Now that the whole month of July is over it’s about time that I find time to write about our awesome two week vacation to Michigan.
Our trip began on July 1st after a regular breakfast at home. Shelby drove us to the airport and dropped us off for our 11:30am flight. Looking back, the flight went rather well considering we were two adults traveling with two kids under two with only two seats and a bunch of carry on crap. Vivian was a bit antsy but otherwise Tyler kept her occupied. The trip definitely went much better than our flight to Puerto Rico in December.
Dinner out on our first night in town!
When we arrived around 7pm my parents were excited to pick us up and we all went out for a bite to eat. After dinner we got our rooms ready and got Vivian ready for bed. Since she didn’t nap on the plane, she was beyond ready to hit the hay just slightly after her normal bed time even with the three hour time difference. It actually made adjusting to Eastern Standard Time much easier!
My brother and Aunt Julie with Conner
Cousin Kela with Viv
On Wednesday, both my parents had to work but my brother (who is living at home for the summer) was around and my Aunt Julie and cousins (who were also in town for the 4th of July) stopped by to meet the kiddos and play outside a bit. Kela had fun walking around with Viv showing her the flowers while Maya enjoyed showing Viv the ropes on how to play in the pool.
My friend Ashley, her husband and son also stopped by to catch up and let the kids play. It was a beautiful day so the kids played in the kiddie pool out in the yard.
Viv and Jack at the pool.
This is what summer is
about - sunglasses and ice cream!
Vivian took a nap a tad later than normal but pretty on time for adjusting to EST. After nap Tyler, the kids and I took a walk in the neighborhood.
Conner with his G.G.
My cousin Kelly (photo bombed
by Greg) with Conner
On Thursday we lounged around before a big night of family, friends and fireworks! My parents’ lake does professional fireworks every July 3rd of which they conveniently started the very first summer I moved away (when I was living abroad in Santander, Spain in 2006). We have always enjoyed visiting during this social holiday to enjoy the fireworks ever since we moved to Seattle on July 5th, 2008 - that’s right, we stayed for the fireworks and fun celebration!
Conner and Vivian in their
Me and my kiddos
This third of July was especially exciting because it was big Conner’s debut. He got to meet the majority of my family and friends for the first time! Viv also got to meet some of my cousins for the first time as well since many of us come from out of town these days and our travel hasn’t always lined up.
Anyway, my parents had their big party and it was fun to let Vivian stay up late to watch the “works” as she called them. By the end of the firework show, Vivian was beyond exhausted and promptly passed out despite the commotion right outside her door.
Watching fireworks on Union Lake.
Conner’s First Fourth!
On the Fourth of July family came back over for the annual boat parade and water balloon fight. Tyler joined in while I stayed back with the kiddos. It was apparently pretty tame this year but in previous years we have had various injuries because the fight was getting a bit rough with kids using lacross sticks and sling shots to really chuck the balloons.
Fourth of July fun!
After the boat parade some of my nearest and dearest came over to hang out and let the kiddos play. Crazy as it was, Jesse’s little guy, Odin, and Vivian never had met because when I went to meet him back in November Vivian was sick so I left her with my mom so not to pass on the germs to a newborn.
Viv and Odin finally meet! (with Alex)
Odin and Conner meet too!
Leigh and Conner
Leigh also drove up from Chicago to spend the weekend with us but mostly just meet Conner (right, Leigh?) It was a blast having her and she got lots of good Conner snuggles… as did everyone else because he is such a snuggly little guy!
Luckily the weather was super nice and allowed us all to just relax on the lawn in the sun and shade of the trees. We also went out on the boat a bit too including some swimming.
Amanda and Conner
Pops teaching Viv to drive the boat!
Our family on Fourth of July
Amanda, Jesse, Me and Alex - friends since elementary school!
Viv’s first time on the tube!
On Saturday morning we went to the park to meet up with Brit and Ashley. After some playtime we went home and let Viv take a much needed nap. We spent the rest of the day in the yard or on the lake with my friends, cousins and dad. Vivian got to try tubing for the first time ever. She wasn’t a huge fan but next summer I’m sure she will love it. Then we had a family dinner with my Nana (and Leigh too).
Uncle James showing Viv his catch!
Sunday was spent out on the lake - no surprise there - with my family and Leigh. We took a nice leisurely pontoon ride and went swimming. James fished along the back of the boat and caught three fish! Vivian was extremely interested in his catches.
Getting the hang of driving boats!
Boat life includes pontoon snoozing!
Sunday afternoon Leigh had to head back home and that night after putting Vivian to bed, Tyler, Conner and I headed over to Jesse and Adam’s place to hang out some more. This trip was probably one of the best that we have had quality time with all of my friends rather than just seeing each other once for the whole trip.
It’s ok friend! (Odin and Conner)
We all had pitched in with fondue dippers so when we got to Jesse and Adam’s place we started dessert! Alex melted the chocolate which took two takes because we all learned that almond milk is not the same as cow’s milk. Luckily Adam walked over to the party store and grabbed some milk. We all indulged in the delicious fondue and sat around chit chatting once Odin was asleep and Conner just went with the flow more or less. Conner even slept like a champ that night when we got home with only one wake up during the night! Definitely his longest stretch to date (and he has not had a repeat performance since).
Me, Amanda, Brit, Alex and Jesse
At the farm
On Monday my mom, Tyler, Viv, Conner and I visited my Nana at the “old folks home.” We had some snacks and Vivian had a blast getting so much attention from the residents. She loved running around the open living room and cafe area. I was even pleasantly surprised that Viv was not afraid of anyone as some kids might be with all the wheelchairs, walkers and whatnot.
After nap we all went to Turtle Creek Farm which was started and is owned by a family friend. Viv got to look at (and touch if she so choose) all sorts of cool animals - emus, llamas, alpacas, chickens, ponies, horses, parakeets (including ugly little bald and wrinkly just hatched ones), pigs, sheep, deer, ducks, goats, bunnies… you name it! Viv even gave a baby bunny a kiss which made the bunny squirm and it scared Vivian so we moved along to the next thing. It was a fun time and I look forward to her getting to visit as part of our Michigan tradition.
Family lake time!
After the farm, Tyler and I took Viv in the lake for some water fun. My friend Erica came over for dinner and to meet Conner and catch up. After dinner we all went on a leisurely pontoon ride.
Erica and Conner
For our last full day at my parents house, Tuesday, my dad took a rare day off work and got to spend it with us! We were hoping for a day out on the lake but there were thunderstorms that kept us indoors most of the day. When the rain stopped we took everyone on a walk up to McDonald’s to eat and let Viv play in the indoor play structure for a little and get some energy out. After a bit we walked back home and Viv got to splash in puddles with her Pops which she loved! After nap we all went out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Uptown Parthenon. Sadly they no longer serve my all time favorite meal - octopus in red wine sauce over rice pilaf - and their lamb chops (my second choice) were only okay. It seems I will no longer require a meal there when I visit Michigan… time to take a trip to Greece to get the real deal!
After dinner, my mom and I ran some quick errands while my dad took Tyler and my brother up in his plane for a spin. When they got home Tyler excitedly reported that he got to fly the plane and that it was just like the video games but with a bit more feedback… haha!
Wednesday Tyler and I got things packed up and visited Nana one more time before we made the drive across the state to his parent’s house.
(to be continued…)