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…The hubby and I traveled to Ludington, Mich. to attend his family reunion.

We had a great trip! We camped on a family member’s property and we were only 15 minutes from Lake Michigan. I expected the lake to have brown/green water because I am so used to the gross lake waters we have here in the midwest. But I was wrong. It was beautiful. You can compare the beaches there to ones by the ocean. Seriously. I have the photos to prove it. Here’s a sneak peak:

We climbed a spiral staircase (about 150+ stairs) to take in this view from the top of Big Sable Lighthouse.

Alright, now back to the order of the trip. More gorgeous water pictures to come.

When I say we camped, we set up our tent and everything. No camper for us. The first night was a little hot and sticky, but the next night was cool and perfect.

See. We really did camp.

The first night we stayed on the property we had a campfire. It was great to get to know a small group of people before loads of people came the next day and to enjoy some good ‘ol smores, of course.

About 50 to 60 people attended the family reunion the next day. Most of the relatives only lived a maximum of 4 hours away or so. We (Me, David, and David’s parents and grandmother) definitely trumped that with our 12-hour drive. After we filled our bellies with hotdogs, hamburgers, and an assortment of side dishes and desserts, the eldest member of each family stood up and spoke about what had gone on with their immediate family members within the past year. David and I were noteworthy. His grandmother made sure to tell everyone we had bought our first house.

All 50 of us gathered in the barn for the family reunion festivities.

Compared to my family reunions, there were a lot more kids running around. They were all cute. I couldn’t resist all the wonderful photo opportunities.

She was so cute that I HAD to snap a photo of her. You can’t help but smile yourself when you see her smile.

I also HAD to snap this one. :) What a cutie.

OK, one more. All the kiddos were adorable!

The day after the main event David and I ventured out to Big Sable Lighthouse.

Don’t let the picture fool you — it really is a lake.

Instead of taking a trail, David and I took a long walk (2 miles, in fact) on the beach to get to Big Sable Lighthouse.

Although the locals said the water was the warmest it’s been in 20 years, it wasn’t as warm as we’re used to with our lakes. When we went to the beach, someone even laughed at our reaction! We only went in until the water hit our shins. I’ll take our temperature of lake water any day! We were even called “southerners” because of our reaction. Ha!

David’s reaction to the cold water.

After our 2-mile walk, we made it to the lighthouse.

This is Big Sable Lighthouse. What a combination: the lighthouse, the green grass, and the blue sky and lake. Breathtaking!

As you read previously, we explored the lighthouse by traveling up 150+ stairs to take in the gorgeous views.

There were several signs on the railing around the lighthouse.

This sign indicated how high up we really were, whereas another one told us how far away we were from Chicago.

What goes up must come down. We had to be careful getting back on the stairs. It was steep and with one wrong step, we could of hit our head or fallen down a couple of stairs.

The steep steps.

We had some great views on the way down the stairs in the lighthouse, too.

 

 

 

 

This looks like a porthole, huh? Instead, it’s the view from inside the lighthouse.

David and I also explored a park that had all sorts of bronze statues. The one below was one of my favorite statues. It was a bunch of kids chasing each other in a row. What amazed me was the amount of detail in each piece of the statue. You can see the groove of the kid’s nailbed and that one of the dog’s paws is hovering above the ground. And if you looked at one of the other kids in the statue, you could see the textured scrunch in his socks and how his adjustable buckle on his hat bumped out.

I honed in on this perspective of the statue. Who says the dog can’t play along, too?

While we were in Ludington, we stopped at the House of Flavors. It’s a 1960’s diner that boasts 32 flavors of ice cream. I tried the Bear Claw ice cream in malt form. It consisted of dark chocolate ice cream with a caramel swirl and chocolate covered cashews. Delicious! David had a banana pudding malt AND a Tennessee Toffee shake. We voted Tennessee Toffee was the best. It was toffee ice cream layered with sweet whiskey sauce and Heath Bar pieces. Yum! Because David had not only a malt, but also a shake, our waitress was in awe of how much ice cream he consumed. She made a point to stop us before we left and said, “Each day we work here, we’re allowed to have one shake. I already had one at Burger King, but you showed me it’s possible to have two shakes in 1 day.” I proceeded to give David a hard time about that the rest of the trip! I kept telling him he’s such an inspiration!

I’m about to enjoy my Bear Claw malt.

David and I decided that the next time we go to Michigan we want to stay longer than a couple of days and camp more.

…David and I moved into our new house!

It was quite a process. Because David and I had been so busy before the move (you know, the float trip and the Michigan trip), we hadn’t even had time to pack one box. We had a month to get all the stuff out of our apartment before our lease was up, so we weren’t too worried. Well… one Saturday when we had our parents come over and help, we thought we’d just move the furniture and do the other stuff later on our own. No, that was not how it went at all. Instead, they helped us pack, too. I was beyond embarrassed that my in-laws had to help pack up our messy apartment. The bright side is we didn’t have much to move after they helped us!

Dexter had to stay in his kennel while we went in and out of the apartment. We even stacked dresser drawers on top of his kennel. Poor thing.

The second bedroom in the house was considered the catch all room. Boxes that didn’t belong in the office, the bedroom, or the kitchen ended up here. Problem was that was the majority of our stuff!

This is my dad helping us. Looks like he doesn’t mind one bit!

Here’s our kitchen the day we moved. Currently, we’re still trying to find the most logical place to put things!

First things first. We had to show our Gorilla pride!

…I signed up for two additional runs: Helen Gold 10K (Sept. 8) and the Kansas City Zoo Run (Sept. 15), which is 4 miles. I perservered through a 9-mile run this weekend. My legs and back still ache. My biggest problem is finding the motivation to run during the week (and early morning if possible). If I could do that, these long weekend runs would go a lot better. Let’s hope I can complete run during the week this week — the half marathon is right around the corner!

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