Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Don's Birthday Celebration

On the 5th of this month, Don turned the big 2-7. We did not have much planned, but we attempted going to priceline.com and placing a bid on hotel room in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or Portsmouth. We got a nice room in the Norfolk Sheraton overlooking the skyline and the harbor. It was great! We are also attempting to go do the sight seeing thing for the area before we move to our next location. So we ended up going to see the Battleship Wisconsin which is docked in Norfolk and go through the Nautilus Museum. We had a great time celebrating Don's B-Day! Here are a few pics to show the excitement which was had!!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

New Bloggers

Ben and Carissa Smith were in town this last weekend and we have conviced them that blogging is so much fun. Carissa is now hooked and will be showing off some pictures of that cute new baby, Luke. Go check them out and give them some encouraging comments! You can find them in our list of contacts or go to thesmith-sonian.blogspot.com. (I am still learning, so I don't have a link right here in the post. If you know how, please extend your knowledge to me!)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Shane & Patty Carnes - The Newlyweds

This will be my final post from our vacation to Michigan. Part of the reason we went to Michigan for our vacation was to take part in my brother's wedding. The Lord really worked out that whole situation. I had told my Mom a while back that we were probably going to come camping in MI for our vacation this year, and the week of July 22nd we'll be home (just so she can take a few days off work to spend with her much missed daughter - tee hee!). Then my brother announced his engagement and was discussing with my Mom when the special day was going to be. He said the day they were leaning most toward was the 22nd of July! Mom explained how we were planning on coming up already for that week, and Shane and Patty finished discussing any other dates! Well, without further ado, here are a few pictures of their happy day! (For those of you at our wedding, car look familiar - yup, yup, yup, same car!!)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Don's Excellent Adventure on the Great Lake

On our last night in my hometown of Muskegon, Don got a chance to go King Salmon fishing with my step-dad, Doug. They headed out between 5 or 6 in the evening. He was so excited, but a little nervous because his last experience ended with him depositing some of his stomach contents into Lake Michigan. I must add that this is not the norm; however, he had drank some coffee (which he is not too fond of) and that was all that he had in his tummy that morning. Mom, knowing the past experience, gave him some motion sickness medicine and some leftovers before he left.

As you can see, his trip was worth while. He was able to reel in one big one. I guess, he lost a few as well. One, jumped out of the water and shook the hook from his mouth. Another, swam under the boat and broke off the down-rigger and got off. I asked Don after the Excellent Adventure if he had gotten sick at all. He said the water was much calmer and the fishing action started five minutes after the hooks hit the water - there was no time to get sick.

Doug was also was able to land one. My brother-in-law, Ed, was also on the boat driving or giving advise or just being a good monitor of all the action.

Here are the mighty fishermen as they came back with their catch. This will be Don's birthday meal! Salmon on the grill. Yum, yum! Thanks so much, Doug for the great time with Don and for the good eatin' fish!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Our Excellent Adventure on South Manitou Island

You can pretty much see for yourself in the slide show what we were able to see on the island, but for the more in depth woes and excitement continue to read!!

We began the morning by being awoke in our pop-up trailer to the sound of rain at 2:00 in the morning. We continued to be wakened all through the early morning hours with the soft and then loud beating of rain until 7 when the alarm sounded. Now, keep in mind that we had already made our reservation for the ferry boat the previous day and the island is for the most part barren of any modern convinces (bathrooms or shelters). However, when we asked the workers whether rain would be a factor in our adventure - they assured us that it never rains or snows on the island (which we found out later is pretty close to truth). We stepped out into the pouring rain with hopes that our day would not be a wash (hardy har har!).

When we finally reached the Leland Harbor, they warned us that the Lake was quite rough this morning. So, we prepared our stomachs with orange juice and pop-tarts! We made the hour and a half boat trip to the island with no problems except for the periodic splash from the bow of the boat sinking into the rough seas and bringing the water back into the cabin.

Upon our arrival to the island the skies seemed to part and the day was perfect for hiking!! Praise the Lord!

We decided that we were going to make the 3.5 mile hike to see the shipwreck and then continue along the trail to see the "Valley of the Giants", finally race back the same trail to catch the lighthouse tour. The shipwreck was awesome! If you did not patiently wait and see the photos of that, go back to the slide show and look for it. If you ever go to the Island - it's a definite do - 6 thumbs up (Both Don, Katrina, and Dad's). The "Valley of the Giants" is a group of cedar trees found on the island. That's about all you need to know and you've experienced what we did - Definite DO NOT DO! We then hussled back the 4 miles (took a detour to check out a rustic campground we are interested in staying at if we ever come back). We were all but running to catch the last tour of the lighthouse at 3:30. Arrived at 3:20!! Plenty of time, Right? Wrong! The sign was misprinted and the last tour must have left at 3:15 or earlier! Boo! A sad ending to a fairly eventful day!

Some advise to those of you interested in visiting the island. One was already given - do not hike back to see the cedars. Do see the shipwreck. Possibly plan on more than just one day there - meaning stay on the island at the campground and see some of the settlements found on the island. When traveling on the boat, you arrive at 11ish and can only stay until 4 to catch the boat trip back - not leaving you much time to hike all the places and see all the sights. Too much to see - too little time!

All this said, we would rate this as one of our best adventures on our vacation! The Lord provided such beautiful weather and really only rained at night and the days were just perfect for hiking and enjoying the great Michigan Outdoors!