This past weekend held a lot of excitement for Bennett and me – and although we are glad to be home with our puppies again, I think we could have used a few more days of vacation and visiting with people. 

Friday started with attending a beautiful Rukhsati Reception of our friend Kunzul’s wedding.  I can’t even begin to tell you how breathtaking it was to walk into the ballroom and see all of the decorations.  Simply stunning.  I learned a lot about Pakistani weddings and culture just in the short time that we were there and I fell in LOVE with all of the beautiful clothing that was worn by the attendees.  IMG_1728

Bennett graduated with the bride’s little sister, Tanya and I was able to steal a Kodak moment from her before she was pulled away to do too many family and bridal party duties.  Her hands and feet were elaborately decorated in henna and I had to capture it.  IMG_1735

And of course, a picture of the McKinleys:IMG_1732

After we left the wedding, we headed straight up to Michigan.  Yep, you betcha!  We pulled an all-nighter again…with just a short stop at a rest area somewhere in Ohio to catch some Z’s.  We made it up to my Dad’s house in Cadillac around 7:30 on Saturday morning and simply CRASHED.  After a few more hours of shuteye, we drove up to Traverse City to begin our weekend of enjoying beautiful Northern Michigan.  It was nice to see the sites in Traverse again.  We also all drove up and saw Sierra and Nick’s future wedding site and got to put our feet in Torch Lake.  The lake itself was a site to see because the true blue of the water was remarkable.  I wish we’d brought a better camera to capture the color, it was so pretty.IMG_1758

We made sure to take note of Louis’ “first trip” to the beach.IMG_1764

We ended our first day in TC by picking cherries.  I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious sweet, Michigan cherries are straight off of the tree.  Oh my goodness.  Amazing.IMG_1781 IMG_1786

Our last full day in Michigan was also spent in Traverse City.  The Cherry Festival was starting up this weekend and there were a billion and one things to do between downtown and the open space on the beach.  The weather was HOTTER than ever but we still had a really great time.  Every other year, the Blue Angels make an appearance at the Cherry Fest and this was one of the years that they were there.  We plopped our bums on the beach and enjoyed the air show.  I can’t believe that people have the stomachs to do some of the tricks that they were performing.  Better them than me. 🙂IMG_1802

We all received pretty awesome sunburns from being outside for so long and I’m still paying for it.  Here’s a picture of my pretty little sister before she became a lobster.IMG_1791

I spent the entire weekend trying to make friends with my little brother, MaKale and even though I had “moments” where he decided I was okay to hang out with, I was certainly second in line to Bennett.  MaKale just LOVED him.  They were super cute together and I couldn’t help but get giddy about how much cuter its going to be when he plays with our little Louis.  (Well, I was giddy but incredibly jealous.  Little kids are supposed to like me, not him!)IMG_1808

We finished our 4th of July with sitting around a bonfire, eating smores.  Ronette found THE LARGEST marshmallows I’ve ever seen in my life and Nick couldn’t pass up the opportunity to roast them.  I wasn’t sure that he’d be able to cook them effectively without dropping them into the fire but he somehow pulled through.  🙂IMG_1857

After having lunch in Big Rapids with Nana & Grandpa Clay, Bennett and I hit the open road (with about every other driver in America that traveled for the holiday weekend) and headed back to West Virginia.  Even if the traffic was less than desirable, the weather cooperated and we had sunny skies for the entire drive.  It just makes life more pleasant when the sun is shining.

Thank you to Dad, Ronette, Sierra, Nick and MaKale for such a wonderful 4th of July weekend!