Beeson Family Vaca| Salmon Fishing

Remember a few months ago when we went on the Beeson Family Vacation? Well I’d like to pick up where I left off with a few fun pics my dad took of the men on their fishing trip.

They left early one morning before the sun came up and were out on the water with their chain-smoking captain in time to see it rise above the horizon.080113 FISHING  4FAMILY VACA 081213 _81

Ryan caught one!!
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This picture of Ryan is one of my all-time favorites. So manly. So handsome. So thrilled by his catch. Such a beautiful Coho Salmon. I love love love it.080113 Ryan w Coho 1

John Boy followed suit with this HUGE King Salmon. That thing was as long as John’s leg, and John is not a small man!080113 John w King 1080113 FISHING  14

It should come as no surprise that upon returning from their trip the guys were in the kitchen preparing the salmon for the grill. Within a few hours of catching those fish, the whole family was enjoying the freshest possible salmon dinner. It was amazing.080113 MEN GRILLING 2

Everyone ate their fill and we still had plenty for John and Ryan to bring home. The cooler full of salmon in our van was not my favorite part of the long drive back to Columbus… but the 2 more salmon grill outs that followed made it worth it.

Beeson Family Vaca | Random Pics

I’m so thankful my kids get to grow up with amazing grandparents. Here’s Charlie with his Papa and Grammy.
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IMG_2815Here’s Charlie with his Aunt Tracy and Uncle Aaron. I can’t wait for him to be old enough to realize how awesome they are.

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John, Ryan and Aaron fed us well. They look at each other and declare “PREP KITCHEN” and then a scene like this takes place. So funny.

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Beeson Family Vaca | Digging the Beach… literally.

If I could wake up every morning and walk down to the beach, wow. That would be awesome! Our rental house was just a few (ahem… 207) steps down to a lovely private beach. As soon as all the kids finished eating breakfast we climbed down to spend a few hours playing in the sand. Please note: you can thank my dad for any and all good pics from this point forward. I will take credit for all the average or below average photos.  :o)

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Ruby and Clara were thrilled every morning to wake up and see their cousins Lydia and Norah were still there too. The girls played so well together – especially when the playing involved the buckets, shovels, and watering cans that their Grammy brought for them.072813 Lydia Ruby  1 IMG_2677

It was a wee bit windy and chilly that first day, but that didn’t stop Ryan from rocking the bro-tank on the beach. I couldn’t be more in love with that man.

IMG_2683Aaron and John dug a huge hole for the kids to play in. It grew so large that at one point I feared we would lose a child in the depths… Uncles are fun.IMG_2687 IMG_2686

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And of course, pretty much every evening included delicious grilled food, meticulously planned and prepared by John, Aaron and Ryan. Nothing like it.VACA Beach 2013 1 _52

Beeson Family Vaca | St. Joe Michigan

Lake Michigan was the destination for this year’s Beeson Family Vacation. It’s not a far drive from my parents house, or from where John and Angela live, so Aaron and Tracy flew up from Florida, Ryan and I drove over from Columbus and we spent a few hours at Mom and Dad’s before driving together to St. Joe, Michigan. As is typical for all Beeson Family get-togethers, the men spent quality time in the woods shooting guns. They sure started things off with a bang! (…see what I did there?)

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Once the cars were all packed with everything we would need for the week, the carpool to  the Lakeshore began! Tracy, Angela and I were so pumped that our time together had finally arrived!

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We got to our rental house in time to see the most gorgeous sunset you can imagine. 3-week-old Charlie enjoyed his first sunset with his beautiful Aunt Tracy.

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Words can’t describe how amazing it is that my parents, again, gave us the gift of time spent together as a family. They made the arrangements for us to be in a wonderful place for a whole week of quality time. I’m so thankful for their generosity, for their love for our families, and for their love for one another.

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Building Memories at The Dunes

My mom and dad talked about “Building Memories” thousands of times throughout my childhood. If something unexpected happened, we were “building memories” when times were good, we were “building memories” when everything wasn’t working out as planned, we were “building memories”. I find myself saying the same line to my children now – and on our recent family daytrip to the Dunes we were certainly building memories!

All week long we had been planning our trip to the Dunes on Lake Michigan! Tracy had never been to Lake Michigan (except for seeing it from the Chicago side the first time I met her when she was running a marathon), so we knew this fall vacation was the perfect time for her to experience the amazing Pure Michigan lakeshore. 

Unfortunately, a cold front moved in overnight and we ended up being there when it wasn’t quite 45 degrees and was super windy. BRRRrrrrrr. Needless to say, we all (including the Floridians) braved the frigid conditions and began the climb to the top of Tower Hill. We were building memories, right?

Amazingly, Ruby and Lydia both climbed all the way to the top! An incredible feat for any 3 year-old. Ryan climbed to the top with Clara on his back. He is like a super-human. A really handsome, smart, funny, super-human.

After checking out the view from the top, we made our way back down. Ruby wanted to run, so I held her hand and she squealed and giggled the whole way to the bottom. Uncle Aaron was there to catch her (and toss her in the air) at the bottom.

We walked town to the lake and put our feet in the water (which was warmer than the air). I don’t think Tracy will ever forget her first time in Lake Michigan!

Aaron buried his nieces in the sand, which they thought was hilarious. Norah and Clara seemed to be warm and happy snuggled in their cozy coats and blankets, Ruby and Lydia inherited beach combing genes from their Great Aunt Becky and collected a lot of rocks on the shoreline, then we piled into the cars and drove to Redamaks in New Buffalo for lunch. DELISH!! 

Posting these pictures kinda takes me back to that “cold to my bones” feeling. I’m going to find a blanket to wrap up in right away! Brrrrrrr…  Next time we go to the dunes, maybe the weather will be more like it was when our family spent a day at Sleeping Bear Dunes during the Beeson Family Vacation in 2008. Woohoo for building memories!