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Monday, July 18, 2011

Michigan Vacation 2011

We have visited Carl's Dad in Michigan every summer for years, often over the 4th of July weekend.  

Carl and the children, Michigan, July 2011
This year, we loaded the car and headed to Michigan on Thursday, June 30, 2011. 

We hadn't been sure we could fit the Michigan vacation in because of Carl's chemo and surgeries schedules; but fortunately, Carl had recovered enough from his neck surgery (on June 18, 2011) that we could go. 
View of Chicago from the road (I94)
Carl and I usually split the driving, but this time I drove the 350+ miles each way.

Fountain at the Chicago Botanic Gardens

We decided to stop more often so Carl could stretch his legs.  The first stop was the Chicago Botanic Garden, were we ate lunch.
Lunch at the Gardens

We stay at Carl's Dad's log cabin on Little Wolfe Lake when we travel to Michigan.  The cabin's address is in 'Grass Lake' Michigan, which is kind of confusing.  There are so many beautiful lakes in Michigan.  Grass Lake is in the middle of the Michigan, between Ann Arbor and Jackson. We almost always spend time in Livonia, Michigan as well, where Carl's Dad lives.  Livonia is a nice suburb of Detroit.  This was the first time that we didn't travel on into Livonia, but Carl was tired enough from the ride to Grass Lake. 

View of Cabin from the lake

Grass Lake Michigan is a great place to have awesome $1.50 ice creams.  The dollar gets you a LOT more ice cream at Grass Lake's "The Lovin Spoonful" ice cream parlor then at home.

Carl and company at the ice cream shop
(Carl is wearing a winter coat because he was having a hard time regulating his body temperature in air conditioned places.)

This year, Miranda, Nathan, Anthony and Tom built two cardboard boats for a Cardboard boat race on the 4th of July in Grass Lake. 
Cardboard boats.  Ours were the only ones not painted
Miranda, Nathan, Anthony and I raced them, Tom and Carl cheered the boaters on. 

Miranda placed 3rd in the one person boat race!
Surprisingly, our unpainted boat (above) held up almost as long as the painted boats.

The start of the 2 person Cardboard boat race
There was an extra two person boat that the organizers gave to Anthony and Miranda for the two person race.  Anthony and Miranda are loading in the pinkish boat above.  They  finished 1st in the two person race.
Nathan and Nick in the two person race

The Cardboard Boat Race winners

Other activities over vacation included boating, tubing, eating and relaxing. 

Carl's Dad, Carl, his Aunt and Mom

Nathan and Carl

We took the pantoon boat to a sand bar in the middle of Big Wolfe Lake, where boats hang out while people play in the water, and a DJ broadcasts fun music.  One thing we really missed was seeing all the cousins, the schedules didn't work as well this year.  Otherwise, we had a nice 4th of July vacation, and then headed home on the 5th of July.
A Covered Bridge Somewhere in Michigan
Carl used a walker most of the vacation, (he uses the walker on uneven surfaces and grass), so we had the walker tied to the top of the car.

We got home, and the next week (July 11-14, 2011) Carl had inpatient chemotherapy at Froedtert Hospital.  Well, at least we managed to fit the vacation in!

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