Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A summer visit

My niece is coming back for another week! I am excited. It's going to be warmer (by about thirty degrees) and there's no chance of snow (that I know of)! I'm planning on taking her back to the Zoo because the Lion exhibit is now open. I'm also planning on taking her to Detroit; to see Uncle Bill and to visit Greenfield Village, which I've never been to. I'm really looking forward to that! We'll go to the beach one day, and of course we'll go to Meijer Gardens. I looked at Whitecaps tickets and they only have one home game which is Monday night. I don't know if we'll go or not. There's always Michigan's Adventure, Craig's Cruisers and Holland. Check back to see our pictures!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

U.P. trip '08

Last year the Jr. High youth group went to the U.P. (upper peninsula for all you non-Michiganians). I believe I posted pictures from that trip. Here are this year's pictures!

We had a late start... that's another story for another blog. Let's just say it involved me, the rental van and a illegally parked moving truck...

I digress, Wednesday night we drove to St. Ignace (located on the north side of the Mighty Mackinac Bridge) and stayed the night in the St. Ignace UMC. We popped popcorn and then basically crashed.

We got up Thursday morning and drove over to Gladstone UMC. Gladstone is basically an hour away from Wisconsin. (if I'm wrong, will a yooper please correct me?) We unloaded our vans and got a tour of the enormous and glorious church we were staying in for the next couple of days.

After a yummy lunch of homemade cheese steak sandwiches, we started work at the church. We moved a gravel pathway. The rocks were about four to six inches deep. We spread them out around the church and then filled in the hole with dirt (that was actually done the next day, we had to get the top soil delivered). We cleaned up and had pizza with the Gladstone youth group. Then we all went to the Balloons on the Bay, located at the U.P. state fair grounds.

They had log rolling


And hot air balloons! It actually turned out to be the nicest night of the Balloons on the Bay, so we were happy we got to see some balloons take off.

I didn't take any pictures. We worked at the Salvation Army. In the afternoon the group separated into two smaller groups. One went hiking, the other went canoing. I was in the group that canoed. I wasn't sure I'd be able to, because instead of going on the river, we went in the Bay. I thought I'd pee myself, but we stuck to the edge and Heather didn't tip us. In fact she did an AWESOME job steering us! But neither of us wanted to risk dropping our cameras, so no pictures.

We worked at the Alliance Against Abuse in Escanaba. We broke up into four groups, one group weeded, one cleaned all the toys in the play area, one group painted the stairs to the basement, and the other group cleaned out the garage. It seemed like a big task, but our kids work together and work fast. We were finished by lunch!

After lunch we went to the Big Spring. a.k.a. Kitch-iti-kipi....

David (pictured below) said the quote of the trip when he exclaimed, "That's the prettiest pond scum I've ever seen!"
(l-r) David, Heather, Lexie and Lindsay pose while we waited for the "boat" to come back.

The spring.

What you do, is ride this craft across and look down. I think the guide said at the deepest that you can see it's forty-five feet. But it's a dome and there's more water under that. It bubbles up. In the center of the "boat" it's open so you can see down as you glide across the spring. You try not to drop anything because it's gone forever. A woman, not with our group thank goodness, dropped her ice cream cone. The guide made it very clear that the gulls would come and that would be bad. Shame, shame! We were so happy no one from our group dropped anything!

After the spring, we went to Fayette State Park and hung out between rain storms. It rained several times, but anytime we were outside it stayed away long enough for us to work!
Kayleigh and I snap our own photo at the beach.

We had a camp fire with s'mores that evening! Yum!!

We attended service at the church and left afterwards. We went to the Oysti's for a cookout! Too bad it was rainy and in the 50's. But there was enough room for the kids to hang out in the living room. We ate yummy food and played games. We left Ishpeming and headed back towards the bridge. We made one stop to splash in Lake Superior.

Heather and I are freezing!

Brent decided he needed a "drink" and took a dip in the very cold Lake Superior!

Then we left and headed for Mackinaw City where we were treated to a night in hotel rooms.

Mackinac Island!

We had a reservation at the ferry, so our group name appeared on their sign!

The ferry ride over. (l-r)Emily, Emma, Sarah, Lexie, Lindsay and Nick

My group wanted to ride bikes around the island. No cars are allowed, so this is the normal thing, not just touristy thing to do.

Brent asked if I'd share the tandem bike saving us $.25 each. I'd never been on one before but he convinced me it was easy. Then about two miles into our trip he informs me, "I've never successfully ridden a tandem bike before!" Well, we made it! It was loads of fun. The entire trip around the island is only eight miles. I think everyone in the whole group ended up taking a bike ride!

Lindsay and I stop and take our Fudge picture! It was pretty yummy! (I still have some...)

And that was the trip. We made it home, only a half hour late due to random road construction that wasn't there on the way up.