousin time, it was great.

Friday was the 4th of July and Glen Lake does their parade up proudly. Grandpa and Grandma rode their bile sin the parade with the rest of the docents, the parade itself is about an hour long with the added bonus of every float heaving candy into the crowd at a break neck pass, it is a bigger haul than most big town Halloweens! The kids were on a sugar high for the rest of the day! Tracy & Tammy's cousin Jami and her husband Kurt along with their 2 kids Kiera & Reece joined us and their kids fell right into the mix, soccer, baseball, lake, basketball, backflip, lunch, Month Python, repeat....
Grandpa fired up the Webber and we had burgers, brats all the fixing you would want for the 4th!!

Saturday we had to say goodbye as it was time to head back to Toronto. It was an awesome week full of great memories and a huge THANK YOU, to Granma Bunny and Grandpa Jim for all the fun,  and a great time.
A brief side note it seems that Alice Cooper is such a fan of square hamburgers that he was recently was inducted into the While Castle Cravers Hall of Fame, seriously
more to come...