Epic Birthday Adventure (Belated)

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I’m belated in writing this post, the birthday wasn’t. The birthday was right on time. You know how I was dreaming of going back to Mackinac Island? Mission accomplished. And as luck would have it, the weather was perfect for flying. We saved about four hours of driving and a ferry ride. Oddly enough, the island doesn’t allow cars, but they have a quaint little airport. As it is northern Michigan, things freeze, and sometimes air travel is the best way on or off the island. Plus the views from the air were pretty spectacular. We stayed at the Metivier Inn, which I would definitely recommend. As usual, we ate, drank, and bicycled our way through the weekend. Below are a few of the hundreds of photos I took, and one special video. Continue reading

Travel Flashback: Mackinac Island

(And no, sadly the title of this post doesn’t rhyme. It’s pronounced “mack-in-aw”.) Last summer, I wrote about my trip to Mackinac Island, up in Northern Michigan. I hadn’t been there in about twenty years, and instantly fell in love. It almost pains me to say that, since it’s considered by some to be a tourist attraction here in Michigan, but oh well. It’s for a good reason. The island is charming to pieces, the views are spectacular, the dining is fun, there’s interesting history, I could go on. But instead, I’ll just relish in the trip again with a little flashback…

Hotel Iroquois at the Shore
To get to the island, you have to take a ferry or plane. There are no cars on the island, only horses and bikes. So as you approach the ferry docks, you get an incredible view of hotels, cottages, and the marina. Continue reading

Manistee National Forest

A few weekends ago my family convened on the west side of the state for a little mid-summer camp trip. The weekend was filled with a lot of laughs, and even more mosquitos. Here in Michigan people have been talking about how this was going to be a banner year for mosquitos because of all the rain and melted snow – and they’re not joking around. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Yikes. The beach was the only respite. But the weather was gorgeous, complete with exciting thunderstorms at night. We ate like kings, and were re-introduced to the magic of pie irons. Oh, the possibilities! I felt like Bubba Gump listing out all the ideas for what to concoct in the pie iron over the fire. (Forrest Gump? Not a timely reference, I know.) It was fun to camp with my brother and his family, something we’d never done before. Lake Michigan never disappoints, that’s for sure. It’s always a little different, which is always good in my book.
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Saugatuck Getaway

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For my mom’s birthday back in March I gave her a weekend in Saugatuck, just us. Leaving the men and dogs at home. Since my parents skip town immediately following her birthday, our trip had to wait until their return, almost three months later. A touristy-artsy-charming town on the west side of the state, Saugatuck is a great little place. We chose to go early in the season, and in the middle of the week to avoid both crowds and high weekend rates. The town is situated on Kalamazoo Lake, which then flows into Lake Michigan. Our visit was a little too chilly to do any beaching, but it’s supposed to be pretty spectacular. (I’m partial to Lake Michigan beaches as it is, so I couldn’t really give a fair assessment.) Continue reading