Saturday, August 27, 2011

Goodbye Summer

Summer is winding down. It's been one of the best summer for me in a long time. As I have stated before, summer is my least favorite season. But I think I've changed my mind on that this year. Usually, I am so wore out by the end of summer with all the running around of activities and obligations that I am so ready to say goodbye and head into the cooler slower days of fall.
This year summer was different. I don't think there was any less activities, in fact we've had many packed filled weeks. I just allowed myself to go with the flow and enjoy whatever we did. Plus. I've had more energy and felt better than I have in a long time. Amazing what a difference 50 pounds will make!
Jordan stayed at school all summer but was able to come home most weekends. It sure does my heart good that these two enjoy spending time with each other.
This photo was taking on Mackinac Island. Another great summer day!
These two guys are inseparable. Sure do love them.....
Awesome camping weekend.
Jordan is always a huge help when she is home.... mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, washing the vehicles. She is amazing.
Thursday we took Jordan back to school and moved her from the apartment to the dorm. It was so much easier this year. No tears during the goodbye.
I know Jordan will have an awesome year.
And I leave you with this adorable mug. A pug mug.... lol.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Best Kayaking Ever!

The number one thing on our list of things to do when we visited the UP was to kayak "Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore". It was a dream I could only hope would come true. I had done my research about kayaking there and was quite intimidated by what I read. This is Lake Superior, not a little inland lake like we are used to. It's the roughest and coldest of all the great lakes. All the articles I read said you needed to be experienced kayakers and have a sea kayak. OK, what is an experienced kayaker? I've only been kayaking since the beginning of this year and I've never been on big water. And I certainly don't have a sea kayak, our kayaks are very basic recreational kayaks. But the photos I saw of people kayaking Picture Rocks were so amazing that I didn't want to give up on the idea.
First we stopped at the information center. I told the lady at the counter we were interested in kayaking and I asked her if she could tell us where the easiest and safest place was to kayak. She in turn asked me if we were experienced kayakers. Great, there's that "experienced" word again. "Yes, we were" I told her not really knowing what experienced meant. She directed us to Miner's Beach.
We stopped at the overlook first to inspect the water conditions. I couldn't believe it! There wasn't so much as a ripple in the water. It was as calm as could be. "We can do this!!!"
We couldn't get the kayaks down to the water fast enough. Not only was the water calm but it was crystal clear. If I didn't know better I would have thought we were in the Caribbean.
The Pictured Rocks Lakeshore is 43 miles long. We were on the water from 10:00 to 4:00 and kayaked maybe 5 miles of it. I cannot begin to describe the magnificence of it. Every corner we rounded there was something more amazing to see and experience. We couldn't get enough of it. We just wanted to keep going and going and going. The fact that we had to kayak all the way back made us turn around. Plus the fact that we were absolutely exhausted.
It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Even the next day I was still floating in the clouds. It was a true gift! We talked to some of the other kayakers when we were getting out of the water. They told us how unusual it was to have the water as calm as it was that day and that the conditions were beyond perfect. How fortunate were we!
I'm still very excited about the whole experience and so grateful to have been there that day in those perfect conditions. Maybe someday I'll be fortunate enough to do it again.....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Visiting the UP

We'd been planning this trip for a year. We loaded up the trailer and headed to the UP for nearly 2 weeks. We packed so much into that 2 weeks that we were physically exhausted by the time we got home. It was so worth it.

We set up camp in central UP and went on day trips all over. Each day we would hop in the truck and head to a new destination. Most days we'd leave the campground early morning and not get back until 11:00 PM. The owner of the campground comment on how we were ALWAYS gone.

We visited Seney National Wildlife Refuge. That's were all the photos from this post were taken. I had imagined that I would spend a lot of time there hiking, photographing wildlife, and just enjoying the surroundings. It was a really neat place but after spending the whole day there I didn't feel the need to go back. The black flies were ruthless there. I was afraid that the flies would be just as bad other places we visited but they never bothered us anywhere else.
The UP is such a beautiful place! It's like a whole different world. It's a whole lot of nothing but really something at the same time. Towns are few and far between and if you blink driving through you will certainly miss most of them. We made a point to stop at every junk/antique store that we came across. We talked to the people who lived there and ran the stores. Craig would ask what the buildings were originally built for. Learning the history was part of the fun of it. We asked where the best places to eat where. We were on the hunt for the best burgers and rhubarb pie.
We took our kayaks and did a lot of kayaking..... BOY did we ever kayak! Kayaking the UP will have it's own post, soon.... I promise. Check back in a couple of days for that post. I've said it many times since we got home, "It was the best kayaking of my life!".
Craig and I celebrated our 25th anniversary in April so we were calling this our anniversary vacation. Craig and I were by ourselves (no kids) for the majority of the time. The kids did come up and join us for the last 4 days. We really enjoyed their company when they came up but I was so grateful for the time alone with Craig. I can't remember the last time we had a vacation with just the two of us.
I have much more to share and blog about. It's just too much to put into one post. What a great time!