Sunday, August 3, 2014

Lake Erie

Last January the Kappel Kids, i.e., those three children born by Max, expressed a desire to spend time together this summer away from holidays, and in a location that was neutral.  By neutral I mean not at on Wentworth since it’s the only one that could hold that crew, and also so that the burden of shopping, cooking and planning could be shared among the group.  A location more central to everyone was also desired, so that required a place somewhere in between Arlington, VA and Chicago.  A 5 bedroom rental on Lake Erie in Madison, OH was chosen and plans were made.  Unfortunately, Amber and Evan were not able to attend because the date chosen was too soon after Marshall’s birth and Will, in his normal mode, had too much work to be able to leave for 6 days.  But Brandy with Elise and Mikayal, Marianne, Clint and their respective 4 children all arrived for the week.  One question posed to Max from each of the Kappel Kids after the trip was "Did Don have a good time?"  I think that my good time was spent behind the lens of my camera capturing this vacation that seemed to be enjoyed by all.

I do believe that the week was pretty much a success except both Reeder and Mikayla had a day with some health problems, but those were temporary and didn't darken the week's fun.  With that setting in place most of the rest of this blog will focus on pictures rather than words.  I’ll attempt to put them in chronological order with brief descriptions, but I'm not certain I can match them all to days.

Brandy arrived on Saturday shortly after we got there.  The Kappels arrived on Sunday.  This gave Mikayla time to discover the toy box before all the competition arrived.

I don't believe Elise had any idea what was going to happen that week in this strange house, but she appeared ready.

Once the Kappels arrived Brandy and Clint spent some time with the little ones catching up on their respective busy lives.

While the bigger kids headed down path to the beach.  It was a windy day and there were some good waves coming into shore.  Hayes definitely  liked the waves.

Weiler wasn't much interested in the water, but he did enjoy all of the wondrous objects that washed up on our beach.

And he helped Hayes in some of his work on the beach.

 And the girls loved making sand "castles"

Sunday afternoon required some quiet time for the kids and some Futebol for the adults

And of course we brought yard games for the kids and adults alike

Elise found a new friend,

Enjoyed attention from Grandma

But really wanted to be outside where the action was.

Reeder and Mikayla developed a grand friendship

and shared their love of Grandma Lucas' chocolate cake.

Amelia did make it down to the beach

Hayes continued to  find interesting drift wood

But the paddle board on a windless day proved to be the next most fun thing to do.  Thank goodness Clint was in good shape to make sure everybody got a ride.

And Amelia had great times and some disappointments.  She does express her feelings in a way we all know about it.

It was always fun to watch Clint eat breakfast.  He becomes very popular when eggs and sausage show up.  I don't think he ever had a meal in which he didn't have Weiler or Amelia very close by wanting to share.

But we also had plenty of inside games.  War was one everyone could play

Elise was just on the cusp of walking without support

SORRY! was always popular.  Max really didn't want her picture taken with her "obvious bed head", but this picture was taken around 1:00 p.m.  On vacation, what you see is what you get.

And Hide and Seek proved to be great fun in that big house.

Thursday night was deemed S'mores night and since we couldn't build fires on the beach, we used the grill.  Clint turned on his Bose blue tooth speakers and a Country station and the kids (including Marianne) jived to the music and roasted marshmallows.

And Clint taught Mikayla the fine art of roasting a marshmallow with a stick

And as you can see, she had no trouble perfecting the art of S'mores

I'm not sure how many S'mores these two had, but I don't believe I ever saw them without one once the marshmallow roasting began.

And now a bunch of pictures that are fairly random, but some of my favorites.  First is Amelia showing off her new purple snow boots that Marianne found at the local Walmart for the price of only $5.

Elise and her watermelon.

Reeder fishing on Grand River, which flows into Erie.

Hayes preferred just wading in the river

And Amelia just liked stomping in the water

Another breakfast morning for Clint Amelia and Weiler

We did have an interesting storm with water spouts forming over the lake.  We were glad they stayed out in the middle of the lake instead coming inland.

This one from my telephoto lens show it pulling the water up from the lake.

And there was a Kayak we were able to use, and once again Clint did the work and the kids loved the ride.

But as I do remember that Marianne did take a Kayaking course during her study abroad in Alaska, she did do the honors for Reeder.

 This interesting piece of drift wood was named the Rhino Totem to which the city below it was built by all of the kids working together.

And finally on our last evening we did a recital which included piano pieces by Reeder and Hayes, a duet of "Let It Go" from "Frozen" by Mikayla and Hayes and finally a dance improvisation by Mikayla.

Before we all left for our separate homes, we decided we needed some group pictures.  Not everyone smiling, but it is what it is.

And finally, from our back yard in the evening, a couple of our sunsets