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Silver Beach, Michigan!
We were lucky enough to have Jack’s parents visit over Labor Day weekend, in part, to look into places to visit for next year’s weeklong family reunion (we’re talking keeping 30+ adults and their offspring entertained!), and partly just because.
Moving a giant floating peacock isn’t as easy as it sounds…

They came bearing gifts, some for Henry’s belated birthday and some, also just because. Do you really need a reason to spoil your grandkids with an enormous floating peacock? I didn’t think so.


The next day, we packed up in the car and headed north to see what Michigan held. While we’ve crossed just inside the state line, we’d only seen Warren Dunes. We survived the INCREDIBLY bumpy roads (I seriously thought the van was going to buck us off the road!) and made it to the campground where we promptly discovered everyone was booked. Surprise, surprise. People want to camp for Labor Day. We decided to go ahead and splash around in the chilly water of Lake Michigan anyway.


The Great Lakes are a lot like visiting the ocean, with a few differences. Instead of collecting shells, the kids piled up their favorite rocks, there aren’t a lot of waves, and the water is pretty cool in comparison. Still, a lot of fun!

We followed the road further north and discovered Silver Beach, which is a really neat touristy area. They had cannon replicas commemorating historical sites…
…corn dogs…
Teeheehee…get it?
…Superman’s changing booth…
…mosaic statues of dragons, knights, unicorns, and horses…
…and an awesome splash pad.

It switched from squirting water from the ground to spraying it overhead from giant, firehose-type sprayers. It was a kid magnet.

After some yummy pizza, we hit an ice cream hot spot and indulged our sweet tooth.
The next morning, we went the agricultural route (we just can’t stay off the farm for long!) and visited a U-Pick fruit orchard.
First, nectarines!

I had no idea Michigan was such a fruit-heavy agriculture state. On our way in, we drove past acres and acres of grapes and blueberries, and at the orchard, they had nectarines, peaches, apples, pears, plums, and berries, each in several different varieties.

Henry sharing his free sample.
We may have overdone it when picking peaches and nectarines in season…

We hit Silver Beach again but instead of walking around, we tried to go for a swim. We made it to the water just in time for it to start pouring buckets of water. The beach was emptied in a matter of minutes and if people weren’t hiding in their cars, they were huddling with us in the bathroom overhangs. That didn’t stop the kids from enjoying themselves in the puddles while we waited for the rain to let up.


With a deserted beach all to ourselves, we decided to brave the rough waters. Yes, Lake Michigan doesn’t have constant ocean waves but there are enough in some spots (like Silver Beach) that they’re actually able to teach surf lessons, on the same scale as Jack and I took together in Portugal. That morning, the storm had blown in some impressive currents and while the older kids played, the younger ones wrapped themselves in towels and warmed up. Henry even got so cozy he even fell asleep for an hour!


Once we said goodbye to Michigan, we spent a restful Sunday at home before heading south to one of our family’s favorite destinations: Holiday World.

Her cool baby look.

We always stop by the kiddie area first to let everyone kind of warm-up on the rides. Zoey thought it was fun to sit in the wiggly fishy ride buuuuut once it started moving, she decided it wasn’t so fun.


I let her try a couple more rides but she started crying once her bottom was set in the seat. For now, she’s mostly content being a watcher.

She watched people go on log rides and roller coasters…
…high up swings…

…but eventually did agree to go with us on the antique cars, one of the few rides we could all ride together (and she was probably only okay with it because I was sitting next to her).

Evelyn, my chaperone.

Next, we jumped on the carousel, thinking everyone would enjoy it (Claire was certainly on Cloud 9, riding a cat and all).


Even standing next to her, Zoey was not that impressed with the carousel once it started. Yet another instance I wish I could understand what on earth babies were thinking.

On to the raging rapids, where pretty much only Claire got soaked, after which, we headed over to the water park section and played there for the rest of the day.

The last day of Grandma and Grandpa’s visit was quiet (having so much fun takes a lot of energy) and just like that, their visit was over and they were on the road back to Nebraska.

Playing father/son team computer games. Just glad it wasn’t me…I’m awful at them!
A fun Labor Day weekend for sure and looking forward to recreating it with the rest of the aunts, uncles, and cousins next summer!



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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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