June 27, 2012

Grand Haven Lighthouse - Beaudacious New Player

location-Grand Haven, MI
originally built -1855, current lights built - 1905
active beacons-the entire catwalk is lit
stamp-yes, at the Grand Haven Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
players-Jen, John, Lincoln, Spencer, Jackson, Aunt Kristen and Uncle Beau

Aunt Kristen and Uncle Beau were celebrating their first anniversary and they came to West Michigan to do it!  Naturally, before they had their alone time, they wanted to spend some time with their ring bearers.  Here are a couple pics of the monumental event.

Spencer and Lincoln
with their beautiful cousin Kennedy
Jackson in his baby tux
family shot

Uncle Beau had never visited a lighthouse before, in his whole life!  He really wanted to see his first one with his favorite little buddies and become an official player.  So, we met them in Grand Haven for the day.  Oh, such fun!!  We love Grand Haven, it is such a cute lake town -- fun shopping, great restaurants, awesome beaches and two lights on one pier!  On his first exploration, Uncle Beau got a twofer!
Jackson & Aunt Kristen

Of course, our first stop was lunch, we went to The Kirby.  Aunt Kristen and I took the boys there on our first Grand Haven lighthouse exploration.  They have good food and are very family friendly.

me & John
Aunt Kristen, Lincoln, Uncle Beau & Spencer

After lunch, Kristen and I hit the town for some shopping.

All the boys hit up the playground.

Then we met up and headed out to see the lights.  Uncle Beau was getting really excited.  

The south pier that extends out into Lake Michigan marks the entrance to the Grand River.  It is the home to two lights.  The inner light is a red tower.  It's 51 feet tall and made of steel.  It was built in 1905 by the American Bridge Company.  The outer light was the original fog signal building.  In 1905, after the pier was extended several times it was moved to the end.  It was originally made of wood, but in 1922 it was encased in corrugated iron.
As for the catwalk, the Coast Guard was concerned about somebody getting injured, since it was deteriorating so badly.  They were scheduled to be demolished in 1987.  A group called the "Save Our Catwalk Committee" was formed and they raised more than enough money to save it.  They removed all the wooden planks that the light keepers used to walk on, reinforced the supports and added lights to the whole length of it.  We haven't been there at night to see it all lit up yet, but I'm sure it's beautiful!  
The lights are both active and automated.  Can you even imagine that the weather would be too dangerous to walk on the pier, so a better solution was to walk on a scary wooden catwalk to maintain the lights? I'm sure everyone was pretty excited when technology allowed them to be automated.  They are currently maintained by the Coast Guard.

a little dune climbing

Check out our other Grand Haven visits - May 2009 and September 2010.

today's players

Aunt Kristen and Uncle Beau also have a blog - Burnett Brew Blog.  Check out their take on the day's events and explore their site while your at it.


June 25, 2012

Grand Haven Lighthouse-day at the beach

We had a perfect weather May day.  The boys had no school and John had the day off work. So, we hit the beach!  We picked the beautiful Lake Michigan shores in Grand Haven for our beach day.  Before we staked out our spot in the sand we had to investigate the old train. They have a Pere Marquette engine, a box car and two cabooses on display.  The boys LOVE trains, so it was a must stop.

It was pretty early in the beach season, so the water was FREEZING!  But, you know how kids are.  Somehow they are unaffected by the cold and get right in.  They had so much fun playing and digging and snacking.  I love family beach days!

We didn't walk out to the lighthouses this time.  We have done it many many times already.  But, we had a lot of fun on the beach with the beautiful lighthouses right in our view!

Grand Haven Lighthouse

Check out our visit to the Grand Haven lighthouses in 2009 and 2010.