Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Family Tradition

Our third adventure of the summer took us to the little town of Pentwater.  As a teenager my family used to camp there during the summer.  I have fantastic memories of hanging out at the beach, walking through town to get ice cream, jumping off of the pier, swimming with friends at night, meeting all of the "townie" boys, and just having good old fashioned summer fun!

Ryan's family also used to camp in Pentwater when the kids were younger.  When Ryan and I first were married they began renting a cottage behind the campground.  They invited the entire family which meant their two boys, two girls, spouses, and all the grandchildren to come up and hang out.  I think they rented the cottage until Jackson was about two.  After that, Ryan's parents brought the grandkids up for a special day to play on the beach, go up Old Baldy, and eat blue moon ice cream each summer.
Jackson with Lola in the background running down Old Baldy

This year, we decided that one day of the summer just wasn't enough in Pentwater and the adults were feeling left out, so for a Christmas gift we went in on a week's vacation in Pentwater for Ryan's parents.  I found a cottage that was close to the beach and to town that we could all fit into.  That is not an easy feat!  The cottage I eventually found had five bedrooms and worked out perfectly!

You would think that cramming 13 people which included 5 grandkids ages 2 - 11 would be miserable, but it actually was a lot of fun!  I think the key to that is having a space you could go to to get away from it all.  The home had enough rooms and enough areas that everyone could manage a little escape if needed.

Brr!!  Lake Michigan was cold the first day!
During our time there we of course visited the beach, walked the town, had blue moon ice cream, played games, played mini-golf, played on Nabi's or iPads, had fires and roasted marshmallows, and even had some new adventures!
Enjoying ice cream!


Aunt Megan was kind enough to take Jackson and his cousin Jenna to AJ's Family Fun Center down the road to go go-carting and mini-golfing!  Jackson was excited that he won at go-carts and had two holes in one! 


Mom!  Look at all these worms!
We also went fishing off of the bridge over Pentwater Lake.  It was super windy, but Ryan and the kids climbed off of the bridge along the shore out of the wind.  This of course opened up opportunities for Tyce to play with the worms and look in the weeds.  I think he had the most fun doing that while Lola was content to practice casting with a fake fish on the end of her line! 

The fishing spot below the bridge
Going through the water to the beach
We also went to a new beach.  A friend had told us that it was warmer at this beach so since the water was numbing us each time we stepped in, we decided to give it a try.  I have to admit that we cursed her as we tried to find the beach, (go down Thiele off of Lakeshore Drive, there is a small sign to the left and parking is down the street on either side of the street) but in the end we were happy to be there!  The beach is called Bass Lake Outlet Beach.

It is where Bass Lake goes into Lake Michigan.  The water pools after a dam allowing it to warm up and the water in the big lake is actually warmer as a result.  The only downside about this beach is that you have to walk over a small dune after you find a parking space along the road (on nice days during the weekend get there before 1pm or you won't be able to park anywhere close) and after you walk over the sand area you have to carry your things through a bit of water.  Like I said, the water is warmer, but if you have a two year old with you, you are going to have to carry that little one through the water.  It isn't too deep, but deep enough.  My five year old could walk through it fine, but I think it was to his thighs.  The parking and the beach is free so that is a plus, but there aren't any bathrooms or concessions.  It worked well for us though and was a nice change of pace as well as a fun adventure!

The water was much warmer here!
Lola jumping waves with Grandma and Grandpa

Pentwater was a great family adventure!  We are so lucky to have been able to begin our summer with two fun adventures that we were able to share with our extended families!
Grandma and Grandpa with the grandkids

The entire family in our "Pentwater VZ Tradition 2013" shirts!

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