04 September 2016

Lake Michigan

Thanks to all of Jack's work trips, he'd earned enough points for a free stay at a hotel, so, before he left on another work trip, we decided to take a quick vacation and enjoy some family time. It'd been a few years since we'd been up to the Great Lakes and Dunes and that's where we decided to go.
Good thing the dash is big enough for Kate to curl up on.
We picked Evelyn and Claire up right after school and drove a couple hours north (which somehow put us in a different time zone. Weird) and made it to the hotel. Jack decided he was going to try and upgrade to one of their suites and lo and behold, they let him. We drug our stuff up to the room, tested the bed by jumping on it and then left for dinner.
We decided on pizza for dinner and while we waited for the food, the owner was nice enough to hand out quarters to the kids so they could play in the arcade.
Jack showed the girls how the old school pinball machines worked...
 ...Claire immediately gravitated towards the stuffed animal grab game, which she, of course, won nothing...
...and Kate and Evelyn tried their hand at the flying, racing game. Let's just say they aren't ready to drive just yet.
The girls hurried us back to the hotel because they wanted to swim in the enormous pool, despite the dropping temperatures and waning light. They were blue-lipped and teeth chattering within a couple of minutes but they didn't care. They perfected cannon balls, belly flops and back floats for nearly an hour before we convinced them it was time to go in.
The next morning, we moseyed over to Michigan City, where they had a lighthouse and a cute little beach. While waiting for the sun to warm up the temps a bit, we took a half mile walk over to the lighthouse. There were a few people fishing and lots of boats out for the long weekend.
 And, once we'd made it to the lighthouse, there's only one thing to do: walk around it.
The girls' personalities all came out when scaled around it. Jack led the way, Claire bounced along behind him without holding on, Evelyn was cautious with one hand on the rail and Kate clutched it for dear life. They're all willing to be adventurous in their own way.
You have to walk back, Henry. Gotta get your exercise in.
Satisfied with our lighthouse adventure, we went back and changed into our swimming suits. We enjoyed a morning on the beach, having some of the same fun as Florida, though the water was frigid, the sand wasn't as soft and the girls couldn't find any shells to collect.
Mostly, I stuck back after testing the water with my toes, and dug in the sand. Evelyn and Claire made Henry a little kiddie pool out of lake water and sand. He thoroughly enjoyed it.
And, I buried the kids many, many times. It's how they warmed up after splashing in the lake.
Claire baking in the sand. 
After we worked up an appetite, Jack found a tiny hole-in-the-wall barbecue restaurant that was so small, they only took cash, were open only a handful of days and I think only had two people manning the entire place. Still, it didn't stop people from swarming it. Once we ordered our food, it was nearly an hour wait for it, though it was quite delicious. We scarfed down our food and then went to another beach to swim and sunbathe some more.
The King, Queen and Princess chairs. So I'm told.
By late afternoon, everyone was wiped out and were asleep within ten minutes of our trek home. They slept, I drove and right before we got home, we substituted ice cream for dinner. Because, you know, we were still techincally on vacation.
Another fun family trip and a nice start to a long weekend!

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