Just a few days into summer break, we left the humidity of a Florida summer and headed north for the cool, fresh temps of Michigan. I do love summer in MI! We went a little earlier than we normally do this year and unfortunately, that meant I missed out on one of my favorite parts of MI; the fresh strawberries at the farmer’s market. They weren’t ready yet. MI had such a cool spring, that all the crops are a couple of weeks behind.
My sister’s in-laws live on about 10 acres south of Holland and have created what we call Miller’s Adventureland for the kids. They have a 4-wheeler track, a zipline, pool, and trampoline for the kids to enjoy. Not to mention all the acres of land to explore. We were able to spend an afternoon enjoying all the fun activities.
Sadly, we did have a few days of rainy weather and a sick kiddo, so we didn’t get to head up to Northern Michigan and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The kids still had a great time hanging with their cousins and getting to spend plenty of time outdoors playing tennis, going to the park, walking to the corner grocery store, exploring the nature center, visiting grandparents, and just being kids.
We love the fun we get to have in MI. Next time, we hope to get up north though! There is just something about northern Michigan that immediately calms you and all you can do is enjoy your time there.
Summer break just officially started, but we’ve been enjoying the sun and beach for close to two months now!
We’ve got a couple of fun trips planned for the summer, plenty of pool and beach time, and a few decorating projects. Hubby just started his new job and it’s a remote position working from home. This meant some rearranging of spaces to give him a dedicated office and so far, we are loving the “commute”. It’s amazing to think that now I will have the commute, which is only about 15 minutes from our house to the school where I teach. After so many years of deployments and hours that are set in stone and often longer than expected, it feels surreal that he just has to go in his office and close the door to start working.
We are so excited for this new chapter and I can’t wait to share it!
About a month ago hubs and I ended up having some time to spend on our own and we decided to take the opportunity to go visit Groot-Bijgaarden. It is a short drive outside of Brussels and not far from our little town as well. They have an annual spring flower show, which is the largest in Belgium and the gardens are open for tours. Because the palace is still lived in by the Bigard family, the gardens are only open for about a month every year when the flowers are at their peak, but it is available for rentals year-round. I could just imagine a fairy-tale wedding and reception here at the centuries old castle.
The moat around the castle still exists and you enter the castle grounds by crossing a drawbridge. Once you arrive inside you can explore the grounds including the chapel.
Chapel decorated for the flower show
The grounds were planted with beautiful displays of tulips, daffodils, hyacinth and crocus. We went one of the first days the grounds were open for tours, so we did not see them in their full spring glory, but they were beautiful and promised a grand show at their peak.
The festival also offered a food and beverage tent and a playground for kids to enjoy. There are various other activities available throughout the festival and indoor display area where Belgian floral designers and landscapers show-off their skills in themed presentations. You can also purchase various bulbs and potted plants that were on display in the gardens and the indoor area.
Prices are listed on the website and they offer a season pass for just 18 EUR/adult. We chose to just get the one-day ticket as we weren’t sure if we’d make it back for another visit.
It was a perfect little outing for just hubs and me and the rain held off just long enough for us to walk the majority of the grounds.