MICHIGAN IS GREAT FOR PHOTOS

23 Jun

I know my posts are really behind this week, I just have been so busy what with being gone this past weekend and getting back into the swing of things. Not to mention the hoards of photos I have to go through and edit. 🙂 This post will be all about Friday, the first day of our trip and then tomorrow I’ll probably do a catching up on the week thus far before getting another trip post up!

Despite it being a “vacation day”, I was up at the exact same time Friday morning as I usually would be. It’s not as bad waking up to head on an adventure as waking up for work though! Muncie was gray and rainy and just not nice (as it had been pretty much the past 6 or 7 days) and I told Zach, “Let’s get out of here!” I knew the forecast where we were headed looked much nicer.

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It took a good 4 hours on the road and a ways up into Michigan before we finally got into pure sunshine. The temps were cooler up there but I will take upper 60’s and sunny over 80’s and raining any day! Our first stop of the day was lunch at the Brass Cafe and Saloon. I’d chosen to have us stop in Mt. Pleasant mostly because it was the biggest city we’d hit around lunch-time but luckily they had some unique places to eat to choose from. Brass Cafe is in a really old building and has the feel of eating somewhere like a bank in the early 1900’s. It was said that they had very good fish and chips and all their meat came from a butcher just down the street and was supposed to be wonderful. So of course we figured out how to take advantage of all these things. 🙂 My meal came with the soup of the day which was an asparagus potato.

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GOOD soup! I had slightly less than half of this and it was unlike any soup I’ve had before. A good omen on lunch to come. Zach, of course, ordered the fish and chips.

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I don’t care for steak fries, though he liked them a lot, but we both liked the fish! A good batter, not overly greasy and cooked just right. My meal was the “Hot Ham and Swiss Pretzel”.

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Thin sliced pit ham, tomato, melted swiss with mustard sauce on a thick pretzel roll. Deee-licious! I cut this in half and gave Zach the larger portion (he says he is gaining more baby weight than me because I get full so easily I give him all my food haha). Every part of this was good but the meat made the sandwich. Yum. We filled ourselves up and headed back on the road. A little less than two hours later and we reached stop two, Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire.

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I may be a tee-totaler right now but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy visiting new breweries! (A new winery might be too hard to handle though…) I tasted the tiniest bit of a couple of them and I’ll be darned if beer doesn’t taste better now than it did 6 months ago haha. We kept our visit brief before continuing our journey north to Charlevoix, a town on the edge of Lake Michigan that’s very near the top of the lower peninsula. Destination – Mt. McSauba and North Point Recreation Area.

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There were other beachy lake areas I’d looked at going but this place seemed to be a favorite with locals for having lots of hiking and not too many people. Perfect!

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We hadn’t gone far into the woods when we found a dune that we scaled and were rewarded with lake views.

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I will always accidentally refer to a lake this large as an ocean, happened several times on our trip. Ha! This was a good spot for a few pictures-

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Then we continued on the trails back through the woods for a bit coming across a huge area of spiders and later a beautiful deer who let me get fairly close.

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Eventually we popped back out by the lake. The beach area was mostly grassy and rocky!

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We did find a sand bar that we made our way to for the sole purpose of hunting “petoskey stones”. Petoskey stones are a specific type of rock native to this area of the lake (we actually went to a city called Petoskey later this evening) and they have a very distinct pattern. It’s tough though because you can really only tell they are petoskey if they are wet (or polished) and otherwise they just appear to be sun-bleached, regular rocks. The hunt began…

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We spent a good 40 minutes combing the beach and managed to find a few very small ones as well as a collection of sea glass and some other pretty rocks. We’re going to tumble and polish them to put in a little glass display jar in Izzy’s room. 🙂

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The water was FRIGID but your feet and legs did get used to it after some time. Though Zach was able to stand searching deeper in the water than me, he ended up soaking his shorts haha. He just can’t help himself when he’s on a mission; he loves searching for things in the water. You should see him hunt crabs in Florida!

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This beautiful secluded area was a good spot for a “baby photo shoot” and Zach managed to capture some really sweet pictures. I’ll share just a handful because seriously, there are tons.

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Love including baby Izzy in so many aspects of our trip! 🙂 We hiked back out after this and there was a disc golf course right by where we parked. We didn’t have time for an actual game but Zach threw at a few of the holes just for fun. They are MUCH harder than the holes at home.

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We did a quick change in the car. Trying not to get sand everywhere, adjusting our nicer outfits and a speedy make-up job for me and we were on our way into town to have dinner at the Weathervane.

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It’s a beautiful, old building architected by Earl Young whose name you will hear come up again. We were lucky enough to get seated outside right on the waterway that led out to the lake. Zach got to enjoy another beer flight-

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While I enjoyed a virgin cocktail-

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It was actually quite good with fresh mint and ginger ale and tonic and some other flavors. I told Zach, “You know the only thing this drink needs? Rum!” Ha. While we were waiting on our food we got to see the bridge go up to allow a larger ship come in from the lake. That’s always fascinating for some reason!

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For dinner Zach had a chicken wellington (which is meat in a puff pastry) with asparagus and mashed potatoes.

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His wellington was superb! It was the best thing we ate here I thought. I, because I couldn’t help myself, got the lobster mac and cheese.

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This dish was enormous! I had less than half, Zach ate a good bit and there was still some leftover. I liked it okay but it wasn’t as wonderful as I was hoping. The green onions were overpowering, the noodles were a bit too buttery and the lobster was slightly over-cooked. I know that’s a bit picky but I am usually pretty happy with my food and when I pay that much for a pasta dish I want to be IMPRESSED. Still ate plenty though. 🙂

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We saw the Weathervane’s signature dessert, peanut butter pie, going around right and left and knew we had to get some but I was soooo full I couldn’t think of eating any right then so we got it to go. It’s absurd how quickly I fill up these days. Before leaving Charlevoix I had Zach drive just a few minutes away to a street lined with “Mushroom Houses”. Remember Earl Young? Well these were his signature thing.

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He created very unique houses with lots of stone and funny shapes and roofs and such. We got to see several of them and they all had their own stamp to them. The one below was the most impressive.

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After this we were on a deadline. I wanted to reach sunset park in Petoskey (about 25 minutes away) a good 15 to 20 minutes before the sun went down. We made it in plenty of time. It was an absolutely beautiful, well-kept park.

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All of Petoskey was beautiful really. A very affluent town. They even have a “luxury motor coach resort”. What. Zach and I grabbed a table down by the fence overlooking the water and opened our pie-

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It had completely melted!! Haha we were so confused asking, “Was this an ice cream pie?” “Why did it melt?” We had a grand time trying to eat it and it still tasted wonderful even if it was a mess!

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The sun started getting closer to the water and I set up the tripod to get a myriad of pictures of course.

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Once again I will only share a handful of the absolute plethora that exists. In between pictures we’d sit on the table and watch the sun while snuggling under our big jean quilt because it was CHILLY by this point!

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Then when I directed we’d pop back out and take more photos. 🙂

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We finally reached the end of the sunset and I was so pleased that we’d had such a beautiful evening for it!

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Last leg of the trip for the day was another 45 minutes up to Mackinaw City – the absolute tip-top of the lower peninsula of Michigan. It had been a lot of legs in the car that day but was worth it to spend the night in Mackinaw City and know we were only a ferry ride away from the next day’s destination. By the time we got to our Fairview Beachfront Hotel (basically one of the cheapest places that I could find for the night!) it was totally dark out but I still managed to get this picture off our balcony of the beach fires people were having and the “ocean”. 🙂

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We weren’t awake too terribly long after arriving because it had been a full day that wore me and the baby flat out! It was time to rest up for another big day on Saturday.

Friday’s Food Journal:

  • Breakfast – blueberries, 1 pc. ww PB tst
  • Lunch – 1/2 soup, 1/2 sandwich, 1/2 pc. fish
  • Supper – 1/2 roll, less than 1/2 lobster mac, 1/2 pb pie

340 miles.

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