Vacation Is Good For the Heart

Sunday, September 29, 2013

At the end of the summer, Sean took a week of vacation. We didn't have any big plans, just staying close to home and enjoying time together. It was a welcome week of relaxing family fun after a busy trip & event-filled summer.

One day, we headed up to Lake Michigan to meet some of our dearest friends, the Webbs. Sean and Ben were roommates in college, and to say they are cut from the same cloth is an understatement. I get a kick out of seeing my husband when he's hanging out with his close friends-- friends from college who knew him before he had kids and the responsibility of family. And its fun to see how God has shaped and transformed our lives since then. Ben & Christina live up north in Indiana and were just about 30 minutes away from the beach we went to. We had a great time together and it was so fun to catch up with them. I wish we made time to do it more often.

The beach we went to was beautiful... we got there around 10:30 (thank you Central Time Zone) so there weren't many people there yet. It was pretty clean and had nice facilities. My only complaint is that there were a lot of people smoking. Isn't smoking like, so 1990? And certainly in public places? Gia is a waterbug. Every day this summer she has asked to go swimming. And when we went to the beach? Oh, she was right at home. Get this girl to the coast (preferrably the East Coast)! She could have stayed out there all day long.  The day we went was exceptionally hot, but it was perfect because it made the usually frigid lake water warm enough to really enjoy! A nice breeze kept Christina & me cool as we sat with our feet in the water by the kids.

A funny little story: At one point, I got up from my camp chair near the water to go get a drink. When I came back, I my entire seat was soaking wet. I asked the guys & kids if any of them had gotten the seat wet. They said no, so for the rest of the day, I was worried that my water had broken. I'm sure I probably seemed a bit distracted, but I seriously thought my water had broken-- way too early for that! Later on, I had to reason with the rational side of my brain... I know what it feels like for my water to break, and I definitely didn't feel that. I was just being silly and overly worried. When I came home and told my girlfriends, they all laughed, knowing that your water doesn't just break without you knowing it. So now if I make a sudden movement, they tease me saying, "Is your water breaking?" Oh, its good to have friends who can laugh at your silliness.

Anyway, here are some pics from our trip:

See our wonky canopy setup in the background? Yeah, its wonky because the wind flipped it over and it came hurling towards me & Christina while the boys were 1/2 mile out in the water. Some old guy helped up set it back up. 

After the beach, we packed up and headed to Bass Pro Shop.  Sean has recently picked up the hobby of fly fishing, so he wanted to go check out some of their gear. Gia was sacked out from the beach, but as soon as we went into the store, she woke up and was running around like crazy again. She loved playing on all the big boats they had on display, and she thought the stuffed animals (taxidermy) throughout was pretty cool.



Next on our family day extravanganza was a spot my friend Lindsay told us about: Albanese Candy Factory. I am so glad we decided to stop here... it was so much fun! They have just about every kind of candy imaginable and every flavor of anything gummy you could ever dream up. You can get bags of individual flavors of gummy bears, and the peach rings are to die for. In fact, after eating the Albanese peach rings, I am ruined for all others. In the weeks after we went there, I tried peach rings from 4 different brands, and they all grossly paled in comparison. Thankfully my sweet hubby just got back from mens' retreat up there in the same area and he brought me 4.5 pounds of peach rings!! They've lasted a couple weeks, but I am quickly running out.  The candy factory also has a cool area where you can watch them making some of the candy. They also have tons of different chocolates and truffles and stuff like that.  YUMMMMMY!  If you're ever in the area, you should check it out.

Last on our day-long outing to-do list was to eat at one of our favorite Chicago restaurants, Perillo's. Since the town we were in was just outside of Chicago, they actually had a Perillo's!!  We ate some delicious Italian subs and charbroiled chicken croissant sandwiches.  It was delicious.

This was the first family vacation we've taken that was just the three of us and it was such a great time. Gia did wonderful on the 3 hour drive there and back (for the most part... as wonderful as a 2 year old can be), and it was so nice to just spend that time with Sean, having fun.  I think this trip, though not extravagant or fancy, will be one I remember for a very long time!!

The rest of the week, we just did stuff around the house, went to the Childrens' Museum, and Sean had to get a lot of dental work done. That wasn't so fun, but we also drove to 38th street and ate at one of the BEST Indian Buffets I've ever had!!  It was delicious!

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