Family Fun

We played a disgusting game with jelly beans. I don’t know what it’s actually called but someone said it was basically ‘Jelly Bean Roulette.”

My last night and morning in Stockbridge was so much fun. On Friday evening we had a big family BBQ. Almost my entire Michigan family made it. I just love hanging out with everyone so much! The food was delicious. I particularly enjoyed the rhubarb crumble.

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We played a disgusting game with jelly beans. I don’t know what it’s actually called but someone said it was basically ‘Jelly Bean Roulette.” It totally was! You spin a dial and it tells you what colour jelly bean you have to eat. You have a 50/50 chance of getting a delicious jelly bean or a disgusting jelly bean. Here are some of the flavour options: chocolate pudding or canned dog food, butter popcorn or rotten egg, coconut or baby wipes, lime or grass clippings, tutti-fruity or dirty socks. The most disgusting ones in order were: rotten egg, booger, dirty socks, canned dog food and vomit. I seriously wanted to vomit myself when I got these. I spat them back out immediately. The funniest part though it Cassie would chew on the disgusting ones, keep a straight face and the swallow them. It was bazar. She seemed to like the awful jelly beans. I really enjoyed watching everyone’s faces when eating them though. Especially mum (we all know she has great facial expressions). Luckily I did get some tasty ones.

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Another game we played that night was the card game cheat. This was also a lot of fun. It’s so amusing seeing who tries to cheat the most. I was super exhausted by the end of the night, but this didn’t deter me from making plans to having a cousin breakfast in the morning. So at 9am we headed out to the Munith Café for a good breakfast. Kristen, David, Jacquie, Ethan, Sara, Cassie and I all made it. Karlee and R.J. were still fast asleep, and Zac was in Utah. We had a fun time. It was hilarious when Ethan (half asleep and confused) asked Kristen where David was. He was sitting right next to her. We all laughed so hard when Ethan realised. Clearly someone needed some more sleep (but in Ethan’s defence David is a very quite person compared to us cousins).

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We then all hung out at Uncle Joel’s house with Grandma until it was time to leave. It’s always hard and sad saying goodbye to everyone. It’s definitely much easier than it used to be. I come back so frequently now that I know it won’t be long until I see everyone again. However this time I felt more sad than usual. On our flight from Detroit to Dallas I sat contemplating how much I hated living on the opposite side of the world to my family. I love Australia, but I love my family. Michigan and Australia both feel like home to me, so it’s hard to say goodbye.

We did eventually make it home safe and sound. Our flight out of Dallas was changed from 10:15 to 11:45. So by the time we were up in the air and had been feed it felt like 2am to me (I was on Michigan time). I was so incredibly exhausted. I basically passed out my half eaten food still sitting on my tray table. I woke up hours later with it gone and my tray table packed away. I pretty much slept the whole flight. It was also one of the longest flights in the world. Dallas to Sydney is in the top 5 longest flights and was a total of 17 hours. I’ve decided I don’t mind these long flights anymore. I have gotten used to them and I almost welcome the hours of sitting, sleeping and contemplating. I will say one thing though. Qantas is better than Virgin (take note long haul travelers). Dallas is also a much nicer airport than LA. A loop train will take you to all the different terminals. It’s super easy, convenient, modern and clean. BUT the Dallas international airport closes up at 9pm. This was a shock. All the stores and restaurants closed (including McDonald’s). So make sure you eat before then and be aware it’s not the type of airport you would want to be stuck in overnight.

So that’s the end of my 2017 Summer Michigan Trip. Now back to winter. (Although so far the days have been sunny and nice. I couldn’t ask for better winter weather. I even sat outside with a cup of soup this morning watching the world light up).

Stay tuned for more blog posts about my local life and upcoming trips away.

Long Days and Short Nights

I have really enjoyed soaking up the summer sun. On one afternoon Cassie and I took photos around the ‘Fillmore Estate.’ The land where my family lives is pretty big. The three houses are separated by fields, a creek and even a forest.

We have been having such wonderful summer weather. I feel so happy. I LOVE SUMMER! The past few days have been a fun lounging kind of days. We saw despicable ME 3 at the Sun theatre (the lovely old theatre I mentioned in an earlier post). It was such a cute movie. I laughed A LOT! Karlee also introduced me to cookie dough bites. Cookie dough bites are bits of cookie dough covered in chocolate, enough said.

On Wednesday we visited Cell Block 7. This was actually Grandma’s idea. Cell Block 7 is a prison block, at the Jackson State Prison, which is now a museum. The block closed in 2007, so exactly 10 years ago. It was really intense because the rest of the prison was still active. So we couldn’t take any cell phones or camera devices into the block. It was so neat though! We saw the strip search areas, the shower areas. We saw all the cells. Gosh I wish I could have taken photos so I could upload them and you all could see. I did manage to find some photos on google though to upload. We also learnt some fascinating information. One particular man managed to escape from the prison three times. The last time he escaped via a hijacked helicopter. Don’t worry each time he was recaptured a few days later. Also if anyone is interested they filmed movies at this cell block: Conviction, Stone, Street Boss, Heartlock, and Old Man and the Gun.

On Thursday Cassie, Mum, Grandma and I all visited Cousin Becky. We had a wonderful time! Becky is so lovely and fun to talk too. She also always has the MOST DELICIOUS FOOD! This time for lunch we had, a casserole, rock melon, cucumber, deviled eggs, and a spiced pumpkin muffin. We also got to meet her Grandson Travis, who was lovely. We all went swimming in her pool after lunch. Cassie and I were fascinated by the way the water sizzled on the pavement. We didn’t think it was that hot but it was definitely making a crackling noise whenever freshwater was sprinkled on a dry spot. Also Becky has a magnificent water-slide. Everyone seems to have water-slides here! I went flying off that thing at top speed. It was great.

We did some gardening with Grandma. Grandma instructed while Cassie, Mum and I pulled up weeds. Her property looks so fantastic now. I am really satisfied with our work. It was fun having grandma out there helping too.

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I have really enjoyed soaking up the summer sun. On one afternoon Cassie and I took photos around the ‘Fillmore Estate.’ The land where my family lives is pretty big. The three houses are separated by fields, a creek and even a forest. I love how everyone is within walking distance. A short walk through beautiful fields filled with flowers and a horse (sometimes horses) has you arriving at one of the three houses.

It will be sad to be saying goodbye to the summer sun soon

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Warren Dunes Camping Trip

On Friday the Fillmore gang headed down to Warren Dunes State Park for a fun filled camping trip. Warren Dunes is a usual camping spot for the Jon Fillmore family during the summer and I can totally see why. Lake Michigan is a short hike over the sand dunes or through a rich green forest.

On Friday the Fillmore gang headed down to Warren Dunes State Park for a fun filled camping trip. Warren Dunes is a usual camping spot for the Jon Fillmore family during the summer and I can totally see why. Lake Michigan is a short hike over the sand dunes or through a rich green forest. The campground is also lovely. You are surrounded by lush trees and plants. Each spot is enormous in size, so you have a lot of space. It’s a big campground. There are two separate loops with a general store in the middle. What made me laugh the most were all the trails to the bathroom block. Little hidden trails wound their way and connected all through the campground. It was rather confusing in the dark. I kept saying the trails reminded me of a rabbit warren.

Cassie and I stayed in Uncle Jon’s and Aunt Elizabeth’s camper trailer. Aussies, this camper trailer would have been like nothing you have seen before (unless you’ve had the privilege of camping in America yourself). The trailer slept 10 people in total. It came complete with two couch areas, two bedrooms, a kitchen table area, a kitchen, and fully equipped bathroom. The sides of the trailer even mechanically expand to create extra room. It really is quite awesome and in other words we were glamping (glamorous camping). Cassie, R.J, Uncle Jon, Aunt Elizabeth and I, all arrived early. When Uncle Joel and Aunt Kim arrived later that night they set their (equal in size camper) up next to ours. We officially had a small block for the whole Fillmore gang.

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We spent the first couple of days bike riding around the campground and the park. I rode another tandem bike with Cassie. I am glad to say that we have officially nailed our start. We can now easily glide off into the distance. I loved riding the trails and the forests.  When the sun is shining the inside of a forest always looks an incredibly fascinating green colour. Austin showed us his famous fishing spot. To find out exactly why it’s famous you really must speak to Austin. Anyway, Austin and I would catch little fish and then Cassie would feed them bits of sausage and then we would release them back into the water. It was a blast!

 

Catching and feeding fish:

 

On Saturday afternoon mum brought Grandma up who was also joining us on the camping trip (although she stayed in a nearby hotel). Some of us (including mum and Cassie) spent the afternoon hiking the beach trail. This was the trail that lead to Lake Michigan over the sand dunes. The start of the trail occurs at the bottom of an ENORMOUS sand dune that I still remember from when I was ten years old. It looks exactly the same. From the bottom it doesn’t look very high, but let me tell you it is! I remember arguing with my cousins as a kid saying “Oh come on, it can’t be that hard to get to the top.” I was horribly disappointed as I discovered it was in fact extremely difficult. This trip I knew better. I knew it would be tough getting up, and it was. I did successfully make it to the top however and I got to look over the glorious view. Behind me lay endless tree tops and a steep path that lead into the forest (the dune I just climbed). In front of me lay hills of sand with trails running through them. Behind these hills a big, blue, glittering body of water sat, aka Lake Michigan. The trails running all over the dunes reminded me of rabbit warren again. Okay so sadly this didn’t click until the end of the trip, but I suppose all these ‘rabbit warren’ like trails is why the park is called Warren Dune State Park.

 

We quickly started to head on down the path towards Lake Michigan. Some of the cousins ran down dunes as fast as I they could. Gosh they looked tiny when they were at the top of these hills before running down.

 

 

When we arrived at Lake Michigan I dove straight into the deliciously warm water. Lake Michigan looks like an ocean. It’s actually the fourth largest fresh water lake in the whole world. It’s basically a freshwater ocean. This made the water even warmer because your body expects it to feel cold like the ocean but it’s delightfully warm. I could have spent hours in that water. I swear I’m part mermaid sometimes.

 

Our journey back to the campsite was equally as exciting. We took the forest trail and hiked through, what looked like and smelt like, a rainforest. Everything was just so green and the happy animal noises made me also feel happy. This forest was quite unique though because in it were sand dunes. Parts of the trail was literally a sand trail. It was bizarre seeing sand inside a forest. R.J was our explorer of the trip. He ran up a couple of dunes within forests by himself. As the rest of us came slowly plodding behind R.J was already up and down sand hills that would have taken me at least 10 minutes to climb.

 

 

In the evenings we roasted hot dogs and smores over a camp fire. We also played many games such as ‘ladder golf.’ I really loved playing these games. I can also officially declare I am the undefeated champion at ladder gold. Perhaps that’s why I liked it so much.

 

We also made sure Grandma didn’t miss out on any fun. Uncle Jon devised a ‘granny mobile.’ While the rest of us road bikes mum jogged with Grandma in her mobile chair. We went all through the campground and through some back trails. We also took Grandma to see the big dune I remember from when I was 10. I raced to the top and raced down again like I was just a kid with my cousins. It was so much fun!

 

I thought it was hilarious seeing everyone bike ride with grandma. Kristen said us Fillmore’s are like a mob. We just take over a place where ever we are because there are so many of us. We sure experienced this at the nearby ice cream place when we all ordered ice-cream. My cone was SO ENORMOUS. I am 100% certain there is nowhere in Australia where you could purchase a waffle cone the size of your head. In fact it was so huge and filled with so much ice-cream I couldn’t eat it all.

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We also visited a fun park while we were there. I got to ride bumper cars and watch my family hit base balls. It was quite exciting. The funniest park was when I tried to stop Jacquie from over taking me in the bumper car race. I ended up hitting her flying sideways and then caused a massive traffic jam. Luckily I had so help to get me back on track.

On Monday we had a beach day. The cousins hiked over the sand dunes again to get there. I wore flip flops. BIG MISTAKE. The sand was painfully hot. I got blisters on my feet. But it was still a blast feeling like your on top do the world only to run down the dune to the bottom. We also tried jumping off them too see how far we would get.

I actually spent the entire time in the water. I told you I’m part mermaid. I just had a blast summersaulting through waves and swimming around like a fish. I wish desperately that we had warm freshwater lakes like this back home. Although I was a little bummed I missed out on snoozing on the sand I wouldn’t have given up that water fun for anything.

Sadly Cassie wasn’t feeling well on Monday night so she went home with Grandma and mum. Uncle Joel, Aunt Kim and R.J left on Monday morning. That meant it was just Kristen, Jacquie, Uncle Jon, Aunt Elizabeth and me left. I had a wonderful time with them. We decided to pack up the camper and then head to the beach. (Oh at this point I feel I must mention the delicious food we have had on this trip. Aunt Elizabeth made two tasty crockpot meals, and Uncle Jon had been cooking us blueberry pancakes and eggs for breakfast). So after a long delicious breakfast meal and a fairly quick packing up effort we were ready to go. Us girls biked down to the beach and Uncle Jon met us there with the camper. Today I spent a bit of time lazing on the beach, but of course there was still some water fun. Uncle Jon rented a stand up paddleboard. SUPER FUN! I had never tried it before, so that was really exciting. Apparently I was quite speedy on it. The most fun I had though was with my two cousins. Jacquie, Kristen and I all got onto this one person paddle board. We paddled around in the bay and even managed to stand up. Granted our standing up was short lived and ended up with Jacquie and I falling into the water, but you know what? That was actually what made it even more fun.

We then hit the road with a quick stop a Steak n Shake. Everyone you must try their fries with seasoning (delish) and their Oreo mint milkshake was amazing. I would definitely get both those things again. When we arrived back in Stockbridge it was 7:30 but still blazing hot. I love summer. I was sad my amazingly fun camping trip had come to an end, but I will admit it was nice to sleep on a proper mattress and have clean hair.

Country Life

We also went walking through the fields with her other horse Bella. Of course I snacked on as many wild blackberries as I could find. YUM!

This week has been a lovely week! Although it hasn’t been quite as jam packed as our trip away or the weekend there has still been lot’s to do. I’m going to sound like my friend Rachel in this blog entry. Her blog entries always involve a lot of food talk. This blog is ‘Rachel style.’

One evening I went out to dinner with Uncle Jon, Aunt Elizabeth, Jacquie, Kristen, David, Austin and Cassie. We went to the backstreet. What a lovely family restaurant. Our waitress went to school with Austin. She is pregnant and engaged to a military man. She looked super cute. Then another lady brought out her grandchild to show us. Apparently her daughter in law wanted children badly but couldn’t. Then she finally got her wish come true. It was an adorable baby. The table even had a little handwritten sign that said everyone was welcome. It said it was a community restaurant and you could come alone and make new friends, or bring a friend with you. What made me laugh the most at dinner though was the fact that Uncle Jon still has me on his family GPS tracker. I love it. He asked me to get it last summer when I was here. He must have been checking to see where we were on our Mackinac trip.

I love spending time with all my cousins. When Austin is around too we always manage to come up with some grand ideas. We are still planning on purchasing a ‘Cousin Castle’ on a remote island. This time we discussed some other brilliant ideas that Austin had. In fact I think they are such good business ideas that I don’t want to discuss them on this blog. No one will steal my cousin’s idea. Let’s just say the first idea involved planes and the second idea involved people/investment. I’ll leave you to wonder.

After dinner we went to look at Aunt Elizabeth’s new horse called Bella. SHE IS GORGEOUS! She is a small horse which makes me like her even more, and she is just so beautiful. I am very excited for Aunt Elizabeth. She went our riding this evening. Austin also showed me a big fish he caught at the fishing spot. He is super thrilled about this fish. He put it in the little pond they have and it seems to be quite happy.

I seriously love watching Cassie and Austin. They are basically the same, but opposite gender. They crack me up! Cassie mentioned she also has a list of great entrepreneurship ideas. Austin apparently also has written down all his ideas too. They are going to meet and compare lists. Another funny incident happened which actually began with Sara (even though she wasn’t with Cassie, Austin and I). On our trip to Mackinaw City Sara asked us a bunch of fun questions that we had to discuss. Some were moral dilemmas, others were just fun. One question was “If you had the option to go to the moon for ten minutes (via teleportation) for free, or go to Europe for one year for free AND receive $1000 per month, which would you choose?” EVERYONE we have talked to said Europe, except Cassie. She was 100% down for the moon. We asked Austin this question just before he showed us the fish and he was legit the only other person that said the moon. It made me laugh so hard. They really are two peas in a pod.

Kristen took the day off of work on Monday. I’m so happy she did! We had a great day. I went to the coffee shop with her and Aunt Elizabeth for breakfast. Later in the day Cassie, Kristen and I went shopping at the mall. Then David joined us in the evening to see the latest Spiderman movie. We all loved it! I was so surprised! Cassie and I never like the same movies. It had action in it, but it was also quite humorous and had a proper plot. It wasn’t just people fighting each other and things blowing up. It also ended well. I like that. We then went to Olive Garden for dinner. I LOVE OLIVE GARDEN! It’s so delicious. You get unlimited soup too. So we all got full on soup and took our main course home as leftovers. We also go a free soup to go as well. I wish we had an Olive Garden back home! On the way home we spotted a deer with a fawn. We see lots of deer and fawns, but this one was so tiny. So cute!

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Mum preached at our Stockbridge church on Sunday. She is now officially an international preacher. I’m so proud of my mum. They happened to be doing a series on the minor prophets and back home we were also doing a series on this. It was so perfect! It was also lovely going to church there. I really enjoy going. I feel so welcomed. It’s like I have been welcomed to my home church after being away. A lot of this is due to Deb the current pastor of the church. She is doing a wonderful job, but it’s not just her. Everyone is very friendly.

Also on Sunday, after church and the tea party, Austin, Cassie and I discussed the plane plan in more depth. This is one of the entrepreneurship ideas I mentioned before. Intrigued even more? I’m still not revealing his idea! It’s too good. We then played the card game Cheat with grandma. She smashed! You just don’t expect my adorable little grandma to lie so much, but when it comes to card games she has no limits! It was a lot of fun!

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One evening I had a delicious venison potato pie that Aunt Kim made for dinner! Venison is deer, if you didn’t know. It’s quite tasty and popular in Michigan due to so many deer around. People who go shooting have their deer’s meat prepared so it can be cooked. Cassie wasn’t game to try the venison though. She thinks the deer are too adorable to eat. I just try not to think about that!

On Tuesday night we went to Jacquie and Zac’s house for a BBQ. There house is looking fantastic! They have out some new floorboards down and repainted the kitchen cupboards. I just love their house so much! I spent a long time swimming in their huge pool. It’s super deep and has a diving board. This year there was a new addition. Zac has turned Grandma Hettie’s old slide into a water slide. The slide is at least 50 years old and still going. Zac had also set up a game in the back yard called ‘Corn Hole.’ It’s also sometimes called ‘Bean Bag Toss’ but Corn Hole sounds much cooler. IT WAS A BLAST! It’s much harder than it looks but you can improve a lot with practice. Of course Cassie played an intense game of ‘RunAway’ and ‘Tug of War’ with Rouger the dog. She loves that dog so much. I got to try flying Uncle Jon’s drone. That was very exciting, although Cassie was better at steering it than me! Lastly I got to try venison steak. It was DELICIOUS! I want more as I am thinking about it right now. I’ll go back to Jacquie’s house any day!

Cassie and I have matching bathers:

You may think this is actually sounding like a pretty full week. We did have a lot of fun, but some of it was relaxing. One day is bucketed (like I’ve never seen before) with rain. It was really relaxing to sit by the window. It was pouring hard but still lovely and warm. We went to visit Aunt Elizabeth’s colt (baby boy horse) called Shock. He is such a cute little horse. He is shedding a lot though and you can see he is going to be much darker than he is right now once he is done shedding. We also went walking through the fields with her other horse Bella. Of course I snacked on as many wild blackberries as I could find. YUM!

We also went to see the latest Transformers movie. You’re not going to believe this but the road that connects Stockbridge to Chelsea (which is a about a 20 minute drive) was used in the movie! Seriously they spent about a month filming a part of the movie on M52. The shut the whole road down and everything. I thought this was so cool. I took photos on M52 before going to the movies later that day. Cassie and I also turned the car we have been borrowing from Uncle Jon into a roofless car. It’s a convertible Chrysler car. I felt so fancy! I also 100% felt like I was in a transformer car! It was so cool, but scary at the same time! It’s like the whole car come apart and then gets put back together. Cassie and I kept attempting to convert it but panicking because we thought it would get stuck and we would have a car coming apart and not be able to get home. So we kept getting half way converted then panicking and putting it back. Eventually we fully converted it. All you have to do is hold down a button for about 30 seconds and it converts just like that into a roofless car. It was pretty nifty. I  also quite enjoyed the movie. It was playing in an old style theater. I also ate a whole bucket (American sized bucket) of popcorn to myself. I know I was being a piggy! But I couldn’t help myself. It had real butter on it, not the pretend butter!

Fillmore Royalty

We all dressed up and wore white gloves and beautiful hats. The high tea even came complete with a maid service thanks to the lovely Cinny (a lady from church).

If you know anything about the Fillmore girls you will know that we love to have tea parties. Jacquie even mentioned this in a facebook post a few days ago. For my nineteenth birthday we had a princess tea party. It was complete with proper tea cups, ball gowns and a maid. I missed Kristen’s elegant bridal shower. That was a bummer. BUT this time it was Sara’s turn for an elegant tea party. Sara is marrying my cousin Ethan (but Sara has been a part of our family for so long now. I just think of her as my cousin already). I am so thrilled she will soon officially be my cousin. Anyway in her honour a tea part was prepared. It was much more extravagant and wonderful than I had imagined.

A laced gazebo with tables and chairs neatly set up underneath was placed on Kristen’s lawn. The place settings were complete with elegant china and silverware. Tea food was provided (I particularly liked the lemon slice) and of course there was black tea. But the mimosa’s were my favourite. The amount of orange juice to champagne was just right. Everyone had designated seating areas. I was lucky and got to sit next to the bride-to-be. White lanterns hung from the gazebo and flowers were placed around the area We all dressed up and wore white gloves and beautiful hats. I LOVED IT! I sipped on my tea with my pink finger in the air feeling very fancy while chatting. It was a hot and humid day, but a light breeze swayed through the trees cooling us down. I definitely felt like I was on Downtown Abbey (which is currently my favourite t.v. show). The high tea even came complete with a maid service thanks to the lovely Cinny (a lady from church). It was an absolutely delightful afternoon. Now we just have to wait for the wedding.

 

Hartwick Pines

We stopped at Hartwick Pines State Park to visit the lodging museum. It was darker in the forest but beams of sunlight still shone through making the forest floor look bright green.

Today we headed for home, but this didn’t mean the fun ended here. In fact copious amounts of fun actually occurred once we were back in Stockbridge. Sara drove back with Ethan. This mean it was just Karlee, Gabby, Cassie and I in the car. It was a bummer losing Sara, but we still had a bunch of fun!

We stopped at Hartwick Pines State Park to visit the lodging museum. This park was beautiful. Honestly the forest was just gorgeous. It was darker in the forest but beams of sunlight still shone through making the forest floor look bright green. It was a hot day, but cooler in the forest, and birds chirped from above. We wandered through the forest to the lodging museum. It was a really neat museum. They had people dressed up as lodgers and workers and all the displays were really interesting. Did you know the buildings were often packed up and moved to new locations? Often there were places big mining camps were located that you would never know about now. The chapel was also made from wood logs. It was really interesting to see. I’ve never seen a wood logged chapel. We couldn’t go inside, though, due to a wedding which was going on.

 

 

 

We hit the road again and honestly the time just flew by. We told funny stories and chatted the whole way. I introduced Gabby and Karlee to Collective Noun (youtubers). It’s more of an Aussie thing so I think Gabby will appreciate it more. Hopefully I have found Collective Noun a new die-hard fan. We also stopped for a happy meal. I loved my toy. It was a minion that separated to reveal a plastic puck. You could then use the two minions to play an air hockey game. I suppose it would be called table hockey. I also introduced Cassie to McGriddles. McGriddles are: bacon + cheese + omelet egg in-between two maple flavoured pancakes/french toast. So unhealthy, but so amazing!

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When we got back to Stockbridge we decided to take Aunt Kim’s car through the carwash. It was quite dirty from the road. Gabbi, Cassie and I were SUPER PUMPED! Gabbi even offered to pay for it because it was her idea and she really wanted it to happen. She cracks me up. I totally get the thrill of the car wash though. Aunt Kim’s car also has glass sun roofs so we could watch the rollers above our heads. It was very exciting. We then SLOWLY drove through the dryer section. Apparently Karlee goes through it too quickly it leaves waxy marks on the car. So we were cautiously slow. BIG MISTAKE! We were so slow it shut off just after we go past the front windshield. Sooooooo….. We ended up with an extremely waxy/streaky looking car. We thought this was halrious! Seriously we all laughed and laughed all the way back to Karlee’s house. We then laughed harder when we observed the outside of the streaky car. Then we laughed even more when we realised it didn’t even wash the back of the car. It was still covered in dust. It was an epic fail for the carwash.

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It was rather a kid like day, but I love kid things. I enjoyed my happy meal, my minion toy and the car wash very thoroughly. It was sad to return back to Stockbridge after so much fun away with everyone. However I know there is still a lot of fun to be had around here.

Mackinac Island/BEST DAY EVER!

When we reached the island my initial thoughts were OH MY GOSH SO CUTE! The shoreline was lined with adorable and luxurious Victorian style lake houses and shops. We pulled into the harbour and walked through an archway into the CUTEST TOWN in the whole world.

BEST DAY EVER!!! I know I said this about two posts ago but seriously this was also the BEST DAY EVER!!! Yesterday we went to Mackinac Island. Due to a sleeping fiasco Cassie and I were awake at 5:30 am and ready to go to the Island. We were going to go by ourselves and meet everyone else over there but we ended up waiting for everyone else, so we didn’t leave until 11:30ish.

I was told that you can basically do everything on the Island in one day? I have no idea how this would be possible??? I think you would need at least a week to do the Island properly. There was so much to do! It was amazingly fun. We managed to pack in so much as well. Literally a day packed full of fun.

We caught a little ferry called Felicity to the Island. It was about a 15 minute ferry ride. We passed underneath the Mackinaw bridge. This meant in about 30 seconds we went from being on Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. Two great lakes in 30 seconds. We also saw the old (and tiny) light house on the way. AND we saw a pirate ship. It was so cool. It wasn’t a real pirate ship, but it was designed to look just like an olden day pirate ship. People take tours on it.

When we reached the island my initial thoughts were OH MY GOSH SO CUTE! The shoreline was lined with adorable and luxurious Victorian style lake houses and shops. We pulled into the harbour and walked through an archway into the CUTEST TOWN in the whole world. It looked like Disney World and the atmosphere reminded me of Disney World. The street was small and full of walkers, bike cyclists and horses with carriages. There are no motorised vehicles on the island. Imagine that! NO MOTORISED VEHICLES. This means luggage is transported via bikes and horses. And even the rubbish is collected via a horse and cart! This really helps to create the atmosphere. The street is also lined with adorable Disney like shops squeezed together. AND even the street lamps had bunches of flowers hanging from them.

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We decided our first stop would be the Fort. The fort was once the islands protection. Controlled switched between the British and Americans. Eventually the Americans maintained control and eventually the Fort was turned into a heritage site and a museum. Americans really do know how to do museums well. They had people dressed in old style clothes and uniforms. They even had a gun shooting demonstration. The only thing I didn’t like the look of was the big hole where soldiers were jailed for offenses. That just looked horrifying to stay in.

We spent a decent amount of time at the Fort so we got lunch immediately after. Of course it was peak tourist season and peak eating time. It was difficult to find a lunch spot for eleven people, so we opted for a pizza picnic outside. This turned out to be a highly enjoyable event. I’m really glad we did this. We sat under a tree in the shade. We could see the water with ships bobbing around, main street with bikers and horses passing by. And behind us was the Fort. However, my favourite spot to gaze was a huge thick forest that lay to the right of the Fort. A small opening made it look mystical. Cassie and I both agreed that goblins would definitely live up there.

With full bellies we made our way through the equally adorable looking backstreets to the butterfly house. I’ll repeat the BUTTERFLY HOUSE! It was a house full of ferns and butterflies. They even landed on you. It was so magical. I felt so happy and gleeful. I could have gazed at the fluttering butterflies dancing about for hours. In fact it would have been the ideal place for a nap if there was a comfy couch in there. In the gift shop Cassie and I found some salt and vinegar flavoured crickets. We couldn’t believe how real these fake snake crickets looked. Turns out they were real crickets! Slightly horrified I almost bought and ate them and also slightly disappointed I didn’t.

Our next activity was bike riding. Cassie and I got a tandem bike. You should all be glade we came home unscathed. Starting a tandem bike for the first time ever in the middle of the main street was a terrifying event. Horses and carriages were bumbling past. Bikers were flying by. People were jumping in front of us onto the street. We wobbled our way the first few feet but we were soon up and rolling. It was a hot day and the lake wind on my face was welcomed. I wish you could have been there. It was so amazing. On the left was Lake Huron and on the right were thick beautiful forests with occasional Victorian lake houses. It was an 8 mile bike ride around the whole island and we stopped half way for a rest. I went down to the lake and watched Gabbi and R.J. skip rocks (quite successfully I might add). I can now also say I have officially been in two of the world’s great lakes, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. This is actually really neat, I find this quite exciting. The only thing I didn’t like about the bike ride was Cassie loved flying along. I like to toodle down paths slowly and fully enjoy the scenery. I was on the back of the tandem, though. So I got to look around a fair amount because I didn’t have to worry about steering. I think Cassie enjoyed that I had to put all my trust in her too. She could keep me upright or take me down with her. It was all up to her.

After the bike ride we strolled down the streets and explored some of the shops. Cassie, Gabbi, Karlee and I went into a haunted museum. THIS WAS AWESOME! It was the perfect amount of scary. It was enough to make us jump and scream a few times but not too much. The best part was when a noise squealed next to our ear. We all screamed and R.J. grabbed my back which terrified me even more. It was pitch black so I had no idea what grabbed me.

We also went to Sanders fudge store and of course we HAD to get some fudge. It was completely necessary. It’s basically a requirement when you visit the island. Cassie is now addicted to fudge! She talks about it all the time. And ice-cream is required during summer, so we got ice-cream too. During this part of the day Cassie smacked me really hard on the back. Then she patted me a few times. I KNEW she put a sticker on my back. Turns out she had actually done it at the butterfly house. I HAD NO IDEA! I asked her why she then patted me so hard on the back just now, because that’s what gave it away. She had no idea why she patted me so hard. She agreed it was a mistake. She is funny. I removed the sticker.

When we were gearing up to leave I was exhausted. I wished I could have stayed on the island. It costs a fortune, but maybe one day. I think the island would be so lovely once all the day trippers are gone. It was warm and peaceful, yet still alive with activity. I can see myself bike riding around the island and swimming in the lake during the day, in the future. Then I can wander down the streets and stores in the evening.

You may think our adventure ended once we left the island, but it did not! We sat on the top deck on the way home. We got a little wet due to the wind. It was rather thrilling.

We then quickly got ready for dinner. This time we crossed the Mackinaw Bridge to have dinner. I HAVE NOW PEEN ON THE UPPER PENINSULA. I can also officially say I have been to the U.P. (that’s how the real Michiganders refer to the Upper Peninsula). We had dinner at a restaurant with a live band, but we didn’t stay long. Cassie, Karlee, R.J. and I all left early because we were just so tired from such a fun day.

I was glad to climb into my bed and I fell asleep very quickly!