Sunday, July 4, 2010

4th of July

We are on vacation...up north. Up north - where all is calm and relaxing. The beach is perfect, the pace is slow, the ice cream is to die for.

There are no stop lights in the whole county. Fast food restaurants do not exist. The stores are quaint and lovable. The roads are lined with grape vine fields and cherry trees. Every few miles there is a road side stand selling cherries and raspberries with a little box to put your money in.

This place is summer to me. I've been coming here each summer since 1987. 24 years...the land stays the same while I age.

Today we got to witness the quirky fun parade in town that almost seems to have a cult following. As I walked to the grocery store at 8 am I noticed that chairs were already put out to hold a spot for the 3 pm parade. You would think that would be a symbol for a do not miss event and that is miss it would be unpatriotic. It would be a slap in the face of the county of Leelanau. For this parade truly highlights all things that matter...

Like the snow plow...

And the septic company...

And the Fishtown Tap Dancing School and Bait Shop...

We were so fortunate to get a performance right in front of us. Which got this reaction from my very hard to please father...who wasn't quite sure what to make of it all...

The kids had to work for their candy this year since they were neck and neck with a whole slew of kids who were decked out in red, white, and blue. The competitors were aggressive and started the 2010 "war of the Toostie Roll". Just look at them with their acquired yellow cups...vultures.

Elise had a good time. She clapped for both the democrats and the republicans, danced to the kazoo band, and had a Disney flashback when the Huntington Bank mascot walked by.

So, the 4th of July 2010 was perfect. A day at the beach, a great cheesy parade, and a hefty dose of ice cream. Tomorrow is road side cherry stand day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shirtless Spaghetti Night

Straight from the chair to the tub!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Last evening Maria lost her front tooth. Both of them have been loose for awhile since she was reluctant to hurry them along. Since losing the first one, the other one has migrated to the middle. She looks hilarious!! I think the tooth fairy is going to make a repeat visit soon!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Elise the Artist

~Picasso in Training~

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Recipe Time

We've been working around the house - trying to catch up on 14 months of clutter and neglect.

So, until our project "Home Recovery" is complete, I'm going to side track you with a yummy recipe you should try. I cooked it the other night and it was the best grilled chicken I've ever made.


2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tb. liquid smoke
2 Tb. spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4 chicken breasts

I pounded the chicken breasts flat and cut them into several pieces each. Then I marinaded the chicken with the above ingredients for 4 hours in the fridge. I popped them onto a hot grill until they were cooked. Serious yum. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Disney Cruise

The Disney Cruise - fun, but short. And that was just fine since we had just hit 5 days of Disney pretty hard and had a 19 month old with us. We were ready for relaxing, having some fun in the sun, and to continue our pigging out. I think we accomplished 2 out of 3.

The room was awesome. It had much more room than I ever imagined with 2 bathrooms (one with a toilet and sink, and another with a bathtub and sink), lots of storage space, and a nice veranda with chairs and a table. Our room guy came twice a day to clean, leave chocolates, make towels into animals, and turn down our beds. They say a cruise is the only vacation where the women doesn't have to work and I just about believe it.

The food was very good. We didn't stuff ourselves too crazy.

The kids loved the Oceaneer Club and the Oceaneer Lab. We dropped them off many times to play, do activites, and see characters. Elise went to Flounder's Nursery - a day care for children 3 and under. She was so busy there, she never took a nap.

The best part of the cruise was Castaway Cay, Disney's private island. We spent the whole there. First we all went swimming at the family beach.

Here is the Black Pearl from the Pirates in the Caribbean movie. Very cool details are on it - every window is the mouth of a face.

The pools on the ship were a lot of fun. Maria loved the Mickey Pool, and Elise had a great time at the splash area.
We can't wait to go back. Just gotta save up some money for it...we seem to be out!!

Friday, May 21, 2010

More Disney

I love watching the kids grow through our Disney trips. Each time, they are interested in different things and want to try new stuff.

This year for Luke, it was the year of the dinosaur. He tried the scariest (so I've heard) ride called Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom. Cross that off the list.

He also enjoyed the Boneyard there and would have stayed there digging for fossils all day if I had let him.

Luke also got up the nerve for the Tower of Terror (once). He questioned us for hours afterward about The Twilight Zone.

Luke's all-time classic favorites are Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Thunder Mountain Railroad. He is a roller coaster kid!

Maria got real brave this time and went on Thunder Mountain Railroad. After the first ride, I wasn't sure she'd do it again, but she ended up riding it 6 times.

One thing Maria wouldn't go on was Toy Story Mania, which is one of my favorites. She does not like the 3-D stuff, and when stuff explodes in her face, she is not happy.

Elise got to try Peter Pan, It's a Small World, Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Winnie the Pooh, and Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride. She rode the Triceratops Twirl at Animal Kingdom and saw lots of shows. The rest of her time was spent in the stroller.

New for Chris this year was Splash Mountain. He said it was stinky. I was thrilled I got out of it.

New for me this year was the Primeval Whirl. It was a crazy doomsday spinning roller coaster. Too fun!

The most special new thing we did this year was take the kids to the barber shop on Main Street. Elise got her first haircut there. They distracted her with stickers and toys and chopped away those long bangs. She got a sassy new look along with a cute set of mouse ears!

The barber shop also has some fun hair paint. Luke and Maria wanted in on the action. Luke's was pretty cool, but Maria's was over the top (as per her request.) This stuff takes a long time to dry, and an even longer time to wash out. So it was a one time thing for us...I think.

(Luke is thinking, "Can we go ride Space Mountain now??)

Maria getting her pixie dust.

By the end of the day, Maria had her hair gooed up and her face painted. She was the epitome of Disney Flair.
So, that is it for the parks! On to the cruise...