Last weekend I did something I have never done before. My wife and I were feeling rather adventurous. It had been a long time since we had a family vacation and it is always hard to find time to go somewhere simply for the purpose of relaxing. We decided we wanted to take a short weekend trip. 

While discussing where to go, a lot of options came up and we couldn’t decide what we wanted to do. It’s hard to plan a whole trip in just a weekend’s time. Finally, I had an idea. 

We packed our bags with only the essentials, buckled our two sons in the car and hit the road, without a destination in mind. My mind was screaming, “NOOOOO!!!” but I knew it would be a fun memory. See, I am a huge planner. My wife is too. You should have seen the notes we made while planning our wedding. I’ll just say there were a lot of cleverly formulated spreadsheets created, even for the simplest things. In my businesses, I have spreadsheets just to keep track of my spreadsheets… (Not really…) So with that being said, to just hop in the car for a weekend without a plan or a destination in mind was difficult! We hit the road and when we hit Lansing, we decided to head west. The radio was blaring and we were jamming while eating some dinner that we had just picked up. The sun was setting and we were dancing to the music, reminiscing about old memories and dreaming about the future. Our boys were great and even our seven month old Zion barely even cried! When we were nearing Grand Rapids we decided randomly to head South. After thirty more minutes, we got off of the freeway and started driving back roads. 

The reason I am writing about this is because of the feeling I had during this drive, and the entire trip. I felt so free. Like I had left all of my worries back in St. Johns and was free to dream. Free to love. Free to adventure. We ended up in the town of Saugatuck, on the coast of Lake Michigan. Neither of us had ever been here before. The town is built on both sides of the Kalamazoo river as it twists its way into the edge of the state. Sailboats floated slowly past us that evening as we sat on the pier.

Corban was eating some ice cream we had just bought him and Zion was wrapped snugly in his favorite blanket. We talked more as the sun finally peaked below the water and city lights came on. There was live music playing across the street in a bar and people of all ages were congregating to make memories. After a while of relaxing by the evening water we got back in the car and drove to a hotel that was close by. 

In the morning, we decided to keep driving. We headed north and realized we were very close to Grand Rapids. So we decided to meet up with my brother and his wife at their new apartment! They just got married in July, so it was a blast hanging out with them together in their new place. We spent the day with them in Grand Rapids, then drove with them to Holland to check out Tunnel Park. This was a beautiful park on Lake Michigan that you walk through a sand dune tunnel to get to. Afterwards we went to dinner with them at a local burger joint, then found another hotel for the evening.

When we got to the hotel Saturday evening, I already felt like we had a full vacation under our belts because of how many different people and places we had seen… But we still had our entire Sunday together! The sense of freedom I was experiencing almost seemed to make time freeze in its tracks. The next morning we visited a local church in Holland. It was called Engedi Church. We were blown away by their hospitality as they greeted us genuinely within seconds of walking through their doors. 

After the service, we spoke with some of their members for a while, grabbed lunch, and decided to hit the road and head back for home. 

My hope is that someday soon we can take another trip like this and I hope that you will as well. At the end of people's lives, no one says, “I wish I would have worked more…”

Dare to adventure and live your dreams.

Stay Awesome,

 

Ethan

 

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