Family time- Beach time

We had a blast spending the 4th of July with our family in Michigan. The weather was quite steamy but we managed to stay cool…

Breakfast on the shaded patio
The girls have fun in the pool
Cait tries to convince Phineas to come in the pool
Water gun fight!
Ganging up on Tim

And when we ran out of ways to stay cool outside we retreated into the house and stuffed ourselves silly with summer salads, grilled foods, and too different frozen desserts! Thanks Aunt Cathy and Cousin Heather for feeding us so well :)

About to eat till we burst!

The girls loved hanging out in the airstream…

Cait & Bel- sister ♥

They also LOVED Phineas! Cait would have taken him home with her if she could.

Giving Phin a big hug :)

We enjoyed a pretty amazing fireworks show that night. Not the kind of fireworks that we’re used to in Vermont where one town lights off 20 minutes of fireworks and everyone collectively oohs and awes till it’s over. But a less traditional, less organized, but still pretty spectacular, display by the citizens of Clinton, MI. This was the first year that fireworks were legal in Michigan, and let me tell you, everyone took advantage of the new law. For several hours all you could hear where loud booms and whistles all around. We walked across the street to an open field and had a 360º view of fireworks going off all around us. These were not wimpy bottle rockets, or tiny ones that never leave the ground- but the real deal kind that back in Vermont would summon the cops to your house before you could say “wasn’t me”. Despite my best attempts, I wasn’t able to get any good pictures of the show. This is the only one that even resembled fireworks.

My attempt at capturing the fireworks

Over all it was wonderful to spend time with family. The girls are such a joy to be around and Tim & I greatly enjoyed having other people to talk to besides each other! We are so grateful for their hospitality and look forward to our next visit.

Thursday morning we headed west over to the shores of Lake Michigan. It was another long, boring drive on the Interstate. We could have split it up and spent a night in the middle of the state, but were anxious to make to the lake so we endured the drive. It was sooo worth it. Only a short 5 minute walk from our campsite is this beach!

Lake or ocean?

Lake Michigan is simply gorgeous! Clean, clear, warm water and soft, soft sand. This is my kind of beach.

Phin & Tim didn’t waste any time testing out the water, and I soon followed

We ended up at Claybanks Township Park after an exhaustive search of state parks on the shore yielded no free sites for the weekend. This is why you should make reservations for holiday weekends far in advance- duh. It all worked out for the best though. This is a perfectly lovely small campground with grassy sites, large mature trees for shade, cheap camping fees ($20/night compared to $30 at state parks), and access to an amazing, dog friendly beach. The dog friendly part is like an extra added bonus. Dogs are never allowed on beaches at state parks so we always have to find a sneaky spot for Phin to go in. Not here!

Shaking off after a long swim

After our afternoon beach time and dinner at the site we walked back down to the beach for sunset. Check out this amazing dune grass.

Dune grass- real name yet to be determined

We took a long walk down the beach until it was too dark to see. This is how Phineas walks on the beach. He couldn’t stay out of the water!

Phineas’s version of a walk on the beach
Stick time!

Friday is going to be another hot day so we plan on doing nothing else but spending time on the beach. Life is good.

Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

A small speaker with big sound. We use this portable speaker nearly all day, everyday. The small footprint combined with the convenience of bluetooth makes it the prefect go anywhere traveling speaker.


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6 Responses to “Family time- Beach time”


  1. Heather

    Amanda and Tim – We really enjoyed your visit with us! Thanks for making it a stop on your way, we really appreciate it! Looking forward to keeping up with your travels, keep the photos coming! :)

  2. Erin

    There’s a national sand dune park along the shores of the lake on the southern Michigan side you might enjoy. The dunes are huge and you can climb them.

    • Tim

      Thanks.. That is where we are headed next. We figure arriving on a Sunday afternoon would give us a shot at a campsite. The reservable sites are booked solid.

  3. Lynne

    Thanks for the tip on the Township Park CG! I love the beaches of Western MI and have always struggled to find a nice dog-friendly one south of Sleeping Bear Dunes, so this one looks just perfect for my swimming yellow lab!

    • Lynne

      oh, meant to also say thanks for the farmers market tip as well! I went vegan a few months ago and am always on the lookout for great fresh locally-grown stuff. Looks like you scored big-time!

    • Amanda

      If you are looking a dog friendly beach this is the place to go! Not a very private campground, and it was pretty full of campers the weekend we visited- but the beach was amazing. The nicest one we visited in Western MI for sure.


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