James' 18th birthday was the center of the family vacation this year, as he invited 10 of his closest friends and enemies to join us Up North. Our Up North (to non-michigander readers out there, you really must understand that every self-respecting Michigan resident vacations Up North and there are at least as many versions of Up North as there are vacationers in this Great State), is just 2.5 (3.5 according to my mom) hours NW of A2 at a lake home that friends of my parents have owned and lent out to us and others for the entirety of my life. I love that I am now taking my children there.
Anyway, the house is in the shape of an octogon and reminds me very much of Devine and Weston's space shuttle in C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet. The side of the house that has the bedrooms is always dark - no matter what it is like outside. Whereas the other side of almost inevitable sunny and hot. You can experience all seasons just by walking around the house once.
This year was really very nice, James's friends were fun to be around and added a lively element with their multiple-island game of capture the flag and their nude streaking in the dunes (I wasn't there to witness this, thank goodness - the stories of the sunburns were funny though). Moses and Vid had a wonderful time together playing air hockey, pool, trains and splashing each other at the beach and even getting along most of the time.
It's always great going up there and it's just really a gift to be able to take my kids on vacation to the same place that I've been going every since my mom was pregnant with me and where David and I honeymooned. Every year it gets better.