Saturday, 30 September 2017

Meadow Lake Wind Farm...

We left Valparaiso on Sunday, 3rd September, and drove across to the intersection of I-65 where we headed south towards home. We drove through the massive Meadow Lake Wind Farm on our journey south. It's amazing to see hundreds of wind turbines on either side of the Interstate.

Fun at the Beach...

After our visit with our Mercy Ships friends, we drove back towards Valparaiso. South of South Haven, on the shores of Lake Michigan, we found a lovely little beach where Riaan enjoyed playing in the sand and splashing. After a short time there, we carried on our journey and stopped to get ice-cream in St Joseph. We ended the day safely back in Valparaiso, where we took Riaan to the awesome ValPlayso play park for children. Riaan had a blast there and loved all the play equipment! We had a great time in northern Indiana and south-west Michigan!

 Walking down to the beach.
 Riaan loved running back and forth into the water.
 The Dairy Korner, where we bought yummy ice-cream.
 Riaan shared our ice-cream. Yum!
 Heavy skies as we drive south towards Valparaiso.
 ValPlayso is all things amazing for little kids. :) Riaan loved it!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Mercy Ships reunion at South Haven, MI...

We drove into Michigan on Saturday, 2nd September, and visited the coastal town of South Haven. Here we met up with our Mercy Ships friend Jessica, and her husband Justin and their young son. I hadn't seen Jess since she left the Africa Mercy in December 2009 and it was great to reconnect and meet her lovely family. We had lunch at Clementine's and then walked down to the lighthouse. It was a great afternoon. Mercy Ships reunions are the best! :)

 Walking along the waterfront.
Candace and Jess walking along the pier.
 The red lighthouse at the end of the pier.
 Family photo. :)
 Mercy Ships reunions are the best! :)
 View looking back towards South Haven.
 A pretty little boat.
With Jan, our gracious host - and also a Mercy Ships alumni - in Valparaiso.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Indiana Dunes State Park...

We left Chain O'Lakes State Park and drove across to Valparaiso on Thursday, 31st August. Here we stayed with a Mercy Ships friend for three nights. We visited beautiful Indiana Dunes State Park on Friday, 1st September. We'd last visited here back in July 2016, but this time we spent a full day exploring this park on Indiana's coastline with Lake Michigan. We had a picnic lunch, visited the Nature Centre, and hiked some of the interesting trails over the sand dunes. We ended the day relaxing on the beach. :)

 The entrance sign at Indiana Dunes.
 Playing in the play area at Indiana Dunes.
 Heading to the Nature Centre - Riaan's favourite! :)
 Riaan is around the Green Heron's wingspan at the moment.
 Enjoying the great Nature Centre.
 Hiking one of the fun trails.
 There were some steep hills to climb.
 We hiked to the highest sand dune, Mount Tom.
 Walking back down towards the beach.
 Candace's sixteen-week pregnancy photo.
 Entering the forest again.
 Two tired boys after our hike.
 Family selfie on the beach at Indiana Dunes.
 Enjoying playing in the sand.
 A gull on the edge of Lake Michigan.
 A ship sails in front of the Chicago skyline.
 The propeller from the JD Marshall wreck, located just off-shore.
The old bath house at Indiana Dunes.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Chain O'Lakes State Park...

After leaving Ouabache State Park, we continued up to Chain O'Lakes State Park, situated a short distance north-west of Fort Wayne. Here we spent two nights (29th - 30th August) in a lovely cabin and spent time exploring this interesting state park. We managed to accomplish a large number of fun activities while here, including hiking around the many lakes, going out onto Sand Lake on a paddle-boat, and enjoying a campfire on our final night at this state park. It was a great visit to another of Indiana's many treasures!

 Entrance sign at Chain O'Lakes.
 Our cozy cabin.
 Candace and Riaan enjoying the large swing on the enclosed patio.
 The smaller Finster Lake as we walk to see the historic schoolhouse.
 Stanley Schoolhouse, built in 1915.
 Riaan with one of the old school bells.
 Hiking with my favourite boy.
 Beaver activity is clear to see.
 Different types of fungi and mushrooms.
 Northern Leopard Frog.
 An interesting skeleton of a mushroom.
 Riaan is not so little any more!
 Candace with a tulip tree leaf.
 The boat ramp at Long Lake.
Family selfie in life-jackets.
 Heading to the paddle-boat to go out on Sand Lake.
 Beaver's dam as seen from the paddle-boat.
 Great blue heron takes flight.
 Enjoying hot cups of tea around the fire.
 Riaan loves Nature Centres!
 Family photo on the swings at the play area near Sand Lake.