Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trip Report: Warren Dunes State Park

I remember visiting the Indiana Dunes when I was little, soon after my family had moved to Indiana.  We were shocked to learn that there was a beach (like, a REAL beach) in the heart of the Midwest.  So I was really looking forward to our camping trip to Warren Dunes State Park in Sawyer, Michigan, right along Lake Michigan.  And our destination did not disappoint.

We started our trip on Thursday morning.  We drove to Fair Oaks Farms, off Exit 220 on I-65 to give the arrow a little break from the ride.  At Fair Oaks, we toured one of the nation's largest dairy farms.  The arrow especially enjoyed the playground and the grilled cheese.  Then we were back on the road for our final destination--Warren Dunes.

We spent the afternoon setting up our campsite.  Then we drove into New Buffalo, another lakeside town, to get groceries and eat a quick dinner.  We headed back to Warren Dunes and spent a beautiful evening at the beach.  It was gorgeous and the arrow could have played in the small waves all night long. 

The next morning we woke up early and headed to Michigan City to catch the Southshore Train to Chicago.  My husband had to visit the Brazilian consulate for an upcoming business trip.  So while he was taking care of that, the arrow and I romped around Millenium Park.  I loved the Cloud Gate sculpture, and the arrow loved the Crown Fountain.  I must have worn him out, because he dozed off for 20 minutes in the stroller and my husband and I got to eat a leisurely breakfast in the park.  After such a whirlwind trip to the city, we spent the rest of the day relaxing around the campsite.

Saturday morning we woke up and ate a delicious breakfast at Blue Plate Cafe.  While our trip started with 90 degree temps, by this point, it was in the 40s.  We drove to the Indiana Dunes State Park, and took a quick hike, but the blistery winds got the best of us, so we headed to Chesterton and enjoyed their European Farmer's Market.  We ate lunch back at the campsite, and let the arrow take a nice long nap. That night we ate dinner out at a local sports bar so that my husband could catch some of the Notre Dame football game.

Sunday morning we packed up and hit the road for home.  The arrow slept for most of the drive, giving us time to reflect on what a great time we had.  Camping presents its own set of challenges, like dealing with less than ideal weather, but we learned a lot about how to make the best of it (click here for some of my tips on camping with a toddler), and we also learned the arrow is tougher than we thought.

I'll be blogging about more of these adventures in greater detail in the weeks to come, so please check back!

This post is a part of Spotlight Thursday at Trekaroo.