Last time I got on here, we were awaiting the arrival of my mom, sister, and her two boys. They got here safely, though not without some excitement along the way. Not the kind of excitement that one really worries about; it was more like the kind of excitement that will come back to embarrass the youngest one in about ten years. Think nosebleed + cotton on a string and you’ve got the idea. And that’s only part of it!
Anyway, they were here from late on the 3rd until the morning of the 9th, and we got into as much good stuff as we could. Early on the 4th we took a short hike down to Sand Lake 1. (I know, inspiring creativity there.) The idea was to go snorkeling there, because it’s a small lake in a quiet area (literally…no motor traffic allowed); however, it turns out that when you take a bunch of inexperienced people into silt-bottomed water that’s colder than they’re expecting, the snorkeling conditions aren’t what you’d call great. No big deal. The edge of the lake is surrounded by marl, and Tony found a sloped area that worked great as a slide. The boys had a great, boyish time. I can’t say that we didn’t enjoy watching, either!
Of course, no 4th of July is complete without fireworks. And if you’re going to watch fireworks over the south end of Torch Lake, you’ve gotta go armed with ice cream. Mission complete: we set up at the boat launch and watched as the circus of coming and going boats ensued. We waited for “dusk.” And waited. And whined. And then, they started. Unless you’re Kade and didn’t partake in a long nap, they were totally worth the wait. Kade declared, though, that he “decided that they were boring.”
It’s become somewhat of a mission to push Steph to do something she might not normally (ever) do each time she comes to visit. It’s usually not too hard of a sell; I think she expects it. In Georgia this often consisted of exploring heights. So far in Michigan, it’s been kayaking and snorkeling. Mom and Steph both gave kayaking a go, and with the exception one minor capsizing event, they were champs. I don’t have any snorkeling pictures ready to upload, but Steph also braved the cold waters of Torch Lake to check out the fish cribs with us.
The boys had a great time at the numerous beaches we went to, building sandcastles and learning how to skip rocks. Each time one of them tossed a rock into the water, I reminded them sternly that “that’s exactly what you’re supposed to do when you’re near water.” And when we left the beach and sandcastles behind, we ran over to Kalkaska to play on the amazing castle playground. I wanna go back. It was really neat. You’ll have to check it out when you come visit. 😉
On Thursday night, we traipsed over to the state’s western coast with plans of checking out the Sleeping Bear Dunes overlooks (again, because it was quite overcast the first time we went), playing in the Platte, and watching the sun set. Check, check, and check. The visibility at the dunes was awesome (aside: Zy rolled down the dune climb so fast bodily fluids glued sand to his face in a streak, and Stephanie proudly ran down the dune…after climbing it!), the boys learned how to ride their life jackets in a current, and the sun set was awe-inspiring. All in all, I have to say it was one of our best visits. I can’t wait for them to come back in the winter!
But wait, there’s more! Just in case you were starting to wonder what I’ve been doing besides typing, you should know that we also attended (survived?) two family reunions and picked and froze 4 quarts of raspberries. And now, Jim, Jess, and Jackson are due here any moment, so I am off to greet them!