A Weekend at Sunflower Cottage

Recently my family went up to the “grandparent’s” cottage for a weekend getaway. Nestled in the woods along the Titabawasee river in Alger, the cottage is frozen in time, a relic of a bygone era. No insulation, furnace or city water there! DSC_0544-1

We spent a bit of time tidying when we arrived, but afterwards I made memories by teaching my younger siblings how to play kings in the corner while four of us were crammed onto the bed above the cab of the camper with a fifth watching from the ladder. 🙂 In the evening we went out for a walk after 11pm and laid in the middle of the dirt road and gazed up at the starry sky. To my delight, I saw three shooting stars! 😀

The next day we sampled the local restaurants, perused the local antique shops and went to Tractor Supply for the first time. (I bought cowboy hat.) 🙂

That night the whole family enjoyed yummy s’mores and watching Iron Giant again; laughing uproariously at the toilet humor. “Landslide, its new.” 😉 Other activities were taking out the paddle boats, going on bike rides with the sibs, jogging, walking with various family members, swimming… etc. But my favorite was definitely the paddle boats. It’s a team effort to get anywhere in them and I had several buddies to help me out!


Being out on the river was amazing, not only because it’s beautiful but because of the numerous photo ops it provided for my itchy shutter finger. 😀 I’m only a hobbiest, but there’s nothing quite like capturing that one picture that makes you go wow. I think I captured quite a few. 🙂

For the short amount of time we were there, we fit a lot in and had a blast while doing it!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San


Paddleboats Ahoy!

While my family was vacationing at the grandparent’s cottage up north this weekend, we had the opportunity to go paddleboating – which I have never done before this trip. 

DSC_0195 Although one can technically use a paddleboat by oneself, its so much more fun to have a crew. 🙂 DSC_0249
(See? Siblings can be super useful. 🙂 I’m the one taking the pictures.)

The Titawbawasee is a sizable river. See that speck in the middle of the pic? That’s what we looked like in comparison to our surroundings.


My crewmates. 🙂DSC_0297

Quite a workout…DSC_0323

Sean did a great job with the steeringDSC_0377

Beholding the beauty of the river.DSC_0443

The views were breathtaking and I couldn’t stop hitting the shutter.DSC_0314

I can’t even say how many pictures I took… 😉DSC_0328

The neighbor’s paddleboat. They let us borrow it later. 🙂DSC_0353

We encountered many many lily pads.




Water lily…DSC_0792

A mossy old stump that has become an island. DSC_0829



I would like to give a shout-out to all my paddle buddies this weekend – couldn’t have had this cool golden year experience without you!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project: Complete!
Check out some of the nifty things I did down below!

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/20/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!
  5. 3/18/2015: On Target… or Not.
  6. 4/11/2015: The Tridge
  7. 4/17/2015: Play Me a Song
  8. 5/2/2015: Make a Run for It!
  9. 5/31/2015: Handy Dandy Eye Candy
  10. 7/2/2015: Tri-Harder
  11. 8/14/2015: Paddleboats Ahoy!

The Amazing Chi-Town!

Hello Hello Hello! My sister and I just got back from an amazing trip to Chicago! It was my first time flying, using public transportation, and just being there in Chicago and WOW! What an experience! We got home early this morning and I already can’t wait to go back!

Chicago has long been on my list of places I eventually wanted to go to – mainly because we have I-94 right next to us that goes all the way to Chicago and when Tintin visited America where did he go? Chicago. Of course the original unplanned plan was to go by car or train, but plane is so much faster. 😉 My sister and I started hard planning our trip on 2/21/2015 – the day I went to Pine Knob. 🙂 (So much fun!) Most of the important details – hotel and flights – were worked out the day before we left on our trip. OMIGOSH!!! Talk about nerve-wrecking! Sometimes you just gotta trust that it’s gonna work out. Once we were on the plane, we were good. 🙂


Library with 10 floors of books!


Our amazing hotel 🙂


DSC_0102 My amazing vegetarian lunch 🙂


tall buildings


Lincoln Park Zoo Sign




Tiger indoors


Tiger napping outdoors


Tiger on the carousel


Me riding the tiger on the carousel 😉


My sister monkeying around


DSC_0254 Yummy!


Elevated train bridge


Cloud Gate aka the Bean



My first time being carded by bouncers


Our masterpiece!


Amazing place!




Salmon eggs benedict


Me and Statue


Me and creepy statues


Cool skate park! Wish I brought my board! Almost


The face of Navy Pier


Bring on the booze!


DSC_0629 Ferris Wheel and swings


More tall buildings


looking down…


Me on the ferris wheel. 🙂






Om nom!


Shedd Aquarium – thank goodness for VIP passes!


Weird fish


IMG_20150312_133411 Shark Tank

During our trip I took over 1,000 pictures and video! Looking at the media again makes me feel really happy. 🙂 I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to experience Chicago with my sister. Being open to impromptu stops and allowing plans to change led to a really amazing time.  I hope to have many more awesome first experiences soon!

Thanks for reading!

-Anna San

Golden Year Project Status: 4/28

  1. 2/14/2015: Oh Canada!
  2. 2/21/2015: Just do it! A Morning on the Slopes
  3. 2/28/2015: Facing the Rockwall
  4. 3/10-12/2015: The Amazing Chi-Town!