I’m Back From a Week in the Midwest… and It Was Busy!

Hope everyone had a great Fourth of July week! I was in the midwest, hopping in between a couple states, but I’m back home now, with pictures from my trip.

I flew into Detroit, and spent a little while with my folks in the suburbs. It literally was just a little while – approximately 36 hours. But my mom and I went and saw “Beatriz at Dinner” (I recommend it… it’s a movie that makes you think!), did a Costco run, and I made my folks and me a healthy dinner: a chicken and pepper stir-fry, over a brown rice and quinoa blend.

From there I drove to Chicago, and met up with my sisters, niece, and cousin. We spent a few hours at Navy Pier: my cousin and niece got soaked in the splash park, and we all rode the giant ferris wheel.

My aunt joined us that night, and we went to a great Vietnamese restaurant called Tank Noodle, where I ordered a huge seafood and veggie dish that came served on a sizzling skillet.

After dinner, a few of us drove back to Michigan, to the small town of St. Joseph, where my family has met up for the Fourth of July for the past few years. More family joined us, and ultimately there were 16 of us hanging out.

We had a beach day (western Michigan has amazing beaches on Lake Michigan), where we went swimming and played beach volleyball. We all went and did an escape room, which is a fun group game where everyone gets locked in a room, and you have to solve a series of puzzles to get out. (It’s so much fun, and they’re really trendy, and you should check if there’s one in your area.)

I got eaten by a shark!

Downtown St. Joseph is on a bluff overlooking the beach, and the bluff is the best area to watch the fireworks, and that’s definitely a highlight of this annual trip. They didn’t disappoint this year.

Waiting for it to get dark enough for the fireworks!

It was a very active trip for me, as well. I managed to squeeze in two visits to the gym near my parents’ house before going to Chicago, and did something during one of those workouts that I haven’t done in probably a year or more: used a StairMaster. (As this blog has shown time and time again, I prefer real stairs!)

A StairMaster remains a great workout – probably the biggest calorie burn you’ll find at most gyms – so use it if you can. And climb stairs wherever you can find them, too!

My parents have a couple bikes at their place in St. Joseph, and I love biking around that town. I went on a bike ride four days in a row, and all together, I biked for over 5 hours and 55.6 miles.

The routes contained many points of interest, because my mom grew up in neighboring Benton Harbor, and my grandparents lived here up until they passed, so I’ve been coming here my whole live.

My cousin Aaron joined me on two of the rides, and on one of them, we found our parents’ childhood home (and even spoke, briefly, with the current resident).

On another day we rode north until we hit Jean Klock Park, a popular local beach. (It wasn’t so crowded yet, as it was before 9am.)

We also figured out that we could ride our bikes out on the St. Joseph Pier, which was really fun.

The bike is just out of frame on the right.

Two of the rides were without Aaron, and during one, I visited our grandparents. I miss them so much.

My eating was, um.. smart during the trip. I passed on extra calories when I could. I brought baby carrots to the fireworks, and skipped the popcorn and chocolate. We had BBQ during the beach day, and I skipped the carbs (buns, macaroni and cheese) and instead piled some pulled pork and chicken on top of a big salad.

I made good choices when I could, so when I splurged, I could enjoy it, and not feel like my bike rides were for nothing. So, when my mom made some incredible blueberry pies, I dug in… and it was delicious.

I’ll be sharing more food pictures from my trip on Twitter, so follow me there if you’re not already!

Keep it up, David!

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