Sunday, June 21, 2015

Saugatuck, Sand Dunes and Sailing - Week of June 15th

Mom & Cam
Sometimes a vacation can consist of 1-2 days.  Although for some, this may seem silly, it worked well for our family to enjoy time away on a Thursday through Friday.
Dad & Cam enjoying the hot tub!
'Auntie' Karen drove from Chicago and met us in Saugatuck.  We stayed at the Ship-n-Shore Hotel located right on the Kalamazoo River and the chain ferry was located adjacent to the hotel.  Cam had many questions about the ferry's operation. The Saugatuck Chain Ferry claims to be the only remaining chain driven ferry in the US. It has been in use since 1838. Three pullies keep it in line as it is being pulled across the Kalamazoo River. When it is ready to cross the river, the operator takes a can of
'Auntie' Karen & Cam
compressed air and blows an airhorn alerting all boat traffic to stop. It is hand propelled! The operator turns a crank on the inside and this pulls the ferry along the chain.  It was quite the sight to see it make the trek again and again.
We had a delicious dinner where Cam scored an ice cream sundae with brownies and chocolate sauce, to go enjoy poolside.  Cam referred to our overnight abode as "his" room and told his parents he would share "his" bathroom with them.   The next morning, we all enjoyed some pool time before heading out to the Saugatuck Dune Rides, just minutes from our hotel.
Cam wasn't sure what to expect and commented that he didn't know what dune rides were.  He quickly realized that the faster the ride was, the the bigger his smile grew!  The driver and commentator provided a history lesson and jokes along the way.  Cam interjected
with "I did not know that" or "wow!"
We can't thank 'Auntie' Karen enough for joining us on our Saugatuck adventure and sharing in all the fun!
It was a perfect day combined with gentle winds and sunshine and Cam's adventures weren't over just yet....

Late Friday afternoon, our busy guy was scheduled for an adaptive sailing clinic on Reed's Lake.  The original date was the previous week, but rain delayed the occasion.
However, the wind was truly just right to make sailing a breeze.
Cam and Jane boarded a boat captained by "Mr. Mark" and headed out.

Mark explained the mechanics of sailing to Cam and also warned of the different noises and movement that are a part of the recreational sport.  Halfway through our time, Mr. Mark asked the young boater if he'd like to sail all by himself.  Cam excitedly said "yes please" and took hold of the rope the captain handed to him.
After our excursion, we went to thank the director of the event and inquired about Mr. Mark and how long he had been working with Mary Free Bed.

To our great surprise, we were informed that Mark had generously volunteered his boat and time upon seeing the clinic in action.
It is the humble offering of people like Mark who remind us that selfless acts can be the most rewarding.

Sunday was Father's Day and we had the pleasure of celebrating the occasion with Oma and Opa by meeting them for a delicious dinner on Muskegon Lake.

Jane's Father's Day message to Chris:
You constantly surprise us with your talents, creating and building without instruction. As a dad, you are the example of unconditional love. You're Cam's hero and believe me, you will always be mine.

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