Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Vacation Chronicles - Part One

We're back from a grand Michigan adventure and I'm happy to be back from my blogging break! At this point, the good news is that my ankle is doing GREAT and it seems that we are FINALLY all well. Thanks be to God!

The bad news is that our crazy days of sickness and trips to the ER continued during the first half of our trip. On the first night - at a hotel - Ray woke up with the stomach flu. It was quite a mess. Then, later in the week, Jon had to take Adam to the ER in the wee hours of the morning with what ended up being acid reflux. It took all of us several days to begin to feel "normal" again. We also battled TONS of mosquitos. They seemed to like Adam and me the best.

However, despite some struggles, we did have a fun trip and it was nice to have time together away from our normal routine AND time with Jon's family. We spent a few nights with his mom in Midland and then ventured further north to visit two of his sisters.

The main highlight (and reason for our trip) was the celebration of our niece's high school graduation. We've been promising Addie for three years that we would make this trip. She and her family (Jon's sister Susan and her husband Earl) live in South Boardman (near Traverse City) and we had never been to visit them.

We had the extra exciting privilege of hearing Addie give the valedictory address! She did a fantastic job! We are so proud of her! It's hard for me to believe that the cute little flower girl from our wedding is now this beautiful, poised, mature young woman. She is headed off to college in the Fall and we know she will do great things.

We spent several days with Addie, Susan, and Earl and we are so grateful for their wonderful hospitality. Here are some pictures of this part of our trip:

Addie gave a wonderful speech at her graduation. We had front row seats!
Addie and the boys. She is always so good with them! They really love their cousin.
Addie and her parents
Aunt Susan taught us about beekeeping. She also showed us her HUGE garden!

Wading in Fife Lake

Making s'mores!
One of Addie's friends welcomed us to his family's farm and took the boys on a tractor ride.
Adam with Snapper
Uncle Earl took Jon and the boys on a fishing expedition. Look what Daddy caught!
Adam showing off one of the fish he caught. When they got back to the house, the boys couldn't wait to show me the fish in the cooler. Adam opened it up and exclaimed, "Mommy, at first these things were LIVING!"
Showing off the catch! As soon as they got home, Uncle Earl gutted the fish and Aunt Susan fried them up.... and we all gobbled them up! You can't get fish more fresh than that. Yummy!

Aunt Susan took us into Traverse City and showed us around. This shot was taken at the pirate-themed mini-golf.

We took a beautiful drive to Mission Point (between the two bays in Traverse City).  We enjoyed collecting beautiful rocks and running along the beach. I was amazed at all of the orchards and vineyards in this part of Michigan.

Jon and Ray playing cornhole outside Susan and Earl's beautiful home in the woods.

Lots of family and friends gathered for Addie's graduation party.

We were very happy to share in the celebration of Addie's graduation! After that, we moved on to Cheboygan to visit Aunt Julie and Uncle Bud. I'll post about that tomorrow!

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