Because it's the Fourth of July, i didn't have to work today, which meant that when Chellie asked me if i wanted to go to our grandpa's house for the night, we totally could!
We first stopped by to visit my grandpa, who is in a nursing home now. (He's almost 98 and healthy and completely mentally sound...but still almost 98.) While we were there, he gave us each a book that he'd made about himself and his life. I'm looking forward to reading it! And then we drove over to the house and just had time to bring our stuff inside before Chellie texted to ask if we wanted to meet them in Grand Haven to eat dinner.
We ate (Burger King. Because we are fancy.) and then went back to the house, where the kids immediately begged to go swimming. So they all threw on their bathing suits, and we headed down to the "beach." (There is no actual beach this year. There's a ladder going down from the bank to a lower part of the bank that's behind the sea wall that was put in back in the 80's, and which has been completely covered for 30 years, and then once you jump down from the sea wall, you're basically in the water. There's sand, but the waves keep it wet, so you can't actually put a towel down to sit on or anything.) The kids ran into the water which was not nearly as cold as i'd expected, and Chellie and i kind of stood around for a little while before deciding that as long as we were going to be not relaxing on the beach anyhow, we might as well take a walk down to our aunt and uncle's house. The kids swam along, out in the lake, while Chellie and i just kept gawking at how completely foreign the entire beach looked this year.
After saying a quick hello to our uncle and aunt and a cousin who happened to be visiting from California this week, we walked back to our grandparents' house, where the kids swam and swam until we finally dragged them back to the house at about 8:30 or 9:00. They all changed into pajamas, and before long we headed out to watch the sunset.
This morning, Zane, Chellie, her son, and i all woke up at about 8:00, walked down toward the beach to look at the glass-smooth lake, ate some breakfast, played piano, and finally woke the other kids up at 9:30. And as soon as breakfast was finished, the kids all got their bathing suits back on and begged to be allowed to go swimming again.
This time we brought chairs down to the beach and tried to sit in them, which sort of worked, except that every time a wave came in, the sand beneath us would get wet and our chair would sink a little deeper into the sand. So it wasn't ideal, but at least it was a place to sit. The kids swam until we dragged them out at around noon to go pack all of our stuff into the cars before everyone else showed up.
My parents, Jackie, Eric, and Cheyanne, and Jim and Alisha and their kids all came out for lunch, and then some of us went back down to the beach (i don't think my kids would ever choose to just ... not swim). Later we had a cornhole tournament (which Juanito/Zane and i soundly lost) and just hung out and enjoyed the company and the lovely weather.
And then tonight, we went to the fireworks, of course. We always go to the same spot - Juanito's favorite place ever to watch the fireworks - and this year Jackie, Chellie, and some of their kids joined us. And it was fun - we played games and did sparklers and the kids ran around a lot - but the actual fireworks were disappointing. They changed the spot that they shoot them off from, which meant that the fireworks were partially behind trees, were lower down, and were farther away from us. It was very sad. Sigh. (I mean, they were still fireworks, but they were just not as happy as usual.) Here's hoping they'll move back next year.