Joacim, Izzy, Murphy and I finally got to go on a vacation!!!! We rented a lovely little cottage near South Haven, Michigan last week..essentially right on Lake Michigan. Here's a link to the cottage: cottage
We drove up on Monday morning, and it went pretty well. Izzy slept for the first 2 hours, but then we stopped to get something to eat, and she wasn't too happy when we put her back in the carseat. The only thing that seemed to make her happy was Mortimer the Moose:
I was able to entertain her for a 1/2 hour or so, but then she had a meltdown. Joacim and I scrambled with the ipod to put on some Sarah McLachlan (one of Izzy's favorites), and she finally went to sleep until we arrived at the cottage. Murphy did great the entire car ride! We unpacked the car when we got there, and decided that we needed to run into town to get some groceries for the week. After we got our groceries, we came back to the cottage and got settled in. We were all pretty tired from the travel, so we cooked dinner, Joacim walked Murphy while I got Izzy ready for bed, and then we watched a movie. The cottage only had a little 9" TV with no cable, so we took our laptop up to watch movies, and connected it to a little portable stereo for some "surround sound". First night movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.
The second day we woke up and had breakfast. We had taken Izzy's pack-n-play with us for her to sleep in and put it in our room. I didn't get a lot of sleep because this was the first time Izzy had slept in our room since she was 8 weeks old, and I woke up to every little sound she made. That and Murphy was quite a bed hog! Anyway, our cottage is only a short distance away from a private beach, and since we
were there in the offseason, we pretty much had the entire beach to ourselves...Joacim had bought a floatable "wubba" for Murphy to play with in the water, and it was a great idea, until we realized how scared of the water Murphy is...
Here's Murphy going in after the wubba:
And he's almost got it!!!
And now he's running away because the water got in his face...
And if you look hard enough you can faintly see the wubba floating offshore.........
Well, that was a pretty expensive toy that Lake Michigan got! The wind was blowing offshore, so there was no way that one was coming back. Joacim swore that he would come back to the beach the next day to see if it washed up. I hated to tell him that it would take a monumental miracle for that to happen..:)
Here's a quick one of me and Izzy in her new sling that I absolutely LOVE!
Murphy is truly the happiest dog when he can run free, as shown in the following pics and video:
After our walk, we decided to go into South Haven to look around and try to find some firewood. The cottage had this great mod orange 70's style fireplace, and I wanted to take advantage of it. The weather was quite a bit cooler up there, so it was perfect!
South Haven is a cute little town, even in the offseason. There are quite a few one-of-a-kind little shops and cafes, plus a nice little marina with tons of bed-and-breakfasts around it. There's also a lighthouse at the end of a pier, and here's Joacim and Murphy out there:
And here's Izzyboo having a meltdown in her stroller on the way back to the car after our walk in town:
Once we got back to the cottage, it was time to feed and walk the Murph. We knew that a storm was moving in, so we wanted to make sure we got a good walk in before that. There was another private beach that we had access to, so we decided to check it out. Here are a bunch of photos from that excursion:
After finally finding some firewood, Joacim built a fantastic fire in the mod-70s orange fireplace...VERY cozy!!!
The first night at the cabin, we had some problems with the hot water, so we had to boil water on the stove and add it to the sink. Not so fun, but the owner was very quick in getting someone out to fix it. This is Izzy taking a bath once we got the hot water back:
That night it rained...A LOT!!!! And with all of the trees and dampness, the mosquitoes were EVERYWHERE!!! Not so fun...However, the sound of the rain falling on the roof of the cottage was the best sounding lullaby :)
When we woke up the next morning, it was still raining...we ended up sleeping until NOON that day (yes, even Izzy)...guess all of the activities from the day before left our little girl tuckered out. Anyway, after breakfast, we went on Murphy's morning (guess it would be early afternoon :) walk. The wind was blowing fiercely off of the lake, as shown in the following photos...
Some serious beach erosion...
Here's a self-portrait of Murphy and I in the car as we were on our adventure...trying to find an apple orchard and a fish hatchery....
And here are some photos of our evening walk...
And here's a photo of Joacim's rear end as he got a little too close to the water while he was trying to photograph Murphy:
On our way home, we decided to stop at Cabela's in Hammond, Indiana. Here's Izzy checking out the fish in the aquarium:
All in all, it was a very nice trip. I wouldn't exactly have called it RELAXING, as traveling with an infant is anything but that. But it was nice to get away, and be able to take Murphy along with us.