Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Family bike

Family bike ride along Lake Michigan

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We are Lake people

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

We are Lake People.


Always different.

Always beautiful.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 11

Louisville, KY

Louisville Slugger Bat Factory and Museum

D11 Louisville sign

We spent our last day of vacation in Louisville, Kentucky at the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory and Museum.

D11 Bat factory

For our two little baseball fanatics, this stop was a hit.

D11 Sam batting

We got to see how the bats for the pros are made and we got to take home a free mini bat.

D11 Sam babe 2

Joey got to hold Mickey Mantle's bat.

D11 Joey with Mantle's bat

My kids are great road trippers--maybe they have a bit of their mom and dad's wanderlust in them. We're sad to see it's over (Sam said 12 days just isn't a long-enough vacation. Next year he wants to take a 6 month vacation!)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 9

Tybee Island, GA

We were all a bit jellyfish weary when we woke up on our final full day on Tybee Island, so we thought we would skip the beach in the morning and visit some of Tybee Island's other sights.

We headed down to the Pier and Pavilion, the south beach and the souveneir stores!

D9 South Beach

D9 sno ball sign


(I don't think we ever decided if Sam liked the snoball or not!)

But we came here to spend time at the beach, so it was back to the beach for us in the late afternoon. It was cooler, there were no jellyfish and rather than following the tide as it went out, we were able to watch it as it came in. The boys made sand castles and tried desperately to save them from the encroaching water.

D9 Sam in sand2

D9 Joey in waves

D9 Joey and dad boogie

D9 Rob

And Lily found that this big, big ocean wasn't so scary after all!

Lily collage

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 8

Tybee Island and Fort Pulaski, GA

Day 8 on Tybee Island.

Otherwise known to us as "the day the jellyfish ruled the ocean."

We had such a great time at the North beach yesterday, we thought we would grab the same spot of sand on the beach again today.

D8 beach daisy

The boys jumped right in with their new boogie boards--although Lily still prefered to look for shells.

D8 Sam in sand

Have I mentioned we're Lake people? There are no pests to worry about when you are swimming in the lake. However, on this particular day, in this particular spot in the ocean, there were pests to worry about. Jellyfish in particular. LOTS of jellyfish.

D9 jellyfish flag

See the purple flag at the life guard station? If I would have paid any attention to those flags (like I would at the beach in Chicago), I would have noticed that the purple flag means "marine pests. Each of us (except Lily) got stung at least three times. I'll know next time to take a container of ammonia with me to the beach. No, we didn't pee on each other, but we were told afterward that the worst thing you can do is to go running out of the ocean, which is exactly what we would do every time we got stung.

After a few hours of that, we were all ready to move on to another activity. We took a short boat trip to see some dolphins (and a pretty lighthouse). We saw LOTS of dolphins. It's really hard to get a photo of them. But that's okay, because Sam was documenting all of the critters we saw on this trip in his journal.

D8 Sam's dolphins

D8 Lighthouse

After the boat trip, we stopped at Fort Pulaski. The boys in particular got a big kick out of this historical stop. Cannons, moats, more cannons and a jail cell for prisoners of war? What more could a kid want?

D8 Fort Pulaski grounds

D8 Sam on canon

Crossing over the moat to the fort...(Sam is into posing these days.)

D8 Sam crossing moat

D8 Joey on fort

D8 Lily window meadow

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 7

Tybee Island, GA

D7 light house

Within the first 10 minutes of hitting the beach on Tybee Island the kids were back to their old selves again. These Midwestern born, summers-at-Lake Michigan boys were a bit turned off by the salty water, so we spent a good part of the morning looking for shells.

D7 Boys on beach 2

Lily would barely put a toe in the water, but she entertained herself for hours picking up shells and studying them!

D7 Lily honey

D7 Lily's Shells

There are miles of public beach on Tybee. We spent the morning and most of the afternoon at North Beach and then checked out South Beach in the evening. There is an amazing sand bar at the south beach that just seems to go on forever. Of course, if you stay there long enough, the tide will come in and you'll be in trouble!

D7 Sand bar

By the end of the day, the kids were used to the salty water and they started to enjoy the ocean...

D7 Sam in water

Monday, August 9, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 6

En route to Tybee Island, Georgia

So we were having a great time on this little road trip of ours--visiting family, playing outdoors, seeing new things--and then it was








The kids were great on the way to Winston Salem. In fact, one Lego sticker book for each boy kept them virtually fight free and happy for 11 hours in the car. But when it was time to get back in the car for 6 more hours of driving after saying goodbye to cousins we love and miss and only get to see once a year...the kids just couldn't hold on any longer.

There were tears--lots of tears. There was whining--lots of whining. There were squabbles--lots of squabbles. And yet, despite 5 days of super late bed-times and pretty normal wake times, there was NO SLEEP IN THE CAR.

But we made it. We arrived on beautiful Tybee Island early in the evening. The kids were hungry, which only added to the "magic" of the evening!

D6 Tybee Island

First, we checked out our lovely little cottage just blocks away from the ocean. It was adorable!

It was our 13th wedding anniversary, so we thought we'd go to a seafood restaurant on the island that I had read about ahead of time. This was our final mistake of the evening. What do you get when you put a plate full of fresh crustaceans in front of 3 tired little kids who are sad to leave their cousins behind? Tears. Lots of tears. Tears from the 10 year old, tears from the 6 year old, tears from the 3 year old and finally, tears from the mommy who wishes we had stayed at the cute cottage and ordered a pizza.

D6 Crab Shack

I thought the live gators in the pen outside the restaurant would lighten things up a bit.

'Gators don't really lighten up any city dweller's mood, I think.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 5

Winston Salem, NC

On our last full day in Winston Salem we pretty much just hung out with the cousins. Jake and Nick had a ball game, which they won. I believe it was the city (maybe regional?) championship. In any case, they won and they get a flag for their home ball field!

D5 John and boys

Sometimes, ball games can get a little boring for the younger ones (especially if you're not playing), so the kids entertained themselves by playing red light/green light...

trading silly bandz...

D5 lily silly

eating ice cream...

D5 Lily ic

and hiding from the camera.

D5 lily peek

Tomorrow, it's off to Tybee Island Georgia!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 4

Hanging Rock State Park
Stokes County, NC

After a lazy morning hanging out on Grandpa's deck...

D4 Gpa and Lily

sam fauxhawk

...we headed out with the cousins to Hanging Rock State Park. We hiked to Window Falls and Hidden Falls--two little waterfalls not far from the Visitor's Center.

D4 waterfall

I don't have many pictures, because frankly, I was a bit nervous watching my children scale wet, slippery rocks that hovered over more wet, slippery rocks. At one point, I was quite sure I would watch Joey tumble 30 or 40 feet to the rocks below. Thank goodness his extremely agile cousin Bret was there to help him get out of a jam! Taking pictures was the last thing on my mind! But I did get a few at the "safer" waterfall.

D4 hiking

D4 Sam hikes

By the way, North Carolina is incredibly beautiful even in the heat of August. We have always visited in the spring when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full and amazing bloom. The crepe myrtles were in full bloom everywhere this time --making it look like spring all over again!

crepe myrtle

Friday, August 6, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Day 3

Sanders Ridge Vineyard and Winery
Boonville, NC


We went to Sanders Ridge Vineyard to "wine, dine and ride the line." We had a fabulous, locally grown meal, tasted wine made from locally harvested grapes and then the kids zip-lined through locally grown trees! We all had so much fun. Depsite the opressive heat, it was a fabulous outing!

D3 pour wine

Sam started out riding tandem with one of the guides, but later in the tour, he was zipping by himself.

D3 Sam zips 1

Joey was a bit nervous at first, but he quickly loosened up (although that doesn't show in this photo!).

D3 Joey zips 5

D3 Joey zips 4

Even Rob got in on the action...

D3 Dad zips7

Good food, good wine and ziping with the cousins? Couldn't ask for a better day!

D3 everyone ready