When we last spoke, we had returned to the hotel and Leah was sleeping. She had to be awakened shortly thereafter to head for a dinner engagement, and this is what she looked like shortly before rising:
Day One – Now with room keys
The power of the breakfast burrito
Like the idiots that we are, we scheduled a character breakfast at 8:05 am this morning at Hollywood & Vine inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which we still refer to as MGM). Since the girls went to bed somewhat early last night, it actually wasn’t too bad getting everyone up and out on time for the quick drive over to DHS in our red Dodge Grand Caravan rental car. At the Grand Rapids airport yesterday shortly after parking our car in the parking deck, Aly asked me “Is someone going to be renting our car while we are renting a car in Florida?” – priceless.
Day Zero – Getting Here & Value-Added Chicken
If you read my trip reports from last December’s Disney trip, you might recall this nugget:
This has really been a tale of two trips – the parts where Aly has “been a shit”, as my mom used to say about me with some regularity – sorry mom, but it’s true, you did say that about me a lot, and I’m sure deservedly; and the parts where we’ve been able to have fun as a family, where Aly has had lots of fun.
A walk in the woods
A few Saturdays ago, the little girls and I headed out to Sanctuary Woods nature preserve for a short hike. It’s a beautiful spot just off the edge of Lakes Macatawa and Michigan, with a few parking spots, but I’ve never seen the lot full. After parking, there’s a short loop around the lower area, with a few bridges crossing a tiny creek.
Adventures with Aly
a bit of wrap-up from yesterday. When Rachel and I returned from hiking yesterday, we encountered Aly boating with Grandpa Bill in the peapod and Leah playing on the rocks with Grandma Jan, having a great time with their grandparents in Maine.
Worth a second look
On Sunday morning, we took Leah to Settlement Quarry, which is just a short drive from downtown Stonington. We’ve been by the quarry before on our way to various nautical experiences with Bill Baker at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, but had not hiked through it previously. Part of the Island Heritage Trust, there are scant few parking places at the trailhead. It takes about ten minutes of uphill walking along a two-track trail to reach the top of the quarry, but the scenery while hiking along the trail is gorgeous forest. We also encountered an abandoned furnace near the summit.
Fog & Tide Pools
arrived with what the folks around here call “ribbon fog” weaving around the islands in our view. It made for a picturesque view of the old lighthouse and some neighboring islands.
The blue eyes of summer
A morning with Lele
Leah or Aly II – 18-month edition
How many can you get right?
North Bar Lake at Sleeping Bear
Newsflash: Lake Michigan is cold
– even in July. After freezing in the water at the other beaches we visited, we decided it was time to try some warmer water. Just south of the scenic drive, there is an inland lake called North Bar Lake that connects to Lake Michigan. It’s an easy drive with parking available, so we headed there in the early morning. This is a shot of North Bar Lake from one of the overlooks on the scenic drive (gives you an idea how it connects to the big lake).