This past weekend our little family joined my mom and dad in a little cottage up in Pentwater, Michigan. I love that cottage. My parents have been renting it on and off for more than 20 years. I have some great memories there, so it was so fun to take the kids and help them make some great memories too!
At the end of each day, we would ask the boys, “What was the best part of today?” They would laugh and giggle recollecting all the fun we had. It was always difficult to choose just ONE best part.
I will say the 90-minute drive was not my personal favorite. Usually I enjoy the trip; it’s a very beautiful drive, however you see how close the boys sit to each other? And Alice is rear-facing behind me. Yeah, there was loudness.
Breakfast was always a highlight. Grandpa made lots of breakfast meat and french toast for the troops. You can see that Charlie is dressed and has his backpack on. He was so ready for the beach, man. SO. READY. Sandboxes are his love language and the beach? Dude, it’s one big sandbox.
See? Homeboy is in heaven. We had the best possible beach weather ever. Charlie still talks about this as being one of his “best parts”. He would live at the beach if he could. Annnnddd…cue beach pics….
Alice hates sand and dirt and getting dirty. Such a diva. But she sat in that little beach chair just as nice as can be for two plus hours with her cold drink looking cute. That is really my kind of beach day too.
Grandma gave the boys a snack of Vanilla Wafers…on frisbees! Grandma is so smart when it comes to snack distribution.
Even Alice enjoyed some beach vanilla wafers. With her cold drink. In her chair. Not touching the sand at all.
It was a super hot day, but it was quite breezy, so we didn’t feel like were were sweating too much. Plus Lake Michigan was around 75 degrees. I could have stayed much, much longer, but Alice needed a nap and the boys were getting sunned out.
We did plenty of sitting around too. That was probably one of my best parts. I enjoyed not having too much access to wifi and having no TV or other screens available. I read a whole book from start to finish from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon. My mom and I both brought a plastic horse shoes/ring toss game, so the boys had a good time sticking the stakes into the ground and making up rules about what “level” they are on. My very patient parents went along with these nonsensical rules and laughed and laughed as my mom pretty much missed every time she tossed.
When we got home, Eddie made the comment that Grandma is so good at helping us find things to do when we might be bored. My mom totally understands that four and seven-year old boys need to keep busy. If there started to be hints of whining or fighting because of boredom, grandma would swoop in with a game of Go Fish, or Old Maid, or going for a walk to the dock or around the block. Eddie helped set the table most of the time, and Charlie helped carry out food.
Charlie made a comment that we are pretty lucky to have a Grandpa who shares his boat and fishing hooks with us…and “cuts up a good watermelon!” Charlie is pretty much his Grandpa’s shadow–both lefties, both bearing the name “Thomas”, both loving watermelon and “putzing” around.
Speaking of watermelon…apparently I bought a good, crisp, juicy one! It wouldn’t be a summer vacation up north in Michigan without a messy delicious watermelon after dinner.
Alice even needed a sink bath after she demolished a huge chunk of melon. All of the sticky in her hair and on her whole body!
I mentioned my parents have a boat. They were kind enough to haul it all the way up north and my kids LOVED it. They boys always love boat rides. When we out of the channel and onto the big lake, my dad “put the hammer down” and as we lifted up, Charlie–who was sitting in the “first mate” seat–said to Cortney, “THIS IS MY BEST PART!” After a ride, we circled back to the beach.
It was another HOT day, but with no wind. My dad anchored off shore from the beach and we all took a dip! The boys jumped off the boat over and over into the refreshing water!
Both boys showed us all the things they learned in swimming lessons, but with life jackets on since we were in water that was around 6 feet deep. Little Bird paddled around for hours!
It was so hot we even got Alice to float around a bit with her Daddy! She clung pretty tightly to him, but I think she enjoyed the cool dip. In fact, she fell asleep on me on the ride back to the boat launch.
Both boys have fishing poles my dad gave them for their birthdays. They were so excited to fish with Grandpa! He was super patient with them as fish after fish swallowed up his hooks. I even showed off my casting skills (that my dad mocked!) and ability to reel in a bluegill when Charlie got a little nervous about doing it himself. I think Cortney was impressed!
It rained on our last morning at the cottage. My parents tried to keep everyone busy with Old Maid and other games, but things got a little punchy by afternoon. Luckily, the sun came out and we were fortunate enough to get to town to get my dad the ice cream cone he was craving and find treasures for the boys to take home to remember their vacation.
Even Alice was getting antsy to leave the cottage by the time the sun came out. It’s a lovely cottage, but it’s small for seven people–three of whom are small people with a lot of energy!
Before we left, we put jammies on everyone so they would be all ready for their beds when we got home. But we couldn’t leave without one more tickle session with grandpa!
We were all stinky and tired and ready for our own beds…and showers…by the time we hit the road homeward bound. But we were happy. Because being able to spend so much time with Grandpa and Grandma was definitely the Best Part.
Thank you, mom and dad, for the awesome time. We are grateful to you for sharing the cottage with our noisy, energy-filled crew. Hopefully you got some sleep and quiet after we left! We love you!