This weekend we did our first coast to coast trip to visit our daughter and her husband. We are on Lake Huron and they are nearly 4 hours away on Lake Michigan. I was excited to find a good route and see a part of the state we rarely see. We stayed off freeways as much as possible and utilized smaller roads. As a result we didn’t hit any traffic issues until we were nearly there. We also got to take in some beautiful scenery!
We took 55 all the way to Lake City and then 131 down to Grand Rapids. The skies were incredible and we saw storms coming in from different directions over the farmlands and fields. You would look one way and see clear skies and then turn your head to lightning in the distance. I’ve never seen so many different storm systems.
There were some scary lightning strikes and we did have to pull over once to let the heavy rain pass. Our plan was to get to the hotel, have dinner at our favorite restaurant in Holland and then take in a Lake Michigan sunset. The forecast was not looking promising but I didn’t give up hope. I have lived in this state my whole life and know by now that forecasts can change and not to cancel any plans because of weather!
Our daughter and her husband met us for dinner. While we waited for our table we walked around in the park under the shelter of umbrellas and crashed someone’s pavilion party. It was pouring. But still I watched the doppler and pointed out a brief break in the clouds that may just be big enough for a nice sunset. The valet thought I was crazy as I pointed to a sliver of sky that may be getting lighter as we were both were getting wet in the rain. My daughter decided to go home after dinner because she figured it would be a bust.
My always patient husband was willing to humor me though and we headed to the beach. I knew the sand would be wet but I wanted to get my legs wet anyway. I also knew that the prettiest sunsets often happen after the darkest storms. The sky cleared just for us and we were rewarded with an amazing sunset! We walked along the shore and held hands as the sun set and the warm water washed over us, feeling very grateful for the show mother nature provided for us.
On Sunday we played tourist around town and stopped to visit the new Wizard of Oz display in Centennial Park. We had ordered a memorial brick in my moms name and this was the first time we were able to see it. She really loved Holland, as did her mom so we thought this project was just the right fit. I also have memories of watching that movie as a kid every year when it came on TV My sisters and I would spread out our sleeping bags and my mom would make popcorn. It’s one of my favorite childhood traditions.
The drive home was much faster thanks to clear skies and on the way home as Chad was napping and I was driving through the rolling hills I thought about how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful state. We can watch the sunrise over Lake Huron anytime we want and only a short drive away a sunset awaits. Our kids are all off on their own, but at least they are in the same state and I know I can get in the car and be there within a few hours. I have a lot to be thankful for.