Our Month in Zeeland

When we closed on our house and moved back into the trailer we needed a place to stay while a few other life events ran their course.  The easiest thing to do was go back to the local campground that we finished our trip at last year - Dutch Treat in Zeeland, MI.

Main reason 1/2 for having to stick around was a boy who wanted to take Drivers Training - which in Michigan has 3 phases.  The first phase is classroom and some road time through a local driving school over the course of 3 weeks.  The class was within biking distance of the campground which eased the mechanics of getting him there and back.  Harrison did well in the class and is now the proud holder of a learning permit, and we’re on the hook to get him 30 hours of road time logged before the next phase of the license (and no, he won’t be getting any of that while towing the 5th wheel - walk before running and all of that).

Main reason 2/2 for staying is Miranda’s teeth.  She’s been in braces for nearly 2 years and while most of her teeth are sitting up nice and straight and proper there is one tooth not cooperating.  It’s lodged in her jaw and not coming up correctly.  She had oral surgery where the doctor cleared out some of the bone around the tooth and wiggled it in hopes of breaking it free and letting it grow, but the prognosis isn’t great.  We’re still waiting for a decision on whether she gets to keep it or not. There are no easy answers - if she keeps it we’ll need to return for a few more appointments with the orthodontist. If the tooth is pulled she’ll have to wear a retainer with a spacer in that spot to keep it open for a future tooth implant, which they won’t do until she’s an adult.

In addition to enjoying TulipTime we also visited Grandparents for some water fun (which Miranda especially had greatly missed last year), had friends over for campground baseball and swimming, and took delivery of a number of items that we’re hoping make this lifestyle more enjoyable/easy. 

While trying not to go too overboard with spending we invested in:

  • Microfiber camp towels.  These chamios-like towels pack smaller and dry more quickly than standard towels and have eliminated the always-present towel rack inside the trailer.  We put hooks in the shower for them to dry.
  • Blend-Tec blender. We’re hoping to eat more healthy with more fruit smoothies, etc so wanted to invest in a real blender for the task.
  • Zip-Dee Camp Chairs. My parents had given us two of these chairs and we appreciated their sturdiness and compactness when folded.  We ordered two more - and were amazed that we could get them to match our 30-year-old set.
  • Outdoor rug. We went our whole year with just some small rugs outside but decided we’d be more likely to sit outdoors if we didn’t have to put shoes on.  We found a nice 9 x 15 porous rug at a camping supplies store and together with the new chairs we have a nice outdoor patio now.
  • NorthFace Jackets.  We all have nice winter-weight Lands’ End coats but needed the same quality spring-wieght jackets. We like both of these brands because they have a lifetime warranty. The NorthFace coats are water-resistant enough to also double as raincoats.
  • Computer. We replaced two aging laptops with a new one.
  • Bike. MsBoyink was short a bike, so we found a nice used mountain bike so family rides are a possibility again.
  • Storage Tubs.  We found plastic see-thru tubs at Wal-Mart that could stack two-high in our main luggage compartment. While we still need to do a second round of purging these help us keep organized and not have to play the “what’s in this box?” game.

Our month here also produced some nasty allergies-turned-colds for 3 of us so we didn’t accomplish quite everything we had hoped to during this month.  We’re hoping a change of location helps!

Overall wwe had a great month at Dutch Treat, getting to know the owners and some of the seasonals a bit and enjoying the Holiday weekend there with the community breakfast they provide.  If you are in the Holland/Zeeland area and need an RV park don’t hesitate to choose them - the park is clean and well-kept with friendly folks all around. 

We were hungry for some new scenery but didn’t go far - just 45 minutes up the road to Hoffmaster State Park.  While we’ve daytripped here we never camped here so it’s a nice way to feel adventurous again while still staying local.  We still have some errands to run in W. Michigan, a few remaining things to donate, and appointments to get through before we can wander further afield.

Dinner - just add water and feed.

Dinner - just add water and feed.

Grampas toys

Grampas toys

Boating with Grandpa

Boating with Grandpa

Storybird had dreamt about this moment for a year

Storybird had dreamt about this moment for a year

My office for a day

My office for a day

My other office -the standup version

My other office -the standup version

New and old Zip Dee chairs

New and old Zip Dee chairs

Snow!  Well, Cottonwood trees

Snow! Well, Cottonwood trees

Harrison ready to pilot the truck

Harrison ready to pilot the truck

Playing cards with friends

Playing cards with friends

Fire training - Storybird readies an extinguisher

Fire training - Storybird readies an extinguisher

Harrison takes his turn

Harrison takes his turn

New spot..more later

New spot..more later

2 Comments Our Month in Zeeland

  1. Picture of ThomasThomasJune 04, 2012

    Since I’m a cartographer by hobby, I really like trying to follow along on your map.  Relating the map to your travel logs makes it easy enough to figure out where you went to/from/ next but at times, it can be a bit confusing.  To make the map more readable, it would be nice if the dots were connected with some kind of a journey line.
    Congratulations on the permit Harrison.
    I look forward to following along on this next step of your life adventure.

  2. Picture of BoyinkBoyinkJune 04, 2012

    Thanks for the comment Thomas - I looked briefly at connecting the map dots but it would take either completely redeveloping the CMS to Google code I’ve already done for the site, or outsourcing the entire mapping feature to a 3rd party, neither of which is really worth the result on a site that’s mostly for our own purposes..;)

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