Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lake Michigan Mini-Vacation

Nate, Maddie and EmNate, Maddie and Em
We went up North-West-ish this past weekend to spend some time at Lake Michigan. We stayed at Will's Mom's cottage in the New Era area (home of the infamous Rothbury festival that just happened) just South of Silver Lake Dunes. Her place is walking distance to Lake Michigan, set back in the woods in a beautiful environment. We left Friday evening after Nate's practice and rolled in late. The next day's forecast was ugly, showing thunderstorms all weekend long. We headed to the lake to try our luck and had sun for the majority of the time. The bad news was that Lake Michigan was FREEZING cold. This was not the kind of cold you could get used to. This was the kind that you eventually got numb to. We still had fun playing in the sand and burying each other, not doing too much productive at all.

Mac Woods Dune RideNate and Dad on the Dune Ride
The next day the weather was cooler and it was very windy so we headed off to Silver Lake Sand Dunes for the day. These are awesome Dunes that are sandwiched between Silver Lake and Lake Michigan. We went on a dune ride and then went and hiked the dunes. We learned a valuable lesson: 30mph+Sand Dunes=Skin Exfoliation. After getting sand blasted, we climbed the giant dunes and ran down into the lake, which was a decent temperature.

I'd already had my Canon SLR camera in for it's fourth repair (I think Best Buy now gives me a replacement based on what I understand about the service plan) and the screen died on my Sony DSC-T1 digital camera. I was taking pictures blind, and trying to supplement with my iPhones camera, so the pictures are a bit spotty in places.
Cathie and Em in the DesertSilver Lake Dunes
We then hoofed it over to the Lighthouse where the kids and I climbed the 150 steps to the top to get a beautiful view. I'm not a big fan of heights, so I had no problem climbing right back down.
LighthouseEm, Nate and Maddie at the Lighthouse
At night we would go to Lake Michigan and enjoy the sunset and then come back for a camp fire. We spent a lot of time hanging out by the camp fire at night. Emily had found some driftwood that she claimed was a "hand-massager". She believed that if you rubbed it, it would make your hands soft. We thought we were nuts, until we tried it. You can see her pictured with it below. On Sunday night, Nate and I took Will's Mom up on her suggestion to take the telescope down to the Lake and see how close God really is.

Nate and I did this about midnight and were blown away. The moon lit up the entire beach and the stars were crystal clear. We never figured out how to use the telescope correctly, but it was a fun trip none-the-less.
Emily and her driftwoodNate Go-Karting
On Monday, we tried to pack a bunch of things in while still getting back in time for Football/Cheer practice. The girls went horseback riding while Nate and I hit the go-karts. We headed over to a nearby dairy farm to get ice-cream and then stopped to see Jon and the kids in Grand Rapids. We made it home just in time to get the kids in their uniforms and off to practice. It was a quick trip, but a fun one. The weather could have been better, but it somehow made it even more fun because we had to improvise. The kids wanted badly to bring friends on this trip and we held firm, knowing that as the kids grow up and lives continue to get busy, we don't have a lot of years left to just have family time like this.

You can see the rest of the pictures here.

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