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Day 22 (9.23.07) - We stayed put for today (Photo's Added)

Still visiting my Aunt & Uncle in the area of Berrien Springs, MI

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Berrien Center is SO small, I thought it might be better to list the larger town that they are very close to (and is their primary stomping grounds - Berrien Springs).

This morning, we stayed home and visited some. I am trying to get Mom's photo's uploaded first, then will try to get mine caught up. We also spent some time discussing photography in general (my aunt has been taking very good pictures for years, so I tried picking her brain a bit during this visit). My uncle has been keeping the family history up to day and done a lot of research on the subject - going back many, many generations.

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Later we had a nice lunch at home, including a grape pie my aunt had made. It was very good, it tasted a little like a cherry pie, but a little milder.

After lunch, they gave us a tour of Andrews University here in Berrien Springs. My uncle had been a pastor and teacher in Korea many years ago when I was young. He came back to the US and got his doctorate degree, then taught here and was a Dean at Andrews U. As we walked through the Library, I was impressed with how many people still came up to him and clearly look up to and respect him even though he is now retired. Andrews U. was founded in 1874 as Battle Creek College by the newly organized Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) church. It is still one of the major institutions in the SDA church and contains the "Center for Adventist Research" with an impressive collection of historical documents and information for researchers.

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Later, we drove over to the coast of Lake Michigan and visited Warren Dunes State Park. Michigan has the largest collection of fresh water sand dunes in the world due to it's long shoreline on the western edge of Lake Michigan. These are strange dunes (compared to the one's I'd seen in California as a kid anyway) in that the sand dune is clearly visible from the beach and climbs up steeply to a crest - then is covered with tree's and vegetation from then on. From the western (landward side), it looks just like any other hill from a distance. The sand was soft and the water from Lake Michigan was cool, but pleasant. Like Lake Superior, we couldn't see the other side (so it is a bit like the ocean), but there was not salt foam on the small waves (the lakes are fresh water), no salt smell, and few if any shells. Other than that, the lakeshore and small towns dotting it could be from any seaside postcard anywhere.

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We had a bite of icecream from a really good shop in St. Joseph, then drove across the river to watch the sunset over a lighthouse. I don't know if my pictures came out very well or not, will have to check those later. My aunt and I had a great deal of fun walking out the pier towards the lighthouse trying to figure out the best way to photograph it in the darkening sky. Later, my uncle walked out also and we all enjoyed a very pleasant evening watching the sunset, the boats coming back into the harbor and the seagulls. Mom watched from the far end of the pier as she'd already had enough walking for one day, so we joined her on the way back.

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Having been somewhat embarrassed by my lack of knowledge of my camera (it takes such good pictures on the Auto setting, I hadn't bothered to learn how to use the other features), I came back to my RV and read the owners manual after everyone else went inside for the night... We will probably stay her through Monday, then head back out on the road. Few plans on this trip are solid however, so stay tuned...

Posted by jl98584 19:25 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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