This is a Fun Time!

We’re back from our up-North Traverse City vacation, and, while it was far from relaxing, we certainly enjoyed our time. We drove up late Wednesday night and took off again late Thursday morning to spend our first day in downtown Traverse.

After searching hopelessly for a (free) parking space, we settled in at the library and enjoyed a packed lunch on the Boardman River. Abby watched us eat for a while, then got down to roll around in the grass.

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Then we loaded the girls into their strollers and began the long trek down town.

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Dan and I had forgotten about the relatively new water playground put in along our walk. When we got there we schemed together for a while before asking Lydia, “Would you like to play?” She was hesitant at first, but once she got a little wet she started running around squealing and laughing and having a great time.

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What happened next was rather epic. Lydia stood under the “waterfall” with water pouring down all around her. She held out her arms and yelled to no one in particular, “THIS IS A FUN TIME!”.

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By now she was dripping and shivering, so we brought an end to the water playground fun and continued our walk out to the pier to enjoy the beautiful blue water and to watch some boats.

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Then we walked a little more and came to a small stretch of beach. All of us, including Abby, felt the sand between out toes. Only Lydia ventured into the water, but we had to hold her back so she could continue to dry off. Silly parents that we were, we didn’t think to bring her a swimsuit, towel, or change of clothes.

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We spent the rest of the afternoon walking through stores downtown, then headed back to Dan’s parents’ house for some dinner and some much needed rest.

Friday we packed into the car once more and drove all the way out to the peninsula after a somewhat spontaneous decision to pick cherries. (Some of you remember our cherry-picking adventure last year. This was far less adventurous but equally fun).

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We spent a little more time downtown and visited some of my family with an adorable new baby. Then we met up with my family for dinner on the beach. This time I brought extra clothes for Lydia and assured her I would come in the water with her and swim as deep as she wanted to go. The water was cold, so no one joined us, and afterward both girls had to be bundled up to fight the shivers.

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We spent the rest of the evening at my parents’ house chatting, while Lydia and Nana colored and played. We stayed out far too late, but everyone enjoyed their time and even slept through the night that night. 🙂

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Saturday was our Dexter family reunion, but that deserves its own post.

Taylor Girls’ TC Escape

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Well we’re back from our week up North. In all it was a great trip visiting family, relaxing, working on Abby’s quilt, and getting out of our basement “home”. And even though it was our first real time away from Dan, we pulled it off without any major catastrophes.

We started the trip off by meeting Dan’s Dad in Alma, about half of the way up North. Once we found the right gas station, we took a break to stretch our legs and transfer all of our luggage. (Even when we’re only going to be away for a week, and we’re without Dan, we still end up with a LOT of luggage.) Then Grandpa Taylor took us straight in to Bob Evans to grab a bite to eat and say “hello” to Grandma Taylor, who was working at the time.

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Soon we were back on the road heading to my family’s house for the night. Lydia was getting pretty excited.

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Monday was our big beach day. After stocking up on some beachy essentials (flip flops, sunglasses, a new outfit for Abby, and a beach umbrella), Nana took us all (Lydia, Abby, and myself, Aunt Christina, and cousins Colten and Coby) to the beach where we met up with Aunt Steph, Uncle Nate, and Uncle Tim. It was the first time all of the Carlson kids have been at the beach together since who-knows-when, and it was a lot of fun.

It wasn’t long before Coby found a nice stick.

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And Lydia taught the cousins her favorite beach game: throwing sand into the water.

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At one point a family of ducks came walking right in the middle of our family’s circle on the sand. I couldn’t believe how close they got! You’ll notice the duckling in the picture is almost sitting right on top of Uncle Tim’s foot.

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Nana got in some good Abby-holding time.

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And I did too. It was so nice to be back at the beach again.

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Lydia looked right at home on the beach with her new sunglasses and flip-flops.

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When we got home that night there was a big pile of dishes to wash. Lydia insisted on helping Nana with them.

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Tuesday we took it easy at home. It was a cooler day, but Lydia and her cousins had fun playing with Papa in the back yard. Afterwards, Lydia and Colten “helped” Papa edit some of the videos from the latest Disney trip.

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When Nana got home from work that night, Lydia got to open her birthday present.

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Then Papa took us to visit all of the great-grandparents. This was the first time Abby got to go to her Great Grandma Carlson’s house.

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Great Grandma’s may not be the place to find all sorts of toddler toys, but Lydia was pretty happy playing with a rug and a pillow, pretending to nap.

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Wednesday morning we packed up again and Grandma Taylor picked us up and brought us out to her house. She surprised Lydia with a “big girl bed” but Lydia calls it her “little bed”.

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There was also a tricycle waiting for Lydia. Grandma had a lot of fun giving Lydia trike lessons. After a while she seemed to be getting the hang of it.

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Thursday Grandma got in some quality time with Abs…

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And Lydia.

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It was hot enough to spend some time outside, so after planting some sunflowers, Lydia changed into her swimsuit and had a blast splashing in Grandma’s kiddie pool. Then she found the hose and watered her newly planted sunflowers.

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In the afternoon, Great Gramma and Grampa came to visit with Great Aunt Debbie.

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Abby tried out Aunt Debbie’s Tigers hat.

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For dinner, Grandma and Grandpa had the idea to make homemade Qdoba. Lydia loved getting a big burrito all to herself.

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Thursday was also the night Lydia figured out how to peddle the tricycle.

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Friday was chilly so we ran some errands and took Lydia to her first garage sales. She brought that big white purse everywhere we went.

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Much to our surprise and delight, Dan took half a day off work and surprised us when he walked in the door about six hours earlier than we expected him.

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It was perfect timing because he was able to join us for a belated birthday dinner for Lydia. Grandpa grilled and we enjoyed a delicious meal followed up by some Lydia-approved dessert.

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Saturday was bittersweet as we packed up and said our goodbyes. It was totally out of character for her, but Abby slept the whole way home.

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