Monthly Archives: October 2011

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a whirlwind trip

When I tell you how many things we crammed into our two-day getaway to the U.P., you will think we are crazy, but we did it. We left early Saturday morning for a 5-hour drive to the Upper Peninsula. We arrived at Mackinaw City around lunchtime, so we stopped at the park there, had a picnic lunch and took some pictures by the bridge.

After lunch, we drove across the bridge. This was the kids first time there. We went to our hotel to check in, but we were there too early, so we went on our way north. Of course, we had to stop at Castle Rock just north of St. Ignace. We climbed to the top and thought we might have heart attacks on the way up. It’s pretty steep and there are a ton of stairs to climb. But the view was lovely and it was worth the climb.

We drove northward to Whitefish Point, took a look at the lighthouse and buildings, ventured out to the beach to see Lake Superior, and picked up some rocks.

Then it was south toward Paradise and a visit to Tahquamenon Falls. The falls are always so cool to see. We went to the lower falls first, walked the boardwalk to get a closer look, and took some pictures. The wind was so nice there and it was blowing mist from the waterfall in our faces, which felt nice since it was such a warm day.

We got some ice cream and the kids played checkers before we headed over to the upper falls.

Every time I’ve been to the upper falls with Jen, the river has been pretty low. One year, it was so shallow that the falls were split and dry in the middle and people climbed out on top of them. But this time, the river was flowing fast and deep and I got to see them in all their glory.

After a beautiful fall day, we spent the evening at our hotel swimming in the pool. I fell asleep almost the second my head hit the pillow. It was a ton of driving in one day.

Day two would be filled with even more driving than the day before. We stopped at Java Joe’s for morning coffee and Joe asked where we were going and after informing him we were headed to Kitch-iti-kipi, he suggested when we were done there, we should head a little further west and south on the Garden Peninsula to Fayette State Park to the ghost town. And that’s exactly what we did!

We went to Kitch-iti-kipi first. The kids really liked it there. I knew they would. I’m so glad Jen and I discovered it this summer. Chloe even got to make the raft move across the spring. It’s so cool there. It stays at a constant 45 degrees, so it never freezes over. I can just imagine how awesome it would be in the winter.

Then it was off to Fayette. I think this was my favorite place of the weekend. I love every place we went, but there’s just something about walking in a deserted town, where people used to work and live, seeing where they lived and the beauty of the location of this old iron town with the cliffs and water surrounding it. It was the coolest place. Very peaceful, too. With the fall colors, it just felt like the perfect time of year to visit there. Thanks, Java Joe! We loved it!

We headed home in the late afternoon and drove two hours back to St. Ignace then another five hours home. It was a crazy amount of driving and a thousand miles added to the odometer, but completely worth it.

I love the U.P. and I’m so thankful that mom took us on this trip and let me share some of my favorite places with my family.

welcome to october

Happy October!

Well, it seems this has turned into a once a week blog. There’s been a lot of the above going on lately. Our life right now is soccer five days a week. We enjoy it, but I will be very ready when the end of the month arrives and games are over until next Spring.

– Chloe is now showing an interest in taking some dance classes, so that might be the next thing we get involved in. Also, thinking about signing her up for some piano lessons. She won’t listen when mom tries to teach her. ;)

– Jake went to Austin, TX the week before last for a business trip. He really enjoyed it and got to visit the Capitol building and eat at some great restaurants and see the millions of bats that fly out at dusk each night from under a bridge downtown (creepy!).

– We went to my high school’s homecoming game this year. I haven’t been back for a game since I graduated 20 years ago (yes, that’s right. 20!). It was fun to be there again and see familiar faces and root our team on. They didn’t win (boohoo!), but it was a fun time anyway. My brother Rick came along and we reminisced about our high school days.

– I got to hang out with my childhood BFF, Karleen, on Friday. Her daughter was on the homecoming court for Hastings and I tagged along to the homecoming assembly and took a bunch of pictures of her being announced on the court and performing a routine with the cheerleading squad. It was a lot of fun.

– Too much sad news the past two weeks. A couple of my friends had family members involved in serious car accidents. My heart just ached so much for them as they said goodbye to a sister and a father-in-law. If you would, please pray for the Miller family and the Haidle family.

– Jake’s dad went to the hospital last week with some pain in his lungs and trouble breathing. They found some blood clots in the lungs and one in his leg. Please pray for healing for him. He stayed there for several days and was put on blood thinners, and now he is home. We’re praying the clots go away and never come back.

– Spent our Sunday morning at the fairgrounds for TVC’s (Thornapple Valley Church) Celebration service. TVC has three services in Hastings and two in Middleville. All the services combined for one big service in the grandstand. It was a lot of fun having everyone together, praising God outside while the early morning sun warmed our faces (our toes were another story since it was like 40 degrees out), we sang choruses, and a few horses at a farm next door pranced across the field. It was a beautiful sight. Afterwards, there were all sorts of fun things for the families to do: lunch (pulled pork served in the swine barn. hahaha!), inflatable bounce houses and slides, face painting, hay rides, and lots of snacks. It was a fun time.

– Went to my parents farm in the afternoon. The guys all worked to help Dad get one of the barns prepped to become a garage. Mom made a delicious roast and some pies for dessert. It was a very nice day!

– The trees are starting to change color here now. There are little pops of color here and there. I LOVE fall.

– I’m still keeping up with our weekly Project Life photo album. I have a text file on my computer desktop that I open at the end of each day and type out a brief summary of what we did that day. It’s really helping me when it comes to writing in the album and it’s also become a little mini journal. It’s fun to read back through some of our days from earlier in the year, and it’s such a quick and easy thing to do. I literally spend five to ten minutes on it each day, just enough time to type the events of the day and anything else I want to remember to record in the album.

– With this colder weather arriving, I’m feeling the urge to knit again. Time to pull out those needles and decide what to make.

AJAXed with AWP