This wasn't really meant to be a travel blog, but summers are for vacations, right?
Eric's parents, Tom and Teresa, rented a house in New Buffalo, Michigan for an extra long weekend in July, and despite lackluster weather reports, those of us that could make it piled in our cars and headed north. (we missed you Julie and Thad!) Eric and I had spent a little bit of time in New Buffalo when he was living in Saint Joseph. It has some good eating spots, a perfect Lake Michigan beach, and close proximity to Warren Dunes. Saturday was spent on travel, cruising around the town on bikes and scooters (while wearing long pants and jackets...brrr), and dinner at the Stray Dog Cafe.
Sunday, we went out early for some fresh goods from Skip's Open Air Farmer's Market. Michigan is known for its cherries, berries, and apples, and we hit right at the end of cherry season.
If you're in the mood for a couple of lovely shots of produce, you're in luck...
We picked up pretzel buns (I hope everyone is as obsessed as I am), enough cherries to give us tummy aches, blueberry honey, and sweet corn then headed to Warren Dunes State Park for a family hike.
Have you ever been to the dunes--Indiana or Michigan? I am always taken aback when I see them. I tend to forget the wonders that are so close to home when I'm driving through cornfields every day. Eric and I don't feel like pictures really did the size and scale of Warren Dunes justice, but here's an attempt...see Noah down there?
Family fun: Uncle Eric and Levi above
The hike was beautiful but challenging for sure. It starts with a winding trail through the woods with sand beneath your feet. The trail leads to a steep climb up-hill that had us moaning and groaning and practically crawling on hands and feet. Once at the top, though, the view opens up to a valley with breath-taking views of Lake Michigan, and all of the hard work is quickly forgotten.
If there is one thing that can make for a perfect trip in Eric's book, it's fishing. Specifically, finding the perfect spot and catching fish. Sunday evening and Monday morning, the Lubrick men took Tom's boat out and caught enough for dinner to pair with that sweet corn. And that pretty much made them happy as clams. I'll spare you all photos of dead fish. Here's a sea gull, though...
Our last day of the trip made for the most perfect beach day. We claimed our spot with that tan umbrella, and set out to make a sand castle.
Our little surfer guy nephew woke up from the best nap of his life to play in the waves.
Eric rented a paddle board for the afternoon, and everyone took it out for a try. My only experience with paddle boarding up to this point was looking at photos of celebrities on vacation in US Weekly. It was a pretty calm day, so it was mostly smooth sailing. One or two of us may have taken a dip in the chilly waters, though. I won't name names...
Summer feels like it's winding down...but I'm looking forward to squeezing the last bits of it out. How shall we do it? Cocktails? State Fair? Evenings in hammocks?
We're in Louisville today for Star's birthday, but we're coming back to Indy tomorrow to see The National at the Murat. Cheers to summer and good music.
Images by Eric Lubrick
p.s. How do you keep a 9 year-old entertained when you're all hopped up on s'mores? You play in the dark with a long exposure and flash: