August 19th . 2019

Bastien is Twelve

It’s hard to believe, but it’s the darn truth. My first-born and the pride of my life is twelve and there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t even forbid him from getting any older. So I’ll just continue to enjoy and celebrate him every day, especially this one.

In true Bastien fashion, he created a little dice game for his local cousins to decide what we should do to celebrate this momentous occasion (since I have the car and the money I get to tag along). And WE are going to Zehnder’s Splash Village, ya’ll. Bring twelve is all right!

August 18th . 2019

Rock Shop

One of the most beloved and soothing pastimes during our three-night stay at the Porkies was sorting the endless rocks on our cabin’s Lake Superior beach. The kids made many creative sculptures, items for sale, and even rock raffles. I honestly wished we could ride this out and stay indefinitely they got bored of this game (because I don’t think they ever would have).

August 15th . 2019

Pictured Rocks

The Pictured Rocks were majestic. Much more impressive than I had imagined- purely for the scale of them. They just went on forever in their beauty. It’s also noteworthy that right after we were there a big chunk fell into Lake Superior and was caught by drone and live kayakers. We took the sunset cruise, utilizing a coupon for free kids’ tickets I’ve been hoarding on my desk for years. We got in line an hour early as some internet tipsters advised. And it all worked out wonderfully since we got the right side of the boat (the best for taking it all in).

The next day we checked out of our delightful AmericInn (leaving the kids One Mile Slide Challenge certificates on the wall of fame) and started our drive west. We stopped along the way to put our feet in Lake Michigamme, where Grandpa B spent some formative summers. We thought fondly of him and what it must have been like to spend all summer on that very big and beautiful lake.

August 14th . 2019

Log Slide? Bastien’s Boot Camp!

At last, Jim’s pics from our Upper Peninsula Epic are available. Let’s start all the way back at our arrival day. We toured through the darling Grand Marais for dinner and then stopped for our first waterfall viewing (Sable Falls) and a giant 300′ dune that loggers used to roll their goods down. We were pretty tired of car riding at this point, 6 or more hours in, and I personally was looking forward to taking a quick look and then just getting to our hotel. Well, Bastien took a quick look and then was beside himself with desire to run down, and specifically UP this dune with posted warnings all over the place about the strenuous one hour climb (please zoom the pictures so you can see the tiny ant people on the beach). I finally caved, prepared to sit there for the 30+ minutes I suspected it would take him. -It took him six minutes and fifty eight seconds.-And even though he proclaimed it the hardest workout of his life, I am quite sure it was his favorite six minutes of any vacation, ever.

August 13th . 2019

Shout Outs to My Epic Racers

Shout out to Bastien for crushing his first MTB race of the season. We loved that it was actually called an “Epic” btw, the Ore to Shore MTB Epic to be precise. It was 28 miles with 1,119 other racers, so not getting crushed was an impressive feat in itself. To place in age group was just icing on the cake.

Shout out to Jim for completing this race even though it was “really hard”. He crushed his goals of 1. Finishing and 2. Averaging over 10mph. I’m really super duper proud of him, even if he’s not sure he’d do it again.

And HUGE shout out to Hadley who jumped right into the 4 mile race as if she’s been doing this her whole life. I’ll actually never be done being equally proud and mystified about this.

She also agreed it was “really hard” and thus immensely enjoyed an hour of cliff diving into Lake Superior, followed by a Culver’s Cement Mixer after.

August 12th . 2019

Lake Superior Rocks!

Skipping rocks, collecting rocks, jumping off rocks, climbing up rocks, hiking on rocks, collecting trophies made out of rocks (from the SoftROCK race no less), and, yes, even eating rocks from beloved Donckers… I’d say at least 75% of our vacation entertainment came from Lake Superior rocks.

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