Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Travel from Michigan to Kansas City

On the 26th, we left Crystal Mountain and drove to the Little Sable Point Lighthouse overlooking Lake Michigan.

 What a gorgeous day!

We climbed the tiny, windy stairs all the way to the top - 92 feet up!

 Taking a breather

 The view was beautiful!

 ...especially with these three in it!

Keenan took this one of us and I think it's my favorite of the two of us from this trip!

We had lunch at a state park and let the kids play for a bit and then drove into Indiana...

...where we were in the land of wind turbines again...there were SO MANY stretching off into the distance in every direction!!

We went for a hike/geocache at a beautiful park before heading to our hotel...

Just before starting the hike

There was a cool suspension bridge!

Love this

Pretty river

Practicing my manual focusing =)

The hike was beautiful and soo lush and green and cool

They found the cache (hanging under a bridge)

Family snap

So green and peaceful

The kids loved scrabbling over these huge rocks

My sweet fam in the evening light

Love these kids so much!

Another random flower

I love covered bridges, so we stopped and Philip and I got out and checked it out

So pretty!

We stayed the night in Terra Haute, IN that night.

* I don't think I mentioned that our friend, Lindsay, gave us two audio books before this trip, Brother Andrew and Eric Liddell!    They are both fantastic and helped pass the time on many, many miles as we drove!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Crystal Mountain Resort

In the afternoon on the 24th, we surprised the kids and checked into Crystal Mountain for two nights. =)   It's a ski resort in the winter and is like a quaint little town with it's own restaurants and ice cream shop and stores.   It's super cute!

A few pictures of our condo:

The kids room (Keenan and Moriah each slept a night on the pull out couch)


Living room

Philip and I had the loft
(One of the coolest things about this place was the tiny) washer and dryer in a closet off the bathroom - I love being able to do laundry on vacation!!)

First up, we hit the ski lift to try out the Alpine slide!

Moriah and I rode up together 

Philip and Caleb ready to go

Keenan was super excited about this!
(I love the employee photo bomb!)

Woohoo!   It was so much fun!

Showing the lift up and the slide down

Caleb and Moriah both had to ride with adults (which made us go Really fast!!)

View from the top

Riding with Caleb

Philip and Moriah racing Keenan

What a cool ride!

After dinner, we checked out bikes and went for a fun ride around the property.

 Caleb got to ride in a little trailer

 Us girls

After we turned our bikes in, we grabbed our discs, took the lift back to the top and disc golfed 9 holes down!    Well, there was actually Quite a bit of uphill and downhill and back up hill before we came all the way down.  It was pretty intense!    Super fun though!   Philip played really well and hit the base of the goal from several hundred feet away on one hole, and I got a 50 foot putt on the same hole!
 The phone pics don't really show it, but it was Gorgeous up there!

 The light was beautiful

We all slept Very well after this day (that started out back at Sleeping Bear Dunes!)

This cutie joined me for a peaceful breakfast out on our patio that overlooked the golf course

I must have forgotten my tea infuser at the cottage in Ontario (boo), so I had to get creative and emptied out a tea bag, put my own tea in it and tied it back shut - it worked perfectly!  (I was bummed when the house keeping lady threw it out though... I still had another steep left!)

On Monday morning we headed to the water park (a stone's throw from our door) first:

Super fun!

Moriah and Keenan on the "floating steps" obstacle

Caleb trying to spray me

Caleb took this one, not bad!

Giving it a try

Thumbs up after swimming to Mommy

Next we did rock climbing and the ropes course.   This was Caleb's first time ever rock climbing!

All set to go

Chatting with his new friend, Rachel, before starting

I LOVE this picture

He loved it!

He did so great and went all the way to the top!

Coming back down

Moriah on the ropes course

There goes my hottie

At the second platform

The last part was where it "got real!"

I think Moriah probably lost count of how many times she did this!!!

Philip on the last part

Ziplining back to the start!

I took this one to show that you go right over the pool! =)

Handsome guy

Keenan on the wall

At the top after ringing the bell!

I like how this one is sort of a silhouette

Smiley kids waiting to climb

Keenan tried every level and did all but one!

My turn on the ropes course!

...and Keenan!

On the platform together

Me zipping and Keenan finishing up on the ropes

I love vacation!!! =)

I love this one Philip got of only sky

Moriah is a great climber, too!

So chill =)

Still cool, even though he inherited his sister's pink car seat ;)

Lunch at Crystal Cafe in Benzonia (it was Amazing!!)

On the evening of the 25th, we hiked at the Michigan Legacy Art Park... It is a 1.5 mile loop on 30 acres and includes at least 40 works of art, scattered along the trail - way cool!


"Table and Chairs No. 3"


"Satisfaction from Nature"

"Five Needles"

'Fallen Comrade"

"Communications Vine"

(a cool relief map of Lake Michigan)

Not sure what this is called

This is called "Stockade Labyrinth" and was the highlight for the kids!

We got to go inside and it was huge!

So cool!

Another beautiful bench, carved out of a single piece of wood

This mushroom was growing out of a bench!

"Big Two-Hearted" (this was a cool river bed with a fish swimming up stream and each rock had an excerpt from a Hemingway story on it)

"The Wheels of Progress" (this was Philip's favorite)


"Sawpath #4"

"Frog" (my favorite picture from this walk)

My favorite part of the walk was when we saw a deer run through the woods!   It was Not the time of day that deer are usually out and we were Not being quiet, so it was such a special thing!

Us at the end

We pushed dinner back and went and rode the Alpine Slide two more times and got in some more rock climbing...

Caleb was a little emotional (and tired) this time, so he wanted someone to climb beside him.   I climbed beside him, and you can see Keenan around the corner, doing another climb!

...and then Moriah

...and since I was already suited up, I decided to try a more challenging one

Riah and I climbing together

I was using the auto belay system here, so it took me a while at the top to be courageous enough to let go and trust the rope!  =)

Then Philip climbed with Caleb, hoping to encourage him to go to the top

...but he was just too spent and emotional =)

After dinner we drove about 20 minutes to a gorgeous scenic point where we could watch the sun set over Lake Michigan!

So gorgeous

I love these four

Our sweet Riah

I like this one that Keenan took

Moriah's hands 

...and sometimes they're so precious together

Special moment

...and so ended our time at Crystal Mountain.   It Was SO much fun!!