It should be no surprise that our family went to Ludington State Park once again for a camping trip. We LOVE this place! If you read our post from last year, you will remember that our trip started with a funeral and ended with a broken car. Fortunately, we had no such drama this trip!
We took this trip from a Friday to the following Tuesday. Alaina (who is now 14 months) and I traveled up to Ludington together and Grace came up later in the night after she got out of work. So once again, we had two cars at Ludington. Of course, we needed it to carry all of our stuff! This year, we were back in the Cedar Campground in site #191. This site was good, however I think it would work best for a tent (like we camp in) or a pop-up. The reason I say that is because there are a few large pine trees in the middle of the site. It would have been nicer if they had not been there because they kind of felt like they were in the middle of the lot. The pine trees also dropped a weird, wet sap-like substance. It was wet, but it wasn’t sticky. So fortunately that wasn’t too big of a deal.
One of our big questions for the trip up was what to do about dinner on Friday night since Grace would be arriving after dinner time, but Alaina and I would be arriving before. We decided to each pick something up for us on the way up to Ludington. Alaina and I stopped at Meijer, a grocery store right off the US-31 exit in Ludington, because there were a few grocery items we needed to get. I decided to check out what they offered in the deli that we could maybe have for dinner. This ended up being a great choice. Meijer had a nice selection of cold deli items such as sandwiches in addition to warmer items like fried chicken and wings. I also felt the price was much cheaper than if we had stopped at a fast-food restaurant in town. I settled on the BBQ Boneless Wings for Alaina and I. I must say, they were quite good and Alaina thought they were outstanding. She could not eat enough! I think she ended up having 5 to 6 wings, which is a lot for a 14 month old!
Once Friday night came, I had everything set up and Grace arrived. I also was trying to get Alaina to fall asleep. Last year when we came, Alaina was just 3 months old and had no problem sleeping each night. But we were more nervous for this time and how a 14 month would do in a new environment. The biggest problem with sleep being that we were in a tent and the sun doesn’t set until close to 10:00. Trying to get a 14 month old to think it was bedtime in these conditions was a challenge! She fussed more than she does at home but overall, getting her to nap and sleep at night wasn’t too bad. It got better as the trip went on. That evening, I had a desire for ice cream. Fortunately, the store in Ludington serves ice cream from Country Dairy out of New Era, MI. I love Country Diary ice cream so I got each of us some: Grace had Strawberry Cheesecake and I had Peanut ‘Udder Bliss (a peanut butter based ice cream). Both flavors were just delicious. Exhausted from the day, Grace and I were in bed around 10:00.
Saturday morning came early! Remember how I said sunset isn’t until close to 10:00 in June here? Well that means sunrise is around 6:00 and Alaina was up at the crack of dawn! That meant we had some early mornings in our tent, which usually consisted of her looking at Grace and I on the air mattress, and us pleading with her to go back to sleep! Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. So we had the coffee on early and breakfast was made on the early side. That first morning, we had bagels from a bagel shop close to our house- kept it simple! During our first morning, we took a walk around the campground and down to the dam that is within the park. From there we went and checked out the new playground that is being installed at the Hamlin Lake Beach. I must say, it looks awesome! This is going to be a great addition to the park. There are many slides for kids in addition to what I call some “Ninja Warrior” challenges for kids. This will definitely be enjoyed by Alaina in the years to come. Of course Alaina spotted the water in Hamlin Lake, so she took off and felt it. I went in a little bit as well and it was quite warm, especially for the end of June.
That afternoon, two of Grace’s sisters joined us to hang out. We had chicken salad (which we had bought at Meijer) for lunch. We sat around the campfire for awhile (it was sort of cold) and then moved our chairs to some sun on our lot. Once Alaina woke up from her nap, we went over to the Lake Michigan Beach. This was one of our first times this year at the beach with Alaina, and she loves the sand! For her birthday, she got some sand toys so these came into good use on this trip. I decided to take Alaina down to Lake Michigan for one of her first times in the water (I don’t remember if she went in last year). Well I set her down on the shore, a big, cold wave came, and it went all over her lower body. She cried and that was the end of that. I must admit, the water was pretty cold so I didn’t go in too much either. While we were there, a misty, fog like cloud came in off the water. So we packed up our beach stuff, headed back to the campsite, and said farewell to Grace’s sisters. That evening, Grace and I had steak for dinner (which came from Aldi and was surprisingly good for its price) and then headed down to the amphitheater for a magic show that was being held that night. The magician thought he was really funny (he wasn’t) and his tricks were not that impressive. Then again, I think he was more geared towards kids so they might have had a different take on it. The kids at the lot next to us talked about it all night long, so at least they liked it. We ended the night with a campfire.
On Sunday, my parent’s and brother were planning on coming to visit us. But before they came, we had french toast and bacon for breakfast. Of course we ate early because Alaina was up once again at 6:00. My mom was in a wheelchair due to knee surgery so we were able to see how well Ludington was for handicap accessible. We were able to take a walk down the bike paths to the dam and then travel down the Sable River trail with her. This trail is advertised as being handicap accessible and with someone pushing my mom, I would agree with that. A lot of it is paved path and the rest is crushed stone. For lunch we had hamburgers and hung out for the rest of the afternoon. It was on the colder side (noticing a pattern?) and my mom didn’t really want to give the beach a try in her wheelchair. I don’t blame her. We celebrated Grace’s 27th birthday and then my family left. That evening, Grace and I had hobo pies, pizza style, cooked in the campfire and loaded up on S’mores before we went to bed.
Monday was our last full day at Ludington. I had three things I wanted to do on this last day here: hike, beach, and go into town to shop and get ice cream.