We have never taken a family vacation before. Luke and I went on a short camping vacation in Indiana during the first summer of our marriage, when I was 5 months preggo with Gracie. Then Luke and I left Grace and Caleb with his parents so I could accompany him on a business trip to Tampa when I was 5 months preggo with Ava. But that’s the extent of it. We’ve never done a family vacation.
Until this month!
We were so thrilled to be able to use a cottage right on Lake Michigan, because of the generosity of a friend.
We arrived on a Sunday evening, as night was falling. We could see the beautiful view of lake, but soon it was dark and we could just hear the waves.
Our first morning there, a storm rolled in from the lake. It rained all morning, so we decided to head to Lewis Farm Market and Petting Farm to kill some time and entertain the children. We browsed the market for about 30 seconds before hitting the free petting zoo, which was a pretty stinking cool petting zoo. Not just goats and chickens like at John Ball Zoo. Nope – they had bunnies, donkeys, goats, miniature horses, wallabies, a zebra, and our all-time favorite – a camel. We tried really hard to get a good picture of Luke and me with the camel, but it was a no-go.
Our kids were able to enjoy some swim time after naps. And then our dear friends the Perrys joined us at the cottage. (Remember the cottage sleeps 12? Perfect for our two families of six!) We weren’t planning to let the kids swim that night, because we didn’t have enough time before bed. But we let them stick their feet in the water with the admonition, “Don’t get wet….”
On the Perrys’ way out of town, we all hit the ice cream shop at Country Dairy, where they have $.75 kids’ cones – and thus, I will be a loyal customer for the rest of my life (or, you know, whenever I happen to be in New Era, MI again).
On our final day at the cottage, it rained again, but cleared up enough for all of us to enjoy the beach again. Then, as the children napped, we packed and cleaned and were out of there by dinnertime. It was SUCH a relaxing, wonderful vacation. I LOVED being so close to the water. God’s creation is so beautiful!