Pure Michigan

On Saturday, September 3rd we headed to the mitten for some much needed family time.  I'm not sure I've ever been more ready for a vacation after being so sick and exhausted from August.  The girls were really great on the plane ride there.  We stopped in Vegas for a layover and met Aunt Sara, and she had a bag full of goodies for them so that definitely helped!

We got in around dinner time, rented a car and headed to my mom's house. She went above and beyond to welcome the girls with a tent in the backyard, sleeping bags, a rocking horse,twinkly lights and goody bags for both girls.  They were in heaven!  We ordered in from our favorite arabic food place and enjoyed my mom's backyard with Tom, Sara, my Grandma and my mom. 

The next day we headed over to my Grandma's house and enjoyed the Lake all day.  Shannon, Perry and Hudson joined us too! We swam, kayaked and paddle boated around the lake...perfect summer day.  That night we ordered in pizza and celebrated Rollie's birthday a day early with ice cream cake :)  Seeing my Grandma enjoy the girls is just one of the most special moments in life.  I'm so fortunate to have her around and healthy.

Monday (Rollie's actual birthday) we escaped to The Westin in downtown Detroit.  I hadn't been downtown in probably 15 years or more.  Things have definitely changed and the city is thriving again which is nice to see.  We had lunch at HopCat, where there was a HUGE beer selection and the most amazing 'crack' fries...and they held up to their name.  After lunch we relaxed for a bit in the nice air conditioned hotel room (it was in the upper 90's and 95% humidty!) and then we walked down to the river front where Rollie got to yell expletives to neighboring Canada (he has a weird hatred for that country).  It was really hot out so we didn't last long, but it was nice to show Rollie a little more of the city.  That night we met Pete & Kerri, and Shannon & Perry for dinner in Ferndale at One Eyed Bettys, a cool little gastropub. Fun night with old friends. Both Shannon and Kerri are expecting #2 so didn't get too crazy, but went back and had a nice peaceful hotel night sleep.

Tuesday we woke up and headed back to my mom's house to pack up for our road trip north.  We headed out around nap time for the girls for the 4.5 hour ride to Leland. We rented the same house as last year, because its nice and spacious and walking distance to town.  Tom, my mom, the four of us, my brother, his girlfriend Simone and baby Malicah shared our house.  My aunt, uncle, Connor, Devon, his girlfriend and my Grandma rented a house down the street :) We got into town and immediately walked down to the beach to put our toes in Lake Michigan. Sadly I left my wallet on a sign post and it got stolen.  We noticed within 5 minutes that I had forgotten down there so Rollie ran back down but he couldn't find it.  I never ever have cash, but of course I had $320 in it so I was pretty upset with myself.  There was no one down at the beach except one other couple who we noticed in the back of one of our pictures.  We went out to dinner that night and tried to enjoy our vacation anyways.

Piper had been pretty under the weather and wasn't getting much better so Rollie ended up taking her to urgent care that morning and she had an ear infection which I had assumed.  I also got a call that someone had found my wallet, so I drove 30 minutes to meet them-no cash, but at least I didn't have to cancel my cards or figure out how to fly home. Sure enough they were the couple in our picture, I'm pretty positive they took the cash but tried not to dwell on it.  That night we gathered at my Aunt's rental and had pizza.  My Uncle Perry, Aunt Heidi, Anna, Billy and Stefani (the bride to be) came by too. 

Thursday morning we went out for breakfast and walked around town before I headed into Traverse City for Stefani's bachlorette party.  Anna arranged a midday catamaran cruise, and the weather was just perfect.  The girls stayed out for dinner and drinks but I rushed back to Leland because my brother, Simone and Malicah got into town!  We enjoyed some homemade chicken pot pies from a local bakery and just caught up with each other....and s'mores of course.

Friday was a perfect beach day.  We all headed down and spent majority of the day swimming and playing.  Our girls took late naps and were supposed to go to the rehearsal dinner but I went alone and got directions from the pastor and coordinator.  The wedding party, friends and family then all joined down at the beach for a welcome party.  There is truly nothing like a Lake Michigan sunset. We then all headed out for dinner and drinks.

Saturday was the wedding day and the storms rolled in!  We were shopping in town when the skies just opened up.  We relaxed until it was time to get ready for the festivities.  The weather was still a little dicey, but we headed to the outdoor wedding space hoping for the best.  Stefani was adamant about keeping the ceremony at whaleback (a beautiful bluff overlooking the Lake) and she did just that!  It rained and was super windy but her and Trevan go through it.  We all headed over to the Leland Golf Club for the reception and it was just beautiful-and the sun came out!  We danced the night away and ate some of the best wedding food I've ever had-grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, mac & cheese bar, pork sliders and giant ice cream sandwiches with homemade chocolate chip cookies-all of Stefani's favorites.  It was quiet an emotional wedding as we all knew it would be since it almost was cancelled/postponed due to Stefani's health issues...but God had a plan and they tied the knot! 

Such a wonderful wonderful week with family. Great memories.  I won't mention the plane ride home because it was terrible.  Luckily the last flight ever with a lap child.


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