Wednesday, August 22, 2012

V and Co: last hurrah at Saint Joseph, Lake Michigan

our family has been trying to create new yearly traditions.
and since we find ourselves in a totally new location in the united states, we will have to try to find new places and things that will be a part of our yearly traditions.
it's kind of fun and exciting.
as you know:
i grew up at the beach. i love everything about it.
the warm sand in between your toes, the sound of the waves, seagulls, and fun excited yells from kids. i love building sandcastles,  i love how my hair becomes a big cotton ball frizz fro, no wait i don't like that... i love running back into the water to "wash off" the sand so you can eat some watermelon. i love the smell of salt in the air and the ocean water mixed with surf wax. i love watching the sunset over the water. there is so much i love, that i think secretly i decorate and pick things so i feel like i'm just a jaunt away from the surf.
i miss my ocean.
i've not lived next to the ocean in over 5 years.
yet, i can still close my eyes and hear, see, and smell it.
it is still very much my "happy place" in my mind.

this year jake decided after hearing for a year now, so much about "the beaches of lake michigan" he decided that we would give it a try and see what all the fuss was about.
he misses his ocean too.
so much that the old glory days of surfing with his brother are getting kind of sad for us to talk about because it brought so many fun and sometimes funny memories that it just makes us miss it even more.
sigh.
but then we list and remind ourselves of all the wonderful things we have going on in our lives, how happy our children are how well we are doing, and of all the new and fun things we get to experience being in this neck of the woods.

so for our last hurrah and our attempt to find new places to create reoccurring family events, we packed up and headed out to saint joseph, michigan.
 the kids were excited, jake and i were going in with level headed excitedness. we knew it wasnt the ocean, and we werent pretending that it was, but we didn't know what we were going to get.

what we got was this:




just a few of our pictures i've managed to go through (mainly my instagram!)

sheer happiness, nostalgia, relaxation...for everyone.

the husband, when we visited the surf shop (yes they had one!) was given the run down on the best time of the year for surfing the size of the waves and yadda yadda yadda...for the area. he had stars in his eyes, and a huge grin on his face.
throughout the week we played at the beach, walked the cute strip with little shops and restaurants next to the beach which totally reminded me of the stores and cafe's i would walk past on my walk to the beach in my san diego town.
we visited neighboring areas and did some sightseeing and tried out a few different beaches. but by far i think the saint joseph one was my favorite.

i think it was at the end of our first day that jake turned to me as we watched the sunset go down into the lake that he said "i think this is going to be our best new yearly tradition isnt it?"
yeah i think so.
as we were packing up to head home the boys and katie were already talking about "next year when we come back, can we..."
yeah, this was a good new tradition.
lake michigan makes for a great fake ocean, big frizzy cotton ball head and all. till next year saint joseph!

31 comments:

badlandsquilts said...

Looks dreamy...we drove down to TX this year and our kids saw the ocean for the first time, but it is certainly too far to drive every year from MN so this is a great recommendation!

-kim said...

we live in chicago, and headed to michigan last week also. st. joseph looks great! we ventured up a little bit further north to south haven and saugatuck. so lovely! your kids would love the sand dune rides in saugatuck. also, the blueberry picking is great up there. next year be sure to stop in new buffalo and go to redamacks. best cheeseburger ever. until next year!

.....Elizabeth..... Polka Dot Skies said...

Love seeing your pictures! We just had our last summer getaway in the mountains.
Best wishes getting everyone settled back into school!
Elizabeth

Laura B. said...

Love this! We live in Iowa too (Des Moines) and each year go up to Ludington, Michigan to spend a week frolicking on the dunes and in the water. This year we go late...the first week of September and my kids can't wait. The oldest said, "It doesn't feel like summer until we've spent time at the Big Lake!"
Glad you like it too!!

Christina said...

St. Joseph is our beach (the closest to us from South Bend) and we love it!

Amy said...

Silver Beach is awesome! My husband did grad school in Notre Dame last year and Silver Beach was a quick trip North for us. I was stunned by how gorgeous the water is there. So many fun things to do. Did you check out the carousel?

nouveaustitch.com said...

Welcome to Pure Michigan! Our lake is your lake. Come back soon!

bdaiss said...

*sigh* I miss the Greats. Grew up on Michigan, went to college on the shores of Superior. There's a reason they're called inland seas - they make great substitutes for the ocean, if a bit chillier at times. Glad to share a happy place.

Judy said...

So glad you enjoyed my neck of the woods (but on the other side of Michigan). Definitely make a trip next summer to Mackinaw Island, Traverse City for the sand dunes and even Silver Lake sand dunes. So much to do in our state with all the beautiful big lakes and little lakes you'll be so happy you made Michigan your "new yearly tradition". BTW - thanks for all the humorous posts, I can always count on your blog for a laugh and a beautiful project to boot.

Clare said...

I'm in Wisconsin and we love making a trip up Door County to spend some time on Lake Michigan. My Utah husband loves it.

Anonymous said...

How fun! I went to graduate school in Michigan. You're right - it's a good fake ocean! I prefer California, but now must settle for Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach, SC. Fun stuff!

Thanks for sharing!

Megan said...

Hooray for finding fun, new traditions! Looks like y'all enjoyed your last hurrah.

April said...

so sweet, you're a very visual writer. Ever think about writing a book? I can't wait until your fabric gets here...October I think? -April@Little Mama Hen.

Dorothy L. Wills said...

I grew up here in Muskegon, MI and I can't imagine ever moving away from the lake! Glad you enjoyed your trip. Right now is the AQS quilt show in Grand Rapids and we are scheduled to have it for three years...maybe next year you can swing by for the show too. Double bonus!

Kerrie P. said...

ahhh! love st. joe. silver beach pizza, yum...yum!!! i agree it is lovely. south haven is lovely as well. vanburen state park in south haven is great. has an awesome beach. nice waves.

hilary b. said...

I've lived in MI for the past 10 years since I moved here from Nebraska to go to college. Next year you'll definitely have to check out Sleeping Bear Dunes a little farther North - it was voted most beautiful place in America earlier this year! Your noisemakers would LOVE the endless sand mountains and the views are unbelievable!

mcaldera said...

My sister lives about 45 mins from there in south bend i was born and raised jn south bend and had never been to lake michigan but when we were up there from tx last summer we went and i loved it! Even more than south padre island texas. My girls loved it too next year when you go check out chivos pizza it is really good pizza:)

Michelle {Daydream Believers} said...

Great photos! St. Joseph is our favorite "fake ocean" beach too! Isn't the little town of shops adorable? We live 3 hrs away (on the other side of MI)butt we make the drive whenever we need a beach day :)

Esch House Quilts said...

Lake Michigan is wonderful! South Haven is another great beach we love. Glad you enjoyed St. Joseph!

Valerie said...

Might as well work your way up the shoreline! We love camping at the state park in Petoskey, on Little Traverse Bay. On a windy day, the waves are 6-8 foot and make for some awesome body surfing! The further north you go, the colder the water gets --- but the clearer, too! Lake Superior is fantastic! We dig the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (and Twelvemile Beach!) Love my state!

Anonymous said...

Hey V, Thanks for sharing your family experiences, & awesome photos. I've always lived in Colorado, but will be going to San Diego for a brief weekend - can you recommend your favorite beach for my family to visit there? We're clueless! Thanks so much - Valerie

Allyson said...

My favorite vacation as a kid was going to Avilla Beach near San Luis Obispo, Ca and playing in the sand and water. This week a couple of humpback whales breached 1/8 mile from the shore. I wonder what else lurks in those waters?

The Foster Family said...

Ahh...I grew up about 45 minutes from there and we would always travel there to spend the day and eat at Clementines. Such wonderful memories!

true2beeme said...

I grew up on Lake Huron and now live near the ocean...I love both but have to say give me the fresh water of a Great Lake any day and I will take it! Glad it was fun...

Tracey said...

Ahhh...The Great Lakes...unsalted and shark-free! Glad you enjoyed our beautiful state.

Anonymous said...

Can you please keep the wonders of our Michigan lakes a secret? I grew up in MI and have lived here for 30 years. In less than a week, I'm moving to South Florida. While the ocean is beautiful, I will always be a lake girl!

MJ @ MD School Mrs said...

I grew up about 30 minutes from St. Joe! Still love love love that town. We love our unsalted waters!! So glad you enjoyed it!

able mabel said...

Awesome! Looks like a lovely time!

Teresa Rusk said...

Former Michigan resident myself. U.P. and Lake Superior was about 5 miles from my house. SO beautiful. I do miss it.

lindag1947 said...

Come just a little farther and come to holland. Lots to do here. Saugatuck too is quaint. Then grand haven is nice. Linda Gerig

b said...

So glad you enjoyed MY hometown! Glad to hear you're coming back!

b.

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