Wednesday, October 24, 2012

83 Steps

Just after Labor Day we took a family vacation with my parents and my brother's family.  In a surprising twist, instead of heading south to Key West we went north to South Haven Michigan.  It was great.  A three hour drive brought us to a quaint little house, tucked away near the end of a wooded drive and backing right up to the beach.
Well, not right up to the beach.  There were 83 steps leading through the woods and down to the beach.  Not really a problem until you consider that everything that went down had to come back up, and two of the people in our group had to be carried.
The 'sashaying' of Lake Michigan left perfect little pools for the kids to play in.  Our first afternoon on the beach and we didn't plan very well.  We remembered to bring some toys down the steps, but not bathing suits.  So...all three kids went back up the 83 steps in their underwear or diapers with their wet sandy clothes in the pink bucket.
While the parents gave the kids an early bath, Grandma and Papaw went for pizza while Uncle Wes/Daddy read stories to Jack and Samantha.
The next morning was kind of chilly so we adjusted our plans accordingly.  A group was elected to go to the grocery store, we settled into our house, and the kids all took an early nap.
The adults eagerly await the end of nap time so our first official beach day could start.  It was worth the wait.  Lilly wrote her name in the sand.  Wes dug a trench.  Samantha and Jack played and the rest of us mostly just watched.
Lilly did a little wave jumping.
And, built a starfish out of sand.
She was also able to get Papaw to go for a walk.
Jack dug in the dirt and decided that Uncle Wes was his personal hero.  He followed him most of the afternoon and mimicked many of the things that he did.  In this picture Jack is refining the ditch that Wes dug.
I couldn't help but post this wonderful picture of Jack and Samantha playing in the sand together.  It's very rare to get a picture of two children in this age group who are both making the same "Ah!  The sun is in my eyes!" face.
The next morning we headed to a park, but not before everyone demanded a little attention from Papaw.  Papaw's going to need another arm and a bigger lap.
Pretty girl.
A rare smile from Jack.  Jack seemed to develop a little more personality this week.  He laughed, smiled, picked on picked on by Samantha...and even perfected his lion roar.  He did this so often during nap time that we actually had to move Lilly to another room because she would legitimately try to go to sleep and Jack would loudly roar at her for almost an hour.
We did something fun every morning and then came back home for naps before hitting the beach for the afternoon.  Bryan wasn't able to come for the whole week because of work.  He came a couple of days late and left a day early, so he was pretty popular while he was here.
Here Wes and Samantha make the trip up the 83 steps for the evening.  We was a little bit more worn out from this climb than Samantha.
  We woke up the next morning to clouds and rain so we went to an interactive children's museum in the next town over where we all rode the carousel.

I don't even know how to describe this was one of those pin art things that is normally about the size of your hand, only this one was huge.  After everyone had a turn making faces and hand prints, Bryan and Lilly got really creative.
Later that afternoon it was still a little chilly for the beach so we had to find something else to do.  After naps, of course.  Lilly patiently waited for Jack and Samantha to wake up.
When the little ones finally woke up, Lilly led us all on a walk.
Followed by dinner, baths, and stories from Papaw.
The next day was a park day, followed by a trip to town with shopping, dinner, and some sitting on rocks.
 Wes, Kristy and Samantha left the following morning and the rest of us went to a you-pick berry farm.
 We went a little overboard and picked way more berries than we needed.  I made an apple/berry crisp that night, Bryan took a container with him and ate it on the way home that afternoon, and I still had enough left for two blackberry cream pies and assorted blackberry snacks for about a week.
 Lilly loved running on the beach.  She ran everywhere, back and forth just out of the reach of the waves...until she fell.  You'll notice a costume change in later pictures.
 Big trucks in a big sandbox.
 Wave running.
  And, wave standing.
Wave jumping.
And, not jumping.
 Um, Grandma...I think you're being watched.
 The girls.
 The view from our deck on the last day.  Can't wait to go to Michigan again!