Wednesday, August 31, 2016

More fun on the dunes before Bryce left home

On the dunes

Bryce stopped working about a week before he left so that we’d have time for shopping and packing, and also so he could spend a couple days playing on the dunes.

Our friends Dave & Lynn came up to spend the day with us on Thursday, and Bryce & Tom took them for an adventure on the dunes.  It was a quiet afternoon, and they all had fun driving around on the sand.

While parked by Test Hill, they saw a guy from the RV Park racing around in his sandrail.

A neighbor from the RV Resort

Tom started talking to him, and ended up asking him for a ride for himself and Bryce.  They had the adventure of a lifetime!

Bryce going for a ride

I think Dave and Lynn were as excited to watch them as Tom and Bryce were to ride!  These vehicles just fly over the bumps, and Bryce said it felt like they were going 100 mph!  Lynn got a video of Bryce going over Test Hill, and they got some air!

There he goes!

That was definitely a highlight of the summer for them!

This will be fun!

On Friday, Bryce went out again with his friend, Brendan, and then we went out for sunset with our friends Dave & Kathy, after we all went out for pizza for dinner.

Parked on top of Test Hill

Haddie's kitties


They had their granddaughter, Haddie, with them for the night, and she loves riding in Grandpa’s Jeep . . . so did her kitties!








We were looking forward to a beautiful sunset,



and it got off to a pretty good start.

Bryce was driving, and doing his best to keep up with Dave – even though Tom wouldn’t let him go everywhere Dave went!

Following Dave

Bryce wasn’t allowed to play in the puddles!

Playing in the puddles











From the beach, we could look back and see the trucks lined up on Test Hill.

Looking back at Test Hill











The DNR was on watch from there, too.

DNR keeping an eye on everybody

For a Friday night, it was really quiet up there, although there were a couple of sunset tour groups (Haddie called them ants, because of the way they travel in a line),

Haddie liked to watch the ants

dirt bikes jumping the new hills that had been formed by the winds we had during the week,

The wind last week really made the dunes interesting!










and a group of sandrails racing around on the open sand.

Sandrails racing over the dunes













They looked like they were having a lot of fun!














As we drove around, we had several vantage pints for watching the sun set over Lake Michigan.

Sunset_August 26


The sky was beautiful, and it was a spectacular sunset even though a big cloud moved in just in time to block the view of the final moments of the sunset.



Monday, August 29, 2016

Bryce’s Big Moving Day

For the last couple of weeks, we have been shopping for all the things Bryce will need at college – including winter clothes, which he hasn’t had in a while!  We’ve slowly been accumulating and packing . . . and my precious floor space has been taken over by boxes!  They were everywhere – my bedroom floor, the dash, the front seats!

Finally, the day came to move everything to the Jeep!

Getting his stuff together

Bryce packed it up . . . with room to spare, and still a place for each of us to sit for the ride to East Lansing!  Last step was to put his bike on the back of the Jeep . . . and he was ready to go!

All packed up!

I told him he looked way too happy to be leaving me!! Sad smile

With over 9000 freshman moving into the dorms on a single day, they have it down to a science!  We were assigned a 1-1/2 hour window for check-in, during which we would be allowed 20 minutes of parking on the sidewalk in front of his building.  Our assigned check-in time was 8am – 9:30, so that meant an early start for us on Sunday morning!  We left the park at 7am, and arrived on campus just a few minutes after 9am.

South Wonders

(OK, I didn’t think to take a picture when we arrived, so this one was taken at we were leaving at the end of the day – the commotion had died down considerably!)

We arrived and were directed to back into a spot along the sidewalk.  Bryce and I went inside to check in, and several older students brought carts to the Jeep for Tom to start unloading Bryce’s stuff. 

He locked up his bike outside (but also got a key to the “bike room” for his floor, where he’ll be able to store his bike during bad weather).

A freshman's main mode of transportation

His stuff fit into 2 carts (which wasn’t bad at all, compared to what I saw some people wheeling inside!!), and luckily he’s on the 1st floor so we didn’t have to wait in the LONG line for the elevator!  Once we had his stuff in his room, Tom went to move the Jeep and Bryce returned the carts to the lobby.

We had taken the easy route and pre-ordered a futon, refrigerator and microwave online, to be delivered directly to the room.  His roommate had moved in the day before, so his family had taken care of lofting the 2nd bed, moving furniture around so they could roll the carpet out, and putting the futon together.  All we had to do was put Bryce’s stuff away and set up the WIFI for them.  Theirs is one of the few dorms that has not yet been equipped with wireless in the rooms, so we brought a router and set up their WIFI in their room.

The rooms are small, but I guess it’s OK for a couple of guys!

All the basics

They have everything they need – bed, desk, frig, microwave, XBox and TV!!

He's still got room in the closet!


They have a dresser to share, and each a small amount of closet space . . . good thing Bryce is tall – I couldn’t reach anything on that shelf!

The bathroom is small and shared between Bryce, his roommate, and the 2 guys in the room next door, but I guess it’s big enough for them!

Basic bathroom -- OK for guys, I guess

We met several of his neighbors and their parents, and everybody was really nice.  We also met his Resident Assistant (RA) for his floor who, it turned out, lives here in Silver Lake and knows many of the guys Bryce works with at the Wave Club, as well as the owner.  Small world!

Tom was happy to relax!

All done!

With everything unpacked and put away, we went to the dining hall for lunch (pretty good food), and then made one more Walmart run to pick up a few last minute things that he needed.

On the way back, we stopped at the bookstore to check prices on his books – YIKES!  We’re still doing some research on online prices.

We finished up in his room, checked out the laundry facility and located the trash room, and by then it was almost 5pm.  It had been a long day for us, and Bryce still needed to get some dinner before his mandatory dorm meeting at 7:30.

We said our good-byes . . . and reminded him to make good choices, stay safe, and call home!!  I’m going to miss having my Binky around!!  We’re going to pick him up for one more weekend, after he settles in for a while, and take him back to see the family before we head south for the winter.  Hopefully by then we’ll be able to find a winter coat and boots!

His home for the next 8 months!

He’s happy, though, and ready for this new adventure!  Good Luck, Bryce!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Finishing up a great weekend with a boat ride.

A nice evening for a boat ride

Once again, we were able to enjoy the benefits of Bryce’s summer job with a beautiful evening boat ride.  After a delicious dinner of ribs and corn, we all headed down to the Wave Club where we took a pontoon out on Silver Lake.

Captain Bryce


Captain Bryce skillfully navigated around the lake, while the rest of us relaxed and enjoyed the scenery. 

Grandpa enjoying the boat ride

It was a quiet evening on the lake, with just one other pontoon and a wave runner enjoying the smooth water.

Cottages on the lake

Grandpa was enjoying the leisurely ride!

Tom and his Dad

After our tour of the lake, the kids wanted to swim, so we headed over to the beach at the dunes.

Bryce, Kathleen and Joe wasted no time getting in the water!

Taking a swim in Silver Lake

Bryce claims that Silver Lake is warmer than Lake Michigan, but I really don’t think so . . . it felt colder to me!

Going to climb the dune


After swimming for a while, Bryce and Joe decided to climb the dune and run down & dive into the lake.  OK . . . they have the energy for it!

They started up, and I waited with my camera at the bottom.






The lake and dunes look beautiful from this spot!

Calm lake on a beautiful evening

Meanwhile, while they were climbing up the steep side . . .

Joe and Tom were climbing up the less steep side . . . almost to the top!

Tom and Joe climbing the dune

They made it!


Bryce and little Joe met up with Big Joe . . . and then they headed down!

Joe running back down

Bryce is a little more radical than Joe!

Bryce jumping

Ending with a splash!

and diving!

Kim and Dad watched the antics from the safety of the boat . . .

Kim and Dad waited on the boat

Joe made it back down without incident, while the boys went back up for more,

Joe coming down, and the boys going back up!

and Tom and I climbed another dune for a different view.

On top of another dune











The view was beautiful from up here!

Looks like a postcard

What a great night!


The kids had their fill of swimming, and nobody else was up for climbing the dunes, so we decided to watch the sunset from the water.

We had a pretty good view!

Sun setting behind the boat

We enjoyed another couple trips around the lake,

Selfie attempt

Grandpa and Kathleen











and Bryce decided to go for a swim in the middle of the lake.

He's diving in!

We continued to watch the sunset as it dipped behind the dunes.

Sun setting behind the dunes

Sunset_August 14











Our position on the lake determined how much of the sun we could see.

Sunset_August 14

Sunset_Aug 14











It was a great sunset – nice than the one we had when Diane and Dan were here!

Beautiful sunset

When the sun finally disappeared from view, we turned the boat back in the direction of the Wave Club.

Back at the Wave Club

It was a beautiful night, and a great way to wrap up the weekend!