Alli - It's still dark outside.
Ian - It's 7:30 in the morning.
I know guys, but we've got to get up and get moving. We're in Saint Louis, but we've got to get ourselves up to Michigan.
We're in a 15 passenger van with the rest of the family on a 9 hour drive north to Michigan. It really reminded me of the scene out of Home Alone when Kate McCallister hops in the back of a Budget moving van with Gus Polinski (John Candy) to get home. And the reason we're on the road so early is because of the weather. Yesterday the weather was pleasant, but overnight it turned nasty. Rain storms rolled in and it was coming down hard.
Rita drove for the first 4 hours in the rain, then it was my turn to take over.
Since we're heading north, it's getting a lot colder. I took over in the freezing rain, and then eventually the snow. This was the front of the van about 4 hours out when I stopped for gas.
Everyone headed inside to use the facilities and these two rascals came out with these. Frozen drinks? Really?
I got a much more sensible York Peppermint Patty Cappuccino which was excellent.
I took it nice and slow in the van. The roads were snowy, and when I got off the freeway, they got icy too. The kids have been looking forward to getting up to Michigan to play in the snow. As soon as I got out of the van, they were throwing snowballs at me!
Like I said, rascals.
Alli - Uncle Ty, can we have a fire?
Tyler - If you'll help me light it.
She was hesitant at first (rightly so), but used the torch to get the starter log lit, and soon we had a nice roaring fire.
Someone remembered the Fire Color Magic packets the kids got for their birthday a few months back, and we watched as the flames turned different shades of blue and green. They were a fun addition.
This is where I spent most of my nights, sitting in front of the fireplace. Good thing Tyler has a large stack of dry wood in the garage.
One of Rita's neighbors, Becky, got a fantastic Christmas gift and wanted to share it with everyone. The kids were really excited to see how it all worked and taste the results.
It's a real soft serve ice cream maker!
And what better thing to put in it than Dole Whip! Not generic pineapple soft serve. The real Dole Whip that they serve at Disney. It's giving me ideas for a future taste test. Maybe something this summer.
And she didn't just bring over the Soft Serve Machine and Dole Whip mix. There's also waffle bowls, strawberries, pineapple chunks, mangos, whipped cream, and sprinkles. Amazing.
The kids happily assembled their own bowls with everything they wanted in it.
Alli - Can I have a little more whipped cream?
Tyler's bowl looked delicious too. This was a fantastic Christmas present. Thank you for sharing Becky!
But why stop there? A national cookie store named Crumbl has developed quite a following. They change their menu weekly, and because they have a Dole Whip cookie this week, Becky stopped by to get a few of those too!
Payton adores Crumbl cookies, and even follows them online to hear about their newest cookies. We tried the Pineapple Whip cookie, Sugar Twix cookie, and Kentucky Butter Cake cookie. They were all delicious, but I still liked the Dole Whip cookie best. They did a very good job matching the flavor.
Theresa and I were able to get away for a couple hours for a date day. I've been missing Deep Dish Pizza (I haven't tried making it in a while) and Pizza Papalis makes a fantastic one. Theresa's Junior size spinach pizza ($7) and my small meatlover's pizza ($25). We ate while we watched Black Widow on Disney Plus. It was a good couple hours.
And even though it's freezing outside, the kids still want frozen drinks when we get back.
Just Dance was a hit. For Christmas they got a subscription to the online archive of songs, so now there's 600+ things they can dance to.
Alli really gets her wiggle on. She loves it.
It's fun hanging out with family with nothing on the agenda. Disney Apples to Apples is great, though the kids somehow communicate telepathically and pick each other's cards even though they don't make sense.
Movie Night at Uncle Don and Aunt Amy's house! We watched Encanto on Disney Plus! We all thought it was great! My niece in Colorado is going on her 8th viewing of it already.
When the credits started rolling, Ian asked "Did Uncle Ruston work on this one?" He remembers how we saw his name in the credits of Raya and the Last Dragon.
I don't know Ian, I guess we'll have to watch and see.
They were so excited!
Oh my. This is what happens when you have an older cousin and want to play dress-up.
There was no shortage of tasty treats to eat. Rita's delicious chocolate chip cookies.
Or holiday peppermint shakes from Steak & Shake. Theresa's been wanting one of these all Christmas break and this is the first we've gotten. It was delicious!
We did a few more things while we were here, but I'll write a few of those up separately.
On our last night, we had an early birthday celebration for Theresa. Who needs matches when you've got a blowtorch.
Happy Birthday Theresa!
We're happy to be spending it with people again!
A few video clips of our fun times.
Great way to spend the last night in Michigan...(early) Happy Birthday, Theresa! The blazing fireplace was the perfect spot to get comfy (Theresa was definitely enjoying it!) when it's so cold outside...pretty to see the Fire Color Magic in action, too, with those blues/greens. Becky shared such a wonderful Dole Whip soft serve treat extravaganza (plus cookies)...what a dessert feast...Hey, Alli, I don't think you got enough whip cream since I can still see some pineapples and strawberries :-) :-) It makes perfect sense to Alli & Ian to have frozen drinks on a freezing day...have to match the weather!...guess the adults are "non-sensical" and prefer a warm, York Peppermint Patty Cappaccino (sounds delicious!). "Just Dance" was a great way to burn off some of those yummy treats (can't get enough of homemade chocolate chip cookies, especially when there's a lot of chocolate chips in there). Such excitement hoping to see Uncle Ruston's name...patience paid off! Glad you and Theresa got a chance to have a date day enjoying deep dish pizza and a movie!...chance to slow down and just quietly enjoy some "alone time" to reconnect and relax. Michigan offered lots of fun family time to unwind and do whatever after a hectic time prior to arriving (and after driving through hazardous conditions, too). EOMReplyDelete