Posts filed under ‘summer’
Although the city took out the swimming area buoys and we saw the bottom of our sunscreen and popsicle box earlier this week, it’s the beginning of our secret summer in northern Michigan. Shhhh. September is one of my favorite times of year with its golden light, unexpected beach days, changing colors, hints of a colorful fall to come and bounty from the garden. But most of the tourists are gone!
Here’s to a beautiful September.
One of my favorite parts of this weekend? The clouds. I only got a couple shots, but what is it about this cooler, windier, on-the-cusp-of-Autumn weather that creates such cool clouds? As Wren would say, “I dunno.” Enjoy!
Summer’s fading, lovelies. I happily wore jeans today and although I know we’ll have more days full of sweating and swimming and cursing the humidity, the dog days are (probably) behind us. I thought before I got ahead of myself and started thinking about wearing socks again, I should check in with my summer list and see how we’ve been doing. So here goes.
- enjoy my annual corn dog at the Cherry Festival CHECK!
- can and/or pickle something from our garden Not yet, because pesto doesn’t really count although I put it in a jar.
- pick strawberries (DONE!) and blueberries to put up (freeze, jam, bake?) CHECK!
- eat a fresh sandwich from the Village Cheese Shanty in Leland CHECK!
- take the girls to the Northwest Michigan Fair. “Goin’ to the fair, goin’ to the fair, goin’ to the Northwest Michigan Fair!” (Wren went with Grandpa and Grandma so this counts!) CHECK!
- stay up late to be awed by the Perseid meteor showers in August (I tried looking several times this past weekend from our house and I think it was just too darn light in the bustling metropolis of Traverse City, boo.)
- dance with the little birdies at the Cedar Polka Fest. CHECK!
- take in a film at the Traverse City Film Festival. NOPE. Boo!
- finish painting the house. CHECK! We hired Student Painters and it was finished in three days (more on that soon, yippppeeeee!)
- update the kitchen and move the oven up before the littlest birdie is on the move Not yet…
- speaking of moving birdies… enjoy watching the littlest birdie begin to move She mostly goes in circles still. But not for long!
- enjoy lots of park picnics CHECK!
- visit all the playgrounds in the area CHECK! Well, not all, but a lot so far.
- swim with Melissa. Not yet!
- train hard for the Sleeping Bear 1/2 Marathon in October. Training is just really getting going…
- continue losing weight and getting fitter (did I tell you I’ve been doing an early morning boot camp? oof) Still boot camping!
- help Wren develop her swimming skills. She has turned into a little fish this summer. So fun to see!
- have a date night with Chris at Siren Hall with evening sunshine, gin and tonics and shrimp. CHECK! We’ve had TWO date nights, thank you very much.
- take our first family camping trip (also taking tips and recommendations, but not your horror stories, please and thank you!) Not yet, but hopefully soon…
How ’bout you, lovelies? Are you savoring the remains of summer? I’m soaking it up while staring at a school supply list (markers!) for Wren for her primary program. Less than a month! Oh my.
I just love it when I get some new work that involves a bit of everything I enjoy: spending time with my family, exploring something new in northern Michigan, photography, writing and design. Bonus: riding bikes!
I was hired recently to create a brochure for the new Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail and I wanted to share some of our family’s first afternoon on the trail and at the Glen Haven beach. We spent some time in Glen Haven this past spring flying kites, but it’s also one of our favorite beaches. Far enough away (25+ miles) to feel like we’re on vacation for the day, but close enough to remind ourselves that this IS really home. And to be trite (because someone’s got to excel at it), there’s no place like it.
We spent most of the early afternoon at Glen Haven’s rocky beach, beating the heat in Sleeping Bear Bay and collecting rocks for Wren’s growing “cool rock” collection. When we thought we had enjoyed enough of the sun and collected enough sand in the little birdie’s swim diaper, we embarked on the second leg of our afternoon adventure. We (well, Chris) got the bikes and Chariot set up for our exploration of the new paved trail.
And off we rode! It was a beautiful late afternoon to explore the trail. First we headed north out of Glen Haven toward Glen Arbor. This section is mostly shady and forested and goes through the DH Day Campground, which we hope will be the spot for our first family camping trip later this month (eeeek!). Ahem.
It felt so great to be back on bikes. It was our first real family-of-four bike ride now that I think of it!
After we hit the northern end of the trail, we headed back south out of Glen Arbor. I enjoyed the southern piece of this leg even more. The trail meandered through forest, an open meadow-meets-dunes area and ended at the Dune Climb, aka Sand Mountain.Then we turned around and headed back to Glen Haven. The trail is about five miles, but with our traveling style it was more like a ten mile ride. Plus a bit more with me yelling, “stop there so I can get a shot,” or “turn around and come back toward me.”
My favorite part? Chris repeating, “I’m so inspired! This is so cool!” Indeed.
When completed, the trail will be 27 miles long and will go from south of Empire to the Port Oneida area of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Can’t wait? Me neither. Help support the expansion of the trail by contributing to the community-supported campaign here.
I know you think I might be cursing us by saying this, but I can’t wait to ski it this winter…
How ’bout you, northern Michigan lovelies? Have you explored the trail yet? What did you think?
“Cousins are different beautiful flowers in the same garden.”
We’ve had such a fun, cousin-filled summer overflowing with quintessential childhood memory snapshots. It’s so nice now that Wren’s a bit older and she can really play with all her cousins on both sides of the family and develop relationships and boss people around and share bad habits. I don’t really know my own cousins very well, but I can’t imagine my girls growing up and not knowing their cousins. I know we just get busier and busier and schedules fill up and soon enough too much time goes by and you don’t see each other… until there’s a wedding or a funeral. Boo. I hope we always make an effort to get these wonderful little ones together so they can have lifelong cousin friends.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget Wren and Griffin on the Hydroslide. I was back on the dock and I could hear Wren yelling, “go faster, Grandpa!!!” One of those “where did my baby go?” moments.
And when did sharing become fun? I’m so glad these kiddos are (mostly) over the everythingismine stage. For now!
The days are getting a bit shorter and as the sun sets on most of our cousin-filled fun, we are feeling extra grateful for our families. It takes a lot of effort to travel and take time away from work and normal life activities, but it’s worth it. Thank you!
Behold some beauty, lovelies. My Mom (thanks, Mutti!) sent my brother and I each a package of trance lanterns and we chose to explore this whole fire-with-young-kids thing together. It was so fun and incredibly beautiful. Have you seen these yet? I haven’t seen them sold locally yet, but you can get them here on Amazon. As Wren likes to say, “and they don’t make any noise!” She does NOT like the noise of fireworks. These would be great for any celebration out in a meadow or near the water where you could gaze up at a lot of them at once. En masse, lovelies, en masse. We’re going to set off a few more tonight with the other cousins. More fire-with-young-kids fun!
We’re in the midst of the National Cherry Festival here in Traverse City and while I love my annual corn dog (check!) and ferris wheel ride (and elephant ear, ahem) just like the next fair-goer, the traffic and craze and dust and heat and cheese factor of it all gets to me after a few days. The girls and I were in need of a quick escape from it and I remembered there were some hosta gardens about twenty minutes away I’d heard about. People have been telling me about them for several years now, but I hadn’t made it a priority to go see them. And although it wasn’t on my summer list, it’s one of the best times I’ve had this summer.
Cedar Hedge Gardens (no hosta in the name at all!) is really a private home with four acres of Japanese-style gardens for wandering, chimes for listening, gongs for banging and ponds for gazing. It was just what we needed: calm, serene, beautiful. I wanted to take a really long, cool nap under the big trees with the elephantine hosta leaves to shade me. Aaaah.
Last week we spent a steamy mid-afternoon picking more than our share of Grandpa Jon’s raspberries. Strawberries are usually my favorite fresh summer fruit, but put a quart of hot-off-the-bush raspberries in front of me? Watch out. Amazing.
Wren is a funny little birdie, but you probably already knew that. She’s really into being nude these days and all she needed was to see Grandpa picking without his shirt to join in on the fun. Soon enough, however, even a pair of shorts proved to be too much constriction. Because really, who doesn’t want to pick raspberries in the nude? Oh my.
Phoebe is into a different sort of fun these days. While she too enjoys nudity, she also loves a good round of peekaboo. Or maybe she’s wondering where all the raspberries went? Guilty.
Once we got home, all four of us dove (almost) head first into the raspberries. Phoebe thought it was pretty incredible too.
I’m not really sure how babies do it exactly, but they make such a ridiculous mess from such a small amount of anything. Phoebs, raspberries on your cankles, really? Bathtime was a juicy one.
The cherries are in short supply this year. The early warmth and sun in March brought out the blossoms and then more normal temperatures returned and the needle dipped below freezing. You can guess what happened next. Sorry, cherries. We enjoyed a ripe handful yesterday and they were delicious. Summer in northern Michigan is really here!
I’m not really much of a planner and yet I’m not always up for a last minute, spontaneous evening outing with the birdies either. But Chris came home early Friday night and suggested we grab some hot dogs, s’mores fixings, gin & tonics (you know, the basics…) and swim suits and drive out to Good Harbor Bay for the evening. Alright, let’s do it! So we rushed around to pack up beach, dinner, and bedtime stuff, which easily turns into a car full of about half the house. So. We eventually got out to Good Harbor and were immediately attacked by biting flies. Arrghh. On to spontaneous plan two.
At this point Wren is very hungry and annoyed that she has to get back in the car so I throw her an open package of graham crackers and we’re on our way. We head south down M-22 and I remember that there’s a great beach on Sleeping Bear Bay that I know as Thoreson Beach, although I really have no idea if it even has a name. So we got to “Thoreson Beach” and were greeted with wind, dark clouds and a looming storm in the distance, but no biting flies. After some discussion about how much time we had before the storm hit, we hauled the stuff down to the beach. As we were setting up, the storm clouds began to dissipate. And a magical evening was had.
Say yes to last minute ideas, lovelies. But don’t let your cell phone spontaneously swim. That, I learned, is really not a great idea.