School ended. Vacation began. While Bryan stayed home to work on a summer class he's teaching, a wedding party in Howell, Michigan was the kick off to the girls' and my summer break. Our cousin Emily Jarvi and her husband John Risk had a party celebrating their wedding, which took place in the Bahamas in early spring. The party had an elegant atmosphere, photo booth fun, and a good dance space: Kate's dad danced with all four of his granddaughters, and we got to take a Jarvi/Beamer/Menchaca photo, alas without Bryan.
After time to see a lot of family at Emily and John's party, it was off to Kalamazoo, Michigan, famous home of Bells Beer, the Waterstreet Coffee houses and the marvelous mayhem that is the MacInnis family. Luckily, close friends Julie, Joey and the I guy (Issac) live nearby in St. Joseph, so they came for swimming with our clothes on in the MacInnis' well maintained pool, Mindy's curry, Avatar and talk-talking. Next time, hopefully Bryan and Shawn can both be there.
Pilgrim Center, a camp in Green Lake, Wisconsin is a part of our summers. Bryan was a counselor there in the early 90's, and we spent part of our honeymoon there. Analeise and Brooke have gone there most of their lives, either for family camp or for kids' camp. This year, Analeise attended Junior High adventure camp, which meant she got to sail, go horseback riding and complete a challenge course. Both girls got to make candles, swim, canoe and experience life without computers, video games, telephones or TV's. Loads of mosquitos, laughing and fun!
While the girls were at camp, Bryan and I packed things in the house, took long walks, and on their last day, we headed to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. We had brat sandwiches and delicious but too-big malts (are you asking, "what's too big for a malt?"), at the Charcoal Inn North and then headed to Kohler-Andrae State Park. The park is full of tall, soft sand dunes left by the same glaciers that carved out the lake bed and then melted to create Lake Michigan. There's a great sandy beach, and if you're so inclined, places to camp. Restful. Windy. Beautiful. A great place to nap and play in the waves.
Now it's time to dig in and get ready for Finland. Our long to-do list will have to be all done before the end of July, as that's when we leave for Tampere.