Michigan is beautiful this time of year. It is also home to many of our relatives, so last Thursday, we packed up the car and headed on our first road trip of the summer.
The main reason for the trip was for a family reunion. We decided to drive with my parents, so we rented a minivan. It’s always a better driving (and vacation) situation when the adults outnumber the children. Plus, a minivan is way more comfortable for long trips than any of our cars.
I packed up all the kids, my husband packed up the car, and then we had to head to grandma and grandpa’s house Thursday morning. Not only did we have to pick them up, but we also had to take showers.
Why, you ask? Well, our pipes were clogged (old house, old pipes, lots of tree roots) and water backed up into our basement Wednesday night. Since it happened at night, and right before we left, the plumber wasn’t coming until Monday. So, that meant no running water, no flushing toilets, no washing hands. Ugh. I think this was the only time I was happy the twins were NOT potty trained.
Showered and packed, we headed on the road. It wasn’t until the first rest stop that my oldest pointed out he did not have shoes on. Perfect. At least I had packed sandals in his suitcase!
We decided to break up the trip, and make our first stop Saugatuck, Michigan. Saugatuck is located on Lake Michigan, and it is a cute little resort town. There are beautiful beaches, and a really cute downtown area with quaint little shops. There’s also a great art community, and I saw many galleries as we were walking through town.
The day before, it had been in the 90’s, but when we arrived it was cloudy and about 50 degrees. I actually bought my oldest a souvenir sweatshirt because he was so cold.
We ate in the town, and then went back to our hotel to meet up with my brother and his family, who were also heading to Michigan for the reunion. Since it was so cold, we decided that the pool was a better option than the beach. Here’s a shot of my boys all ready to go. I think this is my favorite picture from the whole trip.
Tired out from the car, the walking, and the swimming, we settled in to watch a little Mickey Mouse before bed.
The weather did a complete turn-around, and it was sunny and hot. We piled in the car and headed to Oval beach, which was gorgeous. I had read a little on the visitor’s website, and read that it was a highly ranked beach, and now I know why. It was clean, had plenty of parking, and plenty of space for our group of 13. Did I mention that my brother has 4 daughters? None of the kids are the same age, but they all love playing with each other.
The water was pretty cold, but the twins were super excited to play in the sand. My brother took turns carrying the kids into the water, which they loved, and Grandpa kept them entertained by making his feet disappear in the sand. Plus, there was treasure to be discovered…or at least some really cool looking rocks.
It was then time to head to our final destination of St. Johns, Michigan, where my Aunt, my Dad’s sister, my Uncle, my Dad’s brother, and my Cousins live. We try to head there every summer for a reunion. We didn’t make it last summer, so I’m glad we could make it this year.
After visiting for a bit, we headed to my Aunt’s restaurant, Main Street Cafe. Her son also owns the pizza place next door, Main Street Pizza. My Aunt is one of the best cooks ever, and the pizza is just awesome. If you are ever in St. Johns, you need to go check them both out. You won’t be sorry!
It’s also pretty fun to know the owners. We got the whole back room to ourselves, the staff was amazing, and we could eat anything (and everything!) we wanted. Good thing I was already done with the Whole30!!!
Needing to burn off a few calories, we headed to the new Splash/Spray Park. The twins weren’t quite sure what to make of all the spraying water, but Mr. B loved it. Even though the water was a bit cold, it was really hot outside, so it felt good.
Mr. B’s lips were turning a bit blue after a while, so we headed back to my Aunt’s house. More food, a few drinks, and time for the kids to settle down with a movie.
The official reunion was the next day, Saturday. Before everyone arrived, we took the boys over to look at an old train that we passed by in town. There was even a mailbox slot in one of the cars for Santa Claus, which Mr. B thought was really cool.
Then, it was reunion time. My Aunt made some delicious Italian beef, my Uncle kept the daiquiris flowing, and the kids ran all day. We looked at old pictures, heard family stories,my Dad got to catch up with his siblings, and we just enjoyed being with family.
At the end of the day, the older kids, including Mr. B, headed over to my Cousin’s house to play on the trampoline. The twins were content to stay at my Aunt’s since their older cousin brought all his old Thomas the Trains for them to play with.
Finally, on Sunday, we ate one more meal at the restaurant, and celebrated Father’s Day. I was really happy that we all could be together, and I hope the boys remember how much fun they had on this trip. Mr. B is already asking if we can take this trip again next summer, so I think that’s a good sign.