Thursday, September 29

Oakes Reunion 2011

Most of the Oakes bunch gathered in Bemidji on the weekend of July 4th.  Okay, so I am a little slow in posting.  I would have sooner but I lost all but 2 of my photos of the whole weekend !#$%*(darn it).  I don't know how- they disappeared out of My Pictures folder and before I realized it I had erased my SD camera card to make more room on it. !#$%*(drat).  It was one of those very thistley moments. Grrrr.

Thankfully, some others took photos too, so thank you, Dave, for sending me yours!

We met the first evening at our house for fruit pizza, CHOCOLATE, visiting, card playing, and making reunion t-shirts!

Saturday morning some of us paddled the Schoolcraft River in canoes.  I had some great photos. Had. Grrr.  That afternoon we met at Oak Hills for more visiting, swimming, and a picnic.

Sunday we met for a Kentucky Fried lunch at Bryce and Heather's before heading downtown (in our reunion t-shirts) to watch the annual 4th of July parade in front of Chocolates Plus.  That is a great store by the way. :) 

Then that afternoon we all met at Chris and Janel's for more relaxing, visiting, swimming, good food, a bonfire and even some fireworks!  I am not sure why these next photos got so small and I can't fer the life of me figure out how to enlarge them.  Sorry.

It was a fun weekend with all those crazy Oakies and plans for the next one were already being made before we said goodbye.  The only thing that would have made the weekend better is if Mike and Julie and their boys could have been with us-- we missed them :(

Thursday, September 8

Smitten with the Mitten

 Bill and I decided to take the northern route home from Grand Rapids and we discovered that the state of Michigan is awfully beautiful.  Lush, green hardwood trees and they have jet black squirrels!

The Mackinaw Bridge was impressive too.  I didn't realize it is the longest suspended bridge in the Western Hemisphere.

Of course one can't travel through the U P without having a pastie!  I like dipping it in the gravy myself.

One place we stayed was Escanaba and had a room overlooking a bay of Lake Superior with a door out to our own little veranda.

They had a nice boardwalk along the lake.

Spent the last night in Duluth, did some window shopping at antique stores (like) and made a stop at the Amazing Bread Co and the Chocolate Factory of course (like, like:)

Walked down by the lake a little bit.

Lunch at Olive Garden~ YUM.  I had a parmesan crusted, cheese stuffed lasagna noodle thing topped with marina and it was delish.  Their breadsticks are heavenly.  Why oh why can't we have an Olive Garden in Bemidji??

And then home sweet home.  It was a long, long trip- we put over 1,600 miles on the van, but it was sure nice to just get away and spend some time together.

Tuesday, September 6

It's goodbye again.

 After packing up the van with all of Landon's worldly possessions we said goodbye to Leanne and headed down the road to Grand Rapids, MI, to bring Landon to Calvin College.

We made a stop in Eau Claire, WI, to have lunch with my brother, Dave, at Heckler's.  Can't believe we ate at a cheese head place.

Took a break in Wisconsin Dells.  We went for a stroll down the walk by the river and of course had some cheese curds and Swiss chocolate.  Of course.

After spending a night in Madison and then doing some shopping near Chicago we finally arrived in Grand Rapids.  We tried an Italian restaurant that evening called Pietro's- it was quite good.

Next morning it was off to Calvin.

Getting moved in... Landon's roommate didn't arrive until a couple days later so we didn't get to meet him :(  But the two of them have a great suite, usually shared by four people, so they have one room for their beds and clothes and one room for their desks and living space and a good sized bathroom in between.

He's all set.

We were wowed by the huge campus, nice facilities with everything you can imagine, very friendly staff, good food, and absolutely beautiful grounds.  We met a couple of the philosophy professors and toured the classrooms and lounge in the philosophy department, which is what Landon is studying.

Bill and I attended a service in the chapel with a massive pipe organ.  I shed all my tears during this service so I wouldn't have to be a blubbering mess when we said goodbye. 

The last part of parent/first-year/transfer student orientation day was a big picnic on the commons lawn.  It was a LOT of people!  Calvin has I think approximately 3,800 students.

Okay, so I was a little sad.  We won't see him until Christmas.  Wah!  But after almost a year and half of working towards this we know he is in the right place.  And if he doesn't absolutely love it he is crazy.