We left Friday afternoon around the time Brooks would take his second nap. We weren't sure how he would do traveling this far and I wasn't sure how well I would travel being 29 weeks pregnant, so we planned to stop for the night in Springfield, IL. We knew we only needed to make it about 7 & 1/2 hours (longer when you have a toddler and need to make frequent stops), which seemed less daunting than 14.
Brooks was pretty anxious and frustrated most of the time when he was awake this day which made it difficult to enjoy traveling. The last few hours we were on the road were past Brooks' bedtime, so they were a little more pleasant. We got to our hotel a little before midnight. We packed efficiently, so we only had to take minimal in. We put Brooks in his pack n play and he fell right back asleep. The only problem with all being in a hotel room was, I had to get up around 6 to pee and it,of course, woke Brooks up. It was a little brutal getting up that early, but it actually worked out because we were able to eat breakfast, play a little and hit the road earlier than expected.
We got to Holland around 4 on Saturday. Brooks did MUCH better in the car this day, thankfully! Once we got into town, we got settled into our house.
How is your luggage taller than you kid!?
That evening we went downtown and ate some food at New Holland Brewing Co and then walked around a couple shops before heading back to the house for the night.
Sunday: We got up, ate some breakfast, and then headed to church. After church, we headed to the beach.
The beach was packed and the water was freezing. Usually this town is not that packed, so I don't know who has given our secret destination away. ;) We stayed for a couple hours and enjoyed the sun and sand. Brooks wasn't a fan of the sand or the water this first day. I think the water was close to 65 degrees! Brrrr! And it was his first time to experience sand and he didn't really like his hands feeling gritty. (Thankfully he enjoyed it by the end of the week!) He did enjoy climbing on mom and dad and banging his sand toys together.
That evening we headed to one of my family members' houses to have dinner.
We bought this cute chair on Amazon and it worked perfect for our trip. It was a beach chair but it also came with a tray so it doubled as a high chair. Brooks sure enjoyed having a seat that was perfect for him.
We headed to Captain Sundae after dinner to get our nightly fix of ice cream! We usually go to the General Store which is right across the street from the house we were staying in, but they were out of Mackinac Island Fudge, which is unacceptable. Ha! It's my favorite ice cream and I can only get it on this vacation, so we made a special trip to Captain Sundaes.
After a day of sunscreen and ice cream, it was bath time. I may be bias, but I think he might be the cutest human being I've ever seen!
Our house was really neat and had a cool area in the back with lots of games and a fire pit, so we made that a nightly ritual.
Monday: Beach Day! We headed to Holland State Park and set up our tent and chairs. The water was 68 degrees this day, so it was still frigid! I dipped my toes and that was about it. Brooks got in about waist deep and the rest of my family went all the way in.
Brooks was really content playing in the tent with his truck and sand toys.
Each evening a family prepares dinner for the rest of the family. It's nice because we all kind of do our own thing during the day and then we are able to congregate in the evening.
This kid loves dessert!
That evening we enjoyed a game of beach volleyball. Well, I didn't partake, but Brooks and I watched the rest of my family play. And enjoyed a sunset. We didn't get to see the sunset on the water once because of cloud coverage, but the evenings were still beautiful!
My cousin snapped a couple of these sweet pictures.
So sleepy after the sunset and ready for bed.
Tuesday: This was Katy's (my brother's wife) last day in town, so we went to Saugatuck for lunch and a little shopping during the day.
We got home so late that Brooks slept through dinner. So, we met up with everyone at the beach for sunset. Wes, Trevor and Katy played some Kan Jam and I was running around behind Brooks. He was finally getting the hang of walking on the sand.
I have to brag on my sister-in-law. She is like a master crocheter (is that a word?) haha! She has made Brooks several things...sheep for his mobile, 4th of July slippers, cowboy boots, etc and she worked so hard to made baby #2 his newborn picture outfit.
Check out this ADORABLE outfit...
She is so talented! I am so excited to see Baby Rhett in this. THANK YOU SO MUCH KATY!!!
Wednesday: Trevor and my brother took Katy to the airport bright and early and then went golfing in Grand Rapids. My parents and I got up and around and then headed to the pier.
When Trevor and my brother returned from golfing, we loaded up and headed to the beach. We went to get the stroller out of the car and when we opened the back a strap got tangled around the stroller...
How did that even happen? Haha!
The water temp was up to 70 and it actually felt really good, so I was finally able to get in!
Brooks was still a little nervous about going to other people to take a picture.
That night Mr. Brooks slept though dinner again. So, we waited until he got up and then headed to the beach.
I have 12 cousins on this side of the family and almost all have a significant other as well, but this is all that made it this year (minus Lisa who left the day before this).
Finally warming up to Uncle Wes to take a picture.
He is officially a walking machine!! It's a little scary because he ventures off so quickly! Haha. The sand did slow him down a little, but he almost had that mastered by the end of the week.
Thursday: Blueberry picking, golfing and the beach.
This will also be referenced in July/August Date Nights, but Thursday morning we got up, went and saw my cousin at JP's Coffee and then headed to go blueberry picking. This is a date day that Trevor planned last year and we really enjoyed it so we wanted to do it again. Also, Brooks is a blueberry FANATIC! So, we thought this would be a perfect date to take him along with us. WRONG! He wasn't interested at all in the blueberries. He actually refused to even try one. For the record, later that afternoon I gave him blueberries for lunch and he devoured them. So I don't know what was going on when we were actually picking them.
This is the most accurate picture of our blueberry picking experience. Trevor brought his coffee and for some reason Brooks is obsessed with cups, so he just wanted Trevor's coffee cup. Eventually Trevor dumped out his coffee and gave Brooks his cup to play with. Then we both got to pick blueberries because Brooks was totally preoccupied. Haha!
Along with blueberries, we got several souvenirs at their little shop. I'm so excited to try them. One of them is a blueberry maple syrup. It will be a yummy addition to my oatmeal.
That afternoon Trevor, my brother and dad went golfing again and I took Brooks to the beach.
We then had a little ice cream date.
Mackinac Island Fudge...my fav!
That evening we had dinner at our house and then headed to the beach.
Friday: Unfortunately, our last day of vacation was rainy and cold. I think the high was 64 and there was a constant drizzle almost the whole day. We decided to go downtown Holland and do some shopping in the morning. Shopping must have worn this guy out.
That afternoon Trevor had planned a date day. My parents took Brooks for the afternoon and we headed to Fennvalley. We did a wine tour at Fenn Valley Vineyard. It was pretty interesting because of the rain. Most of the tour was outside but we were in a covered wagon thing. However, because of the wind we were still being hit by the rain consistently. Haha. It was a lot of fun though and we bought a few bottles of wine to drink after Baby #2 makes his appearance.
That night for dinner my dad treated everyone to a restaurant called Boatwerks. We then headed back to the house to get packed up since this was our last day. Since it had been raining all day, we didn't think there would be much of a sunset so we didn't even bother to go watch. However, one of my cousins went to check it out and apparently it was the best sunset of the week. Check out these awesome photos she took!
The waves were huge!
We got out of town around 9:30am this morning and are currently on the road. Brooks is doing great in the car, so I think we are going to make it all in one day today.
We had such an awesome time seeing family, relaxing, introducing Brooks to so many new things, making memories, taking lots of pictures and getting to spend quality time together as family. Until next time!