A month ago and exactly 6 days after moving to our new house we went on vacation to Door County WI which was planned months ago fully knowing that it would inevitably fall in the middle of our move. When planning this July vacation Rich was just adamant that the house we rented have air conditioning. Knowing the weather can be much cooler on the peninsula and this is WI on Lake Michigan after all I convinced him that maybe there are a few days in the entire year that we would need A/C so to spend so much more for that remote possibility would be silly. Of course we were there the one week of the year that WI had 3-digit temps. Luckily the house was pretty close to the lake and was totally wooded so we stayed relatively cool.
It was just the five of us the first half of the week and then my mom joined us and then my brother and his girlfriend, Audrey, from Austin. So in middle of the unpacking of the house, packing for vacation and house construction I couldn't find (or forgot to pack) a few things like sunhats, swimsuits, sand toys, toys in general and the battery charger for my camera. Luckily we were able to buy most of what I forgot but not the battery charger. So the pictures are from the first half of the vacation and the rest of the pictures are were on my mom's camera. The last half of the vacation is where the trio figured out about holding hands. One night while waiting for a table for dinner there was a band playing in the town square. The girls walked up between the whole audience listening on their blankets in the grass and the band and stood in front of everyone holding hands and staring at the band. They didn't know if they should dance or be scared but holding hands seemed like the safest idea. It was really amazing and one of those scenes where every one's mouth was just kind of hanging open because it was so beautiful.
Well, these pictures are pretty good too...
First day at the beach which was a total disaster and lasted less than an hour. The sand kind of freaked them out as did the dead fish and the sunscreen and the sand in their juice and the people close to the blanket and... (you get the picture) There are no pictures of Eloise because she didn't leave Rich's arms. I was also freaked out about the kids getting sunburned so I made them wear long sleeved shirts. Of course I forgot one for Beckett so he is wearing his PJ top.
After dinner the first night- so picturesque and a perfect night until I forgot one little tiny thing.
We got back to the house and I had locked us out. Mind you, we are in an area with virtually NO cell reception, several miles from town and it is getting late with 3 cranky toddlers. I was ready to bust out a window. Luckily Rich was able to get reception and get an emergency number for the rental agency so they could send someone to let us in. We had to hang out in the yard for about 45 minutes which made me happy there was a swing set in the yard but also convinced me that we don't need one in our yard. Eloise refused to leave the swing and wants a dedicated "pusher" at all times. Beckett only wants to climb and Addy just wants to hang on things all of which require supervision. Swing sets are best left for the parks.
Anyway, while were were waiting, Addy took off her diaper and peed on the ground, herself, her dress and shoes. As she is pointing out.
By the time someone arrived to let us in, Addy was running naked in the yard wearing just my cardigan hanging off of her and Eloise was screaming because it was time to get off the swings. I'm sure they counted the silverware after we left.
Rather than press our luck beach again the following day we decided to take a car ferry to an island and drive around and explore.
Waiting for the boat was pretty exciting for the kids but the excitement wore off once we were on the boat, got out of the car and the noise of the engine didn't go away. I kind of forgot about how loud it is and how sensitive they have been lately to noise especially with everything going on in the house. Eloise was stuck to Rich was a lovie permanently glued to her mouth. It was a little nerve-wracking trying to carry the kids up the stairs on the moving boat. On the way there I don't know if they really understood they were on the boat because the noise was so disconcerting to them. And the whining was a little disconcerting to me.
But once we got there I had found an old book with a reference to a little beach that was supposed to be secluded. Do you know how hard it is to pull a choo-choo wagon with 3 kids through the sand and up a hill. I don't because Rich did it. Part of the whole Ironman training is what I think.
Eloise cautiously checking out the view.
Pretty good I think. And not one other soul on the beach- besides a snake we spotted later- which everyone but me LOVED.
Beckett chasing Rich down the water with a bucket, or digger as he calls it, in his hand. No more fear of the beach for him.
This was a much more successful beach expedition.
Eloise throwing caution to the wind- so unlike her!!!
We ate lunch at a little shop on the island called something like The Dutch Windmill. Like most vacation spots and most places we ate there was a little gift shop. I was CARRYING Eloise through the gift shop while the others finished lunch. Then I heard Rich yell- "Here come the other two, I'm going to the restroom." Then I heard two kids yell "Shoes! Shoes! Shooooooes!!!" My heart sank. If there had been shoes, like the kind to wear, I would have spotted and checked them out already. I raced around the corner and saw Addy and Beckett headed for a display of glasses wooden clogs or something like that. Anyway, figurine shoes. I yelled, "Stop! Don't touch!" I looked up and the saleslady was frozen with her eyes wide open. Really, two toddlers are headed for an entire wall of glass figurines and you freeze? All of this happened in a split second and I was howling in laughter later about it but it was one of those scenes that could have gone horribly wrong both from the Am Ex and danger perspective. Goes to show you how much they love shoes. Wonder where they got that from?
The trip on the boat back was much better because they knew what to expect and it was a smaller boat so it was a little quieter. The kids even enjoyed the view, looked for birds and waved at other boats.
Guess who preferred to sit at the front of the boat where it was windy and sunny?Yep, Ms. Cakes.
Speaking of the wild one, we should have been suspicious one day while driving back from the beach and she was unusually quiet. This is what happens to a bottle sunscreen in 15 minutes in the hands of a lotion obsessed toddler.
We spent a lot of time at restaurants as you should on vacation. We found out early on that a plate of noodles has no chance around Addy. That is still her favorite thing to eat.
And as you should on vacation, putting on weight is a must. So Beckett decided to finally eat something with fat calories and started to down pats of butter at every meal. Say what you will but I'll let him eat as much butter as he wants.
Addy eating containers of sour cream and using a knife to put it on bread (which they all think they can use butter knives at the table now) was a little over the top but at least they are finally getting the hang of this WI dairy thing.
I like this picture because it explains why I almost exposed myself several times. If Beckett would go one way and I went another I better have some quick hands to keep my dress up.
The whole family in line walking around after dinner. The giraffe was carried around by Eloise almost the whole vacation. We went into a candy store piled high with bins of candy early on thinking the kids were going to go nuts grabbing candy. They just wanted stuffed animals and this one got drug around all week. This is pretty much what we look like these days as we take a stroller or choo-choo with us less and less. I've even taken the kids into places by myself with no stroller this past week! It is very liberating and daring. I'll probably stop the first time there is a total meltdown.
Here are the few attempts at a family picture...
Love that Addy is crying. Don't try to make that girl do something she doesn't want to.
Finally, this is how we wrapped up every evening- with a big messy bowl of melting ice cream which is why they were so amped up they figured out how to get out of the pack n' plays, run in circles screaming, throwing toys and generally go nutso for hours after their normal bedtime while we tiredly chased and unsuccessfully tried to coax them to bed. Again, that is what vacation is all about.