we fueled up . . .
and headed for Doug and Kasi's for brunch.
Eli, of course, was starving . . . but the rest of us waited until it was actually time to eat.
Before everyone arrived, I made a quick dash upstairs, just to make sure we hadn't left anything behind (like big messes that needed cleaning up or Dave's toiletries), and I came upon the bride's paraphernalia laying on the bed with a ray of sunlight streaming across it.
It was just begging to be photographed, and who am I to turn something like that down?!
After brunch the newlyweds opened gifts . . .
and we hit the road, in search of Lake Michigan. Dave drove and I randomly selected a turn-off, in hopes that we would actually get to see part of the beautiful Lake. We ended up stopping at this produce stand to ask for directions . . .
I loved all the brightly colored fruits . . .
And we ended up buying a perfect pumpkin and a bag of Honey Crisp apples for the trip home. We also found that we were only a few blocks away from Lake Michigan, and a little town called South Haven.
The first thing we did was ooooo . . . and ahhhhh over the lighthouse. So we headed on out to the pier.
The lighthouse was lovely . . .
and a super nice couple from Indiana, even offered to take our picture! (Thanks guys!)
It didn't take us long to decide we needed a walk on the beach, though . . .
So we braved the sand, the waves and the seagulls and took a stroll along the beach.
The kids took a little time to unwind on the playground equipment . . .
and I feel that we were VERY privileged to get to visit on the last warm day of the year.
The temperature was dropping, and a cold front was moving in, even as we were getting ready to leave. I ended up driving from South Haven, across Indiana . . .
and into Illinois.
We stopped at the Whistle Stop Cafe for supper (where Eli proceeded to vomit all over the bathroom floor), and then Dave took the wheel for a few hours.
We stopped for fuel in Springfield, Illinois and I was back at the helm. We finally made it to the Missouri state line around 1:00 a.m. . . .
and we switched drivers again at Fulton, around 2:45 a.m. Dave got us home around 4:30 a.m. and we ALL sacked out in our own beds. It was SO good to be home. Though it be ever so humble (and messy), there truly is no place like home.