Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 12--back home

And finally on Day 12 (July 13th) we made our way home....

Sedric loved the bus ride to the airport.
"Bertie the Bus!!!"
A new activity book for the trip home.
"Frozen" always works for Gemma.
The kids were fantastic on both plane rides, from Detroit to Salt Lake and then to Portland.  We got many comments and stares from people in the airports--seeing 5 kids all with their own backpacks and pull-behinds, and just 2 adults (one pregnant!) must've been a sight.  They were all well-behaved and very cheerful.  I couldn't be more proud of my little travelers!!  And I'm sure we'll be even more of a spectacle when this new little one is old enough for his/her own backpack....

Day 11--Michigan fun

Day 11 (July 10th) we drove down from Alpena to be closer to the airport.  On the way we stopped at Frankenmuth, a great little "German" town with a super-sized Christmas store!  I have fond memories of Frankenmuth chicken dinners and Bronner's from when I was a kids--we went almost every year.  So for my own kids to experience this was very special for me.

Mid-day chicken dinner at Zehnder's.

Bronner's Christmas Wonderland.
This place is huge!  Ornaments are categorized
all throughout the store.  They also have an
extensive collection of nativity sets (all the
Fontanini pieces) and Christmas Village sets
(like Studio 56).
Christmas in July--visit with Santa.
Grandma and Grandpa treated each kid with
their own ornament...Bunny wanted a chicken one.
Seddy liked his candy cane from Santa.
There were a lot of theme displays, like this
Detroit Tigers tree.

We went to evening Mass in Frankenmuth since
we'd be on a plane all day Sunday.  This church
had a special guest--the ArchBishop of Atlanta!
He is a good friend of the priest of the parish.
Once in Detroit, where do you think we went to dinner???
Big Boy of course!!  :o)
(and we got the same slow waiter, but that just meant we had
more time together....)
In the morning, it was sad to say goodbye to the CCs and to Erica/Carter/Violet.  And in the evening we said goodbye to grandma and grandpa as they continued on to their home near Toledo.  We have SO MANY great memories of our trip!!!  And we will see grandma and grandpa soon, in September, since we recruited my dad to help with some fall planting and landscaping before the baby is born....  ;o)

Day 10--last day in Alpena

Day 10 (July 9-Friday) was our last full day in Alpena.  :o(  We spent the day on easy-going adventures in between packing up our suitcases.
Aunties Mary and Erica surprised us with donuts!
In the morning we walked around downtown Alpena.  First
stop: Cabin Creek Coffee for smoothies etc.

There was a bridge lift (at noon I think?).  Some of the kids
didn't realize that a road could split in two.  :o)  And we
live in Portland, the city of bridges!!!   :oP
The afternoon was spent on Lake Huron.  It was windy and I
was cold (sitting still on the beach), but the kids had a BLAST
and I guess the water was fairly warm.

Just "a little" windy....

For dinner we all went to a local Mexican restaurant.  Mom
wasn't happy that they hadn't got their liquor license yet....
At home we did sparklers.  Sedric loved it!

Sedric would follow Greyson around.
GG didn't like it very much.  
One last game of soccer in grandma and grandpa's great back
yard.  (The older kids REALLY enjoyed playing soccer with
their K cousins while we were in Mackinac.)
A nice end to a very nice trip.  :o)  We were sad to be packing up for our departure the next day, but we really packed in so many good memories of Alpena (and Mackinac).  I'm happy to have this blog as an outlet to share the memories and to have them archived for my own kids.  They're going to love looking back at these posts for many years!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 9--local sight-seeing

Day 9 (July 8th-Thursday) we did some sightseeing and adventures in and around Alpena:

The old Presque Isle lighthouse on Lake Huron 

Ice cream in Presque Isle afterwards

For the afternoon we went to Bob and Sue's house for some
water fun and a nice dinner!  Here is Bunny on the jet ski.
All the big kids had a turn, and they loved it!!!
Seddy stayed near shore and played in the water.
The brown house behind dad is the house my
family lived in a few years ago (after I was
married-so I never lived in it).
A very nice ride on our old pontoon that mom and dad sold
to Bob and Sue when they moved down state.
Oh my goodness, the kids had a BLAST on this day!!  It was a very special treat to be out on a lake and most definitely to ride a jet ski.  They were able to run around the yard and splash and play with their cousins.  It really was a memory-maker of a day!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 8--back to Alpena

Sorry for the delay in posts--a last-minute addition to our travel schedule took me to San Francisco for the weekend!!  More on that later...first, here is the continuation of our Michigan trip.

Day 8 (July 7th) we spent the morning on the island, and made our way back to our kiddos and my family in Alpena:

In the morning we took one last walk and
toured the Hotel's stables and carriage collection,
and the Governor's Mansion.
The Governor's Mansion was very beautiful.  I love this
porch!  I would spend all day out here.
The Governor's Mansion was very lovely.  Yes it was huge, but actually it seemed cozy since the downstairs was basically just a large living room, dining room, kitchen, and screened porch.  No separate "game room" or parlor or anything...this was a very modern idea for 100 years ago.  It is interesting to note that JFK decided to run for the presidency after meeting with a prominent Michigan governor in the screened porch.

Grand Hotel and Mackinac Bridge, from Governor's Mansion.

One last stop at the fudge shop.  :o)
All aboard!
Bye, Grand Hotel :o(    
(The smaller white building on the very right is the
Governor's Mansion.)
Bye, Mackinac Island :o(
On the way home (2 hour drive) we stopped at
this FANTASTIC family-owned burger shack.
Really, best burger ever!!!  (Yeck's on US 23)
 After reconnecting with the kids when we got home, and sharing stories, I hurried off with my mom and sisters (and brother-in-law) to meet up with a Professional Art Teacher at Art in the Loft (Alpena). ;o)  Justin is the Gallery Coordinator and pretty much runs the show, and he teaches Corkscrew and Canvases classes which have proven to be very popular!  

Our instructor, getting the supplies ready.
Notice the beer and munchies.
A few of the students and half-completed work.  At this point,
we didn't know what the painting was going to be.  We were
just supposed to follow Justin's directions.
Wine break!!  (and munchies and beer)
The finished products--it's the Blair Street Pier!  This is the
pier at the end of my parent's street (just 2 blocks down).  So
cool to create something meaningful!