hello, all! oh my we had another fabulous vacation to OH, MI!
we spent an entire week traveling the beautiful state of michigan with a nice little dip down into ohio so i could color that in on our map. pretty much 15 years ago to the date, The Mr. & i went and explored michigan right before he proposed to me. (where i fielded questions about why we weren’t engaged from both Aunt Julie & grandma katie).
it was a fabulous trip back then, and a fabulouser trip now! (yep)
i fell in love with the sweet small picturesque towns in 2001. same towns were just as picturesque 15 years later. we wanted to do a re-do and bring jovie. plus we added the east coast this time. (sorry, michigan- i have a favorite side! here’s where i throw up my gang sign of a W)
DAY ONE had us touring detroit- i do think all 4 of my readers know that’s where The Mr. spent the first 13 years of his life. we saw his old house, old schools, famous landmarks (the corner store!) we had a fabulous lunch a few miles away in downtown at Greektown. & spent some nice time on Belle Isle. (look! that’s canada!!)
then aunt julie & uncle tom were nice enough to host a dinner for us (in their beautiful backyard!) where jovie also got to meet 2nd & 3rd cousins. it was nice- hadn’t seen all of them since ’07. jovie was awfully quiet- soaking it all in.
DAY TWO had us going to visit jovie’s great grandma katie & marshall. we spent the day with them in their beautiful backyard! it was wonderful seeing them again!
we then left to stay at a “nearby” hotel and watched the sunset at 9:13pm
DAY THREE took us to the Glen Arbor area to go to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. this place was amazing when The Mr. went as a kid. it was amazing 15 years ago and it’s amazing now. maybe moreso because we got to enjoy jovie enjoying it. her face was priceless when she first saw the mountain of sand. she said “i believed you that it was big, but i didn’t know it could be THAT big…. i thought it was just as tall as daddy!” needless to say we spent a few hours here. climbing (way harder than it seems!!) and running and digging and playing and rolling and running down and climbing again! the pictures honestly can’t do it justice, but i’ll try:
we were pretty tuckered out by the end of the day. we drove just a little ways to Traverse City & had a nice dinner, followed by some ice cream before crashing for the night.
but before that, we drove the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive to get a different view of the dunes & lake michigan:
DAY FOUR was a lovely drive up the west coast. scenic. quaint. i couldn’t wait to re-do this. gramma & grampa recently took this drive & told us to veer off to the Tunnel of Trees. The Mr. & i had the best time laughing at the long detour in order to get *somewhere* on this 19mi drive. dirt/desolate roads. Carmen the Garmin had us laughing pretty good. i really hope that will cement as a funny memory.
we got up to Petsosky, one of the towns i’ve been talking about since ’01. we grabbed a lunch from the exact same cafe as last time & sat at a table in the park, listening to a random day of a folk music concert. jovie enjoyed it a lot. she video’d them on her/my new/old phone (remember, it’s a camera & app machine) drove on up thru’ Charlevoix (the other town i loved) and then finally got to cross “BigMac“.
here’s where i could fill up a whole book on all the pix i took of the bridge. so if anyone’s keeping track, this year we did 20+ miles on lake ponchartrain, 20+ miles of chesapeake bay (tunnels and bridges) and now 5 miles on a beautiful suspension bridge!! i loved it.
(we were on lake huron. the bridge divides the lakes huron & michigan) we went to the bridge view park and to dinner before watching another late sunset in Saint Ignace. but first jovie wanted to swim in the great lakes. the cold water of MD/DE has nothing over the great lakes. unfortunately, it was quite rocky so she didn’t last long. then i took her out for a girls’ night to a cafe next door to get a grampa-sized sundae (we ate maybe half)
DAY FIVE took us on a ferry to Mackinac Island. (that you can see in the pic above). an island with no motorized vehicles (unless you count jazzy carts). bikes & horses. it’s a quaint little town we went to way back when. we rode bikes around the island and this time we even found a stair hike that brought us to a nice view of a natural arch! spent the day here exploring, eating lunch, going to a butterfly garden & getting some famous fudge! but FIRST we got to enjoy going UNDER big mac in the ferry!
(couldn’t get the bike picture in this big slot, so there, you have The Mr. in full size)
DAY 6 we checked out and drove down the east coast to Tawas Bay. not before stopping at the quaintest most charming deli (take 5 deli) in alpena. we got to the hotel at the same time as the little summer rainstorm. so jovie swam in the indoor pool before swimming the bay of lake huron. this was a sandy beach. it was cold, but not very rocky. we had dinner downtown and enjoyed another late night sunset.
DAY 7 more driving, down to Toledo, OH (via Ann Arbor for lunch). i was quite disappointed that there is no marker indicating when you get from MI to OH! we were not staying at a very scenic place (certainly not all these water views!) so there wasn’t much to explore. we had the rest of the afternoon so we decided to go to the movies to see Secret Life of Pets. (nobody loved it) (only jovie’s 3rd movie experience, other 2 were on a xmas) (popcorn for dinner!!)
afterwards we got some yummy ice cream from Handel’s. huge and delicious. after that we drove to the downtown area and got to see some of Toledo before heading to bed.
DAY 8 we stuck around the hotel until checkout time and headed back to the mall searching for a souvenir. i didn’t have high hopes (they don’t mark their state line!) so luckily, i had grabbed a napkin from handels, and had the movie stub. proof that we saw ohio. then we headed to the airport and came home in time for dinner and crashing in our own beds!
a fantastic vacation- over 1,001 miles driven, 8miles biked, 250 steps climbed (the arch), maybe around 5 miles ferried, maybe 0.25 miles trammed, a mountain of sand climbed, a zillion miles walked and tons of smiles & memories!