If you recall, at the beginning of the summer my parents left Lafayette after 24 years to retire to Michigan where my grandparents live. Even though we got a chance to see them in July for Carrie and Ryan's wedding, not having them around at any given time made us miss them pretty badly. We decided to take a flight up to see them and their new place during the week of Labor Day.
Traveling 1,200 miles by plane with a two year old may sound like a rough journey, but for us that was far from the case. Our first flight to Houston was a short little ride which was perfect for our very curious traveler. Will loved looking out the window, staring at the wing, and talking about the stewardess... calling her the pilot because of her uniform.
After a nice layover of riding the Tram back and forth and back and forth, we boarded our long flight to Grand Rapids. Two minutes into the flight Will was asleep and didn't wake up until we landed! All of the other passengers who thought they were going to spend 2.5 hours with a whiny kid were very pleased, and complemented us on his behavior.
When we got off the plane we were greeted by a group of LSU fans! My parents and Grandpa were sporting their LSU gear for the big game with Oregon. A side note, apparently my Grandpa is way too cool, as he decided to wear sunglasses in the airport. I think his collar was even popped!
Finally we made it to my parent's house. It's really nice! A perfect woodland retreat with a beach on a small clean lake in a quiet little Lake Michigan town. We kept calling their house a "rental home" while we were there because it is nice enough to be just that. It has lots of great amenities and is laid out for activities to happen throughout the house without disturbing everyone. Perfect for a little boy who wants to play with his Ammy all day in the toy room.
While at the house we did plenty of kayaking and exploring of the lake (formally on a Boy Scout camp), a little swimming (the water wasn't too cold, but highs in the upper 50's were a bit of a change for us), and digging on the beach. Will seemed to have a great time at Ammy and A-paw's house! Not only did he have plenty of old toys to play with, he also had a very captive audience of two. You could tell while we were there that Ammy and A-paw wanted to savor every second they had with him. Very sweet, but also bittersweet with them now being so far away.
While in Michigan we also had a chance to spend time with both Grandpa Ed in Pentwater and Grandma Dee in Norton Shores. My parent's place is so close to both of them that it makes travel a breeze. Though temperatures were colder than we would have liked, we had some great time playing in the sand along Lake Michigan, and Grandpa Ed was excited to have us as company, especially on his 86th birthday. It was nice to spend that time with him and it was great to watch Will get a chance to jam with Grandpa Ed on his big drum while Grandpa Ed played the bones.
We also had a nice visit with Grandma Dee when we visited with her. Again, Will just loves getting a chance to play with new old toys. It's like Christmas during every visit. Since the weather was warming up we had Grandma Dee join us on a trip to a local park. Boy was she amazed at the courage of our little guy. Will showed her how he could climb up the playground, and without question go zooming down the slides. We had such a nice time visiting with Grandma and showing off Will!
On our last day in Michigan we did the tourist thing an took a ride on the Mac Wood's Dune Rides. This is something that Krissy hadn't gone on in ten years, so it was nice to take a scenic ride up in down the massive dunes near Silver Lake. Will was his goofy self the whole ride screaming "Whoa!" with every bump and dip! It was an entertaining ride and something we will definitely do again when Will is older.
Before we knew it, our week in Michigan was over. We had our traditional pizza at Johnny's and took the customary hat picture before it was time to say goodbye. It's safe to say we had a blast! We just wish everyone lived a little bit closer!
Lovin' on Ammy and A-paw!
Enjoying the alligator-less lake.
What a big sandbox!
Warming up to Grandma Dee.
Lots of cool toys can be found in the basement at Grandma Dee's!
What a cutie!
Pentwater pier following Johnny's.
Four generations of Pierce men.