Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Field of flowers!

A little over a week ago, I got a message from my friend Jean from What's up at the Stauffers?  She wondered if I had seen a poppy field near me and included this news link.  Jean lives in Pennsylvania and I think it's interesting that she heard about this before I did, and I live about 40 minutes away.
This is a 4 acre field, planted full of poppies and wild flowers that bees love.  The owners of the field have a blueberry farm, but they set aside this field to fill with poppies in memory of their son who committed suicide after serving in Afghanistan and developing PTSD.  Their son was a bee keeper who also worked on the farm.
I was excited to see it, and took Heather along to enjoy the beauty!  There are pine trees surrounding the field, so when you walk up, you go through the trees and are treated to this amazing sight!

It's amazing to see this many flowers covering such a large area.

I don't know anything about the second person listed here, but I think their son Mateo would be very touched by this.  I know we were.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

The weekend ends...

Saturday we went to a fun restaurant for supper and then headed back to the Lodge.  I snapped a few pics along the way, so you could see some of the homes in the area.  Petoskey is known for it's Victorian homes and there are many of them.

The hotel had a really nice pool and the girls were so anxious to get into it!  After we got back, they were quickly in their suits and ready to swim. We had the pool all to ourselves that night.

 Aaron and Ruby

 Aaron, Laura and Ruby

 Alaina and Bob taking a time out in the hot tub.

After swimming, we spent a little time in their room having snacks and watching a show.

 Sunday morning came with mist and drizzle.  This is the view from our room.  You can see the river in the background.  It's bigger than it looks here.  We saw some fairly large boats coming down it.

 Someone had told us about a hidden beach where there were lots of Petoskey stones, so we stopped there before heading out.

 They were right!  There were lots of stones there.  This is the one Ruby found - the biggest one we found during our time there.

 Here's Alaina with all the stones she found over the weekend.  She has a real eye and seems to find more than the rest of us.

As we drove, the skies cleared and soon the sun was out.  We got back in the mid afternoon.
It was a wonderful weekend - such a fun time with people we love!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Saturday Fun in Petoskey

Saturday morning dawned nice and sunny! However, there was rain predicted later in the day so we headed out to do some outdoor things after breakfast.
Our first stop was the Petoskey beach.  Laura, Aaron and girls love to hunt for Petoskey stones, and this is the place to do it.

Alaina and Ruby said the water was cold, but it wasn't long before they were all wet.

Such clear water!

Alaina with some of her finds. A nice Petoskey stone on the right, the other is a type of coral.

Showing Aaron what they found.

A little playing on the beach, and they we set off for the next thing.

We went to a fish hatchery.

They have a cutout into the river, so you can see the fish swimming around.

Walking to the fish ponds.  It was already getting pretty warm at this point.

There were some huge fish here.  When Laura and Aaron had been here before, you could feed the fish which the girls really enjoyed.  For some reason, Covid has stopped that.  They weren't offering the usual tours either.

There was a blue heron across the pond, looking for something to eat.

We went for lunch after this.  I love to see the girls interacting with Bob.   :)

There is a huge Kilwins in Petoskey.  They train new store owners there, they make a lot of the chocolate and ship it elsewhere.  Usually you can tour it, but again, because of Covid there are no tours right now.  The girls wanted to show us some things they saw when they did the tour before.

The big bar of chocolate by Alaina's head costs $100!

Ruby liked this bunny which would cost you $300.

And if you want this Santa, it's a mere $695!

 The lodge has kayaks available for the guests, so that was the plan for a while in the afternoon.  Alaina did really well, once she figured out how to go backwards.  Here's Aaron, Bob and Alaina.  Ruby was going to go with Laura, but got scared once they started and came back to shore with me.  We could watch them out there.  It started raining though and they didn't stay out for too long.

When they headed back, Ruby ran to the launch to "help" them all make it in.

The girls had taken along a game they were very anxious to play with us.

 It's called Bean Boozled and involves Jelly Belly jelly beans.

You spin and get assigned a color of jelly bean to eat.  Each color can be one of two flavors.

It can be something good, or something horrible!  We decided there was much more horrible than good, and I can tell you that they really were bad.  The girls thought it was hilarious though and they sure did laugh!

I think that's enough for today.  Tomorrow I'll share the end of our time away.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


I'm interrupting our vacation pics with an important announcement:

I have the best news ever!  I've been waiting to share this with you all until I got the ok.
I'm going to be a grandma again!
Our daughter Heather and her husband Andrew are expecting.  The whole family is especially thrilled because we've been praying and hoping for this baby for several years.

Heather and Andrew, along with Laura and Aaron and girls came over the week before Fathers Day to celebrate that along with Bob's birthday.  When Bob started to open his gift from them he got teary and said "really?, and that's how we found out.

Here's the gift they gave him:

And wrapped in that shirt was this:

Laura got a little gift too - this cute little onesie.  They mailed an awesome uncle shirt to Andy in KY too but we didn't get to see it.

This is the picture they used to announce it on Facebook.
The baby is due January 18.  Heather is a type 1 diabetic so she has lots of appointments ahead of her and they will be watching her carefully, but so far things are going well.  They've even heard the heartbeat!  Prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby would be appreciated!

Monday, June 22, 2020

More weekend fun!

After leaving Castle Farms we had about an hour to drive to get to our Lodge.  We were at the Crooked River Lodge, about 20 minutes from Petoskey and 30 minutes from Mackinac City.  It was such a nice place to stay, and there are so many things to do nearby.

We were all happy to arrive, especially the girls.  It's a lot of riding for them, but they did really well!

Here's the view from the back of the lodge.

A view looking at the back of the lodge.  Each room has a small balcony where you can sit and relax.

Here's a view from our balcony, looking onto the patio where there is always a big fire you can sit at.

 After we settled in, we picked up supper and ate at the beach.

Then we drove to Mackinac City to see a Lumberjack show.

Here's Bob and the girls, waiting for it to start.

 There were several events, including ax throwing...

 It was amazing how fast these guys could shimmy up a tree!

 They could run across these logs without falling in!

 And then fool around on a log, trying to knock the other one off.

After the show was done, we went to a dark sky park, where there is no artificial light and it's supposed to be amazing to see the stars.  It's on the shore of Lake Michigan and the whole area was beautiful.

 The sun was supposed to set shortly after 9:30 and we arrived about 9, in time to check out the area and watch the sunset.

 The water is so clear!

 The sea gulls were enjoying themselves.



 I didn't mention that we were getting swarmed by little gnats.  Laura was wrapping up to avoid them and everyone was swatting them away!
We soon realized, that a 9:30 sunset didn't mean the stars were out then. 

Soon it was 10, then 10:15 and there was still a glow to the west.  We counted 5 stars that were barely visible.  Ruby had fallen asleep and we had 30 minutes to drive back to the hotel and a full day the next day.
So - we packed up and left.  In hindsight, we realized we were there on almost the longest day of the year.  Someday we'll go back, when it gets dark earlier!
Still - it was pretty and we had such a fun day!