Monday, June 30, 2014

A Shining Light

You might remember during Maine week I alluded to the fact that while Maine had a lot of lighthouses, Michigan holds the title as most in the nation with over 115 different lighthouse.  This makes complete sense when you think about it since besides Alaska, Michigan has the most miles of shoreline (over 3300)  (Note - this is shoreline as opposed to coastline, meaning it includes fresh bodies of water, ie four of the five Great Lakes in Michigan's case).  Also, lighthouses tend to be used in smaller areas where it is necessary for boats to operate closer to shore, which isn't always the case when dealing with coastline.  (Feel better, Amber, now that you know for sure? ;-) )

So, all that being the case, I knew we HAD to check out at least one lighthouse this week.  So I started my research, and super bonus, the oldest standing lighthouse in the state (it's the 2nd oldest ever built, the first was just down the river a bit and was destroyed) happens to be The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse not too far from us in Port Huron.  We headed there this morning and had the best time!  We took the full tour, learned all about the building, maintenance and upkeep of the lighthouse and then actually got to climb all 94 steps to the top.  The kids had so much fun and I was so proud of them (when you see the pictures of the stairs you'll understand why)  They asked good questions on the tour and were super brave!  Afterwards, we went down to the Beach and took a stroll through one of the four of the Great Lakes that touches Michigan, Lake Huron. (I think we're going to make it to three of them by the end of the week!)  They gathered some fun rocks, we had lunch in a nearby park, played for awhile and then headed home before the heat made it too miserable.  I think the pictures can tell it better than I can - they had a blast!

Tonight we had a Kellogg's feast for dinner.  The company, based in Battle Creek, is probably best known for its cereals and other breakfast items.  Check out all our options from tonight below.  (I'm really trying to stick to this "show" thing this week :-p)

I mentioned yesterday that a trip to the Dairy Farm was on the agenda, but that has been post-poned 'til later in the week because we received a phone call this morning from the library (one of our very favorite places in Michigan!) saying that Mikayla had won the summer reading prize this week!  So we headed over to pick it up.  After quick baths to get rid of some of the sand, we settled in to partake in one of my absolute favorite Michigan activities - Tigers baseball!  (Extra special side note - the game tonight was commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Tigers winning the World Series in 1984 - very cool!).  It was the perfect way to hang out tonight.

Tomorrow we're probably going to be leaving Michigan for the day, but fear not, I think I have a tie in!  We're going to be meeting up with my Mom and Shell for a day at the beach on Lake Erie - which of course touches Michigan as well.  Alright, I may be reaching, we're mostly just glad to have the chance to catch up with my Mom and spend some time with her before her birthday!  Stay away rain!  And I'm thinking those pasties will make the perfect dinner and maybe tomorrow we'll make it to the Dairy Farm then.  Should be fun no matter what!  So until then...

Michigan Fun Fact of the Day:  Food for thought - the very interesting discussion at our dinner table the past two nights have included conversations on Henry Ford and his contributions to the auto industry (and how that is important to Michigan), Motown and the Mackinaw Bridge - all Michigan treasures!

Our breakfast selections for the week!

Ready to go tour!

Squishin' in

Our tour guide, Gene, showing us how they used to rescue people

At the door of the lighthouse, ready to go in

In the "doghouse" this is the first room of the lighthouse

The different kinds of lights used to illuminate the light over the years

Ready to climb

And they're off

Stopping at level one

View from the top!

They made it

Lake Huron

We did it!

View of the stairs from the bottom up

They were so proud of themselves

Dipping their piggies in Lake Huron

Lunch break

The dare devil at the playground

(It took everything I had to let him do this)

She was climbing too

Needed frosty's on the way home for sure

Our loot from our trip

Working on the "We've Been There" state

Hmmm, think it's safe to say we all get stickers this week

Thanks to Miss Morgan who hooked us up with mail from Bad Axe

Our dinner choices

Not just waffles anymore!

Happy Birthday Pop-Tarts!

Picking up her prize box from the library

She is super excited - as was her brother who she promised to share with :)

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