Our spring break destination this year was Florida. We have family in St. Petersburg, and St. Pete Beach so we do get down there to visit occassionally.
Our favorite thing to do when visiting is to take morning walks at Ft. DeSoto. We always see such interesting wildlife there. Our last morning, in addition to the usual sea birds and shellfish, we saw two starfish, two manatee, a dolphin, and a sting ray. The ray swam along with us for a while as we walked the beach.
We really enjoy driving south during our spring break each year. Shedding more outerwear at each stop, we leave the drab brown of Michigan and drive through the coming of pale green leaf buds showing on the trees and into greens so bright and rich they make your eyes hurt.
I'm still going through our vacation photos and will be back with more from our stay in Florida and the return trip.
This weekend was a long holiday weekend for us. Both B and Miss P had Friday and Monday off. Friday we did some catching up on chores at home. Saturday, we had a tourist in our town day in Ann Arbor. We parked just north of town and walked in to Ann Arbor on a walking, jogging trail by the river. We walked up to the hospital and saw an amazing exhibit of paper cut snowflakes by Thomas Clark. Then we walked over to the Natural History Museum, for our fill of rocks and dinosaur bones. After our dinner in town I was exhausted. It is a lot harder to walk around town in subzero cold, wind, and snow than it is in warmer spring and summer weather.
I have seen pictures of Michigan lighthouses covered in ice and icicles and have always wanted to see that in person. With the Saturday snowstorm and extreme cold temperatures we thought that this might be a great time to head over to the Lake Michigan and see what it was like.
We went to St. Joseph to see the lighthouse yesterday afternoon. It was not dripping in icicles as I had hoped but the ice on the lake did not disappoint.
The lighthouse is at the end of a long pier and the lake was frozen all the way out to the end. Where I was standing to take this picture was on a bit of an ice cliff. The usual beach line was far behind me. The ice formations were quite impressive.
I had my camera set for photography inside the museum in Ann Arbor so the first photos I took didn't turn out well but I did like the lighting on this one. After changing lenses for a wider view and adjusting the settings I did get some photos that I liked. I'm sorry the ones with the rainbow in the sky did not turn out. You will just have to trust me that they would have been GREAT! There was so much ice. B and Miss P are standing on a giant ice hill. The shoreline is far behind us.
You could hear the creaking of the ice below us where it wasn't as thick. The ice formations around us were fascinating. The big dunes of ice were made of packed snow and broken pieces of ice. They looked a bit like ice concrete.
Closer to the shoreline were giant balls of ice that had been trapped in the growing ice and snow.
It was a beautiful sunset at the beach but one unlike any other beach sunset I have experienced before.
We were remembering our visit to St. Joseph last summer when it was so hot. I was wearing long underwear, jeans, snowpants, two shirts and a sweater, winter coat, super boots, hat, scarf, and mittens and I was still cold.
This morning we visited the lighthouse in Holland, MI. I'll post pictures of that tomorrow.
We had a short family get away last week for the fourth. M has an internship this summer over on the west coast of the state and we had been too busy to visit him until the holiday weekend. It is nice that he is SO CLOSE to the lake this summer. I know he is enjoying that.
Miss P got to use her new binoculars!
There was a lot of rock skipping and searching for perfect skipping rocks,
some dune play,
and a bit of general splashing around.
We also saw an awesome fireworks show in town.
We had so much fun at the beach that we hardly noticed there was no power or internet in M's apartment. His neighborhood was the last to be restored after a storm earlier last week.
I hope we make it back for another visit before the summer is over!
We have had a long summer saying a very sweet, sad, and loving goodbye to my dear mother-in-law. I am lucky to have known her and love that she was a presence in my life and that my children grew up spending time with her while they grew up. She did not have an easy life, but always kept a cheerful attitude and positive outlook. She was a hard person to bring down and I strive to be like her in that way.
Now that things are settling down a bit we thought we should take a quick get away before starting back into the school routine this week.
One of the great things about living in Michigan is that we are never very far from a beach. We really needed the change of scenery and our little twenty four hour vacation seemed longer than that because we were some place different and had no distractions.
The beach was a fitting place for our getaway. We visited the beach with B's mother a number of times over the years. We treasure those memories and also strive to create new family memories for our children.
We came back refreshed and much more ready to start the new school year. Sometimes you just need to go take a walk on the beach!
Our second day we took the bikes on a ferry from Kelleys Island to Bass Island. It was a bit more tourist oriented than we usually like but we enjoyed having a picnic lunch down at the campground on the south shore. We even saw a bald eagle there.