Last week, Nicholas took some time off of work and our little family of three planned a few outings as a means of a (nearly) staycation. On one day, we planned a trip to a lakeside town, just shy of 1.5 hours north of us.
We pack snacks and water, the stroller, and what we fondly refer to as Cooper's "adventure pack," but what is in reality a mini fanny pack he can use to hold/collect little treasures. The drive north a pleasant one, winding and green, with the tiniest hints of cooler days ahead. I knit in the car while Nicholas drove, Cooper played with stickers and his etch-a-sketch, and we all listened to a podcast and some Anberlin, since we've been on a throwback music kick lately).
Once we arrived, we parked the truck, and then walked around the quaint downtown, browsing in a few shops here and there, and eventually making our way down to the marina and the big attraction if you're a toddler boy: BOATS. So many boats, and all so fascinating to Cooper. We meandered, as you do with a toddler, and then looped back for some burgers on the patio of a restaurant for lunch.
The hostess and waitress commented on our matching fanny packs, and smiled at the little wiggly boy who really didn't want to stay in his seat on the patio. After lunch, we walked back down to the water, out on the pier to see the (small) lighthouse and the waves (it was a choppy day!) and then for some playtime in the sand.
There is a playground on the beach, and all three of us enjoyed the feel of barefeet in sand, Lake breezes on our faces, and sunshine. We walked through the waterside neighborhood, Cooper had his first taste of ice cream (sorbetto, techinically) from Kilwin's. He did need to be convinced to taste it, and then he enjoyed it so much he cried when it was gone.
We picked up an iced latte on the way out of town to sip on the way home, drove past the boats one more time after many requests of "Boats 'gain!" and then fell into easy conversation while Cooper fell into an easy nap.
It was just one of those loosely structured days with fresh air, water, seeing the delight in our little boy's eyes, and a sweet time with the three of us. We already have plans to go back, maybe as the weather cools. A day at Lake Michigan is never a wasted day. Thank you, Lord, for the Great Lakes. What glory they bring You.