For all of you that have been wondering…I know, there’s only about 3 people out there that actually read what I have to say…I have not given up on the blog/blogs. In fact, I have thought of lots of great things to talk to you about over the last few weeks. Unfortunately other circumstances have gotten in the way of me letting you know what is going on in my little world. I was doing pretty good there the beginning of August. Letting you know about the laundry room project I was still tweaking and the garden that became overrun by squash plants and a mole. Then, “POOF”, nothing!
Mid-August I took my son up to visit my family in Michigan. Earlier in the year I discovered that my seldom used credit card had an accumulation of points that were in danger of expiring. After looking through the catalog of available items for purchase I decided just to check on airline tickets. Sure enough, I had points for a ticket and some to spare! Lucky for us the Little Guy was still under two at the time of our flights so he got to go for free. Yeah! The plan was to spend just over a week visiting mainly with my aging Nonna and then make the rounds to see my other family in the area as their schedules permitted. I had blog posts all ready to go and figured at some point during this time I could hop onto a computer and make those posts live. Just days before leaving I got word that we would be heading out of town the morning after arrival in Detroit, to spend a couple of nights at the family cottage up on the northwest coast of the state. This meant spotty cell reception and no computer access. Prior to leaving I attempted logging on to the blogs, but was not granted access on my (supposedly) smart phone. Later I realized I just needed to change a setting- duh!
So, as you can imagine, once we were on the road to our little slice of heaven and it appeared I was not going to be able to continue my blog work, I decided to let it ride. I mean, what was I gonna do? Ruin my whole trip with worry? Nope, not me. I laid back and let it all sink in.
The Little Guy just loved the beach at Lake Michigan.
Noticing the sand.
Creating marks in the sand.
Hands in the sand.
What are the big boys doing? (Rock Throwing 101)
Looking for the perfect specimen.
Look Mom, Rock…Rock…Rock…Rock…
The first pitch.
Admiring his work.
Once he understood the fun of rock throwing, the plan for a beachside family photo was over. No matter how crazy (and I think they were doing quite a good job!) everyone acted about looking at the camera, the Little Guy was only interested in rocks!
Lucky for him, there were plenty to scope out along the beach out front and in the rock garden next to the back deck.
Little Cousin Gloria loved not being the baby of the group for a change. After a couple of relaxing days and nights in northern Michigan we headed back down toward Detroit for the rest of the week.
We enjoyed a trip to the zoo, where the Little Guy got to see lots of exotic animals in the flesh. He was both excited and confused by the whole situation. We decided he must have been experiencing some confusion about what he was seeing since some of the habitats allowed the animals to stay pretty far back from the crowds walking by. We think he may have thought what he was seeing was not even real. He did seem to really enjoy the giraffes, the polar bear exhibit, the butterfly house…
…and of course the train ride around the zoo. Later that weekend my Aunt treated us to a very tasty Mediterranean BBQ and we got to visit again with extended family.
The Little Guy and Cousin Kaitlynn in my Aunt’s lovely backyard garden. He was beside himself with all the attention!
Greeting the little boy from next door with fists full of marigolds.
Before leaving town we did glimpse a bit of the 2011 Dream Cruise that just happened to be going on the weekend after we arrived and we did our annual stroll through downtown Royal Oak. There are so many cute shops there, but we just hit a few…Gayle’s Chocolates and Scout were top on the list. While we were just walking around we saw two $100K Porsches just parked on the street like they were old station wagons, along with lots of really cool oldies that were in for the cruise.
I can never get enough of that place.
This time my Aunt and Uncle decided to take us on a stroll through downtown Ferndale, which is going through a revitalization and we saw some really neat shops. Our favorite was the Rust Belt Market, a kind of booth style open market that caters to more of an “Etsy” type handmade crowd than your typical “granny arts and crafts” followers. I found a ton of things I wanted to take home, but had to be realistic with our already 46 pound bag. I did manage to smuggle some really nicely scented handmade soap home from one vendor, but had to forgo many, many other items for the sake of bag space and weight. Just down the block we stepped into a little shop called NAKA and I found a neat pair of very simple Petoskey stone sphere earrings that I could not resist. All in all, the shopping was good, not overwhelming (as in I wanted everything and was sad that I could not buy it all), I managed to get a couple of nice items to bring home and had some eye candy inspiration while we were at it.
We also hit up the local park a couple of times in an attempt to get out some energy. It’s nice to be able to walk three blocks, on sidewalks, to a public play area.
Over the bridge (and the Moon!) with Great Uncle Kurt.
The first time in a tube slide and he was completely hooked.
Grande Nonna helped ease the transition, smacked him on the butt and sent him up the ladder again. She raised five kids- this woman knows how to wear them out!
I just wish we had that sort of set up in our neighborhood here at home. Soooo nice!
Lucky for us our flight home was on Monday evening. I say lucky not because that day was special, or that the Little Guy was exceptionally good (he was okay- fidgety, but not too bad to ride with), but because the next day everything on the East Coast shut down due to an EARTHQUAKE of all things! Yep, that’s right, I experienced my first earthquake. The funny part was that it happened while I was chatting on the phone with a friend. At the same time we both mentioned something about our washing machines running off balance as we realized what we were experiencing was NOT laundry related. It was weird, scary, exhilarating and surreal….I could go on and on. But, I didn’t have much time to think about what had happened because I was on a mission starting that day. I had a mountain of dirty clothes to get through, a house to clean and a birthday party to plan. But wait! It gets better!
Then we had a HURRICANE!!!!
I don’t know what is going on around here, but we had been assured numerous times that the weather in Richmond, VA was very similar to Nashville, TN in that it is very mild. Well, between the record breaking blizzards in the winter of ‘09 to ‘10, to the record breaking drought in the summer of 2010, we are NOT buying it any more! Now we are experiencing earthquakes and hurricanes- what the what?
This place is nuts! But, at least we had a good visit out of state. ;o)