1. I am thankful for Bryan's ability and willingness to take the odd day off of work to go on a short road trip with us. The man is super busy at work, with deadlines galore looming, but he always, always puts his family first. (When he was a new lawyer, for the first 2 years of employment, every single evaluation dinged him for never being in the office after 5:30 on weekdays or at all on weekends. He refused to change his schedule, and they finally backed off when they saw that he was still getting his work done, and done well, in his own time frame.)
2. I am thankful to live in a place with lots of things to do within a few hours drive. This time we took advantage of the nearness of Lake Michigan. We've vacationed there 4 times over the years (Here's a post about one of our trips.), but for some reason we've never gone on a quick overnight trip before. The closest beaches are less than 4 hours away from our house!
3. We are always grateful for fun dunes to jump and run and hike on.
|The boys were trying and trying to get the timing of their jumps straight in order to all be in the air at the same time. This is as close as they got.
|Five kids racing down a dune. I had to follow them down, collecting shoes and hats as I went.
5. And in 95+ degree weather, we are extra grateful for the cool, cool waters of Lake Michigan.
|For fear of sand, I didn't take my phone to the beach. I ran to the van right before we gathered our belongings to head back to Indiana to get my phone and snap one photo of everyone in the water.
6. We are grateful for the internet, where we found some tips about beaches in St. Joseph. Namely, to skip the ragingly popular Silver Beach and instead go to Tiscornia Park. We could see the Silver Lake beach from where we were, and it was PACKED with people. We couldn't even see the sand through the beach umbrellas. On our side of the river, there were people, but there was plenty of room for romping games of keep away and water football.
7. We are grateful for local, interesting places to eat. We avoid chain restaurants, especially when we're on a road trip. There are way too many new places to try, and it's a rare day that the local place doesn't taste way better than a chain.
|This awesome ice cream stop is directly across the street from the entrance to Warren State Park, home of the dunes you saw above. We are blaming the sunburn on the crappy, cheap sunscreen Bryan bought. It was applied, but it didn't work very well.
|If you ever find yourself in Lafayette, IN, this is a must stop. It's an 87 year old diner, where everything is made fresh, and half of it right in front of the customers. There are no tables. Everyone sits at the long counter that snakes its way around the entire inside of the building. The name of the place, Triple XXX, comes from the name of the root beer they sell. Seriously, it was one of the best burgers I've ever eaten. AND, the prices are more than reasonable.
I asked for volunteers to take a photo in front of the place. While Giant did volunteer, we have to be content with his perpetual 13-year old resting "whatever" face.
8. I'm thankful that our van is still running well, even after 201,000 miles, so we can take these road trips without fear of breaking down along the way. Sure, it is now completely filled with sand and has been said to smell like toots inside, but it gets us where we want to go.
9. I'm thankful we were able to get a mini-vacation in before school starts. This coming week will be busy as we get everyone ready for school and squeeze in all the last minute summer fun we can get. Having two days to just have fun (and not cook!) was the perfect way to end our break.
10. I'm thankful I do still have another week to get the big kids ready for school. We haven't even started buying school supplies, and three of them need some pants! (Thankfully, only one needs shoes.)
How is your summer break going? What happy things were in your week?
Have a lovely day!
A Fly on our (Chicken Coop) Wall, Amycake and the Dude, Considerings, Finding Ninee, Getting Literal, I Want Backsies, The Meaning of Me, Thankful Me, Uncharted, The Wakefield Doctrine