(exploring downtown with iced coffee in hand)
(the fellas waiting outside because we were shopping in a ladies clothing store. They were such troopers!)
The little sand pipers were adorable!
(at the House of Flavors waiting to get icecream!)
The beach. It is a special place that holds such blessed memories for me. Our family has gone to Lake Michigan or “our beach” for as long as I can remember. Both sets of grandparents owned cottages on the water at different times and we still make it something that we do every year. We try to go several times at least and this year was no exception. There is a little town called Ludington on the coast of Lake Michigan that is our special, favorite place to go at least once a year. It is farther from our house than our Grandparent’s cottage, so we only make it once, but it is tradition. This year, we happened to be able to go on the first day of school for everyone else! I mean, how cool is that! We don’t start school till October, (principals orders) and we think we need to make it a tradition that we go somewhere special on the first day of school every year. To us homeschoolers, it’s when we get the world back from all the public-schoolers! LOL! Seriously though, public places are just to crowded for our liking throughout the summer. We are kind of quite people who like to hang out together as a family and lots of strangers around is not our idea of fun. No judging, just personal space. This trip was a little bittersweet because for the first time, the three oldest boys at home weren’t able to come because of jobs. We love Ludington, because the state park beach is very large, (several miles long) and there are so few people, it might as well be a private beach. Especially after school starts. And another thing about the beach. Our beach does not have sharks. So there.
We love the little downtown area of Ludington, with all of the shops and pretty architecture. We spent several hours exploring and shopping before heading to the beach.
There is something about the beach that makes my heart go pitter patter. The beauty of God’s creation, the calming and soothing sound of the waves crashing or lapping against the shore, the smell of the water, the sand between my toes, the blue sky so vast stretched before me. All together, it just overwhelms me with this unexplainable feeling of calm, peace and. . . I just can’t explain it, but it is so special. When we get closer to the beach on our drive, you can see a difference in the trees, the sky and you know you are close. Then that moment where you top a hill and catch your first glimpse of the blue water. . . My heart just always jumps and excitement bubbles up in my being. It’s always a race to get everything and everyone down on the beach and before anything is set up, we dip our toes in the water and stand just looking at the water and the horizon.
While on the beach, I love to journal. It is finally a time where I can just sit, without interruptions, without distractions, with an openness in my heart and write. I have written quite a few blog posts in my journal while on the beach, and things that God is teaching me, journal prompts, or just what I have been doing lately. I also like to read some good book. Otherwise, we play in the water. I might be too old for this, but I don’t care! If the waves are big enough, I take the boogie board out with the kiddos and we ride the waves towards shore and scream like girls when we catch a good one that propels us really far. We play in the sand, building castles, digging holes, or burying each other. We bring lunch and snacks in a cooler so we don’t have to leave for a long time and we spend as long as possible sitting. We usually take a walk or two. Exploring and racing each other across the wet sand.
After we leave the beach and change into clean clothes, we just have to stop at this quaint and awesome local diner that is famous for it’s ice cream. It is called House of Flavors and if you are ever in Ludington, you have to go there! It looks like a fifties diner inside with historic memorabilia all over the place, one of which is an awesome jukebox! We each get a cone and enjoy our handpicked flavor. There are lots of options, and all made right there in their factory. From Mint chip, to Bear Claw, to Blue Moon and beyond!
After a quite ride home, we empty out the van and put as much away as we can, while everyone cycles through showers to wash away the sand. You wouldn’t believe how, no matter how careful you are, you still get it everywhere! I had sand in my ears!!! LOL!
The beach is a special place that will always be special and full of memories. When I have my own family, it will be our tradition as well and I am so thankful for the family times we got to spend together there!
Dress: made by me
Shoes: Levi’s from Costco $20
//Post Beach Outfit//
Dress: Carly dress from LulaRoe (bartered for it)
Headband: made by me. Similar here.
What is one of you special places? Do you love the beach?
By God’s Grace,