We spent the last week of our vacation camping at Indiana Dunes State Park with John's dad, Mike, or Pop Pop as he's mostly known these days. So, so much fun. I knew the kids would love the beach and I knew I needed to hear some waves -- it's become apparent as I approach a decade in the midwest that either mountains or waves once a year go a long ways to save my sanity.
The first full day we were there we hiked about a mile over the dunes to the beach. It made for a super dramatic first real view of Lake Michigan, especially for the kids. Neither have been to the ocean, at least that they can remember, and both had that overwhelmed and awe-stricken moment. I think the adults were pretty impressed too. Sandy beaches, big dunes, blue cloudless sky, good sized waves thanks to a riptide.
Laithe took awhile to warm up to the water as we knew it would. It also took him awhile to stop crying once we arrived at the beach (every time we went to the beach). He has a low sand tolerance.
He worked through it and eventually even stomped in the waves by himself a bit. And then he discovered he was both wet and sandy. And you can imagine how that ended. However, he talks about it like it was all completely awesome so, I guess it was :)
He does love camping though.
I think it might be his favorite thing. I've been reflecting on why that might be and aside from being out in nature I wonder if it's just that he has so much space and time to be independent. We have relatively few rules when we camp, which is also one of my favorite things!
Guthrie was in pure heaven. One of the days we went to the beach her and John spent probably 2 hours swimming. The waves were low and it was shallow a good ways out. She only came out when John begged for a break. And then they went back in! The third day her and I went to the beach by ourselves and though we couldn't swim swim because the breakers were high again we did wade quite deep and she discovered kind of the beginnings of body surfing.
That was maybe the best part of the vacation, aside from spending the week with Pop Pop, the additional adult meant that it was easier for John and I to spend more one on one time with the kids. And what a difference a year makes as far as the kids being independent and able to keep busy on their own. I usually find vacation to be kind of intense with little kids - it's just kind of a lot of work and the kids are in need of more direction than at home. This time, though, it was less intense and I even found time to do some reading and knitting.
A great time was had by all and it was the perfect last week of summer vacation!