Thursday, September 6, 2012

Catching Up Part 1: Vacation Wrap Up.

Yes, I know... I haven't had a post in FOREVER!  Yes, I know... I've been slacking, but in my defense life has happened. Planning for my classes (including a brand new one) and trying to cram as much in with my family as possible before school started took priority over blogging. So to catch you up on all the Innes happenings.... I'll review our summer, staring with our vacation. Check out later posts for the rest.


Our vacation to Grand Haven, Michigan started out with a bang. A huge derecho hit our town and all Central Virginia the night before. What is a derecho you may ask? It is a SEVERE storm -- rain, thunder, lightning and winds up to 80 miles an hour. It knocked down trees, houses, and took out power all over central Virginia (in some places for 11 days) -- 3 days at our place. Now this wouldn't be so bad except temperatures reached 114 degrees too.  But the joy for our family was trying to finish packing for our week long trip  with no power. Honestly most of it got done the next morning and we were a bit late starting our trip.

Here's a picture of our packed car. Yes, I know it looks like we are going for months, but with a toddler in a family of older kids we had had to bring things.  Duncan did really well in the car and handled most of the trip with ease. 

Hanging out sans shoes!! Really all of us took off our shoes as much as we could.

Once we reached Michigan and my hometown of Grand Haven a whirlwind of activity ensued. It was so wonderful to see my family--it's been two years since I've seen my mom and sister, more like 4 years for my nephews. The goal was as much quality family time and holiday celebration as possible.

First up a picture with Grandma Tenney. Check this off our bucket list. My mom had not seen Dunc since he was about 3 weeks old. She was "in love" and could get enough of his crazy funny antics. She kept us going with endless amount of watermelon, sweet tea, chicken nuggets, cucumbers, and hotdogs. 

Not only did my mom have a chair that was just the right size... she had toys and lots of them. Cars, trucks, school buses, tonka trucks.... Duncan was in heaven.

 A walk along the boardwalk and Pier were a must as well. Duncan really enjoyed watching the fishermen and seeing all the waves. He liked the boats and all the holiday hub-bub.

 More fun to be had at imagination station. What is imagination station? Well almost 15 years ago the residents of Grand Haven decided there needed to be an inclusive park for all children. What came out of it was imagination station--a huge playpark with swings, bridges, boats, soft play areas and lots of fun things to play with--and of course--it was a hit.

Duncan driving the "car" (left) and playing in his favorite tire swing (below).

The 4th of July dawned as a HOT, and humid day... so to cool off before all the festivities and picnic, a trip to the splash park was required. I truly think we have a water baby on our hands, Duncan played for two hours straight and wore himself out. But I was ok with it--because I knew he would have an AWESOME nap.  I truly love the expression on his face in these pictures--he was so excited about the water.  Oh and funny story... we lost a shoe on the way home, so daddy double-backed to see if he could find it. Nope, but he did find the sock? Who needs a shoe but leaves the sock?

A couple of visits to Aunt Beth and Uncle Jeremy's farm were also on the agenda. It was great to be able to see my nephews again, especially "my baby" Jonathan-- umm... yeah... he's not a baby, he's 18 and all grown up. Duncan really like the animals and playing on the farm with all the trucks and toys. We even got to ride Cricket, the horse, and play with the barn cats. 

I loved getting on a horse again. It's been forever. Duncan was a bit unsure at first, but settled in and really enjoyed it (especially after giving cricket a treat).

Even daddy rode Cricket!!! 

Having ice cream after riding the horses and playing at the farm our second night there. 

 My "baby" Jonathan.... all grown up. I really am proud of what he has been able to accomplish.

And of course... what trip to West Michigan and Grand Haven, would be complete without a trip to the beach? We met up with my childhood friend Rachel and her 2 sons and played all morning in the hot sand and warm water. Duncan make his first sand castle and once more had a ball in the water. 

 Building a sand castle with Xander and Heath. Duncan manned the shovel!
Playing with daddy in the water. They had such a good time jumping in the waves and floating. To be honest I wasn't sure we'd ever get Duncan out of the water.

Our trip home was uneventful. We did bring a small trailer home with us with some furniture from my mom's old house that I have wanted but have never been able to get to us. Duncan really didn't want to spend the same amount of time in the car on the way home (neither did I), but we made it back in decent time---just in time to go through our freezer to see what had spoiled. Remember, we left when the power was out.... for 3 days. That was a "fun" thing to come home too. All in all, we had a wonderful time and I can't wait to do it again.

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