Someone recently asked me the question,"If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be?"
I'm sure there are many exotic locations I could have listed, but on the spot, the first place that popped into my mind was Michigan.
The beauty of Michigan in the summer is unparalleled, but what draws me the most are the people. As much as I love where I live, I sure miss my fellow Michiganders.
I was lucky enough during this trip to see best friends from each stage of my life. First up was my attached-at-the-hip high school friend, Abby.
Her kids showed the boys the ropes of life on their lake. The waterpad was a hit.
Nash attempted some meditation and had no idea he was about to get annihilated.
Can you guess who was thrilled and who was apprehensive about the turtle they found?
We had to tear them away from the lake and each other.
Next up was a day with my best friends from college, Steph and Katie. A lot has changed since our late night cram sessions at the library, but there still will never be enough hours together.
We spent the entire day poolside and our collective 11 children wasted no time getting reunited. They played "olympics" and cracked us up with their relay races.
The best part of the day was when they decided to put on a pretend wedding. They took the preparations very seriously. Costumes were gathered, practices were held and there was even a pre-wedding proposal.
How we wish thousands of miles didn't separate these dear friends.
One of my best friends from Utah happened to move to Michigan a couple of months before our trip. Julee and I raised our babies together and I can't say enough about how much she supported me during some difficult pregnancies. Out of all the places her family could have moved, I'm so glad it ended up being Michigan.
In addition to spending time with dear friends, we enjoyed many meals with extended family as well.
The boys reacquainted themselves with their 2nd cousins from both sides of the family. There's nothing like fresh corn on the cob from a roadside stand, eaten on the back porch during a Michigan summer evening.
There wasn't necessarily a lot of things for the kids to do while visiting with relatives, but I loved that they were easy entertained by two kayaks sitting on dry land.
The ice cream cones helped too.
Nash succeeded in another round of relaxation overlooking an inlet of Spring Lake.
A small fraction of the Nash extended family gathered for a picnic at the park overlooking Muskegon Lake.
Nash family gatherings are always accompanied by the flamingo salute. I'm not sure if I even know the full story on how the flamingo salute came to be, but it's been a tradition for as long as I can remember.
Another day, we rode bikes around Muskegon Lake with the Nash family.
We always meet up with my mom's siblings at Fricano's pizza, the best thin crust pizza that ever existed. The boys loved running through the old railroad tracks outside the restaurant almost as much as devouring the pizza.
Our final day in Michigan was our only rainy day, so we boarded the trolley and took one last stroll around the lake that we gathered so often with friends and family.
It had been two years since our last trip to Michigan; too long to not see so many familiar faces. We were grateful to visit with so many of our favorites in one place within such a short span of time.