Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vacation Day #4

Well, believe it or not, we went to the beach again! If you have never taken a kite to the beach, it is a must-do. They have the perfect breezes, no high wires, and the most beautiful views. We took Buzz Lightyear with us and he flew wonderfully.
And here is yet another picture of the lighthouse and a sailboat caught going by.

When we got to the beach early, I loved to see all of the foot prints in the sand. Footprints of the seagull fellers. I think they have parties on the beach late at night while no one is around. Probably bomb fires, loud music and dancing.

One of only two pictures of me on our whole vacation. Being a single Mom, unless I ask others to take our pictures, I'm not in a whole lot. But that's OK, I would rather take than be taken. Colin took this one of me high in the dunes.

One of the highlights for today was the cruise we took on a pirate ship. It was named Friend's Good Will, and required the assistance of all crew members on board to hoist the sails. Colin LOVED it and was ready to work whenever called upon.

Here is a video of him helping one of the lady pirates on board. Actually we were told it was bad luck to have females on the boat not only because it was full of men, but because the superstition was they brought bad luck. Leave it up to the men to blame the bad luck on the women. I'm here to say, we brought no bad luck the day we set sail.
One of my favorite pictures looking up into the sails with the sun shinning and the clouds all around. It was a very peaceful ride.

Back on dry land, it was back to the beach. Colin decided to play in a big hole someone dug. It about swallowed him up. Notice the birds hanging out behind him.

And finally a rain cloud rolled in and it was time to pack up and head back to our hotel. Even the rain clouds were more pretty in Michigan. Yet another reason to move to Michigan!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vacation Day #3

Our third day on vacation was a little more low key. Colin wanted to try his hand at fishing in the Great Lake Michigan. We headed downtown to the Hardware store to purchase worms (yuck). Colin talked to the man behind the counter to get his opinion on where we needed to go (such an adult in the making). After having his selected spot, we headed out. He fished, I took pictures. No surprise there.
He didn't have great luck catching anything, in fact he didn't even get a nibble. The only thing he did catch, was a duck. Well, in reality the duck wasn't paying attention to where he was swimming and ran into his line. Luckily it didn't get caught, but it was quite funny to watch the duck get in a tizzy over the fishing line.
Colin was fishing off the bank in the channel that leads into the Marina. It was very pretty to see all the boats in the Marina and those coming and going. Of course we were in awe with the yachts, some were as big as my house. But because of all the traffic, the fish were not biting so Colin got bored and wanted to go swimming, so we packed up and left.

Once again, Colin played for a few hours in the sand and would swim every once in awhile. He loved his new shark, I think it looked so funny in the water with him. All you can see in this picture is the shark's little snout. Can you imagine the Jaw's tune...I know you are humming it?

When we needed a break from the sand, we decided to finally walk out on the pier to get a closer look at the lighthouse. I just love lighthouses, any shape or size. This was one thing I couldn't wait to see, the lighthouse that was pictured on the South Haven website. Isn't it pretty, even if silly kids have written all over it?

Standing way out on the pier you could get a closer look at all of the houses on the beach. Everyday we drove along the shoreline from our hotel to the beach. I had my most favorite home, one I would drive by very slowly every day and just soak it all in. The home was HUGE, more than any family needs. But by golly I would sure have fun staying in it for one week.

Look at the front and behind pictures. Can you imagine being in your bedroom, waking up to the sun shining into your window each morning and looking at the view of the lake from your bed? Oh how lovely. I may never see it, but I can dream it.

This was the extent of our day. Oozing over sun, sand, lighthouses and mansions on the water. What could be better?

More Goodies From The Garden

Our garden is not going that great. This is our first time to have one, but I had my Dad till part of our yard for the planting. I didn't think about the section very careful, because it is a low spot in my yard and retains water when we get a lot of rain. Well, this year we have gotten A LOT of rain, so it has killed off many of our plants. Very sad because I was so excited about having and abundant garden. I could never, ever be a farmer and live off the land. Talk about stress, I just get upset over a few tomato plants!
Nonetheless, we get a few things here and there. Tonight my son and I walked around and picked a few cherry tomatoes that are hanging on, our first bell pepper and first sweet pepper. I have no idea the name, Dad picked the pepper plants, but it does smell yummy.

If you look closely to the top left, you'll also see a small Roma tomato. Now all I need is an onion and some cilantro and we've got Salsa! Muy Bien! Time to eat, Adios Amigos!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Vacation Home

Thought I would add another post about something other than Michigan. You can tell it's still so fresh in my blood, that's all I talk about. In an attempt to make my home feel more "vacation-like", we did a little work to the patio.

During our trip, South Haven had a Farmer's Market while we were visiting. I drug Colin out of bed so we could get there to feast on the goodies. The very first booth we stopped at had beautiful, homemade leaves out of clay. At first I thought they were bird feeders, but then I noticed the sweet lady stacked two and turned them into a water fountain. I loved them, Colin loved them more and begged me to buy two. It didn't take much convincing on my part, so I did.

Yesterday we headed to town to purchase the other items necessary and a new umbrella for our patio furniture. I still have a lot of work to do, but already I love my patio and the feeling it brings to me.

My two kitties had window seats watching every move I made outside. They are not allowed to come outside, except for those times they escape. You can not leave the sliding glass door open even if the screen is locked. Kitties with claws can jiggle the door enough to open the lock and make a run for it. Bad kitties.

Well it's off to work tomorrow. I just pray that somehow a miracle happened and all the bad has turned to good. Yeah right. Wish me luck. Happy Sunday!!!

Day #2 on Vacation

Day #2 on vacation started with a stop at a local fruit stand. Michigan is known for it's fruit, especially berries and peaches. There were many fruit stands along the road ways, such a blessing for us that love fruit. It is not only so much better than the grocery stores, it's also cheaper.

We bought some cherries and raspberries to eat on, very yummy!

Before we headed to South Haven, we wanted to go to Saugatuck to check out their dunes so we headed North. We first passed through the town of Douglas, another cute community and shortly after the town, we were passing some water and all of a sudden we both saw this huge boat. Of course we had to stop and check it out, so we made another detour.

The boat is called the S.S. Keewatin and was built in 1907. It is one of the last Great Lakes Passenger Steamships. The boat would cruise the Great Lakes and head to what is now Canada. It was a luxury Steamboat, kind of like the Titanic.
They offered tours of the boat and we both decided we wanted to check this out. We saw below deck where the engine room was, the middle deck where are the guest rooms were and the upper deck where the parties happened and the life boats.
It was fun to imagine people on the boat from the 1920's and what it would be like. It was such a classy boat, all the details were first class. Or at least they were for the 1900's. It was still in excellent shape.
My favorite room was the dining area. It was so fancy and pretty. The tables and chairs were screwed to the floor so they wouldn't move.
From there we headed to the top deck to see where the Captain drove this vessel. Colin was pretending he was the Captain in charge.

I'm sure glad we stumbled upon this big boat. It took 2 hours for the whole tour but we both agreed it was worth it. We jumped in the car and found Saugatuck finally. We spent some time downtown to do a bit of shopping and to grab lunch. Then we were off again to find the Dunes. We finally did and signed up for our ride. These Dunes were not on the shore front, instead there was a guy that drove a huge, open and loud jeep all around the hills for you to see them. It was not a leisurely stroll, he was going super fast up and down the hills, kind of like being on a roller coaster.
The kids on board loved it, I on the other hand wasn't thrilled with all the sand I ate and got stuck in my hair. But it was fun once we reached the top and was able to get out for a view of the dunes and the lake in the distance.

This is the jeep we were all piled in. It carried 15 people and our caravan had about 10 screaming girls on board. Our driver quickly admitted he didn't want kids. I could understand why.

Once we were done with the thrill ride we both agreed we wanted to get to South Haven and go swimming in the lake. So we headed South, checked into our hotel and headed for the beach. The temperature outside was around 70, the water was a chilly 60, but it was perfect weather to sit on a beach towel and soak in the sun. And of course snap a ton of pictures.
Pirate boat....more to come on that later.
Colin wrestling a shark. You didn't know they had them in Lake Michigan did you??? They are blow-up sharks purchased at the gift shop. :)
After a couple hours at the beach it was supper time. It was always fun to drive around and find a place to eat. Colin chose the 50's Drive In diner, you could eat in your car. He had Slider Cheeseburgers and I had fish.

We shared an order of Onion Rings and it's a good thing....look at the size of these things!
Dusk was quickly approaching and it was time to head to our hotel. We walked around the area and found an observation deck that over looked the lake. The sun setting was spectacular. Afterwards it was off to bed and a much needed rest.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Back to Reality

We are home....back from Michigan and have fallen in love with South Haven. I have never been to Michigan to see the Lake and it was beautiful. It really feels like the ocean because it is so large, but you get the pleasure of cooler temperatures. The water was chilly, I opted to stay out of it, but not my son. He swam regardless. The town was so cute and fun, we really did hate to leave.

I'll give you some highlights of our vacation for a few days. I took way too many pictures to share them all, I am kind of a photo nut so I always take a bunch. Everything was just so pretty I couldn't stop taking pictures.

The drive was only 4 1/2 hours, so close to home I can't believe we haven't discovered this place before. The majority of the drive was just getting from our home town to Chicago. Once you got around the city, the drive was beautiful and you could tell there was water near. We were both very excited when our GPS finally showed water. We couldn't ever see it because of all the trees, but we knew we were so close.

A girlfriend from work told me about Warren Dunes State park so when we came across the town we took a detour. Once you were driving in the park it kind of looked like our state parks...until you went up this big hill and then all of a sudden.....the trees opened up and suddenly you saw the lake. It was awesome and finally, we were here!

When we were finally able to take our eyes off the lake, we turned around to see the HUGE dunes.

I read that the dunes were around 330 feet tall and I would believe that. Of course the first thing my son said was "let's go climb them". I had to laugh because I knew immediately I would never make it. But nonetheless, we set off. I made it about 1/3 of the way up and about died of a heart attack. It started out good and I honestly thought "I can do this". Huh! That quickly ended as the slope got steeper and steeper. Colin on the other hand, did make it all the way and then proceeded to run down them as fast as he could. Long before he reached the bottom, he wiped out and ate some sand. That was when I was glad I never made it because I knew I would have wiped out too and then everyone around would have gotten a good laugh.

The dunes were sure pretty, but the beach was calling us. Colin wanted to grab is toys and find a place to play. Since we drove our car I let him bring more stuff to play with than normal and he had to bring his John Deere tractor and auger. It was the perfect thing to play with in the sand.

The waves were extra rough this day, but I loved the sound they made on the shore. Again, felt like we were at the ocean, but no yucky salt water.

Ocean or not, these fellas were still there. They may be water rats, but they are a lot of fun. They also know that people mean food so they stay very close to you, and every now and then, make their funny noise as if they are saying...."Hey, give me some food!".

Colin dug and dug in the sand and I just sat and soaked in all the glory. At this moment, I truly felt like we were on vacation and all the bad stuff from work was gone. Before we left I had a bad head cold and it made me feel extra crummy, but I noticed while sitting on the beach, I no longer could feel my cold or my allergies. Reason #1 why we need to move. :)

A couple hours passed and decided we better keep heading down the road to our destination, South Haven. Colin said he wanted some ice cream and spotted a McDonald's up the road. I told him, you can't have McDonald's ice cream, I guarantee there are ice cream stands around here. It was maybe 2 miles later we spotted this store front, and it would soon become our favorite ice cream joint.

Sherman's ice cream's home spot is Michigan. And later we would find out the actual factory is in South Haven. They had so many types to pick from, Colin opted for Cookies and Cream and I picked Cappucino. Ohhhhhhhh was it yummy.

Is this picture a true sign of being on vacation or what? Ice cream, flip flops, relaxed in a chair and all your cares are flowing by. Ahhhhh....I can even taste the ice cream.

So back in the car we go and finally we reached South Haven. Immediately I could tell this town was awesome. We followed the signs to downtown and when we saw the area, we loved it. We drove so slow to take it all in. In the distance, you saw the water and that famous lighthouse I was dying to see. Isn't it just so cute?!?!?!

Our first nights stay was in a Bed and Breakfast. It was so nice and the couple was extra friendly. Our first day in Michigan proved to be wonderful and I already loved this state.

Tomorrow, we do more sight seeing and spend time in our town.