I can’t believe summer is almost over! Here in central Michigan we treasure every single day of our warm summers because winters are SO long. From about mid-Oct. through mid-May (7 months!), our days are cold and the landscape is gray.
Needless to say we pack a lot into our few months of sunny, warm weather. Most Michiganders head out to campgrounds or state parks for long weekends. Many friends and neighbors own boats and/or big RV’s. (My preferred mode of camping is in an air-conditioned hotel with a continental breakfast!)
Even though I don’t do boats or RV’s, this summer has still been especially busy!
First my oldest son graduated from high school, and so I was occupied during the early part of June planning and executing a big graduation party for him. Just last weekend, we drove him five hours away to begin his college experience at Cedarville University in Ohio (outside of Dayton).
Besides the transition stress with my oldest, this summer has been full of all the usual activities for my other kids: swim team practices, swimming lessons, basketball camps, mission trips (for both my older daughters), American Girl Doll camp (for my youngest), dog-sitting, life-guarding, baby-sitting, ACT prep classes, Level 2 Drivers Ed, and more.
In between all the every-day-craziness, we’ve managed a few trips.
The first was to Tawas Lighthouse on Lake Huron. Not all lighthouses are open to the public, but thankfully we were able to climb this tower. The walk up so many narrow, winding steps is exhilarating and the view is always stunning. Afterward, we hiked a couple of miles of trails along the lake which was gorgeous.
The second trip was to the Indiana State Dunes with my extended family. We went over the 4th of July weekend (which I DON’T recommend doing, since the lines to get into the park were backed up for miles). We did manage to squeeze into the park at sunset one night, but otherwise spent our time visiting other attractions in the area that weren’t quite as packed.
While on my way home from the Dunes, I stopped off in St. Joseph Michigan and took in the sights of St. Joseph’s Pier Lighthouse in Silver Beach County Park. While I wasn’t able to climb it, I did get some great photo opportunities!
We took another quick day trip to Frankenmuth, Michigan which is a historic German town full of quaint shops. It has two restaurants (Zehnders and the Bavarian Inn) that are directly across the street from one another and both are known for their authentic German food and home-style chicken dinners. And of course, whenever we visit Frankenmuth we have to stop at the Christmas Tree Shop (the world’s largest Christmas shop).
Finally, at the end of August I’m taking my twin daughters up to Mackinac Island for a long weekend to celebrate their sweet 16 birthday. We’ll hike, ride bikes around the island, and of course visit some lighthouses! (And I’m happy to say that both my daughters passed their written and road tests and will be getting their licenses soon!)
To top it off, this summer we had two bathrooms and the master bedroom updated. So that meant lots of workers were trekking in and out (during a time when I was on call for jury duty)! And in the process of having the work done, we were told that all of our upstairs ceilings were caving in (since they were originally glued). And so, lucky us. We had to have even more chaos upstairs as our ceilings were all fixed!
So that’s what I’ve been up to this summer! Believe it or not, the summer has actually been somewhat relaxing compared to my school year. And I’m planning to relish every single minute that’s left!
Did I mention we also added a new kitten to our family this summer ? Simply because we needed a little more chaos! 🙂 And yes, if you’re counting, this is cat number FIVE!
How about YOU? What have you been up to this summer?
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