Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthday weekend getaway

To celebrate my birthday-- and because we found a Groupon for a bed and breakfast there-- we took a quick trip to Saugatuck this weekend just for the fun of it. It's about a 2.5 hour-drive away and right on the coast of Lake Michigan.

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On Oval Beach

We didn't have a set itinerary and just wanted to relax and see something different, and it was different alright... Apart from gatecrashing the town's Halloween parade, the highlight of the trip was our little jaunt to Oval Beach. Consistently voted one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country, I hear it's a bustling beach in the summer. But being the end of October, it was pretty much empty save for us, a few hardcore joggers, and some other tourists who promptly bundled back into the car from the cold. This time of the year, it's probably not everyone's idea of a pretty beach, but Jude and I loved it. There's a sparse, stark beauty to it that reminded us a little of the Northern Californian coastline. Looking out across the expansive waters, it was actually hard to imagine that it's Lake Michigan before us and not an ocean.

And as for Sophie, she basically treated the beach as one giant sandbox that she didn't have to share with anyone. It didn't even matter to her that it was 38F (3C) with windshield- with a warm jacket and fleece hat, she was oblivious to the elements and more focused on the structural integrity (or lack thereof) of her sandcastle, of which she built several.

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What's a bit of cold?

She also had fun climbing up and down (and sometimes, through) the smaller sand dunes surrounding the beach.

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Sand dunes rock!

It was soft, fine sand and so we had no worries that Sophie would fall and hurt herself. Besides, honestly, it was so wonderful seeing her embrace the natural surroundings so fearlessly and gleefully that we didn't have the heart to stop her even after her nth climb. She probably carted half the beach in her shoes and backpack after we were done building more sandcastles, picking rocks, and chasing the waves but it was worth it seeing how happy that made her :)

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Favorite photo of Sophie from the trip

See rest of photos here.

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