Sunday, August 25, 2013

2013 Vacation - MI Upper Peninsula (Part 2)

We put well over a hundred miles on the Rangers during our time in the U.P. We spent a good part of a day riding through the forest from the cabin to Lake Michigan. We ended up finding a little lighthouse which we climbed to view the lake. I'll admit, I really didn't like to hang out at the top, I guess heights aren't my thing. :) The kids on the other hand loved it!

 Family picture by the lighthouse.

This crazy kid loved climbing up the spiral staircase.

The view of Lake Michigan from the lighthouse. 

We spent some time looking for fossils and other creatures by the lake.

Elijah likes climbing trees.

I remember exploring creeks and the timber over and over as a kid. My kids love to explore nature as well. It was so fun to roam around and see what's out by the lake. 

Most of the trails up there are pretty much gravel/sand roads. We did find a few tighter trials though the woods, which were my favorite.

All that riding is hard on a girls hair! Amelia & Rachel enjoyed having their aunts braid their hair when we got back to the cabin.

Our favorite place to play, the river behind the cabin!

 We spent quite awhile catching crawdads. I was  highly entertained by this. :) Yes, they are gross looking and pinch you, but it was so fun to team up with the kids and catch them. We found some locals upstream and got some good pointers and we were pros in no time! The picture above is the kids checking out our catch. 

Grrr... I'm going to pinch you!!! :)

It's amazing how tight they can pinch, and they don't let go! 

The crawdad guard.

In the pot you go!

All done and ready to eat, kind of.... These little guys are way more work than they're worth to eat! I enjoyed catching them rather than eating them. :)

All good things come to an end. It's time to load up and head south!

 A little information about the area from Wikipedia: The land and climate are not very suitable for agriculture because of the long harsh winters. The economy has been based on logging, mining and tourism. Most mines have closed since the "golden age" from 1890 to 1920. The land is heavily forested and logging remains a major industry.

Go a couple hours south and you see more farming. We stopped at a local dairy shop and filled up on ice cream, cheese curds and fresh milk just before crossing the WI boarder.

We stayed in another hotel about half-way home. This one had a water park which was what Anton told me was his favorite part.

The guys played a little basketball before their tee time. Yep, they went golfing! It was included in our hotel stay. :)

Homeward Bound!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

2013 Vacation - MI Upper Peninsula (Part 1)

If you follow any of the other Boender Blog's you've probably seen a few posts about our family vacation to the Upper Peninsula last month. We all took a bunch of pictures and had a great time! I would highly recommend visiting this area, it's beautiful! Here's our family's take on the trip.

All packed up and ready to go! The kids switched vehicles so they all got a chance to ride with their cousins. This was a life saver! They had so much fun riding with their cousins, which meant less fighting and complaining! :) 

I missed pictures the first night at the hotel. The ladies made a quick trip to the outlet mall while the guys took the kids swimming. We also had a birthday cake for Amelia. Her birthday often falls during our vacation time and it's special for her to celebrate somewhere new each year. The picture above is Allison playing at the zoo playground. We had some extra time in Oshkosh, WI before heading to our cabin so we hit the zoo and park.

Big kids, Kurt & Karl! 

The local zoo was free and nice for the kids. They mainly had animals found in WI and a few monkey's. 

Cousin picture by the standing long jump.

I asked each of the kids what their favorite part of the trip was and Ethan said picking blueberries was one of his favorites. They were wonderful! I wish we could get them to grow here! One regret I have is not picking berries to take home and freeze. 

I think blueberries and riding Ranger were Allison's favorite parts too. :)

We all enjoyed playing in Rapid River, which was just a few feet from our back door! Along with the blueberries I would love having the rock bottom creek run through my property back home.

Playing in Rapid River and catching crawdads was Amelia's favorite part. (More crawdad pictures to come on the next post)

Free time at the cabin was spent riding bikes in an obstacle course, which included riding off the trailer to gain speed so they could jump a little ramp. This was also one of Elijah's favorite parts.

One of my favorite parts was Lake Superior! Allison stayed pretty much in this spot, I'm not sure it was on the top of her list. 

Another cousin picture at Pictured Rocks National Lake shore, Lake Superior.

What a beautiful view! If I ever get up there again, I will be renting a kayak to see more of the shoreline! 

Loved all the little waterfalls.

The kids liked burying each other in the sand. 

We took a small hike (about a half mile one way) to see a larger waterfall. This was one of Anton's favorite parts. He kept asking us if we could go hiking again. If I remember correctly, Anton rode on Uncle Karl's shoulders a good part of the hike. So I don't really count that as hiking. :)

The waterfall we hiked to.