Thursday, September 17, 2009

2 stages down...1 to go!

So....Wednesday evening we got back to Hubby's parents' house just in time to switch our bags, grab a good night's sleep and head out quickly the next morning for the next & final stage of our trip! This stage was most definitely created just for Hubby & his dad so his mom decided to do a little bit of reseach to make the trip for the ladies worthwhile. On Thursday we drove to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore & spent the afternoon walking along Lake Michigan & enjoying the beautiful weather. The lake was so peaceful & calm, it was stunning!

Originally, we though we'd fully experience the dunes & hike down to the shore--so we searched for the shortest trail & headed down...let me just tell you that walking on sand, in the sun, uphill is not very enjoyable! However, the views were probably worth it!

Once we got down to the shoreline, my poor feet were so glad to be covered in the cool lake water! There were beautiful round stones of all sizes & colors covering the bottom of the lake. The water was crystal clear & went for miles! I can't believe this is lakeside--it looks just like a calm bay on the ocean!

I hiked up my jeans, picked up my shoes, & Hubby & I enjoyed a nice stroll along the shore. We decided that on the way back we would just walk long enough on the shore to get to a parking lot where Hubby's dad could come pick us up. Man, that was a much better walk than hiking back up the sand dunes in the hot sun!
I so wish I would have brought a bucket so I could have very cautiously taken some of these home to use in our house! We did try to put as many in our pockets and we filled Hubby's shoes with some fun rocks that I hope to use in an arrangement somewhere. We weren't quite sure if it was illegal to take these out of the park but there were so some of them came home with us!
Can you believe how clear the water is?
The view back towards Lake Michigan from the boardwalk
The location where we walked back to our car used to be a lifesaving point for boaters who got stranded in riptides & beached their boats in the shallow waters along the shore. It was such a quaint little place & it still houses a Coast Guard Unit for the area. I love this shot of the sun!

Our stash..or some of it! We were both impressed with the largest rock which is actually a bunch of sand that solidified around several small rocks...I'm hoping to put it outside in our front flower bed.
After our visit to the sand dunes, we hopped back in the car and headed out for Traverse City, Michigan--our resting place for the evening. We checked into the hotel, cleaned up a bit, & then headed back out for dinner. We had dinner at this amazing restaurant on the bay called Apache Trout Grille...they had wonderful fresh seafood...this was probably the best meal of the trip. Plus the views were just wonderful!
View of all the sailboats moored for the evening!

Don't you just love those clouds!
Friday, the plan was for Hubby's mom to drop off he and his dad at this really good golf course, then she would come back and pick me up so we could shop for the morning before meeting up with the boys & heading home. Well...I think the boys forgot to include one major detail! The golf course was an hour away from our hotel!!! All I can say is that we really must love our men, because we got up at the crack of dawn to get the boys to their 8:30 tee time & then came back to shower & head out for some shopping. Again, the shopping was pretty much terrible but I always have a fantastic time with my mother-in-law so it was a great time either way!
We headed back to pick up the boys & had a late lunch at the golf course...let me just tell you I think the drive was worth it! Look at this view!
They have an entire row of white adirondack chairs all lined up in front of the clubhouse where you can just sit & enjoy the beautiful scenery & also watch the golf as everyone finishes up on the 18th green! After lunch we sat for awhile before getting back in the car for the inevitable trip home!

Don't you just love these!?!
We got back later Friday night & then we spent the entire day on Saturday just lounging around watching football. Hubby's dad grilled steaks for dinner & they were oh so yummy! We got up early on Sunday to head for home & pulled into our driveway about 6:30. Whew...what a trip! I've never been so excited to see my house as I was that night!
I can definitely say that was a trip that we will never take again but I'm certainly glad that we took advantage of Hubby's parents being in Michigan and saw some of the beautiful scenery up North! Hopefully we'll be heading back up for Thanksgiving and we'll get to spend a lot more time just relaxing (instead of spending it all in a car!)

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