smitten with the mitten

After soaking up rays on the coast we went half way across the country to hit the lake!  And, oh boy, Lake Michigan, you stole my heart a little bit.  With two out of us four siblings living in the Midwest it was us coastal Toblers turn to come out eastward.

We had a rough time getting there though.  We hit up a red eye Friday night (Saturday morning?) that got delayed - let's just talk about how that is cruel and unusual punishment.  All you want to do is jump on the plane and sleep, but we had to wait a bit.  Le sigh.  Once we got up in the air it was just a gamble whether we'd make our connecting flight.  With my belly and lovely red cankles we must have been a sight running - hobbling? - through the Minneapolis airport to our next gate, but, somehow, we made it *whew*

One of the first things we did in the little town of South Haven (on not very much sleep mind you) was ogle at all the beautiful fresh produce at their farmer's market.  Holy cow!  It was gorgeous!  And those peaches?  Every bit as delicious as they look. 

^^ Hello.  I just want to eat all of those colors. ^^
Also Michigan has the best blueberries around.  Hands down.

Once we got settled in our little beach house the first thing we did was hit the beach, and I gotta tell you, I might be sold on this whole lake thing.  Whenever I've done lake time in the past it's always been from a boat, but sitting on the shore doing the whole sand and wadding and floating thing?  It was kind of lovely.  And to not leave sticky and salty plus not fighting the waves to get out and enjoy the water?  I dunno, it was just kind of delightful.

Do you see a trend in these photos?  Holy moly, Hazel Michelle, you stole the show little lady.  She was just one baby with nine adults to dote on her - life was rough.

I can hardly handle that picture of my dad holding his little sleeping granddaughter, and that last one with her feet buried in the sand?  My heart.  It melts.

^^ One of my favorite pictures from our trip - something about lighthouses and my boy in a sweater, I think ^^  Also it was crazy windy and the waves were going nutty (on the unpictured side of the jetty), so it's kind of a miracle we aren't soaked in this shot.

We also celebrated our third wedding anniversary whilst out east which was relaxed and lovely.  We made plans to celebrate in earnest early in September with a mini babymoon to Laguna Beach so this was more of a day marker and a time to snap a few pictures for posterity.  It was perfect.

Biking and beaching were my two favorite things we did all week.  Aren't you impressed two 27-week pregnant ladies biked all around South Haven?  You should be.

Not pictured is a crazy summer storm that hit Tuesday afternoon and almost took us with it.  We picked up our bikes in town right before the deluge, but us three bike riders caught some of it on our way home.  We only were out in the gale for a few minutes, but my shirt and hair were soaked through by the time we got back.  We played games inside, sipped hot chocolate and watched the lake get frothed into a real storm as signs got pulled free of their tethers and the sound of the rain on the windows became deafening.  At one point the rain was coming down so thick and fast you couldn't even see outside.  And then...the power got knocked out!  It came back on in 45 minutes or so, but it was quite an adventure.

Our little 85-year-old neighbor, Loise, said they haven't had a summer storm like that in a really long time and she was pretty sure Michigan was just trying to show off for us.  Well, hey thanks Michigan.

^^ On Wednesdays we wear red and blue ^^

^^ Ice cream at Sherman's Dairy Bar - a local favorite in town.  Word to the wise: order the baby size. ^^

Last year we got shirts to commemorate our family get together in Balboa and this year we kept it up! A silly tradition, perhaps, but I kind of love it.  We all wear our Balboa shirts and, I'm wearing my Michigan shirt as I type this!  The shirts say Great Lakes, Great Times.  Truth.  We even got a matching onesie for Miss Hazel which she was wearing 5 minutes before this picture was taken and, most conveniently, blew out her diaper in.  Atta girl.

After taking our matching shirt picture, the group was whittled down to just the fab five.  Turns out other people had work and stuff to get back to.  Thanks Ernie for letting us have a few more vacation days to enjoy!

Without the other kids around - and especially baby Hazel - things got pretty quite around the house.  We finally made the trek out to the lighthouse for me (thanks guys), and we visited a cute neighboring lake town for dinner one night.  Plus did I mention that Michigan has a million black-eyed Susans blooming all over?  Seriously.  Everywhere.  They were gorgeous.

And then, all too soon, it was time to head home.  South Haven, you are pretty darn adorable, and, if I have my way, we'll see each other again soon.  Consider me smitten with the mitten.

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