Karen and I texted all morning, and she and the kids met us at LegoLand for our Illinois stopover on our trip. They had been a couple of weeks prior, but didn’t mind going again! And while the kids had a good time and there are several fun things to do there, I will say this: it’s not exactly a destination attraction. Meaning: if you are in the area, by all means, go: your kids will have fun (be sure to buy your tickets online through their website or Goldstar ahead of time to save you some cash). But don’t drive up there thinking that you’re going to spend the day there. It’s about a 3-hour activity, and the actual location is in an outdoor shopping mall area, so it’s nice, but it’s not this big attraction. Just FYI.
After lunch, we made our way through Chicago traffic (how you who live in the city do that on a regular basis I will never know) and through the tollways through Indiana and into Michigan.
Two of my favorite soundbites from the car:
*Bennett (remember, we’ve just left vacation with the family and then a stop where we saw friends): “Mom, are we gonna be the only ones we know there?”
*Luke: “I need a drink. I’ve got to rehydrate.” 🙂
Our major concern with renting this place so last minute was how nice it was going to be; I think we all know that pictures on the internet don’t always tell the truth. We were so happy to discover that the cottage we rented was every bit as cute as it looked online, and I can’t say enough good things about how helpful the owner was (more on that later). So, if you’re looking for a place to vacation in western Michigan (Holland to be exact; halfway between Grand Haven and Saugatuck), I highly recommend Rosewood Pointe. We stayed in the Mirandy cottage, which is a one-bedroom (queen bed) with an additional sleeping porch with 2 twin beds and 2 slightly-smaller-than-twin beds. It was perfect for our family!
We all went to the grocery store to grab a few necessities, where the clerk was so nice to tell me that I looked younger in my license picture than I do now. It’s true, but I didn’t really want to hear it. Then, we made a very vacationy decision and gave the children ice cream for dinner.
We spent Tuesday in Saugatuck wandering through a few little shops and eating fudge at Kilwin’s (oh, mercy…I just looked at their website and they will ship fudge to you…I’m worried about myself, that I might do this in a weak moment). Then, we headed for Oval Beach, which for me, was really one of the highlights of our trip. The kids have never been to a real beach before, and this is *nearly* as good as the ocean (and frankly, there are things I prefer about it, like no sharks and salt water). We had a blast building sand castles, collecting rocks, and just playing in the water.
Tuesday night was really fun, too: a campfire that we cooked hot dogs and marshmallows over and a rousing game of Farkle.
Wednesday started out with apple cider donuts and a trip to a berry farm to pick blueberries. 5.75 pounds of them to be exact. And that’s not counting what was consumed out in the field. As predicted, Jack Henry thought he’d died and gone to berry heaven…he just kept eating, and sneaking them after I told him he’d had enough.
We ate lunch at a pub, where we enjoyed greasier food than we typically eat, which, we thought at the time, caused Matt to have some serious heartburn. It was threatening rain at this point, so we thought it best to head to the cottage for some R&R, and hope that Matt would feel better after a nap. Thankfully, he did, so we headed out (it stopped raining) to mini-golf and then on up to Grand Haven for dinner (overpriced, average food at the restaurant we chose – blah) and a walk along the boardwalk before the musical fountain started at 10pm. Yes, 10pm. [Sidenote: while on the boardwalk, a woman stopped to chat with us, because our boys are spaced like hers are in age, except her kids are grown. We talked for a bit and discovered that she’s Giada’s mother-in-law! I had to tell her that my brother has a major crush on Giada ;)] We had a 40-minute drive back to the cottage, where the boys needed showers and finally went to bed around 11:30. This will be important information to keep in mind for the next installment, whenever I get around to writing that…