St. Joseph, Michigan

We took our first family vacation this weekend!  We've been places but either with other people or not overnight so we're considering this our 'first'!

We left Sunday late morning and arrived just in time for a picnic lunch on the beach.  Eliel loves having picnics because he gets to eat and move around.  Plus he gets to eat a little bit of everyone's lunch, including his own!  After eating we all got changed and ready to swim in the lake.  The beach at St. Joseph is a county park so there are indoor bathrooms which was a nice surprise.  Considering it was a weekend, the beach was not that crowded.  We found a nice spot near the water and setup camp.

(Sadly, due to the bright sunlight many of my beach pictures are overexposed!  The sun was so bright I couldn't see the display after taking the pictures so I didn't notice how bright they were, sorry!)

Eliel was uneasy about the sand at first but once he got his feet wet, he loved it.  He even loved going in the water despite the chilly lake temperature.  He wasn't too keen to put his hands in the sand though and was even more unhappy when some sand got on his fingers.  Eliel and Daddy were having a blast.  I'm not sure who was having more fun!  Eliel loved watching all the seagulls (we taught him the sign for bird) and of course he loved people watching too.  I had so much fun watching Adam and Eliel play in the lake, it was such a bummer that we were only able to do it for about 20 minutes. 

Fun with Daddy

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a huge storm came up over the lake.  It started drizzling and within minutes it was a full blown storm.  Luckily, we made it back to the care before we all got too wet but the car wasn't as lucky.   
While driving towards the hotel, we were bombarded by a hail storm.  I ducked the car under a few trees for protection but we got a few dings.  We were luckier than most though because when we got to the hotel, many people were checking out the hail damage to their cars.  The storm put a little damper on our beach day but we were able to make up for it later.

In St. Joe's many places were closed on Sundays so we actually had a hard time finding a place to eat.  Once we did though it was great.  Eliel behaved very well in the restaurant despite having a short nap and being hungry.  (He's like his Dad and can get very ornery when hungry!)  After dinner we walked around downtown St. Joe's.  It kind of reminded me of downtown Galena.  We got some ice cream and then walked down to the pier.  Since the storm had come through, the waves were incredibly strong! Eliel loved it!
Look at those waves!
A wonderful site

After the storm blew through, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees so our day spent at the blueberry farm on Sunday was a bit cold.  Luckily, the blueberry bushes broke up the wind so we weren't as cold while we picked.  At first Eliel decided that the easiest way to get blueberries was to eat them out of Mommy's bucket as she picked.  Then, once I showed Eliel how to pick them off the bush, there was no stopping him! He would run from bush to bush finding the ones he could eat.  If there wasn't any in the immediate vicinity, he would shrug his shoulders and hold his hands up as if to say 'where are they?'  It was too cute!
Can I eat those?
Thanks, Daddy!

Sour one!
This is the life...

He had a great time and ate his weight in blueberries!
After all the craziness of being on vacation, I need a vacation! :P  It was all worth it though as we had such a wonderful time together.  Plus, the look on this little guy's face says it all...

This was fun!