Monday, April 27, 2009

Maple Syrup Festival

The weather prediction couldn’t have been more wrong lol. Who cares? We arrived in Shepherd MI in early afternoon and the first thing I saw at a garage sale was a horse that I’ve been looking for for Peanut.

Walked over there immediately and purchased it and asked them to save it for pickup on Sunday. The whole weekend was made for me with this one purchase. Fortunately, we still had a lot more fun to come.

We talked to a couple that were parked behind us and learned a lot about the making of maple syrup. In Shepherd, all the maple trees along the local streets are tapped in March to make the syrup for the festival. This first picture shows all the trees up and down the streets.

This picture shows the holes where they tapped for the syrup.

It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. That means that as you’re cooking down the sap 39 gallons of moisture have to evaporate. To me that says – Don’t do this in your kitchen. Can you imagine the steamy windows?

Anyway, the rest of Friday we rode our bikes around town to the other garage sales and found a bakery in a private home that had great cookies. The weather was great and it was a lot of fun.

Saturday we got up to the sound of pounding feet on the pavement outside our bedroom window. Oh yeah, a 5K run. We just listened to them go by, no need to get up yet. When we did get up we meandered over to the school for a pancake breakfast. Yummy. There was a tractor pull scheduled to start at 11:00 so we rode our bikes over there. Sitting in the bleachers I was thinking, “I’m going to get so burned.” Then as the announcer states that the drivers have their rules and we’re going to try to get in as many runs as we can. The Sheriff has notified them that there is a storm coming in with damaging winds and it is expected to arrive in town within 30 minutes. We watched a couple of the tractors then decided to head back to camp – good thing too, because it was really windy and we had to ride into the wind and uphill to get back. There was a short rainfall from about 12 to 12:15 then it was nice again. We walked into town and watched a carver display his skills with a chain saw, found out where the pony rides were and checked out the old cars that were on display.

The real rain started at 3:00 and the kids arrived around 4:00. It rained pretty much the rest of the time we were there. It did stop a few times and we took full advantage of any dry periods. We walked over to the school and walked through the craft bizarre then headed back before – you guessed it – it started raining again. We ended up having dinner at camp and just using the George Foreman grill. I grilled some hamburgers, and cooked up some corn on the cob while my Daughter made the salads. I didn’t know it, but it was Peanuts’ first time eating corn on the cob. Talk about fun. We waited for the corn to cool and didn’t put anything on it. I held it up to her mouth and she licked it and said, “hmmm”. Then she took a small apprehensive nibble and her expression was priceless. I had her take hold of the corn herself and she went to town.

Papa took lots of pictures over the weekend and this one is totally her saying “Not now Papa, I’m eating my corn”. She devoured the whole ear of corn!! I wonder if she will stay a fan of corn or if it was just the novelty of something new?

There was a short period of entertainment found in bubbles.

And we always get a giggle of her wanting to wear our glasses.

After dinner our daughter and I tried to play Yahtzee. Peanut thought this was a great time for her to learn too.

It was too funny watching here shake the dice and then gently roll them. I would call out the numbers on the dice that she rolled and she would count along with me “one, two, red”. We got a good laugh out of that. She was really good about taking her turn then letting Mommy have a turn. Occasionally she would grab for the dice, but when we explained that it wasn’t her turn yet she would hand over the dice and wait for her turn. I was really impressed with her patience when I know it was getting late and she was getting tired. I’m just glad I’ve got another game player.

The box that the Yahtzee game is in also has a bunch of other office and game stuff – and some small American flags. When she pulled those out I showed her how to wave the flag and say “woohoo”. Oh yeah, we all had flags waving saying “woohoo”. It was funny how she walked over to Papa and showed him how to wave and say “woohoo”. At times like these I wish life could be on a video.

Bedtime was uneventful and we slept to the beating of the rain most of the night. Morning brought a short stop of the rain and we walked over for breakfast. I looked like most of the outside crafters were packing it up while it wasn’t raining so we just headed back to camp. I walked over to the house that was holding my pony and brought that back to the rv. I tried to get Peanut to get on it and she soundly said “No”. Okay, maybe the pony really is for me. We put the pony out of the way back in the bedroom and did a few other things. Later I asked her if she wanted to pet the pony and she was game. I asked if she wanted to ride it and she was again agreeable. I brought it into the kitchen and put her on. She immediately fell off. I was sure that the game was over, but no, she wanted back on. We figured out how to put her feet in a position for more balance and she didn’t fall off again.

I love this shot that I snapped on the way to breakfast on Sunday. Peanut loves her Papa. She's a lucky little girl, she's the first grandchild to 6 grandparents that totally love her to pieces.

I’ve got to say that Peanut made my weekend. Who would think you could have so much fun cooped up in a camper in the rain? We headed back early and got home to 80-degree temps. The evidence of downed branches told us that the weather wasn’t any better at home on Saturday. We’ll be home for the next couple weekends, but have several other camping trips planned for this summer.


B Boys Mom said...

Oh what a nice post! I love the video's lil peanut is just so cute!

Vixen said...

Peanut is adorable. I love, love, love that horse. I wish I could find one. I haven't seen one in years.

Sounds like a wonderful time. I remember when my kids were growing up, they had some of the best times in their grandma and grandpa's motorhome. Especially when it rained on our trips!

Harmony said...

We definitely had a great time - thanks!

Lynne said...

I love all of your photos, but I have to say, I think the one of Peanut eating her corn on the cob is my favorite! She could be the poster child for corn farmers!

Windi said...

What fun! Those little girls are just the cutest!!! Thank you for your prayers! ;)

siteseer said...

Windi, that is all one little girl. We say the many faces of Peanut. lol

Lynne, Peanut actually had just come from a "MetroParent" photo shoot. Unfortunately, she wasn't in favor of a structured shoot, she likes impromptu picture taking.

Vixen, I had actually pictured a larger horse like the one we used to have, but this one worked out much better being her size.

Shannon M. Smith said...

I forgot about horses like that! Looks like a fun weekend and that the rain couldn't ruin your fun even if it tried! :-)

modern mom said...

Now that's a perfect weekend. Who cares about the weather, as long as your with your loved ones and having a great time. Peanut is so adorable and I love her horse. :)

BTW, I have an award for you. You can pick it up here when you have the time. :)

I am Harriet said...

I had that same horse.....must be an antique by now. Mine is in the attic :)

Michelle said...

That horse looks just like the one I had as a kid. I loved that toy. Very cool find. Sounds like you guys had an awesome time despite the yucky weather. I loved all the pictures. You guys look so happy. Thanks for sharing your fun time.

The Adventures of Grunty and Chubbs said...

That first picture of peanut looks exactly half like her mom and half like her dad! So cute!

Not sure why but I can't see the videos!? I'll try again later...

Ray said...

All your photos and vids are awesome! It's nice to see an entire family getting along and spending time together! Now, that's a role model ;)