TimeHop just told me that today is my 7th blog anniversary. What do you get for the 7th anniversary?? Chocolate & wine I hope. (I just looked – the traditional gifts are wool or copper… that’s so boring.)
I’m glad TimeHop gave me a little nudge this morning though because I do want to get back in the habit of free writing more regularly. I’ve been doing a lot of writing for work (A LOT) but I miss free form writing and think it’s a good exercise. And if anyone out there ends up reading it, well bonus for me making friends on the Internets.
Each summer the kids and I come up with a list of fun things we hope to do. This summer was particularly challenging with summer jobs, high school gym class, sports camps, sleepaway camps… Sometime in July I resigned myself to two realizations:
1. I wasn’t going to check everything off this year. (Not that I ever have, mind you.)
2. I was going to have to start doing things with whatever kids were home.
And so I started carving out time and asking the kid who couldn’t join us to choose which adventure she didn’t particularly prefer – in the hopes of not disappointing anyone too much by doing something they had been looking forward to. It seemed to work out pretty well.
2015 Summer List of Fun Adventures
1. Hikes: We had two specific hikes earmarked this year. One at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois and the Three Dunes Challenge at the Indiana Dunes State Park. We were 50% on this challenge but I’m hopeful that we’ll still get to those dunes before too much longer. It’s still the season of summer for a month after all!
We totally lucked out on our Starved Rock adventure. We’d had a ton of rain recently so the waterfalls were out in full force – very unusual for July. My oldest & I had an awesome morning. Definitely one of my favorite days of summer.
2. Mini golf at Zao & Valpo Velvet ice cream: Both new-to-us places and well worth an afternoon adventure. We even squeezed in a round of go cart racing while there. Based on how poorly J came into the final stop, I’m not looking forward to teaching him how to drive.
3. Brunch at Bartlett’s: I’m going to count this as a success because we were there on a Sunday at brunch time. However, they had a busy weekend and stopped their brunch menu early. Technically that means we didn’t get brunch. But we did have an awesome morning at the beach and my husband had a strong ride up to meet us. It was a great way to spend a Sunday.
4. Birky’s Farm lunch: We all enjoyed this last year so it made it back on the summer fun list. We didn’t make it though. Two of my kids did eat a Birky’s lunch at the county fair though so that’s a close alternative!
5. Pick peaches: This one is tough because peaches aren’t ready to pick until right before school starts. We didn’t make it but I do have this Sunday tentatively marked for a peach picking adventure!
6. Kayak and/or paddle boarding: OR BOTH!! We went to a new place in Southwestern Michigan and had a wonderful two hours on the river. We had a couple kayaks and a couple paddle boards so people who wanted to try both could swap halfway through. None of us fell in and we got to eat “burgers as big as your head” before heading home. Great day!
7. Go Ape park at Eagle Creek in Indy: I tried to do this but they didn’t have any openings on the day we could go south. Maybe fall break…
8. Meijer gardens in Grand Rapids: This one was a little ambitious of me to post on the summer fun list and frankly, I’m the one that wants to go – the kids don’t know anything about it. They are good sports, however, and I know they’d go along and enjoy it. Someday.
9. Trips to Chicago: Not as many as we’d like but we did spend the first day of summer vacation and the last day of summer vacation in the city. First day was Lincoln Park Zoo. This is becoming a bit of a tradition for us and it’s a fun one. Second trip was to Little Italy for our traditional last day of summer adventure. I love finding new places to explore in the city and we had a really fun day wandering the neighborhood, peeking in a few places, and eating some fantastic food.
That ended up being a far more successful summer than I would have predicted in mid-July when the list only had one sad little check mark. I’m looking forward to a few more fun adventures with the kids as summer turns to fall. And then I’m sure before I know it, we’ll be making a list for the summer of 2016. Time does fly in this busy house!