Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

We actually took our "holiday" and did fun things on Friday instead of Monday.  After Russ finished up with class on Friday morning we left for Holland, MI.  Our first stop was the Holland Christian Bookstore.  Don and Liz Deater (Gary Vander Hart's daughter) have a new and used bookstore in the basement of their home.  We enjoyed browsing through all the books and even picked up a few treasures.  Liz recently opened a bed and breakfast (Cottonwood Inn Bed and Breakfast) and gave us a tour of the rooms.  They have a beautiful home which you can see on their website here.  

We had planned to go to Holland State Park for the kids to enjoy the beach.  This would have been another 20 minute drive since Don and Liz live on the other side of Lake Macatawa from the State Park.   They live by Piper Restaurant on the map and so we would have had to drive all the way back around the lake.

 Liz recommended a beach only 3-4 miles from their home.  This beach is not very busy because it is limited by how many people can park in the small parking lot.  The drawbacks are that it only has one port-a-pot, no changing area, no access to drinking water, and...the steps.  You can plan to climb about 145 steps up and then 180 back down to the beach (reverse that on the way back to the parking lot).  Thankfully, benches are provided for rest along the way up and the view at the top is breathtaking.  I think the sore calf muscles for the next three days were worth it!  The day was warm, the waves were high, and the kids just had a great time.  They were reluctant to leave at 5:00, but we had only packed food for a noon lunch and mom also had to work the next day.

Going up and down the steps is bad enough, but with a cooler full of snacks and water?  I'd say "strongest man in the world," but I know that title is reserved for Dave:)

You can see how few people are at the beach

What you can't see are the additional steps above and behind these that take you to the top of the dune. 

I worked part of the next day (Saturday) while my dear husband did the wash and got rid of all the sand in the house.  Dave and Heidi Pronk invited our family to their home that evening for supper with two other families from the Free Reformed Church.   The only problem with the evening was that we got home too late and had trouble getting up for church the next morning!  We went with Russ Sunday afternoon when he preached at the Sheldon Meadow care facility.  The boys and I played a violin/cello/piano arrangement with three hymns about the Holy Spirit.  The boys sounded so good together (at least one resident was moved to tears.)  Sunday night Russ preached in Kalamazoo while the rest of stayed in town at the FRC.   Mark Kelderman preached both services.   Monday (today) Russ spent at the seminary doing school work and the rest of us treated it like another school day.  (Except Caleb who starts school tomorrow!)

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