Monday, September 18, 2006

More Summer Vacation

I had intended to update this sooner and finish out the discussion about vacation...but I should know better by now. I am just not reliable! Here are some more photos of summer vacation.

The weather was not great, rarely any sunshine all week, which made the lake seem very cold (and it was). The overcast skies and strong wind made the surf extremely rough, the beach was red-flagged every day we were there (that means no swimming). Of course, the boys swam some along the shoreline. I love this picture Jeff took at Tunnel Park beach.

One day, while Samuel was off with Oma and Grandpa, Jeff and I took a very long bike ride along the south shore of the lake with Phillip and Andrew in my bike's trailer (a heavy load indeed). The bike ride ended at the marina only to discover, thanks to some local folks, that there was a foot path all the way out to the lighthouse, Big Red. We walked, played a little in the water and rode home. A great morning!

The dune was beautiful and the lighthouse was worth the walk. Nice little beach to wade in the water (unless you're Phillip, who almost always gets all the way in).

A trip to the dune rides just outside of Saugatuck was beautiful. We saw deer, wild turkeys and beautiful views of the dunes with a backdrop of Lake Michigan.

A three mile round trip hike in the woods brought us on to this beautiful beach on Lake Michigan in Dunes State Park. Rough and cold water, but boys who were soaking wet and sand-covered.

Here is how Andrew spent most of his vacation...doing the Neste plunge into the sand, followed by several roles around in it. It was funny, but made for a messy boy every day we were within 50 yards of sand. It took a few days to get all of the sand out of his ears.

We left Holland after five days and headed to our second stop, Oscoda. Let's just say it sucked. I could give you a long list of all of the disastrous things about Oscoda (one of which is the "keep out" sign and mysterious puddle on the beach at the house next to us--can you say combined sewer overflow?), but we will wrap it up by saying we stayed one night and headed to a Westin in Detroit (with a full refund from the spot in Oscoda).

Detroit was fantastic! A ton to do, including the Motown Museum which gives you a tour of where it all started, up close and personal. You tour Barry Gordy's apartment, see the desk where Diana Ross answered the phone and then into the recording studio where it ALL happened. You can touch the piano little Stevie Wonder played, we stood where the Jackson 5 recorded, and much more. A fantastic tiny museum and a really big deal to me--a huge Motown fan.

The Detroit Zoo is beautiful and huge. We stayed there for two nights, but still didn't do everything we wanted to. The highlight was certainly The Henry Ford, an amazing complex created by Ford, including Greenfield Village--worth every penny. It is simply amazing. We didn't get to see everything we wanted to there, so will certainly go back (I discovered a Ritz right near by :)). Our Henry Ford experience ended with an amazing tour of the Rouge, the largest manufacturing facility and the site of much of Ford's history, as well as a tour of the new F-150 plant. I am not a Ford girl, but it is moving to see industry at work in the U.S. I am certainly very intrigued by Ford and have added a book about him to my must read list.

Here are Jeff and the boys at Greenfield Village in the artisan part, we watched medal smithing, glass blowing, printing, pottery, and much more! This is a very special place.

One of my nicknames bestowed upon me by my loving husband is Leona Helmsley. Yes, the witchy hotel owner who practically whipped her staff if standards every fell below perfection. I am a serious hotel snob, thanks to my childhood days. I feel most at home in anything with four stars and above.

The Westin was great, with its plush robes, heavenly beds and heavenly shower heads. And of course, the best thing in service! The boys had their own room adjoining ours and loved it to pieces. Just like I did when I was little (only I didn't give them the minibar key so they could eat a $3.00 package of M&Ms). Ahhh....

We had so many great pictures from the trip. You really cannot go wrong with the Nikon D70, it makes everyone feel like a pro photographer. For more vacation photos and for photos of Samuel, not even four yet, now riding his bike without training wheels, visit Jeff's blog at

Good news on that front--he returns to light duty today. More later (well, maybe more soon..).


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bstab said...

Detroit's not too bad, is it.