My mom's sister & her family moved to Michigan when I was in second grade. My aunt & uncle's youngest kids are twins who are the same age as me, & who I was very close with growing up...& still love being around today, even though we only see each other a couple of times a year (boo!). Now, all three of us have kids around the same age who love to play together! :)
Anyway, since then (23 years ago - wow, I feel old now), we've tried to make the trip out there once a year. I think there are only a handful of years I haven't been able to make the trip...mostly during college when I played volleyball & couldn't take the time off in the fall.
My aunt & uncle used to farm when they lived in Minnesota, & when they moved to Michigan they continued with some of that as a "hobby". We joked that Grady was on a "gatherer" diet while we were there as I swear he only ate raspberries out of their garden & nuts for the first 3 days of the trip!
Patty & Mike also have chickens that give them fresh eggs every day! Oh, how I would love to have a chicken coop someday! As much fun as it was for Grady to pick the eggs, I think he enjoyed chasing those poor birds more...
These guys were also fascinated by the cows...
This year we were in town during ArtPrize. It's basically an art competition spread out within a 3 square mile area of downtown Grand Rapids (indoors & out). In just a few short years, ArtPrize has become the largest art competition in the world! I think there were over 1500 entries with $500,000 in prizes this year that are voted on & awarded by both a panel of judges as well as the public. I'd recommend it to anyone...art lover or not.
The day before we left, we all packed up & headed to Grand Haven, a beach town on Lake Michigan. It was insanely windy that day & the rain ended up cutting our day a little short, but it was b-e-a-utiful! The boys braved the cold to splash in the water a little bit & enjoyed playing in the sand & running around being crazy & silly & weird...they're boys after all, it's what they do best!
Stay tuned for part two - our day trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. AMAZING!