Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Can we pack now?"

The title of this post is what I heard at least a couple times a day for the 2 straight weeks before we left for our family vacation to Illinois and Michigan and the BAHAMAS! To say Nolan was excited about our trip would be an understatement! He COULD NOT WAIT to go on an airplane, to see his Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, & Uncle, and to get to do so many new and fun things while we were gone. After asking so many times if we could pack and leave, we settled for making a list of things to pack.

Here are the top 3 things Nolan thought would be important to pack:
1. candy
2. DVDs for the airplane
3. Blankie, Fluffy, and Lizzy
What more could a little boy need for 10 days?!

So finally, Wednesday, June 22, came around and we got to PACK!!! As I packed all of our clothes, Nolan filled his suitcase with "important" things. (Like every toy in Heath's room! Ha!) And then when he went to bed, I had to unpack his "important" things and pack for real! Packing for 4 people for 10 days is A LOT OF WORK!

Then the next evening when Mark got home from work we were OFF!
Check-in, Security, and our plane ride all went amazingly smooth! The boys were both great and they loved everything about our trip- the moving walkways, the animal on our plane's tail, the tray tables! All the things we take for granted are just so cool in the eyes of little guys! The one thing Nolan did not like was putting his blankie through security- he was so afraid they were taking it! Once he realized that they were just "taking a picture of it" to make sure it was safe, he was happy again and even thought it was pretty neat that it "took a ride" on the belt!

We got in to Chicago that night, met Auntie Mal, and were off to Grandma & Grandpa's house. It was late, but so exciting to see everyone, so the boys played for awhile and didn't get to bed until midnight! Just the start of many late nights and crazy schedules they would have while we were gone!

The next morning we woke up early and took off right away to Michigan for my cousin Andrew's wedding. We drove 4 hours up to Whitehall- the small lake side town that my Dad grew up in, where we spent many holidays and have the best memories of summer weeks spent their with my grandparents.

We checked into our hotel, gave the kids a little nap, and then headed over to help with the rehearsal dinner.
My Uncle Dale, Dad, and Mark manned the grill!

Tyler helped with babysitting duty for our exhausted boys!

And Nolan had a good time playing with all the fun toys at my Grandma's church fellowship hall! He loves to sort, can you tell?!

Air Hockey with Grandpa!

After a nice dinner and catching up with family we went back to my Grandma's to hang out.
For some reason, even unknown to my Grandma, she started collecting frogs! She has them all over her house and Nolan LOVED IT! He asked her for a basket and collected some of his favorites to play with for the weekend. Here Great Grandma Johnson is showing Nolan how to wind up this small frog to make it hop!

After playing for awhile we headed back to our hotel for a good night's sleep, if you can get that sleeping 4 in the same room! In the morning we took advantage of the complimentary breakfast and hot tub too!

Then we were off for more time at Grandma's house before the wedding.
My Grandma lives in the perfect location- just a few blocks from her church, from downtown, and from White Lake. You can see it from her front porch! So my whole family took a walk for the morning to enjoy the beautiful weather and sights!

Grandma, Nolan, and Grandpa looking out over the lake!

Throwing rocks in the water!

Having fun watching the boats.

My Grandpa always took us fishing at this spot! Someday I'm sure sure my Dad will do the same with the boys!

After walking all around town, we were in need of a snack!
We grew up getting cherry dipped vanilla cones at the local Dairy Treat just up the block from my Grandma's house. Unfortunately, when you go to Dairy Treat right when it opens at 11 o'clock in the morning, the cherry dip has not fully melted and therefore, you can not get a cherry dipped cone! SADNESS! But needless to say, a chocolate malt would suffice!

When we were younger, they did not have this sweet deck on the roof! So this was our inaugural mid-morning snack on top of the shop!

I think Heath liked his first trip to Dairy Treat too!

After our fun morning around town, we headed back to the hotel for a little rest before the wedding! Nolan loved having his own huge bed for 2 nights!

Then we got ready and went to the wedding!
Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Augustin!

Nolan's nice shoes were a little too small on him now, so he took his them off and showed Auntie his "stinky feet" while waiting to blow bubbles on the happy bride and groom!

Here's my Mom & Dad at the reception! My Dad is always the highlight of every family wedding! He sure knows how to get down on the dance floor! It's hilarious!

Nolan and my cousin Kendra's children, Nate and Lauren- they played on the patio and ran around outside during the reception. Nolan thought these fake candles were pretty cool and was amazed when he could magically blow them out! (pressing the button on the bottom!)

Nolan absolutely LOVES cupcakes! So he was in heaven when he saw that the wedding didn't have a formal cake, but a whole table of cupcakes and a candy table too!

The weather was perfect and we were able to snap a few nice pics on the patio!

The Johnson kids!

Later on in the night...
Mark treated my mom to a shot for rocking our sleepy child to sleep! Heath managed to sleep through all the loud music and commotion!

Here's Nolan showing off some of his smooth dance moves!

By the end of the night we were all SO TIRED from 2 long days of travel and busy-ness! We were ready to crash into our beds and catch some zzzz's!

We slept in, gave the boys a bath, and went back to my Grandma's house for a few short hours together!

Nolan enjoyed playing on the "davenport"! We spent hours sitting with my grandparents out here on warm summer nights when we were kids! It's fun being able to sit in the screened in porch and watch people walk by on their way downtown.

My sister and I took another walk around town with my cousins Steven and LeeAnn. It was fun sharing stories we remembered about our time spent here! Whenever all of us cousins are back together again we have the best time and lots of laughs!

We said our goodbyes, shared hugs, and honked our horns as we drove out of town.
But before leaving Whitehall completely, we stopped for lunch at Dog 'n Suds! This was my Dad's favorite high school hang out! He ate lunch here everyday! It is a good old fashion drive in with delicious food! It is right on the lake and you can even dock your boat and climb out to eat! So fun! It also has great memories for me because my Grandpa used to take me there when I was little!

Enjoying a mug of refreshing Root Beer on this HOT afternoon!

I ordered a footlong hotdog...I guess I had a lapse in judgement, I really didn't realize just how long, a footlong would be! Mark helped me out with some of it! But it sure was tasty!

I love this photo of the boys at Dog 'n Suds, overlooking the water! It is so fun to be able to share some of my most treasured childhood memories with them! When I'm in Whitehall, there truly is no other place I'd rather be!

After eating we headed over to start the next leg of our adventure! My parents dropped us off at Jill & John's so we could head out early the next morning for our cruise to the Bahamas! We said our goodbyes to our sleepy boys who were off to Illinois for a week at Grandma & Grandpa's!

We have so many great photos and stories to share from our trip and the boys week away! Be sure to stop by daily to hear about all our fun!


pamnrandy said...

Nicely done...great seeing you with your cousins!
Love, Momela

Cara S. said...

Sounds like a busy, crazy few days! It's fun to hear and see all about your family and you growing up!