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Entries in travel (130)


Photos 215-219/365 (series: Holland vacation)

Holland, Michigan, that is.


Photos 193-197/365 (camping! series)

 Camping! I see people posting pictures tagged things like #happyplace and this is what I think of, the trees, the lakes, teh sand, the tiny towns that range from kitchy to classy and everything between. You'll find general areas like that eerywhere, I am sure, but my great love, my #happyplace, is right here in our own state. I've found it in the thumb area, the middle of the Upper Peninsula, the tip of the lower Penninsula, and all along our western coastline. Michigan is my #happyplace, and these are my #favoritepeople to enjoy it with. 

After three years of being kept away from our favorite camping spot by yucky weather during our reserved vacation time, we were gifted a beautiful weekend to finally enjoy it in. A little rain on the day we wanted to spend in town anyhow, and another smattering just before we needed to pack up an come home (oh joy, wet equipment), but otherwise sunny and softly warm, none of the swealtering heat that's been smothering our homelands lately. I think my favorite weather of the weekend, though, was the mist that blew in on our beach day—clear one minute, England pea soup the next, but warm and pleasant throughout none-the-less. Sunsets, cool evenings just right for tent sleeping, and fewer bugs than normal, thanks to the recent dry spells, were the cherry on top of our weekend. And because the air conditioning is broken in our van, after packing up and heading out, we spent one last full day in town shopping, golfing, and eating before hitting the road in cooler evening temps with the sun obligingly slipping behind horizon clouds to keep the car cool for our drive home. The storms were beautiful and we seemed to be driving right between them all, never actually getting wet. Unfortunately for our drought wearied yard and gardens, our home didn't get any rain either, excepting for exactly 17 drops, as we were told by our neighbor.


Photos 183-186/365 (series: Chicago!)

Another family tradition: Chicago for the Fourth of July. I guess the good news about being home only 12 hours between trips is that really you don't have to unpack very much. Actually, we folded up all our Chicago clothes and left them on the bed before we left for Stratford, so when we got home from Stratford Sunday night we emptied the suitcases into the laundry bin and just replaced them wit the Chicago clothes. Toiletries stayed packed, and we were ready to bed. 

Chicago is a slightly longer drive than Stratford for us, but both drives come with a variable that cannot be measured ahead of time. For Stratford that's the border crossing into Canada (sometimes those lines are loooooong), for Chicago it's the city traffic. Stratford won this year for ease of passage, Chicago was in rare form! 

Weather was great this year, especially on fireworks night. Fireworks for us in Chicago means going up on the rooftop, grilling delicious food and sipping delightful wine while watching the horizon just errupt with color all around us. We don't see any one display—that would mean crowds, more traffic, and less food—instead from our rooftop position we see dozens of displays all over the parts of the city. It's beautiful, and this year it was set against the backdrop of a far away but still approaching storm, and the lightning was stunning. About an hour after the sun went down, when we'd really had our fill and had a lovely time, the rain reached us and we dashed inside to enjoy the natural fireworks. 

Oh, and it's my dad's birthday. Happy birthday dad, and thanks for throwing such a wonderful party every year!


Photos 180-182/365 (series: Stratford!)

One of our favorite places to visit: Stratford, home of Canada's annual Shakespeare Festival. This is another family tradition going on seven years now, including the best old style motel with pool, Shakespeare and musicals, and ice cream every day from the sweetest little shop in town. This year the weather was perfect for swimming, and that's about it, other than seeing shows inside an air conditioned theater, that is. With a daily heat index in the triple digits (yes, even in Canada!), we weren't doing much of our usual wandering around town. Our 2018 line up? Shakespeare's TempestTo Kill a Mockingbird, and Music Man. 


Photo 87/365: Disney diary day 9, headed home