Now that I'm back in the swing of things, I can write about Marissa and my trip to the U.P. to visit our fam.
First, it was wonderful to have time together just Marissa and I. She is so often drowned out by her older and more verbal sister, it was wonderful to get to know her better. And, as I expected, I discovered that she says many more words than we realized. She asks for milk by saying something that sounds like "Mach" (as in Mach 1), and shakes her head or nods emphatically to various questions. She was pretty much an angel the entire trip, thanks to getting more attention than she's ever had since infancy.
We arrived in Marquette only to find it isn't really Marquette, it's a small town called Gwynn about half an hour south of Marquette. My cousin Yvette came and picked us up and we found a little place to grab a bite to eat. Then out to Grandma's house on Dana Lake!
We arrived around 9 pm, just as the sun was going down. It's amazing how much the small adjustment north in latitude changes the light in the evening. Between the time change and the light, Marissa rarely made it to bed by 10 pm. My sister Kristi arrived about half an hour after I did, and we tried to settle down for the night.
The next day was the Fourth of July, and we met my dad, stepmom, Aunt Carol and Uncle Chap out at their home and then went in town for the parade. The parade was lots of fun -- Marissa was shushing the noisy fire engines and police sirens by putting her finger up to her lips and going "Ssshhhh!" Overall she did quite well and lasted throughout the parade.
I, on the other hand, was having a hell of a time keeping it together, battling a cold which was working its way towards a sinus infection. We ended up having to stop in town before heading back out to get some cold medicine, nasal spray, etc. It's a good thing I brought my large "mom" purse because it was constantly stuffed with large wads of Kleenex. Ugh!
We headed back to Carol's for a nap -- I took one, Marissa didn't. Whatever; she was occupied by relatives. Then we had an amazing traditional dinner -- hamburgers and brats on the grill, homemade potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw. The word "homemade" belonged in front of each of those things -- wow, was it good!
The next day Kristi and I spent the morning at Dana with Grandma - we enjoyed dipping our toes in the water, watching a loon cross the lake, and taking a pontoon boat ride around. It sure is a beautiful place, one filled with lots of memories. It holds a lifetime of memories for me, I can't imagine what it's like when it holds a lifetime of memories for my grandma! The weather was perfect.
We then went in for the afternoon and headed out to Miner's Beach with Dad and Terry. You would think by the use of the word "beach" that Kristi and I would know how to pack. But no, it was Lake Superior, we didn't think there would be a beach nice enough for us to want to dip in, and besides, the water's cold, right?? Yeah. We were well prepared, both of us in t-shirt and capris, no swimsuits, no towels, we're real geniuses. Thankfully Marissa wasn't interested in being in the cold water, since I didn't bring HER swimsuit, but she did enjoy digging around in the sand. Oh yeah, we left the bucket and shovel back at Grandma's too. Yep, genius once again.
Regardless, we had a wonderful time soaking up the sun, letting them dry out my sinuses, and then had a picnic up above the beach at a little picnic area. At least one of us was prepared -- Dad and Terry were all ready to go with food, beverages and condiments.
The next day was my last, and we took Grandma out for lunch at the DogPatch, a local favorite of ours in Munising. Then Kristi drove me out to Marquette and I got to see Yvette's beautiful house -- a 1895 original, being carefully restored by Yvette. It is a wonderful house, I love seeing these old places get transformed. Then Marissa and I got on a plane and were back in the Cities ahead of schedule.
We sure had a wonderful time, despite my miserable cold/sinus infection. It was wonderful seeing all of our extended family.
It took me some time to download all of my photos -- most of you should have gotten an invitation to a KodakGallery photo album by now to see them. My photos turned out so wonderful that Wayne is now planning a vacation for the four of us to make it back up next summer, hopefully for a longer period of time. Wouldn't that be awesome!