My Dad is very hard to find gifts for, I guess because he doesn’t ever really want anything. Sometimes he needs new sweaters or a new baseball cap, but I’m not sure he really cares about getting those kinds of gifts. I’m not sure why. I love presents. Socks, scarves, books, candy bars–I don’t really care. Unlike my Dad, I just think presents are fun.
Anyways, because I really didn’t know what to get for my Dad, I decided to make him a painting. See, I made him a teeny tiny painting of a house several years ago, and he still has it hanging on the wall, so I figured a painting is a gift he might actually enjoy getting.
The little artwork I made for him this year is supposed to be our camper during a trip we took as a family many years ago to Mackinac in Michigan. We stayed at this cute little campground on the water and camped right on the beach. It was pretty.
I gave him the painting on Christmas and I think he liked it. He said something like, “Well, that doesn’t exactly look like our camper, but this must be us in Mackinac!” and then smiled brightly. It was nice.
Saturday was a lovely day. After a delicious quiche brunch (thanks to the chefs!), it was off to Van Buren State Park to spend some time at the beach. Since we had never been there before, I was happy to find that it was a really nice place with a mile-long stretch of soft sand and big dunes.
After walking along the water a bit, we ran up a big dune and when we came back down, I jumped into the water. I went under four times, which was pretty amazing since the water was 48 degrees. It was ice cold and took my breathe away when I put my head underwater, but it was really invigorating. When I got out of the water I felt so alive!
When we got back to our vacation house, Jim and I made dinner for the whole group. We tried Bobby Flay’s recipe for beer brats, which I thought was just okay. We also made a green salad with strawberry, red onion, and blue cheese and the fruit salad pictured above. The secret ingredient in the fruit salad was a few tablespoons of brandy, which really brought the salad together. Super delicious.
After dinner, we sat out on the front porch of the house under the giant moon and talked the night away. Yep, it was a lovely day.
Nine of my closest friends and I are spending the weekend in Michigan at a lovely house not far from Lake Michigan. Around 8pm, a few of us walked down to the beach, and I snapped some pictures. The conditions were a bit challenging for me because it was foggy and generally kind of dim outside, but I like the mood of the pictures. Sort of wistful, I guess.