Friday, August 12, 2011

Michigan 2011

We left for our Michigan trip at about 8:30 am, which was impressive, considering we had to load up all of our luggage and family members by that time. This was our first trip with Noah and he did great!

Here is Elsie on the trip to Michigan . . . riding in style with her shades. It took us about 6 hours to get to our rental house.

We arrived first and the very first course of action was for Andrew to take the girls on the golf cart (provided with the house) down to see Lake Michigan. It was about a 3 minute cart ride or 10 minute walk to the lake.

We discovered a 99-step stairway that led down to the beach. Since I wasn't there for this picture, I'm not sure how Andrew got both girls down those stairs alone! :) It was steep and climbing it was a workout in itself. It was well worth it, though. The lake was beautiful the first few days we were there. Nice and warm with beautful waves. We did quite a bit of swimming.

Unfortunately Elsie did not like the waves, sand, beach, etc. So whenever we took her to the beach she would spend the whole time whining and crying. I'm sure she'll outgrow this by our next trip to any sort of beach!

The girls had so much fun playing with cousins Alex and Isaac. Alex is seen in the below picture with the girls.

My Grandma Fairchild was able to join us on this trip. Her primary activity for the week was holding a sleepy baby. The both look pretty cozy! It was so nice to have her on this trip and I hope she can join us again!!

On the windiest day of the week (why we picked that day, I don't know) we headed down to South Haven to the public beach. It was accessible to my Grandma, since she couldn't navigate the 99 steps to our private beach. We enjoyed seeing wind surfers and the water was nice enough to swim.

Grandma at the beach.

Elsie at the beach. You can't tell but she's crying in this picture.

Abigail and Alex had a lot of fun playing in the sand!

My darling beauty standing at the top of our stairs to the beach. She got braver as the week went on and walked them by herself a few times (with adults close behind, of course).

Sunset on our private beach on evening! So beautiful!!

After our week in the rental house, we headed to Grand Rapids to celebrate my Grandma Helen's 80th birthday. A large crowd of her family and friends gathered for the celebration. Almost everyone is pictured in the following photo (Grandma Fern is holding Noah inside - not in photo). This was taken after a lovely catered meal at my Grandma's retirement center.

The next day we headed to Meijer Garden's for a tour of their gardens and sculpture park. What a neat place! We enjoyed the children's area especially. The girls enjoyed exploring and seeing the exhibits there.

Below my sister Jenny is helping Isaac and Elsie play in the water/boat area.

Elsie is wandering around Meijer gardens.

Then that evening we had a lovely picnic, hosted by my Grandma's daughter, Kathy. She has a lovely home with a newly remodeled kitchen (Sorry, no pictures) that is to die for! This was her beautiful back yard.

I enjoyed watching my nephew, Isaac, try to walk on the sloped lawn. He is a new walker and it was hilarious! He was very determined not to let it slow him down. You can see his attempts in the picture below.

We spent that night at the Calvin College's Conference Center (just like a hotel) and our kids REALLY slept in. Nobody woke up until about 8:45 am!!! Noah, of course, was up a few times at night but everyone really slept great as you can see in the following photos.

Elsie . . .

Abigail . . .

Noah. . .

Then we all enjoyed church and a dinner at my Grandma's church in Grand Rapids.

These are obviously pictures of the lunch . . . not the church service! :)

After lunch we started our journey home. It wasn't easy to travel with our small children but it was worth it! We spent quite a bit of time on the way home listening to crying children (Elsie only napped 30 minutes) but we had a great time anyway.

That's a recap! We had so much fun and it was a blessing to me to be able to vacation with my family - who we do not get to see very often. I hope to be able to do it again someday!!

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