Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Day Trip to the Indiana Dunes

After all the miserable weather we’ve had this spring, we had to take advantage of the summer-like conditions here on Memorial Day with a day at the beach. But not just any beach. We made our first-ever trip to the Indiana Dunes.

The Dunes stretch along several miles of the Indiana shores of Lake Michigan. There are actually several different beaches but the most popular area is an Indiana State Park. There, the hilly dunes are said to be very scenic. I say “said to be” because we did not quite make it into the State Park.

The hour and a half drive from home was mostly uneventful and Kai was excited about going to a new beach. But, when we got there, we encountered a long line of cars waiting to get in. It looked like everybody in Chicago had the same idea we did. We couldn’t even see the entrance far ahead of us, and the line was barely moving, so we got out of the line and drove away to search for a different beach.

A few miles away, we found West Beach, and also found another line of cars waiting to get in. We had come too far to turn away so this time we waited in the line. Kai was impatient, yelling about finding a different place, but we stuck it out and eventually got in.

Once there, Kai ran straight into the water. We followed him in, and quickly ran out. Brrr! Cold! After I got home, I looked up the water temperature and it was listed as 43 degrees. Somehow, our part-penguin son was able to tolerate loved that cold water.

He kept trying to pull us back into the water with him. My wife was having none of that, as she kept retreating to the comfort of our beach blanket after only a few seconds. But I tried staying in. After a few minutes in the water, I didn’t feel the coldness anymore, mostly because my legs had gone completely numb. But Kai enjoyed it, splashing around and getting most of his body soaked.

We ended up staying there for over four hours, eating our picnic lunch, digging in the sand, and splashing in the water. I think all of Kai’s sensory needs were met, and it was a really fun day in the sun for all of us.

My wife and I were tired and sleepy for the drive home, but somehow Kai was wide-awake. My wife tried to nap and every time that she fell asleep, Kai called for her from the backseat. “Mom, can I have a snack?” “Mom, can I have gum?” “Mom, can I have the remote (to the portable dvd player)?”

That last one drove my wife crazy as Kai handed the remote back to her each time after he had used it, only to request it again a few minutes later just as she was nodding off. And when she told him to just keep the remote with him, he got upset as if she had told him go take a hike.

So, my wife didn’t get much of a nap, but the comedy of their back-and-forth talking kept me awake so that I could drive safely.

It was a long day, but a fun one overall.  Memorial Day is the traditional start of the summer. If this first weekend was any indication, I think we will have a good one.


  1. Ok, so I saw these and thought of Kai immediately. I know blocks are a little young, but they're ELEMENTS!

  2. Hah, I know Kai would love these! Thanks for the tip, Molly.


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