We did it again! We are home from a successful (well, mostly, more on that later) road trip from New Jersey to Minnesota and back, with many stops along the way, much laughter and lots of family visits. The kids did not want to leave the cabin, although they were happy to see their friends today and tell them all about our trip.
Our first stop was Chesterton, Indiana, up by Indiana Dunes State Park, where we visited with family from Mr. Acorns’ dad’s side of the family that we had not seen in 8+ years. Cousins, aunts, more cousins, more aunts ….. lots of pool swimming, fireworks viewing, and overall fun was had. We dipped our toes in Lake Michigan, got to see cows and pigs be born at Fair Oaks Farm, and just had an overall great time visiting.
Next up: family Christmas with Mr. Acorns’ mom’s side of the family! Yes, we do family holidays in the summer because that’s when we’re all together. We had a few scheduling issues this summer so we were all together only for one night, but we made it a fun one. Great gifts were exchanged, more swimming for the kids, and lots of wine and laughs for the adults.
Then it was off to the cabin!!!!!!!!!
Seriously. I was so ready to be there this year. The insanity of work this spring, the stress of moving. I was very ready to sit, put my feet up, and read a book while the kids fished and breeze blew. And I did just that, at least a little. I swear every time I sat down one of the kids needed something, but they had a blast, I finished one book and started another, and just had a very, very relaxing time.
On our last full day at the cabin we headed up to Bayfield, WI to see Lake Superior. We also took the ferry over to Madeline Island, and my daughter did not want to leave “her” island at the end of the day. It was very sweet. It was Miss M’s first ferry ride, and although we were there during the summer polar vortex we made the best of it and still suck our feet in the ridiculously cold lake!
We headed down to Eau Claire for 2 more days of visiting with the family, including croquet contests, digging in the mud, and the children’s museum for the little ones. Then, sadly, it was time for us to pack up and hit the road home. Our first day’s drive took us to Perrysburg, OH, just outside of Toledo. Which meant we had an opportunity to visit yet another Great Lake, and we did just that with a drive up to Maumee Bay State Park. Yes, that’s 3 Great Lakes in one trip!!!!
It was a fabulous vacation despite some interesting challenges. I learned that the Essentia Health Clinic at Spooner Hospital is staffed with really nice people when we had to take Miss M in for an ear infection. We got lucky with some credit card fraud that was targeted at our old NY bank account, and fortunately not the bank account we were traveling on. And, well, we may have returned without our car, but we got home eventually.
What’s that you say? Oh yes – we returned home without our car. It’s in Western Pennsylvania in a town called West Middlesex with two nice men named Vince and Bill. Where it isn’t running. Just 4 miles over the PA border on Friday, wham – a bad noise, warning lights, etc. We were near an exit, got off, found a service station, and then leaned that apparently one of the head gaskets blew/cracked, the spark plug flew out straight through the radiator, and, well, she was not going any further that day. A rental car and a new game of tetris to re-pack our stuff later( you can fit the contents of a packed Pilot into an Equinox, just FYI), and we made it home late Friday night. I will be sure to update you on the car saga as it continues, but for now we have the CR-V and we’ll figure it all out.
I’m choosing to focus on the great parts of our vacation, because, despite its ending, we had a wonderful trip. We discovered that Miss M has quite a love of ballet, showing us her moves every chance she had. Mr. B learned to put his head underwater when he’s swimming. Miss M is quite a fisherman, and I still refuse to bait my own hook. We got a million bug bites but had a wonderful, memorable trip. Neither of the kids wanted to leave the cabin, and we cannot wait for our visit again next summer.
The Acorns are home.