I wrote this post yesterday and somehow lost it. I will try again. It is a good way to keep memories fresh.
I am writing while alone in a quiet room at home. There were quiet moments at night last week, but the days were hectic!
Laura and Michael and their four children stayed in the Glass House at the top of a dune. It was literally that--glass on all four sides with a great view of Lake Michigan. The Guest House was about 30 steps down from there and was
less elaborate but also had a great view of the "big lake." I stayed alone in the Guest House one night; Jim joined me for three of them; Dan was there for four; and Michael's sister and brother-in-law were also there with us one night.
During the week, Alex learned to pull himself up but not to get down. There were a few bumps on his little forehead. He needed constant watching and didn't sleep well at night. It's a good thing he was so adorably cute and giggly!
I wanted to bring some toys from home for the children and was very proud of the success of my choices. The Playmobil people which belonged to Laura 30 years ago were the impetus for lots of creative play and the marble construction set which belonged to Dan almost as long ago were used for elaborate trails and spins and drops. Alex loved banging measuring cups together and Sam used them for his "magic trick" of using surface tension to have them stick together.
A trip to the Shedd Aquarium was another adventure for Laura and Grandma and the kids. To our surprise, it was a day for seniors to have the "total experience" free. The Sponge Bob 4D show was great with rumbling seats and spraying water. We were glad we did not do the Sea Monster show in which sharks poking one in the back may have just been too much! Ruth seemed to like the touch screens more than the fish tanks. All the kids loved the submarine and created a rescue scenario that kept them busy for quite a while. The stuffed animals Grandma bought in the gift shop made up for the free entrance fee!
Uncle Dan joined us en route from a bachelor party near Reno to his home in New York City. He helped some of us try stand up paddle boarding and was great with sand play with Ruth and amusing Alex.
Kindles are an always present factor. They can be a lifesaver and also a problem. I was glad to see that the kids still know how to play imaginatively and physically. Reading stories did not do well in competition with screen time.
Michael had to make an unplanned trip to South Africa during the time we were at the Dunes. He knows how to travel but it had to be grueling. Still he came back in time to go out for an anniversary dinner with Laura on Saturday and then drive the 10 plus hours home on Sunday. It was probably easier doing the 24 hour trip to Johannesburg than it was the long van trip home!
Grandma Di, Michael's mom, was staying with her sister Janet and brother-in-law Butch at their nearby cottage. They were all a big help with the kids and with meals. Michael's cousins were often there to join the fun.
I love being at Lake Michigan and this was my third week there this summer. How great to be able to enjoy it with children and grandchildren--just as our parents and grandparents did many, many years ago.