Instead of our annual beach family vacation, this year we were able to plan a vacation with Hubby's family...all 13 (13 1/2 including Nora) of us!
My in-laws spent the years from Hubby's high school graduation until the summer of 2012 in Michigan and they fell in love with Up North Michigan. They managed to find a beautiful log cabin that would easily fit all of us, had a beautiful fenced backyard, and was just a great location for us all to relax and spend time together.
The driving time for us would have been about 13+hours, without any stops, and so back in February when we were making plans we made the very wise decision to purchase fairly inexpensive airline tickets. I was crossing my fingers that Elyse would be newly potty-trained, and also that I would be somewhere in my second pregnancy...both of these things resulting in LOTS of potty breaks.
|Of course a family photo before we head through security to board!|
This was definitely a very, very, very wise decision! I armed myself with plenty of snacks, new books, new toys, and a couple of favorite movies (Frozen & Planes) loaded on the iPad. She did AMAZING on both flights, except for the fact that she was less than excited to be buckled up during landings. She sat on Hubby or I's lap for the landings and did incredibly well the entire time.
I could not have been more pleased...especially since both the departing & return flights bled over into naptime!
|All set with her bunny and the iPad!|
Naptime quickly followed once we got our rental car and were loaded up. I literally think she crashed within just a few minutes of pulling out of the rental car lot.
We finally arrived at our "Summerhouse" around 7 pm on Friday night and had a quick sandwich dinner so we could all just decompress and wait for the next of our family to arrive! Of course I had to stop at one of the MANY fruit stands to pick up some fresh Michigan Sweet Cherries...and a dessert for the first part of the week! Michigan Cherry Pie...DELICIOUS!
Saturday we spent the morning just settling in at the house...most of us had had quite the travel day on Friday so it was time to just relax and watch it rain. Elyse found a new play area in the dog kennel, and then we headed into Downtown Petoskey for some shopping and lunch.
After a few hours we just came back to the house and grilled out so we could spend the evening in the beautiful, and HUGE backyard!
Sunday we made plans to meet the final part of the family for lunch at a local restaurant. It was located on a canal that sat right next to a drawbridge and all the kids LOVED watching the boats go in and out.
|Elyse could not have been more excited for her cousins Hunter & Jackson to arrive!|
The highlight of this visit was the miniature train yard, complete with LOTS of running miniature trains. Elyse is quite the train fanatic...so it was a little difficult to even get her away from this area!
And then it was getting into Elyse's naptime so she stayed pretty close to Momma & Daddy...until she caught her second wind!
And then it was time for some group pictures with the cousin's...
And some umbrellas on the castle grounds!
The garden areas were absolutely beautiful and this created a great place for the kids to just run around and explore...which also resulted in the three oldest kiddos becoming "lost" for a bit! Thankfully my nephew Hunter had memorized his momma's cell number! Definitely a memorable start to the trip!
We came home for a casual taco dinner at the Summerhouse and the first of MANY backyard baseball games was organized. We had enough for some pretty even games with the kiddos picking the teams. Elyse spent the evening running around the yard becoming absolutely exhausted! Which is great for momma & daddy who were sharing a room with her!
Next up...the family excursion to Mackinac Island! One of my favorite places ever!