Thursday, July 30, 2009

Our tenting trip comes to an end

We got rain again Saturday night, but not too much. It was still pretty gloomy in the morning, so we just got dressed and headed right into Frankfort for the 9am mass at St. Ann's. We got there by 8:30, so we sat in the truck for a bit and I uploaded the rest of my pictures from the camera to the computer. After mass, we went to the Crescent City Bakery to enjoy donuts, coffee and wi-fi. When I finished up the Wed - Fri post, it was still overcast, but the radar said that we should get some sun in the afternoon. Our friends had gone to the dunes in the morning, but all the kids really wanted to go tubing down the Platte River, so we decided to all meet back at the campground for lunch and then go tubing.

We stopped at a little farm market to get some fresh cherries and cinnamon bread (YUM!), and then picked up subs from Subway for lunch. It was still only about 63 degrees and cloudy, so I decided to skip the tubing adventure and stay with the dog. We had already gotten one warning about leaving her "unattended" -- in her crate, in our screenroom!

I dropped everybody else off at the river and told them I'd meet them at the beach at the end of the river in 2 hours. Casey and I took a long walk around the campground, and then I headed down to the beach. I could see them floating along in their tubes, and knew I'd have some time still before they reached the beach. I took a stoll on the beach, collecting some pretty rocks and a few petoskey stones.

From 200907_Platte River

Just when I got back to the truck, they were walking up from the river - freezing! I took a quick picture of the tubers, and then loaded them up to go back to the campground.

From 200907_Platte River

They all decided to go for warm showers, and then we drove up to the little village of Empire for dinner at "Joe's Friendly Tavern." It was indeed a friendly place, and Joe himself seated us. Tari had whitefiish, Paul had a grilled chicken salad, I had an "award-winning" hamburger, and tom had the special -- duck medallions on a bed of spinach greens, with goat cheese and dried cherries. It was quite a presentation -- too bad I didn't bring my camera!! Nicolas had a philly cheessteak sandwich, Bryce and Hannah had noodles, and Jensen had chicken fingers. Everybody's food was delicious, and we left there stuffed! Not too stuffed to pass up the ice cream at "Tiffany's" next door, though!! Tom and I shared a cone . . .

Since we were all eating ice cream, we decided to take a walk. Our camping neighbors had told us that the beach in Empire is quite beautiful, and they were right! Just a few blocks from "downtown", it's a lovely beach with a playground, seating areas, and firepits on the beach. It would be a great location to watch the sunset over Lake Michigan! We didn't stay for the sunset (no cameras!!), but we did let the kids play in the playground for a while -- even Nicolas enjoys playing still!

Back at the campground, we started a fire and enjoyed the evening.

From 200907_Platte River

From 200907_Platte River

Casey was apparantly exhausted!

From 200907_Platte River

No more rain Sunday night, so we only had to wait for the dew to dry off the tents the next morning before we could start packing up. We got everything in the truck and were ready to hit the road around 11:30am, 30 minutes before checkout. We said good-bye to our good friends, hoping that we'll be camping with them again soon - but in our camper next time!!

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