A Mid-Year Mishmash

I know that if you’re a regular reader of this blog, I make your job hard because I write less than regularly, but I’m back. Even if it is just for one night. I have, as usual, been busy adventuring.

We made the Kool-Aid particularly strong, and actually succeeded in getting three of the best Cliftons to move up here over Memorial Day weekend. Yes, they are in fact aware that it gets cold and snowy up here. πŸ˜‰ So, that’s a source of a whole lot of adventures. Mostly centered around good food.

Then mid-month I was given the all-clear and we immediately went on a deserted hike through pines and wildflowers to a remote beach on the tip of the Old Mission Peninsula. (I would show you pictures, but alas, I have none because the battery in my trusty camera was dead.) We’ve had the kayaks out a few times, and today we even took an abbreviated free-diving trip. I felt a bit ridiculous in my get-up, but I was warm and was actually able to swim all the way out and back, so there you go.

Jackson chilling in my kayak pre-Platte River trip

Rash guard + full wetsuit + booties + hood + gloves. And it was warm and sunny most of the day!

Earlier in the month, we went to a hot air balloon festival in Traverse City. The festival extended over three days, but we really only checked out the second day of festivities. The balloon operators were not giving free rides except to festival organizers and fire fighters, but I did seize the opportunity to speak to a few of them. Here are some things I learned, in case you are wondering:

  • No, they cannot steer. They use the heat the burning propane provides to rise or fall into wind currents that carry them wherever they hope to go. Usually when they fly the currents higher up are running in a different direction entirely than those lower down, and they always travel with a spotter truck to pick up any wayward balloons.
  • They can carry upwards of 1,400 pounds.
  • Each β€œsquare” in the rainbow balloon that’s made of β€œsquares” costs about $150.

Just a few yards in front of us at the park

View from below

Rainbow balloon "glowing" after sunset

Balloon returning from a trip up the Old Mission Peninsula

View from below as it descended toward the open space at the park

Taking off over the marina

Another balloon lifting off

My favorite πŸ™‚

Crowd absorbing the "glow"

Tall ship Manitou on the bay (not part of the show, but we enjoyed it anyway πŸ™‚ )

And last weekend we were in Ohio for my brother’s wedding reception. They got married December 27, 2010, but decided to wait until summer to celebrate. Mom’s flowers were a beautiful background – which is no surprise if you know anything about my mom – and Kim’s cake was pretty and tasty. All around I think the day was a success. Welcome, officially again, to the family Kristy. I hope you know what you got yourself into πŸ˜‰

Some flowers in Mom's flower yard

A non-purple, but supposedly purple petunia

Corey and Kristy, pre-cake

...post-cake, with love πŸ™‚

Final self-promoting note: if you have half-baked plans to visit us Up North this summer, you’ll want to get those dates firmed up ASAP. The bed-and-breakfast that we seem to run is filling up fast, so hurry hurry hurry!

Sunset tonight at ~9:50 over Elk Lake


6 thoughts on “A Mid-Year Mishmash

  1. First of all: you are SUCH a honey badger – so brave for posting that wet suit picture! πŸ˜‰

    Secondly: you captured Baby J’s “cheese face” with perfection

    C: we now have matching Elk Lake sunset pictures πŸ™‚

  2. 1 – I AM a honey badger πŸ˜‰ And keep in mind that I have a lovely picture of you stashed away JIC
    2 – He rocks that cheese face, so I get lots of opportunities
    C – When did you take yours?

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