The girls and I had our very first "road trip" adventure this summer as we drove out to Michigan to visit my sister and her family.
We made a couple stops along the way, the first outside of Chicago. We checked into our hotel, and immediately went swimming...because when your travel mates are ages 8 and 5 it's all about the swimming pool;-) Later on, we ordered room service. That was a hit, until Lilah's hot chocolate accidentally spilled all over her and the white bed that she was sitting in...thankfully she wasn't burned (it had cooled way off before she took a sip) and, as Lilah pointed out, thankfully, we had a 2nd bed in our room ;-) We had brought along our "road trip" game (a jar of questions that I printed off and cut out--a Pinterest find). So we snuggled in and took turns pulling out questions and answering them. Reflecting back, I think this was one of my top favorite memories from the trip. I loved watching and listening to the kid's as they read and answered their respective questions. At one point, I grabbed my phone and secretly tried to record some of it. The questions were like:
- What word best describes you?
- What is one goal you would like to accomplish this year?
- If you could be famous, what would it be for?
- If you had the chance to go to the moon, would you?
And so on...we didn't get through them all, so I'm tucking the jar away for a rainy day. The next day, we got ready and headed downstairs to the hotel's huge breakfast buffet spread. The girls thought it was THE BEST BREAKFAST EVER!
As soon as we were done, we checked out and headed to our 2nd destination, South Haven, Michigan. It was a much shorter drive than the day before and we arrived around noon. We couldn't check into our hotel right away, but were told that we were free to use the pool in the interim. The sky was cloudy, but the temperature and the water were warm and we stayed in the pool all afternoon and only did we agree to climb out, for dinner. The main street of South Haven was hopping, and we when we got to the restaurant, Clementines, which the hotel staff recommended, there was a 45 minute wait. So we put our names in and perused all the CUTE little boutiques and storefronts that lined the sides of the street that eventually led to the pier with a beautiful red lighthouse at the end, and opened up to one of the most beautiful beaches I ever saw. We will definitely check that out after dinner I think to myself...but alas, by the time we paid the check, the girl's were getting tired, and were much more excited about the thought of going back to the hotel room with a set of bunk beds included. So my walk along the sand will have to wait until a future trip (sigh). As far as the bunk beds went, Vivianne claimed the top bunk and Lilah ended up coming into my bed and sleeping with me that night.
The next morning we got up early and hit the road to our final destination, Jackson, Michigan, home of Auntie Jess and April and cousin, Ben! We were super excited to see them, their new home, and the little baby boy, Isaiah, they had been fostering for 6 months. We had an amazing time! From bounce houses, to arcade games, to backyard water slides, to board games, to playing "horse" on the driveway, to going to the Jackson County Fair, to the Rodeo...there was never a dull moment. We all had a blast. The rodeo being a definite hit for everyone. I forgot how much fun they were to watch. The girls loved playing with Ben and entertaining little Isaiah. The days seemed to fly by and before we knew it, it was time to head back towards home.
Never, have I missed my "I-Pass" more, all those tolls...took their toll on me! We got as far as Madison, Wisconsin, before we decided to pull off of the interstate and spend the night, more swimming was to be had. And the next day, only 4ish hours on the road until we'd be home sweet home. The girl's were awesome in the car, even when it got long...thank goodness for the radio, the inventions of electronics, and their portable desks filled with art supplies that they could put on their laps, and, of course, SNACKS, lots of snacks.
I'm already thinking about our next "girls" trip...and the adventures we will have.
Here's a little video.