This update is somewhat baby-related, but mostly me just showing off pics from our trip to Michigan, which was BEAUTIFUL. I think you could even call it a “babymoon” although I’m pretty sure if I had used that word to describe the trip before we went… Michael would have refused to go.
But first, babies: Things are going well! I have literally nothing to whine about at this point, which is weird. I went in for a growth scan/world’s longest doctor’s appointment on Monday. It took almost two hours of ultrasound time to get all the images they needed, but everything looks good. Babies are still in there, all their parts are developing as expected. They were 13 ounces apiece on Monday, which is just a little heavier than my app says they should be right now. I like to think all the ice cream I’m eating is paying off.
They’re doing their part (growing) and I’m doing mine (keeping them in there.) Up until this point I’ve been at the doctor’s office for a checkup about every two weeks, partially because the risk of preterm labor is higher with multiples, for those who’ve had reductions, and for those with infertility issues. So I’m kind of a perfect storm. My cervix is holding up like a champ at this point though and looks “beautiful” according to the doctor. That’s not the first time I’ve heard my cervix described that way. I like to think it’s because of all the weights I lifted in a pre-pregnancy life.
We did go ahead and find out the babies’ genders at our last appointment a few weeks ago. I don’t think either of us was planning on finding out (I wasn’t) but Michael isn’t one to turn down readily-available information, so when it came time to shield our eyes from the screen, he kept on looking. I couldn’t be the one to not know… so we found out. And it’s driving everyone (read: their grandmothers) a little crazy, but we’re not sharing. Not now… probably not until they’re here.
Now. Did you know I am a road trip warrior? I once drove from Kansas City to Denver and back in a day. Now our whole family is working on warrior status. We spent 30+ hours and 1900 miles in the car together over about four days. And 12/10, would recommend most of the trip as long as you really love your traveling companions. I’m lucky to have some pretty easygoing and enjoyable road trip partners.
Each place had a little something different to offer. The beach at Warren Dunes was beautiful, with lots going on: people kite-surfing, sandboarding, playing volleyball, and even walking with their dogs.
We weren’t there long, and stopped in South Haven for coffee on the way up to the Leelenau Peninsula, where Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is. This area was the highlight of the trip for both of us… this is the “Pure Michigan” you don’t see much of on the run from Detroit to Saginaw, where I lived for a few years. We did some impromptu kayaking up to Platte Lake in the rain when we first got there (and saw a river otter!), had dinner in Glen Arbor and kayaked out to Lake Michigan the next day. I highly recommend kayaking if you visit that area… the water is so clear. We’re pretty used to muddy Arkansas and Missouri rivers, and this was like being in some sort of cold water Bahamas. We had lunch in Traverse City that day during the National Cherry Festival, which was insane. I was too hungry to take any pictures.
We camped every night – sometimes in the back of the truck, sometimes in hammocks, sometimes in our tent. We had a couple of minor brushes with nature… a trash panda got into the side of the cooler I stupidly left out in Warren Dunes, and had about three bites of dog food before I chased it off. There was a serious thunderstorm the night we camped at Sleeping Bear Dunes. Michael spent two hours panicking we would get swept away in a microburst, and I slept through most of it. After that it was up to Mackinaw City and out to Mackinac Island.
Mackinac is beautiful, and I could have stayed there for two days just Instagramming every building and doggo and flower bed on the island, but if I’m honest, it’s a bit of a tourist trap. I’d been before and that’s so not Michael’s game, so we walked around a bit, had lunch, made fun of the ridiculous number of fudge shops on the island, and then rode the ferry back to the mainland before starting the long journey home.
We learned a few things along the way. We used to (barely) be hardcore backpack campers but have softened in our older age and now mostly car camp. I always thought that car camping in a state park was the weakest type of camping there is, but we were introduced to a whole new world of private campgrounds last week. We didn’t make a ton of reservations for this trip, and chose some of our camping locations while we were en-route to the area. Our first choice would typically be a state or national park, but it was Friday night of a holiday week, so we ended up at a private campground in Mackinaw City. Private campgrounds are a whole new level of cush for which we were not prepared. I’m talking campground store with Wi-Fi, heated pool, putt-putt golf, kids’ activities, and an RV area that looked like the inner field at a NASCAR event. It’s not exactly “natural” – we were elbow-to-elbow with the people at the site next to us, but this particular campground still had really nice park areas and views of the Straits of Mackinac and the bridge.
I mentioned I’m a road trip warrior. I’m not quite as much of one as I thought I would be. If you think you can start a 14-hour road trip at 2:00 in the afternoon after waking up with the sun at 6 a.m., and make it home without stopping to sleep, you’re probably wrong. I was. We camped the last night of the trip at a small lake in Iowa that I’m sure was a nice place, but we never saw the actual lake or anything other than the entrance to our campground and the road to our campsite. We pulled in after 11 p.m., made a bunch of noise (during quiet hours) setting up the air mattress in the back of the truck, and were out of there before anyone around us had even roused from their camper.
In all, it was a nice “last hurrah before babies” type of trip. I’m saving up my vacation time from here on out, and our “wild hair” camping days are probably over for a while. We did talk quite a bit on the road about adapting our camping style for kids in the future… so I’m sure this won’t be our last trip like this, even if it’s our last trip for a while.