Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It doesn't get any better than this. 2012 Houseboat ttrip

The houseboat trip was wonderful this year.  The smiles were outstanding.  The food was terrific. The weather was fantastic and we had a great time with family.  We missed those of our family that couldn't make it this year and look forward to sharing this experience with you in the future.  

 Our home for the weekend.
 Eva, Bud and I drove down on Thursday and spent the night in Glasgow.  Jessica and Doug spent Thursday at Mamoth Cave and camped that night.  However, we ran into them at Wal-Mart while doing our pre-boat shopping.
 The crew was arriving.  We received a pleasant surprise on Thursday. The houseboat company said that we could board at 11:00 in the morning instead of the usual 3:00 so we scrambled and managed to get there early.
 Matt and Diana had a flat tire problem so they were a little later arriving.  We took a vote and decided to hold the boat for them.
 Gram is excited to see those grandchildren.
 Everyone is looking fantastic and a little older since our last visit.
 Lunch was on the boat before leaving the dock instead of our usual picnic area where we had to wait for the boat to be ready.  That was really nice.

 The new hat frames a beautiful face.
 NO, Gram and Brookelynn were NOT the captain of this boat.
 Our first tie-up.
 And we were ready to swim.  The water was warm and the air was warmer.
 OUCH, this hurt when she landed.

 Bud started his new book.
 We had lots of water toys.
 Floating was a favorite pass time.
 The water toys were fun.
 Even the hot tub was used.
 The new/old game of this trip was 'pick-up-sticks'
 Friday night was birthday night and this year it was actually Brookelynn's birthday.  She reminded us many times that day.
 Three beautiful girls. Aunt Jess made shirts for them.

 Saturday morning Aunt Jess helped Brookelynn make her craft.  Gram is very happy.
 Even the teenager managed to wake up and we know that is hard for those teenagers.  Notice that smile on her face.
 Bacon and bacon and bacon.  We cooked a lot of it.
 Leo needed a little sun on that white skin.  So did his sisters.  Those floating chairs are a great way to go.

 The cooks for one of the meals.  I don't think that Brookelynn helped but she did join in the pictures.
 Mexican Train was the favored group game.  Doug insisted that he won the most games.
 Gram and Annika played 'Twenty questions'.
 We had a great view every night.

 Spa afternoon included having your hair done by Hailey.
 A message by Brookelynn and your nails done by Annika.
 Gram and the girls made cookies.

 As the trip was coming to an end we all gather for our group picture.
 It is kind of like 'herding cats' to get us together but we did manage.
Gram and her final shots with the grandchildren.  

 And with the children.
 The final beer.  Someone had to do it so Jessica and Doug volunteered.
The last picnic before we all separated and went our own way.
We dropped Eva off in Grand Rapids about 10:00.  Jessica and Doug beat us home.  Leo arrived home about the same time.  Bud and I drove on and arrived home about 1:00.
It was another very successful trip.  I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On our way

I am almost packed for our annual houseboat trip in Kentucky.  I keep a list of things from last year so I am pretty organized.  I say that now and hope I don't jinx the process by forgetting something like the margaritas  or something IMPORTANT.  I will be sure to post LOTS of pictures when we return.  We will miss you Sara, Leo, Erik and Josh and hope you will be able to join us some time soon.  
Love to all and hope you have some fun family fun scheduled in your summer.

OK OK, I have tried and tried to get rid of the white around the text on this post but have not been successful so I GIVE UP.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Lewis weekend in pictures

OK,OK, I know that I have this problem with taking too many pictures and wishing to share them with you so if you start to look through this entry, know that it probably includes more information than you really wanted and more pictures than I should have posted but I just couldn't edit it. 

 Leo was the first to arrive but his travel was the shortest.  He arrived about 6:00 on Friday.
 Glen and Penny arrived about 7:00.  I had made tacos so they had a nice dinner and an evening of talking.  Glen and Penny had traveled all night but they managed to keep awake through the evening or maybe we just wouldn't let them go to bed.
 Eva had spent the week in Alabama and drove from Louisville area on Friday.  She needed to go home and change her clothes, do some laundry and just get some sleep so she spent Friday night in Grand Rapids, in her own bed and then arrived Saturday morning about 10:00.  We had just finished breakfast.
 The next big job was to unload the motorcycles.  Glen and Penny brought their motorcycles in a trailer this time.  This is Penny's bike.
 It is a pretty big trailer.
 They have quite a bit of room for the two bikes.
 Then Glen's bike came out.  Backing it down the ramp was an interesting thing to watch.  Look for the reloading experience later in the blog.
 The bikes are lining up in the driveway.
 I wonder what the neighbors are thinking?
 Bud used a little 'down time' to wash Eva's car.  He had just finished washing his bike and thought he had time to clean Eva's car too.
 All 4 bikes are ready to go.  You can see the sports car is still in the garage.  Eva and I had the easiest ride as long as I remembered to push in the clutch before trying to start the car.
 Motorcycle MOMMA is ready to go but just not on the motorcycle.
 Down the hill we go from Franklin Woods.  I told you that we would give you the 'blow by blow' of this weekend.  I commend you for getting this far and just want to tell you that this is just the beginning of the first day.  You might want to go get a snack and come back.
 Heading out of town.
 We had our first 'incident' on our way north, just out of town.  Penny had to stop and fix one of her saddle bags.  Bud was in the front and couldn't see anyone behind him so he pulled off and decided to go back and check on us.  He turned his bike too 'short' and it went down in the road.  Nothing was hurt including the bike.  The traffic stopped and of course we caught up with him about the time he was getting it up off the pavement.  However, it didn't want to start right back up.  It was flooded from being on its side.  That was the first time that happened to Bud.  We waited a few minutes, the other riders consoled Bud and gave him advice.  It is hard being the one in front of a line of traffic. However we were undaunted and were not going to let it spoil our day.
 Our first stop was north of Northport.  We were going to stop at the Northport Lighthouse but there was an admission charge and we weren't really that excited about seeing the little lighthouse so we drove on to our picnic area.
 I had packed sandwiches and chips and fruit for our picnic lunch at a place called Peterson Park on the Leelanau Peninsula.  It has a beautiful view of Lake Michigan.
 Eva enjoyed the lovely ride in the black sports car.
 This is a map of our route that we found when we stopped for ice cream in Glen Arbor.
 Our next stop was the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive through the Sleeping Bear National Shoreline Park.  This area was voted the Most Scenic Place in the United States.  I don't know who did the voting but it is a beautiful place.  We left the sports car behind here for our short ride through this scenic drive.  The speed limit is only 20 mph so Penny let Eva use her helmet.
 Eva rode on Glen's bike.
 Glen went bareheaded too.  I rode on Bud's bike.
 This is our first scenic stop.  Glen Lake is behind us.
 It is a pretty view.
 They really look the part.
We only stopped a couple of places here.  We could see rain clouds on Bud's radar.  If you want to see more pictures of this area check out the pictures I took last week.
We had a great drive through the park and enjoyed the curves although Penny would have preferred to go faster than the speed limit. She says that she enjoys the curves when riding.
We took M 22 back to Traverse City.  It was about 5:00 when we arrived home so it was about a 6 hour ride.  Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun and we beat the rain home.
 Bud was our trip planner and leader through the whole adventure.
 Everyone was happy with their day of riding.
 I had flank steaks marinating here at home.  We relaxed a little while and talked before dinner of flank steak, grilled vegetables, bread, fruit salad.  It was delicious.  Bud did a great job of getting the vegetables and meat  done at the same time.  That is always a challenge for me.
We had to rest again and talk some more before having strawberries and home made ice cream for dessert.  All in all it was a very fulfilling evening.

 Sunday morning Bud fixed his famous French Toast for breakfast.  It was great as usual.
 OK, Eva insisted that I get in at least one of the pictures.  We sat around the breakfast table until early in the afternoon talking and sharing.
 It was finally time to pack up the motorcycles.  Getting them back in the trailer proved to be a little harder than expected.  You have to drive them up into the trailer and try not to put it too far into the trailer, not to mention have just the right amount of 'momentum' to get it where you want it.
 Glen wasn't too successful on his first attempt and down it went.  The second time this weekend that a motorcycle went down.  Leo and Penny were getting a little nervous.
 This time he made it into the trailer.  Leo and Penny were riding down to the Farwell area on their bikes.  Glen was taking the trailer.  They made it safely without any problems or at least that was what they said when they sent their text upon arrival.  Glen and Penny are staying through the coming weekend, visiting with her family and then going back home.
 The Lewis children had one last chance for a photo shot  Eva said that she needed something for her Christmas letter.  I guess we are aging fairly well.
 Eva took off home.
 Glen and the trailer left.
 Leo took off
And finally Penny was almost ready.

It was a great weekend.  This is the first time all of us have been together since Mom died.  It is a good thing to spend time with your brothers and sisters just for 'fun'.  We all slept under one roof for the first time in "I don't know how many years' and we didn't even fight.
I am thankful for such a terrific family. We had good parents and in spite of our differences as children, we all love and care about each other.

Thank you for making it this far.