You know you're good friends with people when you can spend more than a few hours with them right? This weekend the Muylle's invited us and the Bojo's up to Interlochen, MI to stay with Jill's parents and have some good old outdoor fun.
I don't even know how we started talking about going but Jill turned 40 last week and somehow weeks ago we got talking about it needing to be the best birthday ever. We had a nice lunch on her actual birthday Wednesday, Thursday there was a surprise party for her (and I tell you that was almost a fail because someone wasn't very cooperative about going to Amy's) i.e. not feeling well, marinating steaks for dinner, wanting to go to Walmart, needing prescriptions. But lo and behold she showed up only 15 minutes late and we all had a great time.
Now, for years I've always grumbled about being a nature hater. I vowed I'd never go camping again and her family couldn't really house us all comfortably and there was a chance some of Jill's sisters might want to come up too. We couldn't just take their place. So quasi-camping was the solution. We had my In-Laws offer up their trailer and vehicle to tow it, and also Mike & Julie offered up their trailer. I was happy I wouldn't be sleeping on the ground in a volatile tent. With the busy week and through an epiphany of sorts Joe and I decided that tenting it would actually not be too bad and was probably our best option. After all, we were only going to be gone two nights and it would have warranted us driving separately so we just bit the bullet and camped. And you know it was great!!! We used to camp a lot before we had kids and even took Tommy camping once when he was about Ashley's age. I am definitely up for revisiting our camping life. I was telling Joe and the friends, it wasn't really camping that ruined my camping enjoyment, it was a few camp outs that were ruined by the company that went with us. My brothers would shudder if they heard me say "we're gonna have a lotta, lotta fun, but it's gonna be a lotta, lotta work." I could have a whole post on camping horror stories but as I've said many a time I try to keep this a PG-rated blog.
This weekend was perfect! Except that Ashley no matter what time we put her to bed will wake up at the butt crack of dawn. She's like a dang rooster only louder and absolutely screamed before 6 am each day. Bless Joe for getting up with her both days. Today in her darkened room she made it to 7 am. Ahh, bliss.
Anyways, we had an action packed weekend visiting the Cherry Fest both days. We got to see the Blue Angel's and it was my first air show ever. IT WAS AMAZING!! The planes were so loud, and they'd be flying right at each other and then quickly diverge. They do all kinds of flips and tricks, they fly so close together in perfect formation. It was so neat watching these planes, and I've heard people talk about air shows and you truly do not understand what all the hubbub is about until you experience one for yourself. Put it on your to-do list if you've never experienced this. Austin and Mike watching the show, check out Austin's cherry tattoo.
The boys got to drive the little motorized tractors/4 wheeler. Austin did especially well after a shaky start having to push with his right foot and with turning. He & Tommy loved it, and Ashley even wanted in on the action climbing on the four wheeler. I asked, she won't be able to get that moving will she and Jill's like oh no I don't think so and quickly almost gets runned over. LOL. I guess Ashley could get er going after all.
We went to a couple of different Lake Michigan beaches to swim. The water had such awesome waves. Tommy & I loved that, and Austin, Joe, and Ashley enjoyed the calmer waters closer to shore. Water is crazy powerful and I'd never experienced wave action like that.
The food was great, Duane & Nancy fed us an amazing breakfast both days and we also had all your typical 4th of July & camping fare throughout the weekend. Pizzas on the campfire are just awesome, they rank higher than smores in my book. Everyone took such good care of us and I can't say enough good things about Jill's folks. They were so welcoming and just excellent with the kids. The boys especially as Ashley is a cling on unless you are Ms. Jill, poor Jill couldn't even get a solo shower on Saturday. LOL. Their poor dog is a beautiful golden retriever, and sadly my kids are all afraid of dogs. By the end of the weekend the kids were fairly comfortable around her except Ashley when Mildred would get really close to her.
So it was a productive weekend in that my kids are now more tolerable of dogs, more appreciative of nature, and Tommy kept joking that we'd be back in two weeks. The kids and Joe & I really had a wonderful time and won't soon forget all the fun with such GREAT FRIENDS!