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Column

NSFLS (Not suitable for lake sun)

For the holiday weekend, we traveled north to Michigan for a long weekend with my husband’s brother’s family. Our kids are about the same age and when we visited last year we knew we needed to go back for a longer stay because of how much fun they had.

We set out earlier than normal and the trip was great. Even with a bit of traffic around Chicago, the kids did great and we actually made it there at about bed time instead of in the middle of the night.

We woke up ready to have a great Fourth of July holiday and decided to head to Lake Michigan for a beach day. Instead of going to the busy state beach, we went to a new beach that was wonderful, except the gigantic staircase that was required to make it to the water. It wasn’t really too bad, but I learned the next morning how out of shape my calf muscles apparently are.

While the water was a little chilly at first, after wading for a while it felt great under the hot sun. The kids had a blast swimming around, playing in the sand and just using their imaginations. We don’t get to go to the beach very often, let alone an awesome beach like on the coast of Michigan, so we soaked it all up, literally.

That evening, we watched the fireworks explode over the water in a grand display. I also realized my one layer of sunscreen might not have been enough in the lake sun and discovered a large portion of me was sunburned.

The next morning I woke up bright red and sore with a scratchy throat and unable to stand up due to my calves throbbing in pain. Everybody, even my nephew who hardly ever gets burned was feeling the heat so we decided to have a low-key day out of the sun. I got a little girl time with my sister-in-law during lunch before everyone else joined us for an afternoon movie. That evening was spent at the house, watching the kids play and grilling before my husband and his brother went fishing that evening.

It really was fun to just stay at home because of how well the kids get along. My oldest and my niece buddied up and spent the weekend doing some of their favorite things, from crafting and drawing to playing games and exploring. The younger two were a riot to watch as they brought out the silly in each other as they ran around the whole weekend. From their love of rocks to them some how falling, fully clothed into the water, listening to their giggles was so fun.

On Saturday, we went even further north (about an hour) to go on a ride through the sand dunes. Even though it was a steamy day, being near the lake cooled things down, along with flying through the air as we jumped over hills on the course. Both of the girls had fun, even my youngest who finds thrill rides a little scary.

That evening we grabbed some pizza and headed to the park so the kids could go fishing, and we could watch the boats as they took off into the lake. After a while we decided to check out the water, which was very choppy due to high winds. The kids, of course, did more than just dip their feet in but this year I was prepared with a change of clothes for the rest of the time.

Always too soon, we packed up our bags and headed back home on Sunday. Amazingly enough, the trip home went just as smoothly at the one there, much to my surprise. We even gain an hour on the way back, which helps when recovering from four days away from home.

I love our summer trips to Michigan. The time the kids get to spend together is great and the memories they make will last a lifetime. I’m already excited to go back.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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