Zach, Jack and I went to Michigan for a whopping 8 days (including travel) at the end of October. The thought for the trip started out shortly after Jack was born. I had a very strong desire to go visit one of my oldest and dearest friends, Bethany, in Hillsdale, MI. I started looking into flights and discovered that Southwest Airlines now flies to Grand Rapids. As I browsed the flight options, it occurred to me that Zach’s grandparents only live about 45 minutes from the Grand Rapids airport and it would seem almost cruel to be that close with Jack and not see them. So we decided to expand the trip, include Zach, and go see family AND friends. Not a few days after deciding to plan this trip, we found out that Zach’s parents were planning to visit Grandma & Grandpa Boomsma toward the end of October too! We coordinated our visits to overlap and thus got to enjoy several days with Ron & Tami as well.
Jack did pretty good on the plane, all things considered. He fought off napping valiantly until Daddy brilliantly made a bed from our tray tables. Only then did Jack succumb.
Our first full day we had lunch at Crane’s Apple Orchard. It was too cold to pick apples, but the warm lunch and cider donuts were wonderful! We also explored downtown Holland, braving some COLD winds and browsing some very fun stores. Tami snapped this pic of us and I feel like it’s going to become one of those “oh we were so young back then with only 1 kid!” pictures haha.
Jack was instantly smitten with his great grandma & great grandpa! And I think the feelings were quite mutual. 🙂
And of course Jack loved getting time with Ron & Tami:
Zach’s grandparents’ home is so warm and cozy and a truly happy place to be. We absolutely loved the quiet mornings of coffee and almond cake, music softly playing downstairs on the old-school turn table, tons of natural light flooding in from the wide windows through which you can gaze out at the beautiful trees. Plus, Grandma & Grandpa Boomsma are so very enjoyable to be around! They immigrated to the US from The Netherlands province of Friesland over 50 years ago and the stories they tell both of their childhoods growing up in The Netherlands and their life here in America are so interesting.
No trip to Holland is complete without 3 things: going to Holland State Park on Lake Michigan, The Dutch Store and a meal at The Boatwerks restaurant.
Our jaunt over to Lake Michigan was a record fast visit – basically only fast enough to snap a couple pictures of Big Red, the lighthouse, since it was FREEZING cold that day.
Tami had bought Jack this “Fargo hat” (as I took to calling it) to keep his head warm. It was perfect and adorable, albeit a tad big. But we loved how it looked on him, haha!
Vander Veen’s Dutch Store is a dutch import store owned by Zach’s aunt & uncle, filled with all sorts of Dutch treats and treasures. We bought Jack a Delft nightlight and a Sinterklaas Christmas ornament and ourselves a bunch of chocolates, spice and almond cookies.
This was our view from dinner at The Boatwerks – amazing!
Everywhere we turned, there were vibrant colors as the trees were turning for Fall. It was breathtaking and pictures hardly do it justice. I was amazed that this view is Grandma & Grandpa’s driveway. Their DRIVEWAY!
It was an exciting trip because it also meant that we had 4 generations of Boomsma men together!
About halfway through the trip, we met up between Holland & Hillsdale so that I could spend 2 nights in Bethany’s home with her family.
I enjoyed watching her “unschool” her 2 older children, Evangeline (5 1/2yrs) and K2 (Keith “the 2nd”, 4yrs) for a couple hours…
Bethany”s children are delightful! K2 and I hung out while E did math… and later, E got to have some of my shimmery eye shadow on her eyes!
We walked to the downtown area for coffee and probably the most amazing cappuccino chocolate chip muffin I’ve ever had. The clocktower downtown was gorgeous, particularly at this time of year:
But by far, the best part of the trip was just spending time with my friend. We both have children now so there were no delusions of going shopping or making grand plans for our time together. We simply enjoyed staying home and talking, cooking, talking, putting kids down for naps/rest time, talking, doing dishes, and talking! The extent of our venturing out was our walk to downtown Holland (with all the kids) and we went on a late night run together after the kids were down one night. It may have been very simple, but for me, it was like Christmas came early! I don’t think Bethany and I have spent 48 continuous hours together since high school! It was amazing and refreshing, as she and I share very similar values and views when it comes to God, marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, food, etc. and therefore never lack for encouraging conversation.
We flew home on Oct 31st, arriving just in time to get Jack into his first Halloween costume – a fighter pilot! Aaawwww!
Oh, and while we were in Michigan, we signed papers to close on our very first HOUSE!!! More on that to come! 🙂