So how did it go? I will tell you in this wonderful photographic journey =) I uploaded 190 pictures when we got home. I will show my favorites :)
Here are my two lovelies before we hit the road. Notice how packed the van is. One would think we had packed for many days. Nope, just two nights and three days! Also notice the less-than-thrilled facial expressions. We left at the crack of dawn and everyone was still a bit sleepy....
The drive was mostly uneventful. I think Mark and I both breathed a sigh of relief as we rolled into Oval Beach in Saugatuck, MI. Luke's worst moments are in the car, and we somehow managed to avoid a meltdown on the way there. The beach and Lake Michigan were so beautiful.....
Mark and I watched in envy as a young couple walked past us with one backpack. They found a nice spot on the beach, threw down their backpack, and were in the water one minute later. How did it go for us? Well, we had to set up our beach tent. Haul ten million items from the van. Walk to the changing rooms. Why did we park at the furthest point from the restrooms/changing rooms? I'm not sure. All I know is Nolan and I arrived back to our "beach fortress" about 20 minutes later. Sweaty from walking what felt like a mile. We had to give Nolan explicit instructions about what areas were "sand free" areas so Luke would have a place to crawl around. We had to apply layers of sunscreen. Luke needed to nurse. We were on the beach for nearly an hour before I even had the chance to approach the water.
All of that being said.....it was so worth it! After quickly realizing it was not going to be fun for Mark and I to take turns in the water while the other was trapped in our beach tent with Luke.....we all went to the water and took turns playing there. So much fun!!!! Luke loved having his feet dipped in the cold water. He also loved looking down at the water, and I think he liked the noise of the waves. One of us would hold Luke while the other went out deeper to ride the waves on the raft/play with Nolan. It worked out so well because we were all together in the water, Luke was happy, and life was good. We took periodic breaks back at the tent (which was a complete lifesaver....totally worth the money!).
Surrounded by toys in the tent, but chose my hair band to play with :P
Our fortress on the beach. Funny, you could pretty much spot every baby on the beach by looking for beach tents or massive umbrellas.
My boys <3
Luke loved being held by Mark in the water. So cute!
I liked this picture of Luke and I, but I had to make it black and white to hide the INSANE sunscreen on my face. I looked like a complete freak. It wouldn't rub in right, so I was a big WHITE FACE! LOL!!! I asked Mark if he was embarrassed by me. He assured me that he was not, and that I still looked beautiful. He knows all the right things to say.... ;-)
I love this photo. There is nothing sweeter than seeing your husband hold your child. I would title this photo "Picture of a Real Man". That is what Mark is: A Real Man. He works tirelessly to provide the best life he can for our family, and he does an excellent job. I have no idea how I got so lucky to find someone like him. I will forever be grateful for him! <3
Luke was totally partying on the beach. He seemed to know he was doing something cool, and he was laughing, smiling, and cracking us up!
And then he crashed. I don't know if I have ever seen him so tired.....he never sleeps in his carseat, but he did not budge during the transfer from the car to our hotel, and then continued to sleep for about a half hour or so.
After everyone rested up for a bit, we got cleaned up and headed out for yummy Japanese food. We sat at a hibachi table....I was nervous about how Luke would handle it, but he did fine. I turned him so he couldn't see the flames, which I think helped. I liked these pics of us....too bad we couldn't all be in one picture together!
The first night in the hotel was horrible. Luke woke about every hour, so none of of got much sleep. Luckily Mark and I are experienced with sleep deprivation, so this did not put a damper on the trip. We went for a nice (FREE) breakfast at our hotel, and everything was going well. We looked over at Luke and could tell he was "working on something". Alright, no big deal. We finished our breakfast and headed up to our room to change Luke. When we got upstairs we discovered Mark had poo on his hand and on the front of his shirt. What followed was truly disgusting and wrong. I have never smelled anything so horrific. Nolan had his face buried in a pillow and was screaming. Mark and I were laughing so hard we about peed ourselves. Luke was happy as a clam, enjoying all the excitement. Needless to say, Luke ended up in the bathtub. Here is a picture of the cheerful little boy...LOL! (I should mention, our room was never the same after this incident. Even this morning when we came back from breakfast, we were still hit with the faint odor of that diaper explosion. Gross!)
After all the drama subsided, we headed out for another day of fun. Dune climbs, a trip to downtown Holland for lunch, swimming in our hotel pool, and a trip to Tunnel Park. The trip to Tunnel Park was supposed to just be to climb a dune and look out at Lake Michigan. Mark, being the nice step-dad that he is, went down to the beach with Nolan so he could take one last swim. I stayed at the top of the dune and enjoyed the views. It was gorgeous. Luke was sleeping in his Ergo carrier and it was lovely!
Out for lunch at a restaurant Nolan described as "gourmet". Well, not so much, but glad you liked it so much! LOL
Too funny - both with crazy faces :)
At Tunnel Park - dune for climbing behind us (with 20+ lbs. of baby strapped to me, I was thankful for the option of using the stairs!).
Nolan waving up to me when I was at the top of the dune. He was having the time of his life....
What I have termed as the "Papa hold". Mark always carries Luke like this. I never carry Luke like that. If I try to, Luke fusses. If Mark tries to carry Luke how I carry him, he fusses. He's developed his own groove with each of us, pretty cool!
Messy faces while out for ice cream
And they crashed.....
We stopped at Nelis Dutch Village before heading home. It had some cute stores and things to see/do. A great ending to our trip!
I think exhaustion had hit Luke. He was basically in a coma during most of the Dutch Village tour!
The drive home wasn't all that fun. Luke periodically screamed for the last 2 hours of the drive. It didn't bother us too much though because he did so well with everything else....we pushed him to his limit and it was understandable that he was cranky at the end. We will definitely be going back to Michigan, it was a wonderful trip!