Friday, June 12, 2009

Cousins by the Dozen---Plus!

Every year for the past 10 or 11 years (I forget exactly when we started) the girl cousins on my dad's side of the family have gotten together for a 2-3 day reunion. We have gone various places--Chicago, St. Louis, Pokegan Park in Indiana, Arthur, Illinois, etc. This year we went to Chimney Corner Resort on Crystal Lake near Frankfurt, Michigan. There were 15 of us, with only one cousin missing this year.

View of Crystal lake from our cabin

The House we stayed in
(4 of us stayed in another cozy apartment)

The breakfast table in the "Big House" was a great place for a little nourishment and a lot of conversation. Many round table discussions were held here--lots of laughter and memories.

We have established a tradition of an opening ceremony. It can get a little crazy! Recently it has included a "cousin song" which is made up by the group in charge. This year it was Nadine, Bettilu and Carol (sisters) that wrote the song. They were assisted by Carolyn. The song was to the tune of Hello Dolly. Don't even ask--but the third verse was done with each of us humming through a Kazoo! Did I mention--it gets crazy?

On the first morning several of us took a hike. We went up what we thought was a trail that would take us to a view of Lake Michigan, and sure enough, after walking mostly uphill for quite a while, we did see the lake. It wa a beautiful view! Posing with the lake in the background are LaVonne, Sheila, Dee Brenda and Bettilu.

We had a bit of excitement on the way up the trail. We kept seeing fresh animal paw prints, some of which, like the one above, we decided must belong to a bear! Some were bigger and some were smaller, which we thought could mean there was also a cub--all the more reason for concern! We developed a plan of attack; we would scream, call 911 or the other cousins, and if all else failed we would sing "Nearer my God to Thee".

The first day, we went to a lookout area to view Lake Michigan. We also visited a camp, Little Eden, where some of our group have gone to either kids camp or family camp. This is our group (minus me) on the steps of the dining room at the camp.

We were becoming ravenous with all our travels. We stopped at this little place, "Blue Slipper Bistro" and had a delicious lunch. They had wonderful soup, salads, and sandwiches.

On our second day of adventures, we went to an art gallery/store where Gwen Frostig has her original prints displayed. She sells them on cards, placemats, trivets, just all kinds of things that you can purchase. We could also see the big printing presses where all the cards, etc are printed. Being the shoppers that we are, I think Gwen made quite a profit that day!

Lake Michigan at Glen Arbor
We drove to the dunes, but none of us really wanted to try climbing them. (And I failed to even get a picture of them!) So we went to Glen Arbor, a little town with various interesting shops.
While some of the others were still shopping, Sheila and I walked down a street that was a dead end at Lake Michigan.

This was a beautiful building that almost looked like a hotel right on the lake. It said it was a Residential Club and Spa. I'm guessing it would be a bit pricey to belong to that club. But we had a beautiful view of the lake.

We also discovered this little store which had all kinds of cherry products--salsa, jams, candy, etc. They had samples of everything, so we could go around and taste all the products. Once again, it paid off, as several of us made purchases. Right next to this store was a wine and soda tasting store. I sampled the cherry root beer and brought one home for later.

There were some very cute signs at the "cherry store". Some of us posed for a photo with this sign. I think Bettilu has acting potential!

I didn't find any cherries with pits in all of my sampling, but it appears that they were prepared for any of us that had a need to spit our cherry pits. They planned for everything!

Our last evening there, we went to Point Betsie to watch the sunset at the lighthouse there. Unfortunately, it was cloudy and so there was not a brilliant sunset like we had anticipated. It was a little disappointing, but the lighthouse was awesome to see, and we watched the light come on in the tower.
All in all, we had a great time! It's wonderful to have a group of cousins who get along so well, and we always have tons of fun and laughter along the way. My sister Brenda has some great pictures and a wonderful post about our experience--you might want to check it out. I feel very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful family.


Brenda said...

You got some great photos! It was so fun to look at them and read your commentary! We are certainly blessed!

Rebecca said...

I LOVED reading of how you spent your time. It was good to see several familiar faces in the photos, too. Especially I like the cherry signs! What a great tradition to keep going!

Dee said...

Welcome to Michigan!!!What fun...i want to be one of your cousins...:) Dee

Anonymous said...

Hi Donna,
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about Glen Arbor to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you soon!