First we had to take the kids to my parents' house, which ended up with a detour to my sister's house. We met my niece's newest pet: A duckling named Henry. Henry is quite charming. His quack hasn't yet matured beyond a cheep, and he runs around the house, peeping and flapping his tiny wings. The dog is jealous of this tiny new housemate, but curious, too, and willing to make friends, I think. The duckling wants constant company, and is always following around the nearest person. If a person is not readily available, Henry chases the dog, cheep-cheep-cheeping all the way. My daughter was thrilled to meet the duck, and is scheming for a way to get a duckling of her own. Fortunately for me, I think it is prohibited by zoning ordinances to keep fowl where we live! (That's my excuse, anyway.)
After we got the kids settled, we headed off for our weekend at a town on Lake Michigan. I love my children and love taking them places, but it was so relaxing to be somewhere without them. No breaking up fights. No compromises for dinner. Being able to walk and walk and walk without hearing complaints of being bored. My husband and I like to explore places on foot, and our kids don't always appreciate that walking around is its own adventure. While on vacation, they think you need to be doing something exciting, and walking must be purposeful to get you somewhere to do something exciting. Aimless wandering is not entertaining for them.
Here are the happy adults, alone on a long beach walk at sunset. (My kids actually do like long beach walks because they can throw rocks into the water and get soaking wet. That qualifies as exciting. But it's okay that they missed this one.)
The next day we climbed 281 stairs to the top of a dune for this view of the river and marina:
We wandered in the woods at the top of the dune and found two trees tangled together, creating this heart-shaped hole:
After our dune climb and more walking, we had lunch, then split up for a while. My husband wanted to catch up on some reading, and I wanted to browse some of the galleries and boutiques. Of course, I ended up looking for little gifts for the kids!
Our weather was perfect, and the two days were so relaxing that I felt like summer vacation must have started already. But, no, we picked up the kids today and headed for home, where a few more weeks of school await. My son has a research project due on Friday. He has to write a paper about the brain. He struggles with spelling, and my husband and I joked that we hope he writes about the brain, and not the Brian. My daughter must have walked through poison ivy somewhere at my sister's or my parents', because her feet are red and swollen and itchy, and it's making her crabby. I have to unpack and do laundry and make lunches for tomorrow. Summer vacation, alas, is still a long way off.