Michigan Day 3

On the third day of our trip we set off mid-morning for Macinack Island on a speedy ferry. C had to hold his hat down to prevent it from flying off in the wind! 

After braving the wild bicycle traffic filling the streets, we ate our packed lunch behind a little library and enjoyed the view. The kids of course got wet….

We walked through much of the crowded town and finally emerged on the other side, closer to the route up the hill. 

Stopping for a break! 

The crowds thinned after a bit and we had a lovely walk up to Arch Rock and a vista point.

We decided to head a little out of our way to Skull Cave and then take the ferry back to the mainland. So off we were, walking on  a road that was dotted with horse manure (walking, bikes and horse wagons are the only way to get around the island). The path was long but who would pass up the chance to see something called Skull Cave?!?

Turns out we should have skipped it…..

With our food and water supplies running low, we heaved our burdens and turned back to town.

J carried the heaviest load: a tired 4 year old. 

Ah! Civilization in sight! 

But we had to stop for a rest again, with only fudge left to give us strength to carry on.

The children were weak with hunger and weariness. And irritation at having their picture taken.

We trudged to the ferry and collapsed in our seat. 

But not before buying salt water taffy! We combined that with the wind from the speedy ferry and the ill-chosen seats and our energy returned!! 

So we moved to better seats to eat the taffy. 😉

C and I practice our fake smiles.

That night we had dinner around the fire. 

And toasted our toes. 🙂 

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Michigan Day 2

Pretty much all we did this day was unpack and organize and play on the beach. 

And play more. 

And more.

Sand is really fun for kids.

We moved to a new spot! Later, the kids laid with their chests on the rock that E is on, laughing hysterically as the little waves hit them. 

We moved back to the first area and buried the kids to keep them still. 😆

Dinner and s’mores around the campfire.

Yum! 

Our little campsite. 

Michigan Day 1

We delayed our trip by a day because E had a cold and though it was minor, he gets major chest congestion with colds and struggles to breathe at night. No one wanted to be stuck camping in the middle of nowhere with a four year old unable to breathe! So we opted for an extra night at home with the humidifiers and left on Sunday. Turns out the night air while camping was just what E needed and he slept peacefully the whole trip (apart from a couple of nightmares 🙁). Here is the van when we left around 10:30 Sunday morning, quite crowded with humans and a week’s worth of supplies to keep them alive. 

Lunch break at a rest area! We played tag and had a fun time. 

Wiki stix fun face that C made on his window (with a wind turbine in the background). 

We stopped for dinner at a barbecue restaurant that had a big grassy area to run in and a boardwalk along a river. C gave the ribs a thumbs up. I was relived we found a place for the kids to run and get some wiggles out! 

E liked his grilled cheese but doesn’t look too pleased with me for taking his picture. 

Our view as we drove over the Mackinak Bridge. Turns out I feel the same way about driving over bridges as I do about standing on sky scrapers: panicked! Who knew! When we left the UP and went over the bridge days later, the clouds obscured much of the view and I wasn’t driving so I was fine that time. 😉 

Our campground, Straits State Park, was situated right on Lake Huron and we could walk 2 minutes to see it and the bridge that is the separation of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. 

J and C explored further down. The sandy area of the beach wasn’t much but my little landlocked kiddos were more than delighted about it! 

C couldn’t resist wading out.

Uncle J, E, C, and J. 

Silly E.

Taking a shower after swimming was one of the kids’ favorite parts of our trip. 😝

We finished setting up the campsite then went back to see the bridge lit up at night. The end of a long day of (mostly fun!) driving and an exciting evening! 

State Fair

We spent a day at the fair two weeks ago on Tuesday and could have gone a second day and probably still not have seen everything we wanted! 

C enjoyed this rug making demo.

And E liked walking on these stilt blocks. 

Unable to find a water fountain to fill out water bottles, C and I had to buy lemonade. 

Driving miniature tractors!

C is almost too big for this! 

Cooling down at a water fan.

Frosty hair! 

E caught a fish, didn’t want to hold it though. 

And he rode a mechanical horse. 😉 

We spent a lot of the fair walking and eating food we brought and snacks. It was fun! 
The next day, continuing The Summer of Expensive House Issues, we had the septic pumped and the kids got to learn about septic tanks. 😝

Kites and campfires

C and I built a town (complete with Costco) with our magnetic tiles. 

We flew the $1 garage sale kite. Best purchase ever. 😁

The wind kept coming in gusts so the kite would droop and fall then we’d try again when the wind picked up. 

E wanted to give it a try but then the wind died and we eventually gave up. 

The kids, digging a hole in the hillside fort. They hope to make hole big enough to hide in one day. 

We grilled veggies and made a fire for dinner Friday. The kids decided to hold this pose for a photo.

Then moved to this.

And pulled J into the game. Pretty sure C just stayed frozen the whole time….

It’s like a jungle here! 

Everyone had a fun time. 🙂 

Especially our cat Barcis. 

And the kids helped extinguish the fire. 😝

This week

The kids tie dyed clothes before we went to Baltimore and have been wearing them often since our return! 

C’s clothes. 

E explaining something important to me.

So Mama….

Odd shot but these kids carry their swords and shields (pot lids) tucked in their shirts. 😝

And eat meals like this. 

Playing in our river. 

It’s deep in spots! They had a lot of fun walking against the current. 

We did our monthly Costco trip. Whew. 

And made a feast for dinner. 

C cracking up as he draws J and I. We had to pose a certain way. 

This is apparently what we looked like. 😆

The ol’ house. J and I are trying to pick new color since its sad and peeling state requires re-painting this month. 

Engineering day at the homeschool group.  

Baltimore Day 5

We started the day early (always) with our new routine of cuddling, eating breakfast, getting ready, and playing some Breath of the Wild. 

Then we set out for Longwood Gardens, 1.5 hours away. An emergency bathroom break meant we simply had to get donuts. 😉 

We ate at the picnic area at the gardens then headed in just in time for the fountain show. It was timed to music and pretty neat.

Another bathroom break led us to the world’s coolest corridor. 

Then we explored the kids area in the conservatory. 

Their expressions behind this waterfall wall! 

In a dragon head.

Chasing the water!

Heading down the tiny staircase.

To the tiny hall. It was all delightfully sized for kids. 

They loved this fountain.

So many neat fountains here!

Walking.

In the main conservatory.

Lily pad garden.

E was a little nervous here, the lillypads had spikes and were floating. 

Exploring the less interesting outdoor kids garden.

Artichokes! C’s favorite.

Spinach! I want to grow this variety next year.

Resting. We did a lot of walking and since we moved pretty fast, we separated from my mom and sisters. 

Hey, back for another restroom break. Common occurance….

E ran up and down this area for a while. 

Kids were seriously drooping and we’d eaten all my snacks so we stopped for a cookie. 

And walked some more to meet the rest of our crowd. 

Made faces along the way. 

Giant tree(ish)house. C is on the balcony. E is somewhere in there too. 

Family selfie.

Closer shot where the antique mirror makes us look all diseased. 😜

Having fun! 

Then the kids got all silly.

And they started tickling me.

I tend to not react well to being tickled but they think it’s hilarious. 

The peeps.

Long trek to the exit.

We drove an hour (on the most magnificent curving and hilly country roads) to meet my brother for dinner. The kids once again got (hot) chocolate milk with their meal. Wow, they do it fancy out here! 

Whipped cream! 

Enjoying the rocking chairs and talking.