Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A lil of this and a lil of that

The Dog Days of Summer

Yep, its coming to an end, the back to school clothes are in the stores and you can almost smell a newly sharpened pencil through the tv with all the commercials on. And as much as I'm ready for school to start and to tackle the fall bucket list I'm creating, we are still enjoying these last few weeks. Because believe me....come February, I'll be ready to shove that newly sharpened pencil right up Jack Frost's a$$!

We blew bubbles and played with chalk...

And picked all the fresh goodness from the garden too. Our garden does look like a jungle, but you know you want some fresh tomatoes and basil!

William is 5 months old
Dude's got mad hair, seriously. I know I've said it before, but I'm in awe of its craziness everyday. Depending on the do of the day he is nicknamed....Albert Einstein, Conan, Nick Nolte, pretty much anyone with crazy hair.

He still isn't taking a bottle, but is enjoying his rice cereal. Thank you very much!
His eyes are almost all brown, he is rolling everywhere and talking up a storm.

My Friday night.
Billy was out with friends, the kids were both asleep by 9pm and this was exactly what I wanted to do.
Multi-tasking at its best! I got sucked into a marathon of Keeping Up with the Kardashians...is it just me or is Kim K's personality a total zero?
Breakfast Date
I'd been feeling like Lauren really wanted some alone time with me, so her and I spent Saturday morning just us.

A little bagel and coffee at mom's first place of employment, Bruegger's Bagels.
And then off to the Royal Oak Farmer's Market, where Lauren snuck way too many free samples. I got this awesome summer bouquet for $6!

An awful attempt at getting a picture of her and I.

Astro Coffee
We had a whirlwind downtown experience this weekend with dinner in the D on Saturday night and hitting up this new coffee spot on Sunday morning. We did a quick lap at a random festival Saturday night and out of the corner of my eye I saw this coffee shop I recently read about.
We headed down to try it out and we weren't disappointed. Single brew was oh so good.
The set up inside wasn't conducive for our foursome...two toppers, bar seating or one large community table, so we got everything to go.
It was probably better we did do that because buttermilk scones and to die for Zingerman's croissants are always a flaky, crumbly mess. Check it out, worth the trip!
And in case you're wondering, we did hit up the Dream Cruise. In the five years we've lived in Royal Oak, we had gone to the cruise once before and had never walked up there. Check!



Friday, August 19, 2011

Trip Report: Silver Lake

The last part of the vacation brought us a little southwest to Silver Lake, near Ludington, where we met the Crawfords for a few days of camping. I don't have as many pictures as I'd hoped because we used our video camera a ton. When will you see a video montage of the trip? Well, that's Billy's job. (He's still working on William's ARRIVAL video...so don't hold your breath)

Billy was originally suppose to drop us off at the campground and continue on to a meeting in Grand Rapids, but much to our surprise, it was cancelled! We were then able to do a group dune buggy ride from Mac Wood's. We weren't sure if William could ride, but they had baby bjorn's that we could borrow (the one thing we forgot) which was perfect. The wait was about 45 minutes so we got to check out this little museum and Lauren got dirty in their sandbox.
The driver gave us all kind of interesting information about the company (started in 1930),the area, and the dunes.

The tour only lasted about 45 mins and midway through it stopped on Lake Michigan. It was really windy but neither kid seemed to mind.

I would recommend to anyone...$16 for adults, kids 2 and under were free.
I didn't have my camera out all day Friday but we had a great day. Rented a pontoon boat and Lauren and Billy climbed the dunes while I hung back with William who was super upset and squirmy in his lifejacket...I would be too if was wearing one, two sizes too big:)
Lauren loved spending time with her cousin Drew and Johnny, scared at first, be warmed up pretty fast.
And because it was a 5 minute drive from the campground, we visited another lighthouse. Ok, I won't lie. I actually really like lighthouses. Reminds me of all our vacations to the Outer Banks and the area surrounding a lighthouse is always so pretty.

We ended the night with a big Happy Birthday to Robin before heading to bed and sleeping, well attempting to sleep, through the loudest and longest thunderstorm. There were times I was sure Uncle John's trailer was going to slide right into Bill and Robin's and sweep us away. But of course, my imagination is always way off.

So that's it. Our up north summer vacation. I've enjoyed telling you all about our experiences and can't wait for our fall adventure to Florida. Yep, our Florida trip that was cancelled has been rescheduled just like I'd hoped, only this time I'll have a drink in one hand and a baby in the other:)

Have a great weekend



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Trip Report: Traverse City

Let the vacation continue!!
We stopped in Charlevoix on our way to Traverse City to walk around and grab lunch. We enjoyed some good eats at Whitney's and then grabbed a few pics before continuing on.
The plaid brigade.
Love this picture, wish it were on the real camera.
Our upgraded room in Traverse City. We had our own room, fireplace, and....
jetted tub! You know what happened in there??? Lauren took a bath:)
We ventured out to the Old Mission Pennisula for some wine tasting later in the afternoon. And again, we were lucky to have two well behaved kiddos. Our favorite winery was Chateau Chantal of the three we went to during our trip.

The views were spectacular as well as the set up. You could taste inside and then order a glass to enjoy outside on their deck. We even ordered a cheese, olive and hummus plate.
The Old Mission Pennisula was our favorite of the two pennisula's to tour. You totally felt like you were in wine country with the vineyards surrounding you and not to mention water on both sides
We ended the night with a stop at the Old Mission Lighthouse and let Lauren dip her toes in Lake Michigan.

She did a little more than dip her toes in...here ya go, dad!

Wednesday we headed up to Leland to explore historic fishtown. We stopped for lunch in Sutton's Bay first at the 45th Parallel Cafe. Billy got the best Greek Salad ever, the dressing totally made it! The beets were homemade and everything was so fresh. We also stopped next door to their candy shop and grabbed some pretty tasty fudge too!
All though our lunch stop was delish, I was kind of second guessing our choice because people were lined up for sandwiches from The Village Cheese Shanty. There were picnic tables all over and the sandwiches looked so good.

Historic Fishtown was really cute, though very hard to navigate on the gravel with our stroller, but a great stop.

Here's me in historic fishtown, apparently they have all the latest fashions too:)

I had to zoom in on this shot because it looked like I had a mustache...yep, I did:)
We stopped at two wineries on our way back through the Leland Pennisula. Chateau Fontaine, which Billy really liked and Blackstar Farms. Blackstar Farms had animals for us to see and pet and a little cafe. We opted not to taste at Blackstar because Lauren was getting a little antsy. We just grabbed two glasses at the cafe
and this amazing antipasto platter. Almost to pretty to eat, almost.
(And what's more artistic, the platter or Billy's drawing? You decide.)

This part of the trip was just what the four of us needed. Its hard to get just "us" time with our busy schedules and Billy's travel and it showed us that we need to make more time to create memories with just us and our kids. I'll admit we are to blame because we LOVE being around the grandparents and all of our friends, especially vacations, but these two days were the quality time we needed!



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trip Report: Harbor Springs Part 2

Harbor Springs
Legs Inn and Burt Lake

Our Sunday night dinner was spent at the Legs Inn in Cross Village. We drove through the tunnel of trees on our way to the restaurant and took in some amazing scenery. We all needed a glass of club soda after the long and winding road:) But....it was worth it!

This restaurant was awesome! Authentic polish food with some gorgeous views of Lake Michigan. Our wait was a short 15 minutes, just enough time to snag some family pics.

The dudes...
The Paddens...
and us!

Billy and I were a little nervous to take Lauren out to eat after a big day because she isn't the best behaved especially after all the fun. Well, the vacation gods were on our side, because both Lauren and Emma were AWESOME! High fives all around!
I didn't get a picture of it, but everyone said I was the winner with my meal. Ghoulash served over potato pancakes...yummy! This was our only group shot...a framer, don't cha think?!?
After dinner, Jocelyn and I tried to get a few more pics of the girls and the scenery...

Uh, maybe we should have been watching the girls a little better rather than letting them hang over the ledge...whoops:)
This was my favorite shot with my girl. One word...happy!
Monday was our breakfast out to American Spoon in Petoskey. Another great pick by the Padden's. The best homemade english muffins and my Farm Egg Tartine was delish. We then headed to Burt Lake to spend the afternoon with Jocelyn's brother, Todd. Todd and his wife Kirsten were visiting from Richmond, VA and asked us to hang for a bit at her parents place. We enjoyed some sun and beers on the dock and a great spread of make your own panini's for lunch (fab idea for a laid back lunch, IMO).

Todd and Kirsten's dog Brutus was a big hit with Lauren too.
Uh oh, Brutus got Em's frisbee

Matching bathing suits!

And Mrs. Winfield gets a big THANK YOU from us for watching sweet William while he napped so we could hang on the dock.

Lovin' his wild and humid hair while we were away

Tuesday morning before we left for Traverse City we grabbed a few shots....

To Jocelyn, Colin, and Emma

Thank you for all the planning, the laughs, and the memories. We had a great time and we know Lauren loved spending a few days with her bff!


The Crawfords