Hey all, here’s what we’ve been up to the last month. Let’s just say travel has eclipsed blogging.

We drove about eight hours south to see the eclipse. It was awesome. Traffic getting home was not awesome. We were only about halfway home by 10 pm and decided to stop at a hotel. Those Marriott rewards sure came in handy, because others we knew traveling back from the vicinity did not get home until 6:30 am!

Neil found a great place to view the eclipse– a library next to a splash pad.  It was perfect for entertaining the kids leading up to totality.

It’s also why Neil is wearing his swim trunks while photographing the eclipse.

On the way to totality, we camped at Mammoth Caves.

We didn’t realize you need to book tickets ahead of time, so Neil waited in line for over an hour and scored us a tour. Our son squeaked by in the free age category by just two days. There’s the personal finance tie-in: late summer birthdays are good for tourist attraction admission.

I was a little nervous about descending into the cave, but our daughter was more than comfy. She fell asleep near the end.

A couple weeks before our eclipse adventure, we headed to a beautiful campground in Michigan. If only our station wagon had wood paneling!

Things we did: camped with friends, picked the biggest blueberries I’ve ever seen, swam, kayaked, biked to town, got ice cream, played Uno, toured the light house, hiked in pouring rain, made s’mores over the fire.

Things we didn’t do, but probably could have: contracted lice from a family of nine, been eaten by bears, gotten lost in a National Forest, and blown away in 18-20 mph winds (we only lost our tent’s door mat).


Light house tour was fun. We all made it to the top.

The light house’s Fresnel lens. In tact ones are apparently rare.

View of the bay next to our camp site.

The “lunkers,” as my son calls them.

Beautiful little beach a minute’s walk from our camp site. The kids would swim during sunset.

After camping, we took a steamship ferry across Lake Michigan since Neil had a meeting for work in Green Bay.

We stayed at a tundra-themed waterpark hotel in Green Bay. I took the kids down the slides. So. Many. Times.

The National Train Museum in Green Bay was free with our reciprocal membership benefits. There were lots of old trains you could go in. My favorite was the mail train on the left.

It’s been a whirlwind. During our few stints home we were busy preparing Bible teachings, making garden-fresh salsa, and having play dates before school starts. Neil also had a men’s retreat, and is getting ready for a short-term mission trip to India. I’m both soaking in the last days of summer and longing for the structure of the school year.

How has your summer wrapped up? What did you think of the eclipse?

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9 Responses to “Adventuring”

  1. Tonya says :

    That looks really fun! You’re kind of making me miss Michigan…kind of. 🙂 It does make me want to go on a road trip though!

  2. Brian says :

    Looks like some great family time! Love the photos. I was able to catch the eclipse from work. In NY we had a partial solar eclipse, but still fun to watch/see.

  3. Amy says :

    Whew – that’s a lot to pack in!

    We had a 72% eclipse here in upstate NY. I didn’t think it was a big deal, until the day of, when I read a book my in-laws had given to my daughter. She and I watched it from home, and it was so cool!!

    School starts in a week, so we’re pretty focused on that now.

    • Kalie says :

      It’s been busy! Glad you got clued in beforehand and enjoyed it. School already started here. Fortunately we had a few days to turn it around!

  4. Prudence Debtfree says :

    What a wonderful summer you’ve had! Your kids are very lucky – as are you and Neil : ) All the best as the school schedule begins, and blessings and protection to Neil as he travels in India.

  5. Josh says :

    I didn’t know that about Mammoth Cave and advance tickets. We lived about an hour from there the year we lived in Kentucky and never visited as we simply ran out of time before our daughter was born.

    We only had ~98% totality from our back deck for this eclipse so we didn’t get to see the diamond ring, but, it was still awesome. Even seeing the pictures today makes me want to travel in few years for the next one in the U.S.

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