Ok, I was just going to tack a few of these pics onto another post, but I had too many to share. We went to west Michigan and specifically my hometown of Holland, for the fourth where my Mom, Dad, brother and sister-in-law live. Marc’s brother and his wife also joined us and we packed in as much fun as possible.
We drove the (almost) 3 hour trip after work on Thursday night, very excited about a 4-day weekend. It’s our routine to grab dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Holland when we arrive. This time we chose Butch’s and asked for a table outside. The weather was sunny and a bit cool, but beautiful. We had to wait all of 5 minutes to get our table and a kind gentleman apologized for the wait (for real?) and offered to get drinks started for us. He said, “When I go out, I’m ready for a drink.” My kind of guy. Ah, west Michigan. It’s one of the friendliest regions there is.
The next morning I sat on my parents’ deck and as I yawned in my pj’s, I saw my breath! They live only a few miles from lake Michigan and it makes for cool mornings and nights. My Dad asked if he could pick up some donuts or bagels for breakfast. I was still a little full from our late dinner, but then I remembered DeBoer’s Bakery, a family-owned Dutch bakery, was only a few miles away. We decided to go together while Marc slept in.
The funniest thing happened while waiting in line at DeBoer’s. I recognized the nice older man that asked if I was ok when I had a little fall on the ice last March in pursuit of a cronut. What are the chances that we’d both be there at the same time? Pretty good, I guess. While he ordered up a loaf of cracked wheat bread, I asked if he remembered the girl that fell on the ice and he did, adding, “I’m glad we don’t have to worry about ice today!”
Everything smelled and looked great. We picked baked goods as quickly as the girl could get them in the box, including a chocolate espresso cronut (incredible!!), apple cinnamon muffin, black and white cookie and almond sticks, which are flaky pastry with almond paste inside, my Mom’s favorite. As we were finishing up our selections and telling each other it was getting out of hand, a tray of s’mores donuts with mini marshmallows on top came through the kitchen doors. We resisted the donut temptation (I really don’t know how), but tacked on a loaf of their raisin pecan bread which is seriously out of this world with a swipe of fresh butter. The bread itself is not sweet at all, but perfectly studded with pieces of pecan and a mix of dark and golden raisins.
After breakfast it was time to shower before heading to my brother’s house for a 4th of July barbecue and my Mom had stocked the shower with 3 shampoos and no conditioner. I searched through the bathroom cabinet and just behind the conditioner was some vintage Bath and Body Works body splashes from looooong ago. I smelled each scent and they seriously took me back to my teenage years. I took these bottles along to the barbecue so all of the girls could reminisce and have a good laugh. Head over to my Instagram page for the best conversation about Bath and Body Works that went along with this picture.
My Dad road with us to my brother’s house and he was excited to get the party started. My sister-in-law asked what he was drinking and then we went inside to fix all of us a cocktail. Five minutes later, my party animal Dad was napping on the patio. Bethany suggested this toasting photo.
Our good friends Rachel and Mike (Rachel’s sister is my childhood friend that I visit in California!) biked over with a case of beer and delicious caesar salad in tow. They’re the cutest! We had pork tenderloin with my favorite bahn mi marinade, corn salad, caesar salad, sliced watermelon and mini cheesecakes with blueberries and strawberries.
After we ate and laughed and set off some puny fireworks that someone decided we should stack (??), we headed to Kollen Park to watch the big fireworks. The sun was just setting over Lake Macatawa when we arrived.
The fireworks were SO GOOD. We hadn’t been to a big fireworks show in years and I’m glad we went. As we walked back to our car, one of Bethany’s sunglass lenses fell out and with the help of the iPhone flashlight we found it and she insisted it wasn’t her lens when it refused to go back into place. We laughed at the remote possibility that another sunglass lens would be in the spot where she misplaced hers. Later my brother figured out how to insert the lens and now they’re good as new.
Every year we plan a “siblings day” instead of getting each other Christmas gifts. It’s a tradition we started a few years ago and it’s been fun to plan something together. On Saturday morning, the girls (plus my brother) walked downtown for a little shopping while the other boys watched World Cup soccer. Then we made reservations for an early dinner at a newly renovated restaurant called Sandy Point Beach House. The white-planked walls give the space a beachy feel inside that’s perfect for summer dining. We sat in the enclosed porch where sun filled the room.
These were my yellowfin tuna tacos. They were very fresh and the light summer meal I was looking for. I can’t believe how pretty they were in their cute taco holder.
Just outside the restaurant is a great outdoor space with beach sand, outdoor tables for eating, an outdoor bar and 2 bocce ball courts. We played a great game of bocce ball together and soaked up the beautiful weather.
After dinner we stopped at Captain Sundae for ice cream . I ordered the salty dog with vanilla soft serve, caramel, hot fudge, pretzels, peanut butter cup, whipped cream and a cherry. Whoa. They offer several nautical-themed sundaes, local Hudsonville ice cream, flurries, shakes, slushies and more. The most famous sundae is the Tommy Turtle with hot fudge, caramel and toasted pecans or get the Tammy Turtle for sweet praline pecans instead. I think it was our best siblings day yet.
I hope your holiday weekend was tops, too!