Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Enjoying a few more days of summer

With our 2 weeks up at Haas Lake, we packed up the RV and headed west again . . . just not too far west!

Our destination for the next few days was the Benton Harbor/St. Joseph area – in the SW corner of Michigan.  We stayed at Eden Springs Park – a nice little campground with friendly people, and I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture of our campsite!

We had a few goals for the weekend – fresh blueberries, fresh peaches, and the beach!  This area of MI (South Haven, Coloma) is well-known for fruit, especially peaches and blueberries . . . and we were just a few short miles from a beautiful county beach on Lake Michigan.



First, we needed to find a U-pick farm that still had blueberries (we’re getting close to the end of the season for them), so we decided to try DeGrandchamps Farms, up in South Haven.  It’s a pretty big commercial farm, but they also have a nice U-pick area for folks like us.

Their website said the U-pick would be open until august 31st, so we made it in time!



Blueberry Farm

The bushes were still really full, and although the berries were on the small side, they were still really sweet!


Are you picking blueberries or eating them??!!


Nicolas loves blueberries!

We each took a bucket, and some of us did a better job picking than others  Smile , but we ended up with 7-1/2 pounds of fresh, delicious blueberries!  . . . which are now taking up precious space in my freezer!!  I had to take the shelf out to fit the box, but one the berries are completely frozen, I should be able to transfer them to smaller containers that won’t take up so much room.


On the way home, we stopped at a farm market and bought a basket of fresh red haven peaches – YUM!!  They taste really good with blueberries!

2 down, one to go . . .

On the beach in St. Joe

After lunch, we drove into St. Joe to the county beach.  It’s a beautiful beach on Lake Michigan, and there were lots of people out enjoying this gorgeous day!

Lots of people in the water

There was a chance of thunderstorms developing in the afternoon, but the sky was clear and blue when we arrived.  We settled in to soak up some sun!

Enjoying the sun for a while!

Guarding the sand castle


After awhile, we started hearing some rumbling out over the lake, and it sounded a little bit like thunder.  We could see some clouds moving towards shore.



Rumbles of thunder in the distance

Nick and Bryce decided to get in the water before the storm arrived . . . and the water wasn’t even too cold! 

Eventually, we started seeing flashes of lightning, too, so it was time to pack up and get back to the car . . . everybody had the same idea and there was a mass exodus from the beach!

The sky is getting pretty dark -- everybody is leaving the beach!

It’s amazing how quickly these storms can develop over the lake!  By the time we reached our car, the sky had turned completely black, and the wind was whipping so much sand around the people still trying to get back to their cars were getting sand-blasted!

We managed to get out of there and back to the campground without getting caught in any rain . . . and I don’t know what happened at the beach, but we never did get any rain at the campground!

We were going to go back to the beach after dinner to get some sunset pictures, but decided not to . . . we should have – the sky was an amazing mixture of orange and purple that night!

It was a great couple of days back on the coast!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sunsets and Graduation

The other reason we stayed at Haas Lake Campground was that it was conveniently located just down the street from a Lyon Township Park where I was able to rent a picnic shelter for Nicolas’ Graduation Party with some of our old friends and neighbors.

The Graduate!

It was a beautiful afternoon, and even with a little bit of wind we were able to get everything set up under the picnic shelter.

There was plenty of food!

Lots of food!

Nicolas' Cake


Wouldn’t you know it, I took a few pictures while we were setting up, and then I set my camera down as everybody started arriving and forgot to pick it back up!  So, no pictures of anybody at the party!!

Sad smile

We had a really nice time, though, and it was great to see everybody who came out for the afternoon – some that we haven’t seen in a year or two, since we headed out on the road!

Other than Nick’s party, we just visited with family and the boys took care of some yard work around Grandpa’s house and Grandma’s house.  Nicolas also checked in with his recruiter, and attended a meeting with the other recruits. 

Sunset_August 14th


We stayed 2 weeks at Haas Lake, and enjoyed some beautiful summer weather . . . and the time just flew by!









Sunset over the lake

The back area of the campground is newer than the rest, and it’s starting to look pretty nice.  The grass has filled in quite a bit, and there’s a pretty nice little beach on this lake.

Cattails along the lake

Peaceful Lake











We were surrounded by a neighborhood, an elementary school, and a sod farm!

Sod Farm

But . . . the roads are still dirt, including the main road coming into the park, and my drive to and from work (even if it is only 2 days/week) is still a nightmare from here, and it’s too far from my Mom . . . so we’ll be going back to Camp Lord Willing (where we stayed last year) in Monroe when we get back from our “camping days” in western Michigan and northern Indiana.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Woodward Dream Cruise

From Silver Lake, we drove about 200 miles southeast and ended up in our old stomping grounds!  We had a few things to do on the north side of Ann Arbor, so we booked 2 weeks at Haas Lake Campground.  We arrived and got set up in the full hookup area of the park – Section Z.

Haas Lake -- site Z28

One of the events on our agenda was the Woodward Dream Cruise – a muscle car lover’s paradise.  This was the 20th anniversary for the event that celebrates the old cruising days of the 60s and 70s.  It’s become a huge event, and even though it’s officially only 1 day (Saturday), the cruisers start hitting the 16-mile long route much earlier in the week.

Cruising on Woodward

It’s been a few years since we were last at the cruise, and Nicolas was determined to get there this year!  They decided to check out the early action on Friday night after dinner.

Lots of cars lining Woodward Avenue

There were quite a few cruisers out on this beautiful evening!

Still cruising at night!

Still cruising into the evening!











Ford Display


On Saturday, all four of us went, meeting Tom’s brothers and Dad at the southern end of the cruise route, in “Fabulous Ferndale” -- home of the Ford display and Mustang Alley.








Mustang Alley

2014 is the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, and the Mustang Alley display was bigger than ever!

Mustang Alley










Mustang Alley

We walked through the endless rows of pony cars, and there was plenty of shiny metal to admire!

Yellow Mustangs













There were even a few brand-new 2015 Mustangs,

2015 Mustang

and Nicolas had his eye on one!

Nicolas' New Car - he wishes!!

He looks pretty comfortable in there!!

But then again, he looks pretty comfy in the new Superduty, too!

New Superduty

After leaving the Ford display, we had some lunch and then moved to the center median of Woodward Avenue, where we grabbed a spot in the shade and watched the cruisers go by.


There were lots of cool old cars!














Trucks, too!













Even a few more interesting vehicles!

How's that for a limo!?!

A bunch of scooters










After sitting and watching a while, the boys decided that they wanted to move north – to where more of the action was! 

Walking back to the car, we saw these two new Corvettes loaded onto a trailer . . . take note of the truck towing them . . . it’s not a Chevy!

Nice Corvettes - they needed a Ford to tow them, though!


So, we loaded our chairs back into the car and headed north in the parade of carbon monoxide fumes . . . Smile

The further north we went, the slower the traffic moved, and we ended up turning off onto some side streets to go around the crowds and get to an area where we could find a parking spot.

Sitting on the side of the road, we watched some more cars cruising past.














Lincoln Continental











How ‘bout this guy??  I remember these!

TBT -- Back to my childhood days!

It was a long day, but beautiful . . . and we all enjoyed it, but it was time to call it a day and go home to rescue the dog.

Woodward Landmark

Nicolas said the only downside is that he’s not so interested in buying a “practical” car anymore!!  Smile